“This is a nation of laws not of men (and women).” We will be hearing a lot about that in the coming weeks.
The rest of TGIF, "The Rule of Lore," is here.
Proudly delegitimizing the state since 2005
"Aye, free! Free as a tethered ass!" —W.S. Gilbert
"All the affairs of men should be managed by individuals or voluntary associations, and . . . the State should be abolished." —Benjamin Tucker
"You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." —James Madison
"Fat chance." —Sheldon Richman
From the back cover:
This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.
I don't trust people who make bitter reflections about war, Mrs. Barham. It's always the generals with the bloodiest records who are the first to shout what a Hell it is. And it's always the widows who lead the Memorial Day parades . . . we shall never end wars, Mrs. Barham, by blaming it on ministers and generals or warmongering imperialists or all the other banal bogies. It's the rest of us who build statues to those generals and name boulevards after those ministers; the rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields. We wear our widows' weeds like nuns and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices....Enjoy the day. I'll spend some of it reading the truth about the warfare state (Chalmers Johnson's Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic) and, I hope, watching Emily. Oh, and if there's time (I have to lecture today at the first FEE seminar), I'll begin Jeff Riggenbach's new book, Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism.
My brother died at Anzio – an everyday soldier’s death, no special heroism involved. They buried what pieces they found of him. But my mother insists he died a brave death and pretends to be very proud. . . . [N]ow my other brother can’t wait to reach enlistment age. That’ll be in September. May be ministers and generals who blunder us into wars, but the least the rest of us can do is to resist honoring the institution. What has my mother got for pretending bravery was admirable? She’s under constant sedation and terrified she may wake up one morning and find her last son has run off to be brave. [Emphasis added.]
The casualties caused by international terrorist incidents since September 11, 2001, and the prospects for future casualties, pale in comparison to the death and destruction that took place between August 1914 and November 1918, and again between September 1939 and August 1945.
The violence and bloodshed that can be deployed by non-state actors is an order of magnitude smaller than what could be caused by even a medium-size modern industrial state.
Can it even be compared with the Cold War, which claimed far fewer lives but lasted nearly five times longer than the two world wars combined? Again, no.
If hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, then the flip-flops on previously denounced anti-terror measures are the homage that Barack Obama pays to George Bush. Within 125 days, Obama has adopted with only minor modifications huge swaths of the entire, allegedly lawless Bush program.And David Brooks points out that even Obama's better positions (Guantanamo, torture) were embraced by Bush as time wore on. It's not Bush-Cheney versus Obama. It's Bush-Obama versus Cheney.
It was said during the presidential campaign that one of the candidates was running for George W. Bush’s third term. Did you think it was Obama?Read the rest of "Obama's Betrayals" at The Future of Freedom Foundation site here.
War is the common harvest of all those who participate in the division and expenditure of public money, in all countries. It is the art of conquering at home; the object of it is an increase of revenue; and as revenue cannot be increased without taxes, a pretence must be made for expenditure. In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.
--Thomas Paines, The Rights of Man
Articles of Confederation, Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.Are these significantly different? If so, why?
Constitution, Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Congress shall have Power ... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;I know it's been interpreted that way since about 1808 (not 1789), but why? Does the text actually support that interpretation and no other?
I have more to say about government as a systemic risk here at the Future of Freedom Foundation website. A teaser:
The Obama administration and congressional leaders assure us that the government can protect us from the “systemic risk” posed by big banks, insurance companies, and hedge funds.
But who will protect us from the government?
—Henry David Thoreau
"Free association . . . the only true form of society."