By George F. Will, Published: January 27
War, said James Madison, is “the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” Randolph Bourne, the radical essayist killed by the influenza unleashed by World War I, warned, “War is the health of the state.” Hence Barack Obama’s State of the Union hymn: Onward civilian soldiers, marching as to war.
Obama, an unfettered executive wielding a swollen state, began and ended his address by celebrating the armed forces. They are not “consumed with personal ambition,” they “work together” and “focus on the mission at hand” and do not “obsess over their differences.” Americans should emulate troops “marching into battle,” who “rise or fall as one unit.”
Well. The armed services’ ethos, although noble, is not a template for civilian society, unless the aspiration is to extinguish politics. People marching in serried ranks, fused into a solid mass by the heat of martial ardor, proceeding in lock step, shoulder to shoulder, obedient to orders from a commanding officer — this is a recurring dream of progressives eager to dispense with tiresome persuasion and untidy dissension in a free, tumultuous society.
Progressive presidents use martial language as a way of encouraging Americans to confuse civilian politics with military exertions, thereby circumventing an impediment to progressive aspirations — the Constitution and the patience it demands. As a young professor, Woodrow Wilson had lamented that America’s political parties “are like armies without officers.” The most theoretically inclined of progressive politicians, Wilson was the first president to criticize America’s founding. This he did thoroughly, rejecting the Madisonian system of checks and balances — the separation of powers, a crucial component of limited government — because it makes a government that cannot be wielded efficiently by a strong executive.
Franklin Roosevelt agreed. He complained about “the three-horse team of the American system”: “If one horse lies down in the traces or plunges off in another direction, the field will not be plowed.” And progressive plowing takes precedence over constitutional equipoise among the three branches of government. Hence FDR’s attempt to break the Supreme Court to his will by enlarging it.
In his first inaugural address, FDR demanded “broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” He said Americans must “move as a trained and loyal army” with “a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.” The next day, addressing the American Legion, Roosevelt said it was “a mistake to assume that the virtues of war differ essentially from the virtues of peace.” In such a time, dissent is disloyalty.
Yearnings for a command society were common and respectable then. Commonweal, a magazine for liberal Catholics, said that Roosevelt should have “the powers of a virtual dictatorship to reorganize the government.” Walter Lippmann, then America’s preeminent columnist, said: “A mild species of dictatorship will help us over the roughest spots in the road ahead.” The New York Daily News, then the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper, cheerfully editorialized: “A lot of us have been asking for a dictator. Now we have one. . . . It is Roosevelt. . . . Dictatorship in crises was ancient Rome’s best era.” The New York Herald Tribune titled an editorial “For Dictatorship if Necessary.”
Obama, aspiring to command civilian life, has said that in reforming health care, he would have preferred an “elegant, academically approved” plan without “legislative fingerprints on it” but “unfortunately” he had to conduct “negotiations with a lot of different people.” His campaign mantra “We can’t wait!” expresses progressivism’s impatience with our constitutional system of concurrent majorities. To enact and execute federal laws under Madison’s institutional architecture requires three, and sometimes more, such majorities. There must be majorities in the House and Senate, each body having distinctive constituencies and electoral rhythms. The law must be affirmed by the president, who has a distinctive electoral base and election schedule. Supermajorities in both houses of Congress are required to override presidential vetoes. And a Supreme Court majority is required to sustain laws against constitutional challenges.
“We can’t wait!” exclaims Obama, who makes recess appointments when the Senate is not in recess, multiplies “czars” to further nullify the Senate’s constitutional prerogative to advise and consent, and creates agencies (e.g., Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board and Dodd-Frank’sConsumer Financial Protection Bureau) untethered from legislative accountability.
Like other progressive presidents fond of military metaphors, he rejects the patience of politics required by the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.
For a more erudite presentation of what is going through my mind, let me begin by quoting E.G. Vibes “Peaceful Politics Part 1”
“In republics we are forced to put our trust in representatives who don’t have our best interests in mind, while in democracies we are subject to the whims of the majority, and these whims are of course controlled and manipulated by those in society who have the most control and influence. It seems that either way, the average people really don’t have a say in what happens in their society and they are typically subject to various forms of oppression that are justified by the state.
Oftentimes the debate arises, is America a republic or a democracy? I would argue that it has been a little bit of both, as I’m guessing this is where the “republican” and “democrat” branches come from. In reality our form of government has properties of both a republic and a democracy. Sadly, when we look at the government today, we can say that we unfortunately end up with the worst of both worlds.
Why is it that these systems both fail to protect the rights of the people? Because both systems give certain groups of people authority over other groups of people and both systems allow that privileged group to initiate force without consequence. In a republic the privileged group is the representative, while in a direct democracy the privileged group is the mob and the aristocrats who manipulate the mob through media and rhetoric.
Let’s start with the democratic system of government. At face value this system sounds great, holding votes and getting everyone involved in the society is a wonderful thing. However, this form of government is extremely corruptible, which is why it is praised by aristocrats and bureaucrats alike. Even in a pure system of direct democracy where there are no politicians, the citizens are still vulnerable to being manipulated into making decisions that are against their best interests. Likewise, those who happen to disagree with the whims of the majority are subject to the tyranny of the mob, which is why direct democracy is sometimes called mob rule.
A republic is put forth as an alternative to this system. In theory, a republic offers “representatives”, which are people who are said to be selected in order to preserve the rights of the people. Apparently, these “representatives” are given the power to direct the course of civilization in order to protect the rights of the minority from tyranny of the majority. Unfortunately, this never happens because republics are extremely easy to corrupt, due to the fact that so much power is concentrated in so few hands and the ability that those in power have to commit crimes and get away with them.
Even if the founders of a country and the first few generations of rulers are the epitome of moral virtue, eventually a psychopath will come along and grant himself powers and immunities, that all future psychopaths will further exploit, until the whole system is eventually corrupted and filled with psychopaths.
This is nothing new, this has happened constantly throughout history, all the way from the ancient Greek and Roman empires to every society that has attempted to replicate these systems. In fact, these ancient societies are the root of this age-old argument between republics and democracies, with the republic being represented by Rome and democracy being represented by Greece. If we bring this argument into the context of these ancient empires we will find that this debate is really a comparison of the aristocratic forms of government that failed in Rome and Greece thousands of years ago. Each of these cultures had a tradition of slave-owning and subjugation, so although they were starting to scratch the surface of ideas like autonomy and liberty, their actions showed that they had a very primitive level of respect for human life and the values of non-aggression.
There is no reason why our understanding of political philosophy needs to be stuck in the ancient world, when we have advanced and progressed in nearly every other aspect of our development. For us to truly become a civilized society, ideas like authority, justified sinning and subjective standards must be left behind and associated with oppressive traditions of our past like cultural slavery and arranged marriages, for example. A civilized society does not solve their problems with weapons and cages, so until we learn our way out of this and discover a new way of doing business, we really cannot say that our world is civilized.
Since we have explored the violent aspects of these control systems it is now important for us to recognize how these ideas are truly obsessive compulsive and utopian in nature.
The state of our civilization is absolutely abysmal, so it really is not too unreasonable to suggest that we need a whole new way of doing business, a whole new way of structuring our society that has yet to be attempted. As Einstein noted the definition of insanity should be “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. With that being said, how insane is it that our species has attempted to recreate the same failed civilizations time and time again. Yet unfortunately, whenever someone suggests that we take a new approach at organizing our society, they are the ones who are called insane, or at very least “utopian”.
The whole idea behind a “utopia” is to create a perfect society. This sounds great and all, but history has shown us that all attempts to create a utopia have come at very high costs and have been riddled with violence. In short, things have been forced. It seems that the path to the promised land has always been littered with corpses because those in power have insisted on using violence and subjugation to force their will onto the rest of the population, in failed attempts to create what they felt the ideal society would be. If anything, I would argue that our society is currently operating according to a utopian perspective. It is idealistic and perfectionistic to think that a small portion of society is capable of creating a world of peace and freedom, by committing acts of violence, making threats and imposing laws that they themselves refuse to follow.
What we have now, and what has come before us, that is utopian. To suggest that a more peaceful way of doing things would bring about a better society that on the other hand is not utopian. Of course, this is not how we are taught to look at things through the media and government schooling. Through these channels we are led to believe that society as it is right now is pinnacle of human achievement, and to think otherwise is unrealistic, idealistic, utopian, or even “extreme”.
I guarantee you, that the day before slavery was outlawed, there were slave owners claiming that it was absolutely impossible for the slaves to be free. Sadly, the majority of the slaves actually believed this lie, or else they would have long since overran the plantations and declared their own freedom. This is because in every case of subjugation throughout history, the oppressors have depended on various forms of mental coercion to exploit their neighbors. The threat of violence simply is not enough to make people submit to authority, therefore those in authority create philosophies that justify the needless suffering that the majority of society is forced to endure.
Every since the day I learned that the constitution did not release us from economic bondage to The International Investment Bankers, England, and the Vatican, My mind has been in a turmoil, wrestling with patriotic loyalty to the Constitution, and the shear impossibility of our government ever doing what we expected of them. Our government has Never Done Its Job as we were told it should.
The atrocities that American’s and other Nations have endured from the constant wars and theft of our money and freedoms is beyond comprehension. We must become capable of doing better at preserving our freedoms or we will soon be absolute slaves with no possibility of a return to freedom.
Therefore, it seems prudent that we find men capable of assessing the situation, and making suggestions on how to start over with a new Constitution that makes it impossible for politicians to deviate from its chains. When I consider how we have been brainwashed from childhood to accept these atrocities and remain loyal to a system that has NEVER worked, it makes me wonder if humanity is worth saving.
On my more positive days the rage against tyranny in government strengthens me, and I find myself trying to do something the Lord did not see fit to equip me for, and then I fall right back into this intellectual vacuum that humiliates me into depression. This is not how any thinking human being should have to live their life. Where the hell are those intellectual giants that can correct this unbearable cluster fuck?
There are times when the writings of Thomas Jefferson inspire me to great emotion, and admiration of him, but then reality sets in and I consider this! How was it possible for a man with his intellect to participate in a government that he knew full well was doomed to fail, as history authenticates. He had to have known that a Republic that was FINANCIALLY OBLIGATED TO OTHERS and dependent on honest politicians would fail, and yet he fought for it with all his strength.
On further consideration of Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together , unless they are agreed?” I despair of humanity ever being capable of enough unity to govern them selves without subjecting some to force, which brings me to the one thought that will not go away.
Why not itemize the political concepts so the masses can understand them and then divide their-selves into like minded communities and choose their own brand of government , or no government at all; that would take only one universal law to produce peace. When you cross this line, you obey our rules and you won’t get back home in one piece if you don’t. Intelligent men call this secession, and tried it once, but the forces of evil were to well financed to overcome.
SECESSION IS HUMANITIES LAST CHANCE!
And many will have to die to obtain it!