The Republic Is a Fraud

Column by Paul Bonneau.
Exclusive to STR
Have you ever noticed how many people have bought into this notion that America is a republic? It’s amusing in a forum to use the word “democracy”; invariably, someone huffily states we have a Constitutional Republic, as if that statement closed the matter for good. How silly is that?
The Wikipedia article for the word “republic” shows that in general usage, it simply means “not a monarchy.” Thus, Islamic republics, and Soviet republics, were and are truly republics.
It also gives a particularly American version of meaning for the word:
A distinct set of definitions for the word republic evolved in the United States. In common parlance, a republic is a state that does not practice direct democracy but rather has a government indirectly controlled by the people. In the rest of the world, this is known as representative democracy.
If you then visit their article on representative democracy, you find the definition:
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy.

The representatives form an independent ruling body (for an election period) charged with the responsibility of acting in the people's interest, but not as their proxy representatives not necessarily always according to their wishes, but with enough authority to exercise swift and resolute initiative in the face of changing circumstances. It is often contrasted with direct democracy, where representatives are absent or are limited in power as proxy representatives.
This definition should be a clue that something is amiss; we have “representatives” that are not “proxy representatives.” Before 1776, or thereabouts, “proxy” and “representative” were essentially synonyms. If you hired someone to represent you, he acted as your proxy. But since that time, the word “representative” has meant both “proxy” and “not proxy”!
If someone represents me, he does my bidding. But in the fantasy world of politics, we have “representatives” who claim to simultaneously represent both me and someone who believes the opposite of what I believe--that is, two people who are antagonists. It’s like going to court and having the same lawyer on both defense and prosecution! The only way this can be possible is that these people do not and cannot represent constituents in the pre-1776 sense of the word. Some representative!
Well, who do they represent? Good question. It appears “representative” is actually a euphemism for something else. As we all know, governments could not exist without liberal use of euphemisms, for pulling the wool over the people’s eyes.
That latter Wikipedia article also states,
...the United States relies on representative democracy, but its system of government is much more complex than that. It is not a simple representative democracy, but a constitutional republic in which majority rule is tempered.
And here we come to the second part of the fantasy. Not only is our government a republic, but it’s also constitutional. Anyone who really thinks so, should start with Spooner, to disabuse himself of this notion. And then he should consider the entire edifice of the US government, and see what part of it fits within Article I, Section 8. Of course I understand there are a lot of people who subscribe to the idea of a “living constitution,” which is of course no constitution at all. But then they agree with me and Spooner; there is no Constitution. They just like to have a little fig leaf to cover their embarrassment without coming out and saying it.
Everyone by now has had the experience of arguing some point that is in the Constitution. Has it not struck you, how two different people, each apparently intelligent individuals, can come up with completely different meanings for words (allegedly) written with the intention that they should not be misinterpreted? This is a major problem for constitutionalists, and for the whole idea of a written constitution whose job it is to limit government.
“Constitutional republic” is a fraud, a fantasy. Both parts of that phrase are a fraud. There is no constitution; and one cannot simultaneously represent opposites, if words are to retain any meaning. “Constitutional republic,” like so many other things in government, is simply the veneer that covers what we really have: an oligarchy of elites in the ruling class, supported by an army of bureaucrats and special interests, whose purpose is to parasitize the rest of us, concentrating the stolen loot in their hands, and to enjoy the exercise of power. This elite is largely but not perfectly coincident with corporate leaders, as it also includes inherited “old money” from New England and labor big shots.
Where is my proof? Easy. The one individual in government who actually believes the constitutional republic fantasy is Ron Paul. He is the one who most consistently, by far, follows the Constitution. Despite the fact that his constituents keep re-electing him with larger and larger margins (lots of them believe the fantasy too), he has to be the most marginalized member of Congress. There are an awful lot of 434-to-one votes in the past, and he has been shunted away from power for much longer than anyone with his standing. He has constantly had his own party try to defeat his re-election, and he has survived the gerrymandering and media attacks and all the rest.
If we truly had a constitutional republic, the individual most in sympathy with that position would be the Speaker of the House, not a voice crying in the wilderness.
More proof? Look at the Wikipedia article for Republicanism in the United States, and try to read it without laughing:
Republicanism is the political value system that has been a major part of American civic thought since the American Revolution.[1] It stresses liberty and inalienable rights as central values, makes the people as a whole sovereign, rejects inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties, and vilifies corruption.
That might have been plausible back in 1830 or so, but it is a joke in today’s police state. Go to the airport and read this paragraph to the TSA crotch fondlers; see if you can get on the plane without being abused.
It’s time for a little reality check for the believers in our civic religion. Spooner said it best: "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain--that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."

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Paul Bonneau's picture
Columns on STR: 106


Mark Davis's picture

All good points Paul. I would add that the rule of law itself is a myth due to the requirement that it must depend on individual interpretations that often conflict. I loved this line:

"It’s like going to court and having the same lawyer on both defense and prosecution!"

Suverans2's picture

G'day Mark Davis,

In support of what you said, The rule of law is an ambiguous term that can mean different things in different contexts. In one context the term means rule according to law. No individual can be ordered by the government to pay civil damages or suffer criminal punishment except in strict accordance with well-established and clearly defined laws and procedures. In a second context the term means rule under law. No branch of government is above the law, and no public official may act arbitrarily or unilaterally outside the law. In a third context the term means rule according to a higher law. No written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice that transcend human legal systems.

However, as Ayn Rand so succinctly put it, "Without a moral code no proper human society is possible. Without the recognition of individual rights no moral code is possible."

In this sense, the rule of law is the antithesis (exact opposite) of what Ayn Rand referred to as, the "rule by brute force", which is basically what you have now.

That "third context", (highlighted in the 1st paragraph), is the "moral code", which makes human society possible, it is what is commonly called the natural law (of man). It is the only "rule of law" that is not a "myth", notwithstanding that the PTB would have us believe otherwise.

The law of nature is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding in all countries and at all times. No human laws are valid if opposed to this, and all which are binding derive their authority either directly or indirectly from it. ~ Institutes of American Law by John Bouvier, 1851, Part I, Title II, No. 9

tzo's picture

And in further support of Mark Davis's observation...

Suverans2's picture

G'day tzo,

Why is it, do you suppose, that this learned man with all those nifty letters after his name didn't begin his treatise with his definition of “rule of law”, so his readers would know precisely which “rule of law”, [“an ambiguous term that can mean different things in different contexts”], he was about to discuss?

I believe it is because he is not at all attempting to prove that the “rule of law” is a myth. I opine that what both he and Mark Davis were actually trying to say is that it is a “myth” that their governments, the corporation known as United States and it's subsidiary State governments, are governing by any “rule of law”, and with that I'd have to agree. True law is not based on shifting sands, it is set in stone, that is to say, "an established or permanent rule", or it is no law at all.

The Republic is a Fraud precisely because it is not under the "rule of the law", that is to say, the natural law[1] (of man), which is one of the primary reasons why I do not consent to be "associated"[2] with any of them.

“How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it." ~ Henry David Thoreau

It is more than mere "disgrace", in at least one man's opinion, Henry; in his opinion it is "absurd" and it is "criminal".

"To join, or support, one that would, in his opinion, be inefficient, would be absurd. To join or support one that, in his opinion, would itself do injustice, would be criminal." ~ Excerpted from NATURAL LAW or THE SCIENCE OF JUSTICE by Lysander Spooner

Individual Secessionist

[1] “The natural law is defined by Burlamaqui[a] to be “a rule which so necessarily agrees with the nature and state of man that, without observing its maxims, the peace and happiness of society can never be preserved.” And he says “that these are called “natural laws” because a knowledge of them may be attained merely by the light of reason, from the fact of their essential agreeableness with the constitution of human nature...” ~ A Dictionary of the Law (Black's 1st c. 1891), page 694
[a] Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui (24 June 1694 – 3 April 1748) was a Swiss legal and political theorist that greatly publicised and popularised a number of ideas propounded by other thinkers. Born in Geneva, at the age of twenty-five he was designated honorary "professor of ethics and the law of nature" at the university of Geneva.

“There is in fact a true law - namely, right reason - which is in accordance with nature, applies to all men, and is unchangeable and eternal.” ~ Cicero

The law of nature is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding in all countries and at all times. No human laws are valid if opposed to this, and all which are binding derive their authority either directly or indirectly from it. ~ Institutes of American Law by John Bouvier, 1851, Part I, Title II, No. 9

[2] ASSO'CIATED, pp. United in company or in interest; joined ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language

Suverans2's picture

"What Professor Kingsfield knows is that the legal world is not like the real world and the type of reasoning appropriate to it is distinct from that which human beings ordinarily employ. In the real world, people usually attempt to solve problems by forming hypotheses and then testing them against the facts as they know them. When the facts confirm the hypotheses, they are accepted as true, although subject to reevaluation as new evidence is discovered. This is a successful method of reasoning about scientific and other empirical matters because the physical world has a definite, unique structure. It works because the laws of nature are consistent. In the real world, it is entirely appropriate to assume that once you have confirmed your hypothesis, all other hypotheses inconsistent with it are incorrect.

...unlike the laws of nature, political laws are not consistent. The law human beings create to regulate their conduct is made up of incompatible, contradictory rules and principles; and, as anyone who has studied a little logic can demonstrate, any conclusion can be validly derived from a set of contradictory premises." ~ Excerpted from THE MYTH OF THE RULE OF LAW by John Hasnas, J.D., Ph.D., Philosophy, Duke University, LL.M., Temple University; Assistant Professor of Business Ethics, Georgetown University and Senior Research Fellow, Kennedy Institute of Ethics

Thank you, tzo, for posting the link to this treatise.

Suverans2's picture

"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; . . . ."

John Hasnas says, “I chose this portion of the First Amendment for my example because it contains the clearest, most definite[1] legal language of which I am aware.”

Clearest most definite legal language?1?! What is this guy, with all those letters after his name, smoking?

If we interpret it precisely as it is written, “on the basis of your personal understanding of this sentence's meaning (not your knowledge of constitutional law)”, hence with total disregard for the authors' true intent, as John asks us to do, then it says that Congress cannot make a law curbing any individual from “legally” saying any thing he desires to say, using any language he cares to use, any where he chooses to say it, whether it be on private property or in public places, to any one he cares to say it to, regardless of whether that other individual consents to hearing it or not, and regardless of whether or not what he says brings harm to others, like “falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater”. It is difficult to imagine less definitive legal language.

It is precisely because it is not in any, way, shape, or form, “definitive[2]” that is causing it to be used today in ways, I guaran-fricken-tee-you, were NEVER intended, or even suspected, by its authors. They'd roll over in their graves if they saw the abusive ways this was being "interpreted" today!! It is precisely because it is not "definitive" that it can be "interpreted"!

What has happened to our ability to reason?

[1] Definite. Fixed, determined, defined, bounded. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 423
[2] Definitive. That which finally and completely ends and settles controversy. Ibid.

Suverans2's picture

“Former House Speaker and potential 2008 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has suggested that our understanding of the First Amendment is incompatible with success in the War on Terror. What he seems to suggest is that we return to an old law called the Sedition Act, which criminalized speech that was critical of the U.S. government.”

    The constitutional basis for freedom of speech...can be traced directly to the 1735 trial of John Peter Zenger, a German immigrant who worked as a Colonial newspaper publisher.
    Zenger’s newspaper, the Weekly Journal, became the center of attention when he published articles critical of the governor of New York, William Cosby. When Cosby was unsuccessful in silencing Zenger, first through threats of libel and then by more violent threats of burning his press, Cosby leveled sedition charges against him.
    Zenger was arrested and tried on July 29, 1735. Zenger was acquitted and the value of free speech in America was firmly entrenched.

Newt's suggestion goes directly against the precise intent of that portion of the First Amendment, it was intended to forbid Congress from making laws abridging speech and press “that was critical of the U.S. government”, which virtually all man-made governments had done up until that time.

However, because of the vagueness of the legal language of the First Amendment, "What free speech means, exactly, has varied from era to era.”

Paul's picture

Thanks for posting that link, tzo. It is the most important thing I have read in a long time. And I'm glad my little inexpert whack at the "constitutional republic" myth expanded into questioning the rule of law.

Paul's picture

Gary North wrote a good article in a similar line:

Someone questioned my use of wikipedia. I'm aware of the limitations of wikipedia, but I think these definitions are reasonable. If better ones are available that would refute my arguments here, let's see them...