I have an entire drawer at home that is filled with nothing but T-shirts with sarcastic comments on them. Some of these shirts are store bought while others are ideas that I’ve had and put onto them. Out of all of them I think my favorite is one which says, “I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you.”
Thomas Edison, the guy credited with developing the incandescent light bulb, is said to have once made the following comment, “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” While I agree with the overall sentiments, the numbers may be somewhat askew. I think the second category, those who think they think, is probably much larger; probably close to 40-50% of the people, with the remainder being people who would rather die than think.
I think that people mistake reciting what they’ve been taught, or heard on the television for thinking. Yet ask them to support their comments with any kind of factual evidence and it send them into a defensive panic, simply because they have no evidence to back up their positions. A tape recorder can play back what is spoken into the microphone, but that DOES NOT pass for thinking.
I hear people all the time say that this politician or that one should do something, that a problem exists and that government needs to take action to remedy that problem. That mindset, in and of itself, is a problem. First of all it leads to knee jerk reactions to stimuli instead of an investigative process by which the factors which caused the problem are examined, and a logical course of action to prevent the problem from re-occurring is decided upon. Secondly, and possibly even more important than that, is the problem people wish to see remedied among the reasons government was established to serve?
People on both sides of the political spectrum tell me that I need to vote so that the ‘other’ person does not win an election. Let me tell you, that’s one hell of a justification for entrusting an individual, or group of them, with the power and authority to enact all manner of laws that affect your lives. This whole lesser of two evils nonsense is, just that, nonsense. Are you voting for a candidate because you fear or despise the other one more than you do the one you have chosen to vote for?
If you could just think about that position for a moment you might begin to realize how ridiculous it is. It is almost as if you are saying to yourself that you know government is this big evil engine of oppression, but you’d rather that someone you support gets their hands on the controls than someone you oppose finds their way into power. Gone is any regard for the fact that government is a system which has a history of a ‘long train of abuses’ and all you care about is making sure that someone you support gets to run the system.
What that tells me is that an overwhelming number of those who vote don’t care one whit about WHY our government exists, only that those who share their beliefs get to run the system. The limits and checks placed upon the government, however feeble they may be, don’t matter; only that the people you support get to control the system.
That’s the reason I spent so much time yesterday discussing consent; for what would you call the condition of a people who DO NOT consent to the authority of a system, yet are forced to pay the taxes it imposes upon them, and obey the laws it enacts?
That is a serious question, and if you had any integrity at all it is one which I would hope you would give serious thought to. How would YOU feel if you were forced to obey the rules imposed upon you by a system you did not consent to, or have a portion of your income stolen from you to pay for things you do not consent to?
I reckon you’d be pretty upset; not only at the system itself, but also at those who believed that you must comply with the system without questioning why that system was originally put into place. If you can begin to picture how YOU would feel if you were in that kind of a situation, then maybe, just maybe, you can begin to understand how I feel about being forced to pay the taxes and obey the laws imposed upon me by a system I do not consent to.
You may have been taught one thing about your system of government in school, but I wonder if whether what you were taught was based upon factual evidence or if it was just the author of some textbooks beliefs as to why we have this system of oppression ruling over us.
There are times when I mention the names of certain people from our country’s past, or mention certain documents from our country’s past, and people get this look on their face as if they are saying, “Who are these people and why should I give a shit about what they had to say?”
Yet people will fawn all over the feet of a Donald Trump or Barack Obama as if they were some kind of prophet, or, dare I say, messiah. They didn’t create this system of government; they only seek to gain entrance into it so that they can use it to push forward their particular agenda; that agenda often being merely the platform of whatever political party they belong to.
The thoughts and beliefs of those who actually created this system of government are meaningless today; and the thoughts and beliefs of those who opposed the implementation of this system are even LESS meaningful to a people whose only concern is getting people they support into positions of authority within the system.
After all, those who established and opposed this system have been dead for hundreds of years; I constantly hear that there is no way they could have foreseen the problems we would face in these modern, and enlightened,
Now I want you to read something, and I hope that you’ll give it the thought that it deserves. This quote comes from Thomas Paine’s book, The Rights of Man, and declares that, “There never did, there never will, and there never can, exist a Parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the “end of time,” or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it; and therefore all such clauses, acts or declarations by which the makers of them attempt to do what they have neither the right nor the power to do, nor the power to execute, are in themselves null and void.”
If you join a club or organization, can you forever bind your children to it, or are they free to decide for themselves whether they wish to remain members of it? Each generation of people are free to decide for themselves what they will consent to, and what they will not give their consent to, and any attempt to bind they by coercion or force to a system they DO NOT consent to is both evil and tyrannical.
In discussing this concept, Lysander Spooner explains it as follows, “Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. And the Constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children.” Spooner wrote that only 80 short years after this system went into effect; I can’t imagine him feeling any less strongly about it just because that system has survived for 230 years.
I wasn’t taught much in school about the actual ratification of the Constitution, only that it was written and put into operation as if there had been no opposition to it. It is only because I made the conscious decision to delve into that period of our history that I have discovered facts that prove that just wasn’t how things went down.
For instance, Virginia was one of the key States in the ratification process; as others looked to the decision Virginia would make in determining whether they would adopt or reject the Constitution. Although Virginia did ratify it, the consent for it was not unanimous; with the vote being 89 in favor and 79 against; a spread of only 10 votes between those consenting to it and those who opposed it.
So how can we honestly say that we have a system of government that derives its authority from the consent of the governed, when in Virginia alone 47% of the delegates to the State Ratifying Assembly did not consent to it? Taking that one step further, there were 170 some odd delegates to the State Ratifying Assembly, while the total population of Virginia was 3/4 million people. What about those who did not attend the State Ratifying Assembly, is their consent taken for granted; do not each of them, as individuals, have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they will give their consent to a system which is to affect them personally?
So this whole idea that our system derives its authority from the consent of the governed is rubbish, absolute bullshit. There were those alive at the time who did not formally give their consent to it, and not one single person subject to the authority of this system has ever formally given their consent to it. Yet try and resist its authority and see what happens to you. That alone should show you the true nature and character of this system you so obediently support by your votes.
If there were those alive in 1789 who did not give their consent to this system, does the fact that a majority did mean that they must live their lives under the authority and jurisdiction of a system they did not consent to? If you believe that they must, then you believe that any majority, no matter what the issue may be, has the right to bind and control the minority. That is a dangerous belief to hold, for one day YOU may become the minority and see YOUR freedoms taken from you by those you had oppressed while you were a part of the majority.
I say, if all men are created equal, then that equality extends to whether or not they must submit to a system they have not given their consent to. Just because YOU consent to it doesn’t mean that I must, and vice versa. In discussing the forming of civil and political societies, Locke supports my position when he said, “MEN being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent. The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it. This any number of men may do, because it injures not the freedom of the rest; they are left as they were in the liberty of the state of nature.” (My emphasis)
If a system is in place that was established over 2 centuries ago, by men who are long dead, what authority does that system hold over me, my property, my liberty, and my rights if not by coercion and force; making me a slave, or prisoner to a system not of my consent?
Thomas Paine said the following about the hereditary authority of establishing a system that must forever bind future generations, “If any generation of men ever possessed the right of dictating the mode by which the world should be governed for ever, it was the first generation that existed; and if that generation did it not, no succeeding generation can show any authority for doing it, nor can set any up.”
In a letter written in 1789 Thomas Jefferson stated the following, “The question Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another, seems never to have been started either on this or our side of the water. Yet it is a question of such consequences as not only to merit decision, but place also, among the fundamental principles of every government. The course of reflection in which we are immersed here on the elementary principles of society has presented this question to my mind; & that no such obligation can be so transmitted I think very capable of proof. I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self-evident, ‘that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living’: that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it.”
So there you see two leading figures from the American Revolution saying that posterity cannot be bound to a system simply because that system existed at the time of their ancestors, or parents; that each generation is free to choose whether it will give its consent to such a system.
Paine also is quoted as saying, “The rights of men in society, are neither devisable or transferable, nor annihilable, but are descendable only, and it is not in the power of any generation to intercept finally, and cut off the descent. If the present generation, or any other, are disposed to be slaves, it does not lessen the right of the succeeding generation to be free.”
In that statement he explains the nature of unalienable rights; rights which are neither devisable nor transferable, and the fact that simply because past generations may have chosen not to exert those rights does not mean that the present generation must submit to violations of them by their government.
You can argue until you’re blue in the face about this, that I must submit to this system to maintain peace, order and stability; but unless you can provide factual evidence supporting your opinion then your opinion is meaningless to me.
If you wish to be a slave, fine. If you wish to participate in choosing who will be your slave masters, fine. Just don’t demand that I must play the same game or submit to the authority of a system which I have revoked my consent for.
I may obey the laws that system enacts and pay the taxes it imposes upon me, but it is only because I value my life that I do so; I DO NOT consent to that system’s authority to do these things, I simply have chosen not to resist at this time…but that may change if things keep going as they have been.
You may support those who wear the uniforms and badges saying they serve and protect, but in reality the only people they serve are those who write the laws they enforce. Their true motto ought to be, “OBEY OR ELSE.”
What separates me, and the small percentage of the population who think like me, from the rest of society is that we recognize that we are prisoners of a system of oppression, while you bow down and lick the boots of your oppressors.
And Paine had something to say about people like you as well, “When I contemplate the natural dignity of man, when I feel (for Nature has not been kind enough to me to blunt my feelings) for the honour and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon.”
Patrick Henry saw the writing on the wall way back in 1788 when this system of oppression was being argued over in the State Ratifying Assemblies, saying, “Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man, may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old fashioned: If so, I am contented to be so: I say, the time has been when every pore of my heart beat for American liberty, and which, I believe, had a counterpart in the breast of every true American.”
That spirit has, for the most part, died; to be replaced by the desire for comfort, security, and an endless stream of mindless entertainment that stupefies the American public, turning their minds into mush that are incapable of recognizing that they are slaves.
Yet people wonder why I’m so angry and frustrated all the time; which only proves that they are incapable of critical thought and analysis; otherwise everything they had just read would have made the causes of my anger and frustration perfectly clear.