"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
by:
John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
Source:
Thoughts on Government, 1776
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Is it time to exercise that right yet?
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    By the time people realize it's time, time will have run out.
     -- Dan     
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    Here Adams overturns the idea of the dictatorship of natural or divined law. He says the people have an indefeasible (cannot be set aside or annulled) right to reform or alter their government to suit their own happiness. One man, one vote and each man in accordance with their own conscience. Natural law be damned is what Adams is saying. This takes some trust in ourselves and our fellows, a trust and faith that many are not prepared to extend thus they stauncly hold on to their right to claim natural or divine law anytime they wish.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    It requires it now! Natural and Divined law is what the founders based their government on (not what man says is natural or divine, but rather that which is, in fact - as could be observed and reasoned). Now that this nation is no longer a nation of laws, it has returned to a despotism related to that which Adams and his contemporaries were fighting against. Adams was not saying natural law be damned, only idiot slaves and despots say that.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    opps, forgot to rate it. One man, one vote is only half the concept (mostly for half wits promoting half truths) The rest of the story is, what are you voting for. Are you voting for someone to represent you personally or, are you voting for someone to represent democracy's oligarchy (or some other form of despotic tyranny). When the States united, they did so with the observation that no one person / entity (individually or in concert - organized or otherwise) was lawfully greater than the individual sovereign. All rights were endowed upon the individual by their Creator.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Adams wrote this in response to a resolution of the Provincial Congress of North Carolina which requested Adams' suggestions on the establishment of a new government and the drafting of a constitution. It is in that context that Adams speaks of the indefeasible right for the people to form or reform their government. Keep in mind that this was an historical event -- not in a thousand years had such an opportunity presented itself -- to become true freemen with no duty to any king BUT a sincere calling to virtue. Again, I recommend actually reading "Thoughts on Government" to understand the basics behind the proposed American republican government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Mike I am trying to be fair, democratic, and republican with you and you just want to be dictatorial, autocratic, and an %#@ with me. Question: who says what is natural law, Moses, Allah, Buddah. John Kennedy said it well I think when he said, "On earth Gods work must be done by men." Those are the cards we are dealt, we must reason it out together and yes even with prayer. But we all know of dictatorial prayer leaders also. One man one vote is the only way for persons who truly believe in the equality of each other to handle their affairs. If one is allowed to claim to have a shaft of light from divinity or natural law he is then allowed to be the dictator.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Well then, Waffler, if the folks on this blog voted that you should be banned from this site then I guess you would leave gracefully, eh? After all, if majority rules, and they rule you to be a danger to their property and labors, then you would have to acquiesce -- you cannot claim any right to be here or even to live, I guess. Here's a simple question: what is the check against the neighbors voting you out of your house?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler, you're not being fair and I'm probably being a little %#@. I'm saying, God is the one that says what natural law is, and it is up to man to discover what that law is. I don't care if God is talking to my next door neighbor face to face, giving him high fives, washing his feet, and giving him all the light that has ever been given to man, that won't change the law. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I don't care if you are an atheist, Christian, or what ever, the law is the same. If I jump off a cliff, I'm going to fall. If I spend more than I earn, I'm going bankrupt, etc. God said in the Judeo/Christian tradition "Thou shalt not murder". It is up to man to discover that law, its value, and how to implement it into society. In most jurisdictions in the US there is 1st degree murder, 2nd degree, manslaughter, etc. Another, too broad to enforce law is "thou shalt not steal" It is up to man to discover that law, its value, and how to implement it into society. So man discovers that law and defines it grand theft, petty theft, etc. There are God of Nature fiscal laws, it is up to man to discover those laws and implement them into society. When a rule of man is implemented, being contrary to law, freedom and liberty are lost. That's also why rules cannot be changed for light or transient reasons. Theft is theft, it doesn't matter what name you give it, larceny, tax, etc. There are lawful ways to tax and there are unlawful ways to tax, etc., etc., etc. If there is a rule antagonistic to, or denying the sovereignty of an individual, it is unlawful. Only a lying slave or dictator would say other than that. The Constitution is not law but an outline defining what government can do. If it wasn't specifically stated what could be done, it couldn't be done. Beyond that, the actions of the federal government are unlawful.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Go back to the previous Adams quote Mike. He said and I paraphrase that our American government was founded on reason just like men build ships and houses based on reason. He says it was not based on divining with God or gods. I do have rights Archer and I rely on my good faith in my neighbors as they do also rely on good faith in me. Do you remember the Move movement in Philadelphia? They were ordered out and eventually were bombed out of their home legally.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    If, as you claim, you have rights, Waffler, then the vote of the majority cannot infringe on them, correct? OK, so you think your neighbors can be trusted by good faith alone? Should our government be trusted with good faith alone, or should there be some very real limits placed on them -- specifically, they may not infringe upon your rights? If so, what you are describing is NOT a democracy but a republican form of government that does not confer power to the majority but strictly limits the 'democratical' powers to specific jurisdictions. That's why Texas cannot tell Rhode Island what to do even though there are more Texans than Rhode Islanders. And the federal government works the same way -- or at least it is supposed to. America is not a democracy -- ask Al Gore! This lie has been the tool of the socialists for whom democracy is a means to an end -- communism, in which property rights are subject to vote, liberties are licensed or refused, dissidents are imprisoned or worse, a handful of men control all industry and commerce, where the populace is reduced to a herd to be branded, corralled, and used as they see fit. That is why we do not trust our government to 'good faith' -- they cannot be trusted, thus our government was designed to distribute power into divisions that check the power of the other -- to protect us from mob rule (democracy), aristocratical rule (feudalism), and monarchy (dictatorship). SO our government as chartered in the Constitution divides these powers accordingly rather than trying to snuff either one out. I bet your socialist leanings would change if you became a target instead of a tool. But you are no lone wolf, so you are safe with the pack -- as long as you don't get any ideas about independence.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Well, we surely have strayed far from John Adams definition of government. Can we have a 21st century America that will give us protection, safety, prosperity and happiness all at the same time while ensuring adherance to the founding principles and documents of the United States? That would be a great forum of debate.
     -- Me Again     
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     -- warren, olathe      
    I like turtles.
     -- Mike Hawk     
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    HHmmm. This is Article VII of the MA Constitution (penned by Adams) Very intriguing. Notice elsewhere in the constitution he uses the term, "by the people or their representatives in the legislature". Here, he does not. Seems he is referring to one of those mysterious rights reserved to the people alone.
     -- Paul, Boston     
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