Stop Worshipping the Constitution

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Published on: September 16, 2014

Is the success or failure of the Constitution of 1789 an empirical question or not?  Its primary goals were to keep the states sovereign and individuals free.  It was supposed to restrict the central government to specifically delegated powers.

Many conservatives say that the question of whether or not the Constitution has succeeded or failed is not an empirical question, in the sense that they blame bad judges and bad legislatures for the loss of freedom — for the exponential growth of the central government far beyond any list of delegated powers.  They say that a very good Constitution has simply been ignored.  Strangely, they often seem to think that Lincoln had the legal right to invade the South in 1861, while insisting that it has been plainly wrong for the Supreme Court and Congress to keep transferring power to the central government since then.  But the power grab inherent in the former action dwarfs all of the subsequent accumulations by initiating them in principle.  If the central government has the power to force itself on the states and their people, why then it has the power to force itself on the states and their people. 

Whatever freedom it now delegates to the states and their people is, in principle, an allowance.  This is the clear legacy of the Civil War, of the glorious Mr. LincolnThere is no longer any officially recognized power of the people to abolish their government.  The Declaration of Independence has been surgically removed from the American tradition, with scant control of the bleeding, by a constitution which is not actually consistent with it.  Although the Constitution did not give Lincoln the power to make war on the states, it did not explicitly prohibit it.  And it did not give the states the explicit right to secede.  The Civil War was a bloody mess induced by a bloody mess.

Consider the following propositions:

P1) It is an historical fact that the objectives of the Constitution of 1789 have not been achieved; that we have, quite simply, lost a great deal of freedom while living under it.

P2) P1 is true not because the Constitution of 1789 is faulty, but because the Constitution has been explicitly violated by lawless politicians and judges.

P3) P1 is true because, intrinsically, the Constitution of 1789 is all too easy to violate or does not otherwise prohibit what it should have prohibited.

Conservatives seem to be committed to P1, just like us neopopulists, but reject P3, the neopopulist position, in favor of P2.  The thing is, their commitment to P2 is not a relevant response to P3.  In other words, the ultimate question about the Constitution of 1789 is: Why has it been so easy to violate?

Alexander Hamilton and his heirs understood that the general welfare clause, necessity clause, and commerce clause of the Constitution were, taken together, a hole big enough for an enormous central government to walk through.  And they began to exploit this logical fact immediately.  From the outset, there were wolves in and among the founders who wanted to absorb the states into one centrally governed modern nation state.  A few were monarchists.  The vagueness, the abstractness of the Constitution, and the naiveté of the founders’ assumption that they did not have to explicitly prohibit the central government from doing all kinds of things, has been our undoing. 

But above all else, it was the anti-democratic bias of the constitution which has ironically destroyed the republic where the states and the people were supposed to be sovereign.  The irony of this in the face of all of the anti-democratic conservative rhetoric we hear is bitter indeed.  You see, we neopopulists believe that the people, en masse, from the outset, should have been awarded the power, by a much better constitution, to veto anything the central government (or for that matter, state government) enacts.   This is not the power to construct government, but to deconstruct it — often on the grounds that a targeted construction of the legislators is unconstitutional.   The most fundamental failure of the Constitution of 1789 was its failure to make the people themselves the fourth branch of government, able to veto all other branches, including the judiciary. 

In addition, we believe that the government should not only have been separated from any official church (no taxation for a state church) but from all education, for education cannot be separated from religion of one sort or another including blind faith in science as a description of Reality.  There is no such thing as world-view neutral education and the government school monopoly, based on the power to tax, is such blatant tyranny from our postmodern point of view that we neopopulists do not believe it can survive.  In the postmodern world, universal reason is dead — a passé philosophical dogma.  There is no foundation for government education — for an “objective,” tradition-neutral curriculum.  In a neopopulist constitution, the government is stripped of any control whatsoever over any means of cultural production.  There would be no government education, or even government funded, policy-making science.  And the people would be in control of immigration policy using their veto power.  The upshot of all of this is that the people themselves would be in direct control of their culture without competition from the government.  In other words, the relevance of religion to politics would bloom, whether the liberals like it or not. 

But above all else, in a much better constitution than the Constitution of 1789, the officially recognized state militias, wielding a much clearer “Second Amendment” (making the individual right to keep and bear arms unambiguous), would meet together once per year to debate bills of attainder against anyone in the government who has violated the Constitution.  Armed to the teeth, in official control of the standing military’s arsenal, the militia would arrest and try those who would deign to place themselves above the constitution (the rule of law).  It would have the power to strip Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, Governors, et al, of any capacity to tyrannize us, by stripping them of their offices and even their own freedom.  And that is a constitution of which P3, above, could not be true.

America is the mess it is today, in terms of any “conservative” value system, because the Constitution of 1789 has failed us.  It is time to incorporate most of it in a whole new constitution which is actually capable of defending itself.  This is exactly what The Rebirth Constitution (available on Amazon.com) does.  It preserves the essentials of the Constitution of 1789 while adding the power of the people to deconstruct (not construct) government directly.  It keeps the culture under the control of private education and provides the resource (the militia) and the process by which the constitution can actually defend itself, stripping its enemies of their power in a timely fashion. 

Conservatives are no longer capable of even slowing tyranny down.  This is true, in part, because of their inalienable devotion to the myth that the Constitution of 1789 is perfect.  They have turned it into a sacred object, even for Christians who should know better.  And “libertarians” are committed to the same tyrannical conception of reason as the liberals proper.  It is time for real change which only anti-rationalist Christians can bring to bear on a sick political culture using a whole new constitution.  The Rebirth Constitution makes sure that the government lives in fear of the people.  The sure sign that the Constitution of 1789 has failed us is that we, the people, now live in fear of our government. 

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