I also believe the American democratic model is the most robust on the planet, it has had a good go. I recently read a speech Kurt Vonnegut gave at a fundraiser for the ACLU back in the day. I’ve abbreviated it some, removing the humour but keeping the logic. I think it’s a good examination.
I will speak of Thomas Aquinas instead. I will tell you my dim memories of what he said about the hierarchy of laws on this planet, which was flat at the time. The highest law, he said, was divine law, God’s law. Beneath that was natural law, which I suppose would include thunderstorms, and our right to shield our children from poisonous ideas, and so on.
And the lowest law was human law.
Let me clarify this scheme by comparing its parts to playing cards. Enemies of the Bill of Rights do the same sort of thing all the time, so why shouldn’t we? Divine law then, is an ace. Natural law is king. The Bill of Rights is a lousy queen.
Cannot we, as libertarians, hunger for at least a little natural law? Can’t we learn from nature at least, without being burdened by another person’s idea of God?
What troubles me most about my lovely country is that it’s children are seldom taught that American freedom will vanish, if, when they grow up, and in the exercise of their duties as citizens, they insist that our courts and policemen and prisons be guided by divine or natural law.
I have not said that our government is anti nature and anti-God: I have said that it is non-nature and non-God, for very good reasons that could curl your hair.
Well, all good things must come to an end, they say. So American freedom will come to an end too, sooner or later. How will it end? As all freedoms end: by the surrender of our destinies to the highest laws.
To return to my foolish analogy of playing cards: kings and aces will be played. Nobody else will have anything higher than a queen.
There will be a struggle between those holding kings and aces. The struggle will not end, not that the rest of us will care much by then, until somebody plays the ace of spades. Nothing beats the ace of spades.
I thank you for your attention.