8 votes

Why the love affair with the Constitution?

Do we cherish the right to bear arms because it’s in the Constitution, or do we cherish it because it is logical and moral? Do we cherish free speech and the freedom of religion because they are in the Constitution, or do we cherish them because they are also logical and moral?
In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an almost cult-like following for the Constitution coming from the liberty movement. This following almost seems to suggest a certain infallible characteristic of the Constitution from which a libertarian can argue almost any current policy point. Even some on the left have been known to argue for free speech and equality under the law, not by their own logical and reasoned analysis, but simply because it is in the all-powerful document called the Constitution. It’s easy to see how this support of the Constitution backfires on the left any time the issue of gun control is brought up, but would this uber-allegiance ever backfire on the liberty movement?
Before we continue to sing the praise of the Constitution to anyone who will listen as we continue the national gun debate, let us be reminded of two very important facts. Fact 1; Government is force, and therefore, Taxation Is Theft. Fact 2; The Constitution which founded this country provides the government with the authority to tax the citizens.
Even as I would concede that the Constitution is the single greatest document ever forged by man, the single greatest ‘anything’ forged by man will still be imperfect and our founding documents are no exception. Luckily for me, my rights do not come from a document, and I refuse to allow the outcome of any debate to rest on the absolute power of some words someone wrote.
In reality, my rights only exist as a result of the force I may have to use in order to defend them. In principle, my rights exist because of the logic and reason on which they are based. They don’t exist because of the Constitution. If we continue to rest our libertarian arguments on a document rather than on reason, then we concede the most important debate point we will ever face in this movement. Does the government have the right to use force on its people? When we succumb to the all-powerful authority of the document, we further enslave ourselves to the tyranny of democracy. No Bill of Rights can every truly free a people who have accepted the government’s power to tax. For this reason, let us remember as we continue to spread the message of liberty, that freedom is logical an moral, and not a result of documentation, but a result of reason.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

nailed it

"In fact, the only reason you argue specific forms of taxation as acceptable is that you have grown so accustomed to the overburdening of current taxation that you would accept any form of relief"

I believe that is the only possible reason anyone can ever argue in favor of taxes. I agree with you 100%.

For anyone to argue otherwise they are just unaware of what happens to that disappearing money's.

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

The need for it

I posted this awhile back on facebook, whether the founding fathers considered anarchy instead of a republic, which i believe they did as the anti-federalists opposed the ratification of the Constitution.

Tell me what you think:

"Anarchy vs Government:

Did the founders consider Anarchy?

While I agree that Anarchy does not mean violence and chaos, and a civilized society could be formed during anarchy, it is one of the weakest 'forms of government' (or lack thereof) for the founders to choose from.

Perhaps the founders did consider an anarchist state but knew it would be overthrown quickly. Anarchy is the lack of formation in truest form. You fend for yourself, as does everyone around you. Should you form the slightest pact, agreement, or brother/sisterhood with anyone else, a form of government has been born, with it, comes rules of what you can or cannot do, and usually you must agree to them.

Our biggest fault right now in Liberty is that we are many but not united. In an anarchist state with no one united and everyone only taking care of themselves, they would be easy prey to a nation that had a common goal or was unified against us.

But there's more to it than just government;

I am sorry my anarchist friends but as a businessman I must reject anarchy. Cooperation is required and understood in business, if businesses used an anarchist model, work would be extremely inefficient and production would be slow. Trade would be few and far between, as trust of outsiders would be limited.

Suffice to say, anarchy could never work. We could not grow without cooperation and we never would have had the economic growth we had that made us so prosperous as a nation. Without cooperation and SOME form of government, we could have been left alone but been poor, or overthrown or conquered with our lack of unity in even small amounts, by a nation stronger and unified against us.

I believe the founders understood this, while the Constitution is not perfect, and yes, it violates some of the principles of natural law, they TRIED to set it up so it wouldn't be abused. I would call a return to its inception and we can fix the errors we came across, that allowed those elected to abuse it's power."

i'm curious

as a businessman, how do you feel about laissez-faire? isn't that technically a form of anarchy (no state involvement)? you're here on the DP, so i'm assuming you agree with the ideas of the free-market.

do you think, as a person, that individuals need the state to make them get along with each other? i think people would get along because it's more efficient and productive to do so. perhaps not all, but most people. is it the state that keeps people civil now, or is it the people themselves?

as far as i know, and i'm no scholar on the subject, anarchy isn't government-less. it is leader-less. with a very decentralized form of self government. it doesn't mean that people couldn't enforce rules and law within their community if it's a voluntary agreement. and private businesses would be a big part of that.

i wish i could go on, but again i'm no scholar. i only get the "gist" of it and not the semantics. i'm curious as to why you think it couldn't work. if it's because of other nations posing a threat, why wouldn't the people themselves fight off the invaders? a gun behind every blade of grass, etc.

feel free to demolish my argument. :)

i believe

That it relies heavily on moral and responsible people. Let's face it. Not everyone is moral and responsible but it doesn't mean it cannot work at all.

Two examples (I'm not exactly an expert lol so I definitely encourage interjection here.)

So let's say it's an anarchist free market in a moral and responsible environment. Someone comes to you and wants to buy your product which you made or grew on your own with no expense except your own labor into it. They pay you for your product with the currency you ask for and everything goes smooth everyone's happy and they go on their way. You keep all of that currency as profit so your doing great.

Another person wants your product. They are not responsible or moral. Let's say they offer you a 1 ounce silver coin for your product and you accept it, they take your product and go on their way. Later on you find out that what you thought was an ounce of silver is really a steel coin with silver plateing. You just took a loss. Your labor was wasted. What do you do then?

Now I'm sure there are a number of things that can be done like tell all the people around you that someone is peddling fake silver coins or chase the person down and either ask/yell at them to work that labor off for you or just plain beat them to a pulp. This is the only flaw I see. That there will always be dishonest and immoral people and without any form of law or order about people like this will be able to do things like this and essentially get away with it sometimes, not all of the time but some of the time.

I don't see a lot of people talk about this side of the coin much. I'm sure that we would all love for everyone to be respectable and moral but there will always be immoral people in the world.

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

i upvoted you.

i agree that would be a snag to be figured out, or remembered. i wonder how they did this when people did use silver and gold coins as money. there's probably a precedent on the books somewhere.

The more I know about Spooner the more I like him.

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” - Lysander Spooner

And he said this in the 19th century...

"War is a Racket" - Maj. General Smedley Butler

http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm

Logical fallacy

It's not either-or. The government we have now is not the Constitution's fault. It's the people's fault for not taking a stand. Any written document is powerless on it's own. The people themselves have to defend the Constitution in order for the Constitution to defend them.

“The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it." ― Albert Einstein

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till." -J.R.R. Tolkien

"Do we cherish the right to

"Do we cherish the right to bear arms because it’s in the Constitution, or do we cherish it because it is logical and moral? Do we cherish free speech and the freedom of religion because they are in the Constitution, or do we cherish them because they are also logical and moral?"

We support them because they are logical and moral. We support the Constitution because they protect these rights.

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till." -J.R.R. Tolkien

wolfe's picture

If it protects those rights...

Then why must you fight for them now?

It however does protect the government's right to tax you and control your behavior as evidenced repeatedly by the actual use of the constitution against the people.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

wolfe's picture

Constitution is in fact just a piece of paper...

Supported by a small minority, signed and authorized by a much smaller minority of that minority, intended to bind all current and future generations in a legal contract.

It's garbage. Always has been and always will be.

If in fact, it's goal was to restrain government, then it is such a failure as to be completely ignored. And if it was not designed for that purpose, then why bother supporting it.

Constitution worship does not come from libertarians (who generally despise it for all of these reasons), but from Republican converts who have yet to fully understand what we fight for.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

governments always find a way to...

exist. As long as there is anything to take from people, there will be someone who will come try and take it. In an ideal world we could all be free and live our lives accordingly, but we don't live in an ideal world and our founders knew that. We must constantly fight to hold on to what we have. In final regards to the constitution...

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."
Henry Ford

"What light is to the eyes - what air is to the lungs - what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man."
-Robert Green Ingersoll

The goal of the Constitution *is* to restrain government

You complain that it has not been effective in doing that. That is not the fault of the Constitution. No written document on it's own can do such a thing. The people themselves have to protect the Constitution for the Constitution to protect them. The Articles of Confederation would have been no more effective in preventing the growth of government.

"Supported by a small minority, signed and authorized by a much smaller minority of that minority, intended to bind all current and future generations in a legal contract."

Of course it was. Do you expect every single individual American at the time to have signed and authorized it? And this "minority" wasn't just random people, they were representatives sent by the states. Also, the Constitution does not bind the people. It binds the government.

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till." -J.R.R. Tolkien

wolfe's picture

In order for a contract to bind me...

Yes, I must approve it. That is freedom.

Anything else is exercising illegitimate power over me.

If the people must protect themselves from excessive force, then the document does nothing. Protection is either successful or a failure. A body guard does not get points for "trying" to protect his charge.

If something exists solely for the purpose of protection, and yet fails to do so (so completely), then in fact, that is the purest definition of failure so it is the fault of the constitution.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

SaveThePandas's picture

Because it is beautiful?

And as poster below states it is there to protect from tyrannical powers seizing this country and bringing us down to the fiery flames of hell.

Because the...

constitution doesn't "grant" us rights, you are born with them as a human being.... it is there to protect them from a tyrannical gov.

"What light is to the eyes - what air is to the lungs - what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man."
-Robert Green Ingersoll