Category Archives: Philosophical

True Diversity is the Genesis of American Exceptionalism

Frequently I proclaim to others, the more I learn and know the more I realize how little I know.  This truism shines brightly in my journey through life.  As an advocate for rightful liberty and the unalienable rights of all I encounter bigotry, ignorance, and selfishness on a daily basis.  Often these behaviors are clothed in self-righteous slogans and political group-think wielding the power of the State to the detriment of individuals and subsequently society as a whole.

Diversity is inherent in every human being.  More often than not diversity is confined to physical characteristics.   All are natural and uncontrollable.  True diversity is much broader and encompasses many other aspects of life; diversity of talent; diversity of thought, diversity of interests, diversity of customs and traditions, and diversity of outcomes.

What we have in common with each other is DNA.  We are of the same species.  However, being of the same species does not imply uniformity in how we live our lives.  What truly distinguishes one person from another is diversity in thoughts, interests, talents, and customs and traditions.  Consequently, these factors result in a diversity of outcomes.

Diversity of thought is uniquely individual.  Throughout history diversity in thought on important issues and subjects has been advantageous to mankind.  New or novel thoughts challenge the status quo.  New thought promulgates debate and discussion and through persuasion produces a change in peoples’ beliefs.  More often than not new thoughts are uncomfortable as they challenge the prevailing orthodoxy as well as our customs and traditions.  Throughout history people have abandoned what they once believed to embrace something new.  The Age of Enlightenment is just one example.

Likewise, not all new thoughts are beneficial, especially those imposed by force upon others.   The idea of uniformity in thought is perverse and regressive.  When Lenin and Stalin imposed secular thought and so-called government righteousness upon the masses the people were forced by government violence to accept uniformity of thought or be persecuted.  Christian heretics were pronounced by the Church as worthy of scorn and derision often resulting in physical punishment or death.

Today, diversity in thought is shunned and ostracized.  Political thought outside of Hillary Clinton on one side and Mitch McConnell on the other side is met with intolerance and bigotry.  Adults act like elementary school children by calling others names like extremist, racist, or terrorist.  The same people unleash personal attacks, blatantly lie, and purposely manipulate and evade the truth or real discussion.   Due to the lack of diversity in political thought people believe government is omnipotent and transcendent.  Blissful ignorance and group-think characterizes modern political thought as people blindly follow political parties and elevate self-professed political saviors to pedestals where they are led over a cliff, plummeting to their death as they sing the praises of their leaders.  Votes are blindly cast based on whether the letter “D” or “R” follows a name.

To ensure uniformity and conformity by the masses the people must be persuaded to worship government and bow down to their leaders.  This can be accomplished by force or persuasion.  The latter is the preferred method  and the delivery mechanism for this persuasion is the education system.  The latest debacle is the Common Core Standards implemented through a federal program called Race to the Top.

The entire purpose of the education system is to promote authoritarianism and nationalism, and mold children into useful cogs that would conform to societal standards and fit into the workplace.  John Dewey, often called the father of the modern education system, goal was “to turn public schools into indoctrination centers to develop a socialized population that could adapt to an egalitarian state operated by an intellectual elite”.  After a few generations of public education most people conform with and submit to complete government authority in all aspects of their lives.  People willingly bind themselves with government shackles because that is precisely what they were taught in school – to submit to and obey the government.

Those that have the audacity to question the education system or government authority are submitted to the behavior I described earlier.  In some cases people are arrested for simply asking school board members questions about Common Core Standards.  The treatment is even worse when questioning so-called government authority.

Diversity of interests is uniquely individual.  Self-interest should not be conflated with selfishness.  Self-interest in a free society embodies certain principles such as rightful liberty and personal responsibility.  In pursuit of our own self-interest we cannot violate the rightful liberty of others.  Rightful liberty is the unobstructed action according to our own will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.  Naturally, the pursuit of your interests not only implies but requires personal responsibility for the consequences of those pursuits.

Furthermore, diverse interests and the pursuit thereof, means everyone recognizes they cannot satisfy their own needs and interests without others in society.  That is not to say others are coerced to assist you in your pursuits or if the outcomes are less than desirable.  It means you utilize your talents and abilities in a manner you freely choose in pursuit of your happiness.   It is self-evident each person cannot produce on their own all the things they need and want.  Accordingly, people freely engage in trade with others to their mutual benefit.

Diversity in custom and traditions can be beneficial and detrimental.  There was a time when slavery was commonplace throughout the world.   Several dozen countries were engaged in the slave trade and/or slavery.   Today, all reasonable people agree the custom or tradition of slavery is vile and abhorrent.  However, hundreds of years ago slavery was accepted practice and very few challenged it.  All countries, with the exception of one, abolished slavery peacefully.

Likewise, the ideals set forth by the founders and the framers were unique at that time.  They cast aside the custom and tradition that certain men had either the divine or hereditary right to rule.  They recognized that all men are created equal and no one man possesses a divine or hereditary right to rule over others.  They recognized man is endowed with certain unalienable rights and every man inherently possesses these rights by his mere existence, and those rights are not granted by men to other men.  They recognized the only legitimate form of government is one that has the consent of the people and the people are the sovereigns.  They recognized human nature and the tendency for man to succumb to avarice and ambition.  They recognized the tendency for man to consolidate power to the detriment of individuals, freedom, and liberty.  As a result a new government was instituted upon these self-evident truths.

Their accomplishments did not happen magically.  Diversity of thought produced these new ideals for governance and mankind.  It was the result of diversity of thought and casting aside certain traditions that were hundreds of years old.  At the time, many people were indifferent or against such change.  Intolerance to new thoughts and stubbornly holding to certain traditions obstructs reasonable discourse, promotes bigotry, and fastens people to their own fractious and persistent ignorance.

Diversity of outcomes is the product of the diversity of talents, diversity of thought, diversity of interests, and the diversity of customs and traditions.   Undeniably, every person is of the same species just as ever person is not the same.   Millions of various inputs create even more distinct outcomes.   Those outcomes encompass success and failure, positives and negatives, leaders and followers, selflessness and selfishness, knowledge and ignorance, freedom and slavery, and virtue and vice.

Undoubtedly the number of outcomes is nearly unlimited.  Individuals, and our society, cannot be judged by outcomes alone as that promotes an end justifies the means mentality.   Character and virtue matter immensely.   What man produces as a result of pursuing his interests and using his physical and intellectual abilities matters.   A new chemical that provides a benefit to society may also be used to kill people.  The development of nuclear energy to provide electricity to society may also be used to develop weapons capable of killing millions.  A person that becomes wealthy by inventing a product others want is very different from the man that acquires wealth by stealing from others, or by a company that accrues wealth and benefits from government laws, regulations, and interference to the detriment of others.  The elected official that has been in office for thirty years because they’ve used their influence and position of trust to secure tax benefits or competitive advantages for others in exchange for campaign contributions and the fleecing of the people in general are exalted though their behavior is immoral, ignoble, unethical, and reprehensible.

Telecommunications companies are partnered with the government to spy on citizens.  Banking and financial institutions are the fabric of the Federal Reserve and work hand-in-glove with the government against the people.  Federal Reserve monetary policy promotes and supports reckless fiscal policy, deficit spending and, consequently, seventeen trillion dollars of debt.  Ponzi schemes are illegal yet the government institutes them in the form of Social Security and Medicare.  The health care industry and pharmaceutical companies are co-conspirators in the Affordable Care Act and other laws and regulations to the detriment of the people.

Today, diversity is mostly celebrated based on certain physical characteristics not by thought, talent, or interests.  Diversity of outcomes is eroded by politicians using the force of law to create an egalitarian society and the justice system is used for distributive justice rather than interpersonal adjudication.  Diversity is not limited to what the ruling class, academia, or the media say.

Diversity embraces individuality.  It is not a collectivist notion.

Embrace true diversity and you embrace the individual.  Embrace the individual and you embrace exceptionalism.  The essence of American exceptionalism is the individual not the government.  Individuals are exceptional in spite of government.  American exceptionalism as a collectivist notion is pure poppycock.

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The Intolerant Tolerants

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for me with all the live and taped television segments and radio programs, and press coverage in papers such as The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and the Baltimore Sun to mention a few. People’s opinions and thoughts vary greatly on the topic of the five western counties of Maryland leaving to form their own state.  But, there is one particular aspect of all this attention I’d like to focus on.

Tolerance.

The applicable dictionary definitions are:

  1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practice, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
  2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.
  3. interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.

Therefore intolerance would be an unfair and biased attitude toward those whose opinions, practice, race, religion, nationality are different from one’s own viewpoint.  Also, tolerance does not explicitly or implicitly mean agreement or acceptance of another’s view. 

Ironically, those that proclaim tolerance and demand tolerance for their viewpoints flip, as easily as a light switch is turned on and off, to intolerance because a thought, idea, or view is different from their own.  Those than claim to be open minded, and in fact demand tolerance for their views are often the first to deny or infringe upon the views of others by resorting to petulant behavior, making derogatory comments about a persons’ race, gender, nationality, family, and religious beliefs.  Below are comments made by people opposing the idea of a new state (though truthfully too many concluded incorrectly that this was about seceding from the Union).

— Start of comments —

He knows very well it wont happen but its a way of creating more divisiveness and ramping up hated in America thanks to the repubs who see Obama as a nightmare come true.

The passion of the American Conservative for “Liberty” is only matched by his ignorance and apathy towards “Responsibility”. There is on way to describe that awful combination: adolescent.

MEDICAL ALERT:

Disease: Angry White Guy Syndrome
Symptoms: Wild ranting, fits of anger mainly at people that look different than you, desire to separate ones self from the populace.
Treatment: Come out of the bunker, turn off fox noise, make a friend with someone that doesn’t look like you

They will go broke in 60 days, red states are on the federal tit more than blue states

A bunch of crybabies complaining they can’s have everything their own way. And I sure as hell ain’t giving them a representative and two senators in Congress. Nor that diaper stain of northern Colorado, or anywhere else this childishness has drooled.

I think someone should send Scott Strzelczyk a soother, a blue blankie and a picture book showing him how to get along with others who don’t agree with him.

He is just being a whiner. Afterall, he isn’t pushing to have the entire State secede, just the white parts.

The free association of old red necks, who happen to be white, better know as The Tea Party or The Progressive Klan.

The State of Western Maryland’s constitution has not been written, nor has its tax plan been fully developed.  But when this bagger gets around to it, it won’t include a 13th amendment.

The right of self-determination should be opposed. Coercion by stronger forces is inevitable.

Sounds like an act of treason to me. I hope he gets 35 years imprisonment.

Right….they never think this through. For that reason, I think they should be allowed to do it, and live with all the consequences of their tea-bag policies. Only a reality check of this magnitude will cure the “free state, no taxes, no regulation” fantasy, but if they do, the rest of us should invoke “no do-overs” , you choose to be a West Md. citizen, stay there, live that nightmare you wanted to force on the rest of us.

Scott, please go back to tending that Unicorn farm and stop wasting our time.

Isn’t it funny how these same conservatives who trumpet the Constitution’s second amendment as justification for unlimited ownership of deadly weapons and secession have no problem with the federal government’s violation of the first and fourth amendments? Truly ironic!

It is also interesting that the Left never threatens secession. WE accommodate opinions that differ from our own, and always have.

There is a better way. Why doesn’t the bagger move to a trailer park in another redneck state where he can swill beer and listen to Ted Nugent with his ignorant kind all he wants?

Failing that, he pledges to sever his wèe-wèe.  THAT’LL show ’em!  Sooner or later, we’ll discover the swàmp where they brèed these crètins… amid the horseflies and frogs.

I have never seen a set of people who hates the United States and democracy as these bunch of Tea Baggers.  They do not have a clue what the Constitution says, and all they can do is talk about Second Amendment.

GET OVER IT ALREADY!! BARACK OBAMA IS PRESIDENT AND HE’S BLACK!!

I would love for all of these idiots to secede and start their own country. They can have their wish to have no taxes, so they won’t have public schools, police, or fireman. They can ban together to build roads and bridges. It will be great when they reach retirement age that they won’t have to worry about getting a social security check. Yep, socialism is a horrible thing. Have fun in your new land baggers. 

It is a good idea to secede the entire Texassissippianahomasas region for several reasons;

1. The average IQ of the remainder of the nation would go up at least 30 points.
2. The average median income would go up over $10,000.
3. The average educational level would go from 6th grade dropout to college level.
4. We would save hundreds of billions in waste on their education, welfare and infrastructure.
5. Their new kuntry could be called Baggertopia, or Neojebusland or Concrapia maybe.

Lincoln blundered terribly when he did not let those savages crawl back into their caves. Now the red states are the biggest “welfare queens” on the planet.

Another right wing clown who does not support our constitution.

Strzelczyk and his silly racist comrades deserve the kick in the pants that will come with secession however unlikely it may be.

This guy is one of the reasons there are so many Polish jokes.

Scott Strzelczyk  That’s Polish right? I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

He calls himself a constitutionalist, but doesn’t know the Constitution. Figures

—– End of Comments —

This was a small sample from a single article.  There are thousands more like this. Derogatory comments covering race, religion, nationality, etc. permeate the page.  People that know absolutely nothing about me, our founding principles, or the Constitution are suddenly experts on what I think and who I am.

Many are unable to comprehend the difference between forming a new Union state and seceding from the Union.  Many are unaware of the provisions stipulated in the U.S. Constitution for new states being formed out of existing states.  Many are unaware a new state being erected out of an existing state happened seven times not once as many stated.   Many believe we are a democracy where the mob rules.  Some believe that force should be used to ensure this doesn’t occur.  In other words we will arrest, injury, or kill you if you attempt to establish a new state government according to the constitution itself.  

Many are unaware it was the Northern states that threatened secession four times from 1803 to 1815.  They are unaware that in 1845 Massachusetts threatened secession if Texas were admitted in the Union.  They are unaware of the fact that Northern states opposed new states being admitted as a result of the Louisiana Purchase.  Many lumped me in with conservatives, the GOP, and the tea party without ever reading an article I wrote on my blog or listening to The Forgotten Men program.  All are unaware that Mark, Joshua, and I met with the local Occupy leadership and attending their meetings.  All are unaware that The Forgotten Men radio show calls out Republicans, conservatives, and neo-conservatives on a regular basis for their violations of the Constitution.  All are unaware that we regularly say things like “both parties are different wings of the same bird of prey” or “it doesn’t matter if its the red wolfpack or the blue wolfpack”.  And, Joshua coined the term the “DC’vers” which refers to all the elected officials in DC and how the deceive us regularly.  We say frequently “DC will never fix DC” and “DC is broke and broken”.  All are unaware that we oppose the Patriot Act, NDAA, the FISA Courts, and the undeclared wars and regularly discuss how the so-called “limited government” Republicans like Allen West and Michele Bachmann are part of the problem not part of the solution.  They are the other wing to those like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.  They are different wings of the same bird of prey.  

My reaction to the intolerance is one of laughter and fear; laughter at the absurdity of the comments and fear of their ignorance and willingness to use force and coercion – might makes right – to deny people their right of self-determination and self-governance.  Every person can decide on their own whether they support the idea or not.  They are entitled to their own opinions, however, they are not entitled to their own facts.  The fact is by denying the people the right of self-governance they believe people are not capable of governing themselves.  Naturally, if people are not capable of governing themselves then why do they believe people are capable of governing others.

Those that profess tolerance towards others with opposing views have exposed themselves as hypocritical because they abandoned their self-proclaimed tolerance as demonstrated by their comments.  To these people tolerance is a one-way street where they are not tolerant but you must be.  Whenever your views don’t comport with their views the immediate reaction is toss verbal hand grenades at those with different views.

Consequently, this comes through in party colors and hyper-partisanship from both sides of the political spectrum.  This behavior is intellectually debilitating because the so-called tolerance is laid bare, naked, and revealed for all to see. True intolerance is people steadfastly clinging to their own views while degrading the views of others, and often, demanding acceptance as well.

This intolerance is summed up in a word; Bigotry.

Dissent and disagreement are common and natural.  In fact, dissent is encouraged.  State and federal constitutions protect dissenting views in Bills or Declarations of Rights.  My advice to those that don’t agree with the Western Maryland Initiative is express your dissent in a manner that is constructive and reasoned.  Practice the tolerance you demand of others and end the bigotry.

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Society is a Blessing so Let us Try Liberty

Society in every State is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.  Thomas Paine penned these eternal words over two hundred years ago.

Man, by his very nature, is a social being.  His wants are greater than his capability to provide for himself without the aid of society.  Beyond the basic need for food, shelter, and clothing a man’s wants are diverse and those wants are present in every man.  Thus, man’s very nature impels him to society where all men interact to satisfy their own self-interests.

Indeed, man is a self-directed, autonomous being with certain desires, interests, needs, and wants.  Just as each man has a diversity of desires, interests, and wants each man also has a diversity of talents and abilities.  In his pursuit of happiness man freely chooses to interact with others to fulfill his interests.  Others in society reciprocate as they pursue their happiness.  Thus, the need to fulfill one’s self-interest acts like a gravitational force resulting in social interaction for the mutual benefit of all.

Consequently, given the diverse interests of man, his talents and abilities, there is a corresponding diversity in outcomes.  Some men are more intelligent than others.  Some men are more capable of producing certain goods or providing certain services.  Some men are more motivated and ambitious.  Some men are more innovative and ingenuous.  The wants and needs of others may also compel man to direct his interests to meet the wants and needs of others.

All these factors create a society where the reciprocity of man towards other men is based upon the self-direction and self-interest of every individual.  What society needs or wants is based upon this bottom-up approach.  This societal interaction amongst men occurs naturally and freely.  One man cannot compel or force another man to produce a good or provide a service, nor can one man compel or force another man to engage in the exchange of goods; whether directly through barter or indirectly using a common medium of exchange.

The free and natural exchange of goods and services forms free markets.  Man’s foremost duty and responsibility is preserving his own life.  Man uses his reason, talent, and ability to ensure his own survival, and by doing so he exercises his unalienable right to liberty.  In society, rightful liberty is the unobstructed action according to your will with limits drawn around the equal rights of others.

Society can function without the imposition of government.  Government is not necessary to ensure society functions, rather government is instituted to better secure our unalienable rights and to provide a minimal number of functions for the whole of society.  For instance, the ability to provide for a common defense or to ensure commerce occurs regularly without obstruction.

The imposition of government on society isn’t to ensure specific outcomes, to benefit one constituency over another, or to forcefully take property from its rightful owner and give it to another that has no rightful claim to it.  Since one individual cannot do this to another individual in society, it follows that the collective rights of society cannot be violated by the very government instituted to better secure those rights.  Therefore, the laws of government are, by extension, the laws of society which themselves are founded upon the laws of nature.  Commerce in free markets occurs naturally due to reciprocal interests and mutual benefits to all parties.

More laws and regulations distorts, interrupts, and even destroys free markets and the natural societal interactions amongst men.   Government laws and regulations are desired by those in society that wish to violate and transmute the foundational basis of free markets to gain advantageous or exclusive benefit over others.  For a variety of reasons, free market participants use government to gain competitive advantage by stifling competition, seeking subsidies, grants, or tax advantages, influencing pricing, or anything else that distorts, interrupts or destroys free markets.

Moreover, government laws and regulations are burdens upon society itself.  When government decides what goods or services you can procure, fines or penalizes you for non-compliance, or otherwise limits your liberty by restricting your actions government creates wrongful liberty.  Wrongful liberty is obstructed action against your will within limits drawn around the superior rights of others.  Government itself is responsible for creating the environment in which your actions are obstructed and others have superior rights over you.  Government centric preferences are creating the haves and the have nots.

Consequently, government has perverted the very basis on which it was founded; to better secure the unalienable rights of man.  The equal rights that all men possess can no longer be exercised because of government laws and regulations.  Thus, the exercise of personal and economic liberty and the pursuit of happiness is obstructed or denied.  The great irony is the belief that government laws and regulations creates more freedom and liberty when if fact it perverts the free markets and imposes the government’s will over individual liberty.

This situation is made possible through the threat of force against you — the individual.  That force is government force.  Volumes of laws and regulations litter society’s landscape.  Government uses force and state sponsored violence to ensure conformity and compliance upon the citizenry.  Paradoxically, a society with free markets functions properly without government interference.  Too often, the very laws enacted by government to prevent misbehavior and transgressions become the cause for disorder and discontent in society.  For a myriad of reasons one or more constituency receives favorable treatment while one or more constituencies are oppressed.

Government’s top-down, autocratic approach is the mirror opposite to a bottom-up society based on free markets.  Government uses the law to plunder property, to oppress the people, divide society along racial and class lines, etc.  Government mandates and directs nearly every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave.  This power is concentrated in the hands of a small cabal of legislators and bureaucrats that believe they known what is best for every individual.  Not only is this belief fallacious it endangers society itself.

Government has strayed off the path of its original intent; to further secure our unalienable rights.  Government is on a path contradictory to and in complete perversion of its stated purposed.  Government is not the protector of unalienable rights; instead government uses law and force to violate the very rights it was supposed to protect.  This is a complete perversion of the law and the reasons why people form political societies.

Frederic Bastiat describes this behavior as legal plunder.  Bastiat says:

Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.

This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.

At this moment in the history of our Union ask yourselves why was government instituted and for what purposes do we need government?  Where these the right purposes?  Does your answer reconcile with what government is today?  Is government a perversion of its original purpose?  Does government use the law to plunder property and inflict injustices?

As Bastait concludes, Let us Now Try Liberty.

God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.

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Mother Should I Trust the Government

Where does one begin after the President’s State of Confusion speech this week?  What is up is down, what is in is out.  If you’re successful you’ll be punished.  If you’re lazy or unwilling you’ll be rewarded.  Smarter government means more government programs and intrusion.  Due process means government will duly process requests to assassinate American citizens.  The rules that govern government – the Constitution – are ignored and government does whatever it desires.  There are no limits to the powers of government.  This should scare the hell out you.

It has truly become a mad, mad, mad, mad, world.  After some personal encounters this week I have been scratching my head thinking about the Orwellian world we live in.

George Orwell said, “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”.

Orwell’s statement made me think.  If things were so bad and there was truly no way to fix the real problems, would government tell us?  It also reminded me of a line from a Pink Floyd song; “Mother Should I Trust the Government?”

In 2011, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg met with European Finance Ministers.  When the press questioned him he denied it though the Finance Ministers confirmed it.  When confronted with this he said, and I’m paraphrasing, “when things get this bad you have to lie to the people, you cannot tell them what’s really happening”.

Most of what we read and hear from the government or the media is lies, deceptions, and half-truths.  Narratives and ideology trump truth, facts, and empirical data.

If things are truly orderly, lawful, open and transparent then why are the following true:

  • A mayor bans soft drinks but approves of giving abortion pills to twelve year olds.
  • Millions are killed every year from abortion, yet people are outraged if a child is killed by someone using a gun.
  • A thousand years of due process rights are erased by the swipe of a pen when the DOJ approves of the assassination of American citizens without due process.
  • People can be kidnapped in broad daylight under NDAA provisions, detained indefinitely, and without trial.
  • The constitution is ignored or violated because people posit the idea it is a living breathing document and requires interpretation; which can only be done by nine politically connected and motivated people in black dresses.  That we cannot possible know what people meant over 200 years ago.
  • Money has no intrinsic value.  The government can print money at will which allows them to devalue the currency and destroy lives and livelihoods.  What government doesn’t tell you is the entire system is set up against us.  The global monetary system is debt based and requires a doubling of the total debt-credit market every seven years.  There is no way to repay the outstanding debt or meet the unfunded liability obligations.
  • You are forced to buy a good or service against your free will or face a fine or imprisonment.  Government says it’s a tax, then it’s not a tax, then exempts favored political constituent groups, then fines people for not purchasing health care, that it turns out will cost $16,000 annually for a family of four.
  • Since 2007, the working age population increased by 12 million yet there are 4 million less people employed.  Yet, we are in a recovery.
  • The labor participation rate is 63.6%.  There are 101 million working age people that are unemployed.  Yet, we are in a recovery according to the government.
  • The $800 billion stimulus has been repeated for 5 years now.  That is $4 trillion of so-called stimulus.  Yet, there is no economic recovery, the debt has risen by 65% over that time, the purchasing power of the dollar is being destroyed and there are 100s of millions of people on food stamps.
  • The real inflation rate the past twelve years has been between the range of 5 and 12%.  Yet, the government tells us inflation is only 1-2%.
  • There is no incentive to save only to consume.  Real interest rates are negative (interest rate less real inflation rate).  Purchasing power is destroyed.  The middle class is begin systematically destroyed by fiscal and monetary policy.

If the government and the media actually disseminated facts, truth, and empirical data with us at least we’d know where we stand.  Instead, people want to believe the narrative, the propaganda, and the lies.  People prefer to live in a land of rainbows and lollipops.

Aldous Huxley said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

For centuries Rome was the most powerful nation-state in the world.  Nobody could defeat them militarily.  Yet, Rome did fall.  Rome rotted from the inside out.  Moral decay, debt, and debased currency brought down the mighty Roman Empire and discarded it onto the ash-heap of failed nation-states.  Like a cancerous tumor that spread to every organ in the Empire, Rome could no longer sustain itself.  The host was destroyed slowly and painfully until there was nothing left but a hallowed out carcass.

In Germany, everything Hitler did was legal.  Just because the government declares something to be legal does not make it just or moral, much less lawful.  General warrants, indefinite detention without due process, assassinating American citizens without due process , gun registration and/or confiscation, etc. are the acts of tyrants and despots.

The truth is the country is broke and broken.   The debt, spending, and unfunded liabilities are unsustainable.  That is a mathematically certainty.  By its very definition something that is unsustainable must, at some point, end.  The only question is when.  Do you think the government will tell you this?  Would they tell you they are debasing the currency and destroying wealth and productivity?  Would they tell you decades of government planning and programs have failed?  Would they tell you this knowing what is coming?

Government is becoming more desperate and divisive which makes government that much more dangerous.  Laws are stricter and more punitive.  Enforcement is more rigorous and brutal.  “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” – Ayn Rand

Mother should I trust the government.

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First Responder or First Victim: Who is Responsible for Your Protection

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics there were 794,300 law enforcement personnel employed in 2010.  Law enforcement encompasses a variety of professions including state and local police officers, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, transit and railroad police, detectives and criminal investigators, and fish and game wardens.  At the federal level this includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Secret Service, Air Marshals, Border Patrol, and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Law enforcement personnel are generally categorized as first responders along with fire fighters and emergency medical personnel.  State and local police have a general responsibility to enforce laws and maintain the peace.  Federal law enforcement personnel have specific areas of responsibility.

The label, first responder, is misleading and inaccurate.  Law enforcement personnel are usually the second responder when it comes to a crime.  If an intruder breaks into your home at 3am the homeowner is the first responder to the situation.  If someone in the home is able to place a 911 call and law enforcement responds, law enforcement officers are the second responders.

Homeowners have an individual responsibility to protect their life and property.  The choice is whether the homeowner is the first responder or the first victim.  Individuals must decide whether to protect themselves or to subjugate themselves to protection by law enforcement personnel.   This raises a moral question.  Whose responsibility is it to protect your life?  According to your conscience, if you decide to abrogate the defense of your life or property to law enforcement, is it a morally superior decision to ask someone else to risk their life to protect your life?

There are other considerations in choosing to rely on law enforcement for your protection.  First, is law enforcement required to protect you?  Secondly, are you willing to subject yourself or your family members to becoming a crime victim as you wait for law enforcement to respond to your request for protection?

A recent American Thinker article referenced a study done by the Atlanta Journal Constitution on police response times to 911 calls.  The average time for the police response to a high-priority crime is eleven minutes and eleven seconds.  When a home invasion occurs at 3am there is no law enforcement officer waiting in your home to respond.  Using a standard six round revolver, conservatively we’ll assume six shots are fired in thirty seconds and it takes another thirty seconds to reload.  The home invader can fire sixty-six shots with a standard revolver in eleven minutes.   What if there are two, three, or more armed invaders.  That’s hundreds of rounds fired in eleven minutes.

When law enforcement arrives they are often armed with weapons that have twenty round (or more) magazines and look similar to what is colloquially called an assault weapon.  Though the federal government and law enforcement refer to these as personal defense weapons when owned by civilians they are magically transformed into assault weapons.  That point aside, law enforcement officers are the second responders not the first.  To repeat, are you willing to become a crime victim because you’ve abrogated your personal responsibility to others that can’t be present to help you for at least eleven minutes on average?  If you answered yes, you’ll really appreciate the irony of the remainder of the article.

The most significant fallacy is the first question I asked; are law enforcement personnel required to protect you?  Most people answer this question incorrectly.  Police have no legal responsibility to protect you.  Read it again.  Police have no legal responsibility to protect you.  If the police witness a person pull you out of your car, beat you senseless, and steal your car they are not obligated by law to protect you.  You are probably thinking this is preposterous and I have no idea what I’m talking about.

There are two federal court cases you should become familiar with; DeShaney v. Wisconsin and Warren v. District of Columbia.  The DeShaney case details can be read here, but the case reached the Supreme Court and the court ruled:

The constitution is not a source of any affirmative obligation on the state or its subdivisions to protect its citizens. Since “the Due Process Clause does not require the State to provide its citizens with particular protective services, it follows that the State cannot be held liable under the Clause for injuries that could have been averted had it chosen to provide them.”

Likewise, in Warren v. District of Columbia the plaintiffs filed suit against the District of Columbia for negligent failure to provide adequate police services.  The case details can be read here.  The case was appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals and it was dismissed based upon “the fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.”  In other words, law enforcement personnel have a general duty to protect the public at large and not any individual citizen.  Law enforcement is not obligated, legally or otherwise, to provide anyone with police protection.

These crimes occurred under normal circumstances.  Consider emergency situations like the L.A. riots, natural disasters like Katrina, or whenever there may be shortages of food and water, or disruption to the economy.  If it takes the police eleven minutes to respond in normal circumstances how long will it take to respond under emergency conditions?  It is inconceivable to believe law enforcement can protect you under any emergency conditions.

If law enforcement is not obligated under law to protect you and government wants to restrict or deny firearm ownership, precisely how would a citizen protect their life and the lives of their family?   Inquiring minds want to know.

Furthermore, for those who decide to abrogate their responsibility to protect themselves to law enforcement how do you reconcile that decision knowing law enforcement has no obligation to protect you?  Will you sleep better knowing the police may not respond to your call for protection or may not respond in a timely manner?  Can you live with the fact that you failed to prevent the killing of a family member, the kidnapping of a child, the rape of your wife, or the theft of your property?

If individuals are restricted or denied the ability to be first responders and law enforcement are only responders when they chose to be, it’s reasonable to conclude the government is setting the stage for a subjugated society.  What else could government do knowing the citizens are unarmed?  The answer:  just about anything they want.  The possibility of further infringements or invasions upon rights and liberty are increased tremendously under these conditions.

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Our lives are full of signs; little signs and big signs, signs telling us how we should or should not behave or act.  Signs are supposedly for our benefit.  Some signs are meant to replace common sense.  Signs warn us the road may freeze or the coffee may be hot.  Some signs are meant to warn us to behave a certain way or a fine, penalty, or other unpleasant thing may be coming our way.  Yet other signs are warnings of impending danger.

Consider a light comes on in your vehicle and a beeping sound ensues that indicates your oil is low.  The sign is useful in one sense and meaningless in another.  It’s useful because the warning sign provides you information.  The warning is meaningless if you choose to ignore it.  You choose how to act given the warning provided to you and you live with the consequences of your decision.  Most people have the common sense to take action to add oil to avoid consequences such as the vehicle breaking down or damaging the engine.  Ayn Rand said, “you can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality”.

Moreover, there aren’t politicians, government bureaucrats, or the media to interpret the warning sign when your oil light comes on, trying to persuade you how to act , and promoting a narrative to fit an agenda.  At least not yet!  However, if these people were involved and the narrative was; it is an environmental hazard to refill your oil, or that oil and gas companies are collaborating with automobile manufacturers to produce faulty warning signs.  Instead, many people would conform to the politically acceptable narrative promoted by the ruling class and their abettors in the media.

People succumb to and are mesmerized by narratives peddled by the media and the ruling class as though it represents truth and fact.  History is replete with examples of despots and tyrants using narratives to exploit people for their own gain.  Children are exploited for political, personal, or economic gain.  To what depths must the ruling class sink when they cannot compete in the arena of rational thought and ideas and resort to immoral and ignoble exploitation children?

The point is the ruling class and the media use narratives to propagandize, program, and persuade people to act and behave contrary to the warning signs all around them.  Individual judgment and discernment is replaced by group think and normalcy bias.

The warning signs regarding the economy and the government are all around us.  The signs are visible.  The lights are flashing.  The buzzers are buzzing.   I’ve written in detail about many of these subjects but here are some highlights of the warning signs people seem to ignore:

Economy

  • Debt is 16,432,000,000,000 dollars.
  • Unfunded liabilities are estimated on the low end at 60,000,000,000,000 dollars and 200,000,000,000,000 dollars on the high end.
  • From January 19, 2009 through January 18, 2013 the debt increased from $10.625 trillion to $16.432 trillion.  On average, the annual fiscal deficit for the past four years is $1.452 trillion dollars.
  • Using the U.S. Government’s most recent budget prepared by the Executive branch the outstanding debt will increase by $7 trillion dollars bringing the total debt to $23.432 trillion.  Note, this has been underestimated by $600 to $800 billion per year for the past four years and the future budgets assume growths rates between 4% and 6% per year.  It is more likely the debt will increase by $13 trillion in the next ten years bringing the total debt to $29.432 trillion.
  • Today, each person’s equal share of the debt is $52,165.  If we include another $70 trillion for unfunded liabilities each person’s equal share increases to $273,412.
  • Interest payments on the debt are roughly 10% ($250 billion) of federal revenues.  This is based on the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy (ZIRP).  If interest rates returned to their 30 year average of 5.5% interest payments would increase to $925 billion or 37% of federal revenues.  By 2022, the projected interest payments on the debt (at current interest rates) are expected to be $915 billion annually.
  • The currency is being debased/devalued by an increase in the money supply.  The money supply (m0) was $800 billion at the end of 2008.  The money supply today is nearly $3 trillion.
  • From 1800 to 1913 (year the Federal Reserve started) a dollar increased in purchasing power.  What cost $1 in 1800 cost only 65 cents in 1913.
  • From 1913 to 2013 a dollar has decreased in purchasing power.  What cost $1 in 1913 costs $25 in 2013.  The purchasing power of a single dollar has decreased by 96%.
  • Real inflation rates are substantially greater than the figures reported by the U.S. government.  The inflation calculation method has been modified over the past 20-22 years to exclude certain items and weight the basket of goods differently.  Using the same inflation rate calculation that was used in 1980, the real inflation rate from 2000 to 2012 has been bounded at 5% on the low end and 12% on the high-end.
  • Real unemployment rates are substantially greater than the figures reported by the U.S. government.  The real unemployment rate is near 16%.  That government reported unemployment rate of 7.9% reflects a 2.1% drop in the labor participation rate from 65.7% to 63.6%.  In other words several million people are out of the labor force and not counted as unemployed.
  • Exorbitant privilege is given to the government to control a country’s money supply.  This privilege allows a cabal of people to destroy wealth through monetary inflation (which decreases the purchasing power of the currency).  Savers (net producers) are punished by this while borrowers (net consumers) are rewarded.
  • The same cabal controls interest rates (cost of money).  These rates are set to benefit government and manipulate economic behavior to drive consumerism and increase the total credit market debt.
  • Total credit market debt outstanding was $4.3 trillion in 1980.  As of July 2012 the total credit market debt outstanding is $55.3 trillion.  That is an 1100% increase.
  • Likewise, GDP was $2.8 trillion in 1980 and is $15.1 trillion as of November 2011.  That is a 440% increase.
  • Most GDP growth has been manufactured through increased credit market debt (i.e. people buying things on credit and taking on more debt) and through currency debasement (devaluation of the dollar).
  • The total outstanding claims on base money is $70 trillion.  That includes outstanding credit + money supply (m2).  The money supply is levered at a ratio of 25:1.
  • The Federal Reserve’s ZIRP impacts people on fixed income, those savings through traditional savings accounts, certificates of deposit or money market accounts.  The real interest rate is calculated as follows (nominal interest rate less the real rate of inflation).  So, the real interest rate is actually negative for savers.  In other words, due to real inflation/currency debasement every dollar saved loses purchasing power.
  • Under a monetary regime with fiat currency debts are never truly extinguished.  When you pay a debt with a $50 check or $50 federal reserve note the debt is not extinguished it is merely transferred to your bank.  The bank transfers the FRN to the federal reserve bank that issued the note.  It is the U.S. Treasury that is ultimately responsible for all the liabilities of the Federal Reserve.
  • The entire global monetary system is a debt-based system.
  • The total debt of all the countries on earth is $220 trillion and the GDP is $62 trillion.  That is a debt to GDP ratio of 355%.
  • All major currencies around the globe are being debased in a race to the bottom.
  • The use of paper money is unconstitutional.  Moreover, people are forced to use government issued paper money under legal tender laws.
  • Too Big To Fail policy that eliminates moral hazard.  Government bails out financial institutions due to poor decisions and takes the debts onto the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to be paid by the people.  In other words profits are privatized but risks are socialized.
  • The total outstanding notational derivatives market, as report by the Bank of International Settlements, is over $700 trillion.
  • The Federal Reserve bank now owns over 90% of the long-term bonds (10 year and beyond).
  • Government determines which industries succeed and which fail.  Government takes tax revenues or borrowed money and redirects it to industries, businesses, and groups according to government centric preferences.

Government

  • Government mandated health insurance.  Government forces you to buy insurance or be fined.
  • Governmental regulations over every minute detail of the economy and your life.
  • War on drugs.  Nearly 25% of the prison population is due to some drug related offense.
  • Illegal wars overseas.  There has not been a constitutionally declared war since WWII.
  • Government providing guns to Mexican drug gangs that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people include a U.S. border agent.  The U.S. Attorney General is complicit in this and in the cover-up.
  • Drones over the U.S.
  • Indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without due process.  The government decides who gets due process and who does not.
  • Warrantless searches under the Patriot Act.
  • Assassinations of U.S. citizens can be ordered by one person – the President.
  • Secret evidence and secret courts are used to detain and prosecute people.  Government uses these courts so it doesn’t have to reveal evidence and hides behind national security claims.
  • Extraordinary renditions
  • Asset Forfeiture Laws
  • Government school systems
  • Laws forbidding assembly near elected officials.
  • Control over the internet.
  • Outright disobedience of the Constitution.
  • Outright disobedience of the Bill of Rights.  For instance, the 2nd amendment FORBIDS the government from doing anything that interferes with your unalienable right to self-defense by bearing and keeping arms.
  • Government collusion with private companies, the media, Unions, and other groups.

This was not an exhaustive list, nor did it take long to compile it.  There are hundreds and thousands more that can be added to the list.  These are the warnings signs of a despotic and tyrannical government.  The lights are flashing and the buzzers are buzzing.  The signs are everywhere.  These are danger signs warning you of impending peril.

Why are people ignoring the signs?

Mostly people can’t discern truth and facts from narrative used to distort and obfuscate and further an agenda.  The narrative is peddled like a drug dealer pushing heroin.  Those complicit in the peddling are looking for more innocent customers that will buy into the narrative just as the junkie buys heroin.  People can’t contemplate government is not trustworthy and doesn’t have the peoples’ interest in mind.  People can’t break free of the chains that bind them to the false left-right paradigm and think critically and rationally on their own.  People buy into the incessant narrative propagated by elected officials, government bureaucrats, and the media.  People don’t know nor do they care about constitutional government or unalienable rights.

People are paying attention to the narrative and ignoring the signs.  This must be reversed.  People must pay attention to the signs and ignore the narrative.

As society, our liberty, and our life styles continue to deteriorate will you recognize the signs or will you believe the narrative?  At what point does it become too late to adjust your thinking and take action?  Precisely how far and how bad does it need to get for people to simply say “enough is enough” and take action?

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What is government?

I’ve had many conversations with folks about what is the role or purpose of government.  My answer is, to better secure our unalienable rights.  If we pause for a moment and consider the question:  What is Government?  We know why governments are instituted but, really, have you stopped to contemplate the question..

What is Government?

If we agree that people were on this earth before government then we can readily agree that people without government are truly in a state of Nature.  In a Hobbesian and Lockean sense.  Every person has certain unalienable rights endowed upon them by their Creator.  We often hear of life, liberty, and property.  But there are other unalienable rights such as the right to self-defense, the right to barter/trade, the right to contract, the right to association, etc.

It is the last one I listed that I want to discuss — The Right of Association.  If people are free to associate with whomever they please they may choose many associations.  Some may be related for religious reasons, others may be for work related reasons.  In a modern sense we are free to associate with people in many ways like a chess club, a fantasy football league, a particular religious denomination, etc.  We have many associations in life.  And, all associations directly flow from our unalienable right of association.

There is one particular, one very specific type of association that deserves further discussion.  That is when people freely choose to form a political society.  In context of our history, the people chose to form a political society called a State.  The people of Virginia formed the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The people of Massachusetts formed that State.  The people of Delaware formed that State.  The people in those States chose to form a political society called a State government.

The free and voluntary acts by the people of one State did not and cannot obligate the people of other States.  For instance, the people of Virginia could not obligate the people of Maryland to join Virginia or to force the people of Maryland to abide by what Virginians chose to do.  The people of each State acted independent of every other State.

We find this in our founding documents.  The Declaration of Independence says in the last paragraph, “and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”

So, back the question, what is government?   Government is simply the free and voluntary act of people choosing to associate themselves with other people to form a political society.  Government is simply a political society.  Its formation is a direct result of our unalienable right to associate.  This is precisely what the Declaration means when it says “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.  To rephrase, our political societies are created by people exercising their unalienable right of association.  Thus the political society’s just powers come from the consent of the people.

In our history there have been three secessions.  The first secession happened when the colonies declared independence from Great Britain.  The second secession happened when the ninth State ratified the Constitution.  At the time the 9th State ratified the other four States remained under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.  The third secession happened when the Southern States withdrew from the Union.

The historical record has dozens of documents that prove demonstrably that the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution where both referred to as a federal constitution.  Moreover, documents from the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, from the States authorizing representatives to the federal convention in Philadelphia, from State ratifying conventions, and the State ratification documents provide overwhelming evidence that both Articles of Union were a compact amongst the States.  The contemporaneous understanding during the founding generation was the federal constitutions were social compacts.  Future assertions made by people like John Marshall, Joseph Story, Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, and others in the 20th century that the government is national and was a creature of the whole of the people are simply unfounded and without demonstrable evidence to support their assertions.

As both federal constitutions were made in compact amongst the States which means that each State – political society – acceded to the compact.  If we review the definitions of certain critical words as they were defined in the 1780s it provides insight into the understanding at that time.  The following definitions can be found in Samuel Johnson’s 1785 dictionary:

Accede:  to be added to, to come to, generally used in political accounts; as another power has acceded to the treaty; that is, has become a party.

Society:  1) Union of many in general interest.  2) Partnership; union on equal terms.

Compact:  1) A contract; an accord; an agreement; a mutual and settled appointment between two or more, to do or to forbear something.  2) to league with  3) to join together; to bring into a system.

Confederation:  League; compact of mutual support; alliance.

Constitution:  1) Established form of government; system of laws and customs.  2) Particular law; established usage; establishment; institution.

Federal:  relating to a league or contract.

With these definitions in mind as well as the documented records of the time it doesn’t require mental gymnastics or semantic manipulation to understand each State was a political society formed by the citizens of said State, and each State was free, independent, and sovereign.  The acts of the States – the political societies – was to create a federal constitution which each State assessed, evaluated, and debated its merits before deciding whether to accede – to join – the Union.  The federal constitutions were compacts amongst the States.  The Sates reached agreement on which powers would be delegated to the federal government and which powers would be reserved by the States or the people.  That agreement was the federal constitution, which was acceded to through a ratification process.  In both cases the creators of the federal constitution were the States – the political societies acting independently and in their own capacity as a free State without obligating any other State – political societies – in any way shape or form.    The creation of both Articles of Union was the federal government.

If the States accede to join the Union the states therefore can Secede and leave the Union.  The right to Secede from the Union was exercised when States seceded from the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.  The right was certainly not denied at that time as each State, one by one, seceded from the Articles of Confederation.  If the Union were perpetual as some posit, then the States could not have seceded in 1787 and 1788.  In fact, once secession was established, in act rather than in principle, the right to secede was valid and established or the new Constitution has no effect.

The contrary view is the new Constitution was ratified by the people.  In this context I mean the people of all thirteen states acting as one aggregate, cohesive body.  Two of the better known proponents of the national view of ratification are Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story and Congressman Daniel Webster.  Some of you may have heard of or even read Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution.  Both Story and Webster posit that the people as a whole ratified the constitution and as a result created a national government.  This was Lincoln’s view as well.  And, a view that has gained traction in the 20th century by big government theorists like Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and many more.

However, both Story and Webster concede that if the constitution was indeed a compact amongst the States and not ratified by the whole of the people then States absolutely had a right to secede.  Justice Story said, “The obvious deductions which may be, and, indeed, have been drawn from considering the Constitution a compact between States, are that it operates as a mere treaty or convention between them, and has an obligatory force no longer than suits its pleasure or its consent continues.”  Webster concedes the same point as Story does.

Let’s assume for a moment the Constitution was indeed ratified by the whole of the people.  If true, then the system and form of government established prohibited the people from ever amending the Constitution in the future, as there are no provisions for the people to directly amend the Constitution.  Only the States can amend the Constitution.  Why would the whole of the people create a new form of government yet prohibit themselves from every changing, modifying, or amending the very creature they created?  Moreover, consider, can the Congress pass a law today that obligates a Congress twenty years in the future?  For instance, imagine if a law were passed that said, all Congresses are, by law, obligated to pass in the affirmative any debt ceiling increases requested by the President at that time.  Or, that a law is passed that would never allow for the repeal of some current law.  The current Congress cannot obligate a future Congress.  So, can the whole of the people obligate future generations to the Constitution?  No, they cannot.  If the whole of the people ratified it, then the Constitution would require ratification by future generations.  How could someone 200, 500, 2000 years ago obligate me to a government or set of rules of which I was not a party too.  It’s not possible in any legal or moral sense.

One may ask, how can the people of the state – a political society – do the same thing under a compact?  The answer is they cannot.  The people of each State can independently determine for themselves whether the State remains in the Union or whether the State secedes from the Union.  Any suggestions otherwise are pure folly.

Under the compact when one party – the federal government – becomes abusive of its powers those that created the federal government may either rescind or amend the powers delegated, or if the aggrieved party feels the injustice is so severe as to defeat the purpose, reason, and benefits of remaining in the Union they can leave the Union. The right and duty of the people of each political society — each State — to alter or abolish government is up to them.  Of course, alteration has a proscribed process and requires the agreement from other states to reach the threshold for an amendment to be ratified.  But secession is a form of abolishing government by virtue of simply seceding from the Union, from the compact.  The question of secession is particular to each State.  One State cannot obligate another State to accede to or secede from the Union.

Consequently, secession is merely a political question.  It is not a legal question whatsoever.  It is because political societies are formed as an extension of our unalienable rights and that self-governance and self-determination as well as the consent of the governed are inherent in any legitimate form of government.   If we understand the answer to the question what is government we can proceed to put to rest questions of secession as we’ve resolved them in unambiguous and unequivocal terms.

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