At what point does freedom become anarchy? At what point does order become totalitarian?
The tension between freedom and order challenges every society. The successful balancing of freedom and order is fundamental to a civilized social structure. Governments limit individual rights by legislating collective order. In a society that values maximum individual freedom, legal and political inquiry should focus on how to best minimize such limitations while keeping the peace.
The importance of this balance of freedom and order is the subject of my remarks and my overriding question is how to best secure a proper balance for ourselves and, more importantly, for our posterity. We are hard-pressed to find a more noble statement preceding a political document than the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America. Along with a more perfect union, the Founders sought to establish justice, to provide for a common defense, and to promote the general welfare.
They also wanted to insure what they termed "domestic tranquility" - or order - and to secure the "blessings of liberty" - or freedom - for themselves and for their posterity.
Thus, the title of my lecture invokes several goals of the Founders. The eloquence of "Insuring Domestic Tranquility and Securing the Blessings of Liberty in 21st Century America" is borrowed wholesale from those who drafted the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, one of the grandest gathering of minds in the history of humanity.
How do we pass forward this gift of civilization that was given to us by the Founders and by the grace of God? My remarks are aimed toward the next century, which is closely upon us.
Will 21st Century America still be a land of opportunity? Will our society be able to maintain the order and domestic tranquility necessary for progress? Will freedom and the blessings of liberty still guide America to be the "city on a hill" and beacon to all nations that we have been since 1776?
These are the questions that sowed the seeds for this lecture.
Coastal Carolina University--Periodicals;Lecture--Series;Liberty;United States--Politics and government;Dyer, Edgar L., III, 1947-
Copyright © Coastal Carolina University. For more information contact University Archives at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC 29526.
Additional files include a printed speech, lecture program and flyer
Dyer, Edgar L. III, "Insuring Domestic Tranquility and Securing the Blessings of Liberty in 21st Century America" (1996). HTC Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Lecture Series. 1.