March 28, 2011
The blogosphere is spastic with this raging argument between neocon talk show host Mark Levin and economic historian Thomas Woods (author of Rollback, Nullification, and Meltdown, among several other works), regarding the existence of a U.S. president’s Constitutional authorization to start a non-defensive war without Congressional approval. As usual, warmonger Levin apparently believes in unquestioned presidential executive (i.e. dictatorial) power to do whatever he wants to do, without anyone else’s approval and based on nothing but his own whim, and Woods has given Constitutional interpretations and historical cases to show that the Constitution does not allow the president to just start a war whenever he pleases. Some of their arguments can be viewed here, here, here, here, here, and here (so far).
But I have a different take on all that. First of all, if Levin actually believed in the original intent of the Founding Fathers, as many so-called conservatives claim to do, then he would understand the true meaning and wisdom underlying George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s advice that our U.S. government keep itself out of other nations’ business, but not get in the way of free, private Americans’ right to travel and trade freely with and among others in foreign nations. There is a basic morality involved in such wisdom to which the politically-motivated and morally-compromised U.S. Constitution just does not adhere.
Because of internationalists, globalists, collectivists and statists of Levin’s ilk, the U.S. government’s military has been used for many, many decades primarily as the president’s personal army, carrying out the political agenda of a president’s typically narcissistic concerns of getting himself reelected, or getting members of his party elected. That’s the bottom line. That is what militarism in a democracy has given us: short-sighted political calculations, at the expense of long-term economic calculation and fiscal/societal responsibility.
Jacob Hornberger has written about why the Founders — at least the wise ones, including Madison — were against giving the federal government a standing army. They knew instinctively that it would soon become the president’s own personal armed goon squad, that, in times of citizen dissent or revolt, would be used against the president’s own fellow citizens. There have been plenty of indications of that now, with the out-of-control TSA, DHS and CIA ready and waiting.
But, whether the issue is presidential “war powers,” social do-gooderism, or the government’s immoral seizure of gold and monopolizing currency thus distorting the markets involving trade and commerce and creating a steal-from-the-poor-to-give-to-the-rich scheme (Federal Reserve), it really doesn’t matter whether or not something is “Constitutional.” The Constitution, morally speaking, means nothing. It is a document of positive law, much of which is vague and merely lays the groundwork for the bureaucrats, lobbyists and other imbeciles of the federal government to interpret it any damn way they please, for the purpose of giving special interests the privilege of holding the monopolistic apparatus of law and police to take what they want from others, and impose their dictatorial will on others. And that’s the truth, now, whether people want to acknowledge it or not. As I have noted here, and as Hans-Hermann Hoppe has noted here, the Constitution itself is “unconstitutional.”
Regarding the wars, the “non-war” “military actions, and so forth, we know that Obama wants a good, easy war to have under his belt to show himself as a good little follower of the American militarism that our “democratic republic” has adopted — far removed from the non-militaristic, non-interventionist philosophy of most of our wise Founding Fathers. Like Bush’s Iraq and the Elder Bush’s Iraq, Obama wants to use a good war to get reelected. Let’s hope it backfires on him like it did the Elder Bush in 1992.
If it really is all about oil (no big surprise there), then, as I’ve mentioned here several times now, especially here, the people of the individual states need to declare their right to energy independence, and ignore ALL federal environmental and energy-related laws and regulations and drill for oil and gas in their states, build nuclear power plants and explore other forms of energy production, as well as decentralizing their energy production and utilities. The more decentralized the better.
And I’ll go ever further than that, as I have mentioned here a while ago. The people of the states should also seize any federally-owned land that exists within their states (Use “eminent domain” against the federal government for a change!), and then sell the land to the highest private citizen or group bidder. Given that the federal government’s “ownership” of such land is illegitimate, the people of the states have a right to do those things, and begin exploring and making use of any and all natural resources that can be found within their lands.
The reasons for America’s hard times now, including this sick dependence on foreign oil, and the possible economic collapse that some people are predicting, are mostly a result of the federal government’s intrusions into the people’s business and the people’s lives and property, intrusions into private economic activity and causing distortions in markets, as well as the federal government’s intrusions, interventions, wars, and destruction of entire populations overseas. And frankly, it doesn’t matter what the Constitution says. This idea of giving any power whatsoever to a centralized bureaucracy, and having democratic, majority-rules dictatorships, was a bad idea.
The Anti-Federalists were right.