Govt 101 – Federalism
--By Ben Gilmore
GOVERNMENT … – direction …, regulation …, control …, restraint ….
[Webster 1828 (my paraphrase)]
FEDERAL, a. […]
1. Pertaining to a league or contract; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, particularly between nations.
The Romans, contrary to federal right, compelled them to part with Sardinia. Grew.
2. Consisting in a compact between parties, particularly and chiefly between states or nations; founded on alliance by contract or mutual agreement; as a federal government, such as that of the United States.
3. Friendly to the constitution of the United States. [See the Noun.]
FEDERAL, FEDERALIST, n. An appellation in America, given to the friends of the constitution of the United States, at its formation and adoption, and to the political party which favored the administration of President Washington.
FEDERARY, FEDARY, n. A partner; a confederate; an accomplice. [Not used.] Shakespeare.
FEDERATE, a. […] Leagued; united by compact, as sovereignties, states or nations; joined in confederacy; as federate nations or powers.
FEDERATION, n. The act of uniting in a league.
2. A league; a confederacy.
Back to basics –
1. A guy and a gal get together and make a baby. That is a “family”, the “building block” of every society.
2. Several families federate to share the tasks of life. That is a tribe. Ultimately the tribe grows to become a society.
3. Every society develops a dominant concept of a higher power (a god, or God).
4. That vertical concept will always determine the horizontal concept of relations with other families and societies.
· The vertical relationship between families and God is called “church”.
· The horizontal relationship between families and families is called “state”.
· It is a Law of Nature all through human history – A society’s corporate concept of the vertical relationship will ALWAYS determine its concept of horizontal relationship. NEVER the other way around!
Our founding fathers were wary of an all-powerful central government. The recognized and honored the individuality of America’s various societies. They chose a federal system of government. It is difficult to be a citizen of the “United States of America” without ALSO being a citizen of one of the states. We have a vertical relationship, together with our fellow citizens, to the USA. At the same time, we have a horizontal relationship with citizens of the other states.
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [vertical] This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it – Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. [horizontal] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
[Matthew 22:36-40]Ben Gilmore