Virginia politics, policy and entertainment from the Greater Richmond-Washington Metro Area perspective.

Our Laws Are Perverse

lawNjustice2

The law in this country has been perverted. A human being needs to be safe in his person, he needs to be able to able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, and he needs to be free.  Free to speak, to travel, to work, and to associate as he sees fit. Protecting these three elements is the proper purview of the law. All people have the right to use force to defend themselves from theft, assault and enslavement. When the law expands beyond the community’s protection of the individual’s rights, it becomes an instrument of plunder and oppression.

Democrats and Republicans alike are guilty of perverting the law. The only difference is that in the ranks of the Republican Party are those who wish to reverse this trend. The Democrat Party seeks to further expand the role of government through even greater perversion of the law, with some statist Republicans going along as willing accomplices.

When the Law is used to abridge personal freedoms, as in the case of our current drug laws, the result is the rise of a black market and with it a criminal class.  The failed experiment in prohibition should have reversed this trend.  It has not.  Progressives, like Woodrow Wilson, pushed through a series of laws starting with the Harrison Act to curtail drug use.  This was the beginning of our 100-year odyssey in Federal social engineering.  Our abject failure in this arena is more than obvious; it is tragic.  Today close to 1.5M people are in the prison system because of possession charges.  Like alcohol prohibition, the only lasting impact is that the citizenry loses respect for all laws.

When the law is used to codify the plunder of one group at the expense of another, the result is not equality.  Three familiar forms under which this plunder will occur are crony capitalism, socialism, and communism.  In the first form, crony capitalism, a favored industry or company is handed a monopoly through the erection of tariffs against competition, or the industry is subsidized through the taxation of the general public.  Under communism, the state directly seizes all the means of production at every level and the end result is a planned economy.  The Great Leaps Forward of 1950’s China and the Five Year Plans of the Soviet Union are object lessons in the misery and death spawned by such state sponsored plunder of private property.  Socialism serves as the bridge from the statism of the Crony Capitalist to the statism of the Marxist.  State sanctioned plunder is a betrayal of the citizen and eventually leads back to the feudalism we witness today in places like North Korea.  Too-Big-to-Fail is but one of our steps down this path.

State sponsored plunder serves only to balkanize the nation.  Those whose property is plundered resent the beneficiaries of this wealth transfer.  Those who receive this plunder develop a festering resentment, as they justify this largess as their deserved recompense for the structural inequities of society.  The political class plays upon these resentments.  When plunder has been codified long enough, the citizens are reduced in stature from being freemen who elect public servants, to dependents of a political overlords patronage.

Republican Party statists seek to criminalize every vice and Democrats seek to make every virtue a requirement.  These impulses are perverse, for they employ the overwhelming force of the state to crush the free will of the individual.  A man has the right to ruin his health and turn his back on his neighbor.  A man has the right to be ignoble. The state becomes monstrous when it usurps the conscience of a man.  A people, if it is to remain free, must refrain from the base impulse of using the law to right past wrongs or use the law for social engineering; the result is always a spiral of violence, poverty, and reprisal.  The 20th century is a testament to this folly and the millions of graves are a rebuke to those who would play God, which is the ultimate perversion.

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18 Responses to “Our Laws Are Perverse”

  1. Ken Reynolds

    Some great thoughts here Robert. I especially like getting nonviolent prisoners out of prison and back into the work force………

  2. MrSatyre

    Liberals have told me to my face that “people need to be told what to do”. And when I asked them what would happen if the people didn’t do what they were told, then “they would have to suffer the consequences.”

    I’ve always been stunned that there are Republicans who want to protect the 2nd Amendment, but also want to criminalize gay marriage, and Democrats who clamor about equality and better living conditions for all, but also want to take away all our basic rights.

    Are there ANY laws that say what the government CAN’T do? All I can find are laws that tell we the people what WE can’t do. I can’t find anything in the Constitution that says anything about the Federal government being responsible for you and me. Only the individual can be responsible, and only for himself. Enough already.

    • Ken Reynolds

      Robert – Please look at the Preamble to the Constitution….”general welfare”clause…………

  3. Warren

    Ken, read carefully — that “general welfare” clause is the general welfare of the STATES, not the welfare of specific individuals.

    • novascout

      In the absence of a response to my previous queries on this point, I’m beginning to think this limitation on the general Welfare Clause is one that Warren just made up. When politics starts in, the Constitution has very few friends, I fear.

    • Ken Reynolds

      Novascout…….like the Old Testament, i choose to read whatever i want into the ancient sayings of the Constitution!!!

  4. Alexis Rose Bank (@icanhasbailout)

    Moreover, if the “general welfare” clause is taken as a grant of power rather than a mere descriptive phrase with no actual legal force, there’s no point to having a Constitution at all.

    IMO anyone who cites the “general welfare” clause as a source of legitimacy for a government action is seriously flirting with treason.

    • Ken Reynolds

      ‘seriously flirting with treason’???????? how about those who use the 2nd amendment as a reason to stockpile weapons…….in order to go to war with the federal govt…..i suppose that ok? hohohohohho

  5. Warren

    I disagree, Alexis. To me, I see FEMA as a good example of providing for the General Welfare of the States. It is far more efficient for the U.S. government to prepare for a wide variety of possible disasters than for each State to do the same. Furthermore, when a disaster does strike a particular State or group of State, the resources they did prepare are generally disabled, but FEMA can move assets from unaffected areas.

    Another good example of providing for the General Welfare of the States is our Interstate Highway System. While I am not happy about trucks on the roads — I would prefer investment in cargo rail — there can be no doubt that the IHS facilitates interstate commerce.

    • novascout

      Warren – I’m extremely curious, so I’ll ask again. Where did you find this concept that the general Welfare clause only applies to the states? This strikes me as a very liberal departure beyond the words of the Document. As a constitutional conservative, I get very worried about folks who play loose with the express language of the document. If the founders had intended to limit the clause to the states, why would they not have just said: “. . . promote the general Welfare [of the States]. . . .” {bracketed language added}.

      It, of course, probably follows that the welfare of the States is enhanced by conditions that promoted the welfare of the People, although it is not obvious that the reverse is true.

      In any event, I had not seen the general Welfare Clause so constricted, at least not in my lifetime (which is a bit on the long side these days). I see a learning moment here.

    • Warren

      In full, the part of the Constitution in question is the first sentence in Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”

      The United States in this context is a PLURAL noun, and was always constructed as a plural noun in the 18th century. The word UNITED here is merely an adjective.

      Furthermore, the government has no power to pay my personal debts or to provide for my personal defense, so why should it be assumed to have the power to provide for my personal welfare?

    • Warren

      Just to provide an example, we have this from Alexander Hamilton, the the Federalist Papers, No. 83:

      “The United States, in their united or collective capacity, are the object to which all general provisions in the Constitution must necessarily be construed to refer.”

  6. Ken Reynolds

    Excellent thoughts Warren!! Those are exactly the things that need to be done in our 21st century society………….

    • peregrinet

      The general welfare clause has been abused, as any words are when power is at stake. I do not think the current use of the general welfare clause in today’s functioning of the US government is anywhere close to its best use. For can you really provide for the general welfare when it requires taking and stripping the welfare of others? I think its further proved this was not the intention of the preamble, since its states its own purpose “In order to form a more perfect union. The purpose of all of the following words are unity, not the division we have today.

    • Ken Reynolds

      and who causes the division? “taking and stripping the welfare of others….” …………the pea brained politicians in oklahoma………….

  7. novascout

    Warren: where do you get the notion that the general Welfare clause applies only to the States, as opposed to the People? That interpretation is certainly not textual. Is this one of these liberal efforts to bend the Constitution to the political impulses of the moment? I hate it when that happens.

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