Can US Founder’s Natural Law Help Defeat Obama’s Socialist “Change”?

March 7, 2011 07:00

An alarming fact patriotic Americans must accept is leftists fighting for “Hope ‘n Change” are actually determined to steal as much liberty from others as possible. The current “Change” mandate has already been exposed as simplistic socialism.

By Kelly O’Connell

An alarming fact patriotic Americans must accept is leftists fighting for “Hope ‘n Change” are actually determined to steal as much liberty from others as possible. The current “Change” mandate has already been exposed as simplistic socialism. But in the midst of unsettling changes and alarming power grabs by our elected officials, as we see our traditional rights and freedoms being sent down the commode as so much effluent, is there anything to be done?

In fact, to win back our freedoms all we need do is hearken back to our Founders & Framers, those intrepid visionary leaders, who laid down the template which we now stray from at our peril. The key to fighting back successfully is reincarnating the Natural Law foundations of our Revolution, which declared bad law to be no law at all, and evil leadership to be simple tyranny. This article discusses this theme of hearkening back to America’s Natural Law foundations to save the USA.

I. Introducing Modern Leftism in America

Ironically, despite the USA winning the Cold War against Marxists a scant generation ago, we are now closer to a socialist coup than perhaps any time in history. How this occurred bears retelling. As America waged war with outside enemies, like Korea and Vietnam, from within we were being cannibalized through our media, entertainment industry and educational system.

Suffice it to say Marxists like John Dewey, ideological founder of modern education, burrowed their way into academia, smuggling in Marxist progressive doctrines. These theories so undermined our traditional, classically-oriented school system that the fight was over before it began. Universities and public schools were riddled with increasing numbers of Marxist true-believers who were more evangelical than most church attenders could ever dream to be.

An example of this infiltration is found in the American arrival of the Frankfurt School, infamous German Marxists who helped deliver a bloodless coup of Political Correctness half a century later. Having already wholly ingested the PC movement, Americans now seem helpless to resist it. But would that change if every Conservative and independent were enlightened to the fact that Political Correctness is cultural Marxism meant to rip our hearts and brains out, leaving us morally defenseless?

In fact, Natural Law has much to say against these immoral and lawless movements which can only debase human society and collapse the greatest of empires from within.

II. Natural Law: Our Foundation & Refuge From Tyranny

A. Perpetual Roots of Natural Law

Debating the essential nature of law is a time-honored undertaking. Natural Law will always be attractive for ethically minded thinkers who believe justice is an inherently moral process. Two Basic schools of legal thought exist, represented by Aquinas versus Hobbes. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) believed law was tied into an understanding of God and His standards, to be worked out by man in his society. The atheistic Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) believed the state creates and justifies its own laws, without reference to any outside standard.

1. Thomas Hobbes
Hobbes believed life so chaotic the state had to take a strong stand against rebels, offering judgment without remorse, or risk falling into anarchy. This meant that law was justified simply because the state (Leviathan) had produced it. While succinct, Hobbes’ theory leaves no alternative against tyranny. The state’s actions are justified, without exception, because it has ultimate authority in all human realms. This position was assumed by all Marxist countries. For example, while an appeals court existed in the USSR, they never reversed a single case presented to them for review.

2. Thomas Aquinas
Aquinas represents the classic Western view of Natural law which posits in every single human interaction, there is always a higher authority over any human ruling, decision or law. This “Natural Law” is a recurring ideal in the history of the West. It may be the most powerful idea ever unleashed in the realm of government and law. The basic formula of the Natural Law would be that a moral order is omnipresent in the world which represents a “most just” response in any possible scenario.

For example, to murder an innocent child is no less evil simply because this act was done on some tiny rocky island in the middle of the Pacific, unclaimed by any country. But a legal theory that rejects a “law above the law” might find such an act deplorable, but not technically illegal. Such was the problem in Nazi Germany after WWII when the acts of killing Jews was legally, but clearly wrong. Interestingly, the same group that met in San Francisco to debate the Nuremberg Trials then formed the United Nations.

Aquinas mentions four kinds of law:

  1. Eternal law. God governs the universe through physical laws, moral laws, & revealed religious laws. Eternal law is all of these.
  2. Natural law (moral law). This part of eternal law that applies to human choices and can be known by our natural reason.
  3. Human law (civil law). We create our own laws, in order to apply the natural law to the specific circumstances of our society.
  4. Divine law (biblical law). In the Bible, God reveals special law guiding us to our supernatural end of eternal happiness with Him.

B. A Rational Definition of Natural Law

The generation of Founders was one of the most brilliant societies ever assembled, and their legal theory was wholly influenced by Natural Law principles. For example, British legal commentator William Blackstone was the largest influence on legal principles upon the Founders, and a diehard supporter of Natural Law jurisprudence. He standardized the law, making it understandable to generations of colonists. Blackstone had various quotes about Natural Law which help us understand the Founders view.

First, Natural Law has a divine element, according to Blackstone:

Thus when the Supreme Being formed the universe, and created matter out of nothing, he impressed certain principles upon that matter, from which it can never depart, and without which it would cease to be… This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are in validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original…. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation [Bible], depend on all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.

Natural Law is moral and reasonable, according to preeminent Natural Law scholar Thomas Aquinas. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Aquinas’ providential view of law and rationality:

For Aquinas, there are two key features of the natural law, features the acknowledgment of which structures his discussion of the natural law in the Summa Theologiae. The first is that, when we focus on God’s role as the giver of the natural law, the natural law is just one aspect of divine providence; and so the theory of natural law is from that perspective just one part among others of the theory of divine providence. The second is that, when we focus on the human’s role as recipient of the natural law, the natural law constitutes the principles of practical rationality, those principles by which human action is to be judged as reasonable or unreasonable; and so the theory of natural law is from that perspective the preeminent part of the theory of practical rationality.

Natural Law uses common sense, according to Christopher Wolfe in his Natural Law Liberalism. He claims the “natural” part of Natural Law does not correspond to the basest animal instincts, but to the contrary, goes to the highest potential of humans. He writes: “Man, a rational creature, on the other hand…must undertake deliberation and choice to achieve his ends.” The Dictionary of the History of Ideas also stresses the background of Aristotelian and Thomistic thought which helped to create the great highlights of Protestant Natural Law found in such writers as Hooker.

According to Blackstone, and agreeing with John Locke, Natural Law defends individual rights of Life, Liberty & Property:

There are 3 primary personal rights: Personal security. The right consists in a person’s legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation. Personal liberty. This personal liberty consists in the power of locomotion, of changing situation, or removing one’s person to whatsoever place one’s own inclination may direct; without imprisonment or restraint, unless by due course of law. Right of private property: law of the land. This right consists in the free use, enjoyment, and disposal by man of all acquisitions, without any control or diminution, save only by the laws of the land.

And Natural Law is a theory seeking to forge a connection between law and morality. John Finnis, in his seminal Natural Law And Natural Rights stresses this connection in his highly influential work.

Natural Law Defining “Law”

According to Natural Law theory – rules, statutes, or laws which are inherently unjust or immoral are not true law, and therefore no one is under compunction to follow them. Augustine wrote, “An unjust law is no law at all,” in On Free Choice Of The Will, Book 1, ¬ß 5. This ancient definition well reveals how the early Church deeply influenced the Natural Law tradition.

Natural Law Defining “Leadership”

C. Tyrants Are Not Leaders

Intriguing is the medieval Christian and classical stance against tyrants, being those leaders who become dictators. Aquinas believed a leader who had devolved into a dictator could be justly resisted since he had lost authority, according to Robert George in St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Goyette, etc. This is the same logic the Founders used to resist King George III’s tyranny.

D. Natural Law Allows Right of Principled Resistance

A long history resides in the Natural Rights tradition of resisting tyrants, going back into ancient Israel and Rome. Aquinas wrote on this, but the unambiguous champion of a right, or even duty, of principled resistance is John Locke. He wrote in his Second Treatise on Government,

That subjects, or foreigners attempting by force on the properties of any people, may be resisted with force, is agreed on all hands. But that magistrates doing the same thing, may be resisted, hath of late been denied: as if those who had the greatest privileges and advantages by the law, had thereby a power to break those laws, by which alone they were set in a better place than their brethren.

Of course the Founders also believed in principled resistance, proved by Jefferson’s statement “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” His opening of the Declaration of Independence still rings out to us:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Of course, Jefferson goes even farther on the right to resist:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles & organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety & Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light & transient causes; & accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses & usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, & to provide new Guards for their future security.

III. Where Do We Go From Here: Modern Slavery or Classical Liberalism?

America represents an experiment in the creation of a Natural Law kingdom not of kings, but of the rule of law, or as Samuel Rutherford stated – Lex Rex – law as king. Further, our idea of Natural Rights is simply an expression of the notion that all men have inalienable rights from God that no country or potentate may take away without creating a tyranny.

Consider the Natural Law which is the law above law which always comes to mind when we see an injustice. We know it exists because when it is enforced happiness reigns, but when it is extinguished, misery results. Its elements include law by divine providence, expressed in revelation. This law is universal, and can be applied properly when rational mindset augments revelation. It protects our most fundamental principles, being rights to Life, Liberty and Property. And the law is always moral, as it seeks the ends of justice – to do the good and eschew evil.


Now, consider how a Natural Law jurist would apply it to our current problems:
Rule of Law: Our rule of law is trampled when the Justice Department insists on turning a blind eye towards voter fraud in the name of protecting a special group. But without a Rule of Law coming before individual interests, justice cannot be established, by definition.

Consent of the Governed: Our entire theory of our government is based upon Consent of the Governed. To deny this is to establish a de facto tyranny. But with the current administration defying the clear will of the people on nearly every new law, have they not already forfeited legitimacy?

Socialism: Wealth redistribution does not work to grow economies. Worse, it’s based upon theft.

Government as God: Government which represents the people has therefore no innate right to rule them as a God. The only authority leaders can ever have is that loaned to them by the people.

Education: John Dewey is America’s Einstein of education. He was also a Marxist and his theories have destroyed public education by removing God and radically dumbing-down curriculum.

Sovereignty: If the UN begins to make decisions for America, how does this affect our future?

Now, can the Natural Law help us make any principled progress against the debasing of our Republic?

Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly can be reached at:

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