(With observations from an assortment of Freds.)
First, a helpful graphic:
Next, an observation from a Fred:
“A country deserves what it tolerates, and will assuredly get more of it.” – Fred Reed
The point appears to have eluded about half the country. We’re being impoverished, overrun, and generally abused by a regime that stole federal power through election fraud. Yet there are people – many of whom think they’re smart, when in point of fact they’re only credentialed morons – who implore the rest of us to remain “law-abiding.”
Fear not. I’m not going to cite Stephen Graham Sumner’s soliloquy in Shadow of a Sword yet again. My Gentle Readers have seen Sumner’s analysis of freedom versus tyranny quite enough times already. I’ll put it in my own words this time…wait, what? Sumner’s words are my words? Well, yes, but he’s an invention of mine, a fictional character. Today I’m writing not as Fran the Fictioneer but as the Curmudgeon Emeritus to the World Wide Web, the English-speaking world’s most reliable source of windbaggery. Anyway, on with the show.
What is law? Where does it come from? Why are we “supposed” to obey it?
I could go into all sorts of verbal curlicues explaining why law matters. But I’d be talking about true law: law that reliably expresses the conditions that must be maintained for a society to survive and for its members to enjoy peace and prosperity. The Source for such law is not a human government, regardless of how it might be constituted.
Herbert Spencer put it best:
I asked one of the members of Parliament whether a majority the House could legitimize murder. He said no. I asked him whether it could sanctify robbery. He thought not. But I could not make him see that if murder and robbery are intrinsically wrong, and not to be made right by the decisions of statesmen, then similarly all actions must be either right or wrong, apart from the authority of the law; and that if the right and wrong of the law are not in harmony with this intrinsic right and wrong, the law itself is criminal.
So a government can be as lawless as any murderer, mugger, or rapist. Such a government, having transgressed upon the province of the sole reliable Authority, has no authority of its own. Jot that down somewhere; you’ll need it later.
The two types of utterly sound, perfectly reliable law are:
- Physical law, which physical scientists study;
- Social law, which is expressed in the Ten Commandments of the Book of Exodus, specifically commandments Four through Ten (Catholic enumeration).
The first type is self-enforcing. Such laws cannot be disobeyed. Our partial understanding of them occasionally gives rise to the notion that they can be broken if we’re clever enough. That’s a misconception. In truth, in our limited understanding of the universe, we had misconceived the law. We didn’t really know what it was and is.
The second type of law can be broken. The possibility arises from its relational nature: i.e., that we’re not isolated Robinson Crusoe figures, entirely separate from one another. Crusoe didn’t need to bother himself about those commandments until he was no longer alone on the island. But for those of us who live in society, those laws are imperative. To tolerate their defiance is to destroy the foundation of society itself – and that’s in addition to the effect on our next lives.
Brilliant men have devoted their lives to the analysis of the social laws: why they must be what they are, what underlying principles unite them, and why obeying them is essential to peace, order, and prosperity. Because even the most brilliant of us are human, limited, and fallible, we’ve managed only to reach a teleological – i.e., consequences-based – conclusion: If the social laws are not observed and enforced, chaos and poverty will follow. No stronger statement can be made that doesn’t neglect important “edge cases.”
But that’s not the end of our proper consideration of the social law. For it has an implication that is frequently – sometimes deliberately – overlooked. The social laws are both necessary and sufficient. Governments that attempt to impose and enforce laws that go beyond the social laws will create zones of privilege that will allow some to deprive others of some portion of their rights.
At this time, every government in the world is guilty of doing exactly that. The consequences have already been dire, as a particularly brilliant Fred has told us they would be:
No society can exist if respect for the law does not to some extent prevail, but the surest way to have the laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality are in contradiction, the citizen finds himself in the cruel dilemma of either losing his moral sense or of losing respect for the law, two evils of which one is as great as the other, and between which it is difficult to choose. – Frederic Bastiat
But my concern, as always, is with conditions in these United States.
The above is largely prefatory, as anyone with functioning eyes, ears, and mind can list many instances in which American governments have both failed to enforce the social law and have passed “laws” that infringe upon Americans’ rights. It’s a virtually inexhaustible subject which others have addressed at least as well as have I. My focus today is on the tensions that afflict Americans who know their governments have transgressed their proper bounds but still want to consider themselves “law-abiding.”
The bedrock principle of the American polity has always been the consent of the governed. In the usual case – i.e., initiatives and referenda excepted — we don’t directly express our consent to specific laws. Rather, we express our consent to a group of officials in whom we’ll vest the powers of legislation and execution. This, of course, is done through elections.
There have been several hotly disputed elections in American history. The 1960 Presidential election, which supposedly elevated John F. Kennedy to the presidency, was so disputed. Many have alleged, and have presented some interesting evidence, that the electoral votes of two states – Illinois and Texas – were stolen for the Kennedy campaign, and that those thefts were responsible for Kennedy’s election. According to some sources, Richard Nixon was reportedly convinced of this, but chose not to press the issue out of his belief that it would tear the country apart.
But was Vice President Nixon correct to do so? If the election had been stolen, President Kennedy was therefore illegitimate – he had no true authority under the Constitution that created and bounds our political system. That’s a serious matter in any government, to say nothing of the one that commands the world’s mightiest military and oversees the world’s greatest economy. What appears to have made up Nixon’s mind not to contest the election results was that the overwhelming majority of Americans were convinced that the results were honest.
The elections of November 2020 present a quite different picture.
Never has election chicanery been so blatant, so widespread, or so catastrophic as it was in November 2020. The United States was effectively destroyed by the events thereof. If that seems too dramatic a statement to comport with your perception of the realities around you, follow along with me:
- The legitimacy of an elected official depends upon the legitimacy of the election that elevated him.
- The Executive and Legislature elevated by the November 2020 elections are therefore only legitimate if the elections were legitimate.
- Therefore, the Executive (the Biden Administration) and the Legislature (the two Houses of Congress) are illegitimate.
- But an illegitimate official cannot wield authority legitimately; he is a usurper.
- Therefore the Biden Administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress are Usurpers without authority.
- But the United States, as defined in its Constitution, is a tripartite structure: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Unless all three branches are legitimate, it ceases to be Constitutional.
- An unConstitutional edifice does not fulfill the Constitution’s definition of the United States,
- Therefore, the United States has ceased to exist; the theft of the November 2020 elections has destroyed it.
For the great majority of us, life has gone on as it did before the election. Yes, the things we must buy are more expensive. Some of them can’t be acquired as promptly or conveniently as under President Donald Trump. Illegal aliens are steadily filtering into our communities. Internationally, things have been embarrassing. Yes, our large cities are becoming difficult places to live, work, and conduct commerce. And of course we have the lunacy of the “vaccination mandates” to scowl at, as well. But for most Americans, life has gone on normally as before, with adjustments.
That does not confer legitimate authority on the Usurpers in Washington.
If the Usurpers lack legitimate authority, nevertheless they have a great deal of coercive power at their disposal. Many fear that power. Obscurity among the numbers of a great population is not enough to persuade them that they could defy the Usurpers and be safe in doing so. They “go along to get along.” If they believe, as I do, that the Usurpers stole their offices, they repose their hopes in the elections of 2022 and 2024 to make things right. This pattern can be found at every stratum of American society, from manual laborers to the chief executives of Fortune 100 corporations.
But if the chicanery of November 2020 is not punished, it will be emulated and intensified. The elections of 2022 and 2024 will be stolen as well. Why not, if even the most blatant skullduggery carries no penalty? It’s a lot easier to steal power than to earn the votes of enough citizens to obtain it legitimately. And people who want power above all other things are notoriously impatient with difficulty. The only thing that can restrain them is the prospect of inevitable punishment.
An increasing number of Americans must ponder this idea.
We may argue with one another over what the law should be. But if we are to remain the Constitutional federal republic called the United States of America, we must agree on the procedure that confers law-making, law-enforcing authority on those who will wield it – and on its honesty. Today we don’t, which is the central problem of our time. If that problem is not resolved one way or another, the United States will pass into history, regardless of what wears its guise and demands to be called by that name.
The changes will be gradual. Some people, some communities, and some businesses will decide that federal law no longer applies. Some people will contrive not to pay taxes. Some communities will disregard federal laws and “mandates.” Some businesses will either ignore federal laws and regulations, or will leave the country. But the trend, to the extent that those who follow it are seen to do so with impunity, will accelerate.
How much longer will American life as we know it persist under those conditions? Unknown. But Herbert Stein’s aphorism applies, as does this observation from Hari Seldon:
“The fall of Trantor,” said Seldon, “cannot be stopped by any conceivable effort. It can be hastened easily, however. The tale of my interrupted trial will spread through the Galaxy. Frustration of my plans to lighten the disaster will convince people that the future holds no promise to them. Already they recall the lives of their grandfathers with envy. They will see that political revolutions and trade stagnations will increase. The feeling will pervade the Galaxy that only what a man can grasp for himself at that moment will be of any account. Ambitious men will not wait and unscrupulous men will not hang back. By their every action they will hasten the decay of the worlds.”
Finally, one more observation from a Fred:
Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they have been resisted with either words or blows, or with both. – Frederick Douglass
And to nail it down, a helpful graphic, courtesy of NC Renegade:
Have a nice day.