Of, By, and For Ourselves

Self-government is an art, or, more precisely, it is an artifact that must be maintained by the vigilance of those who possess it. It is not a right to which all human beings, in virtue of their humanity, are entitled, nor is it able to be practiced by all people at all times. In a way, we instinctively know this. Many people are incapable of governing their own affairs with any practical wisdom, and many would be better off depending on others for the order that a good life requires. In America, this truth is denied on principle. We assume that the ability to self-govern is a default state of man rather than something that only those most capable can achieve and, even then, only for several generations at a time. Modern delusions aside, to think that self-government is an inherited right of man is akin to thinking that the ability to fish is an inherited right, which it, of course, is not. It must be practiced by those who have the knowledge, patience, discipline, and a continuity of tradition that allows stability to flourish beyond one generation of men. We are justified, then, in asking ourselves if we are indeed worthy of self-government.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points, although worthiness and ability might be two different things.