“Liberty does not come to those who bow down and obey their
government, it comes when the people have the courage to
rise up and resist the authority of their government.”
(29 March 2019)
The Declaration of Independence says that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. So what happens if someone does not consent to this form of government; can they simply disregard the laws it passes and refuse to pay the taxes it imposes upon them? If only it was that easy; simply issue a sworn affidavit or declaration that you revoke your consent to this government and then you get to keep ALL your pay and not obey the long list of rules and regulations the government has imposed upon you.
Unfortunately it isn’t that easy. Oh, you could try, and you might even get away with it for awhile, but eventually government would find you, and punish you for your insolent disobedience. You see, government has something we don’t – the power of coercion. Coercion is the power, or ability to persuade an unwilling person to do something against their will by using either force or threats.
If you refuse to file a 1040 the IRS can come after you and seize your assets. If you refuse to surrender them someone with a gun will come and threaten you in an attempt to force your obedience. If you resist them, they can and may shoot you and just take your property.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t call that government by consent.
In 1776 a group of 56 men, speaking on behalf of their Colonial Legislatures, issued and signed a declaration revoking their consent to being governed by the British government. Of course we all know that that resulted in America going to war against its system of government; calling it the American Revolution.
From 1860 to early 1861 a group of 11 Southern States issued formal declarations revoking their consent to being governed by the government established by the constitution in 1789. Once again, their government said that they did not have the authority to do that and this time Americans went to war against other Americans; this time with those seeking independence from a system of government they no longer consented to losing the battle.
The point I’m trying to get you to see is that governments, once established, are unlikely to simply surrender their authority back to those who created them simply because the creators revoke their consent.
In a letter to Edward Carrington, dated May 27, 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” That would seem to support what Thomas Paine said in his pamphlet Common Sense, “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.”
I think that most people truly believe that America could not survive WITHOUT government; that if only they could get enough of the right people INTO government then things would be good again in this country. Well how well has that belief worked out for you? There have been times over the course of my life when both the Republicans and Democrats have had solid majorities in both Houses of Congress and a President in the Oval Office; yet things don’t seem to be getting any better. Sure, there may be brief periods of peace, or economic prosperity, but if I were to ask you to give me just one example of those you supported restoring any of the liberty government has taken from you, could you do it?
I know you may not want to accept it, but our government was not established to provide economic prosperity and a preponderance of jobs and benefits for the people who inhabit this country. Well it was, but that is not what those who ultimately ratified the constitution were promised would be the function it would serve. In his June 5, 1788 speech railing against the defects in the constitution Patrick Henry told the people what purpose government should serve, “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your Government.”
Yet every election cycle we see these candidates making promises to do things for the people; make America great, or greater; but never do they mention how they are going to restore any of the liberty government has deprived the people of…and I mean NEVER!
This is not limited to the Democrats, as Republicans are just as guilty of this as they are. James Carville, working as the lead campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, coined the phrase, “It’s the economy stupid” in response to the effects of the policies of then President, George Herbert Walker Bush. Going back a few years, when the GOP darling Ronald Reagan was running against incumbent Jimmy Carter, he asked the American people, “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?”
All these catchy campaign slogans do is make people believe that if they would just vote for the one uttering them that things will miraculously improve in America; when what really happens is that government keeps on growing; keeps on amassing more debt; and keeps on restricting more of your liberty. Yet the people think that if they would just VOTE HARDER they could somehow restore America to the principles it was founded upon; or at least slow the progression from liberty to tyranny.
Well I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t work that way. Government is a cancer and the only way for America to once become a land where liberty is the way of life for all Americans is to excise that cancer and change our lifestyles and beliefs so that liberty can once again flourish. Voting won’t accomplish that, as all that does is put into power men/women who seek power and authority over us, or those who are easily corrupted by a system that corrupts almost everything it touches.
For far too many people, government has become a tool of coercion they can use to impose their beliefs upon those who do not consent to those beliefs. I don’t care if it is the liberal left who want to impose a Utopian socialist dream world upon the people of this country, or if it is the Religious Right who want government to legislate morality, the end result is the same; a tyrannical government that enforces the will of others upon another segment of society that disagrees with those beliefs.
If it is a crime for me to steal from you, or kill you, I cannot simply hire someone else to do those things for me and escape the fact that doing so is depriving you of your right to enjoy life or the full exercise of your property. If government was established to secure liberty to all the inhabitants of this country, then why do all these groups with their own agendas, seek to use the coercive power of government to FORCE others to comply with their wishes; and all the while calling America a free country? Anytime someone is forced to do something they disagree with, that person IS NOT FREE!!!
Thomas Jefferson once defined rightful liberty as, “…unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” You cannot claim to love liberty when you seek to enslave others, or force them to adhere to and accept your personal beliefs as their own. If you truly loved liberty you would fight to your last dying breath the right of others to disagree with you.
People mistakenly believe that simply because some elected legislatures hand down some law that they must obey it as if it were handed down by God Himself; even when that law violates or restricts a person’s unalienable rights. You see, Jefferson continued his comment on liberty by saying, “I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”
Now you may have skipped over that without truly giving it much thought, so let me explain something to you. We are not a democracy where the will of the majority is binding upon the minority. We were supposed to be a nation of law, with the constitution binding our government to certain specific powers; while at the same time, due to certain amendments being attached to that constitution, securing certain rights to the people.
Those rights are not subject to the will of a majority, to a vote, to their interpretation by our lawmakers – they are inherent and unalienable; meaning they are a part of our being as much as are our eyes, our ears and our nose; and we CANNOT surrender or relinquish them. Sure, they can be violated, or we can choose not to exercise them, but that does not mean those rights go away; all it means is that we lack the courage to fight to preserve them. And when we vote for candidates who either actively seek to limit or restrict them, or support the programs and policies that do restrict and limit them, we are no less tyrants than are those who actually write the laws that restrict our rights.
My right to free speech, to keep and bear the arms of my choosing, to be free from unlawful searches, seizures and monitoring of my private conversations are not subject to a vote, to public approval, or the will of a benevolent government that is promising to make America a safe place for all to live.
As the Supreme Court held in U.S. v Robel, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties … which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.” On the same note, it is no less ironic that people believe that to make America great we must subvert the rights our Founders fought to secure for themselves and their posterity.
How many rules, regulations and laws can you count that tell you what you can and cannot do; all with the power of men with guns behind them to enforce them? We are indoctrinated to believe that since government puts something down onto a piece of paper, it is holy writ and we MUST obey or be punished. But for a crime to exist someone’s life, property, or rights MUST have been threatened or violated.
You cannot restrict a person’s freedom of speech simply because what the person is saying offends you, or makes you uncomfortable. You cannot restrict their freedom of speech simply because you are unprepared to support your position on an issue with facts and evidence. But apparently people in this country seem to believe otherwise; as freedom of speech is under attack; with people like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook imposing an ever increasing litany of things that can have people’s Facebook posts blocked and their ability to speak freely suspended. While I fully understand that it is his platform, and therefore he has the right to dictate what can and cannot be said; for him to claim that it is a free and open platform and then turn around and block people who post disagreeable content reeks of hypocrisy.
At the same time, I hear people complain that people of certain cultural backgrounds are often stereotyped and their rights are being violated because of their heritage or skin color; yet then those who cry out about these things turn around and stereotype all gun owners every time there is a mass shooting; saying we should take away the guns from ALL gun owners. Well golly gee, the next time there is a drunk driving accident which kills an innocent victim I say we look at the hair color of the offender and then pass a law saying nobody with THAT hair color can operate a motor vehicle. YES, THAT’S EXACTLY HOW STUPID YOU SOUND!!!
And then there are all the things government has made a crime about what we can and cannot put into our bodies. The list ranges from the types of treatments a person is allowed to seek for illness to the recreational use of drugs such as marijuana and LSD. Where, if I may be so bold to ask, does the constitution give the government the authority to tell me what I can and cannot put into my own body? Who am I hurting if I consume those drugs; certainly not you. So how is it a crime when there is no victim? Yet I can be charged with a crime, and my liberty denied me for doing so.
I could go on and on with specific examples of how government has restricted liberty to such an extent that it is basically non-existent anymore. Yet people still say this is the land of the free and the home of the brave; and they continue to support and defend the entity which has stolen their liberty from them. I tell you, it is insane!
And yet, should an individual decide that they no longer consent to a government that deprives them of their unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, government will tell them they do not have the right to do so; and they will use force and violence to ensure that the offending person complies.
How, if I may ask, is that freedom and government by consent?
Some people get offended when I question the legitimacy of government as an entity. It’s almost as if I am threatening their reason for existing. But government is just like Paine said, a necessary evil, and often an intolerable one because it is an entity of our own creation which seeks not to secure liberty, but to restrict it.
But what really upsets people is when I question the integrity of the document that outlines our system of government. To some, that is akin to heresy and I sometimes feel that when I question it they are going to start picking up rocks so that they can stone me to death for blasphemy.
There are many in this country, if not an overwhelming majority, who are either unable, or unwilling to think. There, I’ve said it; now prove me wrong. But if our constitution outlines our system of government and the very document that created our government does not provide sufficient means to check and restrain the growth of government into a despotic one, then is it not fair in saying that the document itself is flawed?
As an example, when you give someone a power of attorney to act on your behalf that document bestows, or delegates certain powers to the person holding it. You would not give someone unlimited power to act on your behalf would you; giving them the authority to tell you what you must wear, what you must eat, and what you can and cannot do in your free time. So why would we create a system of government with that ability? And if the document that created our system of government provides no effective means, other than voting, for removing scoundrels and other politicians who violate the limited powers delegated them, wouldn’t you say the constitution itself is weak and ineffective in serving the purposes it was supposedly established to serve?
After all, isn’t that the very argument that was used to implement the constitution; thereby replacing the government outlined by the Articles of Confederation; that the government established by the AoC were weak and ineffective? It sure seems to me that the sole reason our constitution was written was to revoke the authority and control the people and the States had over what laws their government could enact. By doing away with the requirement that for any recommendation become law it must meet the unanimous approval of each and every State Legislature they created an elective democracy where the will of a simple majority is all it takes to violate the rights of the minority. Sure, we are told that we are a nation of laws; with the constitution being the Supreme Law of the Land. Well in response to that I say, “How effective has that constitution been in restraining the government it established from exercising undelegated powers?” If you cannot say that it has been effective, then the only logical conclusion is that the constitution is flawed and unfit to serve as the outline for any system of government that was supposedly established to secure liberty and freedom.
But as I said in my opening comments, once any system of government gains control over a people it is reluctant to surrender its authority to those who created it. In fact, government can, and will use force to ensure its own survival; even at the expense of the last remaining vestiges of freedom for the people.
Just look at how many people with guns there are whose sole job is to ENFORCE the law as written by people’s current god – government. From local Law Enforcement to the myriad alphabet soup agencies of the federal government, we have enough enforcers to invade a country and topple its government. Yet what purpose do they serve if it is not to subjugate and oppress the people they are supposed to be defending and protecting.
Sure, they often do good things, but the good they do does not take away from the fact that, should the time comes, they will arrest, imprison, and shoot you should you fail to obey THE LAW; And if the law if but the tyrant’s will, then THEY ARE TYRANTS AS WELL.
One final question and then I’ll wrap this up. What gives your government the power and authority it has to tax you and make you obey the laws it passes? It is only by your consent to government that it derives its power. If enough people would simply say, “I do not consent” we could slay the beast that is destroying our liberty. But so long as people support government, believe in the necessity of having a government; even though it denies us the freedom to live our lives free of their rules and regulations that will never happen.
The only people who truly consented to this government are those who ratified the constitution in 1789. I never voted to accept this system of government; did you? However, your compliance to it passes as consent. In The Rights of Man Thomas Paine wrote, “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.”
Yet try telling government that just because a bunch of men who are long dead agreed to your existence, you do not; and therefore you are free of their authority. Let me know how well that works out for you.
As for this whole idea of government by consent, I think Lysander Spooner said it best, “The only idea they have ever manifested as to what is a government of consent, is this–that it is one to which everybody must consent, or be shot.” And if that isn’t coercion I don’t know what is. In fact, that is not liberty, it is tyranny. So why do you still, not only consent to this system, but participate in choosing which tyrant will rule over your daily lives?
If you didn’t before, I think now you will have an idea of my current mindset on politics and government in the former land of the free and the home of the brave. I hope you will ponder the things I said and ask yourself why you support a system of government that requires the use of coercion and force to compel people to obey its laws.
If I can get you to do that, then you will have taken the first baby steps towards restoring liberty to America. After all, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson were not afraid to question the authority of their government, and we consider them to be patriots and American heroes. We owe it to their memory to resist tyranny whenever and wherever possible…that is unless of course you prefer the comfort of bondage and servitude.
If that’s the case, then I leave you with this: If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.