Was Liberty the Real End? Not Hardly!

by Al Benson Jr.

Gary M. Galles has been a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. Awhile back he wrote an article for http://www.freedomforallseasons.org which was entitled The Anti-Federalists Were Right. Galles noted in his article that: “Anti-Federalists opposed the Constitution on the grounds that its checks on federal power would be undermined by expansive interpretations of promoting the ‘general welfare’ (which could be claimed with every law) and the ‘all laws necessary and proper’ clause (which could be used to override limits on delegated federal powers), creating a federal government with unwarranted and undefeated powers that were bound to be abused.” In the light of subsequent history it’s hard to argue with that analysis. Can anyone say “Obamacare”?

Gary North, in an article on mises.ca/ wrote quite plainly that: “The Constitution was deliberately designed to centralize power vastly beyond what the legitimate constitution–the Articles of Confederation–allowed. The Federal government in 1787 was weak. In 1788 it was vastly stronger. The newly created Federal government immediately did two things. It accepted responsibility to pay off state debts. This was Alexander Hamilton’s proposal. He proposed it specifically to centralize the government by granting enormous profits to the investment class that had bought state debts for practically nothing. The Wikipedia article on this consolidation of federal debt is accurate in its discussion of Hamilton’s motives.” Sounds as if Hamilton had more than real liberty as the “direct end” of his agenda.

It was noted that: “Hamilton’s economic plan had multiple goals. First, the debts and honor of the nation would be secured…By selling bonds to pay the debt, bondholders would have a direct financial interest to help the new United States government survive and thrive…The plan would also create a bureaucracy of agents across the country who would be tied to the Federal government instead of the individual states. Assuming the debts of the states would likewise couple financial elites in those states to the national government and less to state governments, thereby reducing the risk of secession. Hamilton’s plan was called the ‘debt assumption plan,’ and it was a radical idea in 1790.” You can see from this one paragraph that Hamilton, from the beginning, was always the consummate collectivist and centralist, trying to tie everyone’s interests to the Federal government instead of to the states. And he sought to reduce the risk of secession, so he must have felt that secession was a legitimate option which he wanted to steer the states away from.

Madison and Jefferson initially opposed this, but, as Gary North observed: “When Madison and Jefferson opposed the plan, Hamilton bought them off by promising to support the swamp today known as Washington D.C. as the nation’s capitol. This was done at a private dinner with only the three in attendance. Jefferson later wrote about it.” I read one account that noted that, while Madison was still opposed to the idea, and might speak out against it, he would not do such very strenuously. How little has changed in Washington since 1790! Covert “dinners,” midnight voice votes in Congress, it was and is always the same game, and the public is always on the receiving end of the shaft.

Gary North noted the outcome of this grand bargain. “The Treasury Department quickly grew in stature and personnel, encompassing the United States Customs Service, the United States Revenue Cutter Service, and the network of Treasury agents Hamilton had foreseen. Hamilton immediately followed up his success with the Second Report on Public Credit, containing his plan for the Bank of the United States–a national, privately-operated bank owned in part by the government, which became the forerunner of the Federal Reserve System.” Do you begin to see where Hamilton was going now? The Bank of the United States–privately operated, owned “in part” by the government. One with a suspicious mind might be led to ask who owned the part the government didn’t. And since much of this is not included in the “history” books, are we forced to conclude that this is a question some would prefer not to be asked? After all, if you can’t trust your government… But you can see from this that our problems with bankers did not begin in 1913. That was chapter two.

As to Hamilton’s motives, North observed: “By 1791 Hamilton had created a vast Federal debt and the nation’s first central bank, owned privately. He had planned it from the beginning. That was why he promoted the Constitution. This is why he wrote most of The Federalist Papers. The anti-Federalists predicted accurately what was coming in 1787. It came. There was a conspiracy in Philadelphia in 1787. It was successful…To understand the expansion of Federal power in 1788, consider this. In 1786, the Federal government’s total army was 1,200 men. It was too small to come to the rescue of the state of Massachusetts in putting down Shay’s rebellion. This was a rebellion by rural counties against the state government’s decision in 1786 to pay off state debts in silver, collected from the counties. The governor and most of the members of the legislature had bought these debts for pennies in fiat currency. Now they were about to get very rich at the expense of rural taxpayers, who had little silver. A lot of counties revolted. That was the trigger that got George Washington to attend the (Constitutional) Convention, which he had previously refused to agree to attend. He had been completely misinformed about the motives of the protest. A former general of his sent him letters that concealed the politics of the revolt.” So Washington had no idea that the real reason for the rebellion was that the state government was stealing from its citizens. North continued: “In 1794, Washington personally led an army of 13,000 to crush a tax revolt in Western Pennsylvania…Because so few men volunteered, the Federal government imposed a draft. This was the whiskey rebellion. The revolt was against Hamilton’s 1791 tax on whiskey–a tax used to raise revenue to pay off Federal debts at face value–debts that the holders had purchased for pennies…Do you begin to see a pattern here? Centralized power? I guess you could say that. Seems the new Federal power was being used to help make the big money boys even richer at the expense of the rural farmers. I suppose you could label that as the 1794 version of redistribution of the wealth. And Hamilton was in on the ground floor. Beginning to connect the dots here?

And North has told us that what Hamilton could not accomplish on his own, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, who was also a Federalist, did manage. Among his other “accomplishments” he managed to find time to squeeze in the writing of the opinion for McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819. This was an authorization for the privately-owned Second Bank of the United States to exercise a government-granted monopoly over our monetary system. The last half of chapter one!

North began the conclusion of his article with this: “The Constitution was from day one an instrument to consolidate Federal power and expand it. The Constitution has proven to be a weak reed in every attempt to slow down the expansion of Federal power. It has proven utterly impotent to roll Federal power back as little as a decade, ever.” Mr. North is pointing out the exact same thing I have been saying in regard to the fact that the checks and balances in the Constitution that are supposed to keep one branch of the government from overreaching and acting in the affairs of another branch just simply do not work. They are not effective and, given North’s analysis, you have to wonder if they were ever meant to be effective, or if they were only ever meant to be a cover seeming to do what they are not really doing.

Obama is now threatening Congress that if they refuse to legalize millions of illegal immigrants then he will just take executive action and do it himself. After all, he has a pen and a phone. It’s up to Congress to deal with this, not the dictator, (excuse me, I meant president–a slip of the fingers on the keyboard). For him to usurp the power of Congress goes against the vaunted “checks and balances” between branches of government that are supposed to be there for our protection. Suppose Obama just unilaterally decides to go and do this “because he can?” Do you know what Congress will do? Nothing!!! Oh, they’ll make a little fuss, a little political bloviation to try to save face, and that will be the end of it. Obama will do what he wants to do because, in the end, the Constitution won’t stop him.

Folks, we’ve been had since way back in 1787 and it’s about time we woke and and realized it. Do I think that will happen? Maybe in a couple hundred years, if we can rear up enough Christian-schooled and home schooled kids with the truth. Maybe.

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11 thoughts on “Was Liberty the Real End? Not Hardly!

  1. You’re on a roll with this subject.

    ‘Seems the new Federal power was being used to help make the big money boys even richer at the expense of the rural farmers.’

    Feudalism is the ‘natural’ economic model of modern man and all systems tend towards it. He who has the gold makes the rules, after all.

      • Somehow people need to realize that real history shapes their lives. Properly understood it is not boring or non-essential. It is the story of how we got into the miserable mess we are in now and if we don’t begin to work to understand it we will only continue to re-invent the wheel until we get right back to wheelbarrows with square wheels.

  2. American history, for the masses, is so boring that they just don’t care. For the informed and the inquisitive, please continue to enlighten people that still think!

  3. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall gave us the unconstitutional ‘Judicial Review’ doctrine in 1803 that nullified the original Founder’s “separation of powers” doctrine, and gave The Court the use of ‘precedence’ to bypass the Constitution and Bill of Rights to decide cases.

    Always an anti-federalist…

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