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What makes America different?

By Henry Lamb
web posted July 7, 2008

There is a reason why America emerged to lead the world to new, previously unimagined heights of freedom and prosperity.  It may have been an accident; it may have been providence.  It is a fact, nonetheless, from which the entire world has benefited.  The reason is simple, but obscured in recent years, by philosophies that reject the fundamental principle upon which America was created.

 America is different because it was created upon the belief that individuals are endowed by their creator to be sovereign entities.  In America, these sovereign entities agreed to surrender a measure of their individual sovereignty to a government created specifically for the purpose of protecting their individual sovereign rights, and to perform certain other limited functions.

In America, the government consists of representatives of the people who created it, and the power of government is limited by the consent of the people who elect their representatives. This principle is well established in the Declaration of Independence, and enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.    

The American government is different from all the governments that came before it.  Before America, government was the sovereign power, whether king, czar, dictator, or Supreme Soviet.  Individuals who lived within these governments exercised freedom only to the extent allowed by government.  In America, government exercised its power only to the extent allowed by individuals.  Or so it once was.

Since the beginning, there has been a number of Americans who believe that government should manage the affairs of its citizens, rather than the other way around.  These people are persistent, creative, and, in recent years, they have been successful in finding ways to expand government's power beyond the expressed will of the people.  The more government intrudes into the management of the daily affairs of individuals, the more government becomes a weight on the pursuit of happiness and prosperity.

Nearly ten years ago, a group of individual Americans assembled in Washington DC to try to find a way to rise above the "politics as usual" between the Democrats and Republicans, and begin to find ways to truly advance the principles of freedom in public policy at every level of government.  This group became an informal coalition of several organizations joined together in the common purpose of working to advance the principles of freedom in the 21st century.  They labeled their effort the "Freedom21 Campaign."

One of their major initiatives is an annual conference held in different cities around the country.  This year, the conference will be held in Dallas, Texas, and will focus on "Connecting the Dots to Sustainable Development." Nationally known speakers discuss how particular public policies either advance or abuse the principles of freedom.  Last year, WND publisher, Joseph Farah was a speaker.  This year, WND's Jerome Corsi, and Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly, will be among the nearly two-dozen speakers.

 Such a conference would not be possible in many nations today.  A government permit would be required, if the conference were allowed.  Not in America – yet.

The principle of free speech and assembly is still recognized in America, but it is in jeopardy.  Sadly, many Americans prefer the United Nations model of free speech.  Article 14 of the U.N. Covenant on Human rights says:

"The right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas carries with it special duties and responsibilities and may therefore be subject to certain penalties, liabilities, and restrictions, but these shall be only such, as are provided by law."

The U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights says:

"Congress shall make no law.. abridging the freedom of speech or of the press...."   

The U.N. model places government above the sovereignty of the people, and retains the authority to limit what people may say under penalty of law.  The founders of the United States realized that speech is endowed by the Creator, and in making the government, prohibited the government from limiting this individual sovereign right.

There are those in Washington who have, in the past, imposed the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," which is a limitation on free speech and the freedom of broadcasters and publishers to publish what they wish.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has openly declared that she wants to re-impose this limitation on free speech – which is the application of the U.N. principle, not the principle of freedom explicitly defined in the U.S. Constitution.

This is only one of many examples of the policies the Freedom21 campaign seeks to influence.  This is precisely the kind of policy that should inspire every American to get involved in issues that so directly affect the future of this great nation.  It is imperative that sovereign individuals meet their responsibility to defend the freedom endowed by their Creator, and enshrined in our Declaration and our Constitution. ESR

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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