The other day I had a discussion with a co-worker and friend on Facebook where I explained my political philosophy. My friend said I was basically calling for anarchy, and he said that although he agreed that government should be smaller than it currently is, we will always need some form of government.
However, he then said, and I’ll have to quote him to get it right, “So it’s taken government since 1776 to get that despotism? That’s doesn’t make any type of sense. Why would the founding fathers or how could they make a plan of take over that takes so long and who the people in government has nothing to do with them or their families? Doesn’t pass the common sense test to me.”
First of all, let me clarify something; I do consider myself an anarchist; but not in the sense that you think. I’m an anarchist because I adhere to the definition of the word itself; which is not chaos and lawlessness. Anarchy comes from the Greek words an; meaning without; the absence of, and archon, meaning; masters or rulers. So anarchy does not mean lawlessness and chaos, it means living without rulers or masters.
Now that I’ve got that all cleared up, let’s get to the really important stuff.
My friend had basically asked me if our system was designed so badly, how come it took so long for things to get bad in this country, and why don’t those we elect suffer under it as well. Before I begin to explain how it all happened, let me give you a simple analogy to describe why I think it took so long.
While this has been debunked by so-called experts, there is an analogy that if you toss a frog into a boiling pot of water it will instantaneously jump out. However, it is said if you put a frog into a pot of cold water and gradually turn up the heat they will become acclimated to the changes in temperature and will remain in the water until it becomes hot enough to boil them alive.
The concept I’m trying to get across is that of incrementalism; tiny baby steps towards the ultimate goal of total rule over the people by a small group of people. Had our founders instituted the government we have today back in 1787 there would have been an immediate revolution to overthrow it and go back to the one that existed under the Articles of Confederation. To get to where we are today they had to take small steps, but steps towards tyranny or despotism nonetheless; and if we don’t stop them, or get rid of the system that allows them to do this, then it is only going to get worse; much worse.
Prior to the constitution being written the people already had systems of government that had been instituted by them to provide for the things the people thought were necessary for their own general welfare and happiness; the State Governments. America was not a nation at the time, it was a confederation of sovereign and independent States; each being a nation unto itself; free from external coercion and force by the other States, and the Congress that had been instituted by the Articles of Confederation.
If you think about political power; the power to govern, there is a hierarchy of sorts that exists. Without turning this into a religious manifesto, God created man, and gave man all the rights and liberty that people today seem to think comes from government, or a piece of parchment written 200 some odd years ago.
Each man, and woman, were considered as sovereigns; meaning they and only they can decide how they must live their lives; so long as they do not interfere with the lives, property and liberty of others. This concept was upheld by an early Supreme Court decision in the case of Chisholm v. Georgia, where the court held, “at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects…with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.”
What that says is, back at the end of the Revolution the people were anarchists according to a strict understanding of the meaning of the word; for they had no one but themselves to rule; or govern. This state of anarchy goes by another name as well; the State of Nature, and as John Locke explains it in his Second Treatise, “TO understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”
But, Locke then goes on to explain a key component of this State of Nature, “But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”
Therefore, government can only come into existence by one of two ways; either those who seek power can grab it for themselves, or it can be delegated to a system designed by those who would be governed by it. In 1791 Thomas Paine explained that as follows, “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.” (Source: The Rights of Man)
At the end of the Revolution we were not a nation like folks believe we are today; the individual States were, for all intents and purposes, our nations. If you lived in Georgia you were a citizen of Georgia; not of the United States. If you lived in Pennsylvania or Virginia, you were a citizen of those States. Each State was sovereign and independent; a fact that is easily verifiable through a study of historical documents from the time.
For instance, the treaty which ended formal hostilities between America and Great Britain 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, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States; that he treats with them as such…” (Source: Treaty of Paris, 1783)
Therefore, if we follow that hierarchy of political power, first we have God, then we have individual men/women, then we have the authority man gave to their State governments through the process of written constitutions establishing systems of government for each sovereign and independent State.
The government prior to the constitution was created by the States and for the States; the Confederation Congress. Its power was delegated to it by the States when they ratified the Articles of Confederation. This was not done by the people, and is crucial to understand why it was not done by the people; because that system was not designed to operate upon, or have any jurisdiction over the people; it was established to act solely upon the States as sovereign and independent political entities.
This government could not levy taxes; it could only recommend that the States provide funding to manage the affairs of the Confederation. If a State chose not to provide those funds, there wasn’t a bloody thing the central government could do about it. The Congress established by the Articles of Confederation could enact no law unless it was approved by the Legislatures of all 13 States, not just 50% or 75% of them…ALL OF THEM!
Under the Articles of Confederation, not matter the size or population of a State, each of them was treated equal; because they were equal in their sovereignty and independence. Under the Articles of Confederation the States had the power to enact laws that affected the people living within the respective States, and the Confederation Congress could only make suggestions, or recommendations for laws that affected them in their interaction with each other; and only when all of them agreed to whatever measures were proposed.
That is the way things were in the spring of 1787 when delegates began arriving in the city of Philadelphia to come up with proposals for amendments to the existing system of government that would strengthen it so that it could more effectively carry out its responsibilities.
Now we are told that our government was created by We the People; but is that truly the case? Were all classes of men involved in both writing and ratifying the constitution; or did those who participated in that process only come from the upper end of society; lawyers, bankers, merchants and industrialists? A study of those who attended the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 will show you that there were no small farmers, no small business men; in other words, no common people among them; they were all from, what we might call today, the 1%; the wealthy and well connected.
These oligarchs saw the existing status quo as a stumbling block to be overcome; not as a system to be amended and kept in place. Many arguments, or debates, ensued during those months in seclusion and secrecy, but we all know the end result; the constitution. To truly understand how the constitution came into being would take a book to explain in any detail; but there is one thing that needs to be made clear before I continue.
What stood in the way of those who sought to establish an all powerful system, capable of becoming despotic was the relation between the central government and the State governments. Under the existing system the States were superior to the central government; and that had to change if the drafters of the constitution were to have any success in achieving their goals of subjugating the people under a single centralized despotism.
Even before that convention met, James Madison laid out his plan to subordinate the States in a letter he wrote to George Washington, “Conceiving that an individual independence of the States is utterly irreconcileable with their aggregate sovereignty; and that a consolidation of the whole into one simple republic would be as inexpedient as it is unattainable, I have sought for some middle ground, which may at once support a due supremacy of the national authority, and not exclude the local authorities wherever they can be subordinately useful.”
Oh, and that George Washington fellow that y’all look up to, he thought the people were pretty stupid, that they needed to be governed, not represented by a system of government. In a letter he wrote to John Jay, Washington states, “Experience has taught us that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures best calculated for their own good, without the intervention of a coercive power…Congress have too frequently made use of the suppliant, humble tone of requisition in applications to the States, when they had a right to assert their imperial dignity and command obedience.”
Imperial? Isn’t that a word that applies to monarchs and despots?
The truth is a bitch, isn’t it; especially when it shatters our illusions about those who we are taught were great men from our past.
Once they had finalized their document, (the constitution), those who wrote it submitted it to the States with instructions on how it was to be either adopted or rejected; and those instructions were NOT in accordance with the procedures that were clearly outlined in Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation, “…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.”
So not only had the delegates to the convention violated the trust given them by their respective States, they also placed themselves in a position of superiority by telling the States how they must adopt or reject their proposal.
Some of those who attended the convention that produced the constitution opposed what was being done in secret by the majority of the delegates. John Lansing and Robert Yates, both delegates from New York, left the convention when they saw that those in attendance were overstepping their delegated authority. Others, such as Luther Martin, chose to stay, (as time and circumstances permitted), to halt the progression towards a system that would lead to the destruction of State sovereignty and the loss of liberty by the people.
Heck, the staunchest defender of public liberty that America has ever seen, Patrick Henry, refused to accept an invitation to be a delegate to the convention that produced the constitution. He knew the nature and intentions of the men who would be attending, and said the following about the convention itself, “I smell a rat in Philadelphia.”
We are taught that those who attended the convention of 1787 did the best they could; they overcame many obstacles and produced the best system of government the world has ever seen. Let me ask you something; if it was so darned good, how come it has become so bad today?
I’m not saying those who attended the convention that produced the constitution were stupid; far from it. They were smart, very smart, and they knew that for their plan to work they had to word their final document in such a way that, upon first glance, it would not seem threatening to the States or the public liberty. This is why they pushed so hard for a quick ratification; they didn’t want to give the opponents to their proposal time to examine it find the flaws and loopholes within it.
In the convention that produced the constitution, Gouverneur Morris stated, “My objection is to impress … the necessity of calling conventions in order to prevent the enemies to the plan from giving it the go-by. When (the Constitution) first appears, with the sanction of this convention, the people will be favorable to it. By degrees, State officers and those interested in the state governments will intrigue and turn the popular current against it.”
Some did anyway; men like Patrick Henry saw through the subterfuge and vehemently opposed the constitution. Others, writing under pseudonyms, wrote what have come to be known as the Anti-Federalist Papers; careful examinations of the deficiencies in, and dangers posed by the constitution.
How much of that stuff are you taught in school? Do the names Centinel, Brutus, Federal Farmer, An Old Whig, Cato, John DeWitt, or Luther Martin ring a bell with you? If not, then it what you have been taught about the constitution, and the men who drafted it, is all biased towards support for a flawed document.
For instance, Samuel Bryan, writing as Centinel, states, “The measures that are pursuing to effect the establishment of the new constitution, are so repugnant to truth, honor, and the well-being of society, as would disgrace any cause. If the nature and tendency of this system were to be judged of by the conduct of its framers and patrons, what a picture of ambition and villainy would present itself to our view!” (Source: Centinel 18)
Not very kind words for the constitution and the men who wrote it; but you won’t be taught about the opposition to a system of government by schools whose agendas and curriculums require your obedience to and support for that system of government. If you aren’t taught what makes a good system of government, and what makes a bad one, how can you distinguish between the two? If you aren’t taught what makes a system of government good or bad, and all you’re taught is to respect those in power, obey the law; comply, Comply, COMPLY, then you are not being taught; you are being indoctrinated into servitude.
This constitution was presented to the States/people, and those who wrote it pushed hard for a quick adoption. Pennsylvania was the first battleground where those who pushed for its adoption encountered any real resistance to it; and the way they acted raised Red Flags in the other States; as they forced some delegates to attend the convention without allowing them to undertake a serious examination of the document they were voting upon.
The actions of the Pennsylvania Ratifying Assembly were so offensive, that the French chargé d’affaires in Pennsylvania, Louis-Guillaume Otto wrote to his foreign minister the following condemnation of what he had witnessed, “… the legislative Assembly of Pennsylvania imprudently . . . revived the jealousy and anxiety of democrats. In a blunder that is difficult to explain, Pennsylvania limited its delegation to the Constitutional Convention to Philadelphians; the other counties, whose interest have always been different from those of the capital, were hardly satisfied. . . . In forcing the minority to ratify the new government without debate, the legislature has acted so harshly and precipitously as to render any new government suspect. . . . It could strike a fatal blow . . . the alarm is sounded, the public is on guard and they are now examining in detail what they would have adopted almost blindly.”
What ensued was a fierce debate over the proposed constitution; with the Federalist Papers defending it and the Anti-Federalists attacking it. If you really want to know how bad the constitution is, I suggest you read through some of the Anti-Federalist Papers; particularly Luther Martin’s Genuine Information, the essays of Centinel and Brutus, and the speeches of Patrick Henry in the Virginia Ratifying Assembly.
Will it take some time to do so? Yes, but it may open your eyes to the fact that the constitution is not what it has been made out to be, and that those who wrote it had intentions other than the creation of a system designed to preserve the public liberty. If you can’t do that, then the only truth you’ll know is the one that has been ingrained into your mind through the indoctrination you have undergone at the hands of government operated systems of indoctrination; public schools.
Like I said at the very beginning though, if this government had heaped all the tyranny we suffer under today upon the people of 1789, they would have revolted instantaneously and toppled that system; the tyranny had to come incrementally for the people to be given time to accept it and even support it.
Just look at how the Colonists rebelled against taxes that were a miniscule fraction of the taxes we pay today. Yet one of the first things this new system of government did was to enact a tax upon distilled liquors; meaning whiskey; which led to a revolt known as the Whiskey Rebellion. Yet how much do you know about the Whiskey Rebellion? Not very much I imagine.
The Whiskey Rebellion was a reaction to excise taxes imposed upon those who distilled whiskey; yet it did not hit the big distilleries as hard as it hit the little guy; the guy with a still in his back yard so he could manufacture and sell whiskey to provide an income for his family. It was those the Whiskey Tax hit hardest, and it was they who revolted against it. History books tell us the Whiskey Rebellion was centered in Western Pennsylvania, but that is not the whole truth; it was widespread, with people opposing it throughout the country.
It was Alexander Hamilton who pushed Washington into supporting a tax on whiskey, and yet in Federalist #12 Hamilton promised the people that the new system of government would not resort to excise taxes as a means of funding the government, “In America, it is evident that we must a long time depend for the means of revenue chiefly on such duties. In most parts of it, excises must be confined within a narrow compass. The genius of the people will ill brook the inquisitive and peremptory spirit of excise laws.”
So, from the very beginning the government established by the constitution was breaking promises made by those who had pushed for its adoption. Then, of course, there was the strides it took to expand its own power beyond those specifically granted it. There were a great many ways they went about this, and some of them are due to the wording of the constitution itself.
While the States were to be equally represented in the Senate, the House of Representatives is a different story altogether; with representation based upon population. To understand why that is so important, it is crucial that you understand a bit about human nature.
A truly good system of government is one that is designed to secure the public liberty. If you’ll recall my explanation of the hierarchy of political power, you will recall that each of us is sovereign; with only ourselves to govern. Under that condition we, as individuals, retain all our rights and liberty; and only surrender the power specifically mentioned in any constitution establishing a system of government.
Therefore, we must discuss the purpose for which laws are written if we are to understand why our current system is no good. In his 1850 book The Law, Frederic Bastiat writes, “What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.
Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?
If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.”
However, Bastiat then goes on to describe a fatal tendency in mankind; the desire to plunder others; deprive them of their property; which includes their rights. Bastiat then goes on to state, “But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man—in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.
Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.
But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.
Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain—and since labor is pain in itself—it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.
When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.
It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.”
Therefore, if each State only had an equal vote in the laws being enacted by the central government, it would go a long way towards the enactment of laws, or the imposition of taxes that benefitted one class of people at the expense of another. But with the representation in the House being based upon a State’s population, the bigger States with larger populations would have the power to enact laws that benefitted them at the expense of the smaller and weaker States.
As more people came to America, not just for the freedom it offered, but for work it offered, they migrated to the centers where the jobs were; which was predominantly in the North. This gave the Northern States more political clout in Congress and they began enacting laws, imposing taxes, and exerting their will upon those who relied primarily upon agriculture for their economies. This ultimately led to the Second War for Independence; or the Civil War; but that is jumping ahead of myself for the time being. What I wanted to make clear was the fact that the unequal representation of the House in the constitution was a means to achieve the ability of one segment of society to exert its will upon another. You may not have known this, but James Madison had wanted both Houses of Congress to be based upon total population but the smaller States opposed that idea; so a compromise was agreed to; establishing a Senate as giving each State the same number of votes, and the House giving the more populated States more say.
The next loophole towards strengthening government at the cost of State’s Rights and liberty is found in the Necessary and Proper Clause. It was argued that the Necessary and Proper Clause was, well, necessary to ensure that government could take all measures it needed to carry out the specific powers delegated to it. The problem arose when the meaning of the word necessary came into the picture. What exactly is meant when someone says something is necessary? Does it mean it will help in carrying out the specifically delegated powers, or does it mean that without that power the government could not accomplish the delegated task? The best way to describe how people understand the Necessary and Proper Clause today would be to rename it the, Whatever is Convenient and Possible Clause; for there seems to be no limits as to what falls under being necessary.
When Alexander Hamilton proposed to President Washington that a national bank be established, (the precursor to the FED), Hamilton and Jefferson came to be on opposite sides as to what the word necessary meant. Jefferson felt as I do; that necessary means that without that power the other delegated powers could not be carried out. Hamilton, however, took the opposing view; that necessary meant whatever was helpful in carrying out the specific powers; and it is Hamilton’s position that won the day, and established the precedent for all manner of bad and unconstitutional laws to be written.
Then of course there is the Supremacy Clause; wherein the federal, national government shall be supreme in all things falling under its jurisdiction; which brings us to the question of who/what falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Does the federal government only apply to the States as the Congress under the Articles of Confederation did? Does it erase all State boundaries and apply directly to the people as a consolidating entity; as Patrick Henry and the other Anti-Federalists feared?
Writing in opposition to the Supremacy Clause, Luther Martin states, “When this clause was introduced, it was not established that inferior continental courts could be appointed for trial of all questions arising on treaties and on the laws of the general government, and it was my wish and hope that every question of that kind would have been determined in the first instance in the courts of the respective states. It was afterward altered and amended. [F]or being so altered as to render the treaties and laws made under the federal government superior to our constitution, if the system is adopted it will amount to a total and unconditional surrender to that government of every right and privilege secured to them by our constitution.” (Authors emphasis)
I understand that when there are conflicting systems of government; i.e. the central and the States, that there needs to be one whose laws take precedence. But at the same time for the powers delegated to the one that is given superiority to be just they must be exercised only in accordance with the specific powers delegated them; otherwise the entity claiming superiority becomes tyrannical.
That’s why the following quote from Federalist 45 is of such great importance; for if what Madison wrote is true, 99% of what our government currently does goes against what he said would be the powers exercised by the federal government, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” So, either Madison was flat out lying, or this system has gained a life of its own and can expand its powers at will.
Finally, there was the establishment of a federal judiciary; The Supreme Court. It was argued that, in cases to which the federal government, or its laws, were a party, the State courts could not be partial; therefore a federal judiciary was needed to hear those cases. But, if the State courts would be biased when hearing cases in which the federal government was a party, or if it was deemed a conflict of interest for them to hear, wouldn’t it also be a conflict of interest for a federal judiciary to hear cases in which the government they were a part of was a party as well?
The purpose of a judiciary, or judges, is to ensure that the law is applied in cases which fall under their jurisdiction, or end up being heard in their courtroom. What happened with the Supreme Court is it began practicing judicial review; determining whether or not the laws themselves or the powers being exercised by the government were in accordance with the constitution. Chief Justice John Marshall established that precedent in Marbury v Madison in 1803, and has expanded its, and the governments overall, power in cases since then. McCulloch v Maryland, Martin v Hunter’s Lessee, and numerous other cases all expanded the scope of power held by either the judiciary itself, or the government in general.
In 1804 Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Abigail Adams expressing his fears over this power wielded by the judiciary, “Nothing in the Constitution has given [the judges] a right to decide for the Executive, more than the Executive to decide for them…The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what are not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.”
Then, in the very first session of Congress, what did the legislators do but pass a law establishing federal courts in the States themselves; under the pretense of making it easier for the people to obtain justice when the courts were not as far away as the Supreme Court; bringing justice to them might be a good way of describing their justification. What the Judiciary Act also did was basically rewrite completely the 3rd Article of the Constitution; which in and of itself was unconstitutional; because only the people could amend or alter the Constitution per the guidelines found in Article 5.
Not only did they grant more power to the judiciary; not only did they expand the jurisdiction of the judicial branch, but they also created the office of Attorney General; you know, like Janet Reno who gave the go ahead for the Ruby Ridge and Waco fiascos. The Attorney General sits at the head of the table where the FBI, DEA, BATF and all the other jack booted thugs sit. The Attorney General is the head honcho for the enforcement arm of government that then turns around and imposes the government’s will upon you and I.
You have to remember, aside from the Supreme Court cases I mentioned, all this was done while George Washington was acting as our FIRST president under this new system of government; so they were off to a good start in becoming despotic right out of the starting gates.
The important thing was that those who sought to establish an all powerful despotic government had gotten the infrastructure put into place to accomplish their goals when the constitution was ratified; which abolished the old system under the Articles of Confederation. Once they got that done, the rest could be accomplished incrementally; and it has been progressing accordingly ever since.
Yet things didn’t always go according to plan for these nationalists who sought absolute power; there were hiccups along the way; people who sought to keep government contained to the few powers it was promised it would exercise to those who actually had the courage to oppose the plan.
The first of these hiccups came even before the constitution was ratified, when its opponents demanded that a bill of rights be added to it if they were to agree to adopt the proposed system of government. Madison and Hamilton both argued that bills of rights were not only unnecessary, they might even be dangerous; for they might exclude certain rights, granting to government the power to infringe upon those unspecified rights…which is why we have the 9th Amendment by the way, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
But it was what would become the 10th Amendment that caused such consternation in Madison; for in that proposal those who opposed the constitution sought to limit its authority, to basically nullify the Necessary and Proper Clause, by their retaining the single word, EXPRESSLY, in their proposals. What they hoped to do was to retain that feature of the old confederation that placed iron clad limitations upon what powers the government would be allowed to exercise, found in Article II of the Articles of Confederation, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”
Madison made sure that the word expressly was omitted from the finalized versions of the proposals for a Bill of Rights that the Congress would send to the States for their approval. What the States had sought to do was to impose limits upon the powers of the federal government to limit the damage it could do to their rights, and the rights of the people inhabiting them. What Congress did is it gutted their proposals; severely weakening the restraints they placed upon the government.
Looking back on it from my perspective now, it all makes sense what Congress did. I mean c’mon, you’re going to allow the people you are attempting to restrain by constitutional amendments, sit down and write the wording of those amendments; thereby limiting their own power? What could go wrong with that? What they should have done is impose the same rules the Philadelphia Convention imposed upon the States as to the mode by which the constitution would, or would not be adopted; take it as it is without any alterations. Had they told Congress to take their proposals for amendments exactly as they were written, then maybe government could have been held to fewer powers than it currently holds; but then again it may have only forestalled the inevitable.
What many of those who participated in the drafting and ratification of the constitution wanted was a system that married political power to commerce, industry, and the banking establishments; which is another way of saying fascism. The States posed a threat to their goals; therefore their sovereignty had to be severely weakened, if not abolished altogether, for their plan to achieve any manner of success.
It’s funny, because 135 years after the constitution was written Adolf Hitler would utilize their plan to weaken and abolish state power to bring his Nationalist Socialist Party to power. In his book Mein Kamp, Hitler writes, “National Socialism must claim the right to impose its principles upon the whole German nation, without regard to what were hitherto the confines of federal states.” That sure sounds like how Madison viewed the States when considering his plans for consolidation under a centralized government of his own creation.
It took just 8 short years; two terms for President George Washington, for the nationalists to firmly entrench their policies; make them a part of how the government worked, and possibly even more important, how the people perceived that government should work. The government had imposed taxes of a nature that would have caused the people to revolt just a decade prior; they had established a national bank which could loan them money as if they had been given a blank check; which also caused inflation to rise dramatically. When the states revolted against the tax imposed upon whiskey, this government established the principle that it could mobilize an army against them; and finally, it established the principle that it, and it alone, would decide how much power it would wield. Remember, this was in just 8 short years!
Then along came John Adams; or El Rotunda as he came to be known. I don’t know whether it was simply Adam’s nature, or if 8 years as Vice President under Washington had left him craving power, but Adams came to be despised even by members of his own party; and particularly by his former friend, and current Vice President, Thomas Jefferson. It was under Adams presidency that a unified opposition formed to oust nationalists like him, Hamilton and Washington from power and restore government to one which more closely adhered to the few specific powers found in the constitution.
But it was something Adams did that I wish to bring your attention to now; that being the signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Alien and Sedition Acts were so offensive to Jefferson that he secretly authored a series of Resolutions known as the Kentucky Resolutions in opposition to them. Jefferson also urged James Madison to do the same on behalf of the State of Virginia, which he did; proving that Madison could shift with the political currents like the best seasoned politician.
The Alien and Sedition Acts were eventually repealed, but there is an old saying, and it applies just as much to politics as it does to our personal endeavors. That saying is, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” Those who crave power are not going to let a single setback stop them in their quest. Hell, we had two chartered national banks; both of which saw their charters revoked, or allowed to expire, before the bankers were successful in establishing a bank by an act of Congress; The Federal Reserve Act. They did not give up after being shot down, not once, but twice; they kept on trying until they got what they wanted.
However, political tides shift, and after 8 years of George Washington, and 4 years of John Adams, the people were ready to try another approach to how America should be governed. The election of 1800 was tumultuous, to say the least. But it eventually led to Thomas Jefferson becoming the 3rd President. Jefferson sought a minimalist form of government; he began downsizing it, eliminating unnecessary offices; (and if you don’t see the humor in that, well you haven’t been paying attention to what I’ve been saying). He also sought to reduce taxes and eliminate some of them altogether. But most importantly he sought to leave the people free to manage their own affairs without interference by, or assistance from the federal government.
Even before Jefferson decided to run, this shift in the political currents was of grave concern to those who had worked so hard to establish a system that could benefit them; the businessmen, the bankers, the industrialists. In 1794 Rufus King and Oliver Ellsworth recommended that the Union be divided in two, and even told John Taylor of Caroline to pick the line of demarcation between North and South. They declared that the North could not, would not adhere to a system of government that was controlled by Southerners. It wasn’t racism that set the two sides of the country at odds, it was their views on what powers government should be allowed to exercise that set them at odds with one another.
The South did not want, nor did they need the government to help them in their economies. They did, however need slaves to run the big plantations that fueled those economies. The North, on the other hand, did not need or want slaves; for they took away jobs from the white folk; so slavery was not practiced to the extent it was in the South; if at all. Yet it was the Northern shipping interests that were making a fortune off the importation of these slaves; while condemning slavery in the South from the other side of their mouths. But what the North truly needed from government were subsidies and protective tariffs; which the government was all too willing to oblige them with.
With a government run by Southerners, all their work could be undone; leaving them bereft of the protection against foreign competition and the subsidies granted them at the expense of those living in the South. That is why from the very beginning, there was destined to be a clash between the two segments of the country; one predominantly agricultural who did not want or need big government, and the other built around business, banking and commerce, that required a powerful government to aid them in their economic pursuits.
All the while our nation continued to grow. With the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, and westward expansion, the question of whether to allow new States into the Union that would align themselves with either the North and the South became a heated debate among the two opposing ideologies; and it all centered around whether or not new states would be allowed to decide for themselves if they wanted to practice slavery or not; but in reality it was all about economic and political control.
This all came to a head, not in 1860, but thirty years before the Civil War; with the Nullification Crisis. The protective tariffs that the government had been imposing had become so burdensome that South Carolina threatened to simply refuse to pay them; to nullify them by stating that they were unconstitutional. That would not have cut off all the money flowing into the federal treasury, but it sure would have put a dent into it; so the government could not permit that to happen.
Things became so intense that the acting Vice-President resigned so that he could seek an active seat in the Senate to better defend his State against these tariffs. Eventually Henry Clay offered John Calhoun a compromise that would lower the tariffs over a period of a decade; thereby easing off the threat of either secession or nullification by South Carolina. The thing is, the power to enact those kind of tariffs remained; and it was a power that could not be left untapped by power hungry bastards for very long.
If you combine all that; the burdensome tariffs that were draining the South of its wealth, the continued opposition to the expansion of slavery in new states, and the abolitionist movement in the North to end slavery in the South, aid slaves in their efforts to escape bondage, and it all became too much for Southerners to bear; so they revoked their consent to this system of government and sought to establish one of their own; one that would allow them to live peacefully side by side with the North, yet still retain their sovereignty and independence.
Abe Lincoln basically said, “Un uh, no way. You can’t separate from the Union, and if you try I will send an army into your states and force you to remain in the Union; no matter how many of you I have to kill to do so.” That’s what the Civil War was really about; not just one issue, but a long train of abuses which led the South to sever the political bonds which had held them to a system of government. Abe Lincoln’s war was a war of aggression against the belief that the government was created by consent of the governed; and when the governed revoked their consent they could return to a position as if they had never been a part of any union.
The Civil War wasn’t about slavery per se; it wasn’t about tariffs per se; it was about whether a single, or group of States would be allowed to determine for themselves how they would be governed. It was the final nail in the coffin for States Rights and State Sovereignty, and the final victory of the plan for consolidation of the States into a single, indivisible nation which was born in the Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. It was Patrick Henry’s worst nightmare, for he had railed against this consolidation; fearing it would lead to the destruction of State Sovereignty and the public liberty.
Yet we honor the son of a bitch who killed what our country once stood for by his image engraved in a mountainside in South Dakota, and in temple honoring him in our nation’s capital; all while those who fought to preserve what their ancestors who had fought for in the Revolution have their monuments torn down because the uneducated masses believe they represent racism.
What Abe Lincoln did was kill the Jeffersonian belief that government should be limited and that the States should be allowed to govern themselves internally. What Lincoln did was culminate Hamilton’s vision of a single American empire governed by a system that benefitted business and industry over the sovereignty of the States and the liberty of the people. What Lincoln did was give birth to the idea that you can’t fight city hall; meaning government is all powerful and there is no use trying to resist its authority.
But still, the people believed that, aside from the conflict between North and South, the government itself was basically good; that it had preserved the Union, when the truth was the Union, or at least the government, was never in any real danger. The South sought neither conquest or glory, all they wanted was to be left alone so that they could govern themselves as they saw fit. The Civil War may have expedited the demise of slavery, but slavery would have died on its own with or without a war to help it along. The Civil War did far more damage than good, and America has never truly recovered from it; not to mention the years of subjugation and oppression known as Reconstruction that was imposed upon the South as punishment for having the audacity to question the authority and jurisdiction of Uncle Sam.
With the question of whether those who created this system of government could effectively revoke their consent for it out of the way, government was free to begin its reign of terror unchecked. Yet government still had to deal with those who sought to restrain it to certain specific powers; more than were originally intended, but far fewer than it sought to obtain.
Again, had government just heaped all this tyranny upon the people all at once, there would have been an immediate revolution; led by those from both the North and the South. So government took it’s time, implementing a bit here, and a bit there; allowing the people to become acclimated to their amassing all this power.
Of course it helped quite a bit that public education became the norm; allowing for government to gain control over what students were taught. If students are not taught the truth, if they are indoctrinated into believing that government is good, that the ends justify the means, that to resist laws they disagree with is un-American and unpatriotic, it sure helps government in conditioning people to accept increasing levels of tyranny and oppression.
The of course there is another powerful tool that government uses to amass greater powers – fear. Hell, it was fear that led many of those living in 1787 to accept the proposed system of government; fear that the Union would fall apart if drastic measures weren’t taken to hold it together. It was fear that led to the people accepting the Federal Reserve Act after having seen how government was unable to protect the money supply and economy; fear which was induced by the very bankers who sought to gain control of our monetary system. It was fear that led people to support the passage of the Patriot Act and the War on Terror; which we are still fighting by the way.
When fear is introduced into a society that is fundamentally ignorant as to the powers given their system of government and what their rights and liberty are; the outcome is predictable; the people accept any and all measures the benevolent government says will alleviate the cause of that fear. It is this modus operandi that has led to gun law after gun law; all having no real effect on the level of gun related crime. Yet the sheeple fall for it time after time; never learning that the problem isn’t an abundance of guns, it is a lack of morality among the people themselves; a lack of respect for the lives, property and liberty of other human beings that cause these crimes to happen.
People have become so thoroughly indoctrinated into the idea that they NEED government that those who truly understand what liberty is cannot penetrate their indoctrination; no matter how much factual evidence we provide. It is acceptable to criticize the actions of one particular political party, or those by a particular candidate, but criticize government as an establishment and it’s like you are threatening their very existence and their purpose in life.
In 1849, eleven years before the Civil War, Henry David Thoreau wrote a book entitled On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. In his book Thoreau states, “I HEARTIL accept the motto, ― That government is best which governs least; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, ― That government is best which governs not at all.”
That sits at the core of anarchism; the belief that no man has a ruler, and that no man needs to be governed by others who would rule over them. Government is, or at least it should be, established to preserve and protect the liberty and rights of the governed. If government does not serve that function, then that government does not deserve your support or obedience.
If you believe otherwise, that we need government to rule over us, then there are a couple of things you don’t understand. First of all, we have all the laws we need to effectively ensure that each of us retain our rights and our liberty; and they are found in the Ten Commandments.
Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet; if we would only obey those commandments there would be no need for government of any kind. But, I have to give credit where credit is due; Madison did say, “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.”
But men are not angels, they seek to harm each other over the most trivial causes, and they seek to plunder others when it benefits them. And if this is truly man’s nature, then in delegating powers to a system of government it would seem that the most important thing would be to ensure that the system of government being established had adequate checks upon the power of government to accommodate the goals of evil men; which our constitution does not do.
Numerous times Patrick Henry spoke of this deficiency in the constitution. On June 5, 1788 Henry said, “But we are told that we need not fear; because those in power, being our Representatives, will not abuse the power we put in their hands: I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers? I imagine, sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny.”
Henry quickly followed that up with, “My great objection to this Government is, that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or of waging war against tyrants.”
Then, on June 7, 1788 Henry addressed that fatal deficiency once again when he said, “And, Sir, would not all the world, from the Eastern to the Western hemisphere, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad. Shew me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty? I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt.”
Frederic Bastiat’s entire book, The Law, was written about how government becomes perverted and seeks to use the power of making laws to plunder others, and it should be required reading for all who say that they love and cherish liberty. But then again, so should Locke’s Second Treatise, and Etienne de la Boetie’s book, The Politics of Obedience-The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. And, if you’re really interested, I suggest you also read Lysander Spooner’s book, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority. And then if that still isn’t enough, I suggest you find a copy of Hologram of Liberty by Kenneth Royce; for it will go into far more detail as to how this system you take for granted was established, not to secure liberty, but to destroy and demolish it.
Believe me when I say this, it took every ounce of my willpower to stop where I’m stopping now. I could have made this twice as long; easily, and still not covered all the things our government has done to destroy the liberty you were taught it was instituted to secure. I could also have gone into great detail the crimes against humanity this government is guilty of; and we have the gall to call other countries barbaric and violators of human rights. If only you knew the truth about your own country and its evil system of government.
But I fear that, at close to 20 pages, I have already written much more than people are willing to read; so I must cut if off now before nobody reads a single word I’ve written. All I can do is hope, (and God how I hate to use that word), that I have piqued your interest, or at least broken through the deception and indoctrination you have been given; being disguised as an education. If I’ve done that, I could die a happy man. But I’m not holding my breath.
So, as I close, I’d like to raise a toast to those of like mind, “To us, and those like us…so damned few left.”