Tag Archives: Conservatism

The Constitution Myth

One reason for the failure of the modern conservative and libertarian movements to scale back, in even a miniscule way, the now gargantuan US welfare/warfare state has been the misinterpretation of the US Constitution.  Many conservatives have a slavish devotion to the document, placing it on a par with the Ten Commandments and New Testament.

A typical misunderstanding of the Constitution’s history and content appeared in this recent op-ed:



The Constitution was intended to limit 1) the power


of government over the citizenry 2) the power of each branch of


government and 3) the power of political/financial elites over the


government and the citizenry, as the Founders recognized the intrinsic risks


of an all-powerful state, an all-powerful state dominated by one branch of


government and the risks of a financial elite corrupting the state to serve


the interests above those of the citizenry.*

The author, like so many “Constitution enthusiasts” has also been hostile to the Medieval era, denigrating its institutions and social constructs – feudalism, aristocracy, crusading – when, in fact, the Middle Ages, in many respects, were far freer with less government than the present epoch. **

When the founding fathers decided to meet in Philadelphia in 1787, they did so at first to “amend” the Articles of Confederation which had guided the young country through some perilous times.  While the Articles had some defects (some libertarians even contend that they were too statist***), the delegates, at first, did not want it scrapped, however, it was the “leading lights” of the convention which connived to completely do away with it.

By superior political maneuvering, the pro-Constitution forces were able to ramrod their plan through despite being in the minority.  Not only were the majority of the delegates initially against scrapping the Articles, but most Americans were opposed to the creation of a new central government. 

Despite this, the Constitution was ruthlessly pushed through and, as its opponents feared, America would be saddled with a highly centralized national government, the loss of considerable state sovereignty, and the eventual erosion of individual liberties even with the inclusion of a Bill of Rights.

A brief examination of the document reveals that its implicit and explicit language grants wide latitude for the expansion of state power.  In its Preamble, the ambiguous clause to “promote the general welfare” can and has led to all sorts of destructive social engineering schemes.  More ominously, for anyone that is under the illusion that America is governed by a “federal” system, they should reread Article VI which in part says

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United his 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. [emphasis added]

An all-powerful central state went against much of Western history after the fall of the Roman Empire and the idea was always feared by philosophers.  Basic political theory and practical experience showed that a multitude of sovereign states were preferable not only for the protection of personal liberty, but for economic growth.  Numerous states and jurisdictions were a far greater check on government than the much celebrated “separation of powers” concept of constitutional government.

Under the Articles of Confederation, each individual state was autonomous while the national government had to rely on the states for most of its support.  Unfortunately, it will never be known what would have happened if the country remained as a confederacy of states, it is likely however, that there would have been less bloodshed, greater economic growth, and more personal freedom under a decentralized regime.

It is curious, therefore, why so many on the Right continue to revere the Constitution as some great bulwark against state power.  Much of it probably stems from ignorance or personal bias against the political conditions which existed prior to the late 18th century. 

Much of European history was under the sway of monarchial and aristocratic rule and the integral presence of the Catholic Church in society with a diffusion of power among kings, princes, dukes and Churchmen.  While far from perfect, the social order which existed under Christendom may not have been as materially or technologically advanced as contemporary times, but in regard to morality, justice, and individual freedom, there is no comparison.  The Christian age saw nothing of the social depravity, war making with its mass murder, the trampling of individual rights, and the existence of totalitarian government as witnessed in the supposedly “enlightened” modern age.

Decentralized Europe of 1300

Until it is realized that the Constitution is an impediment to rolling back the American Leviathan, there will be little progress in the fight for individual liberty and economic progress.

   

*Charles Hugh Smith, “Let’s Face It: The U.S. Constitution Has Failed.”  Zero Hedge.  20 February 2019. 

**One example, Charles Hugh Smith, “America’s ‘Neo-Feudal’ System is ‘Both False & Precarious.”  Zero Hedge 19 December 2018.

***David Gordon, ed., Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard, Auburn, AL.: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2015, pp. 96-98.

Antonius Aquinas@antoniusaquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

[emphasis added]

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/