28 Principle Series with Paul Skousen: Principals 6-10 explained

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Today’s quote is from Calvin Coolidge: (5:05)

“Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.”

The story of the Day | 28 Principal Series with Paul Skousen: Principals 6-10 explained (5:41)

Principle 6) All Men are created equal.

What does that mean to you?

In the book, W. Cleon Skousen mentions an interesting point and he said…

“Yet everyone knows that no two human beings are exactly alike in any respect. They are different when they are born. They plainly exhibit different natural skills. They acquire different tastes. They develop along different lines. They vary in physical strength, mental capacity, emotional stability, inherited social status, in their opportunities for self-fulfillment, and in scores of other ways. Then how can they be equal?

The answer is, they can’t, except in three ways. They can only be treated as equals in the sight of God, in the sight of the law, and in the protection of their rights. In these three ways, all men are created equal. It is the task of society, as it is with God, to accept people in all their vast array of individual differences, but treat them as equals when it comes to their role as human beings. As members of society, all persons should have their equality guaranteed in two areas.

Constitutional writer Clarence Carson describes them:

“First, there is equality before the law. This means that every man’s case is tried by the same law governing any particular case. Practically, it means that there are no different laws for different classes and orders of men [as there were in ancient times]. The definition of premeditated murder is the same for the millionaire as for the tramp. A corollary of this is that no classes are created or recognized by law. “Second, the Declaration refers to an equality of rights… Each man is equally entitled to his life with every other man; each man has an equal title to God-given liberties along with every other.” (Clarence Carson, The American Tradition, Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York,1970)

The goal of society is to provide “equal justice,” which means protecting the rights of the people equally.

Principle 7) – Equal Rights not Equal Things

W. Cleon Skousen mentions that the same issue of socialism was also popular in Europe when the Founding Fathers were creating the Constitution so they could also examine this system as well. And this is what they concluded:

Quote: In Europe, during the days of the Founders, it was very popular to proclaim that the role of

government was to take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots” so that all might be truly

“equal.” However, the American Founders perceived that this proposition contained a huge fallacy


“The Founders recognized that the people cannot delegate to their government the power to do

anything except that which they have the lawful right to do themselves. For example, every person

is entitled to protection of his life and property. Therefore it is perfectly legitimate to delegate to

the government the task of setting up a police force to protect the lives and property of all the

people. But suppose a kind-hearted man saw that one of his neighbors had two cars while another

neighbor had none. What would happen if, in a spirit of benevolence, the kind man went over and

took one of the cars from his prosperous neighbor and generously gave it to the neighbor in

need? Obviously, he would be arrested for car theft. No matter how kind his intentions, he is guilty

of flagrantly violating the natural rights of his prosperous neighbor, who is entitled to be protected

in his property. Of course, the two-car neighbor could donate a car to his poor neighbor, if he

liked, but that is his decision and not the prerogative of the kind-hearted neighbor who wants to

play Robin Hood.”

The American Founders recognized that the moment the government is authorized to start leveling

the material possessions of the rich in order to have an “equal distribution of goods,” the

government thereafter has the power to deprive any of the people of their “equal” rights to enjoy

their lives, liberties, and property”

A Lesson from Communism
When the Communists seized power in Hungary, the peasants
were delighted with the “justice” of having the large farms confiscated
from their owners and given to the peasants. Later the Communist
leaders seized three-fourths of the peasant land and took it back
to set up government communal farms. Immediately the peasants
howled in protest about their property “rights.”
Those who protested too loudly or too long soon found that they
not only lost their land, but also their liberty. If they continued to
protest, they lost their lives.

Principle 8) – Man’s unalienable Rights

Let us identify some of the unalienable or natural rights which the Founders knew existed but did not enumerate in the Declaration of Independence:

  • The right of self-government.
  • The right to bear arms for self-defense.
  • The right to own, develop and dispose of property.
  • The right of free conscience.
  • The right to choose a profession.
  • The right to choose a mate.
  • The right to beget one’s kind.
  • The right to assemble.
  • The right to petition.
  • The right to free speech.
  • The right to a free press.
  • The right to enjoy the fruits of one’s labors.
  • The right to improve one’s position through barter and sale.
  • The right to contrive and invent.
  • The right to explore the natural resources of the earth.
  • The right to privacy.
  • The right to provide personal security.
  • The right to provide nature’s necessities — air, food, water, clothing, and shelter.
  • The right to a fair trial.
  • The right of free association.
  • The right to contract.

Just putting all those down in a list shows us that we have so many things to be thankful for by living in America and we have so much more to uphold & defend to keep these rights as our foundation for this country.

Principle 9) – The Role of Revealed Law

Here is one great explanation in the book which comes from a quote from William Blackstone. 

William Blackstone pointed out that the Creator is not only omnipotent (all powerful): “… but as He is also a Being of infinite wisdom. He has laid down only such laws as were founded in those relations of justice, that existed in the nature of things … These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the Creator Himself in all His dispensations conforms; and which He has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such, among others, are these principles: that we should live honestly, should hurt nobody, and should render to every one his due.” (Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1:59-60.)

So Divine Law is what universally guides man whether through religion or other moral understandings that a person can come to in his life.

Principle 10) – Sovereignty of the People

W. Cleon Skousen expounds on this further by telling the tale of Algernon Sidney who was  Beheaded. King Charles II beheaded Algernon Sidney in 1683 for saying that there is no divine right of kings to rule over the people. Sidney insisted that the right to rule is actually in the people and therefore no person can rightfully rule the people without their consent.

View of the American Founders There was no place for the idea of a divine right of kings in the thinking of the American Founders. They subscribed to the concept that rulers are servants of the people and all sovereign authority to appoint or remove a ruler rests with the people. They pointed out how this had been so with the Anglo-Saxons from the beginning.

Dr. Lovell describes how the tribal council, consisting of the entire body of freemen, would meet each month to discuss their problems and seek a solution through consensus. The chief or king (taken from the Anglo-Saxon word cyning–chief of the kinsmen) was only one among equals:

“The chief owed his office to the tribal assembly, which selected and could also depose him. His authority was limited at every turn, and though he no doubt commanded respect, his opinion carried no more weight in the debates of the assembly than that of any freeman” (Lovell, English Constitutional and Legal History, p. 5.)

In this same spirit, Alexander Hamilton declared:

“The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.” (The Federalist Papers)

Alexander Hamilton

Conclusion: So to have true Freedom and govern ourselves as a nation, these free people would need to have rules and guidelines that keep all people’s rights in mind and all people would need to abide by these laws so that they could enjoy these rights and laws that protect them and others.

Now we see the genius of the Constitution and the incredible detail our Founding Fathers went to in order to make this document work for hundreds of years to come.

Please join us next week as we go over Principles 11- 15 and found out how “The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.”

Paul Skousen: https://www.paulskousen.com/

W. Cleon Skousen: https://wcleonskousen.com/

THIS WORK IS DEDICATED TO that generation of resolute Americans whom we call the Founding Fathers. They created the first free people to survive as a nation in modern times. They wrote a new kind of Constitution which is now the oldest in existence. They built a new kind of commonwealth designed as a model for the whole human race. They believed it was thoroughly possible to create a new kind of civilization, giving freedom, equality, and justice to all.

Their first design for a free-people nation was to encompass all of North America, accommodating, as John Adams said, two to three hundred million freemen. They created a new cultural climate that gave wings to the human spirit. They encouraged exploration to reveal the scientific secrets of the universe. They built a free- enterprise culture to encourage industry and prosperity. They gave humanity the needed ingredients for a gigantic 5,000-year leap!

– W. Cleon Skousen