The Committee of Safety Concept
The concept of committees of safety was the forerunner of that principle of government implemented by the states and the federal government. Each committee would delegate its representatives to go to the next higher level, and carry with it the will of the people. Within each group there were chairmen selected to act as conciliator to the delegation. His purpose was not to rule, dictate or control the meetings, with the exception of providing order and purpose. Most often, he may have been denied the right to vote to compensate for what additional power he might have as chairman. In Boston, for example, a rather meek and mild Doctor John Warren was chairman of the Boston Committee of Safety. He provided order at the meetings, and otherwise carried out his duties as the administrator of the will of the people.
Since those times, we have subordinated our individual thought process to one which might be best described as “corporate mentality”, where the chairman is usually chief executive officer (CEO) and wields an unnatural (but, then, what is a corporation?) authority. His word is assumed “law”, and until he is replaced, he is the power.
“The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The stream of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.”
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers #22
What has to be understood if the concept of Committee of Safety becomes a tool in our efforts to return to constitutional government, is that the authority of the people be recognized above all else. All “enactments” should come from that source, and finally be approved by that source. Any executive committee actions should be for their ministerial nature, only. The corporate pyramid must be turned over and recognized in its proper light, that the people are at the top, just under God. Next comes the committee of safety, and its various sub-committees, which function as the source defined by interest, to generate “enactments”. Finally come the delegates, chairmen, and executive committee whose only purpose is to facilitate the orderly determination of the will of the people, and provide the means to implement that will.
The Committee of Safety concept, in order to operate in a manner which is suggested by history, must operate as committees and the Committee of the Whole. It must never operate as a “star chamber” or an executive authority under the current concept. It must never operate as a corporation, for a corporate interest might not be the same as the employees or the owners, except if its goal is strictly profit. This is not the goal of the Committee of Safety. The goal that is sought to be achieved is that the will of the people be carried out by those who have sought to assist in that administration, not by those who seek to control that will.
“Resolved unanimously, As our opposition to the settled plan of the British administration to enslave America will be strengthened by a union of all ranks of men in this province, we do most earnestly recommend that all former differences about religion or politics, and all private animosities and quarrels of every kind, from henceforth cease and be forever buried in oblivion; and we entreat, we conjure every man by his duty to God, his country, and his posterity, cordially to unite in defense of our common rights and liberties.”
Resolution of the Maryland Deputies, December 12, 1774