Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Founders' Key - By Larry Arnn

This book was a very educational read for me, helping me understand more about our government as a representative republic.   In this book, Mr. Arnn explains why the Founders constituted the Constitution the way the way they did. 

Apparently there are people who think that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are contradictory.  One declares freedom while the other institutes rules/law.  Larry Arnn demonstrates that this is not the case, that the documents are actually complementary.  The Declaration is not pro-anarchy, it is actually pro-government; it is not anti-government but pro-good government.  America's founding fathers broke off from England, not because they desired to be free of government, but  because they believed that they were not being governed rightly by England.  The Declaration declares how the government in England abused it's authority.   Rebuking the bad government of England it declares what good government looks like/it's purpose.  As Arnn says of the Declaration's rebuke of England "The violations of these key features of government are among the particular causes of the Revolution.  One might say, in short, that every government must be so constituted as to prevent these evils…The American Revolution is not justified by the fact that government is an alien force.  The truth is the opposite:  the Revolution is justified by the fact that government is necessary.  The King has sometimes failed to provide it, and other times he has provided it in ways that subvert the purpose of government."

Arnn explains how our government works, how our constitution  protects the rights declared in the Declaration of Independence.  The Constitution was carefully thought out, and was not forced upon the American people in defiance of their declared independence.  They chose it, having been persuaded that the form of Government it provides was the best government to promote and protect their liberty, and the liberty of their posterity.  It does this by not giving the government to any one man, or to the people as a whole without any restraints. "Representative government places ultimate authority outside the government, which restrains both the government and the governed.  In such a system, citizens have endless opportunity to talk, but they may act only on certain occasions.  They are encouraged, therefore, to think, and to think together, before they act.  The same restraints operate inside the government to encourage statesmen and citizens to the same habits."

In his critique of the progressive/modern view of government, Arnn mentions how our definition of 'equal' has changed.  Instead of viewing all mankind as being BORN equal, people now say that a person is not 'equal' UNTIL they have certain things, like healthcare.  Thus people are promoting the inequality of humanity, and thus they demand more and more government control to force other people to give them what they think they deserve.  They want benefits, not liberty.  
There are a few things I didn't like/agree with Arnn in,(mainly a few statements and illustrations he makes) about the book, but it is easy to skim over those and get to the 'meat'.  To some up my review, I'll say that Arnn does a good job of explaining what Tocqueville observed: "in America, man never obeys man but justice or law." 

 I received this book as a complimentary copy from BookSneeze® in exchange for my review(which does not have to be favorable).

 I review for BookSneeze®

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