I threw the Constitution in the woods years ago, when I became aware of its true nature as a document empowering government rather than protecting the rights of the people. The historic fact is the Constitution was intended to gut the rights of the people; it was only as an afterthought that the Bill of Rights was tacked on, to placate those who were – rightly, as it turns out – suspicious of what Hamilton & Co. were up to.
The Constitution is all about “Congress shall have power…” and so on. Well, over whom shall it have power? By what authority?
The Bill of Rights, on the other hand, is all about “Congress shall make no law… and “shall not be infringed.” It is a roster of contras with regard to government. An assertion of the positive rights of the individual. It expressed the popular feeling behind the Revolution that was subverted by the Constitution. Read it – the Bill of Rights – and you will immediately notice how it comports with the Declaration of Independence, whereas the Constitution’s enumeration of state power sounds a discordant, reactionary note. Hamilton and Co. were appalled by the freedom briefly enjoyed by average Americans. By the weakness (i.e., its inability to forcibly coerce) of the central government; in particular, its inability to “raise revenue” and impose its will across the land. See, for instance, the so-called Whiskey Rebellion. And so the Hamiltonians wrote the Constitution – without the authorization or consent of “the people,” in secret conclave – for the express purpose of “correcting” the problem, as they saw it, of too much liberty . . . and not enough government.
Still, America remained a relatively free country for several generations after the Revolution due to inertia and the cultural legacy of the Revolution. The Hamiltonians could only go so far. But the passage of the Constitution assured the inevitability of what became explicit – at bayonet-point – in 1865 and subsequently: The central government’s authority is unlimited in principle and the individual has no rights it is bound to respect.
Think about it: Can anyone name even one individual right that the government has not rescinded and turned into a conditional privilege?
We no longer enjoy freedom of speech. Is it necessary to elaborate? At a time when a person must ask permission to be allowed to publicly (and peacefully) express dissatisfaction with the government? When the expression of certain views is sufficient legal warrant to provoke a “visit” – or worse – by armed men who are empowered to kidnap the speaker or writer? When the mere wearing of a T-shirt with “objectionable” slogans or images upon it is regarded by the law as sufficient warrant to “detain” (that is, forcibly assault) a person? What happened to “Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”?
We are not at liberty to choose with whom we associate, even in private. Or do business with. We are subject to arrest and imprisonment if we decline to associate with persons the government decrees we must associate with, or do business without the requisite permissions (such as licenses) and according to the rules laid down by the state. If you are 17 years old, you must attend a government school. You are not at liberty to go to work and support yourself, if that is your wish. It is “against the law.”
Everything – just about – is either “against the law” or requires the state’s permission first.
Our right to be “secure in our persons and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures” is a nullity. There is no place – not even in our homes – that we are not subject to grotesquely unreasonable searches and seizures. Is it necessary to elaborate? At a time when people are being violated in the most degrading way (roadside digital inspection of their body cavities) under color of law? When what would be considered sexual assault if done by any Mere Mundane is sanctified as “reasonable” by the courts? At a time when every single phone call, every single e-mail, is recorded and analyzed by the government? This is “reasonable”? According to the government, which interprets its own powers to suit, it certainly is.