The Entropy of Freedom
A little DIGG love if you please:
While Entropy has slightly different meanings according to the field of science in which it is used, its general meaning is the degradation of a system toward chaos – the gradual loss of energy leading toward nothingness.
Cosmologists will tell you that at the instant of creation of our universe, at the very moment of the Big Bang – whether that bang was the result of random chance or the creation of an intelligence whose design is well beyond our own puny comprehension – Entropy was even then beginning its dark natural force of counteracting that creation.
As the universe expands, Entropy builds up a momentum of its own, slowing that expansion until hanging for a period of time in a balance, it begins to contract upon itself, leading the universe inexorably into chaos.
And so it also is with freedom.
At the very creation and founding of our nation, the seeds of Entropy were planted along side the seeds of Liberty, to grow by equal measure toward their own end. Even as freedom flourished in this nation – and spread as seed carried by the wind across the seas to other nations – so were the seeds of Entropy growing in government.
But the wisdom and depth of understanding of our founding fathers is breathtaking. Through the discussions and writings between them, and the care and precision of the documents they penned, it is clear that they feared from the moment of creation, the destruction of this country through the appetites of its own government. They recognized those seeds of Entropy and attempted in their crafting, to thwart their growth.
Thomas Jefferson, who would become the third President of the United States said, “When the people fear their government, it is tyranny. When the government fears the people, it is Liberty.” That side-by-side understanding of our founding fathers of the necessity and the tyranny of government is what propelled them to write one of the most remarkable documents in human history – our Constitution.
As Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Our founding fathers, recognizing the necessity the Safety of government, were willing to trade a bit of Liberty in exchange. But in the crafting of the US Constitution, with its curbs on the powers of government, they attempted to cede as little essential Liberty as possible, while securing the least amount of Safety necessary to govern.
But Entropy is a force of nature – as is government a force of man. As Entropy began building from the moment of creation – so does government. As Entropy is the antithesis of creation – government is the antithesis of Freedom.
Taking those lessons of history, they attempted to fashion a government that derived its just powers from the consent of the governed. For the first time in human history – and the only government so installed to this day – the founding fathers recognized that rights are not derived from government but from God.
Ours is not the first Republic with which our founding fathers had to build the framework of their government. They had only to study the failures of the ancient Greeks and the Romans to realize the frailty of Freedom and Liberty in a society build by men. In the Declaration of Independence they wrote:
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
The lessons of history were not lost on those men. They saw that noble Republics in both Greece and Rome – governments for and by the people – had fallen prey to the voracious appetites of government toward tyranny – eventually devolving into prison states of despots.
And so, after trial and error with the Articles of Confederation, and much discussion as to the necessary role of government, the Constitution was created. With that remarkable document, “WE THE PEOPLE” became stewards of our government, not the other way around. The powers not enumerated as having been ceded to the federal government were understood to be held by the states or the people. The Constitution provided a framework from which to work – a framework to thwart the unbridled natural growth of government to tyranny.
But by little bits and pieces, even in the earliest years of our founding, the Entropy of government began to grow. The power of the federal government, at first frail and weak, began to build with each passing year – with the passage of laws that took tiny essential freedoms from the people, and gave those powers to the government.
And gradually, over time, the people became more and more dependent upon that government. Temporary safeties became permanent tyranny – and essential Liberties became but a memory.
As we watch our federal leviathan usurp more and more of our liberties and rights – providing not even a temporary safety – the American people are just now awakening as though from a deep and prolonged sleep. They ask themselves and those about them, “How did we come to this place? How did WE THE PEOPLE ever allow this to happen?”
The answer is Entropy – the gradual degradation of our system of government toward tyranny and chaos.
Many cosmologists will say that once Entropy succeeds in collapsing the universe back into the moment of nothingness in the moment before creation – creation will all begin again. A new Big Bang will once again ignite the universe – once again begin the creation of life.
What the Entropy of the American Republic look like is anyone’s guess. But as we learned the first time, creation is messy, and not for the faint of heart. As Benjamin Franklin once noted, “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.”
Happy Memorial Day
Originally published at The Minority Report