(The column below was written by Tom Ross, director of Massachusetts Citizens for Constitution Reform. It appeared at the end of his booklet A Journey Through Your Massachusetts Constitution.)
In joining us on this journey through our Massachusetts Constitution we hope that you have gained an appreciation for the great truths contained in it. The purpose of this journey is to look back on where we have come from and what was the norm for our culture in the past. And as you certainly observed, we made many references to the fact that Massachusetts is in a constitutional crisis. Our culture has drifted far away from the truths of our forefathers. So now it is only prudent that we take a moment to look at the present and see where our culture stands today in comparison. And before we start, we need to make two general statements.
First, we continue to believe unequivocally that the Constitutional Republic handed down to us by our forefathers is the best form of government, and model for our culture, known to mankind. No other comes close.
And it is a difficult task to give an overview of a subject as awesome and multifaceted as a nation’s culture. It is impossible to categorize individuals into neat blocks. With that said, it still is possible to make some broad judgments about individuals who may share in part, or the whole, of a particular worldview.
Now let’s continue our journey by looking at our present culture. And as we proceed we will be defining our terms so that hopefully there will be no misunderstanding as to what we are saying. So first let’s define the word “culture”.
Culture: A particular form, stage, or type of intellectual development or civilization in a society; a society characterized by its distinctive customs, achievements. products, outlook, etc.
Culture defines the “norm”, which becomes the acceptable behavior of its citizens. The norm of a society is what holds it together even with all the variations that may be found within each individual.
Now make no mistake: The people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and of our nation, are engaged in a true “culture war” which means that there are two opposing norms competing against each other. In the case of the United States of America and particularly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the two opposing norms are first a Constitutional Republic and then, on the other side, Liberal Socialism. So let’s define each:
Constitution: The set of fundamental principles according to which a state is constituted and governed, a body of rules prescribing the major elements of the state with particular emphasis on the location of ultimate power.
Republic: Any state in which, the supreme power is held by the people. The people may delegate some of their power to their elected representatives or other governmental entities. A Commonwealth is a community in which everyone has an interest.
Massachusetts is a Commonwealth functioning under a Constitutional Republic form of government. It is the only legal format in which it can function. Any other form is unconstitutional and illegal. The citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have not voted to give up our current form of government which is spelled out in our Constitution, and they may not replace it with any other form of government. Therefore any change by whatever means other then a direct vote of ALL the citizens is unconstitutional and illegal. Period!
Now here’s our definition of Liberal Socialism:
Liberal: A person whose worldview is based on the utopian and idealistic thought that man can create a perfect society. A person who may not put a great deal of emphasis on a religious view of a Supreme Being, but may exhibit many positive humane concerns for the needy and down trodden of this world.
Socialism: A form of government in which the State has the absolute power. This government is made up of an intellectual planning hierarchy under which all production and distribution is regulated by government agencies chaired by social engineers.
We will use the term American Liberal Socialism because liberals in our country have learned that by using the power and force of government they can change the norm and replace our Constitutional Republic with their worldview. Also by using the term American Liberal Socialism through out our presentation it is our hope to convey the makeup of this worldview.
Most movements in a culture begin with a small group, usually with an agenda. They in turn reach others who may or may not fully understand or care about the true agenda. There are those in our culture whose agenda is clearly to replace our Constitutional Republic with Liberal Socialism. There is also a vast group in our culture who don’t understand fully the Liberal Socialist agenda, but who do like some of its ideas. And as always, there are others who just don’t care. The question immediately arises: How did Liberal Socialism become such a direct influence in our culture, which already had the best form of government known to mankind?
Let’s go back in our history as see how this happened.
Socialism has been around for millennia and was an influence even in 1780 when our Massachusetts Constitution was written. In fact when the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, they lived their first year under a form of socialism. All the produce from the community was put into the storehouse and then redistributed evenly back to the people. After nearly starving to death under that system, they abandoned it and let each family have its own land to produce whatever they wished. This generated an abundance of food, and the surplus was used to trade for goods.
From that time until the mid-1930s, socialism had not made much of an inroad into American culture. But then, as so often is the case, this movement took advantage of a major historical event to further its cause. In this case it was the great economic depression of the 1930s when there was an outcry for government to do something. President Franklin Roosevelt, with the help of the leading liberals of the day, developed the New Deal programs which were modeled directly on the socialism that was spreading across Europe at the time.
Socialism now began to influence American culture. Liberalism was gaining some ground but was not able to make a decisive impact on the culture. Then a very liberal man by the name of John Dewey (1859-1952) stated that the only way the worldview of liberalism could prevail was to teach its principles to children, and that in just two generations there would be a liberal society. And he was right. With his help the mandatory government school system was put in place. It took on the name public school system. Thus began the slow but steady indoctrination of generations of children into the liberal worldview.
The movement still had one major problem, and that was that the majority of the people believed in a Supreme Being. There had to be a means to do away with that understanding of religion because it was directly opposed to their worldview. Then a man named Charles Darwin proclaimed his theory of evolution. It fit perfectly with the liberal tenet that there was no Supreme Being and that man was the center of the universe.
Thus the religion of secular humanism came into maturity. So now we have: liberalism, socialism, government education based on Dewey’s idea, and secular humanism based on Darwin’s theory. The joining of these four powerful forces into a sustainable worldview has created the greatest foe of a Constitutional Republic, and it is called American Liberal Socialism
During this time the government-run school system was evolving into a powerful training ground for this worldview, with particular emphasis on the college level. This worldview is particularly attractive to young impressionable persons in their university years. Then these college graduates, thoroughly indoctrinated in Liberal Socialism's worldview, naturally where drawn to the professions of the news media, entertainment, education and, most unfortunately, to government, particularly the field of law and the courts. These four crucial areas now are in the control of liberal socialists and therefore their worldview now is constantly, on all levels, being fed into our culture.
In a simplified form, that is how American Liberal Socialism evolved to become the force it is today.
Let’s now look at the differences between a Constitutional Republic and Liberal Socialism.
Under a Constitutional Republic, there is emphasis on the existence of, and understanding of the crucial nature of a Supreme Being, while the individual defines that Supreme Being in his or her own terms. Under Liberal Socialism, there is an emphasis on man, and the state defines secular humanism as the only norm.
Under a Constitutional Republic, religion and just laws help culture to define what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior. Religion, piety and morality promote the happiness and prosperity of the people, and is to act as the guiding principle of government. Under Liberal Socialism, there is no understanding of absolutes or boundaries which would define acceptable and unacceptable behavior. It defends each person’s right to do whatever seems right in that person’s understanding, without any influence from religion, piety or morality.
Under a Constitutional Republic, power is in the hands of the people, while they delegate limited power to the state. The natural rights given by the Supreme Being and the limited powers given to the state are spelled out clearly in a written Constitution. Under Liberal Socialism, absolute power is in the hands of the state; the state, through its agencies, becomes the absolute power and there is no written Constitution. Or if there is one, it is ignored.
Under a Constitutional Republic, government is formed to provide the people with safety, peace and tranquility so that they may lives their lives in a pursuit of happiness. Under Liberal Socialism, laws are constantly changed and new ones added so that there is no sense of safety, peace or tranquility.
In this comparison we have, for the most part, stayed with issues dealing with the Constitution, but the difference between the two worldviews is endless. For us the issue is not whether a person can be a liberal socialist. Our Constitution guarantees them that right. But that person does not have the right to use the power of government to force their worldview on those of us who disagree with it. Liberals need to go out in the open ‘marketplace of ideas’ and convince people to adopt their worldview. Using the force of government to do that so unconstitutional and illegal.
That brings us to the question of how to stop the advocacy of socialism through our government. It would be foolhardy not to acknowledge the advances made by this way of thinking.
The solution is to separate government socialism away from the liberals. We need to put further restraints on our government so that it cannot be used in this illegal trend. So far in our journey we have attempted to show to all our citizens that Massachusetts is in a constitutional crisis. Our purpose was not to cry wolf or to wring our hands in despair, but to challenge each and every one of our citizens to rise up and meet this crisis with the means that our forefathers gave us in the Constitution. We all need to assume a patriot’s heart and answer the call to duty, the same way the men and women did in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1776!
In our case, we need to restore our Commonwealth to a true Constitutional Republic. In so doing we need to do what the patriots in 1776 did. Not only did they obtain their freedom, but they had a clear vision for those who would come after them. Fellow citizens, not only do we need to restore our Commonwealth now, but even more important we need to look out into the future and pass on to those who will come after us the same Constitutional Republic that our forefathers bequeathed to us.
Please visit my blog at www.nikitas3.com for more conservative insights.