“Far from being the ideal document hailed and heralded in a sea of campaign oratory, the Constitution was a lawyer’s contract that claimed no higher law than its managers, who represented themselves as reflecting the will of the people. Since such a will was undefined and undefinable, lawyers made up the rules and procedures of government as they went along, within limits that were often ignored, slyly subverted, or poorly guarded. In effect, the Founders had recklessly placed the government in the position of what ancient Greeks called a ‘tyrant’ which, in its original sense, meant a rule without divine authority.” – Otto Scott
Resuming where I left off last time, as another example of a private regulatory body, think of Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL). The UL stamp has been used for a long time to signify that a product meets certain standards. And the UL body and their standards have worked well. There is also ANSI, American National Standards Institute, one of the largest standards bodies.
Ultimately, products must meet the standards of God’s law: no fraudulent claims (this includes implicit reliability standards), no overt danger (within reason), and a product that does not damage other people’s ability to use their equipment.
The only thing a common state-controlled currency will bring us is nationwide destitution when hyper-inflation finally kicks in. A multitude of private minters creating coins out of gold, silver, platinum, etc. would allow us to be rid of the currency changers and to have a true non-state, multinational currency (where charges are made in grams and ounces, not dollars, pounds or euros). The private minter should be held in check with applications of theft and fraud laws. But the minter is also held in check by the minter’s competition, who serves as a check on any temptations to dilute the coin’s value by too much alloying with cheaper metals. With one national paper currency, you have no competitive forces internal to the nation to keep the currency from being debauched.
The issue of free trade between the states is pretty simple to resolve: sign a free trade agreement. There is no need to create a central government. And by God’s law, the stranger should be free to travel where he wants as long as he does not proselytize or evangelize on behalf of a false religion. (However, I do not believe God’s law allows a stranger an automatic right to settle among people foreign to him.) Times being what they are, I don’t think the Biblical model should be applied recklessly. But until WWI, a white man could travel though out much of Europe freely–no passport required.
There are enormous natural environments such as the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf of Mexico that involve an enormous land mass and a large group of people. But how has Federal management of these areas been handled?
With the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the case could be made that any of the states acting alone could have managed the disaster better than Fed Gov. But why not let the coastal counties from Texas to Florida create a Gulf of Mexico management agency? Those counties are the ones directly impacted by what happens in the Gulf — not the people in the Texas Panhandle or the folks in Maine. Such a one-purpose agency would not concern itself with any other issue. As such, it would be much easier to control and change (something the federal government is not).
And how about the Mississippi River basin? A similar management approach could apply. What goes on with the Mississippi and its connecting rivers should not be determined by someone who lives in Dallas or Boston. We are not directly connected to it. Let those counties who are connected to the Mississippi or one of its tributaries handle waterway and private property issues.
Look at some of the federal foul-ups with the Mississippi. New Orleans weathered Hurricane Katrina intact, but it was the poorly maintained levees that doomed the city. (“Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory” has argued that the levees were intentionally breached by Fed Gov.) Those levees were not maintained by the city of New Orleans, or even the state of Louisiana. Rather, it was the Army Corps of Engineers that failed. Their flawed approach to controlling the river has led to a lack of silt flowing into the Mississippi/Gulf Delta. The continual expansion of the Delta is one way in which New Orleans has been protected from hurricanes. A large sediment bed extending for miles beyond the opening of the river takes a lot of energy out of a storm surge. The lack of out-going silt is the main reason why there are receding shorelines throughout southeast Louisiana.
The silt has accumulated greatly in other areas because there is no longer an easy discharge path into the gulf. The accumulation of silt forced the levees to be built higher and higher. In some places, the bottom of the Mississippi was higher than the surrounding areas.
“Ignoring science and experience, military engineers consistently marched to the tune of the ‘levees-only theory,’ which in practice requires a huge capital and maintenance expense to build and maintain these ever-higher earth- and stoneworks to hold back the floodwater…A ‘levees-only’ approach caused sediment to accumulate on the river bottom forcing engineers to regularly raise the level of the levees to hold the same amount of water. The mighty Mississippi River had literally been lifted above ground level in many places.”
One issue, which is a non-issue entirely, is the patent system. Unfortunately, the Rev. Steve Wilkins proclaims this monstrous system as “basically Biblical” in his lengthy lecture series “America: The First 350 Years.” My objections to the patent system are not those of the libertarian, either. The libertarian says that the patent system restricts competition. While this is true, increasing competition should not be the primary goal of a Christian society. I will be the first to argue for the dismemberment of all government-based occupational licensing. This would increase competition. But I will not argue for the employment of non-white labor. This restricts competition, but by doing so, white, Christian civilization flourishes.
A just patent system would have to have the mind of God to operate properly. As new technologies emerge, you oftentimes find multiple people working to find new uses of that technology. Under the patent system, the first one who files a patent claim enjoys years of “ownership” for that idea. He may not have a prototype developed or anything substantial; and this is frequently the case. After the patent is issued, the holder may do nothing else and wait to license his patent rights to others who were working on the same idea at the same time the patent holder was filing patent claims. Or, he may wait until a product is released on the market and then sue the company selling the product for patent infringement. Believe me, as an engineer, this sort of thing goes on all of the time. Some individuals even go around buying patents so that they have a tool with which to earn an income, through suing companies and forcing them to settle out-of-court.
Consequently, I believe the idea of patents is un-Biblical and should not weigh into an Anti-Federalist order. The fact that the Constitution allowed for a patent bureau is a great shame to that flawed document.
Foreign Policy and Nuclear Weapons
Most constitutionalists do not understand that a non-interventionist foreign policy cannot be followed without first breaking America apart. History shows that anytime a country has a big military doing nothing, someone in that country is going to put it to use. Indeed, this has been one of the chief ills of the unified country that the Constitution created.
Yes, the Constitution delegates Congress with the authority to declare war. They did this with the Spanish-American War, WWI, and WWII. Those last two wars effectively killed off Christian civilization. So I guess I don’t really see the point in arguments that rail on and on about wars that don’t have a Congressional declaration of war attached to them. The “legal” wars were damaging enough. But since 1950, the military indeed has been used by the president as his own private army. Congress usually acquiesces in some way or the other.
Would not the states be able to defend themselves with their own state militias? Of course. But the Constitution allows the central government to create a much, much larger standing army than could be had, even if a few states decided to collude together.
Let us ask, what country has interfered the least with its neighbors? Switzerland. And it is no coincidence that Switzerland’s small size, and their militia approach to defense, do not allow them to have the armed force necessary to be the policeman of the world.
It should be asked whether or not the atomic bomb would have ever come into being if the U.S. Constitutional order did not exist. The Manhattan Project was an enormous industrial project. It was beyond the ability of Germany, Japan, the USSR and Great Britain. Only the U.S. could do it. And interestingly enough, the US aided the USSR’s quest for the bomb. Major Racey Jordan, a Lend-Lease officer stationed in Montana and Newark during WWII, stated that the US gave the materials and blueprints for the bomb to Stalin piece-by-piece via Lend-Lease (From Major Jordan’s Diaries2).
And this giant standing army has been used against U.S. citizens many times in the past — and will be again. Wouldn’t you rather face a wicked state militia than the U.S. military? Of course! Big problems are hard to fix. Smaller problems are easier to fix.
Centralized Government in Other Places
England and Scotland became one with the Acts of Union in 1707, which created Great Britain. How well has that worked? To ask the question is to answer it. Would Scotland and England be better on their own? Well, if nothing else, the world would be safer as the UK would no longer be able to field the standing army that accompanies American forces on all of our foreign adventures. And it is heartening that there are secessionist movements throughout the two kingdoms, most especially in Scotland.
Then there is the European Union. While ultimately globalist in nature, the early arguments for the European Common Market were basically those that American unionists employ. With the loss of monetary sovereignty, the various EU members are finding that ultimate sovereignty resides in Brussels — not in their own countries. But for now, it appears that the PIIGS are working to drag down the more fiscally responsible members of the EU (PIIGS = Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain).
Only small nations like Switzerland have proved to not be a threat to their citizenry — or to the other countries around them. Now we can be theoreticians and talk about how revisions to the Constitution might fix things, or we can discuss idiotic ideas such as term limits and the line-item veto. Or we can go with what has worked historically: small countries with naturally defined borders (in the case of the Swiss, their natural borders being the Alps).
The bigger the tyranny, the harder it is to correct. The smaller the tyranny, the easier it is to correct. All things being equal, Swiss tyranny is easier for its citizens to correct than American tyranny. Our Fed Gov is no check on state tyranny, but it is a check on states that wish to control Federal tyranny. Overly centralized power, the kind of power that the Constitution created, is the theology that led to the Tower of Babel. Christians will frequently say that men are not angels, hence the reason why we need government. But I respond that because men are not angels, we cannot have any sort of large government structures.
The Constitution has been with us for 220 years. It has never once fulfilled its promise of limiting Mordor-on-the-Potomac. Lets put an end to American exceptionalism and the Constitution.
Four interesting links concerning the Constitution:
A good, short article questioning the Constitution, “The Constitution – Solution or Problem”; the quote from Otto Scott is borrowed from this site.
The best site I have seen yet concerning the “missing 13th Amendment.”
Michael Rozeff’s article on failures of the Constitution, focusing more on monetary issues. http://www.lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff223.html
Part one of a five part series extolling the virtues of private sector money minting over government managed money. A conversation between Private Money Guy (PMG) and State Money Guy (SMG)