Category Archives: Conservatism

A Constitutional Anniversary to Forget

constitutionstupid

While not a jubilee year, last week marked the 230th anniversary of the US Constitution.  Naturally, most of its devotees enthusiastically praised the document which by now is seen on a par with Holy Writ itself.  An editorial from Investor’s Business Daily provides an example of such hagiography:

The Constitution’s beauty is that it not only delineates our rights

as Americans, but expressly limits and defines government’s ability

to interfere in our private lives.   This equipoise between citizens’

duties, responsibilities and rights makes it the defining document

or our nation’s glorious freedom.

 

But America is wonderful largely because of the Constitution and

those who framed it . . . .

 

What we have is too precious to squander . . . .*

Most of the piece laments about the widespread ignorance of its sacred contents among the denizens in which it rules over and encourages the unlearned “to bone up a bit on your constitutional heritage . . . .”  The editorial fails, as do most others on the Right, to understand that it is not a lack of knowledge of the Constitution’s contents among the populace which lies at the heart of America’s social, economic, and political problems, but the very document itself.

One of the main reasons why the Constitution continues to be so widely venerated is due to the deliberate distortion of history that its “founders” promoted and that generations of its sycophants have continued to perpetuate to this very day.  The official narrative runs that the Constitution was enacted because of widespread popular support for a change to the supposed inadequacies and deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation.

This is a myth.  Instead, the Constitution was a coup deliberately schemed by the leading political and mercantile classes to set up a powerful central government where ultimate authority rested in the national state.  The use of the term “federal” to describe what was created in Philadelphia in those fateful days was a ruse much like the banksters and politicos used “Federal Reserve” to describe the central bank created in 1913.  It was neither “federal” – a decentralized monetary order – nor a “reserve” of gold, but a monetary institution which could create money out of thin air and eventually eliminate the gold standard.

It was a similar political maneuver 230 years ago as a new American national state was established and touted as a decentralized form of government where power was evenly divided between state and national levels and between the different branches of the government itself  – “separation of powers.”  In actuality, however, the “federal system” was the elevation of central power at the expense of local authority which had previously existed.  Section VI of the Constitution says it all:

The Constitution and the laws of the United States  . . .

shall be the supreme law of the land; and the

judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the

Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Elementary political science has shown and plain common sense knows that any person or institution given “supreme authority” will misuse and abuse such power.  Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely is an undeniable dictum of human nature.  A truly decentralized system of governance would not contain a plank as “supreme law of the land” as part of its foundation.  Instead, real federalism would be dispersed, as it existed in the past in such political arrangements as confederacies, leagues, and, certainly, under the much maligned feudal social order.

Even the Constitution’s celebrated Bill of Rights is flawed and has proven to be ineffective in protecting basic human freedoms.  It is the federal government which enumerates and interprets what freedom individuals should possess.  Thus, the meaning and extent of individual liberties will be in the hands of federal jurists and courts who will invariably rule on cases in favor of the state.  The ensnaring of individual rights within the central government’s authority did away with the venerable common law which was a far greater defender of liberty than federal courts.

Just as important, the enactment of the Constitution, which brought all the individual states under it suzerainty, did away with one of the most significant checks on state power – “voting with one’s feet.”  When there are multiple governing authorities, if one jurisdiction becomes too oppressive, its subjects can move to freer domains.  This still happens on a local level as high tax and regulatory states such as California and New York have lost demographically to freer places like Nevada and Texas.  Yet, from the Federal Leviathan there is no escape, except expatriation.

Unless and until Americans and all the other peoples of the Western world who live under constitutional rule recognize that it is the type of government which is the cause of most of the political turmoil, social unrest, and economic malaise  which they face, there is no hope of turning things around.

*”Sturdy Constitution, ” Investor’s Business Daily, Week of September 18, 2017, A20.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

California, Nestle and Decentralization

calexit

Nestle USA has announced that it will move its headquarters from Glendale, California, to Rosslyn, Virginia, taking with it about 1200 jobs.  The once Golden State has lost some 1600 businesses since 2008 and a net outflow of a million of mostly middle-class people from the state from 2004 to 2013 due to its onerous tax rates, the oppressive regulatory burden, and the genuine kookiness which pervades among its ruling elites.* A clueless Glendale official is apparently unconcerned about the financial repercussions of Nestle’s departure saying that it was “no big deal” and saw it as an “opportunity,” whatever that means!

The stampede of businesses out of what was once the most productive and attractive region in all of North America demonstrates again that prosperity and individual freedom are best served in a political environment of decentralization.

That the individual states of America have retained some sovereignty, despite the highly centralized “federal” system of government of which they are a part, has enabled individuals and entrepreneurs living in jurisdictions that have become too tyrannical to “escape” to political environments which are less oppressive.  This, among other reasons (mainly air conditioning), led to the rise of the Sun Belt as people sought to escape the high taxes and regulations of the Northeast to less burdensome (and warmer!) southern destinations.

This can also be seen on a worldwide scale.  The US, for a long time, had been a haven of laissez-faire economic philosophy, which, not surprisingly, became a magnet for those seeking opportunity and a higher standard of living.  No longer is this the case as increasing numbers of companies and individuals are seeking to avoid American confiscatory tax and regulatory burdens and move “offshore” or expatriate to more favorable economic climates.

The idea of political decentralization as a catalyst for economic growth has become a part of a “school of thought” in the interpretation of how Europe became so prosperous compared to other civilizations.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe for centuries was divided politically among numerous jurisdictions and ruling authorities with no dominant central state on the Continent.  The multitude of governing bodies kept in check, to a large degree, the level of taxation and regulation.  If one state became too draconian, it would lose population to less oppressive regimes.

Just as important, Europe’s governing system was aristocratic and monarchical which has proven to be far more conducive for economic growth than democracies.

While the economic oppressed can escape among the various states, there is no avoidance from the wrath of the federal government unless through expatriation and that option has become less viable with those leaving still subject to tax obligations.  This, fundamentally, is the crux of the problem and has been since the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789.

The chance that a totalitarian state such as California or the Leviathan on the Potomac would actually reform themselves or relinquish power through legislative means is a mirage.  Nor will revolution work as revolutionaries while appearing altruistic, typically get a hold of the machinery of government to plunder society for their own self interest on a far grander scale than the supposed despots which they replaced!

The only viable option for the productive members of society to seek redress of state oppression is to argue, work, and eventually fight for political secession and the fragmentation of states as much as possible.  Decentralization is the only hope for those opposed to the modern, omnipotent nation state.  Moreover, any notion or effort to salvage the current centralized political system must be abandoned.

Naturally, before the breakup of the nation state can become a reality, the ideological case for political decentralization must be made.  Public opinion must be convinced of the superiority of a world consisting of many states.  Such a cause, however, will be considerably difficult after generations have been raised and made dependent upon social democracy.

When Nestle and other oppressed businesses and individuals can easily escape the clutches of totalitarian entities like California and, more importantly, the most dangerous government on the face of the earth for freer destinations, then will individual liberty and economic growth be assured.

*Terry Jones, “Another Big Company Departs California – Will Last One to Leave Shut the Lights?”  Investor’s Business Daily. February 3, 2017.  http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/another-big-company-departs-california-will-last-one-to-leave-shut-the-lights/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

On the 225th Anniversary of the United States’ Bill of Rights

the-bill-of-rights

This December, 2016, marks the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution which would become known as the “Bill of Rights.”  To secure passage of the Constitution, the framers of the document (the Federalists) had to agree that it would contain explicit language on individual rights.

Ever since its ratification, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in which it is a part, has been hailed as one of the seminal achievements in the annals of human history while the political arrangements prior to it (primarily monarchy and aristocratic rule) have been sneered at and belittled by the Constitution’s hagiographers.   Moreover, the American Constitution has provided a model for the emergence of the nation state which came into its own after the French Revolution and the tragic breakup of Christendom.

History, however, if looked at outside the Anglo-American perspective has shown that far from a protector of individual liberty, the Bill of Rights has been mostly useless in defense of basic freedoms while the Constitution, that it is a part of, has been a vehicle for the expansion of state power to an unfathomable degree.

Despite the supposed guarantees of individual liberty within the Bill of Rights and the supposed limited nature of the Constitution itself, there has never been a more intrusive state in world history both domestically and in its myriad of interventions across the globe than the Leviathan that rests on the shores of the Potomac River.  And, the rise of American totalitarianism did not begin with the revelations of Edward Snowden and the other courageous whistle blowers of the recent past, but started soon after the new “federal” state came into existence with the passage of the Alien & Sedition Acts.  Each year since has witnessed the growth of state power at the expense of individual rights where now domestic spying and surveillance are part of the nation’s social fabric.

The primary reason why the Bill of Rights has been unable to secure basic liberties is because the federal government and its courts are the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution and its amendments as explicitly stated in Article VI, section 2, subtitled, Supreme Law of the Land:

This Constitution and the laws of the United

States which shall be made in pursuance thereof,

and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under

the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme

law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be

bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of

any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Since the central government is the final arbitrator of the document, any ruling or decision on particular laws or regulations which would impinge on individual rights will, for the most part, be favorable to the government itself.  And, due to man’s fallen nature, any such power will be abused.

The ratification of the Constitution in 1789 made in essence the individual states mere appendages of the central government.  While the Constitution’s sycophants boast of its “checks and balances,” a far superior bulwark against political repression is that of people “voting with their feet.”  Under the Articles of Confederation, when the national government was not the supreme law of the land, if a certain state became too tyrannical, at least in theory, and had the much neglected Articles remained in place, those persecuted could simply move to a more friendlier jurisdiction.

This would also hold true in the realm of taxation and regulatory policy.  Those political authorities who became too confiscatory in their taxing or enacted burdensome regulations could also see population outflows.  Similar activity goes on all the time currently as people flee high tax municipalities and states like California and New York to lower tax regions such as Florida and Texas.

For voting with one’s feet to be most successful, there needs to be a multitude of states and political jurisdictions.  In the current political climate, this would mean the breakup of the nation state.  Secession and political decentralization should thus be the goals of those who prize individual liberty and prosperity, not the celebration of constitutionalism and the supposed guarantees of personal freedoms under ideas such as the Bill of Rights.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Fidel Castro and the American Empire

castro

The death of the brutal Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro closes the door, in some respect, on another disastrous page in US foreign policy history.  For all the denunciations and criticism of Castro from conservative elements and exiled Cubans, his despotic rule was the outcome of decades of American imperialism which began with President William McKinley’s infamous decision to wage war on hapless Spain in 1898.

The defeat of Spain and the confiscation of its possessions, which the US imperialist and corporate forces had longed prized, set the stage for the nation’s hubristic foreign policy course throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.  America’s action against Spain showed its ungratefulness for it attacked the country that did more for it than any other (including France) in its struggle for independence.  Maybe Castro’s interminable reign, which had always been a thorn in the side of US globalists, was payback for America’s wanton aggression against Spain.

Castro’s rise to power came about not only through the bungling of American diplomacy, but also from genuine “populist” support directed against the thoroughly corrupt regime of the US puppet in charge at the time, Fulgencio Batista.  Even by Latin American standards, the corruption which existed under  Batista was legendary!

The US government played an enormous role in Batista’s second presidency which began when he seized power in 1952.  Throughout his second tenure, Batista received massive kickbacks from American multinational businesses for grants of monopoly privileges on the island.  The most notable was the ITT corporation.

Batista used his unjust gains to enrich himself and buy weapons to be used against his opponents. It was claimed that when he fled Cuba he took a personal fortune of $300 million with him. While Batista and his ruling clique were enriching themselves through US assistance, the Cuban population suffered as the gap between rich and poor continued to widen.

Like Castro, Batista was ruthless in political repression which even American politicians noticed.  In a speech during the 1960 presidential campaign, John Kennedy claimed that Batista had murdered some 20,000 Cubans!

Of course, the US empire learned little from the fiasco with Castro and continued on its rampaging, destructive ways – destabilizing, bombing, and squelching populist uprising across the globe.  No sooner had the island become a lone communist outpost in the Western Hemisphere and the “Cuban Missile Crisis” was defused, than the nation plunged itself into a far bigger and more costlier quagmire in Vietnam.

Donald Trump rightfully condemned Castro’s murderous reign:

The world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who

oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.  Fidel

Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable

suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human

rights.*

The President-elect must, however, understand the reason why Castro came to power and was able to maintain his totalitarian grasp for so long if America is to begin a new and hopefully peaceful foreign policy path.

Trump promised that the US would do all that it can to bring about a “free Cuba:”

Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro

cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure

the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity

and liberty.**

The best way he could accomplish this task not only in Cuba but in regard to all other nations is to heed the words of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, on the proper foreign policy path for the nation: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”

Maybe the demise of Castro and the ascendancy of Donald Trump is not a coincidence, but an opening which points to a new direction in foreign affairs: one that rejects nation building, intervention, and financial terrorism against friend and foe alike.  Let us hope so.

*David Jackson, “Trump Condemns Castro as ‘Brutal Dictator.’”  USA Today.  26 November 2016.

**Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

It’s Still the Media, Stupid!

media-womd-lies

The US Presidential campaign has demonstrated once again that the mainstream mass media is still the dominant force and arbitrator of political events and if it is successful in pushing the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua past the finish line this November, it may have achieved its greatest triumph.  During the campaign’s stretch run, the mainstream media has used every form and variety of spin, distortion, half truth, calumny, and lies in its diabolical effort to make Killary Rotten Clinton President of the USSA.

The mass media – television, newspapers, movies, the Entertainment industry, book publishing, advertising, and now sports – is part of society’s opinion molding movers and shakers which form part of what Noble Prize winning economist F.A. Hayek called “intellectuals.”  This all important group are not simply nerdy academic professors with patches on their sleeves, but are those who have the ability to shape public opinion, as Hayek describes:

It is the intellectuals in this sense who decide what views and

opinions are to reach us, which facts are important enough

to be told us, and in what form and from what angle they are

to be presented.  Whether we shall ever learn of the results of the

work of the expert and the original thinker depends mainly on their

decision. *

Since at least the 1960s, the dominant opinion-molding sector of the mass media has been the electronic media, which has far outpaced newsprint and academia in influence.  While its power may be on the wane in the Internet Age, it is still the most powerful and important tool in the political elites arsenal for imparting their agenda.

The electronic media, through its use of pictures and images, has been able to manipulate political outcomes and shape public policy discussions at almost every turn.  As every media realist has long understood, the mainstream media has long been controlled by the Left which has used this power to counter any opposition to its narrative.

The major media outlets are controlled by five corporate giants – Time Warner, Disney, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom – the largest purveyors of crony capitalism and cultural Marxism the world has ever witnessed.  No dissent is allowed to be heard on these outlets nor is there any hope of career advancement for journalists or writers if the Leftist paradigm is not trumpeted.

A free society does not exist because of a free press.  In fact, every society which has naively allowed a free press to exist, invariably finds that the press will seek to undermine it, especially its most innovative and successful individuals.  The reason, as Hayek so brilliantly explains, is that the press, and in this age the electronic media, is part of the intelligentsia which by its nature is envy ridden since it has little to offer the world in the production of actual goods and services.  Its members, therefore, are constantly denigrating their betters.

Such a mindset and sociological disposition will naturally lead members of the mass media to support politicians who will regulate, tax, and control the productive members of society.  This explains, in part, their vile and hysterical opposition to Donald Trump.  For Trump, unlike his crazed and corrupt opponent, has largely gained his wealth and position through his own intelligence, foresight, and hard work.

Offsetting media bias is a Herculean task and can only be done by one who is savvy and financially independent enough.  This is why Donald Trump has gotten as far has he has and has used his leverage to heroically call out the manipulations of the mainstream media.

It is surprising, therefore, that Trump agreed to the Presidential “debates” in a forum orchestrated by the media with “moderators” who would be gunning to undermine him at every turn.  Better to have chosen a neutral environment with an honest third party participant such as Brian Lamb of C-Span.  Agreeing to the same rigged debate format was a tactical mistake.

For anyone to seriously challenge the American Leviathan, it must be understood that the mainstream media is a part of that despotic structure and it too must be neutered.  Donald Trump has done more than any Presidential candidate to expose the treachery of the mainstream media, now others must take up the cause.

*F.A. Hayek, “The Intellectuals and Socialism.”  https://www.mises.org/sites/default/files/Intellectuals%20and%20Socialism_4.pdf

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

 

Presidential Dictatorship

Sic Semper tyrannis II

Executive orders, undeclared wars, drone hits, assassination of citizens and non-citizens alike, the overthrow of foreign regimes, domestic spying, the abetting of known criminal activities through pardons, economic planning, opening borders, monetary manipulations are just some of the nefarious activities that routinely emanate from the most dangerous political office that the world has ever painfully come to know – the United States Presidency!

The U.S. presidents can and have created a veritable “hell on earth” for their opponents, perceived enemies, and the innocent not only in the country in which they reign, but over the lives and fortunes of peoples and places where they have absolutely no authority to interfere.  While other chiefs of state have theoretically had such power, U.S. presidents have been able to inflict their destruction and chaos because, paradoxically, the nation’s free-market system, for a long time, created immense wealth which could be tapped into.

The tyrannical nature of the presidency was recognized long ago by those politically perspicacious men who opposed both the office and the draconian document which created it.  Few groups in history have been so vindicated for their foreboding as those who vainly argued against the ratification of the United States Constitution than the Antifederalists.

“An Old Whig”* aptly sums up the damage that would come about if the Constitution was ratified and the office of president would come into being:

. . . the office of President of the United States appears to me

to be clothed with such powers as are dangerous.  To be the

fountain of all honors in the United States, commander in chief

of the army, navy and militia, with the power of making treaties

and of granting pardons, and to be vested with an authority to

put a negative upon all laws, unless two thirds of both houses

shall persist in enacting it, . . . .**

An Old Whig saw that the president would become a “king” but without the natural and binding checks that even the most absolutist of monarchs were restrained by:

[The president] is in reality to be a KING as much a King

as the King of Great Britain, and a King too of the worst

kind; – an elective King. . . . The election of a King

whether it be in America or Poland, will be a scene of

horror and confusion; and I am perfectly serious when

I declare that, as a friend to my country, I shall despair

of any happiness in the United States until this office

is either reduced to a lower pitch of power or made

perpetual and hereditary.***

One of the Federalists’ counterarguments to the Antifederalists’ concern over the presidential office was the widely held assumption that George Washington would become the new Republic’s first chief executive and the general knowledge of his impeccable character would assuage those worried of potential executive overreach.  Such a lame response neglected to look into the future when the office’s huge potentiality for despotism would be sought after and won by those who had less upstanding personal traits than the father of the country.

The growing decentralized political movements throughout the world with, for instance, the hopefully upcoming British exit from the European Union, can only be enhanced if the office of the president and, for that matter, all other nation state’s chief executives are exposed as tyrannical institutions which are anathema to individual liberty and collective self-determination.  Presidents, premiers, chancellors, prime ministers, and their like along with central banking are the two nefarious pillars of power of the modern nation state whose continued existence guarantees perpetual war and economic regression.

In this seemingly interminable presidential election cycle, populist, libertarians, conservatives, and all sorts of anti-Establishment types are delusional if they believe the totalitarian direction in which the country is now headed will be reversed through elections or choosing the “right” candidate.  “Making American Great Again” will only come about when the chief executive office and the statist document that created it have been repudiated.

Prior to the presidency’s abolition, its ideological justification must be first debunked.  There is no finer place to start for this most necessary task to take place than in the dissemination of the perceptive and enduring words of the much neglected Antifederalists.

 

*Probably penned by a group of Philadelphia Antifederalists – George Bryan, John Smilie, James Hutchinson and maybe others.  See, John P. Kaminski & Richard Leffler, eds., Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution.  Madison, Wisconsin: Madison House Publishers, 1989, p. 18.

**Ibid., p. 86.

***Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Rock ‘N’ Roll Has Got to GO!

R n R

Has Got to GO!

Those who believe that the Western world can solely be turned around by the enactment of sound economic policies are sadly mistaken.  Until the Left is not only defeated, but annihilate in the culture war, the decline of the West both economically and socially will continue as recently witnessed by the “controversy” over the use of public bathrooms by perverts.

To accomplish such a necessary task, those on the Right must identify the means and mechanism by which liberalism has so adroitly used to accomplish the cultural transformation.

No finer example of the Left’s use of a medium for its depraved ends can be seen in that of rock “music.”  It is safe to say that rock ‘n’ roll has done more to undermine public morality than all of the judicial activism and welfare legislation enacted throughout the past half century or so.  And, without a conducive social atmosphere created by such music, it is doubtful that the sexual revolution and its perverse byproducts such as militant homosexuality and feminism would have ever flourished.

While initially rock was relatively innocuous, it, nevertheless, was subversive to traditional morality.  Most rock songs are couched in cleverly worded lyrics which promote promiscuity, vices such as drug use, and frequently mocks Christianity, all of which has led to the corruption and eventual ruination of countless lives.

Yet, despite these well established sociological “facts” of rock ‘n’ roll’s corrupting influence, those among the Right have long ago accepted this insidious form of music.  In fact, many actually promote it.  Rock is used as lead-in and background music to conservative television and radio programs while publications carry reviews of rock albums and concerts with writers often boasting about attending such events with their wives and children in tow.

After the recent passing of the degenerate and truly odd character who went by the name of “Prince,” a number of conservative outlets praised his “music” while one popular radio and television personality attempted to make the case that Prince was an opponent of the New World Order!

At one time, the culture war was an integral part of the political discourse, however, the debate over the issues of that war have been abandoned.  The acceptance of rock music by the Right is another demonstration of how it has succumbed to nearly all of liberalism’s premises.

The Left has understood (and still does) that through mediums such as television, motion pictures, and music, they could accomplish their agenda despite setbacks in the political arena.  While unsuccessful for a time in politics, they were, nevertheless, winning the important cultural battles and it was through rock music that society was gradually transformed.

There is, thus, no need for those who seek a return to traditional society to celebrate and embrace rock music, instead it should be treated with scorn.  But, it must first be recognized for the evil that it is.

While rock music must be understood for what it represents and debunked for its part in the triumph of the counterculture, an alternative should also be offered.  Happily, one can be readily found in the sublime and societal enhancing music of such masters as Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Better still, St. Augustine reportedly remarked, “Qui cantat, bis orat” (“A person who sings prays twice”).  When Western man’s Creator is once again prayed to through the music of such greats as Palestrina, Victoria, and Byrd throughout all the lands will the cultural war be won and society revitalized while rock music will be a distant and regrettable memory of a troubled time.

 

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/