"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." ~ Frederic Bastiat
A Bastardy Proceeding
The anarchist does not differentiate between 'legitimate' and 'illegitimate' states since he, by definition, places all states in the latter category. Nonetheless there may be, among the potential revolutionary mass, those who think that such a distinction is possible, even important. It is to those readers that I here address myself.
Without stipulating to the legitimacy of the state as such, or to any of its iterations, the case might be made that a particular iteration of the state is legitimate or illegitimate according to the logic propounded by those who claim the legitimacy of that iteration.
I propose to establish that, according to the logic propounded by those supportive of the entity calling itself 'the government of the United States of America,' and its subsidiary entities, no such entities exist; and that, therefore, the entities so describing themselves lack, according to their own logic, any legitimacy which one has a duty to recognize.
The 'legitimate government of the United States' (according to the internal logic propounded by supporters of the entity so describing itself) is described in a document informally known as the 'Constitution' and formally known as the 'Constitution for the United States of America.'
con'sti'tu'tion (knst-tshn, -ty-) n. 1. The act or process of composing, setting up, or establishing. 2.a. The composition or structure of something; makeup. b. The physical makeup of a person: Having a strong constitution, she had no trouble climbing the mountain. 3. a. The system of fundamental laws and principles that prescribes the nature, functions, and limits of a government or another institution. b. The document in which such a system is recorded. c. Constitution The fundamental law of the United States, framed in 1787, ratified in 1789, and variously amended since then.[i]
A constitution might best be described as a 'recipe' for government. Like any recipe, a constitution is specific as to what ingredients go into the mix and how they are handled. A recipe for quiche, for example, would mention eggs and cheese as the primary ingredients.
If I inform you that I am going to prepare a quiche for lunch, and then create a dish using beef broth and lentils, but not eggs or cheese, you will hold -- and rightly so -- that whatever I am preparing, no matter how appetizing it might be and regardless of any claim on my part, I am not preparing quiche.
The definition above is revealing. The written document that we call a 'constitution' lists certain ingredients. An entity which includes those ingredients as specified is -- or at least may be -- the government described in that 'recipe.' An entity which does not, isn't.
The Constitution for the United States of America internally reinforces this notion:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.[ii]
The process of discovering whether or not an entity claiming to be 'the legitimate government of the United States' has a valid claim is seemingly relatively simple. If that entity accords, in its composition and operations, with the Constitution for the United States of America, then it is, according to its own logic, what it claims to be. If it does not accord, in its composition and operations, with the Constitution for the United States of America, then it is, according to its own logic, not what it claims to be.
Does the entity claiming to be the 'legitimate government of the United States' accord, in its composition and operations, with the Constitution for the United States of America?
The Constitution names and describes three 'branches' of its 'legitimate government' -- the legislative, executive and judicial branches. All that would be required to impeach the legitimacy of the entire entity calling itself the 'legitimate government of the United States' would be one example of one 'branch' of that entity not conforming to the 'recipe' from which its alleged authority stems -- the Constitution for the United States of America. If I leave the cheese out of my quiche, I don't have quiche. I have an omelet.
It is apparent to me, however, that not only can the claims of all three branches of the entity calling itself 'the legitimate government of the United States' be impeached, but that some among the potentially revolutionary mass will require that all three branches be impeached before accepting the fact that the entity asserting a claim to be their 'legitimate government' is asserting that claim falsely.
Let us first impeach the legislative 'branch.'
Various approaches might be valid for impeaching the 'legitimacy' of the entity calling itself 'the Congress of the United States' (the legislative 'branch,' composed of two sub-entities, the 'House of Representatives' and the 'Senate').
I might create a laundry list of laws, passed by the entity calling itself 'the Congress of the United States,' each of which violate some prohibition against such laws.
A list like that might include Public Law 103-344, also known as 'American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994,' enacted in 1993 by the 103rd 'Congress of the United States.' That particular law violates the First Amendment's stricture against making laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.[iii] It might also include the USA PATRIOT Act, passed by the 107th 'Congress of the United States; that abomination violates the Fourth Amendment's stricture against unreasonable search and seizure.[iv]
The problem with such a hypothetical list is that the entity currently calling itself the 'Congress of the United States' refers to itself as the 108th 'Congress of the United States.' Despite the fact that the sequentially numbered entities so referring to themselves are substantially composed of the same people over numerous iterations, and despite the fact that each iteration claims continuity with and legitimacy of descent from, previous iterations, this particular type of list might be open to the charge that it was not referring to the entity currently calling itself the 'Congress of the United States.'
No, the impeachment must be a direct indictment of the 535 individuals who, at the time of this writing, assert an identity as the 'Congress of the United States.' Since that entity is less than three months old, and has been substantially pre-occupied with procedural matters through its existence, it hasn't passed a lot of legislation. Therefore, my indictment will be mercifully short although, I think, still indisputable.
Let us limit ourselves to two charges: That the entity currently calling itself 'the Congress of the United States' does not do something that the 'legitimate' 'Congress of the United States' would necessarily do, and that the entity calling itself 'the Congress of the United States' does do one thing that the 'legitimate' 'Congress of the United States' would necessarily refrain from doing -- according to the document under which it claims 'legitimacy.'
The Constitution for the United States of America arrogates to the 'Congress of the United States' the power to 'To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin . . . .' By Constitutional definition, the 'Congress of the United States' is that entity which coins money and regulates the value thereof.
To my certain knowledge -- and I defy anyone to find otherwise -- the 108th 'Congress of the United States' has not, at any time since the commencement of its existence, coined money or regulated the value thereof. As a matter of fact, that function is controlled by a private corporation called the Federal Reserve, and has been since 1913.
So, is the Federal Reserve the 'Congress of the United States?' It does not claim to be, nor does it fulfill any of the other functions ascribed to that entity; therefore it is safe to assume that it is not.[v]
The Constitution for the United States of America also forbids the United States (which includes all 'branches' of its government) any powers not delegated to it within that Constitution. Yet, the entity which refers to itself as the 'Congress of the United States' passed, in February of 2003, 'H.J. Res 2,' also known as the 'consolidated appropriations resolution.'
This resolution includes -- just to grab an item at random -- an appropriation 'For necessary expenses to carry out services authorized by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act.'
Curiously, the Constitution for the United States of America nowhere arrogates to the 'United States' any power to require or fund meat inspection, poultry product inspection or egg product inspection. Since such powers are not arrogated to the 'United States,' the 'Congress of the United States' could, logically speaking, not have passed such an appropriation. Since the entity calling itself the 'Congress of the United States' did, in fact, pass such an appropriation, that entity is making a false assertion in calling itself the 'Congress of the United States.'[vi]
We have now established that at least one 'branch' of the entity referring to itself as the 'legitimate government of the United States' is, in fact, falsely asserting its legitimacy as such.
Let us now move to the executive branch.
Once again, it would be inappropriate to charge the current entities and persons claiming to be part of the executive 'branch' of the 'legitimate government of the United States' with actions undertaken by previous such claimants. Any charges must be laid at the feet of the person claiming to be the 'president of the United States,' the 'vice president of the United States,' a member of the Constitutionally designated 'cabinet' of the executive 'branch,' or one or more sub-entities created under the alleged authority of these persons or entities.
The easiest target in this regard would be either the person claiming to be the 'president of the United States,' or the person claiming to be the 'vice president of the United States' as one of those particular persons is constitutionally barred from having been elected to that office. The Constitution for the United States of America, in delineating the process of electing the president and vice president of the United States, clearly prohibits electors from casting their votes for two persons from the same state as themselves. The electors of Texas ignored this prohibition in casting their votes for George W. Bush of Texas for president, and Richard B. Cheney of Texas for vice president.
Constitutionally speaking, those electors could have cast a vote for one, but not both, of these persons; and as the votes tallied, neither could have been elected to the office they now claim to legitimately occupy without the votes of those electors. At least one of these persons is an impostor.[vii]
Since the executive 'branch' of the 'legitimate government of the United States' is Constitutionally described as having both a 'president' and a 'vice president,' and since the entity currently claiming to be 'the executive branch of the 'legitimate government of the United States'' does not, it is apparent that that entity's claim is false.
The argument might be made, of course, that a single impostor is not evidence of the invalidity of the whole entity, however, so it is probably worthwhile to entertain a second indictment. One curious action on the part of the person claiming to be the 'president of the United States' should suffice: that person has recently and repeatedly claimed that he is not in fact the 'president of the United States,' but the 'Congress of the United States.'
The Constitution for the United States of America arrogates to the 'Congress of the United States' the power to declare war.[viii] No such declaration has issued from any entity asserting its identity as 'the Congress of the United States' since December of 1941.[ix] Yet, on several occasions, George W. Bush, while claiming to be the 'president of the United States,' has issued such a declaration[x], which would logically mean that he is also claiming to be 'the Congress of the United States.'
George W. Bush, by Constitutional definition, is not the 'Congress of the United States' (the Constitution calls for an apportionment of Representatives and Senators which necessarily exceeds one person).[xi] George W. Bush has, however, declared war (a power reserved not to the 'president of the United States,' but to the 'Congress of the United States') and, in so doing, has falsified his assertion that he is the 'president of the United States.'
Having impeached the claim of George W. Bush to be 'the president of the United States,' I am bound to point out that the various cabinet secretaries and other executive branch functionaries are appointed by, or, in some cases (holdovers from previous administrations in U.S. Attorney positions, etc.), hold their job on the continuing approval of the 'president of the United States,' that none of them can legitimately assert a claim to the titles on their office doors (or even a claim to occupy those offices at all) -- there was no 'president of the United States' to appoint them, and there is no 'president of the United States' to express continuing confidence in them.
Regarding the judicial 'branch,' the possibility arises that our procedure here may run into a problem.
Judicial appointments at the federal level, including the Supreme Court, maintain a certain continuity. An incoming 'president of the United States' doesn't fire the sitting judges -- they have a sinecure that extends through succeeding administrations.
It should be obvious that individuals appointed as judges by the person presently claiming to be 'the president of the United States,' and/or confirmed by the entity presently claiming to be 'the Congress of the United States' have no claim to 'legitimacy' -- there was no one to appoint them and no body to confirm them.
But what of those self-style 'judges' who were appointed during the tenure of some person previously claiming to be 'the president of the United States' and confirmed by some previous entity claiming to be 'the Congress of the United States?' Are their claims impeachable?
Obviously, if those previous 'presidents' and 'Congresses' can be impeached as their current iterations have, their judicial appointments and confirmations fall as well. I leave that task to those who are interested in undertaking it, but I can see my way clear to an alternate path of impeachment:
The judges of the Supreme Court and of the inferior courts in the judicial system, "hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation . . . ."[xii]
And who, pray tell, is to judge the judges for 'good behaviour'? This would seem, contextually, to be the role of Congress -- and entity which does not, at present, exist.
Moreover, where do these judges receive their compensation from? It would seem, contextually, to be an 'expenditure of public Money' as referred to in the Constitution . . . an expenditure which can only be accomplished via the route of an appropriation by Congress.[xiii]
Those claiming to be 'judges' of the Supreme or inferior courts which the Constitution describes receive a compensation, to be sure . . . but they don't receive it from 'the Congress of the United States.' No such entity exists. Therefore, these 'judges' are evidently in the employ of some other entity, and not, as they assert, part of the 'judicial Power of the United States.'
The state, of course, exists; it just isn't the one described in the Constitution for the United States of America. To the anarchist, this is a matter of little import. To those who have held on to the illusory security of 'Constitutional legitimacy,' however, it should elicit a great deal of concern. Your state doesn't exist, and has not for some time. The collection of frauds and thugs sitting behind its desks and speaking from its bully pulpits are impostors to whom you owe no duty of loyalty by virtue of your subscription to the principle of 'constitutional government.' Their edicts are void -- they do not issue from a source to which you ascribe a rightful authority to issue edicts.
You can accept the rule of usurpers. You can chase rainbow dreams of a 'restoration' of 'constitutional legitimacy.' Or you can move forward with those who reject both and fight for freedom. It's your choice. And time is running out.
[i] The American Heritage' Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright ' 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
[iii] op. cit., Amendment I v. Public Law 103-344, available at http://www.erowid.org/freedom/religious/airfaa.shtml.
[v] op. cit., Article I, Section VIII v. Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
[vii] op. cit, Article II, Section I v. the persons claiming to be 'the president of the United States' and the 'vice president of the United States,' on whom more information is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov.
[viii] op. cit., Article I, Section VII.
[x] For example, in his remarks on signing the Homeland Security Act of 2002, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/11/20021125-6.html.
[xi] Constitution for the United States of America, Article I, Section II.
[xii] op. cit., Article III, Section I.
[xiii] op. cit., Article I, Section IX.