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.

If Liberty Was the Object, Why Did They Give Us Centralism?

by Al Benson Jr.

The issue seemed clearer to some (but not all) in 1787. When the Constitution was presented for ratification in Virginia the issues were much better understood than they are today. Of course people back then had not had the dubious “benefit” of our government school system with its obfuscations and omittances regarding our history. It was pretty well understood in Virginia, as well as in other areas, that the issue was a strong federalism, or centralism, as opposed to a loose confederacy of state governments where states rights were to be the rule–the dreaded (by historians) Compact Theory!

In his speeches against ratification Patrick Henry noted that the delegates in Philadelphia had overstepped their bounds in that they had not been sent there with power to create a central government, but only to amend the Articles of Confederation. However, in light of the results of that convention it does seem that some went with other motives in mind. Henry warned the Virginia delegates that they were not to consider how they could increase trade nor how they could become a great nation, but rather how their liberty could be secured. Henry said, and quite accurately, “…for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.” He made another prescient statement in this regard when he said: “If you give too little power today, you may give more tomorrow. But the reverse of the proposition will not hold. If you give too much power today, you cannot retake it tomorrow, for tomorrow will never come for for that.” In light of the direction this government has gone in from 1787 until now, does any sane person wish to argue with Mr. Henry’s logic?

Author, economist and columnist Gary North wrote a book almost twenty years ago now called Political Polytheism which dealt with much of this. For starters he noted that: “…The Constitution removed Christian religious tests as the judicial requirement of the judges and officers of the new national government. That, in and of itself, delivered the republic into the hands of the humanists. Nothing else was necessary after that. From that point on the secularization of America was a mopping-up operation.” That’s a much different assessment than most of us have been fed regarding the Constitution, even in Christian circles, or might I say, especially in Christian circles? I have to admit that when I first saw North’s book and skimmed it, I was a little hesitant about his thesis. As the years have passed I have become much less so.

And he made another trenchant observation, one that many of us, myself included, had not even thought of at the time. I since have come to where I can see his logic. He said: “The sought-for Constitutional balance of the one and the many, apart from the Bible and Old Testament case laws, is unattainable.” In other words you cannot have the proper relationship between a central government and the state governments apart from Scripture. So the further this country departs from Scripture and God’s law the more impossible it will be for us to really do anything right, especially in the area of differing governmental jurisdictions. By the same token, the “checks and balances” we have been told will keep the different branches of the national government in their proper spheres won’t work either.

North also noted that: “Like Newton’s universe apart from God’s constant, active providence, the ‘balanced Constitution’ will eventually move toward centralized tyranny (the fear of the Anti-Federalists) or toward dissolution (the fear of the Federalists). Both movements took place in 1861-65.” The Anti-Federalists feared tyranny; the Federalists feared secession. North’s comments add a whole different perspective to the question of the Constitution and what it really says.

Back in August of 2004, Gary North wrote an article called Conspiracy In Philadelphia. He also wrote a book by the same name. He observed: “In 1787 the states, with one exception (Rhode Island) were explicitly based on faith in God. In most cases, elected state representatives were required to swear their belief in the Trinity. The new constitution made all such oaths illegal for federal office (Article VI, Clause III). By means of the 14th Amendment (1868), the U.S. Supreme Court has applied this prohibition to state governments completing the transformation in the case of Torcasso vs. Watkins (1961). I told this story fifteen years ago. In response, the silence has been deafening.” Mr. North, like many of us over the years, has learned that the movers and shakers, the ruling elite, the country’s “other masters” will simply ignore what they do not want dealt with, and they press their lackeys in the “news” media to do the same, and the media bombards us with sports extravaganzas and “reality shows” to the point where we do not have the time or inclination for any serious reflection. If the truth can be out there and almost totally ignored by the general populace, Christians included, they don’t even have to bother shoving it down the “memory hole” anymore. Most people today will gaze at the plans for their own destruction and that of their kids–and yawn.

However, for the unusual few that may be concerned about the truth and how it might affect their children and grandchildren, Mr. North has posted his book Conspiracy In Philadelphia on the Internet, from which it can be downloaded. My son downloaded it for me and for a friend of mine at church. It can be found at http://www.garynorth.com/philadelphia.pdf and I would encourage those who have genuine concerns about our “founding document” and its background to download North’s book and see what he has to say. Knowing about Mr. North, I am sure his analysis will be penetrating and worth your time.