"In matters of principle, stand like a rock.... The principles on which we engaged, of which the charter of our independence is the record, were sanctioned by the laws of our being… Man [is] a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights… A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature…” -- Thomas Jefferson
Jeffersonian - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/jeffersonian?o=100074
–adjective: pertaining to or advocating the political principles and doctrines of Thomas Jefferson
–noun: a supporter of Thomas Jefferson or Jeffersonianism.
Origin: 1790–1800, Americanism ; Jefferson + -ian
THE WRITINGS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON
CONTAINING HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY, NOTES ON VIRGINIA, PARLIAMENTARY MANUAL, OFFICIAL PAPERS, MESSAGES AND ADDRESSES, AND OTHER WRITINGS, OFFICIAL AND PRIVATE, NOW COLLECTED AND PUBLISHED IN THEIR ENTIRETY FOR THE FIRST TIME INCLUDNG ALL OF THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS, DEPOSITED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND PUBLISHED IN 1853 BY ORDER OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS
A JEFFERSONIAN adheres to the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson:
Metaphysics – Thomas Jefferson adhered to the laws of nature.
“A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature.”
“… 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…”
“It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislator to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them. The law of nature impels every one to escape from confinement; it should not, therefore, be subjected to punishment.”
Epistemology – "Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven."
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."
“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
Ethics – Every individual’s right to the preservation of Life, & liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness
“We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable;
That all men are created equal & independent,
That from that equal creation
They derive rights inherent & inalienable,
Among which are the preservation of
Life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness…”
"Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the Author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance."
Politics – Wall of separation between government, the entity that holds the monopoly on coercive power, and all non-force realms
Thomas Jefferson’s Republicanism:
1) That there exists a right independent of force;
2) That a right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings;
3) That NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO OBSTRUCT ANOTHER exercising his faculties innocently for the relief of sensibilities made a part of his nature;
4) That justice is the fundamental law of society;
5) That the majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest, breaks up the foundations of society;
6) That action by the citizens in person, in affairs within their reach and competence, and in all others by representatives chosen immediately and removable by themselves.
I pledge allegiance to Thomas Jefferson’s Republicanism...
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
The ONLY function of law and of government:
"… the preservation of
Life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness;
That to secure these ends,
Governments are instituted among men,
Deriving their just powers
From the consent of the governed..."
"Natural rights [are] the objects for the protection of which society is formed and municipal laws established."
"The freedom and happiness of man... [are] the sole objects of all legitimate government."
"Persons and property make the sum of the objects of government."
“No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him."
“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
"The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens."
“Equal rights for all, special privileges for none.”
On the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
"A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inferences." -- Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1787
American Government -
"A government of reason is better than one of force…. In a republican nation whose citizens are to be led by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reasoning becomes of first importance."
“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for…. A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
“I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive…. When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty…. I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”
"[It is a] great truth that industry, commerce and security are the surest roads to the happiness and prosperity of [a] people."
"[The] voluntary support of laws, formed by persons of their own choice, distinguishes peculiarly the minds capable of self-government. The contrary spirit is anarchy, which of necessity produces despotism."
“… In modern times we might say with truth, that in France, anarchy had done more harm in one night, than all the despotism of their Kings had ever done in twenty or thirty years.”
General Welfare -
"[The Constitution authorizes Congress] to lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the union."
“7. Resolved, That the construction applied by the General Government (as is evidenced by sundry of their proceedings) to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate to Congress a power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” and “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution, the powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof,” goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to their powers by the Constitution: that words meant by the instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers, ought not to be so construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument…” -- The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 by Thomas Jefferson, http://www.constitution.org/cons/kent1798.htm
Property rights -
"I have a right to nothing which another has a right to take away."
"The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management."
"A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings."
"The first principle of association: the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
"[If government have] a right of demanding ad libitum and of taxing us themselves to the full amount of their demand if we do not comply with it, [this would leave] us without anything we can call property."
Constitutionality of the Bank of the US [Federal Reserve] -
“Giving [Congress] a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole [Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly, no such universal power was meant to be given them."
"The Bank of the United States… is one of the most deadly hostility existing, against the principles and form of our Constitution… An institution like this, penetrating by its branches every part of the Union, acting by command and in phalanx, may, in a critical moment, upset the government. I deem no government safe which is under the vassalage of any self-constituted authorities, or any other authority than that of the nation, or its regular functionaries. What an obstruction could not this Bank of the United States, with all its branch banks, be in time of war! It might dictate to us the peace we should accept, or withdraw its aids. Ought we then to give further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile?"
National Debt / Deficit Spending -
"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
"I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”
"The earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence."
While abolishing ALL excise taxes
Including the whiskey tax
In the first year of his first presidency,
While engaging in the Barbary War
Within two months of his first presidency,
And then spending $15 million
In the Louisiana Purchase
To double the then size of the USA,
Jefferson reduced the national debt
From $83 million to $57 million.
All Honor to Thomas Jefferson - http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2010/09/all-honor-to-thomas-jefferson.html
Post Roads & Post Offices [EARMARKS] -
"Have you considered all the consequences of your proposition respecting post roads? I view it as a source of boundless patronage to the executive, jobbing to members of Congress and their friends, and a bottomless abyss of public money. You will begin by only appropriating the surplus of the post office revenues; but the other revenues will soon be called into their aid, and it will be a source of eternal scramble among the members, who can get the most money wasted in their state; and they will always get most who are meanest. We have thought, hitherto, that the roads of a state could not be so well administered even by the state legislature as by the magistracy of the county, on the spot. How will they be when a member of New Hampshire is to mark out a road for Georgia? Does the power to establish post roads, given by the Constitution, mean that you shall make the roads, or only select from those already made, those on which there shall be a post?" -1796, to James Madison, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, edited by Albert Ellery Bergh
"We both consider the people as our children, and love them with parental affection. But you love them as infants whom you are afraid to trust without nurses; and I as adults whom I freely leave to self-government."
Economic Regulations -
"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits."
"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association -- the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
“Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.”
“Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.”
"Were [a right] to be refused, or to be so shackled by REGULATIONS, not necessary for... peace and safety... as to render its use impracticable,... it would then be an injury, of which we should be entitled to demand redress."
"Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot; others as a cow to be milked; but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the plow.”
"What is true of every member of the society, individually, is true of them all collectively; since the rights of the whole can be no more than the sum of the rights of the individuals."
“It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.”
More on Capitalism [Separation of state and economics] -
"We believed that men, enjoying in ease and security the full fruits of their own industry, enlisted by all their interests on the side of law and order, habituated to think for themselves and to follow their reason as their guide, would be more easily and safely governed than with minds nourished in error and vitiated and debased... by ignorance, indigence and oppression."
“I received duly your [letter]...covering an offer of Mr. McDonald of an iron mine to the public.... But having always observed that public works are much less advantageously managed than the same are by private hands, I have thought it better for the public to go to market for whatever it wants which is to be found there; for there competition brings it down to the minimum of value. I have no doubt we can buy brass cannon at market cheaper than we could make iron ones."
Foreign Policy -Truth -
“It should be our endeavor to cultivate the peace and friendship of every nation.... Our interest will be to throw open the doors of commerce, and to knock off all its shackles, giving perfect freedom to all persons for the vent to whatever they may choose to bring into our ports, and asking the same in theirs.”
"I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty."
"I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way."
"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."
"Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged.”
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."
"One of the amendments to the Constitution... expressly declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,' thereby guarding in the same sentence, and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others."
”I am... against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents…. error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."
"No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will…. Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."
"If virtuous, [the government] need not fear the fair operation of attack and defense. Nature has given to man no other means of sifting the truth, either in religion, law, or politics."
"[The] liberty of speaking and writing... guards our other liberties."
Religious Freedom -Power -
“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
"I consider the Government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution of the United States from meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.... Civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents."
"Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone."
"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others."
DARK-AGES WARRIORS - http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2011/01/dark-ages-warriors.html
"I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others."
“An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.... Power is not alluring to pure minds and is not with them the primary principle of contest."
Thomas Jefferson’s Heroes -Other Thomas Jefferson Gems -
Thomas Jefferson regarded John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton the "three greatest men the world had ever produced."
Isaac Newton, an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist, set forth in mathematical terms the laws governing the course of the heavenly bodies. Thinkers marveled at the proportion, balance, harmony, and order resident in the natural tendencies of the world. They concluded that the order was consonant with human liberty, that the natural order provided means for man to use his faculties for his benefit, and that man has natural rights.
"All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride legitimately, by the grace of God."
"I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion without imputing to them criminality."
"Persuasion, perseverance and patience are the best advocates on questions depending on the will of others."
"Nothing gives one person so great advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."
"I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty."
Articles on Thomas Jefferson:
Thomas Jefferson - The Mind of the American Revolution - http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2010/03/thomas-jefferson-mind-of-american.html
Revered Quotes - http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2010/01/revered-quotes.html
Are you a Jeffersonian or a Reaganite? - http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2010/01/are-you-jeffersonian-or-reaganite.html
Tea Partiers - http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2010/11/tea-partiers.html