Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record.

The Constitution, while it would be far superior to what we have now, is nothing to write home about. In fact, for me the fetish for the US Constitution is really getting old. I understand that for a newly awakening individual it can be breath of fresh air. That was my experience campaigning for Ron Paul in 2007/8. But if you stop there you are just going to rot on the vine. Ron Paul himself has said the US Constitution failed and he has been known to tip his hat to Lysander Spooner.

Fortunately, for me, I listened to what he said and started studying the people he studied. If you start with Ron Paul and don't end up with Murray Rothbard, you are not really listening.
As to the Constitution itself, no one has addressed it better than Hans-Hermann Hoppe:
"[The] Constitution provided for the substitution of a popularly elected parliament and president for an unelected king, but it changed nothing regarding their power to tax and legislate. To the contrary, while the English king's power to tax without consent had only been assumed rather than explicitly granted and was thus in dispute, the Constitution explicitly granted this very power to Congress. Furthermore, while kings - in theory, even absolute kings - had not been considered the makers but only the interpreters and executors of preexisting and immutable law, i.e., as judges rather than legislators, the Constitution explicitly vested Congress with the power of legislating, and the president and the Supreme Court with the powers of executing and interpreting such legislated law.
"In effect, what the American Constitution did was only this: Instead of a king who regarded colonial America as his private property and the colonists as his tenants, the Constitution put temporary and interchangeable caretakers in charge of the country's monopoly of justice and protection.
"These caretakers did not own the country, but as long as they were in office, they could make use of it and its residents to their own and their protégés' advantage. However, as elementary economic theory predicts, this institutional setup will not eliminate the self-interest-driven tendency of a monopolist of law and order toward increased exploitation. To the contrary, it only tends to make his exploitation less calculating, more shortsighted, and wasteful."
Think about what he is saying. Sure, kings claimed the power to impose mandatory taxes and to create law, but that was not spelled out in any legal form so it was always disputed and occasionally resisted. So what did the writers of the Constitution do? They took the disputed powers of the king and enshrined them in law. Yes, they did away with the king, but they kept the powers he claimed and made them legitimate. They did not change the underlying structure of power, they simply changed the outward form.

A lot of people don't want to recognize that the US Constitution was imposed as the result of a coup d'état. The Philadelphia Convention was called to address trade issues and to refine the Articles of Confederation. There was no mandate to institute a new form of government. The reality was by the time all the delegates showed up the new constitution was pretty much already written by the Virginia delegation and ready to go. Kind of like the USA PATRIOT Act, it was almost like people where just waiting for the right excuse to impose it (Shay's rebellion was going on at the same time). One of the first things the new government did was to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. People were fighting a tax that rich distillers, like George Washington, could afford, but the farmer's in western Pennsylvania could not. It reminds me of large corporations lobbying for regulations they can deal with because they have deep pockets and lots of lawyers, while smaller competitors are shut down because the regulations are too expensive for them implement. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

We don't need a bunch of magic paper. As far as I am concerned, this is The Law: I am the boss of me and my property is mine. You are the boss of you and your property is yours.

Anyone who acknowledges that is my friend and compatriot. Anyone who disputes that is my enemy and I have the moral authority to resist their encroachment on me or mine with whatever means are required to stop them. It's as simple as that. It only gets complicated when lawyers and politicians get involved.

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