Here’s an excerpt from The Law by Frederic Bastiat with a wonderful explanation of these truths:
He goes on to discuss a just and enduring government to secure those rights. These are first principles that must be fully understood in order to have that knowledge necessary for maintaining Liberty.
So, the next ingredient in this Liberty formula is virtue. Who determines what is virtuous and what is not? Well, let’s first define virtue. It’s defined as behavior showing high moral standards. Some of the synonyms are goodness, morality, integrity, dignity, decency, rectitude, honor and respectability. It wasn’t too long ago that we taught such things in our schools or even did things like, God forbid, proudly display the Ten Commandments in public. One thing for sure about virtue, it is clearly evident when it’s absent. When you see someone exhibit behavior that isn’t virtuous, it’s pretty obvious. There’s also the old adage, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or the fact that we, being on guard for our own rights, should realize it’s wrong when we infringe upon someone else’s rights. It’s easy to recognize injustice once an injustice is done to you. As Americans, we should hold each other to this higher moral standard.
Our founders had a great opportunity to start with a blank slate and rely upon on their knowledge and virtue in order to form a more perfect union. We should honor their hard-fought efforts, along with all who have shed blood, sweat and tears (along with small fortunes) for Liberty, by passing along the needed knowledge and virtue requisite for the survival of our great Republic. It’s a formula that has worked well and helped change the entire world for the better; let’s help promote, protect and defend it.