PostHeaderIcon An Attempt To Clarify

I often write articles predicting the end of the United States of America. I realize that, taken in the wrong context, this sounds a bit extreme. Therefore this attempt to give the intended context.

First, if asked whether the physical entity the United States of America is going to disappear from our maps in the foreseeable future, my response would be no. Then, you may well ask, why all the predictions of doom and gloom? This requires a far more detailed explanation.

Let me begin by establishing three key terms I will use for this discussion:

State
Any form of governance that seeks to regulate the conduct and behavior of Individuals. States may exist in very simple to highly complex forms and often exist in a hierarchy such at that currently used in the United States, typically consisting of national government, state government (note the small s), county/parish government, city/town government. For purposes of this discussion, let us also agree that State is synonymous with The Law. This must be true as only the State has the power to implement The Law and, further, it is from this simple fact that the State can exist and function.

Individual
A singular human being who lives in or is subject to the governance of one or more levels of a State.

The Law
The power of State to regulate the behavior of the Individual and/or to deny the Individual its life, its liberty and its property.

What we are most interested in, for purposes of this discussion, is the relationship between the State and the Individual. There are three general possibilities:

The State can function as the Master with the Individuals functioning as its servants.

The Individuals can function as the Master with the State functioning as their servant.

The State and the Individuals can function as near equals with each retaining the power to limit excesses on the part of the other.

Let us also understand that State is actually a concept that is made operational by a group of Individuals who have gained the authority to implement The Law. This authority may have been freely granted by the Individuals subject to The Law or it may have been seized by a small group of tyrants, usually associated with a dictator.

Our first example is that of a tyrannical State. This is usually the very worst situation for the Individuals subject to the governance of the State.

Our second example is that of a true democracy. Many people are misled into thinking that this is a desirable situation in that the Individuals subject to the governance of the State seem to be in charge – that is, they hold the power. In actual practice, this is the second worst situation because true democracies tend always to be unstable and prone to outbreaks of anarchy. In almost all known cases where true democracy has been attempted, it has quickly devolved into a tyrannical State.

Our third example is that of a republic. While the progressive movement in the United States tries to convince our school children and our information-challenged adults that the United States is a democracy, this is not the case. Our Founders created a Constitutional Republic that uses generally democratic principles for the selection of those we entrust with the administration of the State. While this is usually the very best situation for the Individuals subject to the governance of the State, it too has several inherent weaknesses.

It is the exploitation of these weaknesses that is the basis for my negative predictions regarding the future of the United States of America. While, as noted earlier, a State bearing that name may well continue to exist into the foreseeable future, the relationship between that State and the Individuals subject to its governance is, in my analysis, changing, to the detriment of those Individuals.

So, when I bemoan the end of the United States, I refer strictly to the end of the Republic established by our Constitution.

What then are these inherent weakness (in republics) I refer to?

The first inherent weakness is one that republics share with all forms of governance: the administration of a State, in whatever form, is done by people. As James Madison once said, if people were angels, there would be no need for governments (not a direct quote). As we well know, people are corruptible, even though the propensity toward corruption may vary from one person to the next. It then follows that all forms of the State are as corruptible and the people who administer them. It is also true that the corruption of any State will accumulate over time.

The second inherent weakness of republics derives from the inclination for people to form various interest groups, based on common goals that should be kept out of governance. These groups may be based belief systems (religions); on race or ethnicity; on political theory; on language preference; indeed, on almost anything one might imagine. The problem (or weakness) comes from the fact that when self governing Individuals form such groups, there is an almost overwhelming tendency for the various interest groups to use their combined voting power and influence to try to influence the State to use its power to further the group’s cause – at the expense of Individuals in general. This creates fictionalization among the Individuals and diverts the State from its proper function. At its extreme, this weakness can turn a republic directly into a tyranny, should a powerful interest group actually gain control of the State. The most common examples of this weakness in action are republics that were overthrown by religious groups.

The third inherent weakness of republics is their tendency to morph into democracies. This usually happens when the people who administer the republican State seek to escape or avoid the constrictions of their Constitution by using funds from the public treasury to encourage Individuals to use their vote to allow them to violate the Constitution by making them think that they too are benefiting from these violations. As this process continues over time, the Constitution becomes increasingly ineffective and the State drifts first into a sort of democracy and from there into tyranny. This is precisely what I think is happening to the United States of America.

The Republic created by our Founders depended on very fragile balances of powers:

Between the branches of the Federal Government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial), and,
between the Federal Government and the Governments of the several states, and, between the State (the hierarchy of governments) and the Individual.

The only practical way to preserve these balances is through strict enforcement of the Constitution. While the Constitution can (and should) be altered, as needed, to address the realities of changing times, this was intentionally made very difficult and should be resorted to only when the necessity to do so is clearly agreed to by all.

How do we get strict enforcement of the Constitution? On the demand of the Individuals! This, in turn, requires that the Individuals be constantly aware, that they be sufficiently educated, and that they are actively involved in their own governance. Lacking that, any and all forms of government are doomed to failure and to a lapse into tyranny.

Then what are we to do when the State has turned against the Individuals such that the balance of power cannot be restored? The simple and obvious answer actually predates our Constitution by several years. According to our first founding document, the Declaration of Independence:

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 to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Easy to say but very difficult to implement.

The essence of our original Republic is that we were all free Individuals who were united by a common cause. That cause was described in the Declaration of Independence and implemented via our Constitution. The Constitution simply defines the structure of our government; defines its overall objectives, via the several clauses; specifically states the powers delegated, by the people, to the government, via the enumerated powers; and, even more, the Bill of Rights. This simple document established a State powerful enough to protect our nation and to promote justice among the Individuals while otherwise leaving them free to live as they wished, so long as they did not deny others that same freedom. That would seem enough and it worked so well that the fledgling United States of America quickly rose to become the greatest economic and military power in the history of mankind. Still, the inevitable corruption, described above, and ever more eloquently by thinkers such as Alexis de Tocqueville in his Democracy in America.

Today, we are a nation that is greatly divided in its evident preference of governance. An appalling number of our people seem quite willing to trade their “unalienable Rights” for the pseudo parenthood that seems to exist in a tyranny. I think this is because, for a number of reasons, a lot of our people have become disconnected from reality. Whatever the reason, I cannot foresee any opportunity to reunite this nation under its Constitution and to reestablish a common cause. Ergo, my dire predictions of impending doom. As Abraham Lincoln observed, a house divided cannot long stand.

Were I asked what I would recommend, I would start by saying that I do not wish to see either of the predominate viewpoints that now divide us (socialism versus republicanism) physically overwhelm the other. Each group has the Right (however wrong one side may seem to me) to be governed in the fashion they think best.

Then, I would repeat an idea expressed in previous articles: that is, that we should dissolve the existing union of the states and let them voluntarily reform into whatever number of new nations their citizens think best suited to their desires. At a minimum, there should be two, one socialist the other republican. I would further propose that the republican State revert back to our Constitution in its original state (including the Bill of Rights).

Having said this, I realize that this would not be an ideal situation because the socialist State(s) would soon begin to collapse as all socialist States soon do. When this happens, it/they would be sorely tempted to attack the republican State(s) which would inevitably be more prosperous. Yet, this seems the way of things since we have to go through this every few generations.

Perhaps a day will come when humanity has been educated beyond its superstitions, its prejudices and its overwhelming ignorance of reality. But, this day will not come in any of our lifetimes. In the meantime, the best we can do is speak out for what we think is right and against what we think is wrong. That is what I am doing here.

Troy L Robinson

5 Responses to “An Attempt To Clarify”

  • ◄Dave► says:

    A thoughtful article, Troy, and I agree with your premise and conclusion. I do have a few quibbles, most of which regard the English language.

    First, I distinctly recall learning in junior high school that one is to capitalize State, when referring to States within our union. E.g. the State of Texas; States’ rights; southern States, etc. The lower case was to be used when referring to a generic state, as a synonym for country or nation. E.g. sovereign state; territory of the state; nation state, etc. When did this change? I still do this; did Orwell catch me napping?

    I also learned in English class that the masculine personal pronoun subsumes the feminine, when used to reference either. I understand that this quirk in the English language gives certain feminazis fits. Personally, I too eschew the tedious PC constructs, of ‘he or she’ and ‘him or her’; but that does not give us license to employ the impersonal ‘its,’ when referring to individuals. I just keep using my pretty female English teacher’s lessons as my guide; Orwell and PC be damned. I really don’t mind irritating them. 🙂

    Substantially, I would challenge your hierarchy for our levels of government. As I explain in my Sovereign Rights essay, I would invert your pyramid. I put sovereign individuals at the top, county governments next, then the State governments, with the Federal government at the bottom. Actually, I try to again use English carefully, to keep this perspective in mind, by referring to ‘these‘ United States of America, instead of ‘the.’ The federation is a construct of, by, and for these States; not the other way ’round. ◄Dave►

  • Troy says:

    Dave,
    The primary purpose of language is to communicate. To that end, I take whatever liberties I see fit if I think they will suit my purposes.

    I realize that I violated the “State law” but I did so knowingly hoping to emphasize the generic State as opposed to specific States of the Union.

    As for my supposed pyramid, I matters not to the intent of the article whether the hierarchy is top to bottom, bottom to top or side to side since I argue that all of the entities in the mix should retain sufficient power to check abuses by the others.

    As for personal pronouns, I choose to submit to PC so as not to detract from the intent of the article.

    The United States of America is the proper name for a specific nation state.

    These United States refers to the collection of States that constitute that nation.

    Troy

  • Larry Andrew says:

    Troy…no quibbling from me. Great post that I think is accurate in its presentation of the state of our union. I am not ready to side with your solution but it may come to that. I still think the pendulum will swing back for a while altho one could certainly argue that each swing brings a new norm that is a bigger government and more socialism.

    Of course, whichever new government gets the most of the military’s tanks and drone will take over the other anyway.

  • Larry Andrew says:

    Further, if your solution comes to pass, I wonder which side of the inevitable civil war would most likely survive the chemical and nuclear weapon exchange? Who would enforce a no fly zone?

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