Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 381, August 20, 2006

"The sort of slave rebellions that are coming in the next few years..."


DIGG THIS

". . .to institute new Government, laying its foundation. . ."
Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
by Dennis Lee Wilson
DennisLeeWilson@Hush.AI

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise

From Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, dated 1776:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

I submit that the government of the United States of America operated mostly within the limits of the Constitution from 1788 until the Constitution was openly ignored and blatantly subverted by President Abraham Lincoln from 1861 to 1865, and that since that time, instead of being restored and restrained to its original limits, the government has instead expanded its powers far beyond the limits once imposed by the Constitution and has indeed become destructive of the ends enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and for which the Constitution was allegedly created to protect. That is a premise of this essay and since there is ample evidence of this published elsewhere, proof will not be offered in this essay. Such being the case, the focus and purpose of this essay is to exercise, in Jefferson's words, "the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government".

I submit to the reader, L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent [1] (written in 1985 and hereinafter referred to as The Covenant) as the proposed Form of the "new Government", The Covenant being, in essence, a form of Self-Government. Its foundation rests on the moral statement contained in the Non Aggression Principle [2], which is expressed in the five Precept of the Covenant. The organization of its powers is described in the Supersedure clause of The Covenant. The powers of The Covenant are indeed derived from the consent of "the governed", they being the self-governed individual Signatories themselves.

How the Covenant of Unanimous Consent
fulfills the promise of
Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence:

The Declaration: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The preamble of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent nicely compliments the above:

"WE, THE UNDERSIGNED Witnesses to the Lesson of History—that no Form of political Governance may be relied upon to secure the individual Rights of Life, Liberty, or Property"
The Declaration: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,"

The Covenant: "now therefore establish and provide certain fundamental Precepts measuring our Conduct toward one another, and toward others:"
The Declaration: "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

The powers of The Covenant—a document of self-government—are indeed derived from the consent of "the governed", they being the ACTUAL, SELF-GOVERNED, INDIVIDUAL SIGNATORIES of The Covenant. This also satisfies the objections noted by Lysander Spooner in 1870. Instead of being a document (such as the U.S. Constitution) that describes how the government should act, and a document that YOU DID NOT sign, The Covenant is a document that describes how YOU will act and is a document that YOU voluntarily sign, if and only if you agree to govern yourself according to The Covenant's terms and conditions, which are The Covenant's Precepts.

The Declaration: "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles . . ."

The Foundation of The Covenant rests on the moral principle in the Non-Aggression Principle [2] and is expressed in the five Precepts of The Covenant.

The Declaration: "and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Each of the five Precepts and the Supersedure clause provide the powers and the form that the Signatories believe to be "most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness".

Furthermore, there is a point not addressed in Jefferson's Declaration, but raised in 1964 by Ayn Rand regarding "dissenters", or those who do NOT sign The Covenant, but who may trade with or even live among Signatories. Such people are very simply and very clearly warned—explicitly in each of the five Precepts—what to expect if they choose to violate the rights of Signatories. This is especially true when Territory [3] is clearly marked as being governed by the Supersedure clause of The Covenant. (Some individual Signatories may even choose to display indicators that they are Signatories to The Covenant, thereby providing—among other things—further warning to dissenters).

These simple and clear warnings, explicit in each of the five Precepts, are also the Means of Enforcement against Signatories who would violate The Covenant, a feature that is completely missing from the U.S. Constitution.

The Covenant of Unanimous Consent is indeed the political foundation—as suggested by Thomas Jefferson—and the "legal framework needed to establish and maintain a free society open to all, including dissenters" as was suggested by Ayn Rand.


Notes

[1] L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent can be found at http://www.lneilsmith.org/new-cov.html A copy is also available at http://tinyurl.com/7xpvb along with backups of supporting articles written by L. Neil Smith and misc. discussions.

[2] The Non Aggression Principle (also known as the Zero Aggression Principle):

"A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."—L. Neil Smith [emphasis of the moral principle added]

Further discussion of this moral principle can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/ptdjd

[3] While there obviously could be great benefits to living in a Supersedure zone—such as a town or county—there is also the risk and hazard of gathering a number of Signatories into what could become a target area for violent Statist dissenters. As in all things, individuals need to assess for themselves the risks of such alternatives.


TLE AFFILIATE


Tracfone
Low-cost, nation-wide pre-paid wireless

Help Support TLE by patronizing our advertisers and affiliates.
We cheerfully accept donations!


Next
to advance to the next article
Previous
to return to the previous article
Table of Contents
to return to The Libertarian Enterprise, Number 381, August 20, 2006

Bill of Rights Press