previous post next post  

Inherent Right to Self Defense Part II: Social Contract Theory

[Denizen Commentary - Kat]

Continuing Series on the Inherent Right to Self Defense and its effect on the Second Amendment from Part I: Setting the Precedent.

In Part I, I argue that the founding fathers of this nation had set the historical precedent for the right to "keep and bear arms", both as a defense against oppression of the government and as a personal defense against other men and the elements. Urbanization, advanced technology, improved law enforcement and judiciary, nor any alleged development of conscience and morality has not changed the reality or necessity of this defense. It is, in fact, immoral for society to demand that a man give up his "right to life" in order to maintain our modern, conflated idea of the social contract.

Part II: Social Contract Theory(Or, The War of Philosophies

(continued in Flash Traffic)

That idea of the modern "social contract" has veered away significantly from the Lockean theory of the "social contract", the theory most influential on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, that people willingly give up some rights to the state in order to maintain society, but still maintains specific, individual and unalienable rights. One of which is the "unalienable right to Life". That "unalienable right to Life" necessitates "self defense". Locke did not believe that the idea of "social contract" and the idea of individual rights were contradictory.

Modern ideas of the "social contract" reflect more closely Hobbes theory that, to live with in a civilized society, people give up all their rights to the state. The state in turn provides for all protection. The state is a "Leviathan" that makes and enforces all laws and metes out necessary punishment for breaking those laws of society. Any individual who goes outside of this social contract, including defending his life by taking another, is simply practicing egotism. Their actions could unbalance and damage society. Thus, it is better to leave the apprehension and punishment of the "outlaw" to the state in order to avoid damaging a "peaceful" social contract of the majority. In fact, subjugating every right of the individual, including the "right to life", to the power of the state.

These ideas on the "social contract" are not new. They were extensively read, along with many other philosophers, and discussed among the leading thinkers at the time of the foundation of this nation. These same philosophies are still taught in universities today and reflect on our modern ideas of society and morality. The fact that our founding fathers read, debated and wrote about these ideas points to a refined sense of morality, conscience and philosophy. It negates the accepted modern philosophical myth that the rusticity of colonial life was so rough and tumble that the colonials were living in a "state of nature". Which, according to Hobbes meant that, by the sheer need to survive, the "laws of nature" were the guiding principles of life. In short: every man for himself.

History, records, books and other archives directly refute that idea. At the time of the Rebellion, universities, churches, judiciary, constabulary forces. established law and local governance existed even in some of the most far flung of colonial outposts. However, it is the historical, philosophical myth of rusticity and frontiersmen without social or moral boundaries that leads modern philosophers, legislators and citizens to believe that society has some how improved on that morality and conscience. Instead, we have simply moved from the founders reliance on the Lockean theory of "social contract" to Hobbes "absolutism" and "Leviathan" state.

There is plenty of room to argue about which theory of social contract applies to historical or modern society based on our best understanding of life in either period of time. There is also plenty of room to argue about which theory of social contract is best for "modern society". However, there is little room to argue which philosopher and social contract theory the founders most identified with and used to establish their ideas on the right to rebellion, individual rights and government. That philosopher was John Locke.

His theories in the Treatise of Two Governments heavily influenced the Declaration of Independence including the ideas of Natural Laws, Unalienable Rights and the Right To Rebellion.

10 Comments

kat - I see no libs/GFWs have come out to debate your points. Maybe you did such a good job on your logic, history, etc, they feel hopeless...
 
Hmm..I suspect not. More likely I didn't use enough flame words to tick them off. Maybe when I get to the point about the declaration actually including the inherent right to self defense or the discussion on the actual 2nd Amendment, they'll come screaming. Then again, maybe I am just boring them into submission. LOL
 
Heh, whatever works as long as they submit... "... resistance is futile."
 
I think they are worried that no matter how it comes down, they lose. Option one - Individual right to bear arms... they lose. Option two - Right exists only for a well regulated militia, which we do not have, and Federal Government is sued to provide every law abiding adult with a suitable "militia weapon" and we all get target practice on our M-16's and M-4's. hehehe One thing to note.... the tragic shooting in Omaha.. was in a NO FIREARM ALLOWED Mall... seems it was a gun free zone.. yea that works... Wonder why the MSM is not reporting that little fact????
 
kat - I see no libs/GFWs have come out to debate your points. Maybe you did such a good job on your logic, history, etc, they feel hopeless... I think the Rulez keep them away. We're no fun.
 
Option two - Right exists only for a well regulated militia, which we do not have, and Federal Government is sued to provide every law abiding adult with a suitable "militia weapon" and we all get target practice on our M-16's and M-4's. hehehe
Well, there are a few other options: Option 3) Right exists for a "well regulated militia" which they view as the "national guard" (since most "militias" were eventually designated as such) and no one has a gun except on drill day, taken out of the local, well secured armory. Option 4) If they argue to strenuously for the right to only exist for a "militia" controlled and armed by the state, then they essentially argue themselves out of the "right to rebellion". The left has a long history of and prides themselves on "rebellion". If you make guns as only a source of a government organized militia, then the state has all the power and use of force and the ability to "rebel" is diminished to zero. Then, someday, if they decide we have gone too far right and they need to rebel, how will they justify it having thrown out Locke and the inherent right to self defense along with the guns? I suggest that trying to reconcile these two ideas is causing a serious melt down -- Does not compute. does not compute. Heh.
One thing to note.... the tragic shooting in Omaha.. was in a NO FIREARM ALLOWED Mall... seems it was a gun free zone.. yea that works...
That is the problem with the "leviathan" theory of social contract and, as I note, the rather foolish idea that laws are somehow "pro-active" or "preventative" measures against crime and the breaking of the social contract. Laws and their enforcement are, at best, re-active. The failure of our current society and their reliance on this false "pro-active" theory is what has them going into a frenzy every time something happens to prove the fallibility. That frenzy usually demands even more "preventative" laws that continue to fail miserably. Drug free school zones are not "pro-active". People pretend they are in order to make themselves feel better about working to improve society, but all those zones do is add time on the back end of a sentence AFTER the criminal gets caught. It never stops them or only stops some. Those few stopped are a drop of rain on the wind. What we hope is that it provides HObbes "fear factor" and enough will fear the state and the punishment to adhere to this new rule in our social contract. My thoughts pretty much tend to believe that those who are willing to break the social contract already do not fear the state and are not going to regardless of how many "free zones" we put in place. So, these are just "feel good" ideas that make society believe they are protecting their children and the rest of society. It's like the emperor's new clothes. No one wants to believe that society is naked.
 
Looks like you're kind of snowballing an idea here, will be interesting to see part 3.
 
Trias...you gave me the idea to expand a little bit since I made the bad assumption that whoever was reading my thesis would naturally know which philosophies, thus effect on thinking and morality, were at play in our founders ideas. Very bad thesis writing. So, yes, I dropped in the "connection" before I dove into the documents. Thank you for your inspiration as it were.
 
Kat, wouldn't part of the suit be about determining what the definition of militia is?
 
Geo...I'd say, yes. But, we are talking about their choices v. likely outcome.