Here is an interesting conversation between James Corbett and Alfred Adask on the Constitution. Their conversation touches on the most interesting sticking points in thinking about the Constitution and it addresses them well.
As a short introduction to the debate, I offer a few words on the differences between the works Conceived in Liberty, by the Great Murray Rothbard, and Our Enemy the State, by the (even greater?!) Albert Jay Nock. The impression these two anarchist powerhouses give of the founding of this country are quite different. Rothbard implies that this country was truly founded on principles of liberty as we are taught, while Nock points out that the modern state and all coercive monopoly government, including the United States since its very founding, exists for one purpose only, and that is to exploit citizens by violating their rights for the benefit of those to whom it bestows privilege. Nock even claims that the great American battle between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists was just a struggle between the emerging power (the city merchants) and the declining power (the landed gentry), with the emerging power winning and installing the more centralizing Constitution over the more decentralizing Articles of Confederation.
As a lifelong fan of Patrick Henry and a devotee of the anti-Federalists, I was shocked by Nock’s revelations, but I’m beginning to think they might be accurate, as Corbett apparently does. Corbett maintains that the Constitution was always meant to concentrate power in the hands of the government elite as Nock explains.
Adask, however, makes a good counter-argument, one I have made myself when faced with some very dark conspiracy theories about the US being one big corporation and our birth certificates making us chattle. Regardless of any legalistic support that theory might or might not have, I dismiss it with the same argument Adask uses to support the common understanding of the Constitution: regardless of the intention of the Founders or any technical legal interpretation of the Constitution, that foundational document represents a covenant among the people and the government, and like any contract, it is the understanding of the parties to the contract that determine its meaning. In other words, we the people have always thought and continue to think of the Constitution as a safeguard of our rights and an express limitation of the powers of government. Not only does that make the Constitution what we think it is, but it is our understanding of it as such that gives us the righteousness to defend what we hold it to stand for. Confused yet? Listen to these guys discussing it and I think it’ll be crystal clear.
On a side note…ever read the Articles of Confederation? Here’s the full text. It’s pretty cool. Some say the Constitution was a coup…that the delegates were called to amend the Articles of Confederation and that instead it was scrapped and a whole new foundational document put in it’s place in violation of the existing law as laid out in the Articles of Confederation. Here are a few takes on that debate:
Do you know that the Constitution is unconstitutional?
Refutation of the Charge That The Framers Perpetrated a Coup d’etat
I think dwelling on matters such as this is an OCD distraction. We need to be concerned about our Constitution. No more no less. Albert Jay Nock likely is an agent of the British Crown.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
I’ll have to give that some thought. Both the OCD comment (I’m interpreting that to mean pointless overthinking) as well as the Nock comment. There certainly have been many efforts to undermine Classical Liberalism over the years.
“concerned about our Constitution?” In what way? That it’s a meaningless piece of paper or that it is under threat from the corporatocracy or whatever’s behind door number 3?
Monica, you and Adask have a good point if I’m understanding it correctly. If the legal fiction known as government insists that its right to govern comes from the legal fiction known as the Constitution then they must be bound to it and we must be protected by it regardless of why it was established. However, this fails right from the start because the disparity of force means that we have no choice but to accept this covenant/contract, and the government can impose anything on us as long as they manufacture sufficient consent to quell any serious rebellious tendencies.
From a historical perspective, I bet that they could carpet bomb Baltimore today and get away with it thanks to their power of spin and within 2 generations, we’d have a Federal holiday glorifying the emancipation of Baltimore from iniquity. They did it with the War To Prevent Legal Succession From the Union (Orwellianly re-billed as the American Civil War) in about a century but now they have television so the process should be so much quicker. Everyone knows that American bombs don’t kill innocent people; only bad people while dispersing peace, democracy, flowers and puppy dogs. Rebuilding the flattened earth brings jobs and strong GDP for Halliburton, et al. It’s win, win!
Oops! I hope I haven’t given them the idea!
It’s not the birth certificate or the corporatocracy that makes us chattle, it’s becoming dependent on the “benefits” provided by these. Once you start depending on government services, handouts etc, you get locked into the system and have to cut your own throat to get freedom.
Sure it would be great to kill the welfare state and let voluntary charities resume the provision of these services but the large dependent class would suffer hugely in the lengthy changeover period. I suspect that this happened in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and many other nations that felt the wrath of Washington or anywhere where the IMF has had full sway. The only difference here is that we’re talking about voluntarily surrendering the system.
The ‘Civil War’ was a war between the ‘Union’ (liberty – American Hamiltonian Capitalism) and the British Slave State (British ‘capitalism’). Everything else is commentary and smoke. The ‘South’ was a British Slave operation. The ‘North’ was the American industrial revolution that the British waged war on, and continue to do to this day. Today, it appears that America lost both the Revolution and the Civil War, which was as much a continuation of the Revolution, as WW2 was a continuation of WW1.
Actually, it’s the other way around but there’s no point in arguing over versions of history as everyone will choose the one that suits them best. Every historian will back up their perspective with “authentic” documents and poo-poo the opposition’s.
Indeed, I would agree that ALL battles for freedom have failed as the world appears to be run from the City of London if not necessarily by the British.
These pricks are decades ahead of us in planning, are doggedly determined and will stoop lower than dirt to achieve their objectives. While we wrestle over the viability of a centuries-old document, they’re preparing to subject us to a global contract, spoil our bodies with the poisons of modern medicine and environmental destruction from fracking. How long before we get the shock and awe treatment they’ve bestowed on so much of the world already?
So, might as well spend time on any OCD pursuit that you find entertaining while you can.
I agree with your points. I was pretty amazed when I moved to Atlanta and people were totally unwilling to discuss the principle of secession lest they be thought racist. (I hate that racism and anti-semitism prevent us from discussing and learning from the lessons of the Civil War and World War II. These claims are meant to & do stifle debate.)
Just to clarify on my original point: the existence of this nation (or any nation) relies on the consent of the governed….What are we consenting to? We are consenting to what we think the Constitution means regardless of what pedantic eggheads from Stanford Law School (present company excluded) say it really means. Furthermore, what we think it means is liberty and justice for all under the rule of law (that is, no one is above the law, not even the “king”).
Adask is saying, I think, that it is essential that we the people believe that this is what the Constitution stands for lest we give up fighting for those things…our belief that the Constitution gives us a well-defined and legitimate basis for our claim is what keeps us together, fighting for the same cause. So when neo-socialists argue for positive rights like the right to healthcare, an American can point to the Constitution and say, “that is not what we agreed to,” which bolsters the moral claim against redistribution of wealth.
I don’t think that people don’t want to discuss the topic of secession because of ‘racism’. People in the South have had a problem with the Yankees for along time,and used to be open about it..Now they are burned out on the whole conversation. Further, your a New Yorker a (YANKEE), I seriously don’t think southerners want to talk to you about it. They burned out a while back. Those who are older and remember the south pre Yankee invasion (1960’s), suffer in silence. Its not about ‘racism’, its about a completely different culture which we Yankees hijacked. Its about Yankees, not race. They want to secede from New Yorkers.
FAR BEYOND RACISM, NEW YORK AND THE SOUTH, WE DO HAVE HYBRIDS AMONG US:
You may not know this, but Georgia originally banned lawyers and Catholics. The first Governor of Georgia was a Jew. Racism and Antisemitism don’t stifle debate.
Who do you consider was the first governor of Georgia as there are different names mentioned early on? I had difficulty corroborating your statement, which I presume was ‘ethnicity’ and not ‘religion’. But I will flat out disagree with you re what stifles debate. Those two terms you mention relate to subjects that are totally off limits…but at the peril of our survival if we can’t discuss any topic openly and honestly!
I agree. Nothing can be off limits. I didn’t mean to suggest what stifles debate, but what does not. I don’t believe racism or antisemitism stifle debate.
We still probably aren’t on the same page re those two taboo topics. But leaving that aside, I’m very curious who you consider to be Georgia’s first governor so I can be more aware of my adopted state’s history.
Apparently Archibald Bullock was a Jew. Apparently Governor William Ewen was a Jew as well.
Thanks for the response, but I was not able to corroborate your finding. All I could find on William Ewen was that he was an indentured servant born in England and that he married a woman who was a German speaking Protestant colonist. Thus partially inconclusive. Bulloch is clearly not a Jew as he was the son of a minister or clergyman and his mother was the daughter of Protestant missionaries. Now I do understand that Jews entered the bloodline later on prior to the Roosevelts.
SCROLL DOWN AND DO NOT MISS ANYONE ON THIS LIST, WE ARE IN EXCEPTIONAL BIG DODO IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA, AND THIS LINK SHALL TELL THE STORY. BE PREPARED NOT ONLY FOR THE CURRENTLY SHREDDING CONSTITUTION, BUT EXCEPTIONAL ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA. MAY I SAY ONCE AGAIN, DO NOT MISS ANYONE ON THIS LIST OF THE LINK:
Kasim Reed! But where’s 2015?
HERE YOU GO, IT SEEMS LIKE THAT HAVE INCLUDED SOME CORE GROUPS AS WELL:
HEY, FUTURET.WHY NOT SHOUT LOUDER AS THERE COULD BE PEOPLE IN MILWALKEE WHO CAN’T HEAR YOU! 🙂
Perhaps Futuret is dealing with a broken keyboard with the ‘Caps’ key no longer functional.
IF I COULD I WOULD USE BILLBOARDS, WE ARE LIVING IN AN AGE WHERE CAPS ARE REQUIRED, THE DAYS OF LOWER CASE LETTERS HAVE LONG LIVED THEIR DAYS. WISCONSIN IS NOT SUCH A PROBLEM, BUT REACHING MARS IS A REAL CHALLENGE. SAY HELLO FROM ME IN THE LOWER CASE WORLD. :):):)
Perhaps the time has come to stop FUTURET from spamming this site with their deliria. Misery loves company but insanity is best savoured alone!
PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND, OR HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THAT LIFE IS NOT THE SAME:
I GUESS I WILL JUST HAVE TO GET A BLOW HORN, OR MAY BE BREAK THE SOUND BARRIER. THAT WOULD BE A FIRST ON A BLOG. WE HAVE 3D PRINTING, THIS COULD BE NEXT. :):):)
IN THE END THERE IS THE VOICE OF YAHVEH(GOD). MANKIND THINKS HE CAN CONTROL EVERYTHING, WAIT AND SEE, BOTH GREAT AND SMALL SHALL FEEL THE WRATH:
We see light because of out visual cortex. We hear sound because our audio cortex, etc. We perceive God because of our Spiritual cortex. Its not our imagination, any more then sound or sight is imaginary. The cortex is allowing us to perceive something that is there. Granted, each of our senses limit us in terms of spectrum, light, sound, etc. Such as it must be with our Spiritual/God cortex. 7 senses. Not 6. One no less real then the other.
I want to respond to a post you made above, but there was no direct ‘reply’ button, so I reflect your post below and comment here. The article you attach is supportive of comments made by the FBI Director who is warning about ISIS in the U.S. I would caution you as that individual is part of the establishment. It has been well documented that we have enabled ISIS multiple times and indeed probably helped in their formation, at least indirectly. This is an age old strategy to scare the folks and then provide ‘solutions’, to their liking, not ours!
May 9, 2015 at 10:37 am
PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND, OR HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THAT LIFE IS NOT THE SAME:
YES WE SHOULD ALL USE CAUTION. YES IT IS A SCARY WORLD, THAT EVEN GOES WITHOUT SAYING. THE ONLY SOLUTION I SEE IS THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST AND TO PARA PHRASE, HE DID SAY HE SHALL RETURN WHEN ALL BIBLE PROPHECY AS BEEN FULFILLED. BIBLE PROPHECY IS BEING FULFILLED AT A MORE RAPID VELOCITY. IT IS MANDATORY NEVERTHELESS THAT WE CONSTANTLY STAY INFORMED, EVEN IN THIS WORLD WITH TRUTH AND NEWS WE DO NOT LIKE TO HEAR OR WELCOME. KNOW THAT AFTER THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST, WE SHALL ETERNALLY HAVE NO HOSPITALS, CEMETERIES, EVIL, AND KNOW NO SORROW. THIS IS REALLY GOOD TRUTH AND NEWS AND DEFINITELY AN EVENT TO LOOK FORWARD TO.