You Want To Know How I Really Feel?

If you are a Christian, you know that the first Chapter of the Bible deals with the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and the creation of man. I don’t recall ever reading a passage in the book of Genesis that says, “And God created government to rule over man and take care of his every need.”
If you do not believe the Biblical version of how man came into existence; if you believe man evolved from the apes, or from something that crawled out of some primordial swamp, the fact that man came into existence long before any forms of government also applies. In both instances; whichever version you choose to believe; man came first.

What is government? I know, it may sound silly of me to ask, but bear with me. The dictionary defines government as; “the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states.”

It is, therefore, a logical conclusion that, in whatever form government takes, it is a creation of man. Thomas Paine discusses this principle in great detail in his book, The Rights of Man, “It has been thought a considerable advance towards establishing the principles of Freedom to say that Government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with.

The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”

I think it is fair to say then that I have established the fact that government is something that man created; not vice versa. Yet in his earlier work, Common Sense, Paine wrote, “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

Why would Paine say that government, in any state, is an evil? The answer is quite simple really; it is because when government exists a portion of the freedom of the people it governs has been relinquished and given to government. The degree to which that freedom has been surrendered determines the extent to which government is considered evil.

If man existed before government, then how did government acquire the power it holds over man? To answer, I must once again quote Paine’s book, The Rights of Man, “All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must either be delegated or assumed. There are no other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.” Of the two, which do you believe gives OUR government the power it has over our lives? I would hope that you at least get this one right, and answer that the power government holds is delegated power; not assumed.

The Constitution which outlines our system of government was written in 1787, yet the first settlers who arrived at Plymouth did so in 1620. That is over a century and a half that the Colonies existed without our Constitution; so who or what ruled over them?

Although separated by an ocean, the Colonies were technically possessions of the King of England, and the Colonists therefore Englishmen who were subject to the laws passed by government back in England. How did we get from point A to point B?

The short answer is that the government which ruled over the Colonists passed a series of laws the Colonists felt violated their Natural Rights as Englishmen. Add to that the fact that they were not duly represented in that government, and you ended up with a growing belief that the only means by which they could retain their rights was to sever the ties that bound them to England and become a free and independent nation of their own.

Of course the King, (or government if you choose to look at it from that perspective), was not so ready to just relinquish the power he held over the Colonies. So war ensued, and had we lost the Revolution we would have remained British subjects for quite some time afterwards; and those men we call our Founding Fathers would have been hung for treason. But we won, and the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence had been given life by that victory. It could be said that the American Revolution was the period of labor which gave birth to America, and the Declaration of Independence is our nation’s birth certificate; although in this instance the issuing of the certificate came before the labor was complete.

Yet what was born when the Colonists obtained their independence from England? The status each Colony held upon the conclusion of the American Revolution is critical to understand if we are to realize how far we have strayed from what our Founders fought so hard to secure for themselves, and for us.

Upon the conclusion of hostilities, the two warring sides met in Paris to hammer out a treaty of peace between the newly established United States of America, and their former sovereign, England. On behalf of the United States, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and Henry Laurens, participated in, and signed the finished treaty of peace, which declares, “His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states…”

Not only did the King view each Colony as a free and independent STATE, but the Colonists did too; as affirmed by the signatures of those who represented the Colonies in the writing of the treaty. I know that in today’s modern world it is hard to look at things from that perspective, but the best way to think about it would be to stop calling the State you live in a State and start calling it a nation. For instance there would be the Nation of Texas, the Nation of Virginia, the Nation of California, etc etc.

Each of the original 13 Colonies, upon obtaining their independence from England, became a sovereign nation unto themselves; capable of establishing their own systems of government, and regulating the internal affairs of their Nation/State. It is critical that you understand this concept before I continue.

At the time all this was happening our Founders had written, and later ratified, a document which outlined a system of government to manage the affairs of the Colonies as a whole; the Articles of Confederation. A confederation is defined as, “A group of nations or states, or a government encompassing several states or political divisions, in which the component states retain considerable independence.”

Yet there were certain people who felt that the government which was created by the Articles of Confederation was weak and ineffective; and that a system of government much stronger was needed if the States were to survive as an independent nation. Under the guise of holding a convention to amend the Articles of Confederation, a new plan was written which abolished the old system, and replaced it with an entirely new system of government.

The result of this subterfuge and fraud is our Constitution. Although there is not an American alive today who has lived under a system of government other than the one outlined in the Constitution, at the time it was written the system which it outlines was a huge topic of discussion and argument.

Of great concern to those who opposed ratification of the Constitution was the fact that it did little to protect the rights of the people, and most importantly, those of the States. Did it leave them as a loose confederation or create a consolidation of the States into one nation with a centralized government?

On June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry arose in the assembly of delegates chosen to debate the subject of ratification and began a lengthy speech with the following words, “I rose yesterday to ask a question which arose in my own mind. When I asked that question, I thought the meaning of my interrogation was obvious: The fate of this question and of America may depend on this: Have they said, we, the States? Have they made a proposal of a compact between states? If they had, this would be a confederation: It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government. The question turns, Sir, on that poor little thing-the expression, We, the people, instead of the States, of America.”

A little known, and ignored fact, is that when the Constitution was being argued over in the various State Assemblies, the Articles of Confederation were still in effect. They were, for all intents and purposes, still the law of the land; much as the Constitution is now the law of the land.

In Section XIII, or 13 for those of you who can’t read Roman Numerals, the Articles of Confederation state, “Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.” (My emphasis)

Yet the Constitution was ratified, not by means outlined in the Articles of Confederation, but by means outlined within the Constitution itself found in Article 7, “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.” So, instead of requiring that all 13 States agree to the Constitution, only 9 votes in favor would be needed to implement the system of government it established.

So, not only was our Constitution written in subterfuge and by fraud and deceit, it was ratified by means found within the very document they were arguing over, not the law as it existed at the time. Whether the document be good or bad, the fact that it was both written and ratified by such deceitful means is abhorrent.

I would like to believe that the intent of those who established this system was to secure the rights of both the people and the States. However, after much time and a great deal of thought, I have begun to question whether that was, in fact, their objective. I have begun to believe that their whole intent was the eventual obliteration of State sovereignty and the formation of a consolidated nation, or American Empire if you will.

One of my biggest gripes with people is that when they read things they glance over the words without giving them any real thought as to what those words actually say. A perfect example is as follows. Ronald Reagan is known as the darling of the conservative party, the bastion of conservative American principles. In his Inaugural Address Reagan said, “We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around.”

At first glance that seems innocent enough; that it implies that our government works for the nation, not the other way around. But if you examine his choice of words; such as the word nation, one might ask, why didn’t he say we are a group of States with a government instead of lumping us all together as a nation?

The same examination of words could be then focused on our Constitution itself. Upon first glance it appears to establish a relatively sound system of government with limited powers and which is designed to safeguard the liberty of the people which make up this nation.

But where in that document does it describe how those in government shall be punished should the violate the trust of the people and overstep their authority? You say, “But we can vote them out of office.” To which I reply, “Well whoop de doo! They break the law that governs their actions and they get kicked out of their job. We break the laws they pass and we get fined, jailed, or killed if we refuse to pay the fine or resist arrest.” That’s a real fair trade, wouldn’t you say? And if you do not recognize sarcasm, that was a perfect example of me being sarcastic.

Tell me, in recent history can you name one elected official who has been sent to jail for violating the Constitution…just one? How many Americans, on the other hand, have been sent to prison for violating laws which our government was NEVER given the authority to enact?

Then there is the uncomfortable fact that people call those who enforce these laws heroes. I would agree with that if ONLY they would choose NOT to enforce laws which violate the rights of the people they serve. Sure, they have got a shitty job; dealing with idiots and the underbelly of society…but they can always choose another job if they don’t like it; and when they serve the public they should be a bit more mindful that the laws they enforce are not always in accordance with the powers given legislators by both the federal and state constitutions. As Thomas Jefferson said, “… law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

For the system of government established by our Constitution to be considered good it must strictly adhere to the few specific powers given it. The moment it exceeded those powers it took its first step down the pathway to tyranny. Were we to turn around and look back to the freedom and liberty the Constitution was supposedly designed to protect, it would be so far in the distance that we would be unable to see it; that is how far we have strayed from the limited government outlined within that document.

For our system of government to be, as Paine said, nothing more than a necessary evil, and not an intolerable one, the people MUST know what the powers originally granted government are, and then hold their representatives strictly to those powers. The moment the people lose sight of the limits imposed upon government, and begin asking that it do things for them that it was never intended government do, we lose a bit more of our sovereignty and independence and become further enslaved to government; (and if you believe in conspiracy theories; enslaved to those behind the scenes who pull the strings for our elected representatives).

James Madison, in Federalist 51, declared, “But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Our Constitution places the responsibility of ensuring we choose virtuous and honest people to fill the seats of power within government firmly upon the shoulders of the American public. Yet it provides no means of punishing those representatives when they abuse their power or overstep the limits imposed upon their power.

As Patrick Henry feared, “But in this, there is no real actual punishment for the grossest maladministration. They may go without punishment, though they commit the most outrageous violation on our immunities. That paper may tell me they will be punished. I ask, by what law? They must make the law — for there is no existing law to do it. What — will they make a law to punish themselves? This, Sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility — and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.”

I know this is getting kind of lengthy, but one more point and I will wrap it up.

In the early to mid 1800’s the government enacted by the Constitution began passing laws which affected one segment of the nation, and benefitted another. One segment, after suffering under these laws without any redress for their grievances, chose to secede from the union and form their own system of government; just as our Founders had in 1776.

These were not traitors to America; they were simply men who had become fed up with the way their government treated them, and their States. Whether you choose to believe the Civil War was about slavery, or some other issue, the real reason it was fought was to impose Lincoln’s view of a consolidated union with the government at the center, over the belief that the individual States could, and should, be allowed to leave a voluntary union of States which just happened to be governed by a central government on one side.

I know most won’t do it, but I highly recommend that you find copies of both the original Constitution; ratified in 1789, and the Constitution written by the Confederate States of America. Place them side by side and read them article by article, comparing the differences between the two documents.
You might be surprised to find that they are very similar; with only a few modifications which were put into place to prevent the Confederate government from becoming as oppressive as the one in Washington D.C. had become.

The unfortunate fact now is that we have become a consolidated empire with a central government at the helm. Sure, we have boundaries which separate our States from each other; we have State Legislatures and governors, but federal authority, in most instances, is absolute and infringes upon powers that were meant to be those of the States.

It all boils down to the fact that, as time progressed, the people of this country have lost sight of what functions our government was established to perform. The less knowledgeable we became about the purpose for which our government was established, the more powerful that government became.

Nowadays we shrug our shoulders at the grossest violations of our rights, and the most oppressive of laws without even a peep of resistance. What has become of that spirit of liberty that led our brave founders to pick up arms and resist tyranny in the face of impossible odds? Today we believe that because we still have the right to go to the polls and pull a lever, or mark a ballot, that we are participating in democracy. Rarely does it cross the minds of the American voter that the person whom they cast their votes has no intention of adhering to the powers given them by the Constitution.

But that’s okay with most people; as long as their candidate wins it is okay if the Constitution is violated, if we are deprived of our rights; as long as it is our side doing it.

I may have become too cynical, too pessimistic, but I see no hope for the future; not as long as people continue to settle for the lesser of two evils, and as long as people remain ignorant as to the nature of their rights and the limited powers our government was supposed to exercise on our behalf.

So don’t expect my mood to change anytime soon. I will make you a deal though; if you can prove to me that you have begun to understand the purpose for which our government was established, or start proving to me that you understand the nature of your rights, then I will promise to start being a bit more optimistic.

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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