Spooner said, in No Treason #2-
"One essential of a free government is that it rest wholly on voluntary support. And one certain proof that a government is not free, is that it coerces more or less persons to support it, against their will. All governments, the worst on earth, and the most tyrannical on earth, are free governments to that portion of the people who voluntarily support them. And all governments though the best on earth in other respects --- are nevertheless tyrannies to that portion of the people --- whether few or many --- who are compelled to support them against their will. A government is like a church, or any other institution, in these respects. There is no other criterion whatever, by which to determine whether a government is a free one, or not, than the single one of its depending, or not depending, solely on voluntary support."
Another gem from the same document- "The practical difficulty with our government has been, that most of those who have administered it, have taken it for granted that the Constitution, as it is written, was a thing of no importance; that it neither said what it meant, nor meant what it said; that it was gotten up by swindlers, (as many of its authors doubtless were,) who said a great many good things, which they did not mean, and meant a great many bad things, which they dared not say; that these men, under the false pretence of a government resting on the consent of the whole people, designed to entrap them into a government of a part; who should be powerful and fraudulent enough to cheat the weaker portion out of all the good things that were said, but not meant, and subject them to all the bad things that were meant, but not said. And most of those who have administered the government, have assumed that all these swindling intentions were to be carried into effect, in the place of the written Constitution."
I've written previously about the Federalist scam with respect to the Revolutionary War debt, ( see link here) whereby notable New York Federalists had purchased Revolutionary War bonds and notes for a fraction of the face value, and upon ratification of the Constitution redeemed them at par. Compared to the over-reach of today, this sort of fleecing seems innocent in comparison, but Jefferson among a number of other anti-Federalists was outraged by it. Kenneth Royce has also discussed Spooner's assertions at length in his book "Hologram of Liberty," another work I commend to your attention. But I digress, back to Spooner-
Finally, in No Treason #6, he concludes his indictment of the Constitution with:
"Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such an one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the Constitution is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize. He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. 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."
This was written in 1870 and directed at the outrages of the War between the States and the abuse of the Confederacy, but it might have been written yesterday, or any time over the last century and a half, and been equally valid. The Federal government of these presently united States has metastasized out of all recognition from it's founding, and is the single greatest threat to Liberty in the world today, in part because it is so deeply embedded in the present social fabric of these presently united States. Gentle reader, we have a Problem.
And yet, and yet, the myth of the Constitution has tremendous power. Belief in the legitimacy of the Constitution still exists today among a vast majority of the people. Millions of veterans have sweated, fought, bled and many have died to fulfill their oaths to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all Enemies, Foreign and Domestic." The core of the Constitution, the Enlightenment philosophy that birthed each of these presently united States, is still valid. How can we use the power of the myth that is the present day Constitution to foster true Liberty? What revisions would need to be made? How do we put teeth back into the "highest law of the land?" How would a revised Constitution, which truly did protect the rights of the governed, look? What needs to be changed?
First off, let's look at the whole 'money' issue. As previously stated here, giving control of the Federal money supply to a private banking cartel has been a disaster. Congress was never given the power to delegate this authority, yet they arrogated it in the creation in 1913 of the Federal Reserve. The Federal government, indeed, punishes people simply for minting their own bars of precious metal, if they determine that such bars are too close in appearance to the counterfeit coins that their 'agent' (the Federal Reserve) is issuing. While it would be a good first step to eliminate the Federal Reserve, and return control of the money supply to the Treasury, there are any number of issues with that approach. First off, at the present time there is no political will to do such a thing, and the Federal government of these presently united States is hopelessly addicted to the deficit spending that the Federal Reserve enables. Second, these presently united States may not have any gold or silver left in our vault. Thirdly, our debts are so enormous that even if all of the physical structure of these presently united States were auctioned off and sold for present assessed value that we still would be able to pay only pennies on the dollar of the US Treasury owes. In honor, we have no claim to the gold in Fort Knox even if it exists, as this must go to pay our pledged debts.
In view of the above, perhaps another way must be found, and I suggest that instead of constraining the Federal Government to the use of gold and silver money, that we instead forbid the Federal government or the States from issuing any money whatever. Letting the Federal government manage the money supply is like having a heroin addict manage a pharmacy. Let the private sector handle matters of money and currency and simply have the Federal Government set standards for purity and accuracy in whatever money is issued.
One way to gradually introduce this would be to first allow private minting in competition with the Federal Reserve. This step would allow gradual creation of private money and the development of the requisite infrastructure. Those who needed Federal Reserve Notes (FRN) for payment to the government could buy them on the open market. It would probably be a good idea to forbid fractional reserve banking, as well, as this practice enables the boom-bust business cycle used to justify the creation of the Federal Reserve in the first place. None of these ideas are new: various Austrian economists have been suggesting this sort of thing for years. (If you are interested in learning more, I suggest that you, gentle reader, explore the Mises Institute.)
What about taxation? If the Federal government is to fund their legitimate functions, there will have to be some source of revenue. As a first step, I suggest a return to funding the Federal government by excise and import taxes. The income tax did not pay off the debt from the War between the States, but rather enabled the Federal government to amass a truly astronomical debt; limiting the borrowing ability of the Federal Government is one crucial step towards constraining the present fiscal insanity. An amendment repealing the 16th amendment and limiting government expenditures at EVERY level of government to the cash on hand would prevent any further recurrence of the truly staggering debt we suffer from presently. We might include some provisions to withhold payment of salaries to Congress and the Executive branch first in the event of the lack of a balanced budget as one of the provisions.
Now to education. A good first step would be to prohibit the Federal government from any involvement in the education process at all, or for that matter, ANY government involvement with education. ANYTHING would be better than what we have now; we pay incredible sums to turn out illiterate ignorant 'graduates' from our public schools; literacy as measured by the standards of 1900 is under 50%.
Lastly, at least for this post, how about instituting L. Neil Smith's suggestion that we criminalize violations of the Bill of Rights by government employees? Say a $250,000 fine and ten years hard labor upon conviction? Let's put some teeth back in the jaws of Lady Liberty, and punish violations of the highest law of the land as we would any other egregious felony. What say you, gentle reader?
With regard to all who serve the Light