Manifesto part 4

“A Republic. If you can keep it…”

When Benjamin Franklin departed the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a woman waiting in suspense outside asked him, “What have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied, “A republic. If you can keep it.”

We are sorry to say that Franklin’s fears were well founded. Americans have failed to keep the republic he helped create. The constitution inaugurated in 1789 has expired. The mortal wound was inflicted in April 1865, to be exact. Yet those who killed it, and their heirs, have continued to prop up the rotting corpse in order to deceive a complacent and compliant America that the republic still lives, so that the ruling elites can exploit the taxpayer and the powers of government they have gathered into their hands for their own selfish ends.

Most Americans aren't the sort of citizens the Founding Fathers expected; they are contented serfs.
Far from being active critics of government, they assume that its might makes it right.
-- Joseph Sobran

If it’s no longer a republic, then what is it? Despite the constant propagandizing to the contrary, America is not even a democracy, much less a republic. We live under a greedy, callous, predatory elite whose only gods are money and power. The name for that form of government is “plutocracy,” government by those who control the wealth. Another appropriate term is “oligarchy,” rule by the privileged few. A new word we think also captures the essence is “corporatocracy,” coined by John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, a revealing account that shows whom the Regime really serves (and you can be sure it isn’t the average working-class or middle-class taxpaying American).

Whatever term you like, in their impact on our daily lives these words signify manipulation, oppression, and exploitation. The Southern ethos of ordered liberty and limited government stands directly in the way of the consolidation of unlimited power by the central state and its minions. This is a principal reason why Southern history, heritage, and memory have been marked for extinction. Yet out of misplaced patriotism, many good Southerners continue to give their loyalty to this hostile, centralized, lawless, and Godless Regime that betrays us at every turn. However, the disasters that increasingly beset our country are forcing us all, loyalist or dissident, to face certain disturbing facts.

First, the state doesn’t protect our rights to property, it steals our property. The most apparent means is exorbitant taxation. Another is blatant seizure of our property through so-called asset forfeiture, even when no crime is proven. Another is eminent domain, especially rampant after the Supreme Court’s infamous Kelo opinion. If you’re a gun owner, you can find your firearms unlawfully seized by the BATFE or local police in an emergency, leaving you defenceless amid civil disorder, just when you need them most.

A more subtle and insidious form of theft is the debasing of our currency through inflation by the central bank, the Federal Reserve; which, by the way, is not Federal and has no Reserves. The “Fed” is a government-granted private monopoly or cartel, and is both the engine of plutocratic control and the temple of the elites’ worship of money and worldly power. By now nearly worthless, the inflated (or debased) dollar will buy only four percent of what it could buy in 1913, when the Fed was created. It is backed by nothing but the “full faith and credit” of the US Government, a government that has broken faith with the American people time after time.

These various forms of thefts benefit the corporatocracy, but violate the implicit promises of the welfare state (another name of the Regime) to ensure prosperity and protect the average citizen from economic distress. Indeed, its fiscal and economic policies have driven the country to the brink of economic collapse. The government’s own economists now admit the U.S. is insolvent; that is, its obligations, current and future, far exceed the ability of the productive capacities of the country to ever pay them, especially as we continue to ship abroad the industries that actually produce wealth. Government, corporate, and personal debt are at a staggering all-time high. The day of reckoning is coming, held at bay only because foreign investors are buying U.S. debt instruments, keeping the dollar and the U.S. consumer economy afloat.

As a result, real income is steadily falling. Between 1999 and 2005, national household income has fallen by an average of .5 % per year or a cumulative total of 6% (based on 1999 dollars) while the official rate of inflation averages about 4.5 % per year. (The actual inflation rate is higher, but as in so many other areas, the Government lies about that, too).

Here’s how the income decline shapes up in the South:

Virginia 0.8%
North Carolina 11.3%
South Carolina 9.5%
Georgia 8.3%
Florida 6.7%
Alabama 7.8%
Mississippi 10.3%
Louisiana 3.7%
Tennessee 8.7%
Kentucky 5.3%
Arkansas 7.2%
Texas 9.9%
Missouri 5.5%

All but four Southern States have experienced a decline in real income greater than the national average. Virginia has suffered the least, largely due to the rise in Government employment, Government contracting, and the influx of military officers who heavily populate the Washington, DC suburbs of Northern Virginia, offsetting the decline elsewhere in the Commonwealth.(1)

Like indentured servants of the early colonial period, Americans, including us Southerners, have mortgaged ourselves to the banks and corporations, which betray our interests at every turn. Instead of building self-sustaining, independent household economies, we have become virtual slaves to the industrial economy, which gave us a false sense of well being for a time, but now is cheating us of both prosperity and security.

Of special concern is Southern agriculture. Once the bedrock of Southern livelihoods, the family farm is virtually extinct. Big Agro uses its financial clout and political power to drive out competition and amass ever more control over food production. Its monopolistic approach includes genetically modified crops of dubious nutrition and perhaps definite harm to humans. Even worse are genetically modified “terminator seeds,” which could make it more difficult for the few independent farmers left to get next year’s planting seed stock, placing them at the mercy of the big multi-national corporations like Monsanto. When our very food supply is concentrated in the hands of a few unaccountable globalist corporations, we ought to be deeply concerned.

Most people are more concerned about their livelihoods than anything else. That’s why we discussed it first. However, of greater concern to the SNC Committee is that the Regime not only steals our wealth but also simultaneously robs us of our liberty. Political and economic freedom go hand in hand. Without liberty there can be no prosperity.

Under the pretext of the so-called War of Terror, the U.S. is slowly but inexorably being transformed into a surveillance-and-police state. And as the Bush Administration’s campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq proceed from failure to outright disaster, the Administration ratchets up its assaults on America’s traditional liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

The ill-named PATRIOT Acts I and II were bad enough, but the recent Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006 and amendments to the Insurrection Act cross a threshold even the most pessimistic among us never thought to see. These acts, ostensibly aimed at fighting terrorists, undermine the ancient right of habeas corpus, the foundation of all liberty in the English-speaking world since Magna Carta in 1215, and make it easier for the President to use the armed forces to suppress domestic dissent.

The MCA, operating in the context of other anti-terror statutes and court cases, means that the President and his officials can declare anyone, citizen or not, innocent or not, an “unlawful enemy combatant.” They can then be held without charge, without notification, without recourse, for as long as the Government likes. “ …under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping us out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the President of the United States, a huge sea change… The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president. In fact, Madison said that he created a system essentially to be run by devils, where they could not do harm, because we didn't rely on their good motivations. Now we must. And people have no idea how significant this is. What a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the President signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values.” (2)

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this Land, it will be in the Guise of Fighting a Foreign Enemy.
-- James Madison

Its open cynicism and contempt of the rule of law and its daily torrent of lies demonstrate clearly that “national security” and “fighting terrorism” are just a pretext for this Administration to grasp unlimited power. As the President and his Administration violate the Constitution and even scrap hallowed principles like habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions, his lawless acts go unrestrained by Congress or the other institutions that are supposed to safeguard our liberty.

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things
over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.

-- President George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

Bush and his myrmidons – and to be fair, his predecessor Bill Clinton – were guilty of criminal negligence that led to the 9/11 terror attacks. That led to the criminal folly of the war on Iraq. The war has been executed with criminal incompetence, as has the war in Afghanistan. And now the nonfeasance, malfeasance, and misfeasance of the Administration are supposed to justify the trampling of our ancient liberties and making a virtual monarch of the President, who sets himself above the law simply because we are at war.

Sadly, like the rest of America, the South has sold its collective soul to the Regime, including our liberty, our culture, and identity in exchange for the Government’s promise to provide total security, economic and physical. Yet the Government can’t protect us from terrorists, both external and internal. It can’t protect our vital personal information stored in government computers from hackers and ID thieves. It can’t protect us from the rising tide of violent crime. It can’t protect us from natural disasters. Indeed, as Hurricane Katrina proved, its bungling makes their effects even worse. It can’t protect us from mad cow disease or bird flu, from tainted food or polluted water. It especially can’t – or more precisely, won’t – protect our borders from an invasion from Mexico and the Third World, including green cards for 100,000 Muslims in 2005, that is destroying our country.

Now, we’re not suggesting that the government should protect us from all the ills catalogued above. We believe that, within the bounds of reason and common sense, people should be responsible for themselves. We only cite this list to show that while the Federal Government demands we give up our liberty in exchange for security, it can’t protect us, nor frankly, even cares to. In other words, we subjects of the Empire have made a fool’s bargain. Suffice it to say here that the more the central state fails in its self-proclaimed godlike mission to eliminate all risks and dangers and to provide total security, the more intrusive power it seeks, at the expense of our freedom and already tattered prosperity. Worse examples are coming. Before too long, thanks to the White House and a supine, cowardly Congress, we’ll have for the first time in this country a national ID (REAL ID). How soon afterward can we expect the American equivalent of “Halt! Ihre Papieren, bitte!”?

Even more insulting is the pending implementation of the NAIS, the National Animal Identification System, by which the Feds will implant an RFID (radio frequency ID) chip in every farm animal – yes, you read it right; that’s the entire livestock population of the country! – for alleged purposes of identification and tracking. Limited space and our collective blood pressure do not permit a detailed discussion here of the intrusive record-keeping and the enormous cost to farmers and stockmen of this monstrous insanity; and for no good reason, since there is no national livestock crisis. There is no good reason, that is, except to drive the small stock grower out of business for the benefit of big, corporate agriculture, whose lobbyists bought and paid for this boondoggle from a Congress selling itself to the highest bidder.

All these cases are not accidents or examples of mere incompetence. They are matters of criminal negligence and deliberate betrayal. The agents of the Regime may be fools, but they’re not stupid. The Insiders, at least, know what they’re doing.

n summary, lawless, arbitrary, and increasingly oppressive government has replaced government by law. The traditional checks and balances that restrain the concentration of power have faded from our vaunted political system. In the prophetic words of General Lee to England’s Lord Acton in 1868, America has become an empire, “aggressive abroad and despotic at home.”

When government fears the people, there is liberty.
When people fear the government, there is tyranny.

-- Thomas Jefferson

previous section, Part 3
The Grand Bargain
The South and the American Republic

next section, Part 5
Guard Us From Our Guardians, O Lord
Republicans and Conservatives Will Not Save Us

Worth Quoting

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.

Samuel Adams


What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue?   

Edmund Burke