Magna Carta: The 800 year struggle for Human Liberty

Michael Greer

Michael Greer

store arial, look sans-serif;”>By Michael Greer

story arial,sans-serif;”>American Freedom Alliance’s International Conference this year, held at the Luxe Hotel in Bel Air, was in celebration of the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta or the Great Charter.

One has to wonder why, after 800 years of proof that individual liberty and limited government results in prosperity and a higher standard of living for all, while collectivism (socialism/communism) results in poverty and death, it is still being challenged.

Honorable John Howard

Honorable John Howard

The event on Sunday evening began with a message from the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Honorable John Howard. He spoke of the Magna Carta being the basis of the constitutions of the English speaking countries of the world.

This was followed by Daniel Hannan, member of the British Parliament, speaking from Runnymede during the celebration of the historic signing of the Magna Carta. Hannan spoke of the events that lead to the elites in England writing the Magna Carta to limit what King John could do and give themselves more autonomy.

The first panel discussion, moderated by Avi Davis, was, “How the Magna Carta Gave Birth to Representative Government, a Parliamentary System and the Liberty of the Individual”. The panelists were John L. Hancock, author of “Liberty Inherited”, he is a leading expert on the foundational infrastructure of English-speaking societies, Timothy Sandefur, Principal Attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation and author of several books on the Constitutional right to economic freedom and personal liberty, and Byron Stier, Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. They pointed out, though flawed, it only applied to freemen not all individuals, it was the blueprint for future founders of English speaking countries. It limited what the King could do and guaranteed the right to a trial. Sandefur reminded us rights granted by man are easily made, easily broken. The laws of nature are not. Stier pointed out that the jury trial is uniquely American. It was included in our Bill of Rights, which says our rights come from God. Since man is not God, he has no authority to take rights from other men.

The English Constitution is a spoken “living document”, changeable at the whim of the reigning King. This is why our founders wrote the American Constitution and signed it. Our rights are natural rights. “Privileges” are awarded by man.

enemiesAnother panel addressed, “The Link Between the Magna Carta, the English Constitution and the U.S. Declaration of Independence” with panelists, James C, Bennett, author of “America 3.0:Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century, Guy Milliere, Professor at the University of Paris VIII and former President of the Turgot Institute, and Trevor Loudon, New Zealand author of, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress”.

One of the most valuable benefits of the American Freedom Alliance Events is the ability of the attendees to speak to the speakers one on one. Speakers sit with the attendees when not on stage and are available to comment or take questions. Often these exchanges are as valuable as the speeches they give.

James C. Bennett was the Keynote: “The Danger of Forgetting the 800 Year Struggle for Human Liberty”. Bennett reminded us that the Magna Carta, our Constitution, and the concept of individual liberty, were based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. Our children aren’t being taught this.

“The Anglosphere as the Backbone of Western Civilization” panelists were Timothy Sandefur and Guy Milliere again with the addition of Amy Peikoff, visiting Professor of Law and Research Fellow for the Study of Objectivism at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

The panel pointed out that English speaking countries are the wealthiest, happiest, and most innovative. That capitalism is the reason for that wealth and that it requires an unrestricted free exchange between people. That is what individual liberty guarantees.

Dr. Duke Pesta joined us via Skipe. Dr. Pesta is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin and academic director of Freedom Project Education. He is one of the leading authorities on the dangers of Common Core. He said Universities see our founding documents as being pernicious. He said the primary repository of liberty is the people. If they lose understanding of the value of these documents, they lose liberty. It is the responsibility of those who do understand to educate the people in its value.

He spoke of the Magna Carta being the first such document in English, and that English is the language of Liberty. Language carries culture. In foreign countries as citizens learn to speak English they take on English customs.

Pesta said our college graduates aren’t able to speak well, therefore, they don’t think well, therefore, they don’t think. Higher education isn’t teaching higher issues, because it requires judgment. There is no open debate on college campuses. There are speech codes and banned subjects and speakers. Without the ability to have free and open debate, there is no ability for our children to make informed decisions.

At the end of every American Freedom Alliance Conferences there is always a roundtable discussion to draft a declaration of principals people can take away from what they learned at the Conference. The subject of this roundtable was: “How to Stop Historical Revisionism Destroying Our Connection to the Past”. Several of the lawyers on the panel were reluctant to sign anything that strayed from the theme of the Conference. After quite a spirited debate we decided on the following:

We, the participants at the Magna Carta Conference, in Los Angeles, CA, do declare THAT:

1 We celebrate the legacy of the Magna Carta as one of the foundational documents of the rule of law in the Western World.

2 We believe that individual rights and the guarantees of the rule of law remain crucial to a healthy and flourishing society, and ought to be regarded as the birthright of all human beings. We fear that these principles are being poorly taught or not given appropriate emphasis in our schools today.

3 We encourage the world to learn from the Magna Carta and its legacy, and to embrace the protections of life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness promised by the rule of law.

4 We believe the legacy of Magna Carta is a central element of the prosperity and happiness of English-speaking peoples and should be emphasized in high schools and college curricula. Without these principles, freedom will not survive.

Signed this 15th day of June, 2015 in Los Angeles, California by the participating speakers in the Magna Carta Conference.

 

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Michael Greer retired from the film/television industry and is the co-organizer of the Santa Monica Tea Party and the Los Angeles Tea Party, on the board of directors of the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights and was a member of the Republican Central Committee for the 41st Assembly District.  Her website is: http://madderthanhell.wordpress.com/

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