Column by Jesse Mathewson.
Exclusive to STR
America celebrates its freedom by promoting imperialistic military excursions that sometimes last decades across the globe. This nation has been precipitately moving towards collapse since the adoption of the Constitution. In fact, with the exception of Andrew Jackson’s reign as commander-in-chief, it has never been debt free and has in most cases increased its debt, level of taxation, area of influence and book of law since 1791.
To understand something, it is important to first study it in depth when able, as is the case with most history, be it documents or points in time. The most common story is the one promulgated by the winners of the era. In this case, the Federalists scored a coup of epic proportions with the passage of this as the pinnacle of legal recourse in this Union of Thirteen Colonies.
As several scholars have noted, the Hamiltonian Federalists were in some cases Tories and the leadership of this party was at the time extremely anglophile in its approach. Their desire to mimic the Bank of England and even England’s criminal justice system, as well as many other aspects of England’s government, is something that many Constitutionalists, now and through the short history of this nation, failed to grasp. Alexander Hamilton wrote 51 of the 85 Federalist Papers in an attempt to ensure that the Constitution was accepted by the public as well as by the individual colonies’ leaders of the time. He led the Federalists with John Adams and used the debt incurred by the Revolutionary War as a stepping stone to ensure the public supported their approach. It was their desire to socialize the debt incurred by each colony and place that burden on all peoples within the union of states that would result from the passage of the Constitution.
The opposition to this approach was the Democratic Republican Party and Thomas Jefferson, who opposed the Constitution along with other stalwarts of the revolution, namely James Madison. These men feared that the Federalists desired a corrupted version of England’s monarchist approach, which would include a standing army, high taxes and government-subsidized monopolies. It only takes but a brief minute to fast forward and see through time that exactly that has occurred.
The fears of Jefferson and Madison have become reality as a direct result of the passage of the Constitution. With this background, we can proceed into the actual Constitution itself and, very quickly, will see its inherent failure directly related to its authors’ desires.
The United States Constitution’s true power is not in its amendments, but in the Articles that preceded said amendments. The amendments were initiated to assuage the fears of the individual colonies, with one notable instance being the inclusion of the Tenth Amendment by the notable James Madison. For the sake of clarity and ease of reading, it is easiest to address Article I, Section 8 as an example of the powers given to the government and the goal of its creators, being the solidification of imperial power.
Article I, Section 8 begins with the phrase, The Congress shall have Power To; meaning that it has absolute power in this regard. Legally, the phrase offers only one definition, and that is that Congress has power, especially in the following areas:
· …lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
As an explanation and clarification of this single sentence, the rest of Section 8 ensures that only these things will occur.
The second sentence says:
· To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
This is exactly what the United States has done so frivolously and completely since 1791, with one notable exception being the rule of Andrew Jackson, who presided over the only debt-free period of time in this nation’s history. Next it says:
· To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
· To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,
· and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
· To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures; To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
This approach effectively discards the notion that individual colonies, states and persons can manage their own affairs in business, banking or use of money.
Other powers specifically enumerated are:
· To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
· To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
· To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
Some may argue that a postal service and the subsequent transit over roads meant, for this purpose, aid in the promotion of freedom. I would argue that private mail and communication approaches have far exceeded the benefits and effectiveness of the United States Postal Service and that those states with private toll roads are, in essence, better able to move from place to place on a largely more efficient system of roads. I would also argue that science and useful arts in the United States have largely stagnated as a result of the government’s insistence on remaining at the helm of all useful experiments and approaches. It can be argued successfully that not one government program or approach has resulted in a beneficial change for all citizens in this nation and that it is only individual ingenuity and fortitude that has truly benefited anyone. I would also argue that state justice has in this nation resulted only in the largest prison system on the planet, bar none, with the subjugation of its people being the end result of its institution of courts. Statistically, there has been no real reduction of crime, and in fact, in every instance of the state’s intercession and passage of laws, crime has gone up, however incrementally.
In the next group of statements we see the following:
· To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
· To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
· To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
The power to define crimes being given to a small group of lawyers and politicians should frighten anyone who has ever sat in court. If that is not enough, however, they were also given the absolute power to make war, raise and support armies and make the rules by which these agencies act. This section alone is what has allowed a standing army to be kept in place since 1791, and has ensured that our nation has the military means to enforce its singularly dictated policies regarding all other nations, all of which is Constitutional as per Article I, Section 8.
Lastly we look at the following:
· To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
· To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
The term “to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever,” is used and effectively discards any last vestiges of liberty that this nation may have had before the hammer dropped and the Constitution was made law.
The very last line of Section 8 states a simple yet extremely beneficial allowance for the United States government:
· To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing powers.
There is no discarding the very nature of that line of text, especially in that execution is capitalized for clarity. Absolute power was given to a central government with this document and this alone should provide any who truly desire liberty the ammunition necessary to discard it as a valid source. In fact, this document penned so long ago and notably not signed by Thomas Jefferson among others should be seen for what it is; a paper version of the prison at Alcatraz.
The Constitution is clearly a detriment to the liberty of the individual and is the easiest example of a falsely promoted ideal among government documents. If one desires a strong, corrupt and thoroughly impenetrable system of governance then they may look no further, as this document does just this. What must we do, however, in the absence of this document? For those who desire or believe that some government is necessary, one can look to the Articles of Confederation for solace. It outlines an approach that allows a large amount of personal liberty while still maintaining a basic government structure. Or one can go a step further and discard any trappings of government as they exist today or yesterday for the more beneficial, yet seemingly impossible, option of the individual.
Any real lover of liberty, however, should strive for the ideal of the individual as the cornerstone of society. There are myriad names for this approach, including individualism, voluntaryism, individual anarchy or agorism. The result is the same: the abolition of the relationship between the individual and the state. The American Wild West is a perfect example of a successful society without a centralized system of government. At its heyday, the Wild West had less crime per capita than New York City or Chicago. A complete secession from the state by the individual isn’t easy, but it’s possible.
Think, study, embrace liberty.