Boaz’s Blog 002. Why the rights to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Safety are the foundation of a good government.
One of the issues facing any government is who or what gets the government’s resources. In the United States, allocation of resources seems to be heavily weighted in favor of Social Security, Medicare, and military defense spending; which suggests an imbalanced allocation of resources.
The Declaration of Independence states that governments are created to secure people’s rights. If so, it would seem to make sense to secure all rights and, distribute resources among those rights in an effort to achieve a more balanced distribution of resources.
Now is a good time to peruse the accompanying graphics, Ancient Patterns of Four Analogous to Four Human Attributes and The Four Mega Rights of the Seven Rights Schematic and Equivalent Rights of the Declaration of Independence. You may want to refer to them as you read the next several paragraphs.
In At the Edge of History, by William Irwin Thompson, the author defines society as being comprised of four major institutions: government, education, media, and commerce. Thompson’s observations are crucial to my conclusion that these four categories of society generally correspond to four major all-inclusive categories of rights: social, educational, cultural, and safety ( including environmental, national defense, health, and economic safety).
Further, I believe these four rights also correspond to four major rights of the Declaration of Independence: Life /social rights, Liberty/cultural rights, the Pursuit of Happiness/educational rights, and Safety/safety rights). If our government were to apportion its spending among these four categories of rights (what I call mega rights) we could make great strides towards a government based on people’s rights with a balanced distribution of resources–my definition of “good government.”
The question remains: Why are these four rights, in particular, pillars of good government?
A fourfold division of reality is as old as astrology and Egyptian Tarot, a precursor to a deck of modern playing cards. And, let us not omit the four elements of fire, earth, air, and water and their astrological analogues of the lion, bull, human, and eagle; also depicted as four beasts of the Book of Revelation. I add one more earthier Thompson correlation: a primitive tribal hunting party’s members juxtaposed to their modern analogues: headman/government, shaman /education, warrior/commerce, and trickster/media. I guess the point of illustrating these patterns of four is that they have been with humanity for a very long time.
Perhaps the most important quality of a human right is that it originates with the “personality attributes” of the individual. This is the long established universal principle enunciated in the Organization of American States’ 1948 Declaration of the Rights of Man. In other words, if human rights are derived from the major personality characteristics of a person, then rights must be individual; neither group nor corporate rights.
I have not found a more succinct characterization of a human than the one devised by Egyptians more than three thousand years ago. They concluded that the four major characteristics of a human are mental, physical, emotional and creative. Reasoning by analogy, I have determined that emotional quadrant corresponds to the right to Life/social rights; while mental attributes correlate to the right of the Pursuit of Happiness/educational rights; the creative quality is analogous to the right to Liberty/cultural rights; and, the physical component corresponds to the right to Safety/safety rights. Thus, the rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and safety comprise the foundation of a good government.
This has been a whirlwind overview tour of ancient and contemporary patterns of four; consequently the analogies may not be immediately apparent. To paraphrase Einstein, keep it simple–but not simpler than it is. For more depth on this theme, read Seven Rights for Citizen Slackers; especially the first four chapters.
Next: Boaz’s Blog 003. What is a human right?