Thursday, November 24, 2016

The United States, Ver 3.0: One Nation—Under Force

Do you realize that the United States, as it exists today, is the third country to be called the United States of America?

In the beginning we were British. It is one of those little inconvenient truths of American history that we have to live with and sometimes forget. It was just one really big unhappy empire. Their government was ours. Their people were ours. It, because of our remote nature, was never a really happy arrangement. This does not obviate the fact that we were the same people of the same country.

Then, for reasons I won't explain here, came the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War against the British, followed shortly by the first United States constitution—The Articles of Confederation.

That country, as it existed in the beginning, was the United States, Version 1.0. It's constitution was only enough to keep the several States together and participating in the war effort.

Incidentally, when the Colonies were finally granted their freedom by the British, they did it by granting independence to them, individually, naming all thirteen colonies as independent countries. More than that, under the Articles of Confederation, the States were regarded as different and separate countries. They even had different money from State to State. The only drawback was that the system under the Articles of Confederation wasn't working very well and they were in imminent danger of falling apart and being conquered on all sides.
 

So a convention was held and the Constitution was written, and thus was conceived the second United States of America, Version 2.0.

Part of that Constitution, Article Seven, contains the following text; "The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States ratifying the same." This means; if States number ten through thirteen had never ratified the Constitution, they would have always been a different country. The United States, Version 1.0 and the United States, Version 2.0. This also means that another State could have joined the Articles of Confederation without joining the United States under the Constitution. Maybe they would have grown independently and indefinitely. We will never know.

This is, of course, hypothetical, because the States all eventually all seceded from the United States, Version 1.0 and ratified the Constitution, thus joining the United States, Version 2.0.

Even when the Constitution was ratified, it was done one State at a time, with two States, North Carolina and Rhode Island finally joining the United States more than a year later. It is interesting to note that during the time between when the Constitution was ratified by the 9th State, making the Constitution official, and when the 13th State joined, the two United States of America, Versions 1.0 and 2.0, existed side by side, in peace and cooperation, while being completely separate and different countries. One was operating under the Constitution (2.0) and the other under the Articles of Confederation (1.0). Both of these countries had separate congresses and presidents.

After that, every single State that joined this country did so, again, one state at a time, voluntarily, and of their own free will. And at least one of those States, The Republic of Texas, was its own independently operating country prior to joining the United States. The whole concept, that this country is a unified whole, is based on the fallacious assumption, taught by very poor history professors, that we have always been one country; as if the United States had just sprung fully grown from the head of Zeus.

Be that as it may, there is nothing in the Constitution that says this country is perpetual or that any State can't leave once they have joined. There is no Clause in the Constitution that gives the federal government the use of lethal force against any State deciding to leave the Union. Secession was broadly considered a right prior to the "Civil War." In fact and effect, the first State to secede from the United States, Version 2.0, was Massachusetts when they refused to participate in the War of 1812.

Freedom, by its own definition, has to include the right to leave. That's what freedom is. What was the problem with slavery? Simple. The slaves weren't allowed to leave! And if they did try to leave the threat of lethal force was used against them until they decided not to leave. If any man or woman were to walk of their own volition into a cage and by the same volition back out of it again, they would be said to be free.

I would tend to think that anybody with an education would understand that simple principle. It's the one the Declaration of Independence is based on when it said; "it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness."

An interesting and incidental fact which proves this argument is that Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, was never tried for treason because there was no law against what he did in promoting and participating in the secession of the South. The idea that a State can't leave this country was written absolutely nowhere in law prior to the "Civil War," and is based on the worst kind of forceful tyranny which is the admiration of despots from Lincoln to Stalin. Yes. I did just compare Lincoln to Stalin and called him a despot. And I meant every single word of it.

From April 12th, 1860, when the Confederate States were forced to fire on Fort Sumter to prevent invasion from the Union States in the North, forward, the United States changed from one nation under God, to one nation under the threat of lethal force if you do not comply. As it was for the slaves so it is with us. The only thing lacking being the physical chains. Where with slavery the force was executed against the individuals the force is now executed against entire groups of States. Where whips and chains were used entire armies are employed.

Holding a large group of people, on a large piece of land, in compliance to your will, by threat of military force, is no different in principle than holding an individual on the same basis.

Thus the United States of America, Version 2.0, was violently destroyed and replaced by the United States of America, Version 3.0.

From the very instant force was used to hold this country together, against the will of the States of which it was freely composed, it became something the founding fathers never intended it to be, and never would have supported. From that time on, one part of the country has been forced at the muzzle of really big guns, to be ruled by the dictates of the other parts of the country. This is true no matter who is in the White House. This is true no matter who holds the majority of the Supreme Court or Congress.

The difference between the United States, Version 2.0 and Version 3.0 was forcefully and illegally ratified by the 14th Amendment. And while I agree whole heartedly with Section One of the 13th Amendment, Section Two represents the first time the federal government expanded beyond the Constitutional limits of the 10th Amendment. For all intents and purposes, the government of the United States was changed at that point, from a limited federal government, to an unlimited federal government. Thus the country, while it looked the same and sounded the same, is fundamentally different.

Niccolò Machiavelli would have been proud.

I was surprised this week by the owner of the company I work for at my day job when he told me he thought the best solution for the lethargic economy would be to dissolve the Union and let each State go at it on their own. His point is simply that as a company owner the number of federal regulations he is having to spend money on, to be in compliance with, is making it difficult for him to be in business. I understand his frustration because there is no doubt that if he were to not comply, nice men backed by the force of guns would shut his business down and incarcerate him.

Since the election of Donald Trump I've seen petitions circulating in the liberal States to secede from the Union. This is nothing new. When Obama was elected, then reelected, I saw the same thing from more conservative States.

We are still fighting the problems that created the "Civil War" because the real issues, that of the rural areas verses the urban areas of the country, were never resolved. Rather than handling the real issues that created the "Civil War" the conversation keeps getting sidetracked into racism and slavery. The only difference between now and the 1860s is that instead of North verses South, it has become the coasts verses fly over country, as the 2016 election map, by country, below clearly illustrates.



The propaganda is the same as it was then. The issues, slavery notwithstanding, are the same as they were. Prior to the South's threats of secession several States in the North threatened secession. It goes this way all the way back to the beginning of our history.

As it was prior to the "Civil War" the most densely populated areas of the country want different things based on different standards than the least densely populated areas. And while we are chained together, by the threat of force, neither can ever be truly happy.

When Obama was elected Texas wanted to secede and they were called crazy. When Trump and Bush were elected California wanted to secede and they were called crazy.

You want to know what crazy is?

Crazy is when two or more dissimilar kinds of people are held together by the force of really big guns, threatened by complying with the views of the other side, locked in a prolonged struggle, with each side vying for forceful domination over the other.

When the nation recovers from that insanity it will become the United States of America, Version 4.0.

I do not wish to advocate the breaking up of the United States. I'm just saying that the threat of impending force is the worst possible way to hold a country together. When the States are free to leave the country—in the same peace and freedom in which they entered it—the federal government would tend to practice a bit more restraint in their overreaching policies, then maybe the rest of us will have a chance.

4 comments:

  1. The process of seceding from the union would decentralize authority. The concentration of power, control, and wealth seems to be the common denominator of the downfall of societies.
    Steve Wadsworth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was part of the original design of the founding fathers. Not only is the division of power between the three branches of the federal government, it was the States who had the authority to restrain the federal government. If you think about it, the federal government is (and is supposed to be) the servant of the States. The States founded the federal government. The senators and representatives are sent there by the States. The president is elected by the States.

      Precisely at the point the federal government began to centralize power the United States growth began to slow, until about sixty years ago when the growth of the country came to a full stop.

      Delete
  2. You stated, the Colonies were finally granted their freedom by the British". This is fundamentally false. There would be no need to declare independence, if it were "granted" by Great Britain. As the Declaration of Independence itself asserts,

    "When * it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, * they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

    Subsequently, the Declaration indicted the King and his ministers as to what their offenses were that compelled [the people] “to dissolve the political bands”. Among them being:

    “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”
    “He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.”
    “He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.”
    And then finally, “the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States” and asserted “that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved”. From that point forward, the people were dissolved from being Colonies of Great Britain were “Free and Independent States * and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the end of the war, when the Colonies won, the King finally granted the Colonies their independence as part of the terms for ending the war. I can't remember off the top of my head specifically which one but I think it was one of the documents pertaining to the "Treaty of Paris."

      If I were talking about the beginning of the war, circa the time of the Declaration, you would be correct. Thus my use of the word "finally" in the statement, which implies the end of the war.

      Thank you for your interest.

      Delete