THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 560, March 7, 2010
"Nicotine is one of the universe's little jokes."
One Nation? Under God? Indivisible?
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
If you grew up in America, you learned the Pledge of Allegiance pretty early in your life. And if you emigrated here, you learned it, either to fit in or before you tried to become an American citizen.
But have you ever learned about the Pledge of Allegiance itself, and stopped repeating it by rote long enough to think about what you are pledging? Perhaps if you learn more about it, you'll hesitate... or decline... the next time you get the chance to recite those words. And, in an even greater stretch of courage, you would tell your children the truth about the Pledge so they could make up their own minds about their own actions.
Baptist clergyman and avowed socialist Francis Bellamy wrote the first Pledge of Allegiance back in 1892. It was part of an effort by the popular children's magazine The Youth's Companion to sell American nationalism and American flags to public schools. It was timed to coincide with celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America.
Bellamy's original Pledge read as follows:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Bellamy intended that the Pledge be accompanied by a salute, known as the "Bellamy salute." He described the gesture in that October 1892 article in "The Youth's Companion." Here is a photo of the "Bellamy salute" from 1941.
Look familiar? Looks like the German National Socialists of the 1930s and 1940s. You may be familiar with them by their other name... The Nazi Party.
In 1923 and 1924, the National Flag Conference voted to replace the words "my flag" with "the flag of the United States of America." The United States Congress officially recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge on June 22, 1942. It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt that opted for the hand-over-heart gesture in 1942, the same salute used to this day.
The words "under God," were finally officially added in 1954 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed by President Dwight Eisenhower.
OK... that's the history lesson. Here are some more important points to consider.
1. Abraham Lincoln usually referred to America as "the Union" during his presidency. That is, until he wrote the Gettysburg Address in 1863. In his first line, he invented what had never existed before, and redefined the United States with the words, "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation....". Poppycock! Even King George recognized each colony as free, sovereign and independent States in the Treaty of Paris of 1783, after the colonies defeated Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. A loose central government existed under the Articles of Confederation from 1776 to 1788. The American Federal Government did not exist under the Constitution until 1788.
The sovereign states of America created a servant in 1781 with the Articles of Confederation, which was called The United States of America. The Constitution superseded it in 1788. It was granted certain strictly defined powers, and tasked with carrying them out, as well as to protect the states from invasion and domestic violence (Article IV). It was also prevented from assuming powers not specifically granted to it (9th & 10th Amendment). But an association of states is not a state itself. Neither is an association of country clubs a country club, or an association of fire departments a fire department. Putting on the costume of nationhood does not make you a real nation any more than donning a red suit with horns and a bifurcated tail makes you the Devil.
2. Bellamy was helping promote American nationalism to public school children. Prior to that, there was little in the way of American nationalism known in America. People identified with their home state. They called themselves "Virginians" or "New Yorkers," not "Americans." Bellamy's pledge referred to "my flag, and to the republic for which it stands." Even in 1892... nearly 30 years after the War of Northern Aggression... that meant the flag of a sovereign state, which was a republic. But that is not what Bellamy intended with his new Pledge. The new Pledge of Allegiance was written to promote the idea of an American nation, not the existing confederation of nations that was the united States.
Remember that Article IV, Section 4 of the US Constitution states that the United States shall guarantee to every state in the Union a "republican form of government." There is no definition in the Constitution of the word "republican," but it is generally agreed to mean a "representative democracy" rather than a "direct democracy." But there is not one word in the US Constitution that proclaims that the entity known as the United States of America is a Republic or a nation unto itself. It is a government created under the aegis of the several States. That is why the document that preceded the US Constitution was called The Articles of Confederation. The sovereign states confederated to form a government, in like manner to a group of property owners forming a property managing company and bestowing it with certain duties and powers. But the states did not sign over the "deeds to their properties," so to speak, to the manager. Further, any one of the parties could leave, or the group could fire the manager, dissolve the management company and start over.
3. The Pledge says "Indivisible." The very intention of the writer was to promote a concept in the minds of children that America was not divisible. In 1892, the nationalists thought that the War of Northern Aggression had settled the issue of secession with rifle and cannon. But the Northern victory only postponed the subject of secession until later years. Still, the efforts to inculcate school children during the entirety of the 20th Century was a smashing success, since most people still think that the USA is indivisible. Nothing could be further from the truth.
However, as V.I. Lenin said, "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
So, nationalism has been promoted to supplant the notion of state sovereignty, even though the United States of America is not a nation. And the notion of nationhood for the USA is a relatively new concept, the Pledge of Allegiance to this non-nation having only been officially accepted in 1942... a scant 68 years ago.
And, here on the North American continent, Dr. Frankenstein's creation has taken over the laboratory and made the Doctor his indentured servant, telling him that he can never be free of the monster's domination.
Finally, with the Patriot Act in place, Homeland Security watching everybody, confiscatory taxation enforced at the end of a gun and a DC government spending trillions of dollars they don't have, we all know that there is no "liberty and justice for all." Liberty and justice don't look like America in the second decade of the 21st Century.
So, when you place your hand over your heart and mindlessly recite the Pledge of Allegiance, you are pledging your fealty to a nation that does not exist, and an authoritarian Federal Government that has completely ignored the Constitution and rules in any manner it chooses, without regard to any restrictions on its power whatsoever. Your pledge of allegiance says that you belong to the tyrants and criminals who stole the United States of America. They don't even have to threaten YOU... you're voluntarily their property.
Now, how does that feel?
Secession... not American nationalism... is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?
DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.