THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 496, December 7, 2008
"The National Recall Coordinating Committees."
Is America a Democracy?
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
A nubile young woman entered a bar wearing very suggestive clothing, leaving little to the imagination. More than one young man offered her money for her services. She was quite offended and protested her virtue to the bartender. He explained to her that if she were wearing a policeman's uniform, it would be logical to assume that she was a cop, even though she was not. However, that night she was wearing the "uniform" of a hooker, and should not take offense when mistaken for one.
Benjamin Franklin said, "Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often." My own variation on that phrase is, "If you want to know what's important to people, don't listen to what they say, only watch what they do."
The united States of America was organized as a Constitutional Republic. But the American Federal Government is not now, and has not been for at least 150 years, a constitutional republic. And, contrary to what I hear most politicians, news reporters and school teachers say, it's not a true democracy, either. To know what political form the government of the early 21st century has taken, we must look at its "uniform"... what it's actually doing in real time.
And what of that American Constitution? I have long wondered how all three branches of the Federal Government continue to operate without consideration of the strictures of the Constitution. Then I read Lysander Spooner's booklet entitled No Treason, written in the late 1800s, making the irrefutable argument that the Constitution never had ANY power, and is neither law nor legal contract between any parties.
It all made sense. The elected class knew what I had only just discovered. They knew that the Constitution was a dead letter... a meaningless document with no legally binding power. It served, and still serves, as an icon, but an icon that has been swept clean of all original meaning.
So what is it?
It's not a Constitutional Republic. That form of government is based upon a separation of powers between the three branches of government, and was abandoned no later than 1865. In a republic, citizens elect representatives who receive delegated powers from those very citizens. Today's elected officeholder thinks himself a leader, not an employee, and ignores the citizens' wishes... until re-election.
The federal government is not a democracy, because it has not yet degenerated into mob rule.
It's not a true monarchy with only a King and no Parliament.
It's not a dictatorship, but it's close. Dictators can be elected into an office and then take over power from the rest of the government. Look at Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
Is it Fascism? The American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as "a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism." I don't think that the American government has an overt policy of racism, but it certainly has all the other characteristics of fascism.
No, I think that the American government is a mixed breed of all of the above... a "mutt," if you will. I have recently begun calling he American form of government a "Parliamentary Pseudo-Monarchy," or PPM. Think about it.
The President of the USA is king, elected from the political class for a term of four years, eligible for only two continuous terms. He is elected, rather than being elevated from Prince to King from family ties or from conquest.
The President can do pretty much what he wants, with no balance of powers, true oversight or restrictions. Don't agree with that statement? Look at what Clinton and George Bush have done in their four terms. Most presidents since Lincoln have behaved in the same manner.
The Vice President is Prime Minister, also elected from among the political class. However, what used to be a mostly ceremonial position (breaking ties in the Senate and attending state funerals) now has vast power never before known.
The Congress is made up of two houses, the House of Commons (435 Representatives) and the House of Lords (100 Senators). These officeholders have all the trappings of the Peerage, but they can be elected to those positions, rather than being elevated by noble birth. They pass any laws they wish without any hint of restraint by such a thing as a Constitution or Magna Carta. Natural law is a joke to them. They have made themselves immune from most laws they pass that affect the rest of us commoners.
There are fifty Dukes, one for each state. You know them as Governors. They are also elected, with some Duchies (states) having term limits. Statistically, more Dukes have been elected King than any other government position. The commoners perceive Dukes as a mini-king, so election to King is just a managerial promotion.
The Justices of the Supreme Court are better known as the Court Jesters. The King does what he pleases. The Congress passes law as they please. Then, the Jesters put on their somber black robes (the powdered wigs would complete the Jesters' costumes, but never caught on here in the Colonies) and protect the functions of the Government who pays their salaries. They eat at the King's table, so why would you ever expect that they would take positions in opposition to the King and Parliament? To expect objectivity from the Jesters would be one of the greatest jokes of all.
The there's the subjects... the commoners. In a republic, the people hold the power and delegate a little of it to the government so they'll protect our natural rights. In the PPM we are the sheep to be shorn. We are the piggy bank to be raided. The King, Prime Minister, Lords and Dukes are our betters. They are the royalty, and they perceive themselves as more deserving, smarter, wealthier and more powerful than the citizenry.
And today, they're right. I'm not saying it should be that way... I'm saying that it is that way.
I hope you do not hold the illusion that America will ever retreat from the PPM form of government into the way our Founders meant. My opinion is that the American PPM will continue until it collapses of its own weight.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, Benjamin Franklin emerged from the meeting. A woman asked him, "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
"A republic, if you can keep it," replied Franklin.
We have not kept the Republic, to our shame.