Note: This article is the first in a three-part series that will discuss the origin of rights, the intended formation and organization of our government and how that relates to such issues as state nullification and interposition, public lands, jurisdiction and the production of a “free, independent people and states.”
“The problem is choice.” That line, uttered by the character Neo in the 2nd installment of “The Matrix: Reloaded” movie series, exemplifies most current dilemmas we face in the United States Republic and around the world, today. It’s not for nothing that “The Matrix” and “The Hunger Games” are two of the most globally-popular story and movie franchises of the opening years of the 21st Century. Such popular movies are a barometer of other things happening across cultures.
The problem of fundamental choice, continually facing the protagonists in both of those franchises, is critical in determining whether humans will be free or enslaved as individuals. The two storylines are globally popular for exactly the same reason. Individual choice in desiring to be free is the ultimate driver of all human affairs, most typically exercised in political terms in resistance to tyrannical control and enslavement.
The issue of our choice in governance is paramount and whether it will result in a fully centralized or ultimately distributed system in the United States. As is always true, the best choice can only be made in a fully-informed manner. No one would seriously argue that it is possible to design, build and maintain a modern electrical power grid without the fundamental understanding of Ohms Law and each of its permutations.
Yet, we find in America of the 21st century most citizens and voters, elected officials, bureaucrats and media believe we can run an advanced, modern Republic without as much as a rudimentary understanding of natural law, rights, liberties and free market economics. Or, for that matter, an actual understanding of the original architecture of that Republic. Most citizens fail at every turn to recognize their role as sovereign, to practice it beyond the most minimal duty of voting once in awhile. In fact, the average American is propagandized to believe that a “sovereign” is equivalent to a terrorist, even though every American in our system, by definition, is a sovereign. They must further believe that such systems as ours run on autopilot.
Centralized government systems may, for a few decades at least, appear to operate adequately then fall under the weight of myriad bureaucracies spawned under such misunderstood architectures. The history of the 20th Century traces that path over and over again. Each centralized government system fails successively. Some last only a few years, some decades depending on the degree of centralization and coercion. A few may even last beyond a century when apparently benign (though not actually), if they fail to successfully revolve into more distributed systems. The more centralized and coercive, the faster the failure. Because they are centralized, when they fail, they fail catastrophically from the center radiating outward in every aspect.
Distributed systems are much more robust and resilient against massive failure while operating very well at higher rates of internal productivity. All systems in nature are mostly distributed in a manner as to not fail all at once. Many sub-parts can fail over and over and keep coming back. While individual species of plants and animals can and do fail completely, the system of life and nature as a whole are robust enough to continually replace the failures with new or adapted species. The only possible extinction level events for life as a whole likely involve the complete and utter destruction of the planet. And, if humans become smart enough at some point, even that eventuality can be avoided by finding a redundant planet or habitation point to carry the population and a lot of other earth species.
Resolution of this obvious disconnect in governance (being more and more centralized) during the next couple decades will not only determine the fate of those of us here in the United States but likely most of the rest of the world. The ultimate issue is tyranny vs freedom. The main constituencies involved are the collectivists vs the individual.
No one can seriously argue against the fact that the federal government was set-up to be limited and minimally centralized. Yet, the debate now usually circles around just how unlimited and centralized it will be. The rubicon has been crossed. In either case, most people erroneously believe that “limited” is synonymous with efficient. However, the fact remains, the federal government was not set-up to be efficient, only limited.
If it was set-up to be efficient we would have a Unitary government. We would have something akin to a General Secretariat and “President-for-Life” or “Emperor,” not a Congress and regularly-elected President’s. Even our centralized portion of government, only granted power for an extremely limited federal system, was purposefully further divided with checks and balances to keep it limited. Anyone who brings up the efficient government argument in context to the federal government is barking up the wrong tree. Fascism, in the 20th century was found to be efficient government and also ultimately most efficient at creating death and destruction.
Centralization as the sole organizing principle is demonstrably failing virtually everywhere; socially, politically, financially and culturally if one cares to look objectively and non-ideologically. That’s for good reason. Coerced collectivism and centralization is fundamentally at odds with both natural order and consequently, human behavior. Whether that order has been endowed by a Creator or cosmologically (meaning via scientifically defined laws) organized changes nothing in the self-evident universe we live in. In the universe of Man, what is, simply is. That’s the “self-evident” part. “New math” could change the definition but not the operation of gravity, nor can personal opinion change the fact that “all men are created equal….”
For almost the entirety of the last century the government and institutions of government and society have been busily persuading or demanding of us that our key organizing principle must (or will) always be centralized. Even as their functions multiplied and they obviously became even more inefficient, bloated and unwieldy. That has been occurring even though the original architecture, organization and implementation of our system of government and economics was set-up to be minimally centralized and maximally distributed by the Founder’s.
For the last 80 years, first through contemporary fashion (clamoring to be led to safety) and later increasing misdirection, no effort has been spared by a super-majority of our educational, social, cultural and political institutions to insure that centralization is our only key organizing principle for all government. The last few years, as these efforts have increased, the debate has engaged on many discussion threads and exchanges online, in public forums or privately on the subjects of natural law, the Declaration and the Constitution. Those exchanges include Constitutional scholars and law professors, elected officials at all levels, informed conservatives and liberals on a whole slew of related issues.
No matter how complex or in-depth the issue one finds that each time any higher-level disagreement is encountered it almost always comes back to a fundamental disconnect on just a few very important first principles and terms. Most of the time it involves just two areas: individual rights vs delegated powers or “collective rights.” For many it involves a basic misunderstanding of the definition of “rights.” Many individuals struggle to properly apply the correct definitions to their immediate or extensive thinking or to understand how those things apply to common governance and the functioning of the intended Republic vs the “Republic” we have.
Where does all this prologue lead us? Back to the problem of choice and whether we choose to have a centralized government dominate us or a distributed government represent us. In Part 2, the discussion will move to the definitions and understanding of rights vs delegated powers and how they apply to a variety of current issues and topics.