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Posted: 12/4/2001 12:11:24 PM EDT
Forget the Constitution by John Keller Ron Paul is frequently, and correctly, praised as the lone constitutionalist in Congress. But he is truly the exception that proves the rule: our government is no longer bound by anything resembling the written limitations of the Constitution. I used to share the minarchist view. A small, limited government seemed possible and pragmatic. Even that’s changed since September 11th. Instead of rethinking the foreign policy that contributed to the attacks, the government piled on more of the same. Instead of firing the chiefs of the FAA, CIA, and FBI, those agencies get more funding. The attacks on September 11th have given the federal government an excuse to shear all but the ghostly forms of any remaining constitutionally guaranteed liberties from a sheep-like people. Torture, constant surveillance, seizure upon suspicion, suspension of habeas corpus, abolishment of Posse Comitatus, and warrant-less searches of your person and property are either in effect or under serious debate. Imagine, torture in the United States! The United States has become a police state, all with our precious, written Constitution still moldering under glass in Washington, D.C. In the span of less than 100 years communism peaked and collapsed in the Soviet Union. Communism failed because it was based on severely flawed assumptions about people, and what motivates them. I think it’s time to admit that the idea of a Constitutionally limited government has failed as well. It, too, is based on flawed assumptions about people. Perhaps not as spectacularly wrong as communism, but wrong, nonetheless. Since it has taken over 200 years to produce our American "Stalinism-lite", and it has not yet collapsed, perhaps we can say constitutionally limited republicanism is at least three times better than communism. Or, to paraphrase Churchill the worst government yet invented, but better than all the rest tried so far. We can always feel better about our revolutionaries than the Russians do about the Bolsheviks; ours didn’t purges millions after winning the war. Our patriots fought for individual, God given rights, instead of aetheistic utopian groups rights. Still, the men who founded our current Republic by writing and ratifying the Constitution understood the dangerous path they were taking. Students of antiquity, they tried to avoid following the Roman path of Kingdom, then Republic, then Empire, by writing everything down. It turns out in practice that the "social contract" cannot bind the politician or the entrenched bureaucrat, any more than the Soviet Union could make the New Soviet Man. In hindsight we can see that a piece of paper is no match for the linguistic gymnastics of our permanent caste of lawyer kings.
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:12:25 PM EDT
When things do change in this country, it will not be because the bureaucrats, professional liars, and assorted utopians come to work one day and say "Gee, we failed in our job. The private market would be so much better at this." It will be because the people have finally figured out that Ben Franklin was right all along, liberty can’t be traded for security, and it looks like Rothbard, Spooner, and Patrick Henry were right about the Constitution. It’s time for we the people to let go of our sentimental attachment to the Constitution; our politicians broke their allegiance to it long ago. Like communism, it may sound like a good idea on paper, but it hasn’t worked in practice. It just took longer to fail. I’ve made the journey from skeptical Republican to minarchist Libertarian to anarcho-capitalist in a few short years. Thankfully, I had the Internet to help me stand on the libertarian shoulders of free-market and freedom minder thinkers. Forget the Constitution. It didn’t work. It’s time to start thinking about a government-free future. December 4, 2001
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:20:54 PM EDT
ok, this should be interesting...
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 12:45:33 PM EDT
John Keller? Not the John Keller from MA that works for WBZ radio and WVLI tv?
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:01:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:17:33 PM EDT
Let me see if I got this "logic" right.... Since our modern politicians have renounced the Constuitution, THAT s proof that the Constitution doesn't work, and therefore we should scrap it??? Is that what he's tellin' us??? He's kiddin', right??? A parallel, if I may... Well since I CHOSE not to drive my fully functional car to work this morning, and rode my bicycle 27 miles instead, that is proof my car doesn't work, and therefore I should firebomb it, and look forward to a car-free future. Good plan. Idiot. .
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 1:45:31 PM EDT
Well, I was going to reply, but G-man managed to put it in very eloquent terms. Perhaps Mr. Keller should think about scrapping the politicians and b'crats first and see what happens. Might get another 200 years out of the ol' document - just like changing the oil on the car. To MR. Keller (and I know he doesn't read this forum, unfortunately) - please reference T. Jefferson's other quote - "The tree of liberty must be refreshed at times by the blood of patriots and tyrants" (or something like that). We need not lose our "sentimental attachment" to the constitution, but rather, we need to remember the opening lines of the preamble - "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union..."
Link Posted: 12/4/2001 2:20:03 PM EDT
if something is "broken" you examine what is wrong and replace the worn, broken, or bad parts. give up? what for? the American way of life has been more successfull than any other form of governance. if it breaks down it is because dill-weeds try to turn it into their form of goverance. human nature? yes human nature lends itself to stupidity and self-destruction, but such nauture did not keep this country from being born in the first place. why not lib
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