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Faults of the Constitution – Bill of Rights


By admin - Posted on 18 October 2011

**The U.S. Government was formed by the rich and powerful
[ Nanook is talking with Ben – LIARS! Vol. 2 Escape to Insanity Ch. 21 – teaching version ]

Conservative views

"When the constitution was written, the control of the country was in the hands of lawyers and rich land owners. In the south, they were slave owners. They had no intention of including the AVERAGE person in the decision making of a government. These were very conservative people who would have elected their own king if people like Adams and Jefferson hadn’t blocked the way. Let me read about this from a book by Livingston and Thompson called The Consent of the Governed. Page 64.”

“Those who framed the Constitution did, indeed INTEND to establish a REPUBLIC… to render majoritarian democracy IMPOSSIBLE.”

“Notice the phrase MAJORITARIAN DEMOCRACY. That means a government structure where decisions are voted on by the people and the winner is the one with a MAJORITY of votes.”

"OK. But is there any other way to create a true democracy than letting the people vote?”

"HELLO! Earth to Nanook! The U.S. is NOT a democracy! It’s a REPUBLIC! Don’t you know what that word means? The people in this country don’t elect the president. The President is elected by the representatives. The people don’t vote for the laws. The laws are chosen by representatives. Let’s get back to this later. I assure you, it is not as simple as it first appears. Also notice, it doesn’t say the goal of the Constitution was to establish a DEMOCRACY. It wasn’t. Page 57.”

“Conservative theories of democracy start from a more pessimistic view of human nature and insist that the rational capacities of the individual are an INADEQUATE basis for society… most men live by habit and tradition, and when this is not so, their behavior is motivated by their interests ( usually economic ) rather than their intellects... Reason cannot be invoked to settle political disputes because, in the nature of things, reason is servant of passions... ”

"So. If I understand this right, the founders of the country didn’t believe the average person was capable of making intellectual decisions.”

"Bingo! And if the founders of the Constitution won out, the U.S. would have been a close model to England and France. According to these elitists:”

“…natural inequalities among men [should] be recognized and that the NATURALLY SUPERIOR be protected… only a social ARISTOCRACY, composed of the NATURALLY SUPERIOR, can serve as the guardians…
...what they [ the founding aristocrats] sought was a solution which would avoid factious politics and, in particular, the ATTACKS of a factious majority on the PROPERTY RIGHTS of minorities… barriers, not only against the ‘schemes of economic injustice’ which the majority of the poorer people might perpetrate, but also against the companion danger of a majority dominated by mass emotion.”

"Hmmm... So, all this national pride about the U.S. being the ‘land of the free’ wasn’t so straight forward when the country was started?”

"Bingo! And in the environment of the 1700’s, ‘naturally superior’ meant the wealthy, who would also make sure they were the representatives elected to the government.”

"So. Are you implying that the situation we have now wasn’t how things were in the beginning?”

"Bingo! We are a country in flux, my man. BUT! There was that nasty little addition to the Constitution that came later!”

"Yeah! Yeah! The Bill of Rights. And is there anything wrong with that?”

"There sure is. Big time. Do you see any change in the original words of the Constitution?”

"Ah! I see what you mean. And that’s why things are getting so weird. The original words which are supposed to be guiding the congress and the supreme court describe a government set up to protect the rich. This is so far from where people think we are now, that congress and the supreme court have to bend the meaning of the words beyond all recognition to get anything to work. And when they do that, they just end up where the original founders said they would: servants of passion fighting about it. So, it just becomes politics.”

Government of laws, not of men

"Bingo! The lemming chaser opens his eyes. So, by a major stroke of luck, there were strong people like Jefferson and Adams who had a more A3 view of things.”

“The political problem of free societies is how to structure a system of government so that public decisions reflect ‘rules of justice’ and protect human rights rather than simply mirror the power positions of rival parties. …two fundamental safeguards [were proposed] … 1. representatives ultimately responsible to their constituent; 2. …refine and enlarge the public view by passing it through the medium of a chosen body of citizens…”

"Wow. This is amazing. This is so different from the approach you just read before.”

“It’s a miracle we didn’t have the first civil war before we finished the Revolutionary war.”

"So. You’re saying, right from the beginning, even in the U.S., there was a major standoff between the rich industrialists, land owners and lawyers, and the average people?”

“Bingo! READ ALL ABOUT IT! 1776! GOVERNMENT FAVORS INDUSTRY LOBBYISTS AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS! This problem has been here since day one. It isn’t new.”

“Adam’s answer… a balance between the interests of the major classes of society, with a neutral arbiter… A GOVERNMENT OF LAWS, AND NOT OF MEN.”

"A GOVERNMENT OF LAWS, NOT OF MEN?”

"Sounds like we have an echo in here. Do you realize the significance of that?”

"I’d better claim the 5th and see if I can keep my feet out of my mouth.”

"Ironically! it’s simultaneously one of the GREATEST concepts in governance and the BIGGEST FLOPS of all time. I mean, the concept is absolutely beautiful. It’s right up there with the invention of money and the alphabet. But if society doesn’t allow A3 geniuses to create the structure and select the words, and the concepts are poorly written into law, you condemn the society to endless political conflict. You wouldn’t know anywhere that might be going on, do you?”

Politics characterized as a military fight

"Well, I’m not going to name any names. But when elections are characterized as fights, and the political parties attack each other so angrily, and turn the citizens against each other, I think, somehow, we have totally missed the point. When the political platforms are structured to polarize voters so it seems if you pick the wrong candidate, the country is going to die, I think we have totally missed the point.”

"I think you are TOTALLY GETTING THE POINT! In any case, by some miracle, Congress bought Adams’ view.”

Need for the original constitution

“Liberals and conservatives agreed that a written Constitution was necessary, although for different reasons. From the conservative point of view, only a set of restraints on the will to power of all groups could succeed in pitting power against power... And the restraints could only be permanently effective if a written document put them on a level above the strategies of the contestants in the day-to-day political struggle. For the liberals… if the people were not to govern directly, there must be… restraints on the powers of their representatives to curb… abuse of power… the majority principle required that the civil liberties necessary to its operation be spelled out…”

“Clear?”

"Ugh???”

“No. OK. Let me try it again. The conservatives - the rich guys - wanted rules in place - which of course they were going to write - to prevent the little guys, who way outnumbered them, from taking over their land. They wanted those rules to be ABOVE common law. So, a constitution was a good way to do that. At the same time, the average guys, who were being told they wouldn’t be allowed to vote directly, wanted written laws that limited the power of the representatives, who they knew would be the rich guys. So, they produced the sausage we call the U.S. Constitution. Which is, by the way, the shortest constitution of any major sovereign state in the world. So much for getting the words right. To be fair, it is also the oldest. So, it’s not as if they had any models to go by.”

"Huh? This still doesn’t seem fair to me. I don’t understand how the average person, who is after all a citizen like everyone else, got shoved into the corner.”

“Simple. You aren’t living in 1700’s America. You’ve already been brainwashed by our current culture. At that time, remember, the entire western world was still staunchly authoritarian. The, quote, ‘average’ person was still a PEASANT! And maybe another easily forgotten fact will open both of your eyes. When was the Bill of Rights written?”

"Duh? Yea! I remember something about that now. It wasn’t part of the original Constitution to begin with.”

“Bingo! The Constitution was written in 1787. The Bill of Rights was added later as AMENDMENTS, right? That didn’t happen until four years later in 1791.”

"Hold on now. Let me get this straight. After we won our independence, 1776 and all that, the, quote, ‘leaders’ of our country thought we could run a country WITHOUT a written law?”

“Why would we need a written law? The rich guys were going to tell everyone else what to do.”

" And it took eleven years to figure out that we did need a written law?”

“Eleven years and a LOT of political fighting.”

"And when they did finally write the Constitution, it was PRIMARILY to establish the domination of the wealthy over the peasants?”

“Lemming chaser has caught the scent! Watch out lemmings!”

"And it took four more years to add in even just basic protections for the average person?”

“Bingo! And, so far, the Constitution has been amended twenty four times. So much for foresight. But, to be fair, it’s more a clear statement of how impossible it would be for the wording of the original Constitution to anticipate the change we are seeing in the modern world. Unfortunately, people are blind to what this says about the original wording.

Addition of the Bill of Rights

Basic principle of rights

So, now we have a Constitution where some of the civil liberties that average citizens want are listed. And how do you think they are they holding up?”

"Well, you pretty much demolished freedom of religion already.”

"Hey. That’s all you gave me a chance at. Do you want to put some money on any of the others?”

"Duh???”

"Did I hear you say SURE? Prepare to lose your bankroll! To start with, we have to understand some basics of the word RIGHTS. Where do you think rights come from?”

"Well. There are God given rights that come from God. And there are rights that come from, I guess, the government.”

"And, what does that mean exactly?”

"Man. I knew you were going to ask that. A ‘right’ is something you’re allowed to do.”

"AND??”

"OK! OK! I’m going to keep taking the 5th. until you totally destroy that as well.”

"Wise move. We are only on the 1st. So, you just bought yourself about 10 precious seconds.

Rights - the need for enforcement

The key point that most people miss in relation to the principle we call ‘rights’, is that, to make that principle work, someone has to ENFORCE those rights. Without enforcement, the words are just empty promises. This is what makes ‘God given rights’ and ‘self evident rights’ so ludicrous. For example, in the Declaration of Independence it says:”

“We hold these truths to be SELF-EVIDENT, that all men are created equal, that they are ENDOWED by their Creator with certain UNALIENABLE Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute NEW Government…”

"Right from square one, we have problems. Supposedly, men are ‘endowed’ by God with rights that the Declaration calls ‘unalienable’. Three of these are listed: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. So, if these rights are ‘endowed’ by God, then why doesn’t God enforce them? Obviously he doesn’t. So, if giving out rights is such a big deal, and the Declaration gives God such high points, even if He doesn’t enforce them, then sign me up to be the greatest rights giver-outer there is. I’ll give you ANY right you want - for a fee, of course. Then look what the founding fathers said next: ‘to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men’. This is like the Pope taking over the responsibility for deciding sin. Total denial that there are actually fundamental logical reasons for all of these things. Instead, they are essentially just thrown out there as ASSUMPTIONS. Do you see that?”

"Sure. To say ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident’ is essentially saying, we are going to just assume them. But I think this wording actually implies a lot more than that. To call them ‘truths’ is a BIG addition.”

"Bingo! That’s the point. So, for the concept of “a right” to be functional, there must be an authority that has the power to enforce that right. Therefore, a “god given right” implies that a god grants the right AND that god enforces that right. We should use the term RIGHTS in that way. This means, if a Government is going to be the one who enforces these rights, then it is that Government who is actually giving and guaranteeing us these rights. OK?”

"Sure.”

Discussion of self evident rights in the Declaration of Independence

“Which then sets the stage for the BIG DISCONNECT. That is, if these ‘truths’ are so self-evident that we are going to ‘institute’ a whole Government ‘to secure these rights’, wouldn’t you expect to at least see the rights listed out in the founding documents somewhere?”

"Duh??”

"Is that ‘duh’ as in ‘duh’? Or is that ‘duh’ as in ‘what in the world is really going on here?’ Don’t bother looking. You aren’t going to find anything in the Constitution that SECURES anybody LIFE, LIBERTY or the ability to PURSUE HAPPINESS without so many limitations on them that the words of the Declaration of Independence are essentially wasted ink.”

"Hang on there! People ARE guaranteed these things. I mean, the government protects life, liberty and freedom to pursue interests. I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”

"What the U.S. government GUARANTEES is the ‘due process of law’. There is no guarantee of LIFE in the Constitution. And the due process of law allows life to be lost in multiple ways - capital punishment for example. So, bowing to a ‘self-evident, unalienable right to life’ is a total crock. What makes us any better than any other country? If they define ‘due process of law’ as the king deciding to chop off someone’s head, what’s different? Furthermore, with all the murders in the country, the government isn’t even SECURING life. And with the disaster we call the ‘legal system’, we aren’t even ‘securing’ the ‘due process of law’. This is all a BIG LIE.

How about LIBERTY? Just ask the guys in the New Hampshire state prison, who stamp out license plates every day that have the state motto on them: ‘Live Free or Die’. How can that not be ‘cruel and inhumane punishment’?”

"I guess, the whole New Hampshire government must be protected by the insanity defense?”

“Bingo! And then there’s the really BIG ‘pursuit of happiness’ LIE. Sure, you can pursue any happiness you want, as long as it DOESN’T OFFEND ANYONE! And just whom might that ANYONE be? How about the gray haired prudes on the supreme court? How about all the religious ministers; all the little old ladies that don’t like loud mufflers; all the Florida psudo elites who don’t like broken down Kentucky cars on blocks in YOUR front yard; every zoning board in the country; every building inspector in the country! This critique is simple. There is not ONE single issue in our lives that includes happiness that we can pursue without the government RESTRICTING it, never mind SECURING it. Except, of course, the ability of business owners to escape prosecution by purchasing the protection of a CORPORATION certificate, or doctors to buy MALPRACTICE insurance, or POLITICIANS to have diplomatic immunity. Don’t get me started!”

"I’d say, you’re already off the launch pad.”

"Yeah, yeah. So, let’s go through the Bill of Rights and see how it stands up - as far as we can stand it.

Articles of the bill of rights

First Amendment

The First Amendment is: ‘Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

I think I already showed how this statement about religion is total baloney, right?”

"Yeah. Completely.”

Freedom of speech

"OK. FREEDOM OF SPEECH and the PRESS. I’m sure you’ve already encountered situations where this right is totally ignored.”

"Right. Especially if you listen to the exact wording in the amendment: Congress shall make NO law abridging the freedom of speech. Then they set up censors all over the place and put limits on EVERY form of ‘speech’. So, I don’t think you even have to get started on this one. Just chuck it in the can.”

"Bingo! But, here’s just a little food for thought on the issue. The Constitution should have guiding words on this. And they should start by understanding that ‘speech’, in all its forms, is better described as COMMUNICATING. Once you see that, then you can analyze it using transactional analysis. The first thing that pops up is that this is NOT just about the process of speaking. It includes many other forms of ‘expression’ such as art and writing.

But let’s just stay with the spoken word for now. This issue is still not just about the speech. It is actually a SYSTEM of SIX processes: the ability to TRANSMIT information; the ability to choose the channel of transmission; the ability to RECEIVE information; the ability NOT to TRANSMIT information; the ability to block specific channels of transmission; and the ability NOT to RECEIVE information. Does that make sense?”

"Neat! In any communication, there are three key elements: sender, transmission medium and receiver. Each of them would be given a right, under some circumstances, to be ACTIVE or PASSIVE. I.e. there are 6 logical states to understand.”

"Bingo! Seal muncher does the complex math IN HIS HEAD! So, to do justice to this right, someone needs to work out the who, what, where, why, when and how for each state. Do the math!”

"Yeah! Neat! Six states times six conditions equals thirty six laws.”

"Bingo! And maybe when all thirty six conditions are worked out, some simplifying principles will pop up that we can use to summarize the whole mess. So, as a MINIMUM, the amendment wording should have been written something like: First Amendment - Congress shall work it’s ass off to really understand what’s going on with the following and write some useful laws about them: religion, personal and commercial expression and transmission of information, assembly of citizens, and the ability of citizens to challenge the government. Remember, WE THE PEOPLE, and not we the business men, and all that! See the addendum.”

"I contest the phrase ‘and all that’ as being ambiguous.”

"Yeah, get a life. So, what about the right of the people ‘peaceably to assemble’.”

"Sure. As long as you can get a permit. Which of course, again, completely ignores the wording: Congress shall make NO LAW… abridging… the right of the people peaceably to assemble. As soon as they passed the first law requiring people to get a permit, which can be denied for any reason, this right is blown to smithereens. “

"And how about the ability to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?”

"Finally! A right that actually does work!”

"Bingo! Who ever wrote that part get’s a gold star for wordsmithing! Anyone, I’m sure, would be allowed to write up a petition and send it to the Government. Of course, unless the writer influences a lot of votes, it will just get thrown right in the hopper, as far as results go. And if you have less than a six figure income and don’t hire a seven figure attorney, that’s exactly what will happen. But at least the first amendment has been VINDICATED by the denial defense! If one part of the amendment is true, the whole thing must be true. George Washington wouldn’t lie.”

"Wasn’t it Thomas Jefferson who was behind this?”

"Man. Give Nanook some seal meat to munch on and he becomes an Aristotle. James Madison, actually. But cannon fodder, none the less. Shall we continue the agony?”

"For awhile. Go for it.”

Second Amendment

“The Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

"OK. Don’t get started. This is a nightmare. It was written at a time when the country didn’t maintain a standing army and when the weaponry of an army wasn’t more sophisticated than what individuals had at home for shooting squirrels.”

"So, why all the uproar these days about gun control? It’s actually pretty simple. The human middle brain is paranoid about security. If you want to push a bunch of emotional people into a blind frenzy, tell them someone is going to take their guns away from them. Single Sentence Logic goes to work and they start frothing at the mouth. Then they’ll do anything you want them to do, like vote for your candidate.”

"Right. All the gun control hype has nothing to do with Militias or State security. And, in fact, if I remember what you told me before, around 30,000 people a year are killed with hand guns. A lot of security that is. The article said the hand gun death rate in the U.S. was the highest in the free world.”

"Bingo! But don’t touch my gun. I got to protect myself from roving bands of wild hippies! And I got to feed my family! You tryin’ to starve my family?”

"Tough break on that front. I read where over 90% of the wildlife that was here when the colonists first arrived has been killed off. I guess, those gun owners in Manhattan know about a herd of moose in Central Park that the rest of us don’t know about.”

"OK. Let’s skip ahead to the fifth amendment. This is your last chance at that one.

Fifth Amendment

“The Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

"Ah! Life and Liberty! They are here!”

"Right. And so is the magic phrase ‘without due process of law’. And for most of our history, ‘due process’ has been the equivalent of a lynch mob. The one part of this I might give the government credit for is not requiring a person to be a witness against himself. Big whoops! So, you lucked out! You don’t actually have to give up your right to the 5th.”

"Thank you James Madison.”

"The wordy sixth, seventh and eighth amendments are about trials. This gives us a lot of perspectives about the concerns of the times. The founders were well aware that, in the hands of corrupt leaders, the law is NOT on the side of the common people.

Ninth Amendment

“The Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

“This is another amendment that gives us a lot of perspective about the culture that spawned the Bill of Rights. Hamilton lobbied against including a separate Bill of Rights. He said it wasn’t needed. He said protecting civil rights was an ASSUMED PRIORITY of the government. Furthermore, he said, if a list of rights was included, that might lead people to assume that the included rights were the ONLY rights that needed protection. So, this amendment was the solution. In other words, a guiding principle during the creation of our government was PARANOIA. But there clearly wasn’t enough of it.

Tenth Amendment

“The Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

“More PARANOIA! And also lost to deaf ears.”

"Pretty sad story.”

“That’s an understatement. So, how about a refill on your coffee?”

Ben got up and headed for the coffee pot. I got up and walked around. I looked out the window at the tundra. The sky was totally overcast. The clouds were low. It was as if we were living in a huge sandwich of cinnamon toast on the bottom with marshmallow fluff on top just waiting to squeeze us into insignificance.