Due to technical difficulties, we being you Stephen’s Monday post on Tuesday. Thank you Stephen!
There is a principle hidden in our Constitution which is often overlooked because of both the antiquated language and the specificity to which the phrase attaches. However, the principle is broad and well understood in the American philosophy, but is becoming increasingly eschewed by leftists seeking to drive wedges deep into the heartwood of our republic.
“The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.” Paragraph 2, Section 3, Article III, US Constitution.
It is the phrase “Corruption of Blood” to which I specifically refer. “It meant that the attainted person could neither inherit lands or other hereditaments from his ancestor, nor retain those he already had, nor transmit them by descent to any heir, because his blood was considered in law to be corrupted.” http://thelawdictionary.org/corruption-of-blood/
In essence the “corruption of blood” is an attack on not merely the property of a person so accused but a transference of their “sin” to their descendants in perpetuity.
There is, as a matter of course, a medieval aspect to this concept which cannot be ignored in that a man’s place in feudal society was directly connected to his property, or more precisely to his leasehold upon that property, as by rights all property belonged to the state and was only rented to such lords and men.
For the state to attack a man’s property, was more than to attack his person, it was to attack his place in society, his status and station in the feudal world. It was to take away his livelihood, but also his prestige and respect of his fellow man; a lord without land to control was no longer a lord, a farmer without land to farm became merely a lowly freeman.
However, a corruption of the blood did not merely deprive a man of his property, it deprived all of his descendants of their interest in his property; it prohibited the man from leaving property to his children; it prohibited his parents and relatives from devising land to him or his children.
It was as if he, his children, his grandchildren, and so forth were cut out of the will of their state, cut out of society. Not that it cast them out of society all together, they were merely dropped to the lowest rung of the societal ladder and would have to rebuild their fortune starting almost from scratch.
A man may risk much if the consequences of his actions fall upon his own head, but he risks far less when the consequences fall upon his family as well. In many societies, a man’s place is merely part of the greater clan and he sees his purpose in life as furthering the family even at the sacrifice of himself.
Thus people like Saddam Hussein offered rewards to the families of terrorists who died in the act equivalent to several years salary in order to encourage such malevolent behavior. This strikes us as bizarre because a man can’t spend the money after he is dead, but to the more medieval mind set, the advancement of the family is more important than one’s own life.
What does this have to do with America is that the Founding Fathers intentionally forbade this practice and principles of “corruption of the blood”, that every man is responsible for his own actions, and only his own actions. The principle of individual responsibility is not merely a western concept, it is a modern western concept.
It is a foundational principle embedded in the US Constitution which grew out of the Protestant idea that every man was directly answerable to God for his own folly and error. To be sure, the Bible has several passages which support the idea of the sins of the father being borne by their children for several generation, and yet other passages which conclude that every man is responsible for his only his own behavior.
Of course, any time you deprive a man of his property you are potentially depriving his heirs of their inheritance, but the corruption of the blood further prevents the man from receiving inheritance. All of which is of greater importance in those agrarian societies of yesteryear where it was the inheritance of land which measured wealth, status, position, and livelihood.
So, in a society which ostensibly holds that a man is only responsible for his own actions, and then only liable for those actions which demonstrably and unlawfully harm another, why have we increasingly come to hold men accountable for the actions of their forebears?
By which, a certain segment of the tattered remains of our society seem to decry and denounce that people are responsible for all of the ills and misdeeds attributable or even potentially connected to those which came before.
White people are to bear the sin and guilt of slavery, though slavery ended over 150 years ago and not a single person alive today in America legally owned or was a slave, nor their parents, and doubtful their grandparents or even great-grandparents.
But what about “segregation”? Than ended over 50 years ago, and any person old enough to be working, much less in a position of any authority would now be well past the age of retirement. Segregation has not been in existence for the entirety of the lives of most Americans.
Women were oppressed back in the 50s! Again more than half a century ago, even if you believed the “oppressed” jargon to describe traditional marriage and home life.
The list could go one for every contending group in our nation’s current Oppression Olympics, but the prize is always the same, the award of reparations and redistribution. The driving force behind every modern minority oppression assertion is a claim upon either the public coffers or the wallets of their fellow Americans.
Even multi-millionaire entertainment sports guys are clamoring for the spotlight of the oppression oscar for the best “woe is me and my kind” performance in an overpaid jock category.
But that is the concept of a “corruption of the blood”, that it is the burden of the children, grandchildren, and further generations to pay for the sins of their ancestors in a perpetual never ending penance.
The leftist have, through their perpetual laments, wailing and gnashing of teeth, sought to revive and expand this ancient discarded and discredited notion of collective ancestral guilt.
Where once it was only the specific family of the wrongdoer which bore the stain of corrupted blood, the modern notion under the guise of “social justice” is that any person bearing even a physical resemblance to the ancestral perpetrators must share in the collective guilt.
It is the idiotic and intentionally vague notion of “privilege”: white, male, Christian, straight, stable, sane, educated, blonde, <insert various other adjective>, et cetera, imparts some share of personal guilt for some vague notion of unprovable disadvantage visited upon some other person by means of their not having said attribute or ancestry.
“Affirmative Action”, “Civil Rights”, “Feminism”, “Equal Pay”, “Diversity”, “Dreamers”, and a myriad other so called remedies designed to help some by hurting others because of the corrupted blood of collective guilt for past sins to combat “Racism”, “Misogyny”, “Homophobia”, “Islamophobia”, “Intolerance”, or some other affliction of mental angst.
It is un-American.
Each man is responsible for his own actions, and only his own actions. There is no collective guilt, there is no ancestral taint, there is no corruption of the blood.
The purpose of such concepts as corruption of the blood is not a purpose of guilt or innocence, it is the purpose of control and intimidation. By threatening a man’s status, his children’s and grandchildren’s place in society, those who advocate such are not seeking justice, they are seeking control.
The very notion of the label “privilege” is an implicit threat to a man’s family in a mob style intimidation to hand over his wealth and his integrity to save his family. If they declare your blood corrupt, it is not you who suffer alone, but everyone you care about, so you better be on the “right side of history”.
Let us, as a nation, as a people, bury this evil concept once again, to denounce the notion that any group of people have collective guilt for beliefs, ideas, and actions to which they were never a party.
P.S.: (Don’t mistake me, if you choose to belong to a group which espouses discordant or nefarious beliefs, that is your guilt, not your ancestors’ guilt.)