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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Founding Fathers’

Thanksgiving 2021 – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on November 25, 2021

What if, on Thanksgiving Day, we are most grateful that we are free creatures made in God’s image and likeness?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/11/andrew-p-napolitano/thanksgiving-2021/

“Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the king is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are created equal or make believe that they are not.”
— Edmund S. Morgan (1916-2013)

What if the government’s true goal is to perpetuate its own power? What if the real levers of governmental power are pulled by agents and diplomats and by bureaucrats and central bankers behind the scenes? What if they stay in power no matter who is elected president or which political party controls either house of Congress?

What if the frequent public displays of adversity between Republicans and Democrats are just a facade? What if both major political parties agree on the transcendental issues of our day?

What if the leadership of both political parties believes that our rights are not natural to our humanity but instead are gifts from the government? What if those leaders believe the government that gives gifts to the people can take those gifts away?

What if the leadership of both parties gives only lip service to Thomas Jefferson’s assertions in the Declaration of Independence that all persons “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” and that when the government assaults our natural rights, we can “alter or abolish” it?

What if the leadership of both parties quietly dismisses those ideas as Jefferson’s outdated musings? What if Jefferson’s words have been enacted into federal law that all in government have sworn to uphold?

What if the leadership of both political parties believes that the constitutional requirement of due process somehow permits mothers to hire doctors to kill babies in their wombs, out of fear or convenience? What if the leadership of both political parties believes that the president may lawfully kill any foreigner out of fear, because due process is an inconvenience?

What if the last four presidents — two from each political party — have used high-tech drones to kill innocent people in foreign lands with which America was not at war and claimed that they did so legally, relying not on a declaration of war from Congress but on erroneous and secret arguments that claim American presidents can kill with impunity?

What if the Constitution requires a congressional declaration of war or due process whenever the government wants anyone’s life, liberty or property, whether convenient or not, and whether the person is American or not? What if due process means a fair jury trial, not a secretly ordered killing?

What if most members of Congress from both political parties believe in perpetual war and perpetual debt? What if the political class believes that war is the health of the state? What if the leadership of that class wants war so as to induce the loyalty of its base, open the pocketbooks of the taxpayers and gain the compliance of the voters? What if the political class uses war to enrich its benefactors? What if the government has been paying for war by increasing its debt?

What if the $28 trillion current federal government debt has been caused by borrowing to pay for wars and false prosperity? What if the federal government collects about $4 trillion annually but spends about $6.8 trillion? What if the feds borrow money to pay $500 billion in interest annually?

What if it is insane to borrow money to pay interest on borrowed money? What if American taxpayers are still paying interest on debts incurred by Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and every post-World War II president?

What if the banks have borrowed the money that they lend? What if they can’t pay it back? What if the stock market is soaring on money borrowed at artificially low interest rates?

What if the government demands transparency from us but declines to be transparent to us? What if government leaders assert the make-believe that they work for us but recognize silently that we work for the government?

What if the federal government has access to all our electronic communications, bank accounts, medical and legal records, and utility and credit card bills? What if the government knows more about us than we know about it?

What if the federal government stays in power by bribing the states with cash, the rich with bailouts, the middle class with tax cuts and the poor with welfare?

What if the government thinks the Constitution is make-believe and doesn’t apply in bad times? What if it thinks it can cure disease by forcing experimental drugs on the healthy? What if it mocks the Bill of Rights?

What if the government the Founding Fathers gave us needed our permission to do nearly everything? What if today we need the government’s permission to do nearly anything?

What if, on Thanksgiving Day, our gratitude is not to the government that assaults our freedoms and steals our wealth but to God, who gave us our freedoms and our ability to earn wealth?

What if, on Thanksgiving Day, our gratitude is for life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the exercise of free will and human reason? What if these are integral to our humanity despite the government’s assaults on them?

What if the Thanksgiving holiday has become a four-day oasis from a fractious government that is blind to the consequences of its borrowing, killing and assaults on freedom?

What if, on Thanksgiving Day, we are most grateful that we are free creatures made in God’s image and likeness?

What if, on Thanksgiving Day, we begin altering or abolishing the government, make-believe or not?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Andrew P. Napolitano [send him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written nine books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty. To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

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The Constitution IS the Crisis | Antonius Aquinas

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2020

Once read, any notion of the “founding fathers” as disinterested statesmen who sublimated their own interests and that of their constituents to that of their country will be disavowed.  Moreover, The New Republic:1784-1791 is the most important in the series since the grave crises that the nation now faces can be traced to those fateful days in Philadelphia when a powerful central state was created.

I vouch for the first 4 volumes. The best history you never learned in school.

https://antoniusaquinas.com/2020/02/10/the-constitution-is-the-crisis/

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A Review of Murray N. Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty, Vol. 5The posthumous release of Murray Rothbard’s fifth volume of his early American history series, Conceived in Liberty, is a cause of celebration not only for those interested in the country’s constitutional period, but also for the present day as the nation is faced with acute social, economic, and political crises.  The fifth volume, The New Republic: 1784-1791, stands with Boston T. Party’s 1997 release, Hologram of Liberty, as a grand rebuttal of the cherished notion held by most contemporary scholars, pundits on the Right, and, surprisingly, many libertarians who believe that the US Constitution is some great bulwark in defense of individual liberty and a promoter of economic success.ConceivedInLiberty4in1 Volumes 1-4

Rothbard’s narrative highlights the crucial years after the American Revolution focusing on the events and personalities that led to the calling for, drafting, and eventual promulgation of the Constitution in 1789.  Not only does he describe the key factors that led to the creation of the American nation-state, but he gives an insightful account of the machinations which took place in Philadelphia and a trenchant analysis of the document itself which has become, in the eyes of most conservatives, on a par with Holy Writ.

What Might Have Been

While Rothbard writes in a lively and engaging manner, the eventual outcome and triumph of the nationalist forces leaves the reader with a certain sadness.  Despite the fears expressed by the Antifederalists that the new government was too powerful and would lead to tyranny, through coercion, threats, lies, bribery, and arm twisting by the politically astute Federalists, the Constitution came into being.  Yet, what if it had been the other way around and the forces against it had prevailed?

It is safe to assume that America would have been a far more prosperous and less war-like place.  The common held notion that the Constitution was needed to keep peace among the contending states is countered by Rothbard, who points out a number of instances where states settled their differences, most notably Maryland and Virginia as they came to an agreement on the navigation of the Chesapeake Bay.  [129-30]

Without a powerful central state to extract resources and manpower, overseas intervention by the country would have been difficult to undertake.  Thus, the US’s disastrous participation in the two world wars would have been avoided.  Furthermore, it would have been extremely unlikely for a Confederation Congress to impose an income tax as the federal government successfully did through a constitutional amendment in 1913.

Nor would the horrific misnamed “Civil War” ever take place with its immense loss of life and the destruction of the once flourishing Southern civilization.  The triumph of the Federal government ended forever “states rights” in the US and, no doubt, inspired centralizing tendencies throughout the world, most notably in Germany which became unified under Prussian domination.

In a failed attempt in 1786 to enact an impost tax under the Confederation, Abraham Yates, a New York lawyer and prominent Antifederalist, spoke of decentralization as the key to liberty as Rothbard aptly summarizes:

Yates also warned that true republicanism can only be preserved in small states, and

keenly pointed out that in the successful Republics of Switzerland and the

Netherlands the local provinces retained full control over their finances.  A taxing

power in Congress would demolish state sovereignty and reduce the states, where

the people could keep watch on their representatives, to mere adjuncts of

congressional power, and liberty would be gone.  [64]

Antifederalists, such as Yates, had a far greater understanding of how liberty and individual rights would be protected than their statist opponents such as Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.  The Antifederalists looked to Europe as a model, which, for most of its history, was made up of decentralized political configurations.  The Federalists, on the other hand, got much of their inspiration from the Roman Republic and later Empire.  There is little question that an America, with the political attributes of a multi-state Europe, would be far less menacing to both its own inhabitants and to the rest of the world than what it has become under the current Federal Leviathan if the Constitution never passed.

Speculation aside, historical reality meant that America would be fundamentally different than it would have been had the Articles of Confederation survived, as Rothbard points out:

The enactment of the Constitution in 1788 drastically changed the course of

American history from its natural decentralized and libertarian direction to an

omnipresent leviathan that fulfilled all of the Antifederalists’ fears.  [312]

Limited Government Myth

One of the great myths surrounding the American Constitution – which continues within conservative circles to this very day – is that the document limits government power.  After reading Rothbard, such a notion can only be considered a fairy tale!

The supposed “defects” of the Articles of Confederation were adroitly used by the wily nationalists as a cover to hide their real motives.  Simply put – the Articles had to be scrapped and a new national government, far more powerful than what had existed under the Articles, had to be created as Rothbard asserts: “The nationalists who went into the convention agreed on certain broad objectives, crucial for a new government, all designed to remodel the United States into a country with the British political structure.”  [145]

In passing the Constitution, the nationalist forces gained almost all they had set out to accomplish – a powerful central state and with it a strong chief executive office, and the destruction of the states as sovereign entities.  The supposed “checks and balances,” so much beloved by Constitution enthusiasts, has proven worthless in checking the central state’s largesse.  Checks and balances exist within the central government and is not offset by any prevailing power, be it the states or citizenry.

There was no reform of the system as it stood, but a new state was erected on the decentralized foundation of the Confederation.  Why the idea of the founding fathers as some limited government proponents is a mystery.

The Chief Executive Read the rest of this entry »

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