Posts Tagged ‘republic’
I recently posted a question on a Facebook group page asking people to consider why Karl Marx included free public education in his 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. Someone soon came along and posted this:
“Please attempt to have a discussion about education that does not use comparisons to communism and/or Karl Marx. Attempting to demonize opposing views just shows a complete lack of desire to have civil dialog.”
“Who is demonizing…? Are you saying people who discuss education must stick their head in the sand and avoid some of the elephants in the room? Why can’t a person bring up an obvious point and have it considered rationally without being accused of demonizing?”
I thought the purpose of critical thinking skills that educators always talk about is being able to dissect and understand a topic by honest questioning. So why did Karl Marx include free public education as one of his 10 planks?
To understand this, one has to understand the foundation of the Manifesto’s goal. Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto to lay out a plan for the destruction of private property. Only with the destruction of private property can you have a communist way of life. From H. Verlan Anderson’s book, “Many are Called, but Few are Chosen,” we read this explanation:
“Not only does the Manifesto declare its main purpose to be the destruction of private property, but it contains a detailed plan by which this is to be accomplished in a nation such as the United States whose laws and constitutions were designed to protect this right.
The method proposed is not violent and bloody revolution (at least at the outset) but the peaceful and legal process of inducing the citizens of the United States and other nations to destroy the right themselves with their own legislatures, courts, and executives. We are to adopt a series of laws which will inevitably have this result. Listen to the Manifesto as it unfolds its plan:
‘We have seen above that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to establish democracy. The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest by degrees all capital from the bourgeoisie (property owners), to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state.’
This naked appeal to the selfishness of the voter to use the government as an instrument of plunder is nothing but a proposal for legalized theft.”
The reason the communists promote Democracy is because once you establish class warfare to the point that the majority vote themselves property from the minority, the destruction of private property is ensured. The people will continue to vote socialist minded people into office to pass laws guaranteeing for themselves anything they desire. This is where we find the quote often attributed to Alexander Tytler so applicable.
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
Can anyone argue we don’t have loose fiscal policy and we’re not headed for a dictatorship? If you don’t believe it, you’re not watching the mandates and sidestepping of the legislative process the President is engaged in.
So now why did Karl Marx declare free public education in government schools as one of his 10 main objectives to destroy private property? Here are three reasons I can think of.
1) Getting people without children to pay for the education of people with children, via compulsory taxation, takes the personal property of those who may not want to or be able to give, in order to pay for a good or service for someone else. This is a tremendous injustice to those without children. Parents, never having to write a check or make a payment for the service, cease to concern themselves with what their child is being taught or if waste is occurring in the system. There is no competition, just apathy. Some will say that paying for the education of other children is for the benefit of society, however, one could say that about almost anything. It never used to be this way till Marx and Horace Mann came along and got us into this model.
2) In a state school funded with public tax dollars, the lowest common denominator prevails meaning those who believe least (atheism) trump those who believe most (in God). Free government education is a way to destroy public morality and a belief in God, which was one of Marx’s goals to establish atheism. Our Christian founders wanted to have strong morals taught in schools from the Bible. Not sectarian beliefs, but morals grounded in God’s commandments which ultimately lead to the happiness of the people.
3) It removes from parents the authority and responsibility of being the primary educator of their children. The state takes an interest and with government money paying for the education, the government can create mandates on everything in the system including curriculum, testing, standards, teachers, administrators, etc… Parents lose the ability to control their child’s education.
Until parents directly pay for at least a portion of their child’s education, they will never take an interest in how funds are being spent and what their children are being taught.
From the Latter-Day Conservative website I got this excellent quote.
“God finds His glory, as Joseph Smith said, in providing laws by which other beings can come to enjoy the same perfections and glory He possesses. Our view and motivations should be the same. Rather than seeing law as an instrument of domination, it is our mission to use it as an enabling power to help men and women achieve greater independence and ultimate potential. We do so by acting to have our earthly governmental and legal systems mirror as closely as possible the divine order. – ”
(“Law and Becoming”, Elder D. Todd Christoffersons. Fireside presented to the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, February 4, 2011. Published in the Clark Memorandum, Spring 2011.)
What is the divine order? It is founded upon the principle of agency, or choice. One must choose to become educated. One must choose to be charitable. One should be able to choose the educational environment for their children. Government run public schools funded by tax dollars, forcing children to learn what the state tells them and in the manner in which they tell them, is a factory conveyor belt model for things that are to be acted upon like a raw material, not a place for sentient beings that need to learn to act and use choice or agency to put themselves into motion to accomplish great things. When responsibility is removed from people, even in education, apathy sets in and we become nothing more than drones. Parents and children should be active participants in the education process. When they are not, they relinquish their right to agency and personal growth.
What the “Occupy Wall Street” Democracy-lovers would do to us today is destroy private property in the name of immoral corporations. However, the problem isn’t with capitalism, it’s with morality. Our Founders said only a moral and religious people could maintain a free republic. With each action of government in removing God and religion in our daily lives, individuals have lost their moral anchor and believe they can take advantage of their neighbors to get ahead without any consequences. The problems in Wall Street, Washington, and everywhere else won’t be solved by more laws that force people into good behavior. New laws are the result of lost morals because everyone wants to clamp down on bad behavior. The solution to society’s ills can only be found in a return to God-centered morals. Only then will people treat each other with honesty and charity and cease taking advantage of each other through dishonest business practices, or plunder made legal through our process of lawmaking.
Perhaps the best statement I’ve read explaining this is from Howard W. Hunter, a past president of the LDS church, who said:
“What is the real cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness. When people do not use their freedoms responsibly and righteously, they will gradually lose these freedoms . . ..
If man will not recognize the inequalities around him and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he will find that through “a democratic process” he will be forced to come to the aid of his brother. The government will take from the “haves” and give to the “have nots.” Both have lost their freedom. Those who “have,” lost their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they desire. Those who “have not,” lost their freedom because they did not earn what they received. They got “something for nothing,” and they will neither appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift.
Under this climate, people gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms, which they have lost. (Speeches of the Year 1965-1966, pp. 1-11, “The Law of the Harvest.” Devotional Address, Brigham Young University, 8 March 1966.)”
Every violation of the constitution that provides a socialistic program to the public (yes, including public education), encourages the slide into the destruction of private property. The rallying cry of socialists is “Democracy” because it is through majority votes of the “have nots” that they take from the “haves” and the ongoing, systematic destruction of our economy creates more “have nots.” We must understand, respect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and honor the laws that protect our life, liberty, and property, or Democracy will be the downfall of this nation.
Hopefully this gives new perspective to why there is such a danger in our schools adopting slogans like “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy.” This is simply a restatement of the communist goal to establish a democratic welfare state which serves to destroy morality and private property through the votes of a growing immoral majority.
It’s always good to find the things you are saying publicly corroborated. In this case George Soros has now confirmed the words of John Goodlad and Bill Ayers that the use of the term democracy isn’t about freedom, it’s about Direct Democracy as a form of government leading to a totalitarian state. Thomas Jefferson said, “The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.”
How long will it be till people realize that in supporting public calls for “Democracy” they are helping bring about these radicals desire for revolution? These three are birds of a feather. Goodlad invited Ayers to be the keynote speaker at his NNER education conference in 2010. Soros funds Marxist organizations that want a New World Order of global communism which Ayers has been fighting for for decades. Goodlad’s NNER invited a Soro’s organization director to help them in their Agenda for Education in a Democracy. How close are they? Here’s a pop quiz. See if you can tell which person made each statement, Goodlad, Ayers, or Soros. Answers below…no peeking.
1) “If the question of sustainability comes down to a struggle between those who value short-term economic gain [corporations/capitalists] and those who value long-term environmental well-being, then engaging in deliberative democracy…may be the only way to grapple with and overcome this issue in a collective manner.”
2) “We can speak of the triumph of capitalism in the world, but we cannot yet speak about the triumph of democracy. There is a serious mismatch between the political and the economic conditions that prevail in the world today.”
3) “Capitalism promotes racism and militarism – turning people into consumers, not citizens. Participatory democracy, by contrast, requires free people coming together voluntarily as equals who are capable of both self-realization and, at the same time, full participation in a shared political and economic life.”
4) “Enculturating the young into a social and political democracy”
5) “We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution… overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.”
6) “The god of economic utility takes over and spins for us all an enticing narrative. This abuse discredits capitalism as a potential companion of democracy, stimulating attacks on the system that tend to obscure consideration of the possibility that the problem lies with humankind.”
1) Paul Theobald et al., in Goodad, John: Developing Democratic Character in the Young, pp. 94-110 (link)
2) Soros wrote in Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism.
3) Bill Ayers’ 2006 speech at the World Education Forum in Caracas, Venezuela in front of Pres. Hugo Chavez
4) One of John Goodlad’s 4 moral dimensions which Alpine School District plastered on their teacher development center wall
5) Bill Ayers’ 2006 speech at the World Education Forum in Caracas, Venezuela in front of Pres. Hugo Chavez
6) John Goodlad, Developing Democratic Character in the Young, p. 5 (link)
Here’s a little “in their own words” video montage to enjoy.
I was invited to present on the topic of Republic vs. Democracy at Patriot Camp last week and it was a lot of fun. There were 6 groups of children moving through the camp and on my day we started with those going into 6th grade in my first session down to those going into 1st grade in the last. The children were great and seemed to have a good time and actually learn something.
The funniest line of the day was when I announced the topic, a little boy of perhaps 9 years old muttered, “I haaaaate that word” (democracy). Another funny line from a child was when at the end of each session we were choosing to elect 2 representatives. One had a platform of giving everyone free ice cream and the other says I’ll let you keep your money and buy your own ice cream. I asked the children, “what would be a good question to ask the candidates.” The older children came up with the right question very quickly, “how are you going to pay for the ice cream?” But in one younger group, when I asked the question, one child said, “is your ice cream organic?”
We were all pleasantly surprised that even the children going into 1st grade were able to figure out which candidate to vote for. They all wanted free ice cream until they figured out the candidate would tax them to give them the ice cream. This showed that children are quite capable of learning basic principles and making decisions even at a really young age.
Last week someone back East sent me this link and it’s turning me on my head the way I’ve understood the notion of a Republic. Being as far removed as we are from the Founding Fathers, I’m not sure when the last time this notion was taught. I’m not even sure it’s true, though I find the concept satisfying. In essence, the government has no ability to do anything that would violate our natural rights. When it does by passing a law, it’s really only a suggestion to us the sovereigns. In a Democracy you have civil rights because the majority gives and takes away from your rights, but in a Republic, you have natural rights the government can’t violate even by law, because WE THE PEOPLE delegated to government officials only to do those things we can do ourselves, so any laws that would trample on our natural rights are advisory only. Here’s one paragraph from the article, but I would ask that you read the whole article and leave your thoughts below. I would enjoy hearing other perspectives on this. (http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/repvsdem.htm)
“The people did ‘ordain and establish this Constitution,’ not for themselves, but ‘for the United States of America.’ In delegating powers to the government agencies the people gave up none of their own. (See Preamble of U.S. Constitution). This adoption of this concept is why the U.S. has been called the ‘Great Experiment in self government.’ The People govern themselves, while their agents (government agencies) perform tasks listed in the Preamble for the benefit of the People. The experiment is to answer the question, ‘Can self-governing people coexist and prevail over government agencies that have no authority over the People?’”
One link in the article goes to another page which explains the difference in being one of the “people” of the United States vs. a “citizen” and how being classed as a citizen removes some of your natural rights.
Interesting stuff. Imagine if everyone understood this version of what a republic is… Still, it’s quite a foreign concept to some level because I’ve always accepted that if I elect representatives, they can pass laws binding me through government threat of force. Please leave your thoughts below.
After-note: I just heard someone started passing a rumor that I was suggesting in a Republic the laws are only advisory. NO, that’s not what I said. Law governs, but my point above or rather this new thought from the other website is that since sovereignty is at the individual level, then laws that violate our natural rights would be advisory instead of binding. It’s something I’m chewing on, but certainly not something I’m going to put into practice! I’ll be keeping all the laws that have been passed. :)
Some enterprising Tea Partiers have moved forward and created what looks to be a pretty nice TV series they’re calling Colony Bay. I don’t know how often the episodes will come out, but it appears to be pretty well done and has professionals involved. The last time I was excited about a privately produced TV show was the “Star Trek New Voyages” that came out a few years ago with periodic episode releases. They were so well done they even got the original Sulu and Chekov to reprise roles in a couple episodes. Unfortunately it appears their website is down at this point so maybe they had to shut down. (www.startreknewvoyages.com)
Anyway, back to Colony Bay… This show is a Revolutionary War era re-enactment of life in the colonies and the first episode is called “The Travail of Sarah Pine” set in the winter of 1770. Visit the website here for more information though I’ve posted the trailer below.
I think this is a wonderful project that we should support financially. You can do that by pre-ordering the DVD at 3 support levels. You can get just the first episode; get the first 2 with the 2nd to ship this fall and this gives you insider access (and it’s cheaper to get 2 at once); and third a teacher’s edition with lesson plans, worksheets, and visual aids to accompany the first DVD. You can order here:
Here’s the trailer for the first episode:
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
The ultimate purpose of Christ’s mission was to make us free through his sacrifice and resurrection. Free from sin and ultimately free from power and control of others. Through him, those in bonds (spiritual and temporal) may become free.
The U.S. Constitution was divinely established by Him to assist in fulfilling this purpose. Fourth President of the LDS church Wilford Woodruff said of those that framed the Constitution, they “were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits. . . .” (Wilford Woodruff, CR, April 1898, p. 89). Today we face a great challenge in defending these noble and moral men. There are those who would tear down Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, and others, calling them immoral and trying to expose some type of filth that they never engaged in. If they had, they would not have been selected for such a work. The false notion that so many of them were deists also propagates through our education system. A brilliant new book called “Walking in Darkness at Noon-Day | The Cunning Plan to Destroy the Agency of Man” by John C. Greene addresses some of these points. The book has a lengthy chapter on addressing the Deist issue and contains some fantastic information about our founders that I had never before seen. I encourage you to get a copy because you and your children won’t be getting this in public schools. It is an LDS oriented book, but this particular chapter (which is about 60 pages) contains so much good information on debunking the falsehoods that you may want to pick up a copy even if you’re not LDS.
Do we really value freedom? I wonder sometimes when I see the number of people who claim such, but only want it for themselves and not for others. The LDS church members in particular will someday have to account for what they did in the fight for freedom since they have a greater light and knowledge concerning the true nature of the fight. Our beliefs in a pre-mortal war in heaven that continues on earth today should serve as a clear warning of the nature of this conflict and yet far too many are willing to take the wrong side in the battle today. Clear warnings from prophets of God have served as preparation for this fight and yet they are dismissed by some as irrelevant or in the past as if that somehow erases the fact that those things were ever said.
We would never go to our neighbors and tell them when to fill their gas tank up, what to teach their children tonight, what time to turn their lights off, what occupation they should prepare for, etc… Yet far too many are willing to let government overstep the powers WE GAVE IT and tell people how to do these very things. If we can’t tell people how to do these things, we cannot allow government to do them. We delegated powers to the government so it cannot do something we cannot do.
In the beginning when Satan sought to destroy our agency (our gift from God to choose how to live), there was only a simple choice we had to make. Would we let others risk losing their eternal salvation by giving them their choice, or would we force everyone to make the right choices, destroy agency, and deny everyone the opportunity for personal growth through opposition? That same battle is raging today in the form of communism and socialism. Those who embrace those principles are in reality, listening to the wrong spirit and fighting the spirit of God. They would rather try and prevent a failure through force, than encourage success through true freedom.
I have shared this quote elsewhere but it is particularly relevant to this post. In the April 1965 General Conference of the LDS church, Elder Ezra Taft Benson, an apostle of God, quoted President David O. McKay, God’s mouthpiece and prophet on the earth at that time.
Hear his words: “No greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, upon all citizens of this Republic and of neighboring Republics than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.” (Cited in Jerreld L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles and National Survival [SLC: Publishers Press, 1964], p. 157.) As important as are all other principles of the gospel, it was the freedom issue which determined whether you received a body. To have been on the wrong side of the freedom issue during the war in heaven meant eternal damnation. How then can Latter-day Saints expect to be on the wrong side in this life and escape the eternal consequences? The war in heaven is raging on earth today. The issues are the same: “Shall men be compelled to do what others claim is for their best welfare” or will they heed the counsel of the prophet and preserve their freedom?
In the Book of Mormon, a letter from Pahoran, the ousted/exiled governor of the Nephites, to Captain Moroni, the general of the armies conducting a war and dealing with both external and internal threats, expresses the truth that the Spirit of God is the spirit of freedom.
Alma 61:15 Therefore, come unto me speedily with a few of your men, and leave the remainder in the charge of Lehi and Teancum; give unto them power to conduct the war in that part of the land, according to the Spirit of God, which is also the spirit of freedom which is in them.
It may not surprise anyone that my favorite song has always been “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Even as a young child I always loved patriotic holidays because sometimes we would sing that hymn. The lyrics are particularly poignant and this third verse is the summation of my Easter message.
“In the beauty of the lilies,
Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom
That transfigures you and me.
As he died to make men holy,
let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on.”
-Julia Ward Howe (modern lyrics differ from Julia’s original wording, most particularly in this verse is her phrase “let us die to make men free”)
I’ll close with a rendition of this song I found this which contains a touching gallery of images set to this wonderful song, as well as my testimony that God lives and is returning. It is our solemn obligation to demonstrate our faithfulness to God by defending the truth and freedom he has given us, both spiritually and temporally, according to our capacity and opportunities the Lord sets before us.
Someone sent me a link to an article yesterday where someone had used a feature on Google to crunch numbers on the amount of times the words “republic” and “democracy” appear in print. The word republic is in red and democracy in blue. Note that the crossover happened during the progressive movement when the socialists were changing their line of attack on the constitution. You can read some of that history from this chapter on republics from the 5,000 Year Leap.
Here’s a link to the article this chart comes from.
My daughter is actually studying the progressive era in her history class right now and I didn’t realize that initiatives, referendums, and recalls came out of that movement. These 3 items were designed by progressives to bypass constitutional government and begin to introduce direct democracy to the nation (ie. the kind the Framers warned us about). Each of these items gives citizens the ability to propose law, pass law, and undo appointments and elections, completely bypassing the normal process and doing it themselves. Thus by states adopting these measures they gave up republican government guaranteed in article 4, section 4 of the constitution. However, by writing them into state law, they are now constitutional at the state level. I would suppose a valid case could be made to overturn an initiative, referendum, or recall, based on them violating the U.S. Constitution since it is the supreme law of the law and trumps state law where it specifically declares something as law such as article 4, section 4 guaranteeing republican government to the states.
Kudos to Representative Mike Morley for running this bill which will codify the need to “thoroughly” teach students from our founding documents and include the concept of the United States Republic. I am pleased to endorse this legislation and encourage you to contact your representatives and ask them to support HB 220 the “Civics Education Amendments” bill. You can read the text here.
A year ago I delivered our petition to the Utah State Board of Education. They said they would review the 8th and 11th grade standards to ensure a proper treatment of the concept of a republic but they have taken no action since that time. You can read their letter here:
The Nature of Rights
For many of you this may not be a revelation as it was to me today, but I would appreciate your feedback and any extra insight you may have into this topic.
“We the people.” The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States starts with these 3 words. We sometimes hear the phrase “by the people, of the people, for the people” tossed around but what does it really mean? OK, the people are supreme. That almost sounds like a democracy, doesn’t it? So what does it mean and how does it apply in a republic?
We know that rights come from God. God gave us unalienable rights which cannot be transferred by anyone or to anyone. We have core rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This means we also have a right to self-governance.
For example, if you were in a plane that crash landed on a tropical island and there was a tribe of natives on the island, you would have a God-given right to defend yourself and your property and to pursue a path of happiness (which is probably to make peace with the natives :)), but you would not have a right to demand the natives educate your children or provide you with medical service or build you a house for shelter. That would be charity on their part, but you have no right to force them to do it.
Many of you have probably read Ezra Taft Benson’s excellent treatise “The Proper Role of Government.” In it he describes how government only wields powers we delegate to them. In other words, if I don’t have a right, I cannot endow government with the ability to enforce it for me. Since I have a right to life and property, I can transfer powers to the sheriff to protect my life and property without precluding me from doing what I need to in order to protect my life and property. Likewise, government cannot assume any rights and powers that I don’t possess individually.
Since we as individuals have the rights, we then form government to protect our rights. We can delegate some of those rights to the sovereign state, which then delegates some of them to the federal government. They are OUR RIGHTS which WE THE PEOPLE inherently possess from God. We have chosen to DELEGATE SOME OF THEM to government in a WRITTEN CONSTITUTION because it’s more efficient to have a representative in a constitutional republic handle those things, otherwise we would have a democracy if we had to take care of every issue.
The U.S. Constitution as written by the people and then ratified by the states (it used to be the united states of America, not the United States of America) has specific powers delegated to the federal government from the states which the feds can handle better than the states such as national defense, coinage, treaties, etc… The powers not delegated were reserved to the states (10th Amendment). The states have powers delegated to it in their written constitution by the people of their state. What isn’t delegated to the state is retained by the people individually. The states in turn delegate to local government the things best handled at that level.
The Education Question
With this understanding in place, by what right is compulsory schooling allowed to exist in our country?
I do not possess a right to force my neighbor to pay my taxes, to mow my lawn, to educate my children, so how is it that the government has taken a right to itself which the people themselves do not possess. Simply put, it is unconstitutional as well as immoral.
A few months back we discovered Alpine School District had a web page with several offensive quotes including this one:
“Arguments for compulsory education have been based on the idea that the school is the only institution that can counter the accident of birth, guarantee quality of opportunity, and provide objective and fair ways to select and train talented individuals.” (http://www.alpine.k12.ut.us/phpApps/genericPage.php?pdid=777)
Right off the bat you get a sense that something is wrong. The blatant statement of compulsion immediately strikes out at you if you know that to force someone against their will is at best, misguided, and at worst, satanic. It is a violation of moral agency which God gave each of us. Coupled with the phrase “accident of birth” and you start to wonder what type of individual would dream up such a phrase, and then wonder what kind of person would post it on a school district website. (Hint: a follower of John Dewey and a John Goodlad AED Scholar)
If I have no right to walk over to my neighbor’s home and force him/her to educate his/her child, then I clearly do not have the ability to delegate to government a right to enforce compulsory education on my neighbors’ child either. At its core, education by force is a socialistic concept where the elites believe they know what is best for parents and they seek to enact it by force in complete violation of individual’s moral agency.
In Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address in 1981, he said:
“From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”
So I ask the question, what does constitutional, non-compulsory schooling look like? Please leave your thoughts below.
If you’ve never watched the republic video linked to in the top right corner of this website, may I suggest you make it a priority to understand there are only 2 forms of government. There never has been a lasting form of government other than a type of totalitarian government, and a republic.
In the scriptures we see various examples of this. Kings wield sovereign rule in 2 ways. Righteous kings (benevolent dictatorship) included King David (Bible) and King Benjamin (Book of Mormon-BOM), and wicked kings included King Ahaz (Bible) and King Noah (BOM) [sidebar: back in 1993 after President Clinton had been in office a year, I wrote a list of about a dozen parallels between his governmental actions and that of King Noah as found in Mosiah 11--it gave me a new perspective for how King Noah may have been a real schmoozer with the people and not just some fat gluttonous fellow as depicted in Arnold Friberg's picture].
We also see conniving individuals in the scriptures who formed what the BOM calls “secret combinations” so they could achieve dictatorships and bring all the people under their power and control. An example of this would be Amalikiah (BOM).
It will be recalled that in the Old Testament, the Lord had given Moses the law and they had a system of representatives to offload the burden from Moses. Someone was appointed over 10, 50, 100, etc… This was a republican form of government. A written law existed and the people had a scheme of representation.
Later, Samuel the prophet gave the people judges but the people found them corruptible so they demanded a king so they could be “like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8:5). How many people in America today are clamoring for us to be “like all the nations.” Where are “all the nations” today? They are either under totalitarian rule or quickly getting there by use of democracy.
Democracy is a dangerous form of government because it devolves into anarchy over time as the people lack the ability to closely watch all the issues and they begin to only vote for the things that benefit them and not the country. The passing of the 17th amendment was a breakdown of the separation of powers to hold the voice of the masses in check by those specifically put in place to represent the voice of the state (ie. to strip away the protection of states’ rights).
What did it mean when the people in Samuel’s day wanted to be like “all the nations?” The Lord answered that in 1 Samuel 8:7.
“And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”
Turning to a dictatorship is a rejection of God. Why? Because the primary element in worshiping the Lord is found in the principle of agency, or the freedom to choose. God doesn’t force you to worship him and he doesn’t force people to be good. He lets their own actions speak for themselves. When we choose to do good and charitable things, we are blessed for it. When we do evil, we are cursed. When we choose to have a king, we reject the one true King which is God. We can find many examples in the scriptures of wicked kings leading the people to do sin or bringing them into bondage by government policies or by morally weakening the people to the point that outside forces easily conquered them.
Concerning America, one Book of Mormon prophet wrote:
“Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.” (Ether 2:12)
I believe our Founding Fathers were divinely inspired to set up a republic in America precisely because that is the only form of government that preserves agency and allows people the freedom to choose to serve God. They rejected the government of the king of England because God is King. Our freedoms have rapidly eroded over the last century the further God has been pushed from public dialog and from our schools.
Concerning democracy, the word doesn’t appear in scripture, but the word republic does appear one time in the LDS canon. Doctrine & Covenants 98:3 states:
“We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.”
There are only 2 forms of government. A republic that is upheld by the voice of a moral people, or a form of a dictatorship. When people lose their morality and their worship of God as king, they embrace destructive government policies which tell them what to do and how to live and as that monster grows, liberty is destroyed.
To those that come across this article and believe socialism is taught in the scriptures, including the teachings of Jesus, may I refer you to Marion G. Romney’s classic talk, “Socialism is not the United Order.”
If any of you would like to read a paper I wrote on why socialism is the devil’s plan, please click here to read my LDS perspective on freedom and agency.