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February 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-2


A Commentary on the American Founding


Part 6



Today the problem isn’t their salaries, but the Federal Government’s subterfuge, in the form of statute and treaty, to force justice to bend to its desired result rather than to apply the Constitution and the Laws of Nature upon which it was founded.  The Declaration continues:  “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance.”


This is at least as big a sore spot with me as it apparently was with our Founding Fathers.  Let’s just name a few to establish a basis for discussion:  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and, of course, the ever-popular and much-loved Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  This is hardly an exhaustive list.  You know as well as I that with little effort an entire page could be filled with the alphabet soup the thought of these agencies evoke.  The purpose here is not to debate the merits of any particular agency, although a thorough debate would certainly be in order.  The purpose isn’t even to debate whether the federal government’s jurisdiction in these matters when existing within the boundaries of the fifty sovereign states is truly legitimate and within the scope of our Constitution as our Founding Fathers envisioned it, or is in fact a usurpation of the legitimate interests and jurisdiction of the states themselves.  This too should be a proper matter for debate on a level, national scope.


The purpose here is to heighten awareness as to the effects of the implementation of such policies.  The aforementioned agencies are prime examples of, what our Founders considered, “mutable” policies.  The word in our current lexicon that best defines it is probably “capricious.”  There are some others, however, that are also apropos; these include:  inconstant, changeable, vacillating, shifty, fanciful, and, my personal favorite, fickle: 


The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous.  It poisons the blessings of liberty itself.  It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow.  Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?


Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uninformed mass of the people.  Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any manner affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens.  This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few, not the many.  (The Federalist Papers, No. 62).


James Madison was indeed prescient in his assessment of this area.  However, I think there is something he failed to see, or at least failed to mention.  His argument of an “unreasonable advantage” being given to the “sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few” is undeniably on target; but it appears to be limited to those in the private sector who will benefit in a mercenary fashion.  In this matter, it seems to me, a windfall of some dimension, unreasonable, and even repugnant and dangerous to our liberty, has fallen to the government itself and to the bureaucracies that have sprung up therein.  Their remuneration is not merely limited to money, but the highly prized lucre of power and control over “we the people.”  They watch us dance while they play the song on the well-tuned strings of regulation.  If I seem highly exercised on this subject, it is because I believe it to be one of the gravest dangers to our continued liberty, for in this matter we are exceedingly “disposed to suffer” the diminution thereof:


He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their acts of pretended Legislation.  (Declaration of Independence).


To avoid a confusion of terms, we need to define some of them.  When they used the term constitution, it wasn’t denoting the one we would tend to think of first.  Please notice that the word “constitution” is lower-case.  It is not a proper noun indicating the title of something.  The constitution they refereed to, by virtue of the fact it was mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, of necessity predated both our current Constitution and the Articles of Confederation.  Even so, the sentiment of the time that applied to their current constitution is fitting to apply to our own.  Their use of the word “foreign” has a connotation of outside of and probably repugnant to; but it will shortly be used in the sense of alien.  The term “acts of pretended Legislation” indicates that they considered them invalid because they were “unacknowledged by our laws” and the Laws of Nature.  And that even though the laws may have been on the books, their constitution was a part of their laws and the pretended laws fell outside their constitution; hence, they were null and void in their eyes.  It is the obligation of a jury of our peers to protect us from this “pretended Legislation.”


Today, the affront they speak of is of two parts: external and internal.  The external objections are in the form of treaties with foreign nations and even mere organizations that do not hold the status of a nation.  Examples of these organizations  would be the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Treaties are bargains struck, and one must keep one’s word to keep one’s credibility as well as one’s honor.  Therefore, treaties are granted the status of “the law of the land” by our Constitution and are binding on the states and the citizens thereof.  There should be no question of the necessity and appropriateness of the ability of a government to make treaties.  The objection runs to the objects of legitimate inclusion under treaty.  For instance, treaties for mutual defense, bona fide trade, and government-to-government relations seem to be fit subjects for treaties.  By contrast, tying our country’s societal customs, such as what rights women will have in this country (Treaty on Women) or what rights children will have in this country (proposed Treaty on Children), to outside interests or tying our country’s management of internal natural resources (Treaty on the Environment) to outside interests, all seem to present the opportunity for great mischief and manipulation by outside interests detrimental to our liberty.


Neither foreign nations nor alien organizations have a legitimate right, under the Laws of Nature or our Constitution, to exert direct control upon the sovereign states and sovereign citizens of this nation; and neither our elected officials nor our appointed officials have a legitimate authority to grant it to them.  This is exactly the case that happens when treaties contain subjects that are unfit to be found in them. 





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