by Michael Gaddy

(Jul. 22, 2015) — In a grand display of institutionalized ignorance,  a 2012 candidate for sheriff in our county, a veteran of many years in law enforcement, when asked if he would intervene should the federal government seek to impose unconstitutional measures in our county, responded with three words: “by what authority.” In an even more spectacular display of institutionalized ignorance, the people of this county elected this man.

Institutionalized ignorance aside, the question posed by the candidate, now sheriff, was a relevant question. The problem was it was directed toward the wrong entity. The question “by what authority,” instead of being leveled at citizens should instead be leveled at all levels of government, especially the federal government.

By what authority does a government, allegedly made up of 545 individuals, 9 of whom are not elected (435 in the House of Representatives, 100 in the Senate, 1 President and 9 members of the Supreme Court) decide for approximately 319 million folks; who they can marry; state they have a “choice” when it comes to killing their unborn children; what an individual can or cannot put into their bodies; who gets bombed and shot and who does not; how much of your money they can confiscate under threat of prison or death; what pieces of land supposedly belonging to the public can be closed to those who own it; what children are taught in schools; what flag a person can display; how much debt can be accumulated and laid at the feet of our posterity and a myriad of other questionable decisions. Again, what is the source of that authority?

Prior to our separation from England, for centuries the authority claimed by the rulers of Europe was the divine right of kings. This created a very convenient base from which to rule. First, any rulings emanating from the seat of power could not be questioned. Second, when such rulings or actions went terribly wrong, the ruler who had implemented those policies or actions could not be held accountable, for the decision had come from on high and therefore the ruler who implemented those policies was simply a messenger.

We here in this country experienced such a mode of governance when in 2003, George W. Bush stated that God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. This was widely reported in the European press, including the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz. Therefore, it is plain to see that all of the death, destruction and robbery that has resulted from those actions by Bush and his administration, the actions which led to the very creation of ISIS, cannot be laid at the feet of Bush because he acted on orders from a “higher authority.”

But, let us go back in our own history and ask the same question: by what authority did 56 people sign The Declaration of Independence from England and King George III? Were those people chosen by others or did they appoint themselves to the task? John Dickinson, a so-called moderate, refused to sign the declaration. The declaration itself states that governments “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” This constituted a distinct departure from the divine rule of kings.

John Dickinson did not consent to sign the Declaration and according to history there were many more “moderates” that did not consent. Then of course there were those who remained loyal to the Crown. Some figures claim that as many as 500,000 people in the colonies were loyal to King George and some took up arms against the “Rebels.” So, by definition, the American Revolution was a “Civil War.” It should be pointed out that many of the “loyalists” or “Tories” remained faithful to the Crown because they feared the revolution would deprive them of the economic benefits of the British Mercantile system. What a concept—People actually chose money over freedom from oppression—does any of this sound familiar?

So, did the revolution and the subsequent government created with the Articles of Confederation do so with the total consent of the governed? If that government proceeded without the total consent of the governed, how could it be called a “just government” as defined in the declaration? By what authority did it proceed?

We came near demanding total consent with the Articles of Confederation because Article XIII, paragraph one required every state’s ratification of all legislation passed by Congress. All it took to negate any act of Congress under the articles was the lack of consent by just one state. How would such a tool of governance be viewed today if all it took to negate Obamacare or trade agreements, same-sex marriage or abortion was the dissent of just one state?

Five unelected human beings decided recently for 319 million people and 50 states that the states have no say so in matters of marriage—or anything else for that matter. “By what authority?” Hmm, can we see now why those who sought to use the powers of government to their own benefit worked so diligently to escape the restrictions of the Articles of Confederation?

So, by what authority did Madison, Hamilton, Dickinson and company call for a convention in Annapolis, Maryland which led to a call for the Constitutional Convention of 1787? By what authority did the delegates to that convention draft an entirely new constitution when they were specifically sent to Philadelphia to amend the Articles?

Of course we can find a multitude of people in this country today who will claim that the constitution that was the product of the convention of 1787 was “inspired by God.” Is this an attempt to legitimize the actions of government today; to absolve those in government of any guilt when their actions lead to economic disaster and the terrible loss of life; a tool for voters to pardon themselves for stupid decisions, or is such a belief sanctioned by government for all the same reasons?

We certainly can’t claim they are acting under the authority of the Constitution or Bill of Rights when the vast majority of politicians and government employees ignore all restraints on their actions by both documents.

So, the question remains: “By what authority?” Obviously our government does not derive its “just powers” from any divine source. It also is a complete joke to claim our government derives its powers from the “consent of the governed.” It is quite impossible to claim our government derives its powers from the Constitution, for this government ignores the restraints of the Constitution even more than they ignore the people.

The answer to the burning question of “by what authority” is in fact very simple. Our government’s authority to do anything it so desires is based solely and entirely on the use of coercion and force. If we fail to provide our consent to these various crimes of robbery and murder by our government we can be shot or imprisoned. Our government maintains a military and police forces, paid with borrowed money, to insure our “consent.”

Perhaps one can understand better how we got in this mess and who controls almost every facet of our lives by reading this excerpt from the writings of Lysander Spooner back in 1870:

“The lesson taught by all these facts is this: As long as mankind continue to pay “national debts,” so-called–that is, so long as they are such dupes and cowards as to pay for being cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered–so long there will be enough to lend the money for those purposes; and with that money a plenty of tools, called soldiers, can be hired to keep them in subjection. But when they refuse any longer to pay for being thus cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered, they will cease to have cheats, and usurpers, and robbers, and murderers and blood-money loan-mongers for masters.”   

In Rightful Liberty

“Patriotism–real patriotism–has a most important venue, and it is not always about putting on a uniform to fight some senseless, insane war in order to sustain the meaningless myths about freedom or America’s greatness.  There is a higher loyalty that real patriotism demands and encompasses, and that loyalty is the pursuit of truth, no matter how painful or uncomfortable the journey.” ~Peter Janney

“We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth.” ~Sydney Schanberg

“Most human beings only think they want freedom. In truth they yearn for the bondage of social order, rigid laws, materialism. The only freedom man really wants, is the freedom to become comfortable.” ~Emma Goldman

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