Mailvox: the gorilla can read Nietzsche…

RB writes:

America is dead. If it is, what a lively corpse it is! The old bad old Abraham is asserted again- The good Framers and the clear and understandable language of the Constituion is asserted again- Instead of rehashing all of this, let;s just remind you of one small thing, to set the assertions you made into the ground-as in six feet under!

Thomas Jefferson, who is held up by you and yours as the American philosopher of small republics and limited goernemt, went and did what he, Jefferson, called an illegal act, and destroyed the Constituion-his words, not mine. What was that act? Why the Louisiana Purchase! First off, the national government had no powers to purchase the land, and Jefferson himself pointed that out! Yet he defended the action saying that if left to the States, the opportunity to expand the nation, which was necessary, according to him, would have slipped away! Oh yes, you’ll want a source-see Jefferson’s letter to Beveridge, in late 1803. It’s in the collections of Jefferson’s papers, which you can read at any library- To continue-Who got the money from the purchase? Why Napoleon Bonaparte, who used the money to finance his military conquest of Europe! and you and the rest have accused Clinton of selling out to China, of Bush’s deals with the bin Laden family(see Moore’s film) or Reagan’s arms for hostages etc etc ad nauseum. Again, What was the effect of the Purchase? to increase the size of the nation by double, and that Purchase area was Federal terriroty, not States, not in 1803! So the national government had increased its own land size to be larger than the combuned States!

What does this prove, except that the founding fathers knew whereof they spoke with regards to the temptations of State power? The fact that Jefferson was tempted and gave into corruption says nothing about the fact that today’s government is neither small nor limited as it was conceived to be. And every act of illicit government expansion is defended as being necessary. The public is not generally known to welcome dictatorship, after all, unless they have been sufficiently alarmed by the presumed alternatives.

And here’s the next problem. the French thinker Montesque, argued that the bigger a nation becomes the more the power is centralized and the more tyrannical it becomes–gee, what if he was right? Then Jefferson went from the small republic limiited government man to the Hamiltonian tyrant in one fell swoop- According to Lew Rockwell, when I pointed this out, Jefferson was a good political thinker but a bad President-so what else is new? And Jefferons was one of the Framers, one of the Founders, indeed, he was at least the assistant head coash after Washington, he was the main architect, with Madison of the Founding documents-If he can go wrong, then it is all up! and was all up then- But what if he was right, and what if the Framers, ressurected today, would nod approvingly at what has happened? I am quite sure that Hamilton would!

So am I. So is L. Neil Smith, the libertarian, which is why his sci-fi villains are called “Hamiltonians”. But the rest would almost certainly not. The fact that it is difficult to keep a Republic is why Franklin famously said: “if you can keep it.” Any sober analysis will suffice to demonstrate that we have not.

Among Libertarians and libertarians, I have found, after all of the rhe rhetoric about the Constituion and Declaration has died down, they will admit that they prefer the Articles of Confederation, that the Articles have the provisions for that “voluntary association” which the Constituion doesn’t. that the Articles say that States are sovereign, which the Constituion doesn’t and that the many word and phrases, such as “absoltelu” in the Articles “elastic clause” do not appear in the Contituion-which gives the new independnent executive, judiciary and Vongress great latitutes for expansion of powers. recall that there was no independent executive in the Articles! So, in your column, you have again, failed American histroy, American Constitional law, and American politics. and America isn’t anywhere near dead-you sound like the Carter administration people when they campaigned against Reagan!

Sure, many libertarians would prefer the Articles to the Constitution. But they would also prefer Constitutional government to what we have now. The Constitution certainly allows some latitude, but nowhere near so much as is being claimed by the three branches of the federal government. RB may have failed to understand the difference between America the nation-state and America the concept, he has clearly failed to disprove my assertions, as well, one is forced to assume, fifth-grade spelling, but at least he has succeeded in proving that one can read American history without being burdened by the heavy weight of understanding it.