Site menu:

 

February 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-2

   

A Commentary on the American Founding

   

Part 17

   

 

The government our Founders bequeathed to us “derives its just power from the consent of the governed.”  Have we consented, even if only by silence?  Silence is an indication of consent.  You can no longer remain silent.  You must identify and elect officials who genuinely appreciate and will abide by those two most precious documents, officials who understand the true role of our original form of government.  It is not the proper role of legitimate government to give anybody anything.  Government has nothing of its own to give.  It is not within the purview or power of any government to grant “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

Rather, the proper role of a legitimate government is to “secure these rights” to the governed.  “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” are true rights to which we are entitled by the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” and with which we “are endowed by our Creator,” thus we already have them.  For a government of man to proffer that it can grant any rights is an attempted act of usurpation directed against that “Creator.”  There are far too many in government today, both elected officials and bureaucrats, who believe that as a governmental official they have both the power and the authority to “grant,” and they are just haughty enough to try it.  They must be exorcised.  We must deny the power of kingship to the central government.  We must reestablish the original sovereign condition of each of the fifty states, as well as the original sovereign condition of the individual.  And we can do these things by rigorously enforcing the provisions of the Constitution on our central government.

 

This would presuppose that we know the provisions of the Constitution; that our form of government is a constitutional federal republic; that it is comprised of a federation of sovereign states, which in turn are governed by the sovereign “people thereof”; that the central government has no life of its own, but only such life as the members of the federation choose to give it through the Constitution; that the consequent federal republic is established upon the rule of Law, said Law being the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” that is the moral law, which is antecedent to the establishment of our government, the legal pronouncements of our legislators, judges, and bureaucrats that are not in conformity with the moral law notwithstanding; that the federal government is to secure to the sovereign individual the right to life, the right to personal liberty, and the right to the pursuit of happiness that would include the right to private property, which must be honored by all, including government; and that our Constitution provides the boundaries within which the central government is to be limited and indeed circumscribed.

 

There are any number of steps that the sovereign states and the sovereign individual might take to remedy our current disagreeable relationship with the central government.  The author wishes to propose a very few specific, concrete actions we might take, which the author believes would go a long way in bringing the central government specifically and all government in general, to heel; to restricting government; and to limiting government to its proscribed constitutional role.

 

We must repudiate the notion that the Constitution is a “living document.”  The Constitution was meant to be immutable, other than when it is amended through proper, constitutionally prescribed procedure. We must take the Constitution as we find it and interpret it strictly.  When we do not, the Constitution becomes a sham, and our form of government becomes a de facto democracy.  And worse than being a worthless document, it actually becomes an instrument for the application of servitude.  Those that deem it a living document consign the Constitution to the status of a “mutating document,” to be sculpted, fashioned, and manipulated to suit the purposes of their own personal, high-minded whims and machinations.  To allow the Constitution to be used as a tool to mold a society in the form the wielder deems most appropriate is undeniably repugnant to our liberty.

 

We must demand a return to the jurisdiction of the Common Law.  (See Bill of Rights, Amendment VII.)  When a defendant is tried in a court other than that of Common Law, for all practical purposes he is left without the protection of, and what little respect is yet paid to, the Constitution.  Further, Common Law is built on precedent.  That is, it is built on the common-sense judgments made by judges and juries in trials that have taken place over several hundred years’ duration.  The judgments are laid down based on past experience.  Judgments laid down in other legal venues are based on the legal whims of those currently in power.  This is most certainly a grievous threat to our liberty.  And to deny the accused a jury trial at Common Law with the full protection of the Constitution is perfidy.

 

We must demand that all levels of government acknowledge the lawful role of the jury — that the jury not only has the authority to judge guilt or innocence, but also has the authority to judge the law (civil code and public policy) itself.  When a jury of our peers (equals, and not judges or professional jurors), acting as the representative of all the sovereign individuals at large, cannot judge the actions of government and take appropriate actions of its own, we have a government making its own rules for its own ends instead of a government of the people. This government has the absolute power to achieve those ends “legally,” and has become the master of the people.  This is an intolerable condition.

 

We must rescind the Sixteenth Amendment (income tax).  When anyone, including government, can exercise a claim to the fruit of the labor and the private property of an individual that is prior to the claim of the individual who produced the fruit or owns the property, then that individual is no longer a sovereign, but a slave to whomever can exercise the first claim.  This is an intolerable condition.

 

We must rescind the Seventeenth Amendment (The election of United States Senators by popular vote rather than by State Legislatures).  When the Senators owe their office to the popular vote, they no longer represent the interests of the states, and the states are no longer sovereign and able to provide a buffer for the “people thereof” from the actions of the central government.  To state the case candidly, even though we still mouth the words “federal government,” the crucial fact is we have a central government that no longer behaves as a true federation in the manner our Founders prescribed.  We no longer have a federal government.  What we do have is a central government, national in scale.  This is an intolerable condition.

 

We must have an honest monetary system — a system whose unit of value is as constant as a unit of length, a unit of weight, or a unit of volume.  We must return to the monetary system prescribed for us by our Founders — one that is based on the intrinsic value applied to a specified weight of gold or silver (Coinage Act of 1792).  Currently, the price of gold and silver is a reflection of the value of our paper currency.  Originally, the value of our paper currency was a reflection of the value of gold or silver.  Currently, with government able to affect the value of the paper currency by manipulating the money supply at will (more supply equals less value), the individual is at the mercy of whoever controls the banks and the money supply.  This is an intolerable condition.

 

We, as parents, must regain direct control over our children’s education.  Government’s interests are not necessarily the parents’ interests.  And the beliefs and philosophies a government may wish your children to adopt are not necessarily the beliefs and philosophies parents may wish their children to learn.  The two belief systems can be and, much of the time are, directly at odds.

 

Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children.  In and age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.  (Thomas Sowell, May 3, 2000:  Copyright 2000 Creators Syndicate, Inc.).

 

With government holding the purse strings and consequently in control of the curriculum, parents have lost control of their own children’s education.  It seems that public finance of education and parental control of the same are incompatible.  Whoever controls the minds of the next generations will undoubtedly control the nature of the future society.  This is an awesome power to concentrate into the hands of government, especially national government.  Government can too easily become an agent of indoctrination, in which case the cost of a free public education is not free; but, on the contrary, it is unacceptably high.  It is an intolerable condition.

 

We must stop acquiescing to the precepts of socialism.  Even though we refuse to identify it by its rightful name, instead denoting it as liberalism, the consequences of our acceptance of socialist philosophy will be dire.  Socialism and liberty are mortal enemies.  We simply cannot have both of them concurrently.  To whatever extent we allow government to take from some to redistribute to others, we acquiesce to legalized plunder and encourage dependence instead of self-sufficiency, and we cede evermore power to government.  To whatever extent we adopt socialism, we lose liberty.  This is an intolerable condition.

 

   

 

Click here for pdf copy of this Policy Study

 

All of our publications are available for sponsorship.  Sponsoring a publication is an excellent way for you to show your support of our efforts to defend liberty and define the proper role of government.  For more information, please contact Public Interest Institute at Public.Interest.Institute@LimitedGovernment.org