mikeandgerry wrote:Individuals and cultures have dark sides which we do not want to face. We run and hide it from the rest of society. This is observed by many but especially those who wish to change it. By putting the dark into the light the anxiety of shame can be avoided. This is fine until problems of survival arise and judgments begin.
Early cultures dealt with the problem of dark behavior through social pressure, law and religion. Such dark behavior was shunned, punished and avoided. Or, those practicing the dark behavior were clandestine in their actions. A balance was thus achieved.
The definition of "dark behavior" is not static. There was a time when Christianity was the "dark behavior" that was shunned, punished, and avoided.
The thing that makes the United States different from every other nation in history is that is based on a very simple common set of ideas outlined in the Declaration of Independence, not a common religion, culture, or ancestry. The United States is a pact amongst people that we all agree with the ideas of Jefferson and Locke about the rights of man.
The Constitution does not give us rights. It limits the power of Government to infringe on our rights. In "Rights of Man" Thomas Paine wrote:
It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few. ... They...consequently are instruments of injustice.
The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a contract with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.