24A020 A Spoonful of Clear Thought by Jim Davies, 5/28/2024


A century after the USA was founded, a lawyer was in business near Boston; and being conscientious he gave thought to how it had been established. That is, he took a look at the Constitution not as tablets of stone handed down by saintly and infallible Founders, but as a legal instrument. His name was Lysander Spooner.

He found in it not merely a few defects (eg the standing of slaves in the new Land of the Free) but a radical, fundamental flaw. It took the form of a contract between People and Government, yet was signed by only one of those two parties!

Spooner's "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority" can be read here and is devastating in its logic. It begins with:

The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation.

Ka-boom. If he is right, nothing the FedGov is or does requires anyone to do (or stop doing) anything at all. So, is he right? - consider its Chapter IV:

It is a general principle of law and reason, that a written instrument binds no one until he has signed it. [para 2]

The very judges, who profess to derive all their authority from the Constitution--from an instrument that nobody ever signed--would spurn any other instrument, not signed, that should be brought before them for adjudication. [para 4]

His appeal is to law and reason, both. Laws are merely opinions backed by force; but he was a lawyer so it mattered to him, and so were nearly all those who drafted the Constitution and so, of course, are all the judges appointed under its authority. And even they, he says, would throw out of court (even if it reached that far) any purported contract that was signed by only one of the two or more parties that it concerned.

Of course a contract must be signed by all it affects. It's common sense, too. And anyone who declines to sign it is in no way bound by its terms. And this massive omission has been in plain sight all our lives, yet we never saw it!

In the 1780s the US population was about 4 million; so for the Constitution to be validly ratified, 4 million signatures needed to be appended. They never were. And if it's to bind the 330 million now in the US, 330 million signatures need to be added, if it's to bind you and me. Without that, it cannot possibly be a binding contract. The entire basis of US government rests on smoke and mirrors.

Here's an illustration, to make the point even clearer. You and I and a few pals gather in the bar one Friday evening and after a few too many, we write down some terms under which we shall rule America. They are at least as good as, and (we think) rather better than, those on display in the National Archives. We all steady our hands and solemnly sign it. Next day we hoist a flag, hire a band, issue Press Releases, and send copies of it to every corner of the land so that everyone can add his or her signature, to signify his agreement to those terms. A few months later, there they are, neatly stacked on the trailer behind the pickup: 330 million signatures. The contract is valid, and we are in charge! Hoo-ray for us!

And then we awake, and behold, it was all a dream. And boy, are we hung over.

A rebuttal of this might claim "But it WAS ratified, by majority vote!" Yes indeed, but contracts are quite rightly not accepted by judges if there are any missing signatures; a "majority" may bind those who comprised it, but not those who declined to agree! In any case the ratification procedure itself was designed by people who had obtained their position (in State governments, for example) by methods that also failed to involve an unanimously agreed contract. Yet more smoke and mirrors.

Spooner, then, reached exactly the same conclusion - that government is bogus from top to bottom - as anarchists who reason not from the nature of contracts but from our observation of human nature: that each person has the natural right to own himself, and therefore can rightfully rule nobody else. It's an excellent synergy.

Neither will help fix the problem, because rulers are not open to reason of any kind; the only way to bring them down is to quit working for them, and for that is needed the prerequisite of education. TOLFA is providing that. What do you think; will Freedom and How to Find It also suffice?

Quote of the Week:
"In short, Western countries are forced to walk the thin line between defeat and nuclear war,
without a clear end goal in sight."
                                                                                                                                Sergey Poletaev


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