So I am writing a paper on Thomas Jefferson's view of the modern world. And I came across something in a book that I go to often for resource.
"Generational Sovereignty" which is a Locke thought but Jefferson establishes it deeper in a few letters to James Madison in 1789. But it's the basic principal (in Jefferson's head) that goes along with the notion "the earth belongs to the living".
Here are some quotes from the letter:
""The course reflection in which we are immersed here on the elementary principles of society," he explained Madison, "has presented the question to my mind." The question itself was not entirely new. it was "Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another," which Jefferson claimed had implications that had not been sufficiently appreciated in either Europe or America."
"I set out on this ground," he announced, "which I suppose to be self evident, that the earth belongs to the usufruct to the living."
Huge debate is over the true meaning of what Jefferson is saying...but it comes from Constitutionalist minded ones...from what I can see.
"We seem not to perceive,: as he put it to Madison, "that by the law of nature, one generation is to another as one independent nation is to another."
"the earth belongs always to the living generations"-that all personal and national debts, all laws , even all constitutions, should expire after that time."
I thought it was really interesting.
Thoughts? Pros vs Cons?