Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Nullity behind the modern day nullification movement - Touching on Tyranny pt3

The Nullity behind the modern day nullification movement
June... it was June that I last had a chance to really put two thoughts together, beyond a scribbled note or email... but now that my project deadline has passed (successfully, yay), I've been doing just that, and... there are a lot of scribbled notes.

Are they about current headlines? Syria? Obamacare? Budget battles? Nope, afraid not - just the stuff that allowed those issues to become issues in the first place. Yep, tyranny, the constitution, its abuse, the false cures presented for curing it (such as Nullification), and those cures which I think hold real promise. So if you're looking for current events, you'll need to come back in a week after I've had a chance to free the timeless issues that have been breeding like rabbits in my head & notes.

Back in June, we left off with "Setting Tyranny Free", looking at Tyranny and what it really was, and wasn't, and where that left off brings us back around to those misguided few who are seeking to defend liberty and the constitution by destroying it, via the modern interpretation of 'Nullification' (my own Missouri has an example in the news). Because this false cure holds so much in common with so much else that ails us, I'm going to use the next few posts to dig into it from a few different perspectives.

The Nullity behind the modern day nullification movement
A month or so ago, while I was in deep denial over my not having any time at all, I got involved in an online discussion over the libertarian darling tyrannical cure all of Nullification, and my position that Nullification is at best a destructive nullity, prompted a frustrated supporter of it to ask me:
"If you lived in the 1700s, would you have sided with Sam Adams and Company or with King George?"
My immediate sleep deprived reaction was to take offense (where none was intended), but not just to the idea that I would not have stood with Samuel Adams, but to the idea that we are in a situation today that is similar to what Adams faced all those years ago. That idea pains me because it makes it painfully clear that too few people actually understand the nature of the threat that our Founders faced back in their day, or the even greater threat that we ourselves are facing today. And please, don't recite to me the charges of the Declaration of Independence as proof that we are in the same position, unless you simply want to prove to me that you don't understand the first thing about either the charges made by the Declaration of Independence, or the very basis for the Declaration itself - Yes, the charges are similar, but no, the context is not similar, and context always rules the roost.

To be clear, the ideas and positions that Sam Adams supported then, I wholeheartedly support and stand with today, including the thesis he argued for in earning his masters degree from Harvard (!), In 1743 - note that date, more than three decades before the Declaration of Independence - and that was:
"Whether it be lawful to resist the supreme magistrate, if the commonwealth cannot be otherwise preserved?"
But we are most definitely not in the same situation today, in regards to our government, as they faced then, and there is one passage from the Declaration which points towards the key difference between then and now,
"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation"[emphasis mine]
There is though, most definitely, at least one similarity between ourselves today, and the colonists which Adams found himself surrounded with in his day, a situation which the rest of the Founders realized only after Adams efforts over decades woke them up to it. But before we can consider what the similarities and differences were and are, between then and now, we need to get a bit clearer on what it is that we face here and now, today; only then can we benefit from considering what it was which they understood the purpose and requirements of Law to be, and understand why the words "pretended Legislation" are key to both of these times - it was the violation inherent in that, which they considered the basis for their rebellion, and is key to the very different actions we must take in our time, if we want to enjoy the liberty that they secured for us in their time.

Here and Now
As I pointed out in that last post, the actual mechanism of tyranny operating in our world today is not the tyrannical tendency of power mad politicians, or even their disregard for the Constitution of our laws, but We The People's ignorance of what our Rights are, and the understanding of them that is required, in order for liberty to be upheld and maintained. Jefferson summed it up well in this line::
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe."
Note: In what would no doubt be a shocker to Common Core proponents, Reading is more than, and a very different thing from, 'decoding 'informational texts'', or reciting words from a teleprompter. See Richard Mitchell's excellent riff on this thought of Jefferson's)
That critical ignorance casts a shadow over our ability to identify the real threats arrayed against us here and now, and in such a state we're easily misled into chasing after false cures which only intensify the tyrannical disease sapping our defenses, transforming our reasonable desires for safety and security into ever tastier morsels for the tyrants gullet.

True, the current scandals of the NSA, IRS, TSA and other typical 1984-ish fears are what grab the headlines, but probably only because our media is every bit as ignorant of our Rights, and probably more so, as most of We The People are. Of course these threats shouldn't be discounted, as I pointed out in the first post, but the veiled hand of ignorance is what should concern us most, that unseen hand of tyranny is progressively at work consuming our privileges, property and Rights by means of laws turned against the rights they were originally meant to uphold and defend.

And all with rarely even a mention in any of those attention grabbing headlines.

The awful reality is that in such a situation as ours, there's no need for an invading army, or even the threat of one, to strip us of what is ours by virtue of being human - it is a true and present danger to liberty, which, concealed by our ignorance of it, is advancing upon us every moment of every day. Examples are everywhere, from the IRS to the FDA, usually in the guise of laudable aspirations, politically correct feel good issues, such as the Dept. of Interior's recent "National Blueway designation" effort; as good an example of this as any. This boondoggle offered the lure of 'saving the environment!' through preservation and conservation, while what went out of sight and unmentioned, was that it would consume nearly 2/3's of Missouri's & Arkansas's property - most of which was owned by private individuals - by means of the those regulations which such do-goodery requires.

On the bright side, proving what an effective disinfectant that sunshine can be to the darkness of ignorance, an email campaign by concerned citizens derailed that particular plan (for now): "Feds Rescind White River's Blueway Designation"
"Seeking to quell a public backlash, the U.S. Department of the Interior dropped the White River on Wednesday from a new federal program that recognizes conservation and recreation efforts along waterways."
But you cannot ever take your eyes off the other hand, not even for a moment. The administrative state is a new breed of hydra, it doesn't wait for you to cut its head off to grow two others, it preemptively grows three heads in darkness before you ever see the first one, plus two for every one you do manage to catch sight of, and even then you've got to actively look for them to find them,
"Another federal agency MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) has been uncovered that involves the National Blueways, and it names the White River/Cache River Watershed as a watershed demonstration pilot!

Please take a few minutes to read this newly-found MOU . Give it time to upload, and pay attention to the terminology and language used. We are VERY concerned about what this entails. "
And while you're feeling good about having caught that particular threat, there are others such as this one from Alabama, where the state school board is working on passing regulations that will effectively outlaw home and private school educations - not to mention the several other items I did not mention, and who knows what else I never even knew of to mention.

Get the picture?

That is the nature of the ProRegressive's Administrative State; its motive power is the very real urge of smart (though critically ignorant) people to 'do good' (without ever defining what Good is), and their talisman of Regulatory Law, operates unseen, never sleeps and most insidious of all, what it consumes can remain visible and seemingly intact, so that you won't even know it's gone until you try to exercise your right to it. Regulatory Laws don't have to physically take property from you, to effectively take it from you - to think they do is to mistake their nature - this beast feeds more upon your rights, than your possessions, and under cover of our perverted modern understanding of law, it does so right out in the open, while claiming to have taken nothing from you at all.

Tyrannical Tidbits
That little morsel is perfectly expressed in Justice Kagan's recent dissent against a rare Property Rights victory, in "Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District"
"a requirement that a person pay money to repair public wetlands is not a taking. Such an order does not affect a “specific and identified propert[y] or propertyright[]”; it simply “imposes an obligation to perform an act”
So... 'simply “imposes an obligation to perform an act” merely imposes an obligation, and if that obligation should impose a financial or practical hardship... well.. that's 'simply' a bummer? It's simply a matter of 'you lose', and bears no relation to your lessening or loss of property due to the govt imposed obligation? Really?

For example, there's very little in the Dept. of Interior 'memorandum of understanding' would even mean taking the current property owners title to their land - it would only take their right to exercise their right to it, under the cover of various regulations covering the use - and forbidden use - of watershed designations... and their ability to maintain it to the govt's expectations. And should the owner lose that property due to their inability to measure up?... well... that's not taking, that's merely losing.

How's that possible?

Here's a test for you: can you identify the principle separating the EPA's imposing an obligation of obtaining environmental impact reports and other fees before construction can begin upon your property, from that which might require getting something such as a 'toleration impact' report from an HCA (Hate Crime Agency...what? You think that seems far-fetched? Why?), before writing an article? No, I didn't ask how outlandish that (might) still sound, I said can you identify the principle which makes one acceptable, and the other not?

That's how that's possible.

There is no difference in principle between the two, both are an infringement upon your fundamental Rights, and it is only what is still fashionable at the moment, which makes the later one seem as far fetched as the former one once seemed.

Regulatory Law accomplishes this not by the outright seizure of property, as your typically unimaginative old school communist thug might have done, but by the more nuanced approach of our modern intellectuals, not by taking it from you, but by denying you some part of your ability to exercise your right to use it (Progress, right?). In principle, to forcibly deny you even the least bit of what is rightfully yours, is a full denial of the principle of ownership... but in a people who have been educated away from Principle, and into Pragmatism, it's just 'a little thing'... right? And so little by little regulatory laws deny us our ability to do this or that - for the greater good of course - either outright, or maybe without a permit (to start), but the end result is the same - the Right of an Individual to their private property is eliminated in favor of the public interests in it... and those interests determined by a handful of powerful and well intentioned self styled elites.

And it is genius.

Over and over again, knowingly or not, Regulatory Laws have shown themselves to be the practical and progressive means of achieving Karl Marx's otherwise fanciful communist dream, which he himself summarized as:
"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."
What gave such tyranny an inroad into American governance, and the means which justified it, is what I focused upon in the last post, the error in John Locke's description of what tyranny is, from his The Two Treatises of Civil Government (Hollis ed.) > CHAP. XVIII. Of TYRANNY,
"...And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage ..."[emphasis mine]
, that supposed escape clause from tyranny; that as long as your actions are performed for the 'Greater Good' your use of power over others is not tyrannical. That was perhaps an understandable oversight in the 16th, 17th and perhaps even 18th centuries, certainly a forgivable error on Locke's part in his time, from one of the greatest defenders and definers of Liberty, he after-all lacked the historical evidence and undeniably bloody effects which such an error produced. But we, who possess the entirety of the 20th century, and more, possess no such excuse, and our ignorance of it and its implications, is typical of how tyranny has gained a foothold in America, through Americans' best intentions' - and that is neither understandable nor forgivable.

Once again, it is our ignorance of what our Rights are and what they require, that serves as the magical means of transforming the Rule of Law into laws written to carry out the rule of the Rulers.

Being Realistic
I cannot emphasize this enough - we cannot fight the Administrative State through measures directed at its laws and regulations.

We Cannot.

We will never be able to encompass all of its strategies and modes of attack, not on the Federal level of legislative or the regulatory law, not on the State, County or Township levels, and certainly not in the educational system or the culture at large. Cannot.. Its motive power is ignorance, and that is a boundless source of power for those who are guided by it, and/or of those who are in pursuit of exploiting it.

People accuse me of not being realistic enough when I insist that Education must be a core focus of our efforts... and then they turn around and propose one or two, or sometimes even three new laws or measures (or IDEAL Candidates (!) - hey, how's that Rubio working out for ya?) which they seriously expect to be able to counter what are, not simply one or two opposing laws, measures, or candidates, but a nearly numberless array of laws, agencies, regulations, NGO's, foundations, educational systems, media and culture... all of which are stridently arrayed against us... and they are serious... and it's all I can do not to laugh in their faces.... I'M being unrealistic?!

Please. The only way, and I mean the only practical way, to effectively fight the ProRegressive Leviathan arrayed against us on all sides, and to do so with a view to victory, is through dispelling the darkness it thrives and feeds upon. Only through an understanding of what Rights are, and of what the purpose of Government and Law are in relation to them, and to the nature of Man, can anything resembling victory ever even hope to be achieved.

That should not be a surprise - that was what was required to inspire the idea of America in the first place, nothing less is required for continuing or reviving it.

Anything less, will only further the aims of our common enemy. Which finally brings us around to what modern day 'Nullification' actually is... tomorrow.


Corey Stinson said...

The author misunderstands nullification. It is simply another tool in the basket of bringing about the eduction of "We The People's ignorance of what our Rights are", in the meantime serving to thwart, where ever possible, the regulation state's power.

Libertarians have a knack for swooning over one particular issue, such as nullification, and offering it up as a panacea. Obviously, if everyone was ready to nullify today we would not be in our current predicament in the first place. Nevertheless, nullification will be a handy tool, one of many, ON THE ROAD to fixing the problem.

Van Harvey said...

Corey said "nullification will be a handy tool, one of many, ON THE ROAD to fixing the problem."

I'm afraid you don't yet understand. The only road that nullification, as it is meant today, will lead to, is ruin.

There is a vast difference between what Jefferson & Madison meant by Nullification, and what the modern 'libertarian' does... which is what I'll tear into in detail over the next couple posts.

And you are of course welcome to tear back into me if I've got any of it wrong.