Misguided Enthusiasm

While not a jubilee year, last week marked the 230th anniversary of the US Constitution. Naturally, most of its devotees enthusiastically praised the document which by now is seen on a par with Holy Writ itself.

 

The constitutional convention in Philadelphia, anno 1787. Things have gone downhill ever since. Many – though not all – of those taking part in the convention were members of the moneyed elite, the land speculators who had instigated the war of independence when King George foolishly tried to keep them from expanding their speculative activities to the West with his ill-conceived edict of 1763. Having won the war, they were no longer constrained by the edict, but they couldn’t leave well enough alone… sitting on their laurels apparently just wasn’t their style. The constitution was the next logical step – a successful attempt to install a centralized Merchant State after the British model, only sans King George. As Albert Jay Nock points out in Our Enemy, the State: “The great majority of them, possibly as many as four-fifths, were public creditors; one-third were land-speculators; some were moneylenders; one-fifth were industrialists, traders, shippers; and many of them were lawyers.” Not exactly the first thing they tell pupils in public schools about, we would guess. Nock also reminds us, ibid: “Wherever economic exploitation has been for any reason either impracticable or unprofitable, the State has never come into existence; government has existed, but the State, never”. [PT]

 

An editorial from Investor’s Business Daily provides an example of such hagiography:

 

The Constitution’s beauty is that it not only delineates our rights as Americans, but expressly limits and defines government’s ability to interfere in our private lives. This equipoise between citizens’ duties, responsibilities and rights makes it the defining document or our nation’s glorious freedom.

But America is wonderful largely because of the Constitution and

those who framed it…

What we have is too precious to squander…*

 

Most of the piece laments the widespread ignorance of its sacred contents among the denizens which it rules over and admonishes the unlearned “to bone up a bit on your constitutional heritage…”.

The editorial fails, as do most others on the Right, to understand that it is not a lack of knowledge of the Constitution’s contents among the populace which lies at the heart of America’s social, economic, and political problems, but the very document itself.

 

A Coup d’État

One of the main reasons why the Constitution continues to be so widely venerated is the deliberate distortion of history that its “founders” promoted and that generations of its sycophants have continued to perpetuate to this very day.

The official narrative runs that the Constitution was enacted because of widespread popular support for a change to the supposed inadequacies and deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation.

 

10 years earlier, in 187, the Articles of Confederation were signed. When Hamilton called for a constitutional convention, it was done on the understanding that the articles would be amended here and there, which wasn’t considered a big deal. Instead they ended in the waste basket, with a new constitution drawn up de novo – and that was it for state sovereignty. The centralization of the political means was the goal, and who can look at the US today and not admit it has become glaringly obvious? [PT]

 

This is a myth. Instead, the Constitution was a coup, a deliberate scheme by the leading political and mercantile classes to set up a powerful central government where ultimate authority rested in the national state.

The use of the term “federal” to describe what was created in Philadelphia in those fateful days was a ruse much like the banksters and politicos used “Federal Reserve” to describe the central bank created in 1913.

It was neither “federal” – a decentralized monetary order – nor a “reserve” of gold, but a monetary institution which could create money out of thin air and eventually eliminate the gold standard.

 

Centralized Power

It was a similar political maneuver 230 years ago as a new American national state was established and touted as a decentralized form of government where power was evenly divided between state and national levels and between the different branches of the government itself – “separation of powers.”

In actuality, however, the “federal system” was the elevation of central power at the expense of local authority which had previously existed. Section VI of the Constitution says it all:

 

The Constitution and the laws of the United States… shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

 

Elementary political science has shown and plain common sense knows that any person or institution given “supreme authority” will misuse and abuse such power. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely is an undeniable dictum of human nature.

A truly decentralized system of governance would not contain a plank as “supreme law of the land” as part of its foundation. Instead, real federalism would be dispersed, as it existed in the past in such political arrangements as confederacies, leagues, and, certainly, under the much maligned feudal social order.

 

In his seminal and bracing work “The State” (available for free download here, pdf), German historian and sociologist Franz Oppenheimer coined the terms “the economic means and the political means” to describe the ways in which wealth is essentially obtained – namely either by one’s own efforts, combined with voluntary exchange, i.e., by economic means or by theft, the “legalized” form of which is perpetrated by the State, i.e., by political means. As Oppenheimer remarks: “What, then, is the State as a sociological concept? The State, completely in its genesis, essentially and almost completely during the first stages of its existence, is a social institution, forced by a victorious group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating the dominion of the victorious group over the vanquished, and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from abroad. Teleologically, this dominion had no other purpose than the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors.[PT]

 

No Escape from Leviathan

Even the Constitution’s celebrated Bill of Rights is flawed and has proven to be ineffective in protecting basic human freedoms. It is the federal government which enumerates and interprets what freedom individuals should possess.

Thus, the meaning and extent of individual liberties will be in the hands of federal jurists and courts who will invariably rule on cases in favor of the state. The ensnaring of individual rights within the central government’s authority did away with the venerable common law which was a far greater defender of liberty than federal courts.

Just as important, the enactment of the Constitution, which brought all the individual states under it suzerainty, did away with one of the most significant checks on state power – “voting with one’s feet.”

When there are multiple governing authorities, if one jurisdiction becomes too oppressive, its subjects can move to freer domains. This still happens on a local level as high tax and regulatory states such as California and New York have lost demographically to freer places like Nevada and Texas. Yet, from the Federal Leviathan there is no escape, except expatriation.

 

Thomas Hobbes, whom we have to thank for using the term “Leviathan” to describe the State. In his famous book he inter alia established “social contract theory”, a today a widely used propaganda tool in the defense of statism (we would note that no-one has ever signed such a contract). Hobbes asserted that anarchy (a stateless society) would be characterized by a “war of all against all”, i.e., total chaos. Although this assertion remains utterly bereft of evidence to this day, a stateless society is nevertheless widely considered “impractical”, “unworkable”, etc., so we will just have to live with the allegedly “lesser evil” of the State (just as people in large European cities are nowadays supposed to just “live with” the occasional terror attack by Islamist fundamentalists and continue on as though this were perfectly normal. What can you do, it’s all just part of life…). Not surprisingly, those obtaining their income by political means are in complete agreement with this Hobbesian insight… [PT]

Unless and until Americans and all the other peoples of the Western world who live under constitutional rule recognize that it is the type of government which is the cause of most of the political turmoil, social unrest, and economic malaise which they face, there is no hope of turning things around.

 

References:

 

* “Sturdy Constitution” – Investor’s Business Daily, Week of September 18, 2017, A20.

 

Without government, who will educate the roads? [PT]

 

Subversive image captions by PT

 

Antonius Aquinas is an author, lecturer, a contributor to Acting Man, SGT Report, The Burning Platform, Dollar Collapse, The Daily Coin and Zero Hedge. Contact him at antoniusaquinas[at]gmail[dot]com https://antoniusaquinas.com/.

 

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

4 Responses to “A Constitutional Anniversary to Forget”

  • Hans:

    Excuse me but after reading this, I have to go
    to the toylet.

    I hope the roll is full and industrial in strength,
    after reading this crapo.

  • Mark A. Humphrey:

    I would prefer to live under the articles of confederation rather than the constitution. But there is a logical gap in your argument that all of all social and political problems stem from the very existence of government.

    There is lots of evidence that anarchy, the lack of an established political authority, does indeed unleash violence and rival gang warfare, Look at stateless societies in Africa, in Lebanon, and in Houston in the wake of the hurricane.

    If all our problems could be somehow solved by simply abolishing any ultimate authority on the use of force, a monopoly on the use of force, then force would not be magically banished from the land. Lots of people and associations would turn to aggressive force as it suited them.

    The solution won’t be found in simple political reforms, like term limits, or a value added tax in place of income taxation, as advocated by political muddle heads; not will it be found in abolishing organized government.

    There is only one answer to the problems, and that is found in persuading people of philosophical truths, so they’ll willingly abandon non-sense and vicious lies they hope will somehow miraculously sustain them.
    Under the confederation, eventually, the states would have mostly, and perhaps all, be run as semi-tyrannical fiefdoms. Much like the corruption in DC.

  • jks:

    I’ve heard these arguments before that the constitution is to be despised because it gave the federal govt too much power. No doubt the federal govt. has too much power but it’s not the constitution at fault. It’s because the federal govt. doesn’t abide by it. At least not as the framers intended. I like driving from state to state without stopping to show papers. I like that the bill of rights is (or at least should be) enforced in every state. I like mail ordering from another state without having to go through customs in my state. I like a uniform currency, but I wish it were not the corrupted one we now use. Most of the problems we face in this country are not caused by the constitution but instead by the willful and blatant disregard of same.

  • JohnnyZ:

    A good one! What remains to be added is that Hamilton, Washington, Franklin & Co were all high-ranking freemasons and enthralled with the illuminati, stemmed from the UK peerage, and never really intended for an independent country from the European royal families, particularly the British ones. Even the flag resembles the West Indies company flag.

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • The Biggest Stock Market Crashes Tend to Happen in October
      October is the Most Dangerous Month The prospect of steep market declines worries investors – and the month of October has a particularly bad reputation in this respect.   Bad juju month: Statistically, October is actually not the worst month on average – but it is home to several of history's most memorable crashes, including the largest ever one-day decline on Wall Street. A few things worth noting about 1987: 1. the crash did not presage a recession. 2. its...
  • Canada: Risks of a Parliamentary Democracy
      A Vulnerable System Parliamentary democracy is vulnerable to the extremely dangerous possibility that someone with very little voter support can rise to the top layer of government. All one apparently has to do is to be enough of a populist to get elected by ghetto dwellers.   Economist and philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe dissects democracy in his book Democracy, the God that Failed, which shines a light on the system's grave deficiencies with respect to guarding liberty. As...
  • Federal Reserve President Kashkari’s Masterful Distractions
      The True Believer How is it that seemingly intelligent people, of apparent sound mind and rational thought, can stray so far off the beam?  How come there are certain professions that reward their practitioners for their failures? The central banking and monetary policy vocation rings the bell on both accounts.  Today we offer a brief case study in this regard.   Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari attacking a block of wood with great zeal. [PT] Photo credit: Linda Davidson...
  • Thoughtful Disagreement with Ted Butler
      Too Big to Fail?   Dear Mr. Butler, in your article of 2 October, entitled Thoughtful Disagreement, you say:   “Someone will come up with the thoughtful disagreement that makes the body of my premise invalid or the price of silver will validate the premise by exploding.”   Ted Butler – we first became aware of Mr. Butler in 1998, and as far as we know, he has been making the bullish case for silver ever since. Back in the late 90s this was actually a...
  • Donald Trump: Warmonger-in-Chief
      Cryptic Pronouncements If a world conflagration, God forbid, should break out during the Trump Administration, its genesis will not be too hard to discover: the thin-skinned, immature, shallow, doofus who currently resides in the Oval Office!   The commander-in-chief - a potential source of radiation?   This past week, the Donald has continued his bellicose talk with both veiled and explicit threats against purported American adversaries throughout the world.  In...
  • The Donald Can’t Stop It
      Divine Powers The Dow’s march onward and upward toward 30,000 continues without a pause.  New all-time highs are notched practically every day.  Despite Thursday’s 31-point pullback, the Dow is up over 15.5 percent year-to-date.  What a remarkable time to be alive.   The DJIA keeps surging... but it is running on fumes (US money supply growth is disappearing rapidly). The president loves this and has decided to “own” the market by gushing about its record run. During...
  • Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Fat-Boy Waves The prices of the metals dropped $17 and $0.35, and the gold-silver ratio rose to 77.  A look at the chart of either metal shows that a downtrend in prices (i.e. uptrend in the dollar) that began in mid-April reversed in mid-July. Then the prices began rising (i.e. dollar began falling). But that move ended September 8.   Stars of the most popular global market sitcoms, widely suspected of being “gold wave-makers”. From left to right: Auntie Janet...
  • 1987, 1997, 2007... Just How Crash-Prone are Years Ending in 7?
      Bad Reputation Years ending in 7, such as the current year 2017, have a bad reputation among stock market participants. Large price declines tend to occur quite frequently in these years.   Sliding down the steep slope of the cursed year. [PT]   Just think of 1987, the year in which the largest one-day decline in the US stock market in history took place:  the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by 22.61 percent in a single trading day. Or recall the year 2007,...
  • On the Marc Faber Controversy
      Il n'y a rien à défendre - by Vidocq   Dr. Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report Photo credit: Michael Wildi / RDB     Il n'y a rien à défendre - There is nothing to defend Personne n'a lu ce qui a été écrit. - Nobody read what was written. Personne n'a pensé avant d'agir, comme la plupart des gens de nos jours. - No one thought before acting, like most people nowadays. L'homme que tu pends est l'homme que tu as fait, pas l'homme que...
  • Stocks Up and Yields Down – Precious Metals Supply & Demand
      Where the Good Things Go Many gold bugs make an implicit assumption. Gold is good, therefore it will go up. This is tempting but wrong (ignoring that gold does not go anywhere, it’s the dollar that goes down). One error is in thinking that now you have discovered a truth, everyone else will see it quickly. And there is a subtler error. The error is to think good things must go up. Sometimes they do, but why?   Since putting in a secular low at the turn of the millennium,...
  • The 2017 Incrementum Gold Chart Book
      A Big Reference Chart Collection Our friends at Incrementum have created a special treat for gold aficionados, based on the 2017 “In Gold We Trust Report”. Not everybody has the time to read a 160 page report, even if it would be quite worthwhile to do so. As we always mention when it is published, it is a highly useful reference work, even if one doesn't get around to reading all of it (and selective reading is always possible, aided by the table of contents at the...
  • Tales From a Late Stage Bull Market
      Pro-Growth Occurrences An endearing quality of a late stage bull market is that it expands the universe of what’s possible.  Somehow, rising stock prices make the impossible, possible.  They also push the limits of the normal into the paranormal.   This happens almost every time Bigfoot is in front of a camera. [PT] Cartoon by Gary Larson   Last week, for instance, there was a Bigfoot sighting near Avocado Lake in Fresno County, California.  But it wasn’t just...

Support Acting Man

Top10BestPro
j9TJzzN

Austrian Theory and Investment

Archive

350x200

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com