When taxes become destructive they surpass the consent of the governed bending to the will of tyranny. When regulations strangle competition instead of securing it from evil combinations they become counterproductive and defeat the very purpose for which they were proposed. When foreign entanglements bleed the nation but do not secure the peace or defeat the enemy they become interventionist vehicles for vested interests. When spending becomes a hemorrhaging of assists leading to national bankruptcy those who continue to pile debt upon debt seek not the good of the nation but instead its destruction. When leaders selected to unite instead do all they can to divide they no longer advance the interest of the whole and are instead partisan leaders in a factional fight.
A social contract is one made between a people and their government. It is an agreement whereby the people surrender certain aspects of their independence for the guarantee of corporate security and the enjoyment of a general welfare. In the case of most countries this is an unwritten and unconscious arrangement built upon tradition and precedent as in the case of England. However in the United States we have an actual contract, the Constitution. This was ratified by the original states and the subsequent states were formed under it and admitted as full partners to it.
All contracts may be legitimately changed over time as long as there are mechanisms either within the document or established by the document to do so. Within our Constitution there is an amendment process, and it has been amended 27 times so far. Whether we agree with those amendments or not they have been legally ratified and accepted becoming part of the document. However, over the years our government structure has been changed, and our manner of life transformed more by the informal changes than by the formal. Nowhere in the Constitution is the central government given the power to wage unending undeclared war. Nowhere is the central government given the right to ignore the requirement to protect the states from invasion. Nowhere is there found any basis for executive orders, signing statements, or bureaucratic regulations to have the force of law without legislative action by Congress.
Well-connected rabble rousers now say equality will not be achieved until everything is equal in everybody’s house. Leveling the playing field has finally thrown off its cloak of deceit and exposed itself as from each according to their ability to each according to their need. The professional civil rights entrepreneurs who’ve extorted vast amounts of personal wealth with threats of boycotts and demonstrations have been unmasked as the true purveyors of prejudice seeking to keep race and gender differences alive for their own benefit. Union bosses build political empires using the legally forced dues of members with more money spent on political activity than on member service. The union bosses ride in limousine comfort from board meetings to political rallies while their members lose jobs. The pensions of the bosses are golden parachutes while the pensions of the members are underfunded.
The Land of the Free is held captive, locked in a two party system where both parties are merely two heads on the same bird of prey. Both parties are dedicated to more spending and bigger government. Both parties exploit gerrymandering of districts and overwhelming corporate donations to ensure a hierarchy of the perpetually re-elected that use a system of seniority to enhance their power. Legal barriers exist at every turn to stop any new parties from gaining access that might deflect the central government from its ever increasing growth towards totalitarianism.
When will enough be enough? When will citizens rise in their righteous anger and demand not a New Deal, not a Great Society, a New Frontier or a Fundamentally Transformed America but instead their original deal. The one we wrested from the hands of the tyrant King George. The one we’ve fought to establish and defend from Yorktown to Kandahar, and the right of a people to be free to live as they choose, to work for their own benefits and choose their own destiny. Free from the smothering governmental control which has been the lot of most people in most places since the beginning of time. When will the yoke of tyranny become too heavy to be borne? What will be the spark that lights the torches and brings the incensed villagers to the gate of the castle demanding, “Bring the monster out!” so that a stake can be driven through the heart of tyranny and freedom can return to the land?
When that day comes what will we the people do? Will we try to resurrect the government of old that ultimately brought us full circle, or will we be bold enough to forge anew the social contract and design better ways to ensure the beast of tyranny doesn’t once again break the chains of restraint.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. http://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens [email protected]