Those “>” up there in the title, those are greater-than symbols. It is not a reflection of what is, but a reflection of how I view things. You might view things differently. I like that. I hope that you like that, too. One of my closest friends has – in some ways – some ways of viewing things which are opposed to mine. We, like many people, share visions of some end, but our means tend to be quite different. Him and I have some of the most enjoyable discussions on many topics. We do this mostly via hand-written letters to each other (I live in NY, he in CA). Why? It means something. I don’t know what, but something.
Okay, back to the title of this post.
The title reads something like “The individual is greater than the people which is greater than the constitution (constitution of USA, for this post’s purposes – but generalizable) which is greater than the government.”
You can also follow this the other way around: The government serves the constitution which serves the people which is composed of individuals. There is no people without individuals. There is no constitution without people. There…aha! There can be no government without people, without individuals. Of course, there can be a government without a constitution. Maybe there’s something special about the constitution.
Based on our chains navigated in the previous paragraphs, the US government serves (supposedly) individuals by way of serving the people by way of serving the constitution. If we remove the constitution, we have the government serving individuals by way of serving the people. But who’s to say that government is really serving the people if not for a constitution stating such?
Then again, who’s to say that government is serving the constitution? Do we really believe that by simply writing down some rules on a piece of paper…do we really believe that this causes the government to be and act in a certain way? Oh, but there are checks and balances! Yes, as defined by the constitution and either followed or not by the government. Again, what guarantee is there that the government will obey the constitution?
Without the constitution, what guarantee is there that the government will serve the people? Without the government, what guarantee is there that the people reflect the will of individuals?
There are NO guarantees.
Are we then down to choosing simply the best possible option? If so, how do we determine this? Who determines this? If it’s the “majority”, then what makes their opinion more worthy of the outcast? If there’s such thing as a “majority”, then what differentiates the force of the majority from the force of a constitution and by extension, the force of the state (government)?
These are really just ideas, aren’t they?
When you walk outside, are your steps ordered directly by the government? By the people? Or do you step as you see fit, sometimes in accordance with the people/government, sometimes not?
Is there really a difference between government, constitution, and people? Don’t they all apply the same force, just being perceived differently? Is there really anything different about a president as opposed to the homeless man on the street? What is the exact metric that determines how one person is more fit to represent the people?
Isn’t it the people? Aren’t the people the metric? We say that voting is the way to exercise our power over government. What is our “vote” other than some extremely restricted and abused and bastardized and brutalized and beaten beyond recognition version of our “voice.”
Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? You mean to tell me that my sovereignty as a citizen of the United States of America is restricted to my vote?
Don’t you dare tell me how powerful and important my vote is. It does NOTHING for me. It doesn’t seem much different from someone telling me: LOOK AT HOW FREE YOU ARE! I’M GOING TO ALLOW YOU TO CHOOSE WHETHER YOU DIE BY POISONING OR BY FIRING SQUAD!
Gee, thanks for the freedom.