This is primarily going to be a work of opinion rather than fact gathering and research this evening. And that might mean that the article ends up not being all that long. But I think that this is important and should be discussed so that we don’t fall prey to making the same mistakes on a smaller scale. My focus tonight is on the recent 10th Amendment movements. I believe I recall the number being 34 of the states have taken action in some form to reaffirm state’s rights under the 10th Amendment. I support those who are making that move, but not for the same reason as many others are supporting them. So I want to discuss them, and their reasoning, and the flaw in thinking that this is the ultimate answer to the problems that we face in dealing with government today.
What does the 10th Amendment say? Simple enough:
Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
I think that seems pretty straight-forward, although there are many in Washington DC and throughout the states that seem to have no concept of it, or are willing to ignore the 10th Amendment in order to “serve the greater good”. Remember those that tell you this fallacy, that it is OK to ignore state’s rights in order to serve the greater good. Because those folks will be willing to ignore any of the other rights that the Constitution points out that we have (and never forget how I worded it, the document points out that we have those rights, not that it grants them to us, an important distinction). So in light of the federal government ignoring the 10th Amendment, we have seen a large number of people supporting the idea of states reaffirming their rights under this premise.
Now here is where I am struggling with this concept. Many of you on this site, in our discussions, have espoused two distinct things that you support, albeit having done so in different conversations. It is clear that a majority on this site support the idea of state’s rights and the reaffirmation of them. We have conversations and you make comments saying so. In other conversations, many of those same folks support the idea of VDLG, or more specifically scrapping the concept of government as it stands and finding a more moral or or ethical way forward. You see government as it exists today as “bad”. This may or may not put you in direct contradiction. Each of you will have to answer this for yourself once I explain what I mean.
Let me say up front that this does not apply to folks who are more in line with G.A. Rowe. GA does not contradict himself whatsoever in this concept. He supports a return to the roots of the Constitution. He does not waver from that, and I respect that he doesn’t contradict himself in this way. He believes that the government, as defined in the Constitution, will work for the people and can be controlled and used wisely. So this article is in no way aimed at him. That debate is for a different time, and wages between GA and BF regularly.
But for the rest of you, you have to answer for yourself if this contradiction exists in your thinking. This is for those who believe that the federal government is stealing when they collect most taxes. This is for those who are beginning to grasp the concept of individual liberty and our inherent right to it. For those who believe in their heart that government, through the use of immoral measures infringes on that right. For those who believe that the representatives we elect no longer work to represent us. For those who believe that government should not take from one person via force to give to another person. For those who believe that all the bad things that BF, JAC, PeterB, myself, and others are saying about the government we are seeing in Washington DC and the need for a real change, not Obama’s version…..
Because it is smaller? State governments still collect taxes against our will. State governments still take from you by force to give to someone else. State governments still force their will upon you. State governments still force other people’s will upon you. State governments still impose on business, ruin public education, enforce through violence, lie to our faces, and take from us the fruits of our labor. State governments are exactly the same as the federal government…. only smaller. If we agree that what government is doing is immoral, then why is it less immoral if it is done by your state government? Or even your local government?
Folks I submit to you that supporting a 10th Amendment movement for the reason that you think state government is “better”, is insane. If you want to support a 10th Amendment movement, then how about we move right past the “are reserved to the states respectively” and go right to “or to the people”. Wouldn’t that make more sense?
Now with that all being said, I promised to explain why it is, if this contradiction can exist, that I would support the 10th Amendment movement that is going on. And my answer is simple, because it is a step in the right direction. The problem with the federal government is the centralization of power. All the power of government is centered in Washington DC, in the hands of 545 people. And those 545 people who have ALL the power, are not interested in helping us. They don’t care if the sick have health care. They don’t care if the economy improves. They don’t care if Bob the Builder loses his house. They care about power, and that is why for 100 years they have worked to consolidate and centralize it in Washington DC, in federal government.
Decentralization is the first step in getting the power back into the hands of the people, because in the end the people are the ONLY ones who care about their individual liberty. The state government is smaller. And smaller means more able to be opposed by the people. You have heard from some of us that the only hope for change is at the local level. Because that is the only place where you can effect real change; at home, where the issues matter to a high percentage of voters. If we can decentralize the federal government and get a majority of the power in the hands of the states, we have accomplished step one.
If we have done that we can begin to decentralize the power of the state (or not, it is up to the people of that state) in order to get the majority of the power into the hands of local governments. And local governments are where we have the ability to organize and really affect change to how things work. If you know taxing the crap out of the wealthy in your town means that they will pick up and move to the nearest town that doesn’t tax the crap out of them, you might think a lot harder about stealing from Peter to pay Paul. More importantly, at the local level you can organize and find ways to fund what needs funding without the need to collect taxes against the will of people. And don’t tell me it can’t work, because tribes of people all over the world have governments that look nothing like the government as we view it today, that serve the public good without doing the harm that our version of government does.
So now I will leave it to all of you to tell me where I am wrong, what I am missing. I am sure that I am missing something because I didn’t research and I took a very general approach to this subject.