By Gary D. Barnett
Last year I wrote an article titled “I’m Fed Up With Constitution Worship!” Since that time it seems, I hear more and more every day about “getting back to the constitution,” mainly from “conservatives” and those of the Tea Party persuasion. I always wonder not only have any of these people ever read and studied the constitution, but also do they even understand why it was secretly drafted in the first place? All indications show that they aren’t at all familiar with the enabling power of that document to create a strong central governing system that reduced severely the sovereignty of the states.
I have this contrarian view not because I am cynical or pessimistic, but because I have thoroughly studied this set of rules or “law of the land,” and found them to be antagonist to individual liberty and state’s rights, and sympathetic to big government. When one compares the constitution that was replaced, The Articles of Confederation, there is little doubt of this truth. Lysander Spooner said this:
“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”
In my opinion, there is no doubt that the constitution fully authorized the government that we had and still have today. It is also true that any set of rules is powerless to stop tyranny unless the people enforce and demand compliance on a constant basis. This has never been the case. Even if it had been followed to the letter, it is obvious that liberty would still have been compromised.
Before the current constitution was drafted, there was never any mention or acceptance of the notion that there was a (U)nited States, or that any single nation existed with power over the states. Quite the contrary was the case. It is very troubling that so many Americans have been fooled into believing that the constitution is the basis of our freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth, and nothing could be more misunderstood!
Recently, those like Tom Mullen and Bill Buppert have explained thoroughly why the constitution is not what it is made out to be, and many others have properly denounced this misleading document as well, but the general thinking is still very misguided. Most continue to laud and worship this very flawed piece of parchment, and continue to believe that it is the creator and savior of liberty. Liberty lies in the essence of man, not in documents secretly drafted in the dark of night by the few. The free spirit of the people must awaken before any real freedom becomes evident, and in that awakening they must realize the great importance of the individual and of individual responsibility.
My intent here is not to claim that our original constitution, The Articles of Confederation, were a perfect set of rules, or that any set of rules established by simple men could be perfect. My intent is to expose the lie that is our current constitution. If we as a people could see the truth of why our original constitution was completely scrapped in favor of our current one, maybe a more widespread anger would arise. Once it is accepted that the Hamiltonians in 1787 staged a coup to destroy states rights in favor of federal power, and to destroy individual liberty in favor of nationalism, then maybe more will begin to question their false idolization of the constitution. One could only hope for such an awakening.
Before this constitution, there was no power whatsoever for the federal government to tax. That was left entirely to the individual states. Now the Feds have an unlimited power to tax. In Article 1, Section 8, the taxing clause states, “Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” I see no limits mentioned here whatsoever, and given the term “General Welfare” of the (U)nited States, there is no reason to believe that any restriction was intended. Many so-called constitutional scholars will argue this, saying that all spending must be “constitutional”, or within the confines of the taxing and spending clauses, but these arguments can easily be refuted given the broad and sweeping language in this section. This was in my opinion done explicitly by design. Article 1, Section 8 is nothing if it is not an all-encompassing, unrestricted, and explicit enabler of unlimited governmental power.
Anyone can check the definitions during that period by simply going to the dictionary of that time, Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language. It is immediately obvious that there was little difference in the meaning of general welfare at the time of the founding as there is today. But this is just one example of the obvious misunderstanding by so many in modern times.
Under the Articles of Confederation, there was no president. There was no supreme court. There was no federal taxation, and certainly no immoral income tax. This meant that there was no IRS. There was no federal control of interstate commerce. Congress could not raise an army or draft troops. What this meant, was that the states were sovereign, and no national government existed in any real sense. Because of this, freedom flourished, and tyranny was not evident. So how is it then that this very pro-central government, federal controlling, and powerful national governing system could be created by the same constitution that supposedly set us free? Why were the Articles scrapped entirely if freedom of the people and state’s rights were the objectives sought? I can tell you; at no time did those who supported the drafting and ratification of the U.S constitution in 1787 consider individual freedoms!
There are those who would offer that the Bill of Rights adopted several years later corrected the obvious problems that plagued the constitution, but that thinking is based on the false logic of gullible minds. While those amendments certainly were restrictions on government power, they did nothing to change the original intent, that being one of granting massive and in many cases unlimited power to a federal government.
The constitution allowed for the usurpation of power by the executive branch, it allowed federal courts to approve and sanction authoritarianism by the government over the people, it allowed for legalized forcible theft by the federal government in the form of taxation, and it allowed the federal government both the ability to collect taxes for war, and to also prosecute those wars. These egregious powers given by the constitution to the central government are completely antithetical to liberty, and should never have been considered by any men of character.
The people did not establish our constitution, nor was it inspired by divine intervention as so many suggest. It would be difficult for me to imagine that God would have a hand in the destruction of our inherent and natural rights. No, this flagrantly flawed document was designed and implemented by a few corrupt men led by Alexander Hamilton. Their agenda was guided not by any desire to achieve liberty for all, but by a grand lust for power and control. Had that not been the case, the Declaration of Independence would have been the guide for any new set of rules, and our original constitution would have been even more scrutinized instead of being replaced.
Instead, after 224 years, we now have exactly what the original ruling class desired, an all-powerful central government ruling over the lower classes. This is a rule by the few over the many. As Aristotle said: “rule by the few is aristocracy in its ideal form and oligarchy in its perverted form.” The elite class holds all the cards, while the rest of us now struggle under the thumb of tyranny!
June 4, 2011
Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana.
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