June 18, 2018
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How a representative government survives, thrives

By Hayes Gahagan, Special to the BDN

The American Uncivil War is a current-day battle for the heart and soul of our republic, a battle that is raging across political, economic and social lines between politically correct, pluralistic, multicultural, globally-warmed collectivists and self-governing individualists.

This uncivil conflict in worldviews is between: (1) those who believe there is an objective reference point for truth outside the mind of man, one that sets an external standard for the administration of justice and correct human behavior, where the individual is the sovereign ruler of the state and nation under the rule of law and (2) those who believe that truth is relative, existing only in the mind of man, where right is might and raw political power determines who gets what, when and where without regard for individual rights.

Collectivism is characterized by unlimited government, a controlled economy and the loss of individual rights. Enlightened self-government is characterized by limited government, free markets and individual liberty in matters of speech, assembly and religion, to name a few.

The Republic of the United States of America is based on long-held spiritual and intellectual principles and traditions of enlightened self-government. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are rooted and grounded in creator-endowed inalienable rights of the individual, life and liberty being among them. Our heritage of intellectual, economic and religious freedom for the individual is one of the greatest achievements of Western Civilization.

We are now engaged in an uncivil war where the “collective” is challenging the freedom of the individual as well as the existence of a transcendent God whose law is above all cultures and who endows all human beings with inalienable rights. As we approach 2012, the question is whether the individual will survive in a free society or if individual freedom will be consumed by uncivil tyrannical structures of a collectivist state.

Collectivism favors the group over the individual. Whereas the founders of our free republic based our government and laws upon the rule of law, individual rights and corresponding individual responsibilities, the collective diminishes individual rights and responsibilities. An early phase of the transition from individual rights to the collective right is the so-called “Nanny State” where the state invades, regulates and ultimately controls essentially every area of life, including language. More aggressive forms of collectivist theology include communism, fascism and Nazism.

Collectivism and atheism go hand-in-hand. States that fail to recognize transcendent values place the state outside of natural law. Without moral absolutes, the state can construct any values it pleases yet subjects itself to none. The issue becomes a matter of arbitrary power. The state becomes the instrument of unlimited power, unrestrained by natural law or reason. At the individual level, the state’s rejection of objective moral absolutes in favor of arbitrary and subjective edicts produces irrationality and eventually the imposition of terror.

E pluribus unum — “out of many, one” is the motto on the seal of the United States of America. Yet today, in the name of freeing multiple oppressed groups, hyphenated-Americanism has served only to fracture and segregate the idea of “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

The bottom line is that we can live free and prosper under a constitutional representative form of government, a republic of the people, by the people and for the people through our elected representatives, where the individual is sovereign, the state is not. It’s only when we fail to understand and operate our representative form of government and its corresponding free-enterprise economic system correctly that we the people allow a counterfeit, nonrepresentative, administrative, bureaucratic, collectivist form of government and its corresponding collectivist economic system to operate in its place, one that will lead to injustice, bankruptcy and tyranny if not checked by individual action.

Hayes Gahagan of Presque Isle is a former state senator from Aroostook County and a member of the Republican State Committee.

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