The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 13

“A Constitution Should be Structured to Permanently Protect the People from the Human Frailties of their Rulers.”

At the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers had to answer the following question: “How can you have an efficient government, but still protect the freedom and unalienable rights of the people?”

The Founders had much more confidence in the people then in the leaders of the people, especially if those leaders are trusted, even if those leaders were themselves. They felt that the greatest of all danger arises when the people so completely trust a leader that they feel no anxiety to watch him and what he is doing. The Federalist: A Commentary on the Constitution of the United States (Modern Library Classics)Alexander Hamilton wrote, “For it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that people are commonly most in danger when the means of injuring their rights are in the possession of those toward whom they entertain least suspicion.”

Over two hundred years of American history have demonstrated the wisdom of the Founders in proclaiming a warning against the human frailties of their elected or appointed leaders. Every unconstitutional action has been justified because it was for a ‘good cause.’ Every illegal transfer of power from one department to another has been excused as ‘necessary.’ The expansion of the government in Washington is in direct result of trusting political leaders. Thomas Jefferson used all the force that he could muster by tongue and pen when he wrote: “It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights; that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go…In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, BUT BIND HIM DOWN FROM MISCHIEF BY THE CHAINS OF THE CONSTITUTION.”

The Real George Washington (American Classic Series)George Washington also made this very clear. The Founders saw the government as a very volatile instrument of explosive power which must be harnessed, by an strictly interpreted Constitution, or it would destroy the freedom it was designed to preserve. He Said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence-it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

Additionally, James Madison: Writings: Writings 1772-1836 (Library of America)James Madison said, “It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices as Constitutional chains should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?....If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. But lacking these, in framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: YOU MUST FIRST ENABLE THE GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL THE GOVERNED; AND IN THE NEXT PLACE OBLIGE IT TO CONTROL ITSELF.”

And this is what the Constitution is all about, providing freedom from abuse by those in authority. Those who say that the Constitution is obsolete just because social and economic conditions have changed do not understand this. The Constitution was designed to control something that has not changed, and that is human nature. Therefore, the original A Glorious Standard for All MankindConstitution will never be obsolete.

The Founders also knows that the loss of freedom comes through gradual erosion of constitutional principles, and it not always so obvious that the people detect it. Madison stated, “I believe there are more instances of abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations…This danger out to be wisely guarded against.”

In 1785 Madison stated that it is right to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. Having prudent jealousy was the first duty of citizens and one of the great characteristics of the The Revolution: A ManifestoAmerican Revolution. The Freemen of America did not wait for usurped power to strengthen itself, they acted, and because they acted, they avoided the consequences that come when denying this principle.

You might ask, where will abuse leaders encroach, where are they likely to attack? Are their some basic rights which aggrandizing politicians seek to destroy first? The Founders said there was. And the Founders said we should especially concentrate on the preservation of one particular right because all other rights are related to it. We will discuss this in principle 14.

The 28 Principles of Liberty are written by Charity Angel, and are adapted from W. Cleon Skousen’s book “The Five Thousand Year Leap ” Learn more about the 28 principles of liberty at

Educate Yourself!! Buy Your US Constitution Study Suite NOW!!

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 12

“The United States of America Shall be a Republic.”

When you recite the pledge of allegiance, you state the very government structure that was the Founder’s favorite theme. “And to the REPUBLIC for which it (the flag) stands.” There are several reasons why the Founders wanted a republican form of government verses a democracy. A democracy requires the full participation of the masses of the people in the legislative processes of the government. This has never worked because the people are too occupied or distracted by their daily tasks, that they do not take the time necessary to properly research and study the issues, participate in extensive hearings each time a vote is taken. The Greeks tried to use democracy many times at all levels of government, only to have it end in tyranny each time.

A democracy becomes less and less efficient as the population increases. A republic governs through elected representatives and can be expanded indefinitely. James Madison wrote: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in the lives as they have been violent in their deaths…. A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”

Madison also pointed out that an expanding country like the United States could not possibly confine itself to the limitations of a democracy, but must rely upon a representative or republican form of government to protect the interests of its people. To make his position even more clearly, Madison gave this definition of a republic: “We may define a republic to be…a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.”

During the early 1900’s a war of ideology began and the word democracy was one of the victims of it. The average American will throw around the word democracy to describe our traditional Constitutional republic. It was the Founders hope that we, as their descendants, would maintain a clear distinction between the two. This war began in New York in 1905 when 100 people met together to create the ISS, the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. Sixty chapters were established from coast to coast on college and university campuses. One of the directors explained that the ISS was set up to “throw light on the world-wide movement of industrial democracy known as socialism.”

Socialism is defined as government ownership or control of all the means of production, for example, farms, factories, mines, natural resources, and industries, as well as the means of transportation, communications and the instruments of commerce. This is not democracy in the classical sense at all, clearly; however it is the antithesis of the free-market economy of a republic.

They had a really catchy slogan at that time that caught the attention of 100’s of men and women who later went on to be big names in government, press, radio, television and motion pictures. “Production for use, not for profit,” was the phrase of the day.

Due to the negative connotations that were associated with the word socialism and socialist, the ISS changed their name to “The League for Industrial Democracy.” This way they could give the appearance to the people that as everything became nationalized by the government, that it would then be the property of ‘all the people’. There were movements at the time that tried to stop this ideology from reaching the minds of the people. Even the U.S. Army had a training manual that defined the differences between a democracy and a republic. Despite the efforts of many, the press and school books pushed forward and continually identified the United States as a democracy. President Wilson added to this confusion when he was promoting World War I to ‘make the world safe for democracy.’ President Wilson was surrounded by many of the very first recruits of the ISS, and it appears that they encouraged the adoption of this slogan, which has continued today in the message to ‘spread democracy around the globe.’

A review of the roster of the early ISS members will reveal that by the 1930’s the more brilliant young leaders of the movement from WWI had risen to some of the most prestigious positions in politics, press, publishing houses, radio, academic circles, teacher-training colleges, the National Council of Churches, and just about every major center of opinion molding influence. However, they were not all united in what they desired for The United States. Some wanted the people to consent to socialism, become democratic socialism, others wanted a mixed system with some socialism and some free-enterprise, and some were not happy with it at all and started to return to the principles of the founding fathers, and a few were drunken with the idea of power by force and violence and became leaders of the Communist Party movement. However, all of them still refer to the U.S. as a democracy.

Following World War II, something happened. All of the socialist, communist nations were on the verge of collapse despite the fact that the U.S. had spent tens of billions of dollars to prop them up. Many of them had poor reputations because of the violence, torture and starvation tactics that they had used against their own people. So socialism lost its luster, but many of the American people continued to refer to their Constitutional republic as a democracy. And eventually are likely to call the United States a ‘democratic republic’ as they lean more and more to the thinking of the founders, which was a term used by the followers of Thomas Jefferson.

Samuel Adams pointed out that the founders tried to make socialism unconstitutional. Therefore, to adopt socialism, respect and support for traditional constitutional government would have to be eroded and then emasculated. It would not surprise anyone to learn, that those that wanted to have democracy identified as the American system, also were anxious to have Americans believe that their traditional Constitution was outdated, or even worse obsolete.

When W. Cleon Skousen was in his college days, it was popular in political science to point out that the Constitution was written some two centuries ago by people who were 95% farmers. Now, they say that we live in an industrial society and that the needs of the people can no longer be accommodated under the system provided by the U.S. Constitution. Not only did certain teachers teach this, but U.S. senators also proclaimed it. Occasionally, even the president would say it. Is there any validity to these statements? Principle 13 will address this question.

The 28 Principles of Liberty are written by Charity Angel, and are adapted from W. Cleon Skousen’s book “The Five Thousand Year Leap
” Learn more about the 28 principles of liberty at

Educate Yourself!! Buy Your US Constitution Study Suite NOW!!

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle 11

“The Majority of the People may Alter or Abolish a Government Which has Become Tyrannical”

The Founders were well aware of the abuses and injuries that can result from an autocratic and over inflated government. The American colonists experienced the violation of the English constitution for thirteen years. Thomas Jefferson shared what a majority of Americans were feeling when he wrote:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

John Locke also expressed this same truth when he said, “The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property. Therefore, whenever their legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves in a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence. Whensoever, therefore, the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society, and either by ambition, fear, folly, or corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people, by this breech of trust, THEY FORFEIT THE POWER THE PEOPLE HAD PUT INTO THEIR HANDS and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and provide for their own safety and security.”

Government was established by the majority of the people, and only a majority of the people can authorize an appeal to alter or abolish a particular establishment of government. Locke also points out that there is no right of revolt in an individual, a group or a minority, only in the majority. Basically, if a small group of people have their own private agenda, and want to alter the government to accomplish it, they cannot do it. If the majority find that they are being repressed, oppressed, or that the government is taking illegal acts against the majority of the people, or they have taken illegal acts towards a group that seem to be a precedent and the consequences seem to effect all people, the people cannot be stopped from righting that wrong. This would pertain to laws, estates, liberties, religion and their very lives. In other words, the majority are likely to revolt, just like the American Founders did, when their plight finally becomes intolerable.

On June 12, 1776 the Virginia assembly passed the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which in section 3 states:

“That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people…And that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a Majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.”
So, the people are sovereign and the majority of them can take over whenever necessary to restructure the political machinery and restore liberty. What is likely to be the best form of government which will preserve liberty? The answer to this question is principle 12, and was a favorite theme of the American nation-builders.

The 28 Principles of Liberty are written by Charity Angel, and are adapted from W. Cleon Skousen’s book “The Five Thousand Year Leap
” Learn more about the 28 principles of liberty at

Educate Yourself!! Buy Your US Constitution Study Suite NOW!!

The 28 Principles of Liberty: Principle #10

"The God-given Right to Govern is Vested in the Sovereign Authority of the Whole People."

In 1890 John Locke published two famous essays on 'The original extent" and "End of Civil Government". In the second essay he wrote: "In all lawful governments, the designation of the persons who are to bare rule being as natural and necessary a part as the form of the government itself, and that which had its establishment ORIGINALLY FROM THE PEOPLE... all commonwealths , therefore, with the form of government established, have rules also of appointing and conveying the right to those who are to have any share in the public authority; and whoever gets into the exercise of any part of the power by other ways then what the laws of the community have prescribed have not right to be obeyed, though the form of the commonwealth be still preserved, since he is not the person the laws have appointed, and, consequently, not the person the people have consented to. Nor can such usurper, or any deriving from him, ever have a title til the people are both at liberty to consent and have actually consented, to allow and confirm in him the power he hath till then usurped."

There was definitely no room in the philosophy of the American Founding Fathers for the right of kings. They knew that rulers are the servants of the people and that all authority rested with the people to appoint or remove their rulers. They stressed that this had been the case from the beginning for the Anglo-Saxons.

Their leader, the chief, was only one among equals, the entire body of the freemen would gather together to discuss the issues of the day. The body could remove him and they had selected him. His position to garner respect, however, his opinion carried no more weight then any other freemen.

In the Federalist Papers Number 22 page 152 Alexander Hamilton states that the empire ought to rest on the basis of the consent of the people. This was also expressed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in its proclamation of January 23, 1776: "It is a maxim that in every government, there must exist, somewhere, a supreme, sovereign, absolute, and uncontrollable power; but this power resides always in the body of the people; and it never was, or can be, delegated to one man, or a few; the great Creator has never given to men a right to vest others with authority over them, unlimited either in duration or degree."

Even if it is acknowledged that the People are divinely endowed with the sovereign power to govern, what happens if elected officials usurp the authority of the people to impose a dictatorship or some form of abusive government on them?

Principle 11 will reveal the fundamental principle on which the Founders based The Declaration of Independence.

Educate Yourself!! Buy Your US Constitution Study Suite NOW!!