July 8, 2022

Updated: Jul 29

Republic Part 2. Man's Autonomy.

In Part 1, I took a look at Aristotle (d.322 B.C.) and Polybius (d.118 B.C.) and the debate between their two practical ideas concerning a republic. Aristotle was no utopian, knew corruption would continue to exist, but held out the hope an act of justice will maintain an orderly republic. For Polybius, republics are always headed for ruin until a new, orderly republic is established in some future time, so as I expressed his attitude, when it came to the hope of justice, Polybius might say 'Don't Hold Your Breath".

I talked about the one, few, many last time. Aristotelian thinking surmises, once a republic's ideal structure and function is discovered and implemented, then justice will be able to appropriately punish all corruptions and injustices that take place in society.

Injustice will not freely reign causing a, looking at the above chart: monarchy to fall into tyranny, aristocracy to fall into an oligarchy, or constitutional democracy's fall into mob rule. Justice will maintain a monarchy, aristocracy, or constitutional democracy. Polybius argued against this kind of thinking by stating no ideal republic structure and function will be discovered and applied, for example Monarchy's will always corrupt and fall into tyranny until one person, a few people, or many people act with justice to galvanize society to once again restore in the case of one person a new monarchy, the case of a few a new aristocracy, or in the case of many a constitutional democracy.

Additionally, both Aristotle and Polybius also recognized what is called a mixed government. This kind of government recognizes the one, few, many all exist in a society, so a better society, than a strictly one or few or many dominated society, is a society officially acknowledging and giving a place to all three ruling classes in the government apparatus. The U.S. was founded, structured, and given functional ability to allow the three natural ruling classes (one, few, many) to exist in the official government apparatus by three branches: President (one), Supreme Court (few), Congress (many). A mixed government recognizes all three ruling classes govern, so instead of letting any one of them rule unofficially behind the scenes in the dark shadows pulling strings the idea was to let all three officially (meaning: publicly) govern in the light of day.

God was not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. That was no accident. The culture at the time was very Christian conscious, but to put a long story short the Thirty-Years War (1618-48) on continental Europe, English Civil War (17th C.), Glorious Revolution (1688) an Age of Tolerance in politics ushered into the West (Europe and its' European class in the colonies) spurred by the wider movement later called The Enlightenment. In U.S. colony documentation, the word God was typically included, for example in the Declaration of Independence, which is not a U.S. legal document, states: "endowed by their Creator". Though by the time of the establishment of the United States of America the Age of Tolerance and thus, the Enlightenment had influenced an exclusion of God from the Constitution. A pillar of the Enlightenment when it pertained to politics was: man was responsible for the well-being of society. Thus, the U.S. Constitution begins with "We the people...". There is a lot more to be said on the matter, but since the U.S. was founded as a secular institution (removed God from governmental considerations though protect citizens freedom to consider God), the role of Christianity in maintaining the well-being of society in a mixed government was restricted to U.S. culture as opposed to the actions of the government. The Enlightenment inherently counters Christian principles, e.g. Christianity is God-centered whereas the Enlightenment is man-centered. The permanent influence of the Enlightenment increased in magnitude throughout the 19th C. to today slowly removing God from the public square and encouraged not only the removal of God but any ethic in the culture or individual, even remotely considered to be from God. The Enlightenment established man's autonomy was his moral compass giving precedence to whatever he opines and desires.

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