Posted On: Thursday - July 5th 2018 6:52PM MST
In Topics:   History  Liberty/Libertarianism  Race/Genetics
Mr. Boyd Cathy, a writer discussed on Peak Stupidity a while back, has written an Independence Day article discussing the Founder's meaning of "that all men are created equal" phrase in the Declaration of Independence and President Abe Lincoln's serious misinterpretation of it.
Here is a big chunk of Mr. Cathy's latest article:
For many Americans the Declaration of Independence is a fundamental text that tells the world who we are as a people. It is a distillation of American belief and purpose. Pundits and commentators, left and right, never cease reminding us that America is a new nation, “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Almost as important as a symbol of American belief is Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It is not incorrect to see a link between these two documents, as Lincoln intentionally placed his short peroration in the context of a particular reading of the Declaration.
Lincoln bases his concept of the creation of the American nation in philosophical principles he sees enunciated in 1776, and in particular on an emphasis on the idea of “equality.” The problem is that this interpretation, which forms the philosophical base of both the dominant “movement conservatism” today – neoconservatism – and the neo-Marxist multicultural Left, is basically false.
Lincoln’s opens his address, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth …” There is a critical problem with this assertion. It was not the Declaration that “created” the new nation; the Declaration was a statement of thirteen colonies, announcing their respective independence from the mother country, binding themselves together in a military and political alliance. It was the Constitution, drafted eleven years later (1787), after the successful conclusion of the War for Independence, that established a new nation. And, as any number of historians and scholars have pointed out, the American Framers never intended to cobble together a nation based on the proposition that “all men are created equal.”
The Framers of the Constitution were horrified by “egalitarianism” and “democracy,” and they made it clear that what they were establishing was a stratified republic, in which most of the “rights” were left to the respective states (with their own particular arrangements), and in which serious restrictions and limitations on voting and participation in government were considered fundamental. Indeed, several states also had religious tests, and others had established churches, none of which were directly touched by the First Amendment, added to insure that a national religious establishment would not be effected. A quick review of The Federalist Papers confirms this thinking; and a survey of the correspondence and the debates over the Constitution add support to this anti-egalitarianism.This is the real gist of it. Mr. Cathy says the the "created equal" clause is not just about equal rights under the law, which most people agree is the likely meaning. He is saying that this was simply the Founders' way of saying that they were sick of living under British rule without the rights respected for the actual Englishmen in England. It was very specifically directed, and not an idea of equality as misunderstood (purposefully) by Lincoln and the Socialists and, well, egalitarians, today (probably not purposefully - they are just stupid).
Obviously, then, Lincoln could not found his “new nation” in the U. S. Constitution; it was too aristocratic and decentralized, with non-enumerated powers maintained by the states, including the implicit right to secede. Indeed, slavery was explicitly sanctioned, even if most of the Framers believed that as an institution it would die a natural death, if left on its own. Lincoln thus went back to the Declaration of Independence and invested in it a meaning that supported his statist and wartime intentions. But even then, he verbally abused the language of the Declaration, interpreting the words in a form that its Signers never intended.
Although those authors employed the phrase “all men are created equal,” and certainly that is why Lincoln made direct reference to it, a careful analysis of the Declaration does not confirm the sense that Lincoln invests in those few words. Contextually, the authors at Philadelphia were asserting their historic — and equal — rights as Englishmen before the Crown, which had, they believed, been violated and usurped by the British government, and it was to parliament that the Declaration was primarily directed.
The Founders rejected egalitarianism. They understood that no one is, literally, “created equal” to anyone else. Certainly, each and every person is created with no less or no more dignity, measured by his or her own unique potential before God. But this is not what most contemporary writers mean today when they talk of “equality.”That's about 2/3 of the article, so, just like for the previous article by this writer, I can say nothing much more than "Indeed" - h/t to Instapundit. As he also always says, "read the whole thing!"
Rather, from a traditionally-Christian viewpoint, each of us is born into this world with different levels of intelligence, in different areas of expertise; physically, some are stronger or heavier, others are slight and smaller; some learn foreign languages and write beautiful prose; others become fantastic athletes or scientists. Social customs and traditions, property holding, and individual initiative — each of these factors further discriminate as we continue in life.