Only a Virtuous People are Capable of Freedom

What does it mean to be a virtuous people?

Public virtue is a very special quality of human maturity in character and service closely akin to the Golden Rule. It is agreeing to forego some personal advantage for the betterment of one’s neighbor and society. As a modern historian epitomized it:

“In a Republic, however, each man must somehow be persuaded to submerge his personal wants into the greater good of the whole. This willingness of the individual to sacrifice his private interest for the good of the community — such patriotism or love of country — the eighteenth century termed public virtue…. The eighteenth century mind was thoroughly convinced that a popularly based government ‘cannot be supported without virtue’.”

When the colonists passed the non-importation acts, it meant that some businessmen could lose their businesses because the very products they were selling could only be obtained from the British. However, they felt the sacrifice was necessary for the eventual good of the entire nation.  That is public virtue.

Can virtue be legislated?

The public virtue necessary for freedom cannot be legislated. It must come freely from the hearts of people who have a conviction that each individual is created equal to all others and that he has the same unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It must come  as a result of people wanting to fulfill the commandments to love God and to love their fellow men and to not be arbitrary in their treatment of others. Some do-gooders in our day think that laws can be passed to force people to be kind to others or not to discriminate against people based on some distinguishing feature. This kind of force only invites more and more laws, more legal entanglements, and more hard feelings between individuals, groups, and nations. The purveyors of this thinking give no place for the influence of morality and religion which the Founders felt was the only true basis for lasting virtue. Its basis is free will, not force.

Is there enough virtue among the people to be free?

The people had an instinctive thirst for independence, but there remained a haunting fear that they might not be “good enough” to make it work. Some felt the people were ready, others felt they were not ready. Some of the doubts gradually diminished as their patriotic indignation was aroused by the harsh and sometimes brutal policies of the British crown.

More…

      
Plugin by: PHP Freelancer
This entry was posted in Editorial. Bookmark the permalink.
5 1 vote
Article Rating
8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Otis D
Otis D
4 months ago

This is why the four turning generational theory states each saeculum is about 80 yrs and each civilization lasting about 200 years.


“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
Alexander Fraser Tytler

Splish_Splash
Splish_Splash
4 months ago

Ah oh, this is not a virtuous nation by any stretch of the imagination, at least is no longer virtuous! We are dependent on those who know the Lord to get on their knees and repent, and pray for a revival ~ or else all is lost all is over! SELAH!

bob
bob
4 months ago

IF YOU EXPECT A PEOPLE TO BE WEAK AND FREE, YOU ARE EXPECTING SOMETHING THAT NEVER WAS,OR CAN NEVER BE. WAKE UP AND FIGHT!!!

Rabbi Will McCubbins
Rabbi Will McCubbins
4 months ago

David , this short article is the best thing I’ve read all day! And deadly accurate. Thanks.

bob
bob
4 months ago

You hit the nail on the head. People get on here and write a 10 page comment, I just scroll over them,keep it short and to the point. But some people motto is it I can’t dazzle them with facts,I will baffle them with BULLSHIT.

Eric
Eric
4 months ago

Virtue is “having high moral standards” or conducting oneself in accordance with morality.
Public virtue, as written in this article, is “sacrific[ing] private interest for the good of the community”. Superficially this sounds patriotic, but is also a recipe for subjecting oneself to group think. If the group is truly striving for high moral standards, great! If not, this is the time to cut against the grain.
As the present society moves further from anything resembling high moral standards, I have no interest in exercising public virtue and sacrificing my interests for the perceived good of the community, as our community seems very set on going to hell and destroying all bastions of morality along the way.

just sayin'
just sayin'
4 months ago

The article as a whole, seems to focus more on virtue than self-sacrifice. Public virtue in the mentioned sense is like when I pay more to purchase food from a local farmer (likely for a higher quality product) than I would at the local IGA, because it benefits my community for me to invest in it. I think the virtue aspect is so profound, yet rarely spoken of and absolutely starts with education of the youth.
The problem with a believer, in dealing with non-believers, is that they play the game of life by a different set of rules. What I know as being good and fair, they may or may not have the same guidelines for… and someone walks away saying “That’s just not right”.

A.B. Prosper
A.B. Prosper
4 months ago

It seems to me that the mandatory vaccine people are virtuous by the definition given above. Sacrifice one’s well being for the greater good and all that.
Maybe we need a new definition.
Also a nation founded by tax cheats, slavers, smugglers and traitors is dissonant with being a virtuous people.
And yes we got rid of slavery, well and good. A virtuous people would not import more people to suppress wages , muzzle not the Ox that threadeth the corn. and the workman is worth of his hire.
Maybe it we stop pretending this is something more than it is, a political disagreement that cannot be broached we can get somewhere.
ts about the power to set society the way you and your wants it, nothing more, nothing less.
Power is truth.