It's old, out-dated, written by dead white guys who
But who can blame them? Politicians don't consider
themselves obligated to obey the Constitution.
If we could transport the Signers of the
Constitution into the 21st century, not a single one of them would
say we are under the Constitution in any meaningful sense.
Not just "technically" or in some
"legalistic" sense are we no longer under the
Constitution, but the core values and philosophy which were
said to undergird the Constitution have been lost.
America was told that the Constitution embodies values
and beliefs, many of which are not explicitly stated in the
Constitution itself, and prescribes a legal procedure
to protect those values from encroachment by the government.
Assuming that to be true, the government created by the
Constitution has shredded those values.
The Values Behind the Constitution
Our nation's Declaration
of Independence, the charter that created the United States of
America, contains these words:
WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the Pursuit of Happiness
Herein are contained the core values that distinguished America
from all other nations:
- There exist absolute values, known to us in our consciences,
and hence "self-evident." We are "a
government of laws" -- unchanging principles
- America is an experiment in liberty, undertaken "with
a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence."
Our National Motto is, "In
God We Trust."
- We all have God-given rights,
including the right to Life,
and the Pursuit
- Equality: A king or politician is no more benevolent,
wise, compassionate, intelligent, moral, or trustworthy than a
citizen, and the lowliest citizen has no fewer rights than the
- The rights of the lowliest serf cannot be taken
("alienated") by the government.
- All Americans have the right to better their condition,
provided that their pursuit of happiness is consistent with
"The Laws of Nature and of
The Declaration of Independence also says "it is the Right
of the People to alter or to abolish" the government
"whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive" of
Constitutional Procedures to
Protect American Values
The theory behind our Constitution is that government can never
do more than any man can do individually or as a group.
"The People" can delegate to government only such powers
as it is legitimate for people to exercise. And the Framers of the
Constitution made it clear that the government has only those
powers which "the People" deliberately choose to
delegate to it. Because we are "a
government of laws, not of men," our Constitution makes
it difficult for men to make changes in our system.
90% or more of our government's budget
today goes to functions which are unconstitutional. The only
powers which the federal government has are those expressly
delegated to it in the Constitution. The federal government has no
constitutional power in the area of religion, charity, education,
hospitals, or herbal supplements. The General
Welfare Clause is no exception to this rule.
Problems with the Constitution
the Constitution Really Meant to Constrain the Government?
Many advocates of liberty have
thought they just had to appeal to the “original meaning”
of the Constitution and things would more or less take
care of themselves. But if that were so, why are we in the
mess we're in now? I presume that earlier generations
interpreted the Constitution in a way more to the liking
of today's constitutionalists. What happened? Since that
time, the Constitution has never been suspended; the
government wasn't replaced by a non-constitutional regime.
The formal Constitution has been in force continuously
since 1789. Everything that happened was justified
Spooner was right: the Constitution "has
either authorized such a government as we have had, or has
been powerless to prevent it." The “parchment
barrier” against power (James Madison’s term for the
Bill of Rights) wasn’t much of a barrier.
Constitution or Liberty
Gary North, author of a multi-volume Economic
Commentary on the Bible, writes:
Articles of Confederation (1781) had the correct approach: no
taxation of individuals by the national government. It was
this that Alexander
Hamilton correctly saw had to be overturned in order to
establish an American empire, which he wanted to achieve. He
argued explicitly that the central government needed far more
money. He argued in Federalist
12 in favor of import taxes and taxes on liquor because they
would be easier to collect than taxes on farmers. He argued,
therefore, not for a principle of limiting national revenues,
but rather for the central government's greater ease of tax
collection in order to increase its revenue. From that day until
this, most American politicians have adopted this principle of
taxation: ease of collection.
The Constitutional Convention of
1787 was a
conspiracy against the concept of a limited central
government. In justifying the proposed Constitution against
constitutionally decentralized political power (the Articles),
Federalist 30 through 36, all written by Hamilton, promoted the
concept of the central government's concurrent taxation
of the people, along with the states. This was what the Articles
prohibited in order to make difficult the creation of a
centralized empire. This had to be overturned in order to create
a new empire, which Hamilton favored. It was, and it did.
America is No Longer Under the
Whether the Constitution was a good idea or a bad one, the
fundamental structure of government created by America's Founding
Fathers no longer exists. The separation of powers has been
replaced by "The Administrative State,"
and the system of federalism ("states' rights") embodied
in the 9th and 10th Amendments and vigorously defended by Madison
and Jefferson has been destroyed by what is today a
powerful centralized federal government.
behind the Constitution have been abandoned. By joining the modern
secularist trends and repudiating the Christian foundations of the
Constitution, the courts have stripped the Constitution of all
meaning. The oath to "support the
Constitution" or to be "attached" to its
principles likewise lacks any meaning.
America is no longer
under the British Crown. America is no longer under the Articles
of Confederation. And -- not just de facto, but (arguably) de
jure, -- America is no longer under the Constitution.
Anyone taking an take an oath to "support" a
Constitution which no longer exists must not be oblivious to Secularism's
march toward tyranny.
Does the Constitution uphold private
property? At one time it did, but no longer. In 1933, a state
of "national emergency" was declared. Some researchers
contend that wartime powers were invoked to suspend
the Constitution. World War I produced legislation ("The
Trading with the Enemy Act") which was conscripted for duty
in Roosevelt's "war" against the "Great
Depression." Congress approved his Executive decrees which
essentially declared all those who might believe in a
Constitutional Free Market to be "enemies"
of the State, and the gold of all these "enemies" was
In 1973, a special Senate
committee led by Senators Frank Church and Charles Mathias
Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of
declared national emergency. [H]undreds of statutes delegate to
the President extraordinary powers . . . which affect the lives
of American citizens in a host of all-encompassing manners. This
vast range of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to
rule the country without reference to normal constitutional
processes. . . . A majority of the people of the United States
have lived all their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years,
freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the
Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws
brought into force by states of national emergency. [A]ctions
taken by the Government in times of great
crises have - from, at least, the Civil War - in important ways
shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of national
Emergency and the Erosion of Private Property RightsIn
1943, the Supreme Court ruled that it could not be said for
certain that an admitted member of the Communist Party, holding
positions in the Communist Party's National
Committee and being the Party's nominee for Governor of Minnesota,
was not "attached to the principles of the
Constitution." In addition to working
for the violent overthrow of Representative
Government, the Communist Party denies the legitimacy of private
property. But that was no problem for the Court.
Through "New Deal" policies, the "organic
law" of the Founders was completely overturned. According
to such organic charters as the Declaration of Independence, human
beings are created by God with unalienable rights to life, liberty
and property. These rights exist prior to the State. No longer.
The "theoretical basis" of property rights embodied
in the "New Deal" was "far different from what it
had been" under America's organic law
(e.g., the Declaration of Independence: rights given by God,
unalienable by the State):
To facilitate the State's unalienable rights
over the citizens, "a fourth branch of government"
was established, which, to use Madison's words
in The Federalist, "may justly be pronounced the very
definition of tyranny." For years,
government officials with strong Communist leanings had
"urged differing degrees of governmental ownership
and control of natural resources, basic means of production, and
banks and the media of exchange, either with or without
1913 and 1937, most of the planks of the Communist Manifesto had
been put into law in America by high-ranking
government officials, including President Roosevelt;
officials who had taken a solemn oath to "support the
Constitution," and therefore, according to the Court,
officials "whose attachment to the general
constitutional scheme cannot be doubted."
Property rights, from this [new] perspective, are simply a
"delegation" from the state to the citizenry . . . .
No longer did "property" represent some prepolitical
"natural" entitlement; it now represented
a public policy judgment by the state that, overall, important
social values would be realized by leaving certain controls in
the hands of ordinary citizens.
"solemnly swear to support" a
Constitution which has been suspended for 70 years is - either
knowingly or ignorantly - to rubber-stamp the corporate-martial
law that replaced it. Transport any of the
Founding Fathers into the first decade of the
21th century. Let them look at our schools, our tax-rates, our
mortality rate for pre-born children, and
ask them if they will take a (secular)
oath to "support the Constitution." I dare say none of
them - except perhaps Alexander Hamilton - would take such an
Just months after
the Schneiderman case, a Nazi sympathizer, a devotee of
Hitler who believed that when one became "Americanized"
one was "ruined," was held by the Court to be
"attached to the principles of the Constitution."
secular, socialistic decisions of the Supreme Court evidence
"an unqualified hostility to the most fundamental and
universally recognized principles of the Constitution."
And since the Constitution is whatever the Court says it is, I
might be deemed to be unable to "support the
Constitution," and would certainly be violating the supreme
Law of the Land by taking an oath declaring my
"support" for the Constitution.
permitting Nazis and known Communists to take an oath to
"Support the Constitution," courts have relied on
Article V, which permits Amendments. Thus, a Communist, who might
seek to amend the Constitution out of existence and set up a
Socialist Dictatorship, is held by the courts to be "attached
to the principles of the Constitution," namely (or
especially), the "Constitutional principle" of amendment.
have a strong revulsion against this "make-the-oath-mean-whatever-you-want-it-to-mean,-and-get-it-over-with"
attitude. The oath is a sacred and solemn act,
not some kind of ceremonial "silly putty."
in any case, the secularists are one step ahead of
Amendment-minded Christians. There appears to be an exception to
this "Amendment" rule. There seems to
be one kind of Amendment that cannot be suggested;
one kind of vision that the Supreme Court has
called "abhorrent to our tradition."
It's not Naziism. It's not Communism.
Lysander Spooner opposed slavery and the federal postal
monopoly on constitutional grounds, but later confessed,
[W]hether 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.
It's the closing line of "No
Treason: The Constitution of No Authority."
Resources on the Constitution
Judge Andrew Napolitano:
Constitution And Freedom
Introduction: Understanding The Constitution
Part 1: The Constitution
Part 2: The Congress
Part 3: The President
Part 4: The Courts
Part 5: The States
A Mix of
Wisdom and Insanity
In the late
eighteenth century something very unusual occurred, something that
seemed as if it might break the perpetual cycle of serial
tyrants. That event was the signing of the Declaration of
Independence. What made that event unusual was not that the people
were rebelling against a tyrant – which had happened countless
times before – but that the rebels expressed some basic
philosophical principles, rejecting not just a particular regime
but rejecting oppression in principle. Almost.
Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution which followed
some years later, were a combination of profound insight and
glaring contradictions. On the bright side, the discussion of the
time was not just about who would be in charge, but focused
heavily on the concept of individual rights and limiting the power
of “government,” At the same time, the Declaration of
Independence erroneously asserted that “government” can have a
legitimate role in society: to protect the rights of individuals,
However, this has never been true in practice, and cannot
even be true in theory. As explained above, an organization which
did nothing more than defend individual rights would not be “government”
in any sense of the term.
The Declaration also
spoke of unalienable rights, and asserted that “all men are
created equal” (as far as their rights are concerned). But the
authors failed to realize that such concepts completely rule out
any possibility of a legitimate ruling class, even a very limited
one. The very principles they expressed were then immediately
contradicted by their efforts to create a protector “government.”
One day they were declaring that “all men are created equal”
(the Declaration of Independence), and the next they were
declaring that some men, calling themselves “Congress,” had
the right to rob (”tax”) everyone else (U.S. Constitution,
Article I, Section 8, Clause 1). The American Revolution was the
result of a hodgepodge of conflicting ideas, some supporting
individual sovereignty, some supporting a ruling class. The
Declaration asserts that when any “government” becomes
destructive of individual rights – as every “government”
always does, the moment it comes into existence – the people
have a duty to alter or abolish it. Yet the Constitution claims to
give to Congress the power to “suppress insurrections” (US.
Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15). This implies that
the people have a right to resist “government” oppression, but
that “government” has a right to violently crush them when
they do. In short, the works of the “Founding Fathers” consist
of a combination of profound wisdom and utter lunacy. In some
places, they described quite well the concept of self-ownership;
in others, they sought to create a ruling class. They did not seem
to notice that those two agendas are utterly incompatible with
The result of their efforts was, in
one sense, a gigantic failure. The regime they created grew far
beyond what both the federalists and the anti-federalists said
they wanted. The Declaration and the Constitution utterly failed
to keep “government” power limited. The promise of a “government”
that would be a servant of the people, protecting their rights but
otherwise leaving them in peace, grew into the largest, most
powerful authoritarian empire the world has ever known, including
the largest and most intrusive extortion racket ever known, the
largest and most powerful war machine in history, and the most
intrusive and invasive bureaucracy in history.
truth, the idea was doomed from the beginning. Perhaps the most
valuable thing the “Great American Experiment” accomplished
was to demonstrate that “limited government” is impossible,
There cannot be a master who answers to his slaves. There cannot
be a lord who serves his subjects. There cannot be a ruler who is
both above the people and subordinate to them. Unfortunately,
there are still many who refuse to learn this lesson, insisting
instead that the Constitution did not fail, the people failed –
by not doing it right, by not being vigilant enough, or by some
other neglect or corruption,
Oddly, this the
same excuse given by communists for why their flawed
philosophy, when put into practice in the real world, always turns
into violent oppression. The truth is that any form of
authoritarian control – any type of “government,” whether
constitutional, democratic, socialist, fascist, or anything else
– will result in a set of masters forcibly oppressing a group of
slaves. That is what “authority” is – all it ever has been,
and all it ever could be, no matter how many layers of euphemisms
and pleasant rhetoric are used in an attempt to hide it.
The mythology surrounding
the Constitution alleges that it served as a sort of contract
between the people in general and their new “servants” in
Congress. But there is not a shred of truth to that. One cannot,
by signing a contract, bind someone else to an “agreement.”
The idea that a few dozen white, male, wealthy landowners
could enter an agreement on behalf of over two million other
people is absurd, But the absurdity does not stop there. No
contract can ever create a right held by none of the participants,
which is what all “government” constitutions pretend to do.
The form of the document makes it clear that it was not an actual
contract, but an attempt to fabricate out of thin air the right to
rule, however “limited” it was supposed to be.
actual agreement by contract is a fundamentally different thing
from any document purporting to create a “government.” For
example, if a thousand American colonists had signed an agreement
saying “We agree to give a tenth of whatever we produce, in
exchange for the protection services of the George Washington
Protection Company,” they could be morally bound by such an
agreement. (Making an agreement and breaching it is a form of
theft, akin to going to a store and taking something without
paying for it.) But they could not bind anyone else to the
agreement, nor could they use such an agreement to give the “George
Washington Protection Company” the right to start robbing or
otherwise controlling people who had nothing to do with the
Additionally, while the Constitution
pretends to authorize “Congress” to do various things, it does
not actually require Congress to do anything, Who in their
right mind would sign a contract which did not bind the other
party to do anything? (In DeShaney v. Winnebago, 489 U.S.
189, even the U.S. Supreme Court officially declared that “government”
has no actual duty to protect the public.) The result is that the
Constitution, rather than being a brilliant, useful, valid
contract, was an insane attempt by a handful of men to
unilaterally subject millions of other people to the control of a
machine of aggression, in exchange for no guarantee of anything.
The fact that millions of Constitutionalists are desperately
trying to get back to that, in the hopes that it can save
their “country” if the people try it again – after it
completely failed on the first attempt – is a testament to the
power, and the insanity, of the superstition of “authority.”
Most Dangerous Superstition [pdf]
||R. Higgs, Crisis and
Leviathan 168-180 (1987). The "limited
government" rhetoric of Constitutional conservatives
has no effect during a time of "national
emergency." [Return to text]
||Emergency Powers Statutes:
Provisions of Federal Law Now in Effect Delegating to the
Executive Extraordinary Authority in Time of National
Emergency; Report of the Special Committee on the
Termination of the National Emergency, U.S. Senate,
93rd Cong., 1st Session, iii, 1 (1973).
World War II,
Korea, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Panama, and Iraq also resulted
in a number of additional "emergency" measures.
a result of these hearings, Congress grew jealous of
Presidential powers, and in 1976 sought to establish its
own authority to determine "national
emergencies" and constitutional "enemies."
T. Burzynski, "Is
the Constitution Suspended?" 12 The New
American 15-16 (Feb. 5, 1996). You no doubt noticed
the resulting dramatic increase in Constitutional
Simply "cancelling" the
"national emergency" will
do nothing to reverse the trend toward socialism and
secularism. [Return to text]
9. The words of the oath of allegiance
required for naturalization. Schneiderman v. U.S., 320 U.S.
118, 63 S.Ct. 1333, 87 L.Ed. 1796 (1943). [Return
10. Although it was a problem for
Justice Felix Frankfurter, himself a naturalized citizen.
Following circulation of a draft opinion in the Schneiderman
case, Justice Frankfurter sent a note to Justice Murphy, who
authored the opinion, suggesting that the headnote to the opinion
in the official reports read:
The American Constitution ain't got no principles. The Communist
Party don't stand for nuthin'. The Soopreme Court don't mean
nuthin'. Nuthin' means nuthin', and ter Hell with the U.S.A. so
long as a guy is attached to the principles of the U.S.S.R.
J. Howard, Mr. Justice Murphy: A Political Biography 315
(1968), cited by Levinson, Constitutional Faith, p. 144.
[Return to text]
S. Levinson, "Unnatural Law" (Review of C. Sunstein, The
Partial Constitution) 209 The New Republic 40, 41 (July
19/26, 1993). [Return to text]
Idem. See also Senate Doc. 43 (73rd Cong., 1st Sess.):
"The ownership of all property is in the State; individual
so-called ''ownership' is only by virtue of Government, i.e., law,
amounting to mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and
subordinate to the necessities of the State." Quoted in E.
Fact or Fiction, 36 (1995). [Return
13. J. Freedman, Crisis and
Legitimacy, 6 (1978). [Return to text]
Quoted in A. Gulas, "The American Administrative State: The
New Leviathan" 28 Duquesne L Rev. 489, 490 (1990).
(With Madison's warning ringing in his ears, the author
nevertheless supports the "New Leviathan.") [Return
15. Schneiderman v. U.S.,
320 U.S. 118, 141, 87 L.Ed. 1796, 1811 (1943). [Return
16. M. Hendrickson, America's
March Toward Communism (1987). Update:
2000 [Return to text]
J. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (rev. ed. 1956); A. Sutton, Wall
Street and FDR (1975). (Sutton was a Research Fellow at the
Hoover Institution, Stanford University.) [Return
18. Schneiderman, above,
note 15. Justice McReynolds might have doubted it. Dissenting in
an important case upholding flagrantly unconstitutional "New
Deal" Legislation, he cried: "This is Nero at his worst.
The Constitution is gone." Quoted by E.S. Corwin, Constitutional
Revolution, Ltd. 46 (1941). [Return to
19. Imagine a group of sinister
Anti-Federalists in 1792 seizing control of a small town, cutting
off all communication [they didn't have Orwellian Memory-Holes
back then] and forcing citizens to take an oath to "support The
Articles of Confederation." What possible purpose could
such an oath have but to solidify their unconstitutional control
over the town? America is no longer governed by the Constitution.
[Return to text]
Over 32 million killed since 1973. Human Life Alliance of
Minnesota, She's a Child, Not a "Choice," 10
(1995). [Return to text]
Hamilton would probably be guarding multi-national corporate
interests against upstart nationalists and "agrarian
reformers" from his positions on the Trilateral Commission
and Council on Foreign Relations. [Return to
22. Baumgartner v. U.S., 322
U.S. 665, 669 (1944). See generally J. Flynn, As We Go
Marching (1973 ) (comparing "New Deal" fascism
with "rule by emergency" under Article 31 of the German
Constitution). [Return to text]
Schneiderman v. U.S., 320 U.S. 118, 195, 87 L.Ed. 1796,
1839 (1943) (Stone, C.J., dissenting). [Return
24. Cf. Summers.
[Return to text]
re Saralieff, 59 F.2d 436, 437 (E.D. Mo. 1932). See also In
re Petition for Naturalization of Matz, 296 F.Supp. 927 (E.D.
Cal., 1969) (denying naturalization to Jehovah's Witness who,
"because of religious training and belief refuses to vote,
serve on juries or otherwise participate in government" (at
929) (citing In re Saralieff (at 930n6), and U.S. v.
Macintosh, 285 U.S. 605, 51 S.Ct. 570 (at 931n.20) On Macintosh,
cf. below, text
at notes 192-198). The Saralieff case obviously
pre-dates the "post-meaning" age. But the priority it
gives to the State still lives. [Return to
26. Jesus said, "I say to you
that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of
it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be
justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew
12:36-37). After studying the metamorphosis of American Government
Civil War and the repudiation of the Founding Fathers (which,
admittedly, most people have never done), it is difficult to avoid
the conclusion that no more idle words could be spoken than
"I swear to support the Constitution." Cf. below,
note 216. [Return to text]
Cf. D. Linder, "What in the Constitution Cannot be
Amended," 23 Ariz. L Rev. 717 (1981). [Return
28. Girouard v. U.S., 328
U.S. 61, 69, 66 S.Ct. 826, 829 (1946). [Return