The Constitution of the United States of America has been the written document that the vast majority of people in both the ‘freedom movement’ and the ‘truth movement’ in the United States have referred to when advocating a better society. Whilst attempts to limit government through such a document were admirable (although it is ultimately a document which supports heteronomy) when it was first written, the clear failure of the constitution – and ‘the people’ themselves to uphold the values outlined in it – is glaring. Still, people hold onto that document as if it is a proven, trusty defence against all forms of tyranny. I argue that ‘constitutionalism’ has, rather than defending individuals from the might of the state, actually enabled their usurpation.
Amongst those who consider themselves to be ‘constitutionalists’, there seems to be a great multi-personality cult surrounding ‘the founders’ of the United States. These individuals hold special significance – indeed they are venerated like saints amongst the most zealous constitutionalists. George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are seen as a kind of establishment ‘holy trinity’. They are presented as being far above the average person in intelligence, abilities and character; indeed, practically no-one alive today is supposed to even approach their apparent brilliance. Of course, only angels could have written the holy constitution and thus the framers of it are regarded as nothing less.
Furthermore, since the constitution is seen as a practically perfect document, the blame – for the failure of this piece of paper to defend the country from tyranny – is placed firmly upon the individuals (politicians) acting within the organisation that it has been fixed to. The ‘solution’, therefore, is argued to be the election of the ‘right’ people rather than the ‘wrong’ ones. These ‘right’ people are the individuals who most closely adhere to the words of ‘the founders’. The founders of the United States, however, were far from perfect. Beyond their personal lives ,one need only look at the Alien and Sedition Acts signed into law by John Adams in 1798 as the first clear breach of the constitution. Indeed, if the supposed founder saints managed to trample over the document all the way back then, what hope is there for anyone trying to mimic them, in the current age of centralised social-engineering, mass propaganda and low regard for autonomy?
It seems the history of the United States government is nothing more than the history of undermining that document so cherished by ‘constitutionalists’, which has in reality, been little more than a museum piece the whole time. A system such as a ‘state’ – which is controlled by political elites and is fed by a continuing drive to heteronomous consumption – cannot be held back by a document, nor by a people who accept heteronomy in their lives. Neither can a heteronomous organisation stand upon a foundation of supporting individual autonomy, since these principles are in a state of stark antithesis. The actors within the state (government) thus seek to diminish whatever acceptance of autonomy there exists over time. This process has clearly been in effect for over two hundred years.
Another concern that springs from ‘constitutionalism’ is related to the idealised view of the document itself. It seems enough for many to scream that a certain law is ‘breaking the constitution’ or that one ‘has the right’ to this, that and the other. This concentration upon a document has led to reliance upon it which is completely unfounded. The philosopher Max Stirner once remarked: “for one goes further with a handful of might than with a bagful of right.”
It seems that ‘constitutionalists’ have held many a bagful of ‘right’ with relatively little ‘might’. This adherence to their scripture has gotten them nothing, and yet they continue to cling ever more zealously to their cherished document as the system continues to undermine every value they hold dear.
I think it’s time to declare that not only is the incumbent paradigm not good enough, but that the ‘solutions’ so popularised by ‘constitutionalists’ – and indeed any group that supports heteronomous answers – are not good enough either.