The Logic of Constitutional Apologetics

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Shade, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Hello again fellow blades :smoking:

    Let me first preface by saying I would consider a society of Constitutionalism a substantial improvement from what we are experiencing in the here and now; and the reason for this thread is not to attack the Constitution but to examine a common defense I tend to come across when promoting a Stateless society over that of a constitutional central government.

    I maintain, and I think history demonstrates this rather clearly, that the US Constitution is ultimately insufficient in its supposed purpose of suppressing the size, scope, and power of the State. It seems to me, in fact, it has ultimately had the exact opposite effect--the State which has emerged from our Constitution has become, quite arguably, the largest, most powerful State in the history of mankind; and it continues to grow with no foreseeable end in sight. In retrospect, of course, this result is far too common under similar circumstances--smaller governments and/or freer markets pave the way to prosperity and substantial wealth creation which in turn creates a larger pool of taxable income which the State parasitically feeds off of to expand itself and support its ecosystem of special interests. Empire, tyranny, and eventual collapse are always the result. It is said that the framers set out to attempt to avoid this by endeavoring to establish the smallest, most impotent government yet to exist; unfortunately it seems that even their supposed most limited constitutional government could not circumvent the inevitable outcome of statism. The anti-federalist papers warned of this. Thus, it seems to me (setting aside other arguments against the State for the time being) that even under the strictures of a constitution, the State will proceed as it always does; so then it follows that returning to a constitutional government in order to achieve the liberty that we yearn for so deeply is rather misguided.

    Now, when I present this type of argument to those who might identify as constitutional minarchists, I often get a response that shifts blame to the people: saying that it is the people who have failed to hold government officials accountable, and that it is the people who have failed to uphold their oaths of office, and that it is the people who have failed to vote according to the Constitution; if people would just follow the Constitution, constitutional government would work as intended and keep the State suppressed.

    For the purposes of this discussion, we'll set aside the fact that this does not even begin to address the disregard for the inherent monopolization of violence and coercion that must necessarily accompany the State, even within a constitutional government.

    Curiously enough, when I attempt to make a case for a Stateless society, a voluntaryist society, this argument concerning the failure of the people is used in opposition of the idea of a voluntaryist, Stateless society. How is this inconsistency to be reconciled? On one hand, it is suggested we rely on the people to follow and uphold the Constitution to ensure that a constitutional government works, but on the other hand we cannot rely in the same way, on the same people, to achieve a working Stateless society?

    Another inconsistency lies with the general premise behind the idea of small government. It is suggested that the smaller the government, the greater both the liberty and prosperity of the people. As I understand it, this tends to hold relatively true, as history demonstrates. So if less government means more liberty and more prosperity, how does it not follow that maximum liberty and maximum prosperity do not exclusively emerge in absence of government?
  2. the framers realised that most people are really really dumb. instead of forsaking them to certain death,ie-evolution, they envisioned a small government to hold their hand and guide them. this act of kindness was folly, for now they require not only guidance but a tit to suckle.
  3. Welcome back Shade.
  4. #4 aH1GH3Rpower, Mar 12, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2012
    ^^ I believe youve hit the nail on the head with this statement. I think the constitution is only as flawed as the people who are interpreting it.

    [ame=]Leftist Tries to Take Down Ron Paul on Constitution - YouTube[/ame]

    Disregard the title of the video cause its kind of misleading as to the content. Specifically around 3:35 where he refers to the "State Ratifying conventions". This is where i think we should be looking to get an idea of the balance between our Constitution our Federal Government and our States.

    I found this video while i was looking for the first one and i havent had a chance to watch it yet, but i figured ide post it anyway.

    *edit* Yup, this video fits the thread. Im about half an hour in and its pretty interesting.

    [ame=]Federalism in the 21st Century: Balancing States' Rights with Federal Power - YouTube[/ame]

    Also regarding this statement
    I think this statement is where you can find the answer to your question. Without any government the monopolization of violence and coercion becomes open to anyone who wishes to grab it.

  5. Essentially what your saying is, we need we an organization with a monopoly on violence, to prevent others from having a monopoly on violence. This is a circular statement with no real break that offers no solutions. Essentially, "this is the way it is, we should just accept it"

    Who would wish to grab for monopoly of coercion? Without the illusion of legitimacy that governments currently enjoy, a monopoly on force must be forcibly taken from people who wish to protect themselves from it. This is expensive, and counter productive to whatever goal you make wish to achieve with a monopoly on coercion. It's only manageable now because the majority of people in this world believe government is legitimate. Take away that illusion, and it becomes much harder.

  6. Thanks :wave: Good to see some familiar cats still goin strong.

    Without a brutal monopolization of violence and coercion someone might try to monopolize violence and coercion? Heh. They'd probably have a hell of a time doing so without our taxes or children filling the ranks of their military.
  7. Thats true. And ide agree with you if this was a perfect world but i dont think it is. We should always be striving to make it the absolute best we can though.

    They dont need our taxes to monopolize force. Look at the taliban and what not in afganistan. Religion co-opts our children, and certain industries will replace what the taxes do for them. All it takes is someone VERY smart, manipulative, and in a position of great wealth.

  8. If a voluntaryist society exists, people within that society would have to first come to realize and accept the principles of libertarianism. Considering this, it will become much more difficult for such a people to be fooled by any sort of statist agenda.

    Within such a society, it is also unlikely that fiat money will be sustained. Raising and maintaining an army large enough without fiat money makes matters much more difficult.

    Wealth equality is also a factor. You suppose someone who is very rich may come to attempt to reinstall a state, yet it is inflationary fiat monetary policy which, historically, causes the greatest disparity in wealth.

    And the objections could go on and on. The problem with all this of course is that it's difficult to imagine and consider the many consequences of a stateless society. Moreover, justifying the State for fear of the State is altogether rather humorous.
  9. #9 aH1GH3Rpower, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
    The scenario you described is kinda what i imagine when i picture a small central government. Sounds to me like we just call it different things. Also im not justifying the state in fear of the state. Im justifying a small honest government after experiencing the failures of a Large Dishonest one. Sure i have my worries, but i think thats a misrepresentation of what im saying. Anyways, to each their own. Ide take what your talking about any day over what we have lmao.

    This all sounds good on paper, but i think its a very different story when you begin to manifest it in the real world. I have great faith in my fellow man and myself, but i also have no illusions about the evil that we can do in the name of good.
  10. They were shitting on the Constitution literally as soon it was created.

    Truly sad stuff.

  11. No, there's a very large difference--monopolization of force. There is no monopolization of force in a Stateless society, but the State is, by definition, a monopolization of force.

    The problem with minarchy is that in practice it necessarily leads to tyranny. Historically, this is what occurs under a minarchy:

    Small government --> relatively substantial amounts of liberty --> freer markets --> prosperity --> wealth creation --> increased population --> larger pool of taxable income --> increased taxation --> greater funding for the growth of the State -- growth of the State --> expansion of special-interests --> more coercion --> more regulation --> less freedom --> wealth redistribution / destruction --> more wealth inequality --> more violence --> collapse

    There can be no large State without first a small State. Historically small States evolve into large States.

    If the capacity for man's evil is the concern, and that is certainly a valid concern, why would you want to legitimize the monopolization of force (the State) with which the evil of man may be more efficiently and effectively realized?
  12. #12 aH1GH3Rpower, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
    No government --> relatively substantial amounts of liberty --> freer markets --> prosperity --> wealth creation --> increased population --> larger pool of income --> greater funding for the growth of the *Monopolization of wealth* -- growth of the Monopolization --> expansion of special-interests --> more coercion --> more regulation --> less freedom --> wealth redistribution / destruction --> more wealth inequality --> more violence --> collapse

    Its the same thing. We just refer to it in a different name. Your also not accounting for Religion. Look at the Vatican. It wasnt a government, but it sure has become one. I feel like your describing Feudal law. And some one always wins in the end. Im just going to agree to disagree cause i feel like were just going in circles. Yes! No! Yes! No! Yes! No! You sound like you think youve got it all figured out and you can create the perfect Utopia. I hope im wrong and that your right. I promise that if you run for prez on this platform. Ill support you. Its alteast worth a try. Even though weve technically already done this aloooong time ago. Maybe itll work this time. who knows.
  13. State is just another word for whoever has the biggest stick and the strongest will to exert authority over the population.

    Whether it's The US Government, a king, a warlord, or a transparent corporatocracy, whoever has the biggest stick (or stack) will always have coercive power over other people.

    You may be able to mitigate it to some degree in a libertarian society where everyone acts in good faith. But that requires restraint on the part of those with the power to coerce. Good luck with all that.
  14. Is it more or less difficult for a State to emerge from a Stateless society or a society already ruled by a State?

    Is it possible that a State may emerge from a Stateless society? Yes. Is it necessarily true that this will happen? No.

    Is it historically true that from small States large States tend to emerge? Yes.

    It's really not the same thing.

    Why do you want small government? I suspect 'more liberty' is probably one of the primary reasons, yes? If so, I'm guessing you consider it true that the amount of liberty is necessarily relative to the size of government, yes?
  15. #15 aH1GH3Rpower, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
    Yes to the last question, but i also recognize that we need a system that we can grow into a large mechanism if something like hitler/1776 britian comes arounnd and tries to take my freedom. I feel like this is the reason we have an America to begin with, and i love my Country regardless of the stupid people running it right now. Not to say ide kill someone to support its 'special interests' but i would defend my freedom and liberty with my life.

    *disclaimer* I dont support violence in any way shape or form.

    With the NDAA though we put our life on the line every time we speak out against them.
  16. Constitutions are double-edged swords. They are vulnerable to interpretation, application, and contextual anachronisms.

    Recently, I've heard the argument that strict constitutionalism functionally serves as a tool of conservatism; that in the context of modernity, it acts as a barrier.

  17. Money is not a tool to coerce, money is voluntarily given and received by parties. Voluntary interaction is not coercion.

    To truly coerce, the threat of violence is needed. Without a state no entity has the power to coerce anyone, legitimately at least.

    If you create a society which is opposed to practice of coercion, nobody has the "power" to coerce another human being.

  18. That's absolutely absurd.

    But I'll bite.

    How do you "create a society which is opposed to the practice of coercion" without coercing the would-be coercers into not acting coercively?

    How do you keep enterprises from adopting the business model of the mafia?

    Part of human nature is that some people want to exert force over others. And more money means the ability to arm a better gang.

    So all we're talking about is defying human nature and somehow convincing (without threat of force presumably) would-be bad actors into not coercing other people.

  19. #19 SouthrnSmoke, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
    What's absurd is your notion that people on average seek to dominate or control one another. The people who seek to exert force over others are a vast minority compared to those who seek to live life on their own terms, and would afford the same to their neighbors.

    If the human being naturally seeks to exert force, then government would not stop them. They would be vastly outnumbered and overpowered. It is only because people seek to be peaceful and avoid confrontation, that the minority is able to exert force over the majority.

    Your taking characteristics of a minority, and using them to defie all humans, and your calling MY notion absurd?

    You create a society of individuals who are opposed to coercion by exposing them to these ideas, and following through on those ideas in your interactions with them. Since libertarians and an acaps are vehemently opposed to coercion, we can only persuade through logic and reasoning. Coercing people to not be coercive is idiocy. So is your assumption that coercion is the only way to effectively influence people.

    If you want to prevent a business from adopting the model of the mafia ( or more accurately, the model of government) you passively resist. Refuse to buy ther goods, and resist their attempts at violence on the grounds of self defense. This is much more effective that relying on another mafia ( govt) to do it for you.

  20. It doesn't take unanimity of people to want to exert force for anyone to do it. It only takes one person with a few million dollars to buy a tank and declare himself king of town, if nobody else has a tank, then he's king of town and can impose any kind of rules he wants. He doesn't care about your non-agression principle.

    So when he rolls his tank up to your front door and demands $100 not to blow it up, you can quite simply refuse to return to his place of business. That'll show him. :rolleyes:

    So what if he's out numbered anyway? In your society nobody can initiate force (the essence of coercion), so as long as he only threatens those who would rather just pay him the $100, you can't initiate force against him.

    But it's all good because it's all voluntary. He voluntarily runs a protection racket, he only picks on people who will voluntarily pay to avoid their house getting blown up. Who cares as long as it's not you?

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