Manifesto part 5
“Guard Us From Our Guardians, O Lord.”
(An SNC prayer).
To be fair to the facts, we acknowledge that Americans still retain a degree of freedom, especially compared to the rest of the world. We witness a growing list of outrages like Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas and so-called PATRIOT Acts I and II, and the execrable Military Commissions Act. Still, for the time being, Americans are more or less secure in their homes against dead-of-night invasions and arbitrary arrest by the authorities, although this is happening with increasing frequency. Abuse of office by prosecutors, especially Federal prosecutors, makes a fair trial more and more problematic. Americans still have the freedom to move to another location and take a different job; and generally speaking, to buy and sell and trade to some extent without government permission. We can still own a firearm, although that once inviolate Constitutional right is hedged about with so many restrictions that you’d better be careful what kind of firearm you own and where you own it, or you’ll find yourself facing major jail time.
But to focus on the rights we still have (and we should be grateful for them), and to compare ourselves to the rest of the world, is to miss the point that our liberties are being steadily and deliberately eroded by the Regime, by the very people who are supposed to safeguard our liberties. Instead of comparing what we have left against the rest of the world and on a sliding scale, we ought to be comparing what we have left against all that we’ve lost. We ought to evaluate what has been lost against what our Constitution and our laws guarantee us.
Cuis custodiet ipsos custodes? “Who will guard us from the guardians?”
-- old Roman proverb
From this perspective, you can see how the Regime maintains the form and fiction of the old Republic. But under cover of this deception, the Federal Government has amassed steadily growing and unaccountable powers that make a mockery of the Constitutional principle of limits, check, and balances. Today it recognizes no limits on its powers in principle, and it sets itself up as the final arbiter of what its powers are. It intrudes massively in our daily lives and by coercion takes our wealth, consuming it not for the public good but to sustain itself in power. The Federal Government fails to do the few things it was mandated to do under the Constitution, like protecting the country from foreign attack or securing the borders against foreign invasion; and it arrogates to itself innumerable powers and privileges not granted by the Constitution. In the name of national security, the Government openly violates statute law and the Constitution, and the President claims the right to do anything he desires to defend the country, and brooks no limits or restraints.
Under our Constitution, the Congress is supposed to serve the people’s interests by enacting necessary and just laws, appropriating funds for the legitimate functions of government (primarily national defense), and serving as one leg of the triad of checks and balances whereby each of the three branches keeps each other honest.
Does Congress perform its primary functions with credit and honour? In the immortal words of John Wayne, not hardly! There are many reasons for its abject failure, too numerous for this space. Here’s one observation, however. The big corporations, through their army of Washington lobbyists, gain enormous leverage over Members through PAC money and other forms of payola. Members then write legislation to favor their benefactors. As corporations and their lobbyists have cracked this simple code, the amount of money flowing into Washington has turned into a flood, and the plutocrats cheer on the influence peddlers whose alchemy converts those billions into the laws and appropriations the corporations have requested.
The average voter-taxpayer has little or no influence in this scheme of things. Sure, you can write your Congressman. But most likely he will never see your letter. Instead you’ll get a form letter reply drafted by a twenty-something junior staffer and signed by the office auto-pen.
Quiet simply, Americans are no longer self-governing citizens of a constitutional republic. The government no longer exists to serve us; we exist to serve it. Some time ago, incrementally and almost without noticing, we ceased being citizens and became subjects. Now we are being pushed along the pathway of tyranny to the next fateful step – from subjects to enemies, since an imperial state that seeks unlimited power must regard every subject as a potential enemy. And in order to gratify its insatiable lust, the Empire must feed on our labours since it produces no wealth of its own. Thus we proceed from enemies to prey, as the government becomes little nothing more than a vast system of codified plunder, a super form of organized crime.
Because we Southerners are conservative and traditional, we have retained better than other Americans the ancient lessons of Athens’ democracy and of the Roman republic, both of which degenerated into empire and then fell. Part of our heritage is the long struggle in medieval England to create a limited, constitutional government, and the struggle of the Scots and the Irish to preserve their independence and their culture. Our history teaches us that government is not benevolent by nature and becomes tyrannical unless restrained. As Lee’s friend Lord Acton observed, “The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.” Why? Because, as Acton said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He wrote this 140 years ago, but fits our own time even better than then.
Republicans and Conservatives Will Not Save Us.
The South is wed tight as a tick to the Republican Party. But our once attractive bride is out on the streets plying the oldest profession. It’s time we recognize the Republican Party is just as corrupt and unprincipled and power-hungry as the Democrats, perhaps even more so. The GOP is part of the problem, not the solution. After eight years in power, the Republican Party has offered virtually no opposition to the limitless state. In fact, under George W. Bush, the GOP has become the worst proponent and enabler of an unconstitutional empire. It’s time the South accepts that Republicans no longer provide a genuine alternative to the Democrats and the Left. It may be true that some Republicans are individually better than Democrats, but the difference is not enough to make a difference. Republicans as a whole are chiefly concerned with protecting their power, perks, and privileges, just like the Democrats. If Democrats worship Big Government, Republicans worship Big Business. Both are hostile to individual liberty and prosperity. And in today’s America, they have become virtually indistinguishable where they blend together at the top.
Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism
because it is a merger of state and corporate power.
-- Benito Mussolini
Conservatives have a genetic pre-disposition to defend the status quo, any status quo. But the status quo doesn’t belong to conservatives any longer. After decades of Liberal activism, it belongs to the Left. Yet Republicans, bragging of their conservatism, maintain the status quo of unlimited, unaccountable government delivered to us by the Left. They never roll it back, nor will they ever. (See a deeper and better analysis of the problem of the GOP in the sidebar article by Dr. Clyde Wilson: “The Republican Charade: Lincoln and His Party.”)
Bush, the GOP, and the so-called Neo-Conservatives lied us into the imperial war in Iraq. They are lying now about the consequences. And as the truth seeps out, they are lying about their lies. The war goes from bad to worse to disaster, and to cover their irresponsibility, they equate dissent with treason, even as they betray every principle of Constitutional government.
Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies. From these proceed debts and taxes.
And armies, debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination
of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
-- James Madison
It’s our supposed GOP friends who have given us open borders, swamping us with a massive invasion from the Third World that threatens the very foundations of our country, so that the GOP’s corporate masters will have a never-ending supply of cheap labour. It’s the GOP that has exploited fear of terrorism to justify the surveillance-and-police state more dangerous than anything ever done by liberal Democrats. It’s the GOP-controlled Congress that has given us runaway Federal spending that is bankrupting the country.
Today Republicans and Democrats are heading toward the same destination. Republicans are -- perhaps -- proceeding at a slower pace. By maintaining the falsehood they represent true and opposing choices, the two national parties keep us trapped in a deceptive fraud managed by and for the benefit of the oligarchs and plutocrats, a classic case of dialectical materialism at work.
A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.
-- Thomas Jefferson
Southern white conservatives complain that our black brethren are the lapdogs of the Democratic Party. But Southern white conservatives are the lapdogs of the Republican Party, except that they come even more obediently when called. And the more loyal Southerners are to the GOP, the greater the contempt in which they are held by the GOP insiders.
Because none of the major political parties speaks for us, and because the GOP only uses us Southerners for political fodder, some other forum is needed where a distinctively Southern and truly conservative voice based on the principles of Southerners like Washington and Jefferson Patrick Henry can be heard. No one is going to give us such a forum; we must create it for ourselves.
previous section, Part 4
A Republic. If you can keep it
next section, Part 6
Exercising Our Sovereignty
A Positive Vision
The Power of Symbolic Speech
Changing the Paradigm
No Foreordained Outcome
Let the Past Be Past
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue?