By contributing author Madame Defarge
“In the span of two long lifetimes the United States has risen to become the most powerful nation in history.” Winston Churchill, 1941
Why is our government breaking the Constitution and laws it itself legislated? DC is just continuing a long tradition of expanding its’ power.
This question refers us back into the distant memories of civilization. The first government began when a hunter realized that he could not stay awake guarding his kill all night. He made a deal with a partner to spread the responsibility among themselves. The next step was hiring the biggest goon to do the same. Thus began government and its’ insatiable drive for more control.
There is a long history of ignoring the Constitution by our elected or bureaucratic officials. This has led to a series of riots and revolts by citizens with varying degrees of success. They are easily forgotten by the ill-educated in our society who live from the toil of others while being glued to their smartphone.
The underlying sources of civil unrest are of course money and who controls it. This is the basic question of all government. Does it serve the people or do the people serve the government? Is there an elite who control the money and those who work to earn it? Is the elite self appointed? We suffer social control administered through tax policy disguised as morality. Thus we have to deal with global warming and vaccinations jokes as todays’ morality play which actually refers to the latest plan for controlling the serfs.
The Whiskey Rebellion was a group of farmers in the 1790s who did not want to pay a tax on their hard work. It was initially met with tar and feathers for its’ collectors (what would that do for the IRS collectors and Lois Lerner today?) As with many taxes, the lower rate was applied to the big distillers and the higher rate was applied to the little guy. Hmmm? Any resemblance to today? The uprising was quashed but Congress took note and so did the bureaucrats.
The precedent of the whiskey tax was upheld for decades and was to last until prohibition. Eventually this tax comprised around forty percent of the tax revenue to Washington one hundred years later.
Next was the Hartford Convention which was a meeting of four states, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. There was talk of secession at the convention because of the economic disaster that the War of 1812 precipitated. These states had already ignored a federal summons of their militias. They sent a delegation to Washington and found it burned. Peace had been already signed in Ghent at this point. However, precedents had been set by states ignoring Federal laws that they found inconvenient.
The Nullification crisis was an extension of the tariff fights in 1812-1815. Again Federal tariffs were the issue in 1828. The leader was South Carolina. She was one of the most wealthy states and thus the most affected. The rejection of these taxes and even secession were bandied about again. Several states were interested in joining this movement until Andrew Jackson declared to his VP, John C. Calhoun, that he would personally lead the army to South Carolina and hang anyone in rebellion. Nobody crossed Mr. Andrew Jackson and they were the better for it.
The War of Northern Aggression was an extension of the same problems of tariffs and monetary control. Slavery provided the money with which to buy heavily taxed English manufactured goods. The wealthy paid the taxes and resented it. Over half of the Federal budget was funded by the tariffs. Most of the rest was the whiskey tax as seen above. This time there were enough hotheads to push things over the cliff.
Honest Abe had to illegally create an income tax to replace the excise taxes lost from the Confederacy to fund the war to force the Confederate states to return. The income tax stayed in place until the 1870s to replace the southern tax base ruined during and after the war.
The New York City Draft Riots in 1863 again showed the rebelliousness of the American people. Contrary to what most believe, New York was very sympathetic to the South. The New York financial system was dependent on cotton and slavery. The white working class also was very opposed to emancipation as they were afraid they would lose their jobs to cheap labor from freed slaves. The draft law allowed the wealthy to buy their way out of the army. The anger erupted and the city was burned and 1,000 blacks were killed. Order was restored only by New York regiments that were sent directly from Gettysburg to quell the riots.
The entry of the US into World War I brought another set of demonstrations. They extended across the country and were led by socialists, pacifists and civil libertarians. Many were jailed for sedition. They had printed flyers or spoken out against the war. Even Eugene Debs was thrown into prison for violation of the 1917 Espionage Act. He received one million votes for president while incarcerated. A societal split was quite evident. Protections of individual liberty inhibit the expansion of government and must be stamped out according to our DC masters.
These experiences over our history show how fragile civil liberties are and spotlight how freedom can be threatened by the security state. Today Merrick Garland as Attorney General is asking we citizens to turn in our relatives, friends and neighbors to Homeland Security for belonging to what he classifies as domestic “terrorist” groups. Heinrich Himmler would approve.
Freedom of speech and association have been trashed before in our history. It appears we have another case in hand. Will we stand against it?