Government has no other end, but to the preservation of Property - John Locke
Liberty is a concept that is difficult to understand for many people. No one is free to do as they please...without facing some consequence for their actions. Most humans understand this to be true. For instance, murder and theft are wrong. Regardless of your religious, or lack of religious convictions, stealing and killing another human being is wrong.
Everyone is born with the right to be responsible for themselves. To make their own way in this world...unhindered by the views of others. Of course, this does not mean we have a right to infringe on the rights of others. In a peaceful society there must be rules by which we live our lives, and though the majority of us understand that, there must be enforceable rules that establish standards, and penalties for those who step on the rights of another. Even the most primitive of societies understood this concept.
Although our early ancestors did not have the ability to write down their rules, they certainly had them...and enforced them. The natural born leader, may have been the smartest, or the strongest among the clan...and his rules were supreme...as long as he could enforce them. When the leader grew weak, or if he was challenged, he had to either abdicate his position, or fight it out. It is the natural way of things.
If you observe a pack of wolves it becomes readily apparent that the leader of the pack is respected for his strength and intelligence. If a member violates the rules...the leader and his followers banishes them to the wilderness. The pack behaves as a family...of sorts.
From ancient times...up until the American Revolution there had been many forms of government. None of which offered the type of freedom that would be created in the New World. The United States created a country ran by the people....and the people would be protected from infringements of their freedom by a written Constitution. The goal was to create a country in which the people were happy and free.
You are free to practice any religion you want...you are free to practice no religion at all. You are free to speak out against the government with out fear of reprisals. You can speak any language and not have your right to life and the pursuit of happiness infringed upon by government. That is the promise..and firm belief of every American.
In terms of our freedoms, much has changed since the Revolution. Our freedoms have been taken one at a time. Some have given up on being responsible for themselves, and turned it over to government. They have done this for an empty promise of security..only to find that their security is neither real or absolute. The fears of our forefathers has been realized, and what was once a flourishing free society has become totalitarian under the guise of elected protectors. How did it come to this?
In part IV I will delve into the steady assault on self-determination and freedom.