“They say sex without consent is rape. Then what is government by coercion and force upon those who do not consent to its authority over them?” ~ Neal Ross
I had already begun two separate commentaries, one of which I intended to finish for you today, when I stumbled across a very interesting discussion on Facebook regarding the legality of the federal government. To paraphrase the original post that started this discussion: The Articles of Confederation was the law in 1787 before the Constitution was written. The government created by the Constitution cannot replace the Confederation created by the Articles of Confederation because the mode by which it was instituted did not comply with existing law; (the Articles of Confederation). Therefore the Articles of Confederation are still in effect and anything the Constitution says can only be treated as additions to that document.
You see, this is the kind of stimulating discussion that I enjoy the hell out of; not talk of trivialities such as sports or what happened last night on American Idol or The Voice. Another reason I enjoy discussions such as this is that, for the most part, the people engaged in this discussion simply put forth their views on the matter without resorting to name calling and insults. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of discussion, it is called a civil debate; where the facts, or opinions are presented, and people are free to judge who is right and who is wrong based solely on the merit of the evidence provided to support a position. There are no egos, no emotions involved; merely a discussion of ideas by people based upon their views, or understanding, of a subject.
Of course I had to chime in on the matter; and it is what I said that forms the basis of what you are about to read. Now I may be wrong in the matter, and if someone can prove me wrong then I am man enough to admit that I WAS wrong, and I will change my opinion accordingly. But until then I will stand by my guns and say that this is what I believe to be true regarding the issue.
To understand my position on the subject one must first consider the very first English settlers to America and what status they held. These settlers, or Colonists, came here because they had obtained permission, via a charter, from their King to establish a Colony, or group of Colonies, who would be subject to British rule. So although they were separated by an ocean from their government they were still British subjects under British rule.
For over 150 yrs this situation existed, with the status quo remaining pretty much the same, and the Colonies continued to grow as more people came to America for the chance for a new life in this land of opportunity. Then came the revolution and everything changed.
People, to this day I imagine, believe that the American Revolution was a war between the U.S. and England. That is not exactly an accurate way of describing it if you ask me. The Revolution was a war fought by the Colonies to obtain something their government refused to give them; independence from its governing authority. Had the Colonists published the Declaration of Independence, and had King George III said, “Okay, you want independence, you got it” there would have been no war. But jolly old King George refused to let them separate without a fight; therefore we had the Revolutionary War.
What We Consent To Amazes Me
You may have missed an underlying principle here, so let me spell it out for you. In 1776 the Colonists revoked their consent to be governed by the King and Parliament; declaring themselves to be free and independent STATES.
In that crucial period of our country’s history there is that one key point that is the cornerstone upon whatever form of government we adopt rests upon; CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. Jefferson enshrined that principle forever in the Declaration of Independence when he wrote, “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
The underlying question regarding the cause of the American Revolution is this: Must a people submit to a government they no longer want, or do they have the right to revoke their consent and form a new system of government which they feel better serves their needs and wants? The Colonists felt they did, but King George felt that his power and authority over them was absolute and perpetual; therefore the two sides fought, with the Colonies winning this particular instance.
Keep that in mind as I continue.
Once the Colonies obtained their independence from British rule, did they become the United States of America or did they become 13 united independent States that went by the name America? The treaty which officially ended the war stated that they were 13 distinctly separate States; each with all the sovereign power and authority of a nation, “His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and Independent States…”
During the war for their independence the Colonies realized that some form of central governing authority was needed to make all the decisions on behalf of all the Colonies and to manage the war effort. It was for this purpose that they wrote the Articles of Confederation; creating our first centralized government in the form of a Congress.
But before this centralized government could begin to legally exercise any power, or authority over the Colonies, or States if you prefer, it had to first be accepted by the consent of the delegated authority in each State; the State Legislatures. It was by their individual ratification of the AOC, (Articles of Confederation), that life was breathed into the creature created by that document. But once it was given life, or consented to if you will, it became the law of the land and declared the relationship between the Congress and the individual States which that Congress was to represent. That relationship is found in Article II of the AOC, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”
Shortly after peace with England was achieved there arose a group of men who felt that the Congress established by the AOC was weak and inefficient; and that something must be done to strengthen its authority, or the Union, or Confederation, would split asunder and become easy prey to conquering nations. After a failed attempt at Annapolis, Maryland to hold a convention to do just that, a convention was held in Philadelphia; with the delegates attending under strict orders from their respective State Legislatures to propose amendments to the AOC which would give the Congress the required powers needed to hold the Union together in peace.
Under the AOC any amendments they came up with would then have to be submitted to the Congress, where they would have to consent to the changes being made, then those changes would have to be submitted to the various State Legislatures for their approval before they could take effect, “…the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.” (AOC, Article 13, My emphasis)
But those attending this convention in Philadelphia did not listen to the instructions given them by their State Legislatures; they went on to produce a document which would abolish the Congress established by the AOC and replace it with an entirely new system of government. Not only did they go against the wishes of those who had delegated them for this convention, they then turned around and dictated to the States the manner by which their proposed document must be accepted or rejected; a clear violation of the existing law; the Articles of Confederation.
Once they finished their deliberations and finalized their new Constitution, they did submit it to Congress; but Congress played hot potato with it and passed it on to the States; neither giving their approval or rejection to it. It therefore fell upon the States to either adopt this new system of government or to reject it and keep the one they already had under the Articles of Confederation.
The individual States were within their right to simply return the proposed Constitution to Congress, saying, “This is not what we wanted, try again.” However, that is not what they did, they instead called for conventions and assemblies to be held to discuss whether to adopt or reject this proposed Constitution.
One State, Rhode Island, had refused to send delegates to the convention which produced the Constitution, and they refused to hold a convention to either ratify or reject it until well after the government outlined by that document had been implemented. For that brief moment in time Rhode Island was NOT a part of the United States; it was an independent country unto itself that bordered the United States.
I could very well go into the shenanigans and underhanded tactics used by those supporting ratification of the Constitution against those who opposed it, but that is not really germane to the subject at hand. What is germane is that up until this point each party; both the Congress and the States had CONSENTED to the method by which this new document was to either be accepted or rejected.
Congress could very well have said, “No way, this ain’t gonna fly” and thrown the proposed Constitution into the trash can; but they didn’t. The States could have done the same thing, but they didn’t either. Although they had yet to CONSENT to the principles within the document itself, they had CONSENTED to the process by which it was to either be ratified or rejected.
That all changed in when enough States had voted in favor of adopting the plan outlined in the Constitution. By ratifying that document the States were effectively saying they CONSENTED to being governed by the centralized authority created by the Constitution.
However, instead of following existing law, the AOC, the method by which the Constitution was accepted is found within the Constitution itself, “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof…” (Source: Article 5 of the Constitution)
Legally speaking, the Constitution went into effect on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire voted to ratify it; giving the required 3/4 majority of the States. Let’s just for a moment say that Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island had chosen to vote against the proposed Constitution, where would that have left them in regards to their status and relationship between the Union?
While this is a legal question that is beyond my expertise, I can offer an opinion on the matter. I believe that should those States have chosen NOT to adopt this Constitution they would have went on being free and independent; apart from the Union governed by the government created by the Constitution. As they would not have CONSENTED to the government outlined by the Constitution they would have been under no legal obligation to obey the laws passed by the government created by that document. But that’s just my opinion on the matter. But they did ratify it, with Rhode Island finally being the last State to do so on May 29, 1790.
The question now arises, what did they CONSENT to? Did they consent to an all powerful government with almost unlimited authority, or did they CONSENT to a government with a few specific powers? To get an answer to that question one must search for the tidbits of information that aren’t taught in school regarding the comments, or arguments made during the various State Ratifying Assemblies.
I can’t imagine that any State, having just won their independence from a tyrant, would then turn around and CONSENT to instituting a system of government that was equally tyrannical, if not more so. From the information I have found researching the matter, I am under the belief that the States were promised that their sovereignty would not be threatened by the system of government outlined in the Constitution, or would the rights of the people be endangered.
Even so, there were those who only agreed to adopt the system of government under the stipulation that a Bill of Rights be introduced which would protect certain rights from this new government’s ability to restrict. While we do have a Bill of Rights, (or at least on paper we do, for most of those rights have come under some restriction by the laws passed by our government), I find it an interesting sidenote that the proposals for the amendments which comprise the Bill of Rights were primarily written by James Madison; the chief instigator behind the trashing of the Articles of Confederation and the replacement of that document by the Constitution. It is my belief that he took whatever proposals came to him by the State Legislatures and worded them in such a manner so as NOT to limit the authority of the federal government. In particular, Madison chose not to include the word ‘expressly’ in the 10th Amendment in regards to the powers held by the federal government; leaving open the door for implied, or interpreted powers. But then again, that’s just my own personal thoughts on the matter.
What I’m trying to get at with all this is, even though the entire process by which we went from a Confederation under the AOC to a Union under the Constitution was corrupt and did not follow the law, each step of the process was CONSENTED to by those involved. As I said a few moments ago, Congress could easily have said, “We do not CONSENT to this proposed Constitution” and that would have been the end of it right there. The State Legislatures could also have denied their CONSENT, but they didn’t either. The State Ratifying Assemblies, as corrupt as they were, CONSENTED to the adoption of the Constitution.
All that being said, at what point, or more specifically, to what degree does the consent of others to a system of government affect those who DO NOT CONSENT to being governed by it? In 1793 the Supreme Court heard the case of Chisholm v Georgia. In their ruling on the case they made two very important statements. The first of these statements is, “The United States are sovereign as to all the powers of government actually surrendered: each state in the Union is sovereign, as to all the powers reserved. It must necessarily be so, because the United States have no claim to any authority but such as the states have surrendered to them…”
While I do not intend to insult the intelligence of anyone, I do believe that there are some who read my articles who breeze through the quotes I provide without truly taking the time required to understand what is being said. That would be a grave mistake in this instance, as the quote I just provided says a great deal.
First of all they make a distinction between the United States and the individual States; they are not one and the same like so many believe today. The United States is the government, and the area under the direct jurisdiction of the government created by the Constitution; i.e. the 10 square mile tract of land that houses our system of government. The only authority the central government holds over the States is that which was surrendered to it by the States; all else is retained by the States themselves; making them sovereign in their own right.
But it is the next quote from the Court’s ruling that I find even more intriguing, “…at the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects…with none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.”
This means that you, I, the guy who delivers my mail and the person who changes the oil in your vehicle are all equal in sovereignty; which is the supreme political authority in any state. Therefore, if government truly exists by CONSENT of the people, what if some people DO NOT CONSENT to this form of government; must they be required to surrender their sovereignty to it simply because others choose to? Does that not subject them to the will of those not of their choosing; making them somewhat of a slave to the will of others?
A perfect society, in my opinion anyway, is one in which each individual respects the life, liberty and property of others. While government, and many others in this country might disagree with me, I think that if a person decides that this system of government is not for them, then they should be free to revoke their CONSENT for it and return to being free and independent sovereign citizens; free of all obligations to obey the laws passed by this government, and free of all obligation to be taxed to support it. However, all that said, I think that should a person choose to do so they must keep in mind that they are under the obligation to respect the rights of all others, and under no circumstances should they ask for assistance from an entity they chose to separate themselves from.
But try exercising that right in practice and see what happens. After all, that is basically what the Civil War was all about; one segment of the country decided it had reached the point that allegiance to the Union was no longer in their best interests and the severed the bonds which tied them to that Union; just as those who signed the Declaration of Independence had done. Look what happened; 4 bloody years of war and untold millions in damage and destruction to their land and property; not to mention the loss of life they suffered and the crimes committed against their people by the invading Union forces.
Ask the Branch Davidians what it’s like to try and live free of the rules imposed upon society by GOVERNMENT!!! As Vickie Weaver; ask LaVoy Finicum. Oh that’s right, you can’t ask them because their government murdered them before allowing them to be free from its control!
Therefore, the underlying question hidden behind all my facts and beliefs is, are we a Republic or are we a Democracy? Are we, as sovereign individuals, to be forced to submit to an authority we do not accept as exercising legitimate authority, or are we free to live our lives as we see fit; free from undo and unjust restrictions and limitations? At what percentage does it become acceptable for the choice of a people to be governed by a system of government for their will to become mandatory for those who only want to be free; 5%, 10%, 25 %?
If only 5% of the people of this country chose to revoke their consent for this system of government and return to being free and independent sovereign citizens, does the majority have a right to impose slavery upon them by forcing them to submit to the rules their chosen system of government chooses to enact?
People say that the Confederacy was evil because it stood for slavery. Well isn’t slavery to a tyrannical and oppressive government what the majority of the people say we must submit ourselves to when we are told we MUST obey the laws our government passes and pay the oppressive taxes it imposes upon us?
If slavery was so evil, why isn’t our government seeking to end it where it still exists today in 2018? That’s right, there are places in the world where slavery still exists. According to statistics gathered by the Walk Free Foundation there are still roughly 70 million people living as slaves in the world as of 2016; with 58% of them living in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. Why isn’t our government fighting the good fight, the righteous fight to end slavery in those countries as well?
And why is it that the people of this country, particularly those who misunderstand what the Civil War was all about, seek to demand that the freedom loving people of America must submit to being slaves to a system of government they disagree with on 99% of the issues? Isn’t that just a tad bit hypocritical?
I suppose the only question that really needs to be answered now is, how much more oppression will it take before you decide that your government is tyrannical and oppressive, and that YOU no longer consent to its authority and STOP voting for those who, once they are elected, maintain the steady march towards absolute despotism over the people they were elected to ensure retained ALL their rights and liberty?
In short, how much more tyranny are you going to CONSENT to before you say enough is enough?
August 28, 2018
~ The Author ~
Neal Ross, Student of history, politics, patriot and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Send all comments to: [email protected].
If you liked Neal’s latest column, maybe you’ll like his latest booklet: The Civil War: (The Truth You Have Not Been Told) AND don’t forget to pick up your copy of ROSS: Unmasked – An Angry American Speaks Out – and stay tuned – Neal has a new, greatly expanded book coming soon dealing with the harsh truths about the so-called American Civil War of 1861-1865. Life continues to expand for this prolific writer and guardian of TRUE American history.