A Bill for the betterment of wisdom and virtue
A Bill for the betterment and establishment of wisdom and virtue within the concept of commonwealth, for the benefit of citizens, visitors and future generations residing within the lands known as The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to fulfill the promise of a city upon the hill and a beacon of light in a world clouded by a growing darkness.
The annals of mankind contain two common tragedies: doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, and doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. A virtuous society of peace and prosperity requires doing the right things for the right reasons. There is no margin of error, nor whim of the autocrat or of the plurality, that can overturn this principle. This single principle must precede all policies, and in equal balance between the two halves; right actions and right reasoning. Equality is correct, not a right or a rite. It represents, creates and sustains balance and harmony; person with person, and person with our natural environment.
Anything that elevates one person must diminish another person. This is true in financial transactions, social transactions, legal transactions, spiritual transactions, healthcare transactions, educational transactions, and housing transactions. The diminishment of one is the diminishment of all, and the gluttony of one is the shame of all, for neither the diminished nor the gluttonous can exist without the cooperation of the entire body.
This Bill restates known but ignored principles and offers new policies for the conduct of government, but transcendence can only be found in the hearts and souls of the people, and in what we teach by example to the next generation. We remain as we began, a city on the hill, and our choices will be magnified by history, for better or ill.
To know what is right, and to do what is right, requires a delicate balance which is not the role of government but of the people themselves. Nevertheless, the government is a common teacher. If it teaches avarice, then we will live in a state of avarice. If it teaches wisdom, then we will live in a state of wisdom. Government can only be guided by a single idea. Let that idea henceforth be Commonwealth in act, and not just in name.
Our lives and the Earth are gifts granted unto us by a power greater than ourselves. Our only challenge is to form a society of peace and love and plenty, as an extended family within our locale. Everything we survey is free for our taking under a common sky, if we have the wisdom to organize ourselves properly. Everything is connected; everything is commonwealth. There is no effect without a cause for which we collectively are not responsible. If we fail to fulfill our virtue, then we must fulfill our folly in its place.
There are two types of chains that shackle the world. One is a chain of steel clamped to the heel of mankind. This steel is found in prison walls, corporate cubicles, salesmen's automobiles, border security, numerical ledgers and computer screens. Fortunately, literal slavery is no longer a local condition. The other type of chain is false thinking. These two types of chains wrap themselves around the hands, hearts and minds of men. The steel chains are easily broken. Force meets metal and men are set free. The intellectual chains are stronger and more damaging, for we enslave ourselves. To be happy and free we must liberate our thinking about our actions.
To break the chains of false thinking it helps to understand why the steel shackles were ever forged. Why would tools be transformed into weapons? Every crime must have a motive. What was one man to gain by enslaving another? What was the crime to be punished, or the gain to be had by the deception of profits? Why are numbers our pursuit? Every thief seeks to get back what he lost previously; every victim seeks to keep what he has. Both are driven by fear. We were all once children, and remember a time of peace and plenty. We hunger for the security of innocence.
The slave-master and the slave share the same destiny; they exist clamped on opposite ends of the same chain. Neither is free. Their commonwealth is a common misery; one to punish and one to suffer; one to gain and the other to lose. This is the lowliest form of all association, yet it is specifically on this foundation that our current government and society rests. Our nation was founded by both law-breakers and slave-holders. The majority were of two groups. Those who did the wrong thing for the right reasons, and those who did the right things for the wrong reasons. These two groups of political opposites continue into this day.
The suffering slave lays claim to a historical contract that preserves one from punishment; the slave-master lays claim to a contract that gives the right to punish. Which contract should take precedence? Mercy or revenge? The claims of the slave or the claims of the slave-master? It is for this reason, that the highest principle must be to do the right things for the right reason. The Golden Rule is the best of rules. We fall into slavery by our own choices. The slave and the slave-master are the divided self. Every person is above one but below another. Equality is nowhere.
How do we unite thoughts and actions which are so easily separated? In truth, no law can do such a thing. It is for the people to act upon wisdom to make it come to life. If they fail to act with wisdom, then they must act without it, and reap the fury that they sow. Faith in law and habit cannot be a substitute for knowing the truth as an individual and having the courage to act in its defense both privately and publicly. Society is laid to waste by the small choices made in private, not by the grandiose decisions made by government. Government is a reflection of ourselves; it is wicked in the hands of the wicked, incompetent in the hands of the incompetent, and virtuous in the hands of the virtuous.
We have come upon a time when the people are unwise and the government with it. Though our woes are many, let me take one as symbolic of the grandeur of our error: high school students and their families must take on debt to educate the same youth to become a contributor of society. Once graduated from college, the youth becomes productive but is whipped by debt to pursue profit, which in turn becomes a burden to all who need his services. We see this phenomenon in every career path. The more professional the training, the greater the burden to demand a higher wage. The greater the numbers grow, the poorer we become; the whole of society is upside-down. Nature is just the opposite. That which we need most is in free abundance; land, air, food and water. Nature is a commonwealth, and man has imposed folly upon it.
All our problems are related to money. Unfortunately, money is not created under the direct control of the State of Massachusetts. We are under the tutelage of the Federal government. We are diminished and gluttonous, suffering and punishing. Such horrible conditions should not exist under a free commonwealth.
The competitive choice to win or lose is not as inevitable as some people claim. The pessimist has a pessimistic view of the nature of man. Nevertheless, the good he manages to see in himself also resides in others. A government’s monopoly on money casts a long shadow, and it drives men to desperation. Putting together the problems of thirteen colonies did not solve them, it just made a common problem bigger.
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