Fundamental Understanding of the US Power Dynamic



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Throughout history, the sovereignty of a country was vested in the government, and that government was usually a king.  The US was formed with the intent to avoid the malignancy of such a centralized power that could arbitrarily take the life, liberty, and wealth of the citizenry.  The founders of the US understood, above all else, that preventing government from becoming malignant was most important, and that the concessions towards giving government power were only provided to allow the federal government to be powerful enough to prevent outside malignant governments from taking over - the threat of Britain being in their mind.

You can read the transcripts from congress when they were making the Bill of Rights, and from these transcripts it is apparent that this malignancy of government was predominant in there thoughts.  You'll find things like a quote from Gerry Elbridge stating:

"This declaration of rights, I take it, is intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of the Government"

The US founders recognized both the threat of an external tyranny and the threat of an internal tyranny, and that, the power given to government must balance these threats.  In the discussion on the second amendment, we have a quote from Aedanus Burke, who, in proposing an addendum to the amendment, made the consideration of these two threats very apparent.  The quote goes:

"A standing army of regular troops in time of peace is dangerous to public liberty, and such shall not be raised or kept up in time of peace but from necessity, and for the security of the people, nor then without the consent of two-thirds of the members present of both Houses; and in all cases the military shall be subordinate to the civil authority."

Here, we have both the notion that the army is necessary for the protection of the country, but that it also serves as a threat to the citizenry by an internal tyranny that would use the army against the rights of the citizenry.

The Declaration of Independence is another clear indicator of the intent to provide citizens with rights and to avoid the infringement of those rights by a king or other form of tyrannical government.  Quoting from the Declaration of Independence, we have, "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" ...  "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".  But, what does the pursuit of happiness mean?  The pursuit of happiness meant something different at the time.  It meant prosperity.  And, together, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" meant freedom from a malignant government that might arbitrarily take citizens life, liberty, or wealth.  Further, by considering all men equal, we are protected against the arbitrary laws of kings or other sorts of men in government who exempt themselves from the law.

The question is, is the threat of malignant government still a threat today?  And, of course, the answer is yes.  Peoples' nature has not changed, and there is no reason to think it will change any time soon.   And, as such, you will always have people and groups that seek exclusive power to exploit others.  But, to prevent revolts, these groups have learned it is necessary to be indirect in their exploitations.  For example, you have lobbyists who get politicians to pass bills that benefit companies at the expense of tax payers.  But, even more egregious, you have a growing federal government who bribes states with federal funds so that those states relinquish their power to the federal government.  You have a federal reserve consisting of private banks that can profit from the policies they enact, that can profit from knowing in advance the actions they will take as the federal reserve.

Just as a thief might act to avoid being caught, the federal government, in its usurpation of power has acted slyly, slowly pecking away at the rights of citizens intended to prevent such a malignant government.  Slowly and indirectly gaining power.

And, it can not be expected that the federal government would ever attempt to reduce its power.  It will never give back the rights of the citizens it has trampled on unless those citizens demand the rights.  It would be like a company giving away its assets for free.  It is the duty of the citizenry to assert their rights and prevent a malignant government.  But, soon enough the citizenry will have no power to do so.

Brilliantly, just as indirectly as the federal government has taken over state rights by bribing those states with federal funds, the federal government is also getting rid of the first amendment by allowing monopolies of the presentation of speech to get rid of certain unwanted speech.

So, keep in mind, the point of the construction of US was to prevent malignant government.  Malignancy of government is still a threat today.  A government that has too much centralized power will always become malignant consequent to the nature of the people who are the government.  And, you can't rely on government to reform itself.

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