Timothy N. Baldwin, JD.
October 26, 2010
Those who would classify themselves as the enemies of tyranny and advocates of freedom have offered—and for quite some time—many reasons why the United States are in the condition they are in. These reasons need to be reduced to their principle and need to be studied in terms of both society and government phenomenon before real remedies can be applied to the problems caused by the reasons. The reasons can be summarized into three main statements. The problem with the United States:
is not with the United States Constitution (“USC”) but with
the people of America;
(2) is not with the USC but with government rulers; and
(3) is with the USC, regardless of the people or rulers.
It is admitted that the complexity of this subject cannot be fully dealt with in a short article as this, but perhaps the content herein will aspire more people to truly identify the real causes of our plight so that an enlightenment of the mind will produce freedom, happiness and peace in all of the societies in America. To that end, I will take the proposed reasons in order.
(1) The problem with the United States is not with the USC but with the people of America.
1(a) here. I find this position
to be at best partially correct.
(b) Objective Perspective of the People’s Problem
If the statement, (1) above, were to mean that the problems in the United States are caused not by the USC but by the people of America from an objective or evolutionary perspective, the argument could be more readily accepted from the student of political and societal philosophy, allowing for a more meaningful and scientific redress. The statement of objectivity would be as follows:
“The USC as ratified in 1787 was sufficient to govern the people of American in 1787 as then situated, but as decades and centuries evolved, circumstances changed to such a degree that the USC cannot adequately govern the people and states in the manner hoped for by the ratifying generation.”
This statement would admit what America’s founders understood in 1787 concerning the limited usefulness of a constitution, as did their forefathers before them, and would conform more easily to political and social science. In such a case, the people of the States could honestly and objectively look at reforming a union of States in such a manner as to more adequately secure their life, liberty, property and happiness—those being the only ends of government:
“The great and chief end…of men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property”;“the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.”
As was discussed by political philosophers of days gone by (who shaped the minds of America’s founders), States or governments are formed “to endure for ever in the SAME CONDITION…[and] need only to maintain itself: and it can easily be proved that any INCREASE DOES IT MORE HARM THAN GOOD.” States are not formed to endure forever in altogether different conditions than were originally formed under preexisting circumstances and purposes.
The U.S. is in anything but the same condition today as compared to the conditions of 1787, not to mention the nature and composition of the U.S. Constitution and union. The political truism that was abandoned in America a long time ago is the scientific requirement that a State attempt to maintain its size and stability, not continually engorge itself with the needs and thus demands of society and government. Political philosopher, John Rousseau, rightly observes,
“[A] body which is too big for its constitution gives way and falls crushed under its own weight…The State must assure itself a safe foundation, if it is to have stability…There are reasons for expansion and reasons for contraction; and it is no small part of the statesman's skill to hit between them the mean that is most favourable to the preservation of the State…[T]he reason for expansion, being merely external and relative, ought to be subordinate to the reasons for contraction, which are internal and absolute...
“[T]here have been known States so constituted that the necessity of making conquests entered into their very constitution, and that, in order to maintain themselves, they were forced to expand ceaselessly. It may be that they congratulated themselves greatly on this fortunate necessity, which none the less indicated to them, along with the limits of their greatness, the inevitable moment of their fall.”
Constitutions are enacted for and under certain circumstances, not for all times and all peoples, for John Locke rightly observed, “whatever engagements or promises any one made for himself, he is under the obligation of them, but cannot by any compact whatsoever bind his children or posterity.” In addition, John Rousseau observed the unnatural proposition that future generations are bound by the decisions of past generations, stating “it is absurd for the will to bind itself for the future, nor is it incumbent on any will to consent to anything that is not for the good of the being who wills.” Arguing “once a union, always a union” is simply nonsensical and ignorant.
It is a truism that a people can become too large for a constitution, no matter how well the constitution was drafted. Did not U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Story, admit this:
“[T]he fabric [of the United States Constitution] may fall; for the work of man is perishable. Nay, it must fall, if there be not the vital spirit in the people, which can alone nourish, sustain, and direct, all its movements.”
How can it be denied that when the nature and character of a society or societies fundamentally change, the purpose for which their government or union was formed becomes altogether frustrated and impossible to achieve? The story of Rome proves this, as do thousands of other world history stories. In truth, America’s history is proving the same thing. The bond holding the union together is not the love of each other, the unity of interest and purpose or choice, as the Federalist Paper writers suggested. Rather, the bond is force, proving that the beginning of the end of the USC started many years ago:
“For the fundamental conventions being broken, it is impossible to conceive of any right or interest that could retain the people in the social union; unless they were restrained by force, which alone causes the dissolution of the state of civil society.”
To say that the USC is not the cause of the problems America faces today but rather that the nature and character of the union and its correlative societies in the States have caused a disconnection in principles concerning self-government and self-determination seem evidently more realistic or at least more acceptable in practice than the subjective model stated in part 1(a) of this article. To be a statesman is to “hit between them the mean that is most favourable to the preservation of the State” and thus to study political principles that would adequately secure individual liberty and state sovereignty in a union of 50 states with hundreds of millions of people (and growing, especially considering the illegal immigrants who not only merge here but also breed here) with fundamentally opposing views of life and government’s purpose.
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In all reality, it seems nearly to quite impossible that freedom based upon the principles of limited government, defined jurisdiction, statehood, self-government and individual liberty can be reinstituted in any union of hundreds of millions through one central authority with supreme sovereignty over matters of general welfare through the use of a tax and commerce power (along with many others) as has been proposed to belong to the federal government for many hundreds of years in America. To eliminate such a serious and inherent problem in America would require at the very least a constitutional amendment, but in reality, much more. For part one click below.
ui.e. size and composure of the union, differing interests of the union,
the lack of unity of several hundred millions of people, etc. See, “The
perfection of a state, and its aptitude to attain the ENDS OF SOCIETY,
must then depend on its constitution: consequently the most important
concern of a nation that forms a political society, and its first and
most essential duty towards itself, is to CHOOSE THE BEST CONSTITUTION
POSSIBLE, and that MOST SUITABLE TO ITS CIRCUMSTANCES. When it makes this
choice, it lays the foundation of its own PRESERVATION, SAFETY, PERFECTION,
AND HAPPINESS: — it cannot take too much care in placing these on
a solid basis.” Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book 1, Ch. 3, Sec.
28 (emphasis added).
2. “Will it be sufficient…to trust to these parchment [paper] barriers against the encroaching spirit of power?” James Madison, Federalist Paper 48.
3. John Locke, An Essay Concerning the True Original Extend and End of Civil Government, from Great Books of the Western World, (Chicago, IL, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952, originally published 1755), 53.
4. John Locke, An Essay On Civil Government, 37.
5. John Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse On Political Economy, from Great Books of the Western World, Ed., Robert M. Hutchins, Trns. G.D. H. Cole, (Chicago, IL, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952, originally published 1755), 367 (emphasis added).
6. Rousseau, The Social Contract, from Great Books of the Western World, Ed., Robert M. Hutchins, Trns. G.D. H. Cole, (Chicago, IL, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1952, originally published 1755), 403.
7. John Locke, An Essay On Civil Government, 52.
8. Rousseau, The Social Contract¸ 395.
9, Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the United States Constitution, (New York, NY, Harper and Brother, 1868 reprinted), 100-101.
10, Rousseau, 374.
11, E.g., free republican governments require a small population of similar interests or unity; large populations require monarchy or aristocracy forms of government; democracies are impossible with large populations; sovereignty subject to another sovereignty is no sovereignty at all, etc.
© 2010 Timothy N. Baldwin, JD - All Rights Reserved
Timothy N. Baldwin is an attorney from Pensacola, FL. He received his bachelor of arts degree at the University of West Florida in 2001 and received his Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2004. Baldwin was a Prosecutor in the 1st District of Florida from 2004 to 2006. In 2006, he started his own law practice, where he created specialized legal services entirely for property management companies.
Like his father, Chuck Baldwin, Timothy Baldwin is an astute articulator of cutting-edge political ideas, which he posts on his website, www.libertydefenseleague.com and speaks about in various public forum. Baldwin is the author of Freedom For A Change, in which he expounds the fundamental principles of freedom believed by America’s forefathers and gives inspiring and intelligent application of those principles to America’s current political and cultural standing. Baldwin believes that the times require all freedom-loving Americans to educate, invigorate and activate the principles of freedom within the STATES of America for ourselves and our posterity.
Web site: LibertyDefenseLeague