In his famous work, Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville a French citizen touring America’s prison system in the Jacksonian era, mistakenly viewed us as a democracy and warned us extensively of the dangers we faced from that form of government.
“Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?
Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things; it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits.
After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Does any of the above quotation remind you of government today? Can you relate to the principles and astute observations of this man from the 1830’s in contemporary times? Despite the wonderful work of Tocqueville as well as many others for centuries, mankind repeatedly makes the same mistakes no matter how carefully government is designed. I believe this is why Thomas Jefferson believed we needed a revolution every 20 years or so.
“”I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.” ― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson
In my opinion, we are long overdue for such a rebellion in America.
Democracy and faction…
Before Karl Marx and Frederick Engels even penned the Communist Manifesto in 1848, a key element of that work was being implemented in America behind the backs of most Americans.
“We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling as to win the battle of democracy.” — Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, “The Communist Manifesto”, 1848.
“From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.’
‘A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union.” — Federalist #10, attributed to James Madison, Daily Advertiser, Thursday, November 22, 1787
[NOTE: I find it just a little interesting that this paper was published on the same day chosen to assassinate John Fitzgerald Kennedy 176 years later.]
As you can clearly see, both by the above quote from Federalist #10 and reading the structure of the government defined in the Constitution, the united States of America was founded as a representative republican form of government (Constitution for the united States of America, Article IV, Section 4); governed by the rule of law, not a democracy.
Converting a republic to a democracy…
One of the ways we’ve been converted to a democracy is by Congress changing the ratio of representatives to population clearly defined in Article 1, Section 2, and Clause 3:
“The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.”
This was done without bothering to amend the Constitution, as a matter of convenience I’m sure. Through the Reapportionment Act of 1929 (ch. 28, 46 Stat. 21, 2 U.S.C. § 2a, enacted June 18, 1929) not an amendment of the Constitution as required by Article V of the Constitution, the House of Representatives was limited to 435 members. James Madison addressed the danger of such action, never mind the blatantly unconstitutional manner that was used to make the change:
“The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.’
‘The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose. On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people. The question resulting is, whether small or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter by two obvious considerations:’
‘In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice.’
‘In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.’
‘It must be confessed that in this, as in most other cases, there is a mean, on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects. The federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the State legislatures.” — Federalist #10, attributed to James Madison, Daily Advertiser, Thursday, November 22, 1787
The number of electors represented by a member of the House of Representatives in Congress was important for maintaining a connection to the people, while at the same time making it difficult for artful and designing men or factions to impose their will on the republic as a whole. The majority of power regarding local matters and customs remained where it belonged, with the States; closer to the people affected.
All of this and more over the course of our history, has been changed by a global corporate oligarchy headed up by international bankers, which has insinuated itself over the republic since the Lincoln Administration; controlling us today through their agents posing as government in the District of Columbia and our States.
Corrupt and designing men, bent on destroying what was created in the Convention knowingly converted us into a form more like democracy in their quest for power and control over us.
The oligarchy uses the tyranny of the majority, mainly through manipulation of our sources of information under their control; this is done to steer our actions to and modify our beliefs to better support their goal of controlling everything in the natural world. Most of us have become willing slaves to their will through this subtle method of deception and manipulation; vociferously defending the lies we’ve been led to believe and even depend upon.
In my opinion, to regain our freedom we must either return to the state of the Constitution prior to the Lincoln Administration and move forward from there or exercise our Natural Right described in the Declaration of Independence:
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to 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.” – Declaration of Independence, 2nd Continental Congress, July 2, 1776
The only legitimate purpose of American government is to secure our rights, nothing more. When we allow government at any level to expand beyond that purpose, we give up a commensurate amount of our freedom. Government was never intended to provide anything to the American people; its sole function is to secure our natural rights, so that we can better exercise our right to pursue happiness in peace.
The more I discover the actions of men over the history of this republic, the more convince I am that it is time to go back to the two sentence statement in the Declaration of Independence and alter the Constitution to better and more aggressively force government to remain in its proper place and perform is proper function, which is to secure our Natural Rights.
“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,” – Declaration of Independence, 2nd Continental Congress, July 2, 1776
©2015 by Thomas Mick, All Rights Reserved.
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