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Feb 15 2016

A Sovereign People

In current times, it often seems as though we have:

  • Elected Assembly members who act more like a privileged Aristocracy than servants of the people
  • Judicial panels who act more like Supreme arbiters than servants of a Constitution
  • Elected leaders who act more like Emperors than servants of the nation which elected them.

It’s important to review the reasons why a government by aristocracy will fail, even though it seems to make good sense intuitively.

The Constitution of the United States of America was designed to prevent these things from happening. The authors had studied the history of previous civilizations and their attempts at designing governments that worked well. In almost all cases, they noticed that while power seems to be necessary to govern, without careful restriction, it condenses into tyranny.

“In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns.” – Benjamin Franklin

In the United States of America, the people hold the sovereign power. The sovereign people have established the supreme law of the land in the Constitution which grants some of the power of the people to a carefully limited government. The power granted is diffused across separate branches and balanced by checks amongst them.

Since the purpose of government is to secure the rights of the people, only governments that derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed” are legitimate. The ability of the people to govern themselves is one of the basic rights that are being protected by the formation of the government.