Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or three thousand tyrants one mile away?” –Rev. Mather Blyes, 1706-1788
The “three thousand tyrants,” of course, would be “democracy” — which word does NOT appear in our founding documents even once. Check for yourself.
And Gandhi and George Washington warned us about governments in general – – –
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force, and like fire, makes a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” –George Washington
“The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.” –Mohandas K. Gandhi
So, which will it be, the one tyrant or the 3,000?
Fortunately there’s an alternative: A well designed Republic as, for example, the one layed out by the U.S. Constitution.
Yes, I admit, I have anarchist tendencies but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a very weak government place-holder is probably necessary in order to avoid that function being taken over by monarchy or its hierarchical psychopathic equivalent – – – or democracy.
A government place-holder is also probably necessary to avoid government interference with trade which can take many forms. The most likely and insidious interference — because governments make money from it — is in the form of imposts, that is, taxes (tariffs) on goods when they cross borders.
The problem is that such trade interference disrupts market evolution including division of labor, specialization, and comparative advantage. When left alone, those ultimately result in new and better products at lower prices and thus more free time and happier customers and citizens.
Such interference also creates competitive friction among folks on either side of the border, sometimes leading to political agitatation or worse – – –
A lot of Idahoans shop in Oregon because Oregon has no sales tax. …Idaho tax officials have been going into Oregon, and shaking down Oregon retailers, demanding that the retailers collect and forward Idaho sales taxes. –Mike Hihn, email@example.com
Pennsylvanians often buy their alcohol in neighboring states because of the high prices imposed by the PA Liquor Control Board (LCB). The LCB sent agents into Maryland to shadow cars with PA plates, and if they bought liquor, follow and arrest them as soon as they crossed back into Pennsylvania. Maryland liquor retailers and their police threatened the PA agents with legal and bodily harm. –Western PA media
The framers of the U.S. Constitution were aware of such problems and so included the interstate commerce part of the Commerce Clause in the design of their Republic like this – – –
The Congress shall have Power …To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes; — Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3
Before it was abused, the interstate part of the Commerce Clause was a useful part of The Constitution. It was intended to prevent states from taxing or otherwise interfering with goods coming from other states. That would not only hinder voluntary trade and the evolution of commerce, it would also create friction among the states and their people.
The notable problems with the interstate part of the Commerce Clause didn’t start until the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act on Feb. 4, 1887, setting up the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), originally to regulate railroad shipping rates. This was a result of small farmers and businesses complaining, even though the rates made economic sense. That was how That Thing That Lives in Washington D.C. first got it’s foot in the door.
Jumping ahead about 100 years, though, you can see an example of how the ICC got out of hand – – –
Although a sympathizer, Adolph Coors Jr. declined to support libertarian candidates because they would try to eliminate the ICC. Why would he care? Because of an ICC regulatory technicality, Coors trucking subsidiaries didn’t have to “dead-head” and could bring their trucks back fully loaded. This gave Coors a competitive advantage because for other trucking companies, ICC defined a truck returning full as “illegal competition with the railroads.”
But there was a much worse Interstate Commerce development conjured up during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Administration.
It emerged as Wickard v. Filburn, [317 U.S. 111 (1942)], from Roosevelt’s Supreme Court — after he threatened to stack it in 1937.
The problem in the Filburn case emerged from The U.S. Constitution in what is now called the “Dormant Commerce Clause.” Along with it’s partner — the so-called “Elastic Clause” — in the hands of the elected D.C. prevaricators and constitutional scoff-laws, the Interstate Clause was evolved from a friendly Dr. Jeckyl into a Republic-and-freedom destroying Mr. Hyde.
The initial transformation was accomplished when Roosevelt’s Supreme Court — he’d appointed eight of the nine Justices himself — asserted the existence of imaginary hidden powers, claiming they had always lain “dormant” in the Commerce Clause.
It happened when Ohio farmer Roscoe Filburn challenged a tiny part of Fed-Gov’s New Deal assertion that it could tell farmers how much wheat they were allowed to grow on their own land. Farmer Filburn was fined for growing a separate plot of wheat to feed to his own livestock, not to trade in interstate commerce.
Roosevelt’s New Deal SUCUS (SUpreme Court of the US) ruled against farmer Filburn. Their excuse? If Mr. Filburn grew extra wheat for his livestock, even though he wouldn’t sell it in interstate commerce, he wouldn’t buy it in interstate commerce either, thereby indirectly affecting interstate commerce.
No, I’m not making that up.
Now remember, the first outrage is that the Federals thought they could tell American farmers — the “freest people in the world” — how much wheat to grow in the first place. And punish them if they disobeyed.
In the Filburn case, Roosevelt’s SUCUS went much much further and ruled that the Commerce Clause gave the Federals the right to regulate activity even if it was only indirectly related to interstate commerce. By that logic, it’s clear that the Federal scoff-laws now think, “Republic and Constitution be damned, we can regulate damn near everything.” And they act accordingly.
In a later similar case, Gonzales v. Raich, Justice Clarence Thomas, unfortunately in the minority at that time, nailed it – – –
“Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything — and the federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.” — Clarence Thomas, Gonzales v. Raich
Before the Filburn case, Congress rarely used the interstate part of the Commerce Clause at all and only as intended by the founders — to prevent State interference with interstate trade, remember. Since Filburn however, huge chunks — an estimated 80% — of Congressional meddling — especially including the most objectionable — has counted on this newly imagined unconstitutional Commerce Clause power, conjured up by Roosevelt’s SUCUS, most notably in the Filburn case.
The 1990 “Gun-Free School Zones Act” — banning guns within 1,000 yards of schools — is a telling example. I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to conjure up the logic which explains how guns within 1,000 yards of schools affect interstate commerce.
The Commerce Clause is also the source of federal drug prohibition laws under the Controlled Substances Act — which suggests a great perspective on freedom, liberty, American life and The Constitution before and after Filburn.
Done BEFORE Filburn, the ill-advised U.S. alcohol prohibition experiment was put into affect in 1920 the way such things must be done to be constitutional, by the formidible task of amending The U.S. Constitution with the 18th Amendment. And as the result of fourteen years of turbulence, contention, discontent and chaos, crime and failure, it was repealed 14 years later by the 21st Amendment in 1933.
AFTER Filburn by contrast, failing to heed the obvious lessons from alcohol prohibition — and almost certainly because it’s much much easier to pass a law than to amend the Constitution — the ongoing Commerce-Clause-based drug prohibition is still being attempted after over 70 years of turbulence, contention, discontent and chaos, crime and abject failure.
About two-thirds of the world-record numbers of us Americans in prison, on probation or on parole, are in that condition because of these cockamamie non-Constitutional “laws.” And about two-thirds of the crimes against property — robbery, burglary, mugging, etc. — are the result of the ridiculously inflated drug prices caused by those “laws.”
Our forbearers at least, learned from their mistake after only 14 years.
So Roosevelt’s “New Deal” marks the beginning of the end of the Republic and the heavy demolition work is being done by the misuse of the interstate part of the Commerce Clause.
There’s another telling measure of the degradation of the Republic. Despite the Korean “War,” the Vietnam “War,” the two Iraq “Wars,” the Afghanistan “War,” etc., the U.S. Government has not declared war according to The Constitution since the beginning of World War II.
As confessed by U.S. Representative Henry Hyde — not kidding about his name – – –
“Clearly the Constitution assigns the declarations of war function to Congress and only to Congress. …Instead what you do is you call it a police action, as we did in Korea, or you call it something else, but you do not formally take that giant leap of declaring war.” –Congressional Record, June 7, 1995
This has now become S.O.P. —Stamdard Operatomg Procedure.
In pursuing these unconstitutional wars, the U.S. Government has killed approximately 5 million men, women and children, and caused untold death, destruction, and misery, creating a reservoir of hate for America and Americans all around the world.
If the elected liars and constitutional scoff-laws claiming to be the U.S. Government can side-step the rules they swore to uphold and defend, especially in making that most consequential of decisions — that is, the decision to “put us in harm’s way” by going to war unconstitutionally — some folks might suggest tar and feathers. Or maybe something even more appropriate. What do you think?