(midnight – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
“The generation that made the nation thought secrecy in government one of the instruments of Old World tyranny and committed itself to the principle that a democracy cannot function unless the people are permitted to know what their government is up to.”
—Henry Steele Commager
I took that quote from a recent posting by Bruce Fein on the Libertarian site of the The Future of Freedom Foundation. Commager was a great influence on me as a young student and Fein is a hero of mine. Fine delights me, not because I share his POV completely but because he is one of those rare creatures that do exist in Washington–a decent and honorable man of principle. Fein and other libertarians like him believe in a kind of Constitutional fundamentalism. They believe in limited government, of course, but they believe that the separation of powers is fundamental to a relatively free society. The Founders were intelligent students of political science and had, unlike most people today who write about politics, read the classics. Reading the classics makes one skeptical of mankind and governing systems. So the Founders devised a system that was somewhat inefficient but insured political stability. One of the chief means of doing that was to put the power of the purse and or war squarely in the hands of Congress which is closest to the people.
The gist of Fein’s article is that we are living in an Empire and that it is precisely what the Founders feared. Fein is standing up for the fundamentals of our society. Sure, the U.S. has a checkered history yet, it maintained social stability, provided a place for people from all over the world to earn a better living than the place they came from (by and large) and gave all social forces a playing field on which to struggle. Reforms were possible in the American Republic if the people wanted reform. And this was only possible because the Constitution was always there and, in fact, was central to the American identity. The Constitution is not a perfect document but it is good enough for what it does which is to give us a sufficiently loose structure that make it difficult for small groups to dominate the country.
I am touched by Fein’s faith in civic virtue and his concern for the high principles we can rightly claim as our inheritance. God, if we would only claim that inheritance!
The Founding Fathers correctly feared that the president would gratuitously initiate war, because military conflict confers on the commander in chief patriotic or jingoistic public support, secrecy, money, appointments, and the tempting opportunity to transform the world.
The essence of the problems we complain about on DD is that the Executive branch of government has become too powerful due to the Imperial project. This project is based on the ability of the President to claim all kinds of threats from “evildoers” outside our borders and to use secrecy as an excuse for not sharing with us the nature of this threat. I believe the threat does not really exist and is largely manufactured both through false-flag operations and in deliberately provoking other countries and forces in the world to become belligerent. Conflict-resolution techniques are well-known and often effective yet they are, for the most part, ignored by American policy-makers. Attaining national goals is not the point of government policy anymore. I suggest that, increasingly it has been to further personal and group goals of a narrow elite who have in their hands power garnered from the creation of a national security state since WWII.
Since propaganda is essential to maintain cooperation of the people the MSM has been formed through both direct government involvement in covertly funding various outlets and writers and through influencing professionals through all the means at a powerful central government’s disposal (let your imagination soar). The end result is that we have a controlled and managed MSM that acts pretty much in lock-step other than directing the same message in a different way to a particular audience’s cultural prejudices.
If you read Fein’s piece you may be struck with how strange it sounds. People today are not interested in principles or honor or Constitutional niceties. People in this country worship brute force and “kicking ass” because that is what they see in popular entertainments cynically created by large corporate supporters of a strong Executive branch. We need to join in with Fein and Ron Paul-style right-wingers in moving towards a return to Constitutional fundamentals. We need to say no to secrecy. We need to question the so-called threats that keep us in thrall to the military and the security services. We need a patriotic front uniting left and right to return to the Republic.
All the other issues we speak of here cannot be dealt with until we return to Constitutional rule. While I don’t think it’s very likely it will, at least, increase the numbers and unity of the opposition to the Empire and make it a bit harder to dominate us.