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American Jubilee that wasn't

Discuss matter relating to bible and others.

American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby lostandfound » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:06 pm

The pusillanimous histories of the American Revolution and the early Republic, by Peter Marshall and similar writers, paint a rose-colored picture at variance with the documentary record.

The American revolutionaries fought for a re-ordering of society; indeed, for the overthrow of debt, usury and dispossession from the land, as symbolized by their objective of declaring the mighty legal earthquake that is the Biblical Jubilee. The scriptural warrant for Jubilee was inscribed on the Liberty Bell and more impor-tantly, upon the hearts of the ordinary men and women who had pledged their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor" to the call to arms against oppression and tyranny, of July 4, 1776.

The Pollyanna historians have tended to paint the early years of the new republic as idyllic, even utopian, a time when the freedom-loving farmers found their hearts’ desire and richly enjoyed the fruits of liberty which their blood, sweat and tears had made possible.

Patriot activists today enshrine those early times and cite them as precedent against the depreda-tions of Clinton and Dole, Reno and Freeh, Kemp and Powell. It is a dangerous precedent to establish, born of historical illiteracy.

The early Republic never did get around to declaring the Jubilee, though the great experi-ment in personal liberty begun in the wake of the Revolution was in general a blessing to mankind, in comparison with the fearsome oligarchies still holding power in Europe. But once the war had been won and the yeomanry were no longer the essential motive engine for securing indepen-dence from Britain, in many regions power was consolidated in the hands of reactionary mercan-tile interests.

The lawyers and bankers had only gone underground during the Revolution and like all parasites were quick to re-emerge when peace was at hand, to declare their "right" to rule the manual laborers who had done the frontline fighting.

As the watch-fob crooks came out of the wood-work, the veterans of ’76 were there to meet them, first with petitions for redress of grievance and later with rifles.

Conservative historians declare that the Shays rebels were forerunners of Bolshevism, "ingrates" who sought to "level" frontier society into some disgusting precursor of Marxism.

Such an interpretation can only be put forth by those who know little or nothing of the Bible-based aspirations of the American yeomanry.

There was nothing "Bolshevik" about Shays’ Rebellion. The criminal class was not among the farmers, who Jefferson had nominated as the true "Chosen people" if ever there was one, but among the usual suspects lurking at the top of the Pharaonic pyramid.

I had to smile when Pat Buchanan visited Los Angeles some years ago, in the wake of the devastating Mexican/African riots there, and pro-claimed, in the coded weasel words of Republican conservatism, a statement to the effect that whites are better citizens than the Mexicans and Africans, because whites don’t riot. In truth, the white race is the most insurrectionist nation the world has ever seen, or was, until feminism and TV flea’d the lion’s rump and pared his claws.

Massachusetts after the American Revolution was a largely subsistence culture. Farmers made up more than half the population and these were independent freeholders who valued freedom over material wealth, eking out a living on the rocky soil, but reveling in their status as king of their own castle.

These farmers jealously guarded their hard-fought status and were especially fearful of having to work off their land, for a wage, a condition they compared to peonage and slavery.

The life of the farming community in that era was close-knit and reflected in patterns of clan and kinship. Contrasted with this agrarian com-munity was the cosmopolitan society of the seacoast towns. Here the focus was chiefly on the acquisition of wealth. Lawyers were at its center. Before the 18th century, New England’s laws had been largely consonant with Bible law. The voca-tion of the law clerk was to help to imple-ment the Mosaic statutes and facilitate, rather than obstruct, property and business transactions. But by the 1780s law had degenerated into a means for the regular collection of debts and loans.

During the 1780s many clergymen collaborated with the mercantile elite. Money culture slowly replaced the Bible ethos in major coastal towns and the function of the ministry changed.

Government-paid clergymen upheld usury from the pulpit. The tax-exempt status of New England ministers, coupled with the payment of their salaries mostly from tax funds, tied them to the lawyers and bankers.

Boston mercantile interests convinced yeomen to make their purchases on credit and accepted farm goods for payment. Retailers later withdrew credit from their farmer-customers and demanded payment in gold and silver.

The yeomen faced the loss of their farms and merchants, lawyers and speculators stood to profit. Farmers were being trapped into a chain of debt. "The constables are venduing (seizing) our property... it is sold for about one-third the value, our cattle about one-half the value," angrily peti-tioned the townsmen of Greenwich, Massa-chusetts in January, 1786.

Property seizures enraged the farmers and rein-forced their fear of becoming landless "wage laborers."

"The mortgage of our farms, we cannot think of with any degree of complacency," said a Conway, Massachusetts man. "To be tenants to landlords, who we know not and pay rents for lands pur-chased with our money and converted from howling wilderness into fruitful fields by the sweat of our brow, seems to carry with it in its nature truly shocking consequences."
Taxes were tilted against the landowners and in favor of the mercantile class. Thousands of farm-ers left the state for the western wilderness be-cause of high property taxes.

A small farmer without sufficient property for settling his debts faced an indefinite jail sentence. Considering the horrible state of New England jails during the 18th century, incarceration for indebtedness represented cruel punishment.

But Massachusetts retailers did not hesitate to throw indebted yeomen into prison. In Hamp-shire County from 1784 to December, 1786, they sent to jail for an average two-month term, seventy-three men with relatively small debts and arrested hundreds of other farmers. Significantly, no retailer sat in a jail cell.

The case of Timothy Bigelow, an indebted Massachusetts farmer and Revolutionary War veteran who died in a damp cell of the Worcester County prison, became a cause célèbre among the farmers.

Now that the British king had been disposed of there were plenty of aspirants to his throne. New England’s republican heritage was hardly the sole experience of colonial America. Even in New England the history of subjecting white laborers to some form of bondage went all the way back to Plymouth Rock.

There were bond servants on the Mayflower and a "goodly body" of white slaves aboard the Puritan fleet that arrived in Massachusetts in 1630. Georgia had been founded expressly as a penal colony for white slaves. Maryland had been a "semi-feudal domain, composed in part of manors owned by great landowners and tilled by white bond servants..." (Cf. Charles A. and Mary R. Beard, The Rise of American Civilization and Michael A. Hoffman II, They Were White and They Were Slaves).

The citizens of the new American Republic were determined to forge a heritage of freedom and to maintain the hardy and independent spirit which had sustained them in the New World.

Unfortunately, matters were not necessarily resolved with their victory over the Redcoats, as many historians mistakenly allege. America had its own homegrown aristocrats who felt they were more deserving of elite privilege than the mon-arch across the sea.

The Founding Fathers had motivated the Con-tinental army and the militias of the 13 colonies with visions of a post-Revolutionary Biblical Jubilee according to Leviticus 25, wherein all debts would be wiped out and everyone would start over in the new Republic with a clean slate. The American soldiers took them at their word:

With the ending of the American revolution and the Treaty of Paris of Sept. 3, 1783, there was jubilation in the streets. The future looked bright... Many people even... believed that their debts had been dismissed when the war ended. (Michael Paulin, The Ballad of Daniel Shays).
This was the promise represented by the inscription on the Liberty Bell, but it proved to be an empty one.

Still, the yeomen were slow to wrath. They wanted to farm, not fight. Before turning to armed resistance, New England farmers sought justice through peaceful petitions. During the years 1784 to mid-1786, yeomen in the majority of Massa-chusetts’ small towns forwarded their pleas to the Boston courts.

The farmers were not anxious for more blood-letting. They had faith in their new leaders and they sought relief through legal, non-violent means and channels, from the courts to the legislature.

Since gold and silver were beyond their attain-ment, the oppressed New England farmers desired to have barter legalized through the currency of paper money, backed by silver and gold, which would represent so many bushels of corn or wheat or hours of labor. This demand was one of many of the reforms headed under the proposition, "tender laws."

These laws had been in effect in some areas of the colonies during the Revolution, when the Founders were anxious to keep the morale of the yeomen high and their wrath focused on Britain. By means of the tender laws, farmers paid their debts through a legalized form of barter, wherein crops were taken directly as payment or exchanged for specie.

As their petitions increasingly fell on deaf ears, the citizens of the new Republic began to examine what force it was that chiefly obstructed them. Like the great anti-Masonic movement that would appear forty years later, the farmers dis-covered that one of the chief obstructions to reform was that class of parasite known as lawyers, who the farmers termed, "the pests of society" and "an altogether useless order."

In running up against the society of lawyers, the farmers felt their petitions were crashing against the equivalent of their famous New England stone walls.

One of the rebels allied with Shays, Thomas Grover, gave as his reason for revolt, the "large swarm of lawyers... who have been more damage to the people at large, especially the common farmers, than the savage beasts of prey." (George R. Minot, The History of the Insurrections in Massachusetts).

As early as 1782, with the war with Britain still officially underway and the Treaty of Paris, concluding hostilities, a year off, the first stirrings of forceful resistance were exhorted by the radical activist Samuel Ely, a homeless, itinerant clergy-man, who was not tax-exempt or tax-supported by the state.

Ely was a hater of oppression and a ferocious opponent of the Massachusetts plutocracy. He told the farmers that the merchants and bankers who oppressed them should be "made a sacrifice of and given to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field."
This was not just talk. In April of 1782, Pastor Ely roused a band of farmers in Northampton for an attack on the judges of the debtor’s court. In a speech he told the farmers:

Come on, my brave boys, we’ll go to the woodpile and get clubs enough to knock their grey wigs off and send them out of the world in an instant.

Then followed hand-to-hand combat between the farmers and the militia defending the court-house. The farmers were driven off and Ely was seized and imprisoned. But not for long. Two months later, more than a hundred farmers attack-ed the building where Ely was confined and released him.

The following autumn farmers closed the debtor’s court in Cheshire County, New Hamp-shire. In early 1783, American freemen, led by Job Shattuck of Massachusetts, assaulted tax collectors and tried to close the Springfield tax court.

There was no U.S. Constitution at this time. The law of the Commonwealth was the 1780 Massa-chusetts constitution, widely derided by the yeomanry as a "lawyers and merchants consti-tution." In New England, only the territory of Vermont had a plan of government equitable to the working men.

But in the midst of these early stirrings, most of New England’s farmers continued to seek peace-ful recourse. For three more years the majority prayed, petitioned and supplicated while the lawyer-controlled state capitals stonewalled.

During this period the legislatures and courts issued anti-farmer rhetoric remarkably similar to the "hater" characterizations with which today’s American patriot groups are tarred. The General Court of Massachusetts referred to the protesting farmers of 1786 as, "traitors, incendiaries" and "vile creatures." The legislature threatened the farmers with arrest just for "daring to inquire into the present gross mismanagement."

In August the peaceful petitions came to an end. Though no violence was used, the farmers were no longer in a supplicating mood. A hardscrabble Pelham farmer and former American Continental army veteran, Captain Daniel Shays, began to organize a mass movement of court-house closings.

Shays’ friend, George Brock, spoke for both when he said that he thought he saw in the politicians and lawyers of post-Revolutionary New England, the shadow of the same "aristocratical principle" the British had manifested.

These veterans were not willing to tolerate a home-grown dictatorship under a patriotic gloss. Having been once again treated like subjects, once again they arose ¾ like lions.

Daniel Shays led more than 1,000 farmers and mechanics to the Massachusetts Court of Com-mon Pleas on August 29, 1786 and sealed it tight as a drum. The Second American Revolution had begun!

In September 600 farmers closed the courts in Worcester, as well as at the birthplace of the American Revolution, in Concord. 800 laborers united into a militia of their own making and closed the debt court at Great Barrington. 500 farmers marched on the court in Bristol County and shut it.

By September the rebellion had spread to New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state where the farmers went their Massachusetts brethren one better: they seized the capital and held the governor and the legislature captive.

In western Massachusetts, the stronghold of the insurgents throughout the rebellion, Daniel Shays led 1500 farmers and laborers to Springfield where they occupied the courthouse for three days. By December of 1786 Shays was at the head of an army of 9,000 farmers.

At no time were any of these protests a "mob action." The farmers marched into the towns with self-imposed military discipline. Though con-demned as "seditionists" and "wicked rebels" by the Boston merchants and speculators, this was pure cant, since only twelve years before, in 1774, farmers had closed the Springfield court by similar means, to the general acclaim of the very men who now censured the populist actions of the post-Revolutionary yeomen. (cf. Lee Newcomer, The Embattled Farmers: The Massachusetts Countryside in the American Revolution). In a tone of outrage, the Secretary of War under the Articles of Confederation, Henry Knox, wrote to George Washington that the Shays rebels "are determined to annihilate all debts public and private." Exactly! That’s what the Jubilee constitutes.

But some of the Founders would have none of it. "Washington was thoroughly frightened. On hearing the news he redoubled his efforts to obtain a stronger constitution ¾ one that could afford national aid in suppressing such local disturbances." (Beard, op. cit.)

While the fortunes of the farmers’ uprising in New Hampshire and Massachusetts were in the ascendant in late 1786, incipient farmer revolts were put down by the militia in Vermont’s Windsor and Rutland counties. The skirmish at the Rutland county courthouse involved an exchange of gunfire between the farmers and the militia. At New Haven, Connecticut, a court-house seizure was halted by means of the mass arrest of the yeomen.

In many cases the actions of the American Republic’s ruling class in the post-Revolutionary years surpassed Janet Reno and Louis Freeh in despotic arrogance. For example, in March of 1787, Vermont lawmakers enacted The Riot Act authorizing county sheriffs to shoot rebellious farmers on sight.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, Governor James Bowdoin, part-owner of the Massachusetts State Bank, whose worthless currency (on par with our present "Federal Reserve Notes"), was a source of the farmers’ wrath, was determined to crush Shays’ Rebellion and called upon the militia to stop the farmers at the Worcester courthouse.

To the utter consternation of the banker-governor, the Massachusetts militiamen refused. The militia commander, Jonathan Warner, reported, "Notwithstanding the most pressing orders, there did appear universally that reluctance in the people to turn out in support of the government."

As one Shrewsbury judge noted, the Massachusetts militia were "too generally in favor of the people’s measures" to turn their guns on their fellow farmers. This was true of the militia throughout western Massachusetts. It sent shockwaves through the ranks of the lawyers and speculators and caused some to hope for the imposition of a new monarchy.

Noah Webster, the famous lexicographer, found himself wishing for a "limited monarchy" after watching aghast as the people of the Massachusetts backwoods claimed their rights as Americans against the coastal merchant elite:

I was once as strong a republican as any man in America. Now a Republic is the last kind of government I should choose. I would infinitely prefer a limited monarchy, for I would sooner be the subject of the caprice of one man than the ignorance of the multitude. (Connecticut Courant, Nov. 20, 1786)
Massachusetts began passing draconian laws curtailing the rights of the people and effectively establishing a dictatorship. The Massachusetts Riot Acts of 1786 ordered the killing of any rebellious farmer and instituted a property seizure law more tyrannical than even our con-temporary confiscation laws. Rebellious farmers were to "forfeit all their lands, goods and chattels to the Commonwealth."

The legislature of Massachusetts also sus-pended the writ of habeus corpus. "Suspect" farmers could be placed in preventive detention and incarcerated indefinitely without trial. Free-dom of speech was also banned if it was "to the prejudice of the government." (Acts and Laws of Massachusetts, 1786.)

The chief sponsor of this shameful police state legislation was none other than the once great revolutionary, Sam Adams.
The farmers remained defiant, however, and continued to close courts. Governor Bowdoin sought help from the central government. The Confederation Congress voted the state of Massachusetts a handsome war chest of more than a half million dollars and a force of 1,300 troops, but funds for the punitive campaign had to be appropriated by the individual thirteen states. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress had little power over the treasury.

The states constituted virtually separate nations and most could see no advantage in paying for a war against the people of Massachusetts. They refused to appropriate the monies and the scheme failed. The lawyers and bankers of Boston would have to pay for their war out of their own pockets, something this class of men has traditionally been loath to do.

Without significant armed opposition, by early 1787, the farmers were beginning to establish a groundwork for economic reforms aimed at destroying usury and defanging the lawyers’ courts.

The bankers and lawyers could no longer hide under color of law and the camouflage of government authority. It was obvious that the army they would raise would be a mercenary one, serving mammon, not justice. The person-nel commanding the counter-revolutionary forces gave ample testimony of this. Government troops were led by judges of the debtor court such as Thomas Cobb and wealthy Freemasons, such as Benjamin Tupper, Henry Lincoln, Rufus Putnam and John Paterson.

It would appear that the Shays uprising did not enjoy the approbation of the American-based "Lodge," as the 1776 revolt had. It seems that only those rebellions sanctioned and partly stage-managed by Freemasonry were allowed to flourish in the U.S.

This is not to suggest, as some critics have alleged, that the American Revolution was little more than an open-air masonic ritual. That is the propaganda of the lodge itself, claiming credit for the fundamentally decent and noble 1776 struggle for individual freedom, which was beyond its competence and resources to control, though it was undoubtedly a factor in the struggle.

The 1776 revolt was as legitimate and necessary a people’s uprising as Shays’ Rebellion. The Freemasons of America saw in the 1776 Revolution an opportunity and en-couraged it in the hopes of channeling and controlling it.

The Shays Rebellion was another matter entirely. Now that America was free of Britain, the homegrown "commercial interests" intended to take charge of the parasitic enterprises of speculation and usury. Talk of "Jubilee" and Biblical justice was so much hogwash to the masonic money men. An intriguing racial note was injected when the leader of the American Freemasonic Lodge, Prince Hall, offered the government the services of several hundred negro masons in the shooting and suppression of the Shays farmers of Massachusetts. Recognizing that the spectacle of armed blacks making war against white yeomen might be just the spark that would ignite the overthrow of the Boston plutocracy, Hall’s offer was politely declined.

Hall ingratiated himself with the Massa-chusetts masonic elite in other ways, however, and contemporary Afro-American masonry is named in his honor and continues to serve an Uncle Tom function on behalf of the ruling class. According to researcher K.A. Badynski, the most prominent Prince Hall Freemason today is retired General Colin Powell.

The laws were stacked against the farmers and a high-paid mercenary army under able com-manders was forming in Boston and would soon march against them. As the opposing camps formed for battle, one observer assessed the men comprising each side, indicating that Shays’ ranks were made up of "the most laborious part of the people," from farmers to "reputable mechanics." Their foes consisted of, "lawyers, sheriffs... impost and excise collectors and their... servants and dependents." Shays’ men were unwavering in their resolve. Aaron Broad pledged, "I am determined to fight and spill my blood and leave my bones at the courthouse till Resurrection."

Soon the raids against Shays began. 300 banker-paid troops, commanded by the lawyer Benjamin Hichborn, assaulted the home of Job Shattuck; in resisting the attack, Shattuck was slashed with a sword. Dozens of other farmer-leaders of the rebellion were seized and their homes invaded. "The seeds of war are now sown," proclaimed farmer Elisha Pownell on Dec. 2, 1786.

While many of the upper class urged the farmers to surrender, the erudite Dr. William Whiting came to their defense, proving that the battle was not a class struggle, but a war be-tween liberty and tyranny:

"Whenever any encroachments are made either upon the liberties or the properties of the people, if redress cannot be had without, it is virtue in them to disturb government."

The farmers attacked the Federal arsenal at Springfield on January 25, 1787. Once pro-visioned with the tons of munitions at Spring-field, Shays announced that his farmer-army would, "March directly to Boston" and "destroy that nest of devils who, by their influence, make the Court enact what they please."

Shays commanded a force of 1300 poorly armed day-laborers and farmers who were pitted against a thousand defenders of the arsenal, fully equipped and possessing artillery.

The working men’s army marched between tall embankments of snow to within two hundred yards of the Federal facility. The mercenaries fired upon them with howitzers and canisters of grapeshot. The farmers were decimated. The mercenary army sought to rout them, but Shays’ men disappeared into the forest like will-o-wisps, carrying what wounded they could manage.

Ecstatic at their initial success, Boston merchants poured money, in the form of loans (of course), into the treasury of the government troops.
In the following weeks, the farmers commenced to fight a guerrilla war, sniping from behind rocks and trees and sending out small bands of skirmishers. Their resistance was undaunted, even as Daniel Shays and hundreds of other fugitive farmers were forced to seek temporary refuge in Vermont and New York.

On February 27, 1787, a mercenary battalion surprised a large party of Shays’ farmers during a snowstorm near Sheffield, Massachusetts. A blazing gun battle ensued and casualties were suffered on both sides. But with the element of surprise the mercenaries prevailed, killing and wounding thirty yeomen. The remnant had to again scatter, in deep snow, into the woods.
Governor Bowdoin recruited an additional 2,500 handsomely paid troops. The rebels were now everywhere on the run. Many were captured. Courts prosecuting the yeomen screened the jury pool by means of a "disqualification act" which barred any potential sympathizers from being seated on any Massachusetts jury.

One factor Governor Bowdoin and his merchant cronies were unable to "screen," however, were the voting lists, and in April Bowdoin lost the gubernatorial contest and John Hancock was elected governor.


Hancock, another Founder of the American Revolution, had a reputation for moderation and fairness, due in part to the rustic mannerisms he affected. In reality, Hancock was secretly in sympathy with the lawyers and money-lenders and his folksy style was utterly lacking in the substance to match.

Hancock raised another 800 troops and gave them orders to slay every rebellious farmer they could lay hands upon.

Sam Adams, John Hancock and Noah Webster were all comfortable with the status quo and turned their coats and their backs on the ideals which they themselves had once championed.

Writing from England on January 2, 1787, the snooty future First Lady, Mrs. Abigail Adams, blamed Shays’ Rebellion on the "luxury and extravagance both in furniture and dress" of the farmers, "accumulating debts upon them which they were unable to discharge."

In neighboring Vermont the case of Ethan Allen, the hero of Bennington and Ticonderoga, was more complex. Allen was walking a delicate political tightrope as he maneuvered the territory of Vermont toward statehood while battling Alexander Hamilton in New York and the government of New Hampshire. Both of those states sought to annex Vermont.

Privately Allen referred to the Massachusetts bankers and lawyers as a "pack of damned rascals" and harbored hundreds of Shays’ sympathizers. In public he rebuffed Shays leaders Luke Day and Eli Parsons, who sought his military help in the rebellion, and Allen termed Daniel Shays a "criminal."

The ruse was also acted to the letter by Allen’s ally, Vermont Governor Chittenden who "issued a proclamation at the end of February, 1787, warning the citizens of Vermont that they should not ‘harbor, entertain, or conceal’ Daniel Shays and three other insurgent leaders. At that time Shays and several other rebels were staying at the farm next to Chittenden’s." (Michael Bellesiles, Revolutionary Outlaws, chapter 10).

Ethan Allen promised the commander of the Massachusetts state troops that Vermont would apprehend and return fugitive Shays men, who were camped by the hundreds in Vermont. Exactly two Shaysites were sent back ¾ a couple of horse thieves.

If Allen was compelled to play politics in order to guarantee the autonomy of his beloved Vermont against the covetous designs of other states and factions, Thomas Jefferson was free to speak his mind. Jefferson’s statement concerning Shays’ uprising constitutes the intact voice of the ’76 Revolution, untainted by the hypocrisy of some of the new lords of the American nation. He wrote:

I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical... It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. (Letter of Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, January 30, 1787).
Historian Marion Starkey borrowed Jefferson’s characterization for the title of her 1955 book about the Shays’ movement, A Little Rebellion.

In April and May of 1787 star chamber "courts" tried captured Shays insurgents. Among these, John Bly and Charles Rose were hung.

Pockets of farmer resistance continued for months and assaults on those who loaned money at interest, such as factory magnate Josiah Woodbridge, continued.

But Shays’ rebels lacked funds and as hunted fugitives, it was difficult for them to maintain efficient organization. Daniel Shays’ military strategy had not won the conflict and hard luck contributed to his men’s losses. But neither can it be said that the Shays rebels were defeated.

Many were unknown to the government in an era before photographic wanted posters and telegraph communications. These men resurfaced as "reformers" and played a part in the resistance to the sedition laws of John Adams in 1798. Others like Shays himself melted into the American frontier.

The wildlands of New York and Ohio offered territories with fewer laws, better soil and greater opportunities for free men. Some fared well, others never recovered from the loss of their farms and earthly possessions in Massachusetts. Daniel Shays and a hundred yeomen fled to New Hampshire after which they drifted apart and went separate ways.

Capt. Shays took up residence in upstate New York and lived the rest of his life in penury. He was so poor that upon his death his second wife didn’t even bother to probate his will.

The worth of combat is not always determined by success on the field. Those who will only fight if victory is guaranteed, are looking for an insurance policy, not a battleground.

In some cases the very act of resistance is so significant it is itself an achievement. By fighting the tyranny emanating from within, the farmers of western Massachusetts confirmed their ancient heritage of unending struggle for freedom.

Thanks in part to Shays’ Rebellion, the intractable fighting spirit of the yeomen of early America would remain kindled for decades to come, first in the anti-Federalist resistance to the U.S. Constitution of 1789 and the Sedition Act of 1798, and later, in 1826, a year after the death of Shays, in the populist movement against lawyers and Freemasons which shook the Northeast, forcing the closure of masonic lodges across the region.

Daniel Shays, Luke Day, Job Shattuck and the other thousands of fighters, were not awed by the prestige of the Founding Fathers, or the glittering cosmopolitan works of their merchant "betters." They insisted on holding their leaders to the principles of 1776 and in compelling them to make good on the Jubilee.

In our time our people also wax sore with debt. Never was the cry of Jubilee more apropos or more necessary than now. Does the blood of Daniel Shays flow yet in our veins?

Last edited by lostandfound on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby grndslm » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:58 pm

lostandfound wrote: By September the rebellion had spread to New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state where the farmers went their Massachusetts brethren one better: they seized the capital and held the governor and the legislature captive.

Cool beans. 8-)

lostandfound wrote: In some cases the very act of resistance is so significant it is itself an achievement. By fighting the tyranny emanating from within, the farmers of western Massachusetts confirmed their ancient heritage of unending struggle for freedom.

I like that line. :D

Just curious, tho... why the Religion sub-forum?? :?:
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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby lostandfound » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:19 pm

The Jubilee was a forgiving of debts and release of slaves. That is what the freemasonic leaders of the revolution had
promised the farmers should they join the fight.If they declined to ''volunteer'' they where burdened with triple taxes,imprisioned or burned out of their homes. :evil:
Leviticus 25:13, "In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession."
Under America's current form of government, if you are either unable to make your usurious loan payment or pay your taxes, your "friendly" banker or "Big Brother" confiscates your property. Under God's law system such theft would never occur because God owns all of the land:

Leviticus 25:23, "The land shall not be sold [or confiscated] for ever: for the land is mine [God's]…."
Therein is found the reason why the land is not to be taxed. The power to tax something proves ownership. Land does not rightfully belong to any government but rather to God and to whom God or His government apportions it.

Most farmers and landowners are under the mistaken notion that the government steals their land when the sheriff and his deputies show up and physically removes them from their homesteads. However, the land was initially stolen from them when the government fraudulently legislated to tax their land, and the people unwittingly, or under duress, allowed the government to get away with it. Current "owners" are only temporary tenants to be extricated at the whim of the government. The response to our legislators should have been the same as Naboth's when King Ahab wanted to confiscate his vineyard:

1 Kings 21:3, "…Naboth said to Ahab, God forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee."
God neither abdicated His ownership nor His eminent domain. Consequently, such governments are thieves and are stealing from God. God never intended governments to be landowners. Under the Mosaic Covenant, the Levites were the government administrators and as such they were not permitted to own land, except for homes within their cities and the attached land or suburbs:

Numbers 35:2-7, "Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites … cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them. And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts. And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about…. So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs."
Government has the duty of protecting the public and their property instead of taxing them and confiscating their possessions. The land ultimately belongs to God. It is never to permanently change hands, and in the year of Jubilee it is to return to the family of the original occupants with the exception of houses or lands within city limits:

Leviticus 25:29-30, "…if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out [be returned] in the jubilee."
This exception, however, did not apply to land within city limits that belonged to the Levites:

Leviticus 25:32-34, "Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time. And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubile: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their [the Levites'] perpetual possession."
The year of Jubilee is also a year of family reunions in which every man is to return to his family on the homestead:

Leviticus 25:10, "…it [the fiftieth year] shall be a jubilee unto you … and ye shall return every man unto his family."
During each Jubilee year, each of us should be reminded of our own atonement or release from our debts owed to God. Thus, we should also forgive those whom we have anything against.

God's law system promotes freedom and prosperity for all and the Fourth Commandment plays an integral part in accomplishing this. http://vftonline.org/VFTfiles/Directory/5a_state.htm

In Fredrick Bastiat's classic book, THE LAW, the following quote describes the correct Christian attitude toward central government:

"Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!
And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: MAY THEY REJECT ALL SYSTEMS, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works."
(THE LAW, Fredrick Bastiat)
Fredrick Bastiat, a century and a half ago, described for us the basic tenets of the ecclesia! He simply called it "liberty." And he correctly labels all who cannot kick the habit of central government as "faithless," in that they refuse to acknowledge God's system of government.

The Kingdom of Jesus has been planting seeds of freedom and independence all over the world in every land where Israel was scattered. These seeds have been growing steadily for centuries. They have been there growing, in spite of oppression from central governments. With all the scheming of the enemies, Christ's kingdom survives in thousands of locations.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrongs look like right in their eyes." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby lostandfound » Fri May 13, 2011 1:05 pm

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
Frederick Douglass.

In all of history there has been but one successful protest against an income tax. It is little understood in that light, primarily because the remnants of protest group still exist, but no longer wish to appear to be "anti-government." They don't talk much about these roots. Few even know them. We need to go back in time about 400 years to find this success. It succeeded only because the term "jurisdiction" was still well understood at that time as meaning "oath spoken." "Juris," in the original Latin meaning, is "oath." "Diction" as everyone knows, means "spoken."

The protest obviously didn't happen here. It occurred in England. Given that the origins of our law are traced there, most of the relevant facts in this matter are still applicable in this nation. Here's what happened.

The Bible had just recently been put into print. To that time, only the churches and nobility owned copies, due to given to the extremely high cost of paper. Contrary to what you've been taught, it was not the invention of movable type that led to printing this and other books. That concept had been around for a very long time. It just had no application. Printing wastes some paper. Until paper prices fell, it was cheaper to write books by hand than to print them with movable type. The handwritten versions were outrageously costly, procurable only by those with extreme wealth: churches, crowns and the nobility. The wealth of the nobility was attributable to feudalism. "Feud" is Old English for "oath." The nobility held the land under the crown. But unimproved land, itself, save to hunter/gatherers, is rather useless. Land is useful to farming. So that's howthe nobility made their wealth. No, they didn't push a plow. They had servants to do it.

The nobility wouldn't sell their land, nor would they lease it. Theyrented it. Ever paid rent without a lease? Then you know that if the landlord raised the rent, you had no legal recourse. You could move out or pay. But what if you couldn't have moved out? Then you'd have a feel for what feudalism was all about.

A tenant wasn't a freeman. He was a servant to the (land)lord, the noble. In order to have access to the land to farm it, the noble required that the tenant kneel before him, hat in hand, swear an oath of fealty and allegiance and kiss his ring (extending that oath in that last act to the heirs of his estate). That oath established a servitude. The tenant then put his plow to the fields. The rent was a variable. In good growing years it was very high, in bad years it fell. The tenant was a subsistencefarmer, keeping only enough of the produce of his labors to just sustainhim and his family. Rent was actually an "income tax." The nobleman could have demanded 100% of the productivity of his servant except . . . under the common law, a servant was akin to livestock. He had to be fed. Not well fed, just fed, same as a horse or cow. And, like a horse or cow, oneusually finds it to his benefit to keep it fed, that so that the critteris productive. Thus, the tenant was allowed to keep some of his own productivity. Liken it to a "personal and dependent deductions."

The freemen of the realm, primarily the tradesmen, were unsworn and unallieged. They knew it. They taught their sons the trade so they'd alsobe free when grown. Occasionally they took on an apprentice under a sworn contract of indenture from his father. His parents made a few coins. But the kid was the biggest beneficiary. He'd learn a trade. He'd neverneed to become a tenant farmer. He'd keep what he earned. He was only apprenticed for a term of years, most typically about seven. The tradesmen didn't need adolescents; they needed someone strong enough to pull his own weight. They'd not take on anyone under 13. By age 21 he'd havelearned enough to practice the craft. That's when the contract expired. He was then called a "journeyman." Had he made a journey? No. But, ifyou pronounce that word, it's "Jur-nee-man." He was a "man," formerly ("nee"), bound by oath ("jur)."

He'd then go to work for a "master" (craftsman). The pay was established, but he could ask for more if he felt was worth more. And he was free to quit. Pretty normal, eh? Yes, in this society that's quite the norm. But 400 some years ago these men were the exceptions, not the rule. Atsome point, if the journeyman was good at the trade, he'd be recognized by the market as a "master" (craftsman) and people would be begging himto take their children as apprentices, so they might learn from him, become journeymen, and keep what they earned when manumitted at age 21!

The oath of the tenant ran for life. The oath of the apprentice's father ran only for a term of years. Still, oaths were important on both sides. In fact, the tradesmen at one point established guilds (means "gold") as a protection against the potential of the government attempting to bind them into servitudes by compelled oaths.

When an apprentice became a journeyman, he was allowed a membership inthe guild only by swearing a secret oath to the guild. He literally swore to "serve gold." Only gold. He swore he'd only work for pay! Once so sworn, any other oath of servitude would be a perjury of that oath. He bound himself for life to never be a servant, save to the very benevolent master: gold! (Incidentally, the Order of Free and Accepted Masons is a remnant of one of these guilds. Their oath is a secret. They'd love to have you think that the "G" in the middle of their logo stands for "God." The obvious truth is that it stands for "GOLD.")

Then the Bible came to print. The market for this tome wasn't the wealthy. They already had a handwritten copy. Nor was it the tenants. They were far too poor to make this purchase. The market was the tradesmen - and the book was still so costly that it took the combined life savings ofsiblings to buy a family Bible. The other reason that the tradesmen werethe market was that they'd also been taught how to read as part of their apprenticeship. As contractors they had to know how to do that! Other than the families of the super-rich (and the priests) nobody else knew how to read.

These men were blown away when they read Jesus' command against swearing oaths (Matt 5: 33-37). This was news to them. For well over a millennia they'd been trusting that the church - originally just the Church of Rome, but now also the Church of England - had been telling them everything they needed to know in that book. Then they found out that Jesus said, "Swear no oaths." Talk about an eye-opener.

Imagine seeing a conspiracy revealed that went back over 1000 years. Without oaths there'd have been no tenants, laboring for the nobility, and receiving mere subsistence in return. The whole society was premised on oaths; the whole society CLAIMED it was Christian, yet, it violated a very simple command of Christ! And the tradesmen had done it, too, by demanding sworn contracts of indenture for apprentices and giving their own oaths to the guilds. They had no way of knowing that was prohibited by Jesus! They were angry. "Livid" might be a better term. The governments had seen this coming. What could they do? Ban the book? The printing would have simply moved underground and the millennia long conspiracy would be further evidenced in that banning. They came up with a better scheme. You call it the "Reformation."

In an unprecedented display of unanimity, the governments of Europe adopted a treaty. This treaty would allow anyone the State-right of founding a church. It was considered a State- right, there and then. The church would be granted a charter. It only had to do one very simple thing to obtain that charter.

It had to assent to the terms of the treaty.

Buried in those provisions, most of which were totally innocuous, was a statement that the church would never oppose the swearing of lawful oaths. Jesus said, "None." The churches all said (and still say), "None, except . . ." Who do you think was (is) right?

The tradesmen got even angrier! They had already left the Church of England. But with every new "reformed" church still opposing the clear words of Christ, there was no church for them to join - or found. They exercised the right of assembly to discuss the Bible. Some of them preached it on the street corners, using their right of freedom of speech. But they couldn't establish a church, which followed Jesus' words, for that would have required assent to that treaty which opposed what Jesus had commanded.

To show their absolute displeasure with those who'd kept this secretfor so long, they refused to give anyone in church or state any respect.It was the custom to doff one's hat when he encountered a priest or official. They started wearing big, ugly black hats, just so that the most myopic of these claimed "superiors" wouldn't miss the fact that the hatstayed atop their head. Back then the term "you" was formal English, reserved for use when speaking to a superior. "Thee" was the familiar pronoun, used among family and friends. So they called these officials only by the familiar pronoun "thee" or by their Christian names, "George, Peter, Robert, etc." We call these folk "Quakers." That was a nickname given to them by a judge. One of them had told the judge that he'd better "Quakebefore the Lord, God almighty." The judge, in a display of irreverent disrespect replied, "Thee are the quaker here." They found that pretty funny, it being such a total misnomer (as you shall soon see), and the nickname stuck. With the huge membership losses from the Anglican Church - especially from men who'd been the more charitable to it in the past - the church was technically bankrupt. It wasn't just the losses from the Quakers. Other people were leaving to join the new "Reformed Churches." Elsewhere in Europe, the Roman Church had amassed sufficient assets to weather this storm. The far newer Anglican Church had not.

But the Anglican Church, as an agency of the State, can't go bankrupt. It becomes the duty of the State to support it in hard times. Parliament did so. It enacted a tax to that end. A nice religious tax, and by current standards a very low tax, a tithe (10%). But it made a deadly mistake in that. The Quakers, primarily as tradesmen, recognized this income tax as a tax "without jurisdiction,' at least so far as they went. As menunsworn and unallieged, they pointed out that they didn't have to pay it, nor provide a return. Absent their oaths establishing this servitude,there was "no jurisdiction." And they were right. Despite laws making ita crime to willfully refuse to make a return and pay this tax, NONE werecharged or arrested.

That caused the rest of the society to take notice. Other folk who'dthought the Quakers were "extremists" suddenly began to listen to them. As always, money talks. These guys were keeping all they earned, while the rest of the un-sworn society, thinking this tax applied to them, well; they were out 10%. The Quaker movement expanded significantly, that proofonce made in the marketplace. Membership in the Anglican Church fell even further, as did charity to it. The taxes weren't enough to offset these further losses. The tithe (income) tax was actually counterproductive to the goal of supporting the church. The members of the government and the churchmen were scared silly. If this movement continued to expand at the current rate, no one in the next generation would swear an oath. Who'd then farm the lands of the nobility? Oh, surely someone would, but not as a servant working for subsistence. The land would need to be leased under a contract, with the payment for that use established in the market, not on the unilateral whim of the nobleman. The wealth of the nobility, their incomes, was about to be greatly diminished. And the Church of England, what assets it possessed, would need to be sold-off, with what remained of that church greatly reduced in power and wealth. But far worse was the diminishment of the respect demanded by the priests and officials. They'd always held a position of superiority in the society. What would they do when all of society treated them only as equals?

They began to use the term "anarchy." But England was a monarchy, not an anarchy. And that was the ultimate solution to the problem, or so those in government thought. There's an aspect of a monarchy that Americansfind somewhat incomprehensible, or at least we did two centuries ago. A crown has divine right, or at least it so claims. An expression of the divine right of a crown is the power to rule by demand. A crown can issue commands. The king says, "jump." Everyone jumps.

Why do they jump? Simple. It's a crime to NOT jump. To "willfully fail (hey, there's a couple of familiar terms) to obey a crown command" is considered to be a treason, high treason. The British crown issued a Crown Command to end the tax objection movement.

Did the crown order that everyone shall pay the income tax? No, that wasn't possible. There really was "no jurisdiction." And that would havedone nothing to cure the lack of respect. The crown went one better. It ordered that every man shall swear an oath of allegiance to the crown! Damned Christian thing to do, eh? Literally!

A small handful of the tax objectors obeyed. Most refused. It was a simple matter of black and white. Jesus said "swear not at all." They optedto obey Him over the crown. That quickly brought them into court, facingthe charge of high treason. An official would take the witness stand, swearing that he had no record of the defendant's oath of allegiance. Then the defendant was called to testify, there being no right to refuse to witness against one's self. He refused to accept the administered oath.That refusal on the record, the court instantly judged him guilty. Took all of 10 minutes. That expedience was essential, for there were another couple hundred defendants waiting to be tried that day for their own treasons against the crown.

In short order the jails reached their capacity, plus. But they weren't filled as you'd envision them. The men who'd refused the oaths weren't there. Their children were. There was a "Stand-in" law allowing forthat.

There was no social welfare system. The wife and children of a marriedman in prison existed on the charity of church and neighbors, or they ceased to exist, starving to death. It was typical for a man convicted of apetty crime to have one of his kid's stand in for him for 30 or 90 days.That way he could continue to earn a living, keeping bread on the table,without the family having to rely on charity. However, a man convicted of more heinous crimes would usually find it impossible to convince his wife to allow his children to serve his time. The family would prefer to exist on charity rather than see him back in society. But in this case the family had no option. The family was churchless. The neighbors were all in the same situation. Charity was non-existent for them. The family was destined to quick starvation unless one of the children stood- in for the breadwinner. Unfortunately, the rational choice of which child should serve the time was predicated on which child was the least productive to thefamily earnings. That meant nearly the youngest, usually a daughter.

Thus, the prisons of England filled with adolescent females, serving the life sentences for their dads. Those lives would be short. There was no heat in the jails. They were rife with tuberculosis and other deadly diseases. A strong man might last several years. A small girl measured her remaining time on earth in months. It was Christian holocaust, a true sacrifice of the unblemished lambs. (And, we must note, completely ignored in virtually every history text covering this era, lest the crown, government and church be duly embarrassed.) Despite the high mortality rate the jails still overflowed. There was little fear that the daughters would beraped or die at the brutality of other prisoners. The other prisoners, the real felons, had all been released to make room. Early release was premised on the severity of the crime. High treason was the highest crime. The murderers, thieves, arsonists, rapists, etc., had all been set free.

That had a very profound effect on commerce. It stopped. There were highwaymen afoot on every road. Thugs and muggers ruled the city streets. The sworn subjects of the crown sat behind bolted doors, in cold, dark homes, wondering how they'd exist when the food and water ran out. They finally dared to venture out to attend meetings to address the situation. At those meeting they discussed methods to overthrow the crown to which they were sworn! Call that perjury. Call that sedition. Call it by any name, they were going to put their words into actions, and soon, or die from starvation or the blade of a thug. Here we should note that chaos (and nearly anarchy: "no crown") came to be, not as the result of the refusal toswear oaths, but as the direct result of the governmental demand that people swear them! The followers of Jesus' words didn't bring that chaos, those who ignored that command of Christ brought it. The crown soon saw the revolutionary handwriting on the wall and ordered the release of the children and the recapture of the real felons, before the government was removed from office under force of arms. The courts came up with the odd concept of an "affirmation in lieu of oath." The Quakers accepted that as a victory. Given what they'd been through, that was understandable. However, Jesus also prohibited affirmations, calling the practice an oath "by thy head." Funny that He could foresee the legal concept of an affirmation 1600 years before it came to be. Quite a prophecy!

When the colonies opened to migration, the Quakers fled Europe in droves, trying to put as much distance as they could between themselves and crowns. They had a very rational fear of a repeat of the situation.

That put a lot of them here, enough that they had a very strong influence on politics. They could have blocked the ratification of the Constitution had they opposed it. Some of their demands were incorporated into it, as were some of their concessions, in balance to those demands. Their most obvious influence found in the Constitution is the definition of treason, the only crime defined in that document. Treason here is half of what can be committed under a crown. In the United States treason may only arise out of an (overt) ACTION. A refusal to perform an action at the command of the government is not a treason, hence, NOT A CRIME. You can find that restated in the Bill of Rights, where the territorial jurisdiction of the courts to try a criminal act is limited to the place wherein the crime shall have been COMMITTED. A refusal or failure is not an act "committed" - it's the opposite, an act "omitted." In this nation "doing nothing" can't be criminal, even when someone claims the power to command you do something. That concept in place, the new government would have lasted about three years. You see, if it was not a crime to fail to do something, then the officers of that government would have done NOTHING - save to draw their pay. That truth forced the Quakers to a concession.

Anyone holding a government job would need be sworn (or affirmed) to support the Constitution. That Constitution enabled the Congress to enact laws necessary and proper to control the powers vested in these people. Those laws would establish their duties. Should such an official "fail" toperform his lawful duties, he'd evidence in that omission that his oath was false. To swear a false oath is an ACTION. Thus, the punishments for failures would exist under the concept of perjury, not treason. But that was only regarding persons under oath of office, who were in office only by their oaths.

And that's still the situation. It's just that the government has very cleverly obscured that fact so that the average man will pay it a rent, a tax on income. As you probably know, the first use of income tax here came well in advance of the 16th amendment. That tax was NEARLY abolished by a late 19th century Supreme Court decision. The problem was that the tax wasn't apportioned, and couldn't be apportioned, that because of the fact that it rested on the income of each person earning it, rather than an up-front total, divided and meted out to the several States according to the census. But the income tax wasn't absolutely abolished. The court listed a solitary exception. The incomes of federal officers, derived as a benefit of office, could be so taxed. You could call that a "kick back" or even a "return." Essentially, the court said that what Congress gives, it can demand back. As that wouldn't be income derived within a State, the rule of apportionment didn't apply=2E Make sense? Now, no court can just make up rulings. The function of acourt is to answer the questions posed to it. And in order to pose a question, a person needs "standing." The petitioner has to show that an action has occurred which effects him, hence, giving him that standing. For the Supreme Court to address the question of the income of officers demonstrates that the petitioner was such. Otherwise, the question couldn't have come up.

Congress was taxing his benefits of office. But Congress was ALSO taxing his outside income, that from sources with a State. Could have been interest, dividends, rent, royalties, and even alimony. If he had a side job, it might have even been commissions or salary. Those forms of income could not be taxed. However, Congress could tax his income from the benefits he derived by being an officer.

That Court decision was the end of all income taxation. The reason is pretty obvious. Rather than tax the benefits derived out of office, it's far easier to just reduce the benefits up- front! Saves time. Saves paper. The money stays in Treasury rather than going out, then coming back as much as 15 or 16 months later. So, even though the benefits of office could have been taxed, under that Court ruling, that tax was dropped by Congress.

There are two ways to overcome a Supreme Court ruling. The first is tohave the court reverse itself. That's a very strange concept at law. Actually, it's impossibility at law. The only way a court can change a prior ruling is if the statutes or the Constitution change, that changing the premises on which its prior conclusion at law was derived. Because itwas a Supreme Court ruling nearly abolishing the income tax, the second method, an Amendment to the Constitution, was used to overcome the prior decision. That was the 16th Amendment.

The 16th allows for Congress to tax incomes from whatever source derived, without regard to apportionment. Whose incomes? Hey, it doesn't say (nor do the statues enacted under it). The Supreme Court has stated that this Amendment granted Congress "no new powers." That's absolutely true. Congress always had the power to tax incomes, but only the incomes of officers and only their incomes derived out of a benefit of office. All the 16th did was extend that EXISTING POWER to tax officers' incomes (as benefits of office) to their incomes from other sources (from whatever source derived). The 16th Amendment and the statutes enacted thereunder don't have to say whose incomes are subject to this tax. The Supreme Court had already said that: officers. That's logical. If it could be a crime for a freeman to "willfully fail" to file or pay this tax, that crime could only exist as a treason by monarchical definition. In this nation a crime of failure may only exist under thebroad category of a perjury. Period, no exception.

Thus, the trick employed by the government is to get you to claim thatyou are an officer of that government. Yeah, you're saying, "Man, I'd never be so fool as to claim that." I'll betcha $100 I can prove thatyou did it and that you'll be forced to agree. Did you ever sign a taxform, a W-4, a 1040? Then you did it.

Look at the fine print at the bottom of the tax forms you once signed.You declared that it was "true" that you were "under penalties of perjury." Are you? Were you? Perjury is a felony. To commit a perjury you have to FIRST be under oath (or affirmation). You know that. It's common knowledge. So, to be punished for a perjury you'd need to be under oath, right? Right. There's no other way, unless you pretend to be under oath.To pretend to be under oath is a perjury automatically. There would be no oath. Hence it's a FALSE oath. Perjury rests on making a false oath. So, to claim to be "under penalties of perjury" is to claim that you'reunder oath. That claim could be true, could be false. But if false, and you knowingly and willingly made that false claim, then you committed a perjury just by making that claim.

You've read the Constitution. How many times can you be tried and penalized for a single criminal act? Once? Did I hear you right? Did you say once; only once? Good for you. You know that you can't even be placedin jeopardy of penalty (trial) a second time.

The term "penalties" is plural. More than one. Oops. Didn't you juststate that you could only be tried once, penalized once, for a single criminal action? Sure you did. And that would almost always be true. There's a solitary exception. A federal official or employee may be twice tried, twice penalized. The second penalty, resulting out of a conviction of impeachment, is the loss of the benefits of office, for life. Federal officials are under oath, an oath of office. That's why you call them civilservants. That oath establishes jurisdiction (oath spoken), allowing them to be penalized, twice, for a perjury (especially for a perjury of official oath). You have been tricked into signing tax forms under the perjury clause. You aren't under oath enabling the commission of perjury. Youcan't be twice penalized for a single criminal act, even for a perjury=2E Still, because you trusted that the government wouldn't try to deceive you, you signed an income tax form, pretending that there was jurisdiction (oath spoken) where there was none.

Once you sign the first form, the government will forever believe thatyou are a civil servant. Stop signing those forms while you continue to have income and you'll be charged with "willful failure to file," a crime of doing nothing when commanded to do something!

Initially, the income tax forms were required to be SWORN (or affirmed) before a notary. A criminal by the name of Sullivan brought that matterall the way to the Supreme Court. He argued that if he listed his incomefrom criminal activities, that information would later be used against him on a criminal charge. If he didn't list it, then swore that the formwas "true, correct and complete," he could be charged and convicted of aperjury. He was damned if he did, damned if he didn't. The Supreme Court could only agree. It ruled that a person could refuse to provide any information on that form, taking individual exception to each line, and stating in that space that he refused to provide testimony against himself.That should have been the end of the income tax. In a few years everyonewould have been refusing to provide answers on the "gross" and "net income" lines, forcing NO answer on the "tax due" line, as well. Of course, that decision was premised on the use of the notarized oath, causing the answers to have the quality of "testimony."

Congress then INSTANTLY ordered the forms be changed. In place of the notarized oath, the forms would contain a statement that they were made and signed "Under penalties of perjury." The prior ruling of the Supreme Court was made obsolete. Congress had changed the premise on which it had reached its conclusion. The verity of the information on the form no longer rested on a notarized oath. It rested on the taxpayer's oath of office. And, as many a tax protestor in the 1970s and early 1980s quickly discovered, the Supreme Court ruling for Sullivan had no current relevance.

There has never been a criminal trial in any matter under federal income taxation without a SIGNED tax form in evidence before the court. The court takes notice of the signature below the perjury clause and assumes the standing of the defendant is that of a federal official, a person under oath of office who may be twice penalized for a single criminal act of perjury (to his official oath). The court has jurisdiction to try such a person for a "failure." That jurisdiction arises under the concept of perjury, not treason.

However, the court is in an odd position here. If the defendant shouldtake the witness stand, under oath or affirmation to tell the truth, andthen truthfully state that he is not under oath of office and is not a federal officer or employee, that statement would contradict the signed statement on the tax form, already in evidence and made under claim of oath. That contradiction would give rise to a technical perjury. Under federal statutes, courtroom perjury is committed when a person willfully makes two statements, both under oath, which contradict one another.

The perjury clause claims the witness to be a federal person. If he truthfully says the contrary from the witness stand, the judge is then dutybound to charge him with the commission of a perjury! At his ensuing perjury trial, the two contradictory statements "(I'm) under penalties of perjury" and "I'm not a federal official or employee" would be the soleevidence of the commission of the perjury. As federal employment is a matter of public record, the truth of the last statement would be evidenced. That would prove that the perjury clause was a FALSE statement. Can't have that proof on the record, can we? About now you are thinking of some tax protester trials for "willful failure" where the defendant took the witness stand and testified, in full truth, that he was not a federal person. This writer has studied a few such cases. Those of Irwin Schiff and F. Tupper Saussy come to mind. And you are right; they told the court that they weren't federal persons. Unfortunately, they didn't tell thecourt that while under oath.

A most curious phenomenon occurs at "willful failure" trials where thedefendant has published the fact, in books or newsletters, that he isn't a federal person. The judge becomes very absent-minded - at least that's surely what he'd try to claim if the issue were ever raised. He forgets to swear-in the defendant before he takes the witness stand. The defendant tells the truth from the witness stand, but does so without an oath.As he's not under oath, nothing he says can constitute a technical perjury as a contradiction to the "perjury clause" on the tax forms already in evidence. The court will almost always judge him guilty for his failure to file. Clever system. And it all begins when a person who is NOT a federal officer or employee signs his first income tax form, FALSELY claiming that he's under an oath which if perjured may bring him a duality ofpenalties. It's still a matter of jurisdiction (oath spoken). That hasn't changed in over 400 years. The only difference is that in this nation, we have no monarch able to command us to action. In the United Statesof America, you have to VOLUNTEER to establish jurisdiction. Once you do, then you are subject to commands regarding the duties of your office. Hence the income tax is "voluntary," in the beginning, but "compulsory" once you volunteer. You volunteer when you sign your very first income tax form, probably a Form W-4 and probably at about age 15. You voluntarily sign a false statement, a false statement that claims that you are subjectto jurisdiction. Gotcha! Oh, and when the prosecutor enters your prior signed income tax forms into evidence at a willful failure to file trial, he will always tell the court that those forms evidence that you knew it was your DUTY to make and file proper returns. DUTY! A free man owes no DUTY. A free man owes nothing to the federal government, as he receives nothing from it. But a federal official owes a duty. He receives something from that government - the benefits of office. In addition to a return ofsome of those benefits, Congress can also demand that he pay a tax on his other forms of income, now under the 16th Amendment, from whatever source they may be derived. If that were ever to be understood, the ranks of real, sworn federal officers would diminish greatly. And the ranks of the pretended federal officers (including you) would vanish to zero. It's still the same system as it was 400 years ago, with appropriate modifications, so you don't immediately realize it. Yes, it's a jurisdictional matter. An Oath-spoken matter. Quite likely you, as a studentof the Constitution, have puzzled over the 14th Amendment. You've wondered who are persons "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States and in the alternative, who are not. This is easily explained, again in the proper historical perspective.

The claimed purpose of the 14th was to vest civil rights tothe former slaves. A method was needed to convert them from chattel to full civil beings. The Supreme Court had issued rulings that precluded that from occurring. Hence, an Amendment was necessary. But it took a littlemore than the amendment. The former slaves would need to perform an act,subjecting themselves to the "jurisdiction" of the United States. You should now realize that an oath is the way that was/is accomplished.

After the battles of the rebellion had ceased, the manumitted slaves were free, but rightless. They held no electoral franchise - they couldn't vote. The governments of the Southern States were pretty peeved over what had occurred in the prior several years, and they weren't about to extend electoral franchises to the former slaves. The Federal government found a way to force that.

It ordered that voters had to be "registered." And it ordered that to become a registered voter, one had to SWEAR an oath of allegiance to the Constitution. The white folks, by and large, weren't about to do that. They were also peeved that the excuse for all the battles was an unwritten, alleged, Constitutional premise, that a "State had no right to secede." The former slaves had no problem swearing allegiance to the Constitution. The vast majority of them didn't have the slightest idea of what an oath was, nor did they even know what the Constitution was!

Great voter registration drives took place. In an odd historical twist, these were largely sponsored by the Quakers who volunteered their assistance. Thus, most of the oaths administered were administered by Quakers!Every former slave was sworn-in, taking what actually was an OATH OF OFFICE. The electoral franchise then existed almost exclusively among the former slaves, with the white folks in the South unanimously refusing that oath and denied their right to vote. For a while many of the Southern State governments were comprised of no one other than the former slaves.

The former slaves became de jure (by oath) federal officials, "subjectto the jurisdiction of the United States" by that oath. They were non-compensated officials, receiving no benefits of their office, save what wasthen extended under the 14th Amendment. There was some brief talk of providing compensation in the form of 40 acres and a mule, but that quickly faded.

Jurisdiction over a person exists only by oath. Always has, always will. For a court to have jurisdiction, some one has to bring a charge or petition under an oath. In a criminal matter, the charge is forwarded underthe oaths of the grand jurors (indictment) or under the oath of office of a federal officer (information). Even before a warrant may be issued, someone has to swear there is probable cause. Should it later be discovered that there was NOT probable cause, that person should be charged with aperjury. It's all about oaths. And the one crime for which immunity, even "sovereign immunity," cannot be extended is ... perjury.

You must understand "jurisdiction." That term is only understandable when one understands the history behind it. Know what "jurisdiction" means.

You didn't WILLFULLY claim that you were "Under penalties of perjury" on those tax forms you signed. You may have done it voluntarily, but you surely did it ignorantly! You didn't realize the import and implications of that clause. It was, quite frankly, a MISTAKE. A big one. A dumb one. Still it was only a mistake. Willfulness rests on intent. You had no intent to claim that you were under an oath of office, a perjury of whichcould bring you dual penalties. You just didn't give those words any thought.

What do you do when you discover you've made a mistake? As an honestman, you tell those who may have been effected by your error, apologize to them, and usually you promise to be more careful in the future, that as a demonstration that you, like all of us, learn by your mistakes.

You really ought to drop the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States a short letter, cc it to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Explain that you never realized that the fine print on the bottom of all income tax forms meant that you were claiming to be "under oath" a perjury ofwhich might be "twice" penalized. Explain that you've never sworn suchan oath and that for reasons of conscience, you never will. You made this mistake on every tax form you'd ever signed. But now that you understand the words, you'll most certainly not make that mistake again! That'll be the end of any possibility that you'll ever be charged with "willful failure to file." Too simple? No, it's only as simple as it's supposed to be. Jurisdiction (oath spoken) is a pretty simple matter. Eitheryou are subject to jurisdiction, by having really sworn an oath, or you are not. If you aren't under oath, and abolish all the pretenses, falsepretenses you provided, on which the government assumed that you were under oath, then the jurisdiction fails and you become a freeman. A freemancan't be compelled to perform any act and threatened with a penalty, certainly not two penalties, should he fail to do so. That would constitute a treason charge by the part of the definition abolished here.

It's a matter of history. European history, American history, and finally, the history of your life. The first two may be hidden from you, making parts of them difficult to discover. But the last history you know. If you know that you've never sworn an oath of office, and now understand how that truth fits the other histories, then you are free. Truth doesthat. Funny how that works.

Jesus was that Truth. His command that His followers "Swear not at all=2E" That was the method by which He set men free. Israel was a feudal society. It had a crown; it had landlords; they had tenant farmers bound byoath to them. Jesus scared them silly. Who'd farm those lands in the next generation, when all of the people refused to swear oaths? Ring a bell? And what did the government do to Jesus? It tried to obtain jurisdiction on the false oath of a witness, charging Him with "sedition" for the out-of-context, allegorical statement that He'd "tear down the temple" (a government building). At that trial, Jesus stood mute, refusing the administered oath. That was unheard of!

The judge became so frustrated that he posed a trick question attempting to obtain jurisdiction from Jesus. He said, "I adjure you in the name of the Living God, are you the man (accused of sedition)." An adjuration is a "compelled oath." Jesus then broke his silence, responding, "You have so said."

He didn't "take" the adjured oath. He left it with its speaker, the judge! That bound the judge to truth. Had the judge also falsely said that Jesus was the man (guilty of sedition)? No, not out loud, not yet. But in his heart he'd said so. That's what this trial was all about. Jesus tossed that falsehood back where it belonged as well as the oath. In those few words, "You have so said," Jesus put the oath, and the PERJURY of it, back on the judge, where it belonged. The court couldn't get jurisdiction.

Israel was occupied by Rome at that time. The court then shipped Jesusoff to the martial governor, Pontius Pilate, hoping that martial power might compel him to submit to jurisdiction. But Pilate had no quarrel withJesus. He correctly saw the charge as a political matter, devoid of any real criminal act. Likely, Pilate offered Jesus the "protection of Rome."Roman law extended only to sworn subjects. All Jesus would need do is swear an oath to Caesar, then Pilate could protect him. Otherwise, Jesus was probably going to turn up dead at the hands of "person or persons unknown" which would really be at the hands of the civil government, under the false charge of sedition. Pilate administered that oath to Caesar. Jesusstood mute, again refusing jurisdiction. Pilate "marveled at that." He'd never before met a man who preferred to live free or die. Under Roman law the unsworn were considered to be unclean - the "great unwashed masses." The elite were sworn to Caesar. When an official errantly extended the law to an unsworn person that "failure of jurisdiction" required that the official perform a symbolic act. To cleanse himself and the law, he would "wash his hands." Pilate did so. Under Roman law, the law to which he was sworn, he had to do so.

The law, neither Roman law nor the law of Israel, could obtain jurisdiction over Jesus. The law couldn't kill Him, nor could it prevent that murder. Jesus was turned over to a mob, demanding His death. How's thatfor chaos? Jesus was put to death because He refused to be sworn. But the law couldn't do that. Only a mob could do so, setting free a true felon in the process. Thus, Jesus proved the one failing of the law - at least the law then and there - the law has no ability to touch a truly freeman. A mob can, but the result of that is chaos, not order.

In every situation where a government attempts to compel an oath, or fails to protect a man of conscience who refuses it, the result is chaos. That government proves itself incapable of any claimed powers as the result, for the only purpose of any government should be to defend the peopleestablishing it - all of those people - and not because they owe that government any duty or allegiance, but for the opposite reason, because thegovernment owes the people its duty and allegiance under the law. This nation came close to that concept for quite a few decades. Then those in federal office realized that they could fool all of the people, some of the time. That "some of the time" regarded oaths and jurisdiction. We were (and still are) a Christian nation, at least the vast majority of us claim ourselves to be Christian. But we are led by churchmen who still upholdthe terms of that European treaty. They still profess that it is Christian to swear an oath, so long as it's a "lawful oath." We are deceived. As deceived as the tenant in 1300, but more so, for we now have the Wordsof Jesus to read for ourselves.

Jesus said, "Swear no oaths," extending that even to oaths which don't name God. If His followers obeyed that command, the unscrupulous members of the society in that day would have quickly realized that they could file false lawsuits against Jesus' followers, suits that they couldn't answer (under oath). Thus, Jesus issued a secondary command, ordering His followers to sell all they had, making themselves what today we call "judgement proof." They owned only their shirt and a coat. If they were sued for their shirt, they were to offer to settle out-of-court (without oath) by giving the plaintiff their coat. That wasn't a metaphor. Jesus meant those words in the literal sense!

It's rather interesting that most income tax protestors are Christian and have already made themselves virtually judgement proof, perhaps inadvertently obeying one of Jesus' commands out of a self-preservation instinct. Do we sense something here? You need to take the final step. You must swear no oaths. That is the penultimate step in self-preservation, and in obedience to the commands of Christ. It's all a matter of "jurisdiction" (oath spoken), which a Christian can't abide. Christians must be freemen. Their faith, duty and allegiance can go to no one on earth. Wecan't serve two masters. No one can. As Christians our faith and allegiance rests not on an oath. Our faith and allegiance arise naturally. These are duties owed by a child to his father. As Children of God, we must be faithful to Him, our Father, and to our eldest Brother, the Inheritor of the estate. That's certain.

As to what sort of a society Jesus intended without oaths or even affirmations, this writer honestly can't envision. Certainly it would have been anarchy (no crown). Would it have also been chaos? My initial instinct is to find that it would lead to chaos. Like the Quakers in 1786, I can't envision a functional government without the use of oaths. Yet, every time a government attempts to use oaths as a device to compel servitudes, the result is CHAOS. History proves that. The Dark Ages were dark, only because the society was feudal, failing to advance to enlightenment because they were sworn into servitudes, unwittingly violating Jesus' command. When the British crown attempted to compel oaths of allegiance, chaos certainly resulted. And Jesus' own death occurred only out of the chaos derived by His refusal to swear a compelled oath and an offered oath.

The current Internal Revenue Code is about as close to legislated chaos as could ever be envisioned. No two people beginning with identical premises will reach the same conclusion under the IRC. Is not that chaos? Thus, in every instance where the government attempts to use oaths to bind a people, the result has been chaos.

Hence, this writer is forced to the conclusion that Jesus was right. We ought to avoid oaths at all costs, save our own souls, and for precisely that reason. Yet, what system of societal interaction Jesus envisioned,without oaths, escapes me. How would we deal with murderers, thieves, rapists, etc. present in the society without someone bring complaint, sworncomplaint, before a Jury (a panel of sworn men), to punish them for these criminal actions against the civil members of that society? Perhaps you, the reader, can envision what Jesus had in mind. Even if you can't, you still have to obey His command. That will set you free. As to where wego from there, well, given that there has never been a society, neither civil nor martial, which functioned without oaths, I guess we won't seehow it will function until it arrives.

Meanwhile, the first step in the process is abolishing your prior FALSE claims of being under oath (of office) on those income tax forms. You claimed "jurisdiction." Only you can reverse that by stating the Truth. Itworked 400 years ago. It'll still work. It's the only thing that'll work. History can repeat, but this time without the penalty of treason extended to you (or your daughters). You can cause it. Know and tell thisTruth and it'll set you free. HONESTLY. Tell the government, then explain it to every Christian you know. Most of them will hate you for that bit of honesty. Be kind to them anyhow. Once they see that you are keepingwhat you earn, the market will force them to realize that you aren't the extremist they originally thought! If only 2% of the American people understand what is written here, income taxation will be abolished - that out of a fear that the knowledge will expand. The government will be scared silly. What if no one in the next generation would swear an oath? Thenthere'd be no servants! No, the income tax will be abolished long before that could ever happen. That's only money. Power comes by having an ignorant people to rule. A government will always opt for power. That way, in two or three generations, the knowledge lost to the obscure "betweenthe lines" of history, they can run the same money game.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrongs look like right in their eyes." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby Shuftin » Fri May 13, 2011 1:33 pm

lostandfound wrote:The Jubilee was a forgiving of debts and release of slaves.

Jubilee was to take place every 60 years. This returned family's to their proper place and property.
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The old police motto of TOprotect and servehas been replaced with YOU "comply or die.”

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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby lostandfound » Fri May 13, 2011 2:35 pm

Deception has much to do with this.You are free to leave but the agreements you have already contracted into are a major tarbaby and you will not want to leave go of one rope until you have a firm grasp on the other rope (lifeline). As you might end up shamming your emancipation.

If you buy a pig in a poke, you have just bought a pig. A poke is a cage in which you can not see the pig. You stick a stick in a hole and if it squeals like a pig and smells like a pig, its a pig.
The government is not responsible for telling you everything.
If you are free, then 'let a guy be responsible.'
It is not the well written contract that 'gets you'. Its the benefits you take that bind you. You dance to the music, you may have to pay the piper. You take the benefit, that you do not have a right to and it creates an obligation to pay.

You know you can loose your birth right over a bowl of porridge.

When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. Proverbs 23

Hebrew for city ` iyr [rye] actually means "excitement, anguish, of terror." The City State was guarded and offered some protection but often became a threat to those around it as the people in it became lazy and apathetic as well as greedy and envious. The people sought to possess the benefits of the City State and the City States possessed the people or at least a portion of their service in return. The people became the laboring assets of the City State and debt from taxes could enslave them as a bondservant of the state on civic improvement projects. In more modern times this statutory labor was called a corvee which was nothing more than the voluntary enslavement or employment of the people at large.

When the burden and demand of the political contribution brought a threat of rebellion the City State often reached out to take from its neighbor what it could no longer safely extract from the blood and flesh of its own members.This way they always turn to war?
Take the benefit and you are either agreeing or you are a thief.

Do you think peter was talking about thiswhen he said, And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:3

Matthew 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; ... But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. The word evil is from poneros meaning "full of labours, annoyances, hardships "

Without an oath before men you cannot lawfully enforce your government and with it evil shall come of it.

This is why you sign your name voluntarily at the botom of these 'government forms.

Whether a single chief or an elected elite all top down governments bring the warning of 1 Samuel 8:11...

The Civil State was instituted by Cain.If you compact with men then you give men power to enforce the contract, to decide the law, where men pick and choose of the fruit of good or evil. I believe we should form our compacts with the LORD and let Him be God.

15 Isaiah 3:5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

People assume that without the construction of a binding covenant of governance man cannot function, that the success of the technological world is the results of corporations, constitutions, bounds and borders. I see that it is in spite of the restrictions imposed by men who usurp God as ruler of the lives of their brothers that this world has made it as far as it has. I also see that we have constructed the beast that devours us daily. that is partly why the Hebrew word for covenant and league comes from the word meaning devour and eat. I see that it is the renegade, the individual thinker who goes beyond the bonds of thinking imposed by men that has pushed society ahead. I also see that it is our advancements without the wisdom of God's ways that makes us most vulnerable today.

God does not want men to rule over other men or to go under agreements that bind us under the rule of men. Such agreements makes gods of men.

To enter into compacts with men for mutual assurance is to become a surety for your brother. The enforcer of that compact becomes the exercising authority of that agreement. They become gods and you become a surety by your pledge of allegiance.

Proverbs 11:15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart [for it]: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

Proverbs 17:18 A man void of understanding striketh hands, [and] becometh surety in the presence of his friend.

Proverbs 22:26 Be not thou [one] of them that strike hands, [or] of them that are sureties for debts.

Proverbs 6:1 My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. God wants us to be bound to him and come together recognizing his law, his love for that is where the real power is.

More governmental compacts will make you servants of men and it is the deception of vanity that allows men to think that they will be able to control the beast they create.

I know people are afraid, I know people believe they must exercise authority and establish laws and rule over others. They may do so. God has tried to show us a world without man made rules and controls without borders and boundaries of our own making a world where anything is possible.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.Joshua 24:
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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby lostandfound » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:53 am

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lawrencehun ... as-failed/
It is, perhaps, a fact provocative of sour mirth that the Bill of Rights was designed trustfully to prohibit forever two of the favorite crimes of all known governments: the seizure of private property without adequate compensation and the invasion of the citizen’s liberty without justifiable cause…It is a fact provocative of mirth yet more sour that the execution of these prohibitions was put into the hands of courts, which is to say, into the hands of lawyers, which is to say, into the hands of men specifically educated to discover legal excuses for dishonest, dishonorable and anti-social acts.

______ H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: A Selection, pp. 180-82

The American experiment in liberty has failed. It is only a matter of time before people realize it. Official dogma exulting over the U.S. Constitution, which for so long was propagated through public schools, churches and government mouthpieces, will not forever withstand the exposure of the truth about American democracy now readily available on the Internet.

The greatest fear of America’s Founding Fathers has been realized: The U.S. Constitution has been unable to thwart the corrosive dynamics of majority-rule democracy, which in turn has mangled the Constitution beyond recognition. The real conclusion of the American Experiment is that democracy ultimately undermines liberty and leads to tyranny and oppression by elected leaders and judges, their cronies and unelected bureaucrats. All of this is done in the name of “the people” and the “general welfare,” of course. But in fact, democracy oppresses the very demos in whose name it operates, benefiting string-pullers within the Establishment and rewarding the political constituencies they manage by paying off special interests with everyone else’s money forcibly extracted through taxation.

The Founding Fathers (especially Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Madison, and James Monroe), as well as outside observers of the American Experiment such as Alexis de Tocqueville all feared democracy and dreaded this outcome. But, they let hope and faith in their ingenious constitutional engineering overcome their fear of the democratic state, only to discover they had replaced one tyranny with another. As one contemporary libertarian has put it :

“It is hard to think of other examples in history where so many checks and balances were placed upon centralized political power – and it is also impossible to think of a more dangerous and powerful government than the modern American leviathan. The abysmal failure of such a noble experiment should give all moralists pause. If the smallest possible government has grown into the largest conceivable government – within a few hundred years – it is hard to imagine what kind of theoretical system could conceivably control state growth in the future.”

Perversely, at the same time the U.S. Constitution was slowly unraveling and being brazenly rewritten by lawyers and judges over the course of two centuries, the founding document and the drivel spewed forth by judges and lawyers called “constitutional jurisprudence” took on an almost sacred aura, deluding most citizens into believing it was all succeeding marvelously.

A few people recognized the slow-motion failure of the Constitution right along, especially after the New Deal memorialized the dramatic alterations that had occurred since the War Between the States. For example, in a 1947 exchange of letters with Ludwig von Mises, journalist, war correspondent, and novelist Rose Wilder Lane wrote:


''As an American I am of course fundamentally opposed to democracy and to anyone advocating or defending democracy, which in theory and practice is the basis of socialism. It is precisely democracy which is destroying the American political structure, American law, and the American economy, as [James] Madison said it would, and as [Thomas] Macauley prophesied that it would do in fact in the 20th century.”

Some of us observed other frailties of the U.S. Constitution years later, but deluded ourselves into believing it was all just a consequence of inadequate constitutional design, which could be overcome and rectified with appropriate constitutional changes. Alas, it is impossible any longer to labor under the delusion that democracy can be fixed by tinkering with constitutions, appointing the right judges to the bench or electing the right politicians to office. As Frank Karsten and Karen Beckman have written in Beyond Democracy, democracy cannot be fixed because it is inherently broken:

“The problems of democracy are inherent. It’s like having dinner with a million people and deciding up front the bill will be split evenly. Everyone has a strong incentive to order more than he would individually, resulting in a huge bill that everyone deplores but no individual could do anything about. Democracy therefore has a very limited self-cleansing capability. Our politicians have a natural short-term outlook since they are only temporarily in office. They will overspend, overtax and over borrow knowing their successors will have to deal with the negative consequences. Besides that, they spend other people’s money anyhow.”

But now we come to the hard part: What is to be done? If not democracy, what? If the ballot box won’t work to reverse the arrow of democratic politics, if better constitutional design can’t overcome democratic entropy, are we left with rebellion and revolution? History demonstrates that violence begets violence and the violent overthrow of tyrants begets new tyrannies, frequently worse than those they replace. Is peaceful rebellion feasible? Will non-violent, civil disobedience work to reorder our dysfunctional politics, and if so, what kind of “new order” is to replace the old order?

The fact is, we don’t know how to structure society, and any effort trying to do so by constitutional/political/social engineering—no matter how well intentioned, no matter how smart the designers—inevitably leads to disastrous outcomes. The key, therefore, is not to think about replacing what we have with something else but rather to replace it with nothing, i.e., freedom from government, not enslavement to a new form of government.

The only way human societies can possibly develop successfully to satisfy the needs and desires of the individuals that make them up is through a process of gradual evolution, not juridical, legislative and bureaucratic incrementalism, but rather a social, political and economic evolution that occurs free of all three; a trial-and-error, evolutionary process where millions of free individuals work it out on a case-by-case, day-to-day basis at the individual level of bilateral trade, voluntary contract and discourse with each other. Coercive collective action in the name of the greater good not only is immoral—who decides who has the gun?—it also is destructive of human happiness and ruinous of human potential.

Therefore, the only “structural” device that holds forth true hope of facilitating and nurturing a market-like process of social, political and economic evolution is to constrain government and other coercive institutions in a way that allows individuals the freedom to escape, without prejudice, the clutches of any authority that would impose non-consensual, involuntary rules upon them.

That is why a true federalism—properly defined as the presence of alternative polities to which individuals can escape—is the greatest, indeed the only effective protection of human liberty. That is why contrary to James Madison’s rationalizations for an extended republic , a geographically large, powerful central government will always become the most tyrannical. That is why I wrote a while back that the greatest hope to revive freedom and prosperity in America is for the states to rise up against the oppressive federal government, exert their sovereign powers and put Washington back in its rightful place—not a revolution but a restoration of the Old Federalist Republic. Not a call to take up arms but a call for states to just deny and defy federal authority.

Make no mistake though, such a call for a restoration of the Old Federalist Republic is not premised on any fallacious notion that the government closest to the people is the best government. To the contrary, Hunter’s Postulate holds that the closer one gets to the individual, the more oppressive government becomes—try working in academia, existing under the thumb of a homeowners’ association or living in an oppressive little backwater like Warrenton, Virginia if you don’t believe it.

No, the virtue of a true federalism has nothing to do with the virtue, competence, or trustworthiness of local officials and the parasites they nurture but everything to do with the ability of people to escape their grimy little reach. Restrict the sphere of the monopoly to initiate violence (which is the true definition of government), and you increase the possibility of escape. Farmers in human cattle, which is all governments are, cannot survive if the livestock all walks off the plantation.

In the long run, then, exit—voting with one’s feet—is the only guarantee against tyranny, which is the only reason to recommend the states rise up and overthrow the federal tyranny that characterizes the United States in the early days of the 21st century. Is it a panacea? No, but it probably offers the last exit before the cliff that our current system is headed toward.

Last edited by lostandfound on Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrongs look like right in their eyes." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby lostandfound » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:25 pm

Stop! Before reading this Article, please take the following quiz.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides, in part:
"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; . . . ." (2)

On the basis of your personal understanding of this sentence's meaning (not your knowledge of constitutional law), please indicate whether you believe the following sentences to be true or false.

_____ 1) In time of war, a federal statute may be passed prohibiting citizens from revealing military secrets to the enemy.

_____ 2) The President may issue an executive order prohibiting public criticism of his administration.

_____ 3) Congress may pass a law prohibiting museums from exhibiting photographs and paintings depicting homosexual activity.

_____ 4) A federal statute may be passed prohibiting a citizen from falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.
_____ 5) Congress may pass a law prohibiting dancing to rock and roll music.

_____ 6) The Internal Revenue Service may issue a regulation prohibiting the publication of a book explaining how to cheat on your taxes and get away with it.

_____ 7) Congress may pass a statute prohibiting flag burning.

Thank you. You may now read on.
In his novel 1984, George Orwell created a nightmare vision of the future in which an all-powerful Party exerts totalitarian control over society by forcing the citizens to master the technique of "doublethink," which requires them "to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancel[] out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them." (3) Orwell's doublethink is usually regarded as a wonderful literary device, but, of course, one with no referent in reality since it is obviously impossible to believe both halves of a contradiction. In my opinion, this assessment is quite mistaken. Not only is it possible for people to believe both halves of a contradiction, it is something they do every day with no apparent difficulty.

Consider, for example, people's beliefs about the legal system. They are obviously aware that the law is inherently political. The common complaint that members of Congress are corrupt, or are legislating for their own political benefit or for that of special interest groups demonstrates that citizens understand that the laws under which they live are a product of political forces rather than the embodiment of the ideal of justice. Further, as evidenced by the political battles fought over the recent nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, the public obviously believes that the ideology of the people who serve as judges influences the way the law is interpreted.

This, however, in no way prevents people from simultaneously regarding the law as a body of definite, politically neutral rules amenable to an impartial application which all citizens have a moral obligation to obey. Thus, they seem both surprised and dismayed to learn that the Clean Air Act might have been written, not to produce the cleanest air possible, but to favor the economic interests of the miners of dirty-burning West Virginia coal (West Virginia coincidentally being the home of Robert Byrd, who was then chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee) over those of the miners of cleaner-burning western coal. (4) And, when the Supreme Court hands down a controversial ruling on a subject such as abortion, civil rights, or capital punishment, then, like Louis in Casablanca, the public is shocked, shocked to find that the Court may have let political considerations influence its decision. The frequent condemnation of the judiciary for "undemocratic judicial activism" or "unprincipled social engineering" is merely a reflection of the public's belief that the law consists of a set of definite and consistent "neutral principles" (5) which the judge is obligated to apply in an objective manner, free from the influence of his or her personal political and moral beliefs.

I believe that, much as Orwell suggested, it is the public's ability to engage in this type of doublethink, to be aware that the law is inherently political in character and yet believe it to be an objective embodiment of justice, that accounts for the amazing degree to which the federal government is able to exert its control over a supposedly free people. I would argue that this ability to maintain the belief that the law is a body of consistent, politically neutral rules that can be objectively applied by judges in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, goes a long way toward explaining citizens' acquiescence in the steady erosion of their fundamental freedoms. To show that this is, in fact, the case, I would like to direct your attention to the fiction which resides at the heart of this incongruity and allows the public to engage in the requisite doublethink without cognitive discomfort: the myth of the rule of law.

I refer to the myth of the rule of law because, to the extent this phrase suggests a society in which all are governed by neutral rules that are objectively applied by judges, there is no such thing. As a myth, however, the concept of the rule of law is both powerful and dangerous. Its power derives from its great emotive appeal. The rule of law suggests an absence of arbitrariness, an absence of the worst abuses of tyranny. The image presented by the slogan "America is a government of laws and not people" is one of fair and impartial rule rather than subjugation to human whim. This is an image that can command both the allegiance and affection of the citizenry. After all, who wouldn't be in favor of the rule of law if the only alternative were arbitrary rule? But this image is also the source of the myth's danger. For if citizens really believe that they are being governed by fair and impartial rules and that the only alternative is subjection to personal rule, they will be much more likely to support the state as it progressively curtails their freedom.

In this Article, I will argue that this is a false dichotomy. Specifically, I intend to establish three points: 1) there is no such thing as a government of law and not people, 2) the belief that there is serves to maintain public support for society's power structure, and 3) the establishment of a truly free society requires the abandonment of the myth of the rule of law.


Imagine the following scene. A first-year contracts course is being taught at the prestigious Harvard Law School. The professor is a distinguished scholar with a national reputation as one of the leading experts on Anglo-American contract law. Let's call him Professor Kingsfield. He instructs his class to research the following hypothetical for the next day.

A woman living in a rural setting becomes ill and calls her family physician, who is also the only local doctor, for help. However, it is Wednesday, the doctor's day off and because she has a golf date, she does not respond. The woman's condition worsens and because no other physician can be procured in time, she dies. Her estate then sues the doctor for not coming to her aid. Is the doctor liable?
Two of the students, Arnie Becker and Ann Kelsey, resolve to make a good impression on Kingsfield should they be called on to discuss the case. Arnie is a somewhat conservative, considerably egocentric individual. He believes that doctors are human beings, who like anyone else, are entitled to a day off, and that it would be unfair to require them to be at the beck and call of their patients. For this reason, his initial impression of the solution to the hypothetical is that the doctor should not be liable. Through his research, he discovers the case of Hurley v. Eddingfield, (6) which establishes the rule that in the absence of an explicit contract, i.e., when there has been no actual meeting of the minds, there can be no liability. In the hypothetical, there was clearly no meeting of the minds. Therefore, Arnie concludes that his initial impression was correct and that the doctor is not legally liable. Since he has found a valid rule of law which clearly applies to the facts of the case, he is confident that he is prepared for tomorrow's class.
Ann Kelsey is politically liberal and considers herself to be a caring individual. She believes that when doctors take the Hippocratic oath, they accept a special obligation to care for the sick, and that it would be wrong and set a terrible example for doctors to ignore the needs of regular patients who depend on them. For this reason, her initial impression of the solution to the hypothetical is that the doctor should be liable. Through her research, she discovers the case of Cotnam v. Wisdom, (7) which establishes the rule that in the absence of an explicit contract, the law will imply a contractual relationship where such is necessary to avoid injustice. She believes that under the facts of the hypothetical, the failure to imply a contractual relationship would be obviously unjust. Therefore, she concludes that her initial impression was correct and that the doctor is legally liable. Since she has found a valid rule of law which clearly applies to the facts of the case, she is confident that she is prepared for tomorrow's class.

The following day, Arnie is called upon and presents his analysis. Ann, who knows she has found a sound legal argument for exactly the opposite outcome, concludes that Arnie is a typical privileged white male conservative with no sense of compassion, who has obviously missed the point of the hypothetical. She volunteers, and when called upon by Kingsfield criticizes Arnie's analysis of the case and presents her own. Arnie, who knows he has found a sound legal argument for his position, concludes that Ann is a typical female bleeding-heart liberal, whose emotionalism has caused her to miss the point of the hypothetical. Each expects Kingsfield to confirm his or her analysis and dismiss the other's as the misguided bit of illogic it so obviously is. Much to their chagrin, however, when a third student asks, "But who is right, Professor?," Kingsfield gruffly responds, "When you turn that mush between your ears into something useful and begin to think like a lawyer, you will be able to answer that question for yourself" and moves on to another subject.

What Professor Kingsfield knows but will never reveal to the students is that both Arnie's and Ann's analyses are correct. How can this be?


What Professor Kingsfield knows is that the legal world is not like the real world and the type of reasoning appropriate to it is distinct from that which human beings ordinarily employ. In the real world, people usually attempt to solve problems by forming hypotheses and then testing them against the facts as they know them. When the facts confirm the hypotheses, they are accepted as true, although subject to reevaluation as new evidence is discovered. This is a successful method of reasoning about scientific and other empirical matters because the physical world has a definite, unique structure. It works because the laws of nature are consistent. In the real world, it is entirely appropriate to assume that once you have confirmed your hypothesis, all other hypotheses inconsistent with it are incorrect.

In the legal world, however, this assumption does not hold. This is because unlike the laws of nature, political laws are not consistent. The law human beings create to regulate their conduct is made up of incompatible, contradictory rules and principles; and, as anyone who has studied a little logic can demonstrate, any conclusion can be validly derived from a set of contradictory premises. This means that a logically sound argument can be found for any legal conclusion.

When human beings engage in legal reasoning, they usually proceed in the same manner as they do when engaged in empirical reasoning. They begin with a hypothesis as to how a case should be decided and test it by searching for a sound supporting argument. After all, no one can "reason" directly to an unimagined conclusion. Without some end in view, there is no way of knowing what premises to employ or what direction the argument should take. When a sound argument is found, then, as in the case of empirical reasoning, one naturally concludes that one's legal hypothesis has been shown to be correct, and further, that all competing hypotheses are therefore incorrect.

This is the fallacy of legal reasoning. Because the legal world is comprised of contradictory rules, there will be sound legal arguments available not only for the hypothesis one is investigating, but for other, competing hypotheses as well. The assumption that there is a unique, correct resolution, which serves so well in empirical investigations, leads one astray when dealing with legal matters. Kingsfield, who is well aware of this, knows that Arnie and Ann have both produced legitimate legal arguments for their competing conclusions. He does not reveal this knowledge to the class, however, because the fact that this is possible is precisely what his students must discover for themselves if they are ever to learn to "think like a lawyer."


Imagine that Arnie and Ann have completed their first year at Harvard and coincidentally find themselves in the same second-year class on employment discrimination law. During the portion of the course that focuses on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (8) the class is asked to determine whether § 2000e-2(a)(1), which makes it unlawful "to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," permits an employer to voluntarily institute an affirmative action program giving preferential treatment to African-Americans. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Arnie strongly believes that affirmative action programs are morally wrong and that what the country needs are color-blind, merit-based employment practices. In researching the problem, he encounters the following principle of statutory construction: When the words are plain, courts may not enter speculative fields in search of a different meaning, and the language must be regarded as the final expression of legislative intent and not added to or subtracted from on the basis of any extraneous source. (9) In Arnie's opinion, this principle clearly applies to this case. Section 2000e-2(a)(1) prohibits discrimination against any individual because of his race. What wording could be more plain? Since giving preferential treatment to African-Americans discriminates against whites because of their race, Arnie concludes that § 2000e-2(a)(1) prohibits employers from voluntarily instituting affirmative action plans.

Perhaps equally unsurprisingly, Ann has a strong belief that affirmative action is moral and is absolutely necessary to bring about a racially just society. In the course of her research, she encounters the following principle of statutory construction: "It is a familiar rule, that a thing may be within the letter of [a] statute and yet not within the statute because not within its spirit, nor within the intention of its makers"'; (10) and that an interpretation which would bring about an end at variance with the purpose of the statute must be rejected. (11) Upon checking the legislative history, Ann learns that the purpose of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is to relieve "the plight of the Negro in our economy" and "open employment opportunities for Negroes in occupations which have been traditionally closed to them." (12) Since it would obviously contradict this purpose to interpret § 2000e-2 to make it illegal for employers to voluntarily institute affirmative action plans designed to economically benefit African-Americans by opening traditionally closed employment opportunities, Ann concludes that § 2000e-2 does not prohibit such plans.

The next day, Arnie presents his argument for the illegality of affirmative action in class. Since Ann has found a sound legal argument for precisely the opposite conclusion, she knows that Arnie's position is untenable. However, having gotten to know Arnie over the last year, this does not surprise her in the least. She regards him as an inveterate reactionary who is completely unprincipled in pursuit of his conservative (and probably racist) agenda. She believes that he is advancing an absurdly narrow reading of the Civil Rights Act for the purely political end of undermining the purpose of the statute. Accordingly, she volunteers, and when called upon, makes this point and presents her own argument demonstrating that affirmative action is legal. Arnie, who has found a sound legal argument for his conclusion, knows that Ann's position is untenable. However, he expected as much. Over the past year he has come to know Ann as a knee-jerk liberal who is willing to do anything to advance her mushy-headed, left-wing agenda. He believes that she is perversely manipulating the patently clear language of the statute for the purely political end of extending the statute beyond its legitimate purpose.

Both Arnie and Ann know that they have found a logically sound argument for their conclusion. But both have also committed the fallacy of legal reasoning by assuming that under the law there is a uniquely correct resolution of the case. Because of this assumption, both believe that their argument demonstrates that they have found the objectively correct answer, and that therefore, the other is simply playing politics with the law.

The truth is, of course, that both are engaging in politics. Because the law is made up of contradictory rules that can generate any conclusion, what conclusion one finds will be determined by what conclusion one looks for, i.e., by the hypothesis one decides to test. This will invariably be the one that intuitively "feels" right, the one that is most congruent with one's antecedent, underlying political and moral beliefs. Thus, legal conclusions are always determined by the normative assumptions of the decisionmaker. The knowledge that Kingsfield possesses and Arnie and Ann have not yet discovered is that the law is never neutral and objective.


I have suggested that because the law consists of contradictory rules and principles, sound legal arguments will be available for all legal conclusions, and hence, the normative predispositions of the decisionmakers, rather than the law itself, determine the outcome of cases. It should be noted, however, that this vastly understates the degree to which the law is indeterminate. For even if the law were consistent, the individual rules and principles are expressed in such vague and general language that the decisionmaker is able to interpret them as broadly or as narrowly as necessary to achieve any desired result.

To see that this is the case, imagine that Arnie and Ann have graduated from Harvard Law School, gone on to distinguished careers as attorneys, and later in life find, to their amazement and despair, that they have both been appointed as judges to the same appellate court. The first case to come before them involves the following facts:

A bankrupt was auctioning off his personal possessions to raise money to cover his debts. One of the items put up for auction was a painting that had been in his family for years. A buyer attending the auction purchased the painting for a bid of $100. When the buyer had the painting appraised, it turned out to be a lost masterpiece worth millions. Upon learning of this, the seller sued to rescind the contract of sale. The trial court granted the rescission. The question on appeal is whether this judgment is legally correct.
Counsel for both the plaintiff seller and defendant buyer agree that the rule of law governing this case holds that a contract of sale may be rescinded when there has been a mutual mistake concerning a fact that was material to the agreement. The seller claims that in the instant case there has been such a mistake, citing as precedent the case of Sherwood v. Walker. (13) In Sherwood, one farmer sold another farmer a cow which both farmers believed to be sterile. When the cow turned out to be fertile, the seller was granted rescission of the contract of sale on the ground of mutual mistake. (14) The seller argues that Sherwood is exactly analogous to the present controversy. Both he and the buyer believed the contract of sale was for an inexpensive painting. Thus, both were mistaken as to the true nature of the object being sold. Since this was obviously material to the agreement, the seller claims that the trial court was correct in granting rescission.
The buyer claims that the instant case is not one of mutual mistake, citing as precedent the case of Wood v. Boynton. (15) In Wood, a woman sold a small stone she had found to a jeweler for one dollar. At the time of the sale, neither party knew what type of stone it was. When it subsequently turned out to be an uncut diamond worth $700, the seller sued for rescission claiming mutual mistake. The court upheld the contract, finding that since both parties knew that they were bargaining over a stone of unknown value, there was no mistake. (16) The buyer argues that this is exactly analogous to the present controversy. Both the seller and the buyer knew that the painting being sold was a work of unknown value. This is precisely what is to be expected at an auction. Thus, the buyer claims that this is not a case of mutual mistake and the contract should be upheld.

Following oral argument, Arnie, Ann, and the third judge on the court, Bennie Stolwitz, a non-lawyer appointed to the bench predominantly because the governor is his uncle, retire to consider their ruling. Arnie believes that one of the essential purposes of contract law is to encourage people to be self-reliant and careful in their transactions, since with the freedom to enter into binding arrangements comes the responsibility for doing so. He regards as crucial to his decision the facts that the seller had the opportunity to have the painting appraised and that by exercising due care he could have discovered its true value. Hence, he regards the contract in this case as one for a painting of unknown value and votes to overturn the trial court and uphold the contract. On the other hand, Ann believes that the essential purpose of contract law is to ensure that all parties receive a fair bargain. She regards as crucial to her decision the fact that the buyer in this case is receiving a massive windfall at the expense of the unfortunate seller. Hence, she regards the contract as one for an inexpensive painting and votes to uphold the trial court's decision and grant rescission. This leaves the deciding vote up to Bennie, who has no idea what the purpose of contract law is, but thinks that it just doesn't seem right for the bankrupt guy to lose out, and votes for rescission.

Both Arnie and Ann can see that the present situation bodes ill for their judicial tenure. Each believes that the other's unprincipled political manipulations of the law will leave Bennie, who is not even a lawyer, with control of the court. As a result, they hold a meeting to discuss the situation. At this meeting, they both promise to put politics aside and decide all future cases strictly on the basis of the law. Relieved, they return to court to confront the next case on the docket, which involves the following facts:

A philosophy professor who supplements her academic salary during the summer by giving lectures on political philosophy had contracted to deliver a lecture on the rule of law to the Future Republicans of America (FRA) on July 20, for $500. She was subsequently contacted by the Young Socialists of America, who offered her $1000 for a lecture to be delivered on the same day. She thereupon called the FRA, informing them of her desire to accept the better offer. The FRA then agreed to pay $1000 for her lecture. After the professor delivered the lecture, the FRA paid only the originally stipulated $500. The professor sued and the trial court ruled she was entitled to the additional $500. The question on appeal is whether this judgment is legally correct.
Counsel for both the plaintiff professor and defendant FRA agree that the rule of law governing this case holds that a promise to pay more for services one is already contractually bound to perform is not enforceable, but if an existing contract is rescinded by both parties and a new one is negotiated, the promise is enforceable. The FRA claims that in the instant case, it had promised to pay more for a service the professor was already contractually bound to perform, citing Davis & Co. v. Morgan (17) as precedent. In Davis, a laborer employed for a year at $40 per month was offered $65 per month by another company. The employer then promised to pay the employee an additional $120 at the end of the year if he stayed with the firm. At the end of the year, the employer failed to pay the $120, and when the employee sued, the court held that because he was already obligated to work for $40 per month for the year, there was no consideration for the employer's promise; hence, it was unenforceable. (18) The FRA argues that this is exactly analogous to the present controversy. The professor was already obligated to deliver the lecture for $500. Therefore, there was no consideration for the FRA's promise to pay an additional $500 and the promise is unenforceable.
The professor claims that in the instant case, the original contract was rescinded and a new one negotiated, citing Schwartzreich v. Bauman-Basch, Inc. (19) as precedent. In Schwartzreich, a clothing designer who had contracted for a year's work at $90 per week was subsequently offered $115 per week by another company. When the designer informed his employer of his intention to leave, the employer offered the designer $100 per week if he would stay and the designer agreed. When the designer sued for the additional compensation, the court held that since the parties had simultaneously rescinded the original contract by mutual consent and entered into a new one for the higher salary, the promise to pay was enforceable. (20) The professor argues that this is exactly analogous to the present controversy. When the FRA offered to pay her an additional $500 to give the lecture, they were obviously offering to rescind the former contract and enter a new one on different terms. Hence, the promise to pay the extra $500 is enforceable.

Following oral argument, the judges retire to consider their ruling. Arnie, mindful of his agreement with Ann, is scrupulously careful not to let political considerations enter into his analysis of the case. Thus, he begins by asking himself why society needs contract law in the first place. He decides that the objective, nonpolitical answer is obviously that society needs some mechanism to ensure that individuals honor their voluntarily undertaken commitments. From this perspective, the resolution of the present case is clear. Since the professor is obviously threatening to go back on her voluntarily undertaken commitment in order to extort more money from the FRA, Arnie characterizes the case as one in which a promise has been made to pay more for services which the professor is already contractually bound to perform, and decides that the promise is unenforceable. Hence, he votes to overturn the trial court's decision. Ann, also mindful of her agreement with Arnie, is meticulous in her efforts to ensure that she decides this case purely on the law. Accordingly, she begins her analysis by asking herself why society needs contract law in the first place. She decides that the objective, nonpolitical answer is obviously that it provides an environment within which people can exercise the freedom to arrange their lives as they see fit. From this perspective, the resolution of the present case is clear. Since the FRA is essentially attempting to prevent the professor from arranging her life as she sees fit, Ann characterizes the case as one in which the parties have simultaneously rescinded an existing contract and negotiated a new one, and decides that the promise is enforceable. Hence, she votes to uphold the trial court's decision. This once again leaves the deciding vote up to Bennie, who has no idea why society needs contract law, but thinks that the professor is taking advantage of the situation in an unfair way and votes to overturn the trial court's ruling.

Both Arnie and Ann now believe that the other is an incorrigible ideologue who is destined to torment him or her throughout his or her judicial existence. Each is quite unhappy at the prospect. Each blames the other for his or her unhappiness. But, in fact, the blame lies within each. For they have never learned Professor Kingsfield's lesson that it is impossible to reach an objective decision based solely on the law. This is because the law is always open to interpretation and there is no such thing as a normatively neutral interpretation. The way one interprets the rules of law is always determined by one's underlying moral and political beliefs.


I have been arguing that the law is not a body of determinate rules that can be objectively and impersonally applied by judges; that what the law prescribes is necessarily determined by the normative predispositions of the one who is interpreting it. In short, I have been arguing that law is inherently political. If you, my reader, are like most people, you are far from convinced of this. In fact, I dare say I can read your thoughts. You are thinking that even if I have shown that the present legal system is somewhat indeterminate, I certainly have not shown that the law is inherently political. Although you may agree that the law as presently constituted is too vague or contains too many contradictions, you probably believe that this state of affairs is due to the actions of the liberal judicial activists, or the Reaganite adherents of the doctrine of original intent, or the self-serving politicians, or the _______________________________________ (feel free to fill in your favorite candidate for the group that is responsible for the legal system's ills). However, you do not believe that the law must be this way, that it can never be definite and politically neutral. You believe that the law can be reformed; that to bring about an end to political strife and institute a true rule of law, we merely need to create a legal system comprised of consistent rules that are expressed in clear, definite language.

It is my sad duty to inform you that this cannot be done. Even with all the good will in the world, we could not produce such a legal code because there is simply no such thing as uninterpretable language. Now I could attempt to convince you of this by the conventional method of regaling you with myriad examples of the manipulation of legal language (e.g., an account of how the relatively straightforward language of the Commerce Clause giving Congress the power to "regulate Commerce . . . among the several States" (21) has been interpreted to permit the regulation of both farmers growing wheat for use on their own farms (22) and the nature of male-female relationships in all private businesses that employ more than fifteen persons (23)). However, I prefer to try a more direct approach. Accordingly, let me direct your attention to the quiz you completed at the beginning of this Article. Please consider your responses.

If your response to question one was "True," you chose to interpret the word "no" as used in the First Amendment to mean "some."

If your response to question two was "False," you chose to interpret the word "Congress" to refer to the President of the United States and the word "law" to refer to an executive order.

If your response to question three was "False," you chose to interpret the words "speech" and "press" to refer to the exhibition of photographs and paintings.

If your response to question four was "True," you have underscored your belief that the word "no" really means "some."

If your response to question five was "False," you chose to interpret the words "speech" and "press" to refer to dancing to rock and roll music.

If your response to question six was "False," you chose to interpret the word "Congress" to refer to the Internal Revenue Service and the word "law" to refer to an IRS regulation.

If your response to question seven was "False," you chose to interpret the words "speech" and "press" to refer to the act of burning a flag.

Unless your responses were: 1) False, 2) True, 3) True, 4) False, 5) True, 6) True, and 7) True, you chose to interpret at least one of the words "Congress," "no," "law," "speech," and "press" in what can only be described as something other than its ordinary sense. Why did you do this? Were your responses based on the "plain meaning" of the words or on certain normative beliefs you hold about the extent to which the federal government should be allowed to interfere with citizens' expressive activities? Were your responses objective and neutral or were they influenced by your "politics"?

I chose this portion of the First Amendment for my example because it contains the clearest, most definite legal language of which I am aware. If a provision as clearly drafted as this may be subjected to political interpretation, what legal provision may not be? But this explains why the legal system cannot be reformed to consist of a body of definite rules yielding unique, objectively verifiable resolutions of cases. What a legal rule means is always determined by the political assumptions of the person applying it. (24)


Let us assume that I have failed to convince you of the impossibility of reforming the law into a body of definite, consistent rules that produces determinate results. Even if the law could be reformed in this way, it clearly should not be. There is nothing perverse in the fact that the law is indeterminate. Society is not the victim of some nefarious conspiracy to undermine legal certainty to further ulterior motives. As long as law remains a state monopoly, as long as it is created and enforced exclusively through governmental bodies, it must remain indeterminate if it is to serve its purpose. Its indeterminacy gives the law its flexibility. And since, as a monopoly product, the law must apply to all members of society in a one-size-fits-all manner, flexibility is its most essential feature.

It is certainly true that one of the purposes of law is to ensure a stable social environment, to provide order. But not just any order will suffice. Another purpose of the law must be to do justice. The goal of the law is to provide a social environment which is both orderly and just. Unfortunately, these two purposes are always in tension. For the more definite and rigidly- determined the rules of law become, the less the legal system is able to do justice to the individual. Thus, if the law were fully determinate, it would have no ability to consider the equities of the particular case. This is why even if we could reform the law to make it wholly definite and consistent, we should not.

Consider one of the favorite proposals of those who disagree. Those who believe that the law can and should be rendered fully determinate usually propose that contracts be rigorously enforced. Thus, they advocate a rule of law stating that in the absence of physical compulsion or explicit fraud, parties should be absolutely bound to keep their agreements. They believe that as long as no rules inconsistent with this definite, clearly-drawn provision are allowed to enter the law, politics may be eliminated from contract law and commercial transactions greatly facilitated.

Let us assume, contrary to fact, that the terms "fraud" and "physical compulsion" have a plain meaning not subject to interpretation. The question then becomes what should be done about Agnes Syester. (25) Agnes was "a lonely and elderly widow who fell for the blandishments and flattery of those who" ran an Arthur Murray Dance Studio in DesMoines, Iowa. (26) This studio used some highly innovative sales techniques to sell this 68-year-old woman 4,057 hours of dance instruction, including three life memberships and a course in Gold Star dancing, which was "the type of dancing done by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair only about twice as difficult," (27) for a total cost of $33,497 in 1960 dollars. Of course, Agnes did voluntarily agree to purchase that number of hours. Now, in a case such as this, one might be tempted to "interpret" the overreaching and unfair sales practices of the studio as fraudulent (28) and allow Agnes to recover her money. However, this is precisely the sort of solution that our reformed, determinate contract law is designed to outlaw. Therefore, it would seem that since Agnes has voluntarily contracted for the dance lessons, she is liable to pay the full amount for them. This might seem to be a harsh result for Agnes, but from now on, vulnerable little old ladies will be on notice to be more careful in their dealings.

Or consider a proposal that is often advanced by those who wish to render probate law more determinate. They advocate a rule of law declaring a handwritten will that is signed before two witnesses to be absolutely binding. They believe that by depriving the court of the ability to "interpret" the state of mind of the testator, the judges' personal moral opinions may be eliminated from the law and most probate matters brought to a timely conclusion. Of course, the problem then becomes what to do with Elmer Palmer, a young man who murdered his grandfather to gain the inheritance due him under the old man's will a bit earlier than might otherwise have been the case. (29) In a case such as this, one might be tempted to deny Elmer the fruits of his nefarious labor despite the fact that the will was validly drawn, by appealing to the legal principle that no one should profit from his or her own wrong. (30) However, this is precisely the sort of vaguely-expressed counter-rule that our reformers seek to purge from the legal system in order to ensure that the law remains consistent. Therefore, it would seem that although Elmer may spend a considerable amount of time behind bars, he will do so as a wealthy man. This may send a bad message to other young men of Elmer's temperament, but from now on the probate process will be considerably streamlined.

The proposed reforms certainly render the law more determinate. However, they do so by eliminating the law's ability to consider the equities of the individual case. This observation raises the following interesting question: If this is what a determinate legal system is like, who would want to live under one? The fact is that the greater the degree of certainty we build into the law, the less able the law becomes to do justice. For this reason, a monopolistic legal system composed entirely of clear, consistent rules could not function in a manner acceptable to the general public. It could not serve as a system of justice.


I have been arguing that the law is inherently indeterminate, and further, that this may not be such a bad thing. I realize, however, that you may still not be convinced. Even if you are now willing to admit that the law is somewhat indeterminate, you probably believe that I have vastly exaggerated the degree to which this is true. After all, it is obvious that the law cannot be radically indeterminate. If this were the case, the law would be completely unpredictable. Judges hearing similar cases would render wildly divergent decisions. There would be no stability or uniformity in the law. But, as imperfect as the current legal system may be, this is clearly not the case.

The observation that the legal system is highly stable is, of course, correct, but it is a mistake to believe that this is because the law is determinate. The stability of the law derives not from any feature of the law itself, but from the overwhelming uniformity of ideological background among those empowered to make legal decisions. Consider who the judges are in this country. Typically, they are people from a solid middle- to upper-class background who performed well at an appropriately prestigious undergraduate institution; demonstrated the ability to engage in the type of analytical reasoning that is measured by the standardized Law School Admissions Test; passed through the crucible of law school, complete with its methodological and political indoctrination; and went on to high-profile careers as attorneys, probably with a prestigious Wall Street-style law firm. To have been appointed to the bench, it is virtually certain that they were both politically moderate and well-connected, and, until recently, white males of the correct ethnic and religious pedigree. It should be clear that, culturally speaking, such a group will tend to be quite homogeneous, sharing a great many moral, spiritual, and political beliefs and values. Given this, it can hardly be surprising that there will be a high degree of agreement among judges as to how cases ought to be decided. But this agreement is due to the common set of normative presuppositions the judges share, not some immanent, objective meaning that exists within the rules of law.

In fact, however, the law is not truly stable, since it is continually, if slowly, evolving in response to changing social mores and conditions. This evolution occurs because each new generation of judges brings with it its own set of "progressive" normative assumptions. As the older generation passes from the scene, these assumptions come to be shared by an ever-increasing percentage of the judiciary. Eventually, they become the consensus of opinion among judicial decisionmakers, and the law changes to reflect them. Thus, a generation of judges that regarded "separate but equal" as a perfectly legitimate interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (31) gave way to one which interpreted that clause as prohibiting virtually all governmental actions that classify individuals by race, which, in turn, gave way to one which interpreted the same language to permit "benign" racial classifications designed to advance the social status of minority groups. In this way, as the moral and political values conventionally accepted by society change over time, so too do those embedded in the law.

The law appears to be stable because of the slowness with which it evolves. But the slow pace of legal development is not due to any inherent characteristic of the law itself. Logically speaking, any conclusion, however radical, is derivable from the rules of law. It is simply that, even between generations, the range of ideological opinion represented on the bench is so narrow that anything more than incremental departures from conventional wisdom and morality will not be respected within the profession. Such decisions are virtually certain to be overturned on appeal, and thus, are rarely even rendered in the first instance.

Confirming evidence for this thesis can be found in our contemporary judicial history. Over the past quarter-century, the "diversity" movement has produced a bar, and concomitantly a bench, somewhat more open to people of different racial, sexual, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. To some extent, this movement has produced a judiciary that represents a broader range of ideological viewpoints than has been the case in the past. Over the same time period, we have seen an accelerated rate of legal change. Today, long-standing precedents are more freely overruled, novel theories of liability are more frequently accepted by the courts, and different courts hand down different, and seemingly irreconcilable, decisions more often. In addition, it is worth noting that recently, the chief complaint about the legal system seems to concern the degree to which it has become "politicized." This suggests that as the ideological solidarity of the judiciary breaks down, so too does the predictability of legal decisionmaking, and hence, the stability of the law. Regardless of this trend, I hope it is now apparent that to assume that the law is stable because it is determinate is to reverse cause and effect. Rather, it is because the law is basically stable that it appears to be determinate. It is not rule of law that gives us a stable legal system; it is the stability of the culturally shared values of the judiciary that gives rise to and supports the myth of the rule of law.


It is worth noting that there is nothing new or startling about the claim that the law is indeterminate. This has been the hallmark of the Critical Legal Studies movement since the mid-1970s. The "Crits," however, were merely reviving the earlier contention of the legal realists who made the same point in the 1920s and 30s. And the realists were themselves merely repeating the claim of earlier jurisprudential thinkers. For example, as early as 1897, Oliver Wendell Holmes had pointed out:

The language of judicial decision is mainly the language of logic. And the logical method and form flatter that longing for certainty and for repose which is in every human mind. But certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man. Behind the logical form lies a judgment as to the relative worth and importance of competing legislative grounds, often an inarticulate and unconscious judgment, it is true, and yet the very root and nerve of the whole proceeding. You can give any conclusion a logical form. (32)
This raises an interesting question. If it has been known for 100 years that the law does not consist of a body of determinate rules, why is the belief that it does still so widespread? If four generations of jurisprudential scholars have shown that the rule of law is a myth, why does the concept still command such fervent commitment? The answer is implicit in the question itself, for the question recognizes that the rule of law is a myth and like all myths, it is designed to serve an emotive, rather than cognitive, function. The purpose of a myth is not to persuade one's reason, but to enlist one's emotions in support of an idea. And this is precisely the case for the myth of the rule of law; its purpose is to enlist the emotions of the public in support of society's political power structure.
People are more willing to support the exercise of authority over themselves when they believe it to be an objective, neutral feature of the natural world. This was the idea behind the concept of the divine right of kings. By making the king appear to be an integral part of God's plan for the world rather than an ordinary human being dominating his fellows by brute force, the public could be more easily persuaded to bow to his authority. However, when the doctrine of divine right became discredited, a replacement was needed to ensure that the public did not view political authority as merely the exercise of naked power. That replacement is the concept of the rule of law.

People who believe they live under "a government of laws and not people" tend to view their nation's legal system as objective and impartial. They tend to see the rules under which they must live not as expressions of human will, but as embodiments of neutral principles of justice, i.e., as natural features of the social world. Once they believe that they are being commanded by an impersonal law rather than other human beings, they view their obedience to political authority as a public-spirited acceptance of the requirements of social life rather than mere acquiescence to superior power. In this way, the concept of the rule of law functions much like the use of the passive voice by the politician who describes a delict on his or her part with the assertion "mistakes were made." It allows people to hide the agency of power behind a facade of words; to believe that it is the law which compels their compliance, not self-aggrandizing politicians, or highly capitalized special interests, or wealthy white Anglo-Saxon Protestant males, or _______________ (fill in your favorite culprit).

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law.

Consider the situation in India toward the end of British colonial rule. At that time, the followers of Mohandas Gandhi engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience by manufacturing salt for their own use in contravention of the British monopoly on such manufacture. The British administration and army responded with mass imprisonments and shocking brutality. It is difficult to understand this behavior on the part of the highly moralistic, ever-so-civilized British unless one keeps in mind that they were able to view their activities not as violently repressing the indigenous population, but as upholding the rule of law.

The same is true of the violence directed against the nonviolent civil rights protestors in the American South during the civil rights movement. Although much of the white population of the southern states held racist beliefs, one cannot account for the overwhelming support given to the violent repression of these protests on the assumption that the vast majority of the white Southerners were sadistic racists devoid of moral sensibilities. The true explanation is that most of these people were able to view themselves not as perpetuating racial oppression and injustice, but as upholding the rule of law against criminals and outside agitators. Similarly, since despite the . 60s rhetoric, all police officers are not "fascist pigs," some other explanation is needed for their willingness to participate in the "police riot" at the 1968 Democratic convention, or the campaign of illegal arrests and civil rights violations against those demonstrating in Washington against President Nixon's policies in Vietnam, or the effort to infiltrate and destroy the sanctuary movement that sheltered refugees from Salvadorian death squads during the Reagan era or, for that matter, the attack on and destruction of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. It is only when these officers have fully bought into the myth that "we are a government of laws and not people," when they truly believe that their actions are commanded by some impersonal body of just rules, that they can fail to see that they are the agency used by those in power to oppress others.

The reason why the myth of the rule of law has survived for 100 years despite the knowledge of its falsity is that it is too valuable a tool to relinquish. The myth of impersonal government is simply the most effective means of social control available to the state.


During the past two decades, the legal scholars identified with the Critical Legal Studies movement have gained a great deal of notoriety for their unrelenting attacks on traditional, "liberal" legal theory. The modus operandi of these scholars has been to select a specific area of the law and show that because the rules and principles that comprise it are logically incoherent, legal outcomes can always be manipulated by those in power to favor their interests at the expense of the politically "subordinated" classes. The Crits then argue that the claim that the law consists of determinate, just rules which are impartially applied to all is a ruse employed by the powerful to cause these subordinated classes to view the oppressive legal rulings as the necessary outcomes of an objective system of justice. This renders the oppressed more willing to accept their socially subordinated status. Thus, the Crits maintain that the concept of the rule of law is simply a facade used to maintain the socially dominant position of white males in an oppressive and illegitimate capitalist system.

In taking this approach, the Crits recognize that the law is indeterminate, and thus, that it necessarily reflects the moral and political values of those empowered to render legal decisions. Their objection is that those who currently wield this power subscribe to the wrong set of values. They wish to change the legal system from one which embodies what they regard as the hierarchical, oppressive values of capitalism to one which embodies the more egalitarian, "democratic" values that they usually associate with socialism. The Crits accept that the law must be provided exclusively by the state, and hence, that it must impose one set of values on all members of society. Their contention is that the particular set of values currently being imposed is the wrong one.

Although they have been subjected to much derision by mainstream legal theorists, (33) as long as we continue to believe that the law must be a state monopoly, there really is nothing wrong, or even particularly unique, about the Crits' line of argument. There has always been a political struggle for control of the law, and as long as all must be governed by the same law, as long as one set of values must be imposed upon everyone, there always will be. It is true that the Crits want to impose "democratic" or socialistic values on everyone through the mechanism of the law. But this does not distinguish them from anyone else. Religious fundamentalists want to impose "Christian" values on all via the law. Liberal Democrats want the law to ensure that everyone acts so as to realize a "compassionate" society, while conservative Republicans want it to ensure the realization of "family values" or "civic virtue." Even libertarians insist that all should be governed by a law that enshrines respect for individual liberty as its preeminent value.

The Crits may believe that the law should embody a different set of values than liberals, or conservatives, or libertarians, but this is the only thing that differentiates them from these other groups. Because the other groups have accepted the myth of the rule of law, they perceive what they are doing not as a struggle for political control, but as an attempt to depoliticize the law and return it to its proper form as the neutral embodiment of objective principles of justice. But the rule of law is a myth, and perception does not change reality. Although only the Crits may recognize it, all are engaged in a political struggle to impose their version of "the good" on the rest of society. And as long as the law remains the exclusive province of the state, this will always be the case.


What is the significance of these observations? Are we condemned to a continual political struggle for control of the legal system? Well, yes; as long as the law remains a state monopoly, we are. But I would ask you to note that this is a conditional statement while you consider the following parable.

A long time ago in a galaxy far away, there existed a parallel Earth that contained a nation called Monosizea. Monosizea was remarkably similar to the present-day United States. It had the same level of technological development, the same social problems, and was governed by the same type of common law legal system. In fact, Monosizea had a federal constitution that was identical to that of the United States in all respects except one. However, that distinction was quite an odd one. For some reason lost to history, the Monosizean founding fathers had included a provision in the constitution that required all shoes manufactured or imported into Monosizea to be the same size. The particular size could be determined by Congress, but whatever size was selected represented the only size shoe permitted in the country.

As you may imagine, in Monosizea, shoe size was a serious political issue. Although there were a few radical fringe groups which argued for either extremely small or extremely large sizes, Monosizea was essentially a two-party system with most of the electorate divided between the Liberal Democratic party and the Conservative Republican party. The Liberal Democratic position on shoe size was that social justice demanded the legal size to be a large size such as a nine or ten. They presented the egalitarian argument that everyone should have equal access to shoes, and that this could only be achieved by legislating a large shoe size. After all, people with small feet could still use shoes that were too large (even if they did have to stuff some newspaper into them), but people with large feet would be completely disenfranchised if the legal size was a small one. Interestingly, the Liberal Democratic party contained a larger than average number of people who were tall. The Conservative Republican position on shoe size was that respect for family values and the traditional role of government required that the legal size be a small size such as a four or five. They presented the moralistic argument that society's obligation to the next generation and government's duty to protect the weak demanded that the legal size be set so that children could have adequate footwear. They contended that children needed reasonably well- fitting shoes while they were in their formative years and their feet were tender. Later, when they were adults and their feet were fully developed, they would be able to cope with the rigors of barefoot life. Interestingly, the Conservative Republican party contained a larger than average number of people who were short.

Every two years as congressional elections approached, and especially when this corresponded with a presidential election, the rhetoric over the shoe size issue heated up. The Liberal Democrats would accuse the Conservative Republicans of being under the control of the fundamentalist Christians and of intolerantly attempting to impose their religious values on society. The Conservative Republicans would accuse the Liberal Democrats of being misguided, bleeding-heart do-gooders who were either the dupes of the socialists or socialists themselves. However, after the elections, the shoe size legislation actually hammered out by the President and Congress always seemed to set the legal shoe size close to a seven, which was the average foot size in Monosizea. Further, this legislation always defined the size in broad terms so that it might encompass a size or two on either side, and authorized the manufacture of shoes made of extremely flexible materials that could stretch or contract as necessary. For this reason, most averaged-sized Monosizeans, who were predominantly politically moderate, had acceptable footwear.

This state of affairs seemed quite natural to everyone in Monosizea except a boy named Socrates. Socrates was a pensive, shy young man who, when not reading a book, was often lost in thought. His contemplative nature caused his parents to think of him as a dreamer, his schoolmates to think of him as a nerd, and everyone else to think of him as a bit odd. One day, after learning about the Monosizean Constitution in school and listening to his parents discuss the latest public opinion poll on the shoe size issue, Socrates approached his parents and said:

I have an idea. Why don't we amend the constitution to permit shoemakers to manufacture and sell more than one size shoe. Then everyone could have shoes that fit and we wouldn't have to argue about what the legal shoe size should be anymore.
Socrates' parents found his naive idealism amusing and were proud that their son was so imaginative. For this reason, they tried to show him that his idea was a silly one in a way that would not discourage him from future creative thinking. Thus, Socrates' father said:
That's a very interesting idea, son, but it's simply not practical. There's always been only one size shoe in Monosizea, so that's just the way things have to be. People are used to living this way, and you can't fight city hall. I'm afraid your idea is just too radical.
Although Socrates eventually dropped the subject with his parents, he was never satisfied with their response. During his teenage years, he became more interested in politics and decided to take his idea to the Liberal Democrats. He thought that because they believed all citizens were entitled to adequate footwear, they would surely see the value of his proposal. However, although they seemed to listen with interest and thanked him for his input, they were not impressed with his idea. As the leader of the local party explained:
Your idea is fine in theory, but it will never work in practice. If manufacturers could make whatever size shoes they wanted, consumers would be at the mercy of unscrupulous business people. Each manufacturer would set up his or her own scale of sizes and consumers would have no way of determining what their foot size truly was. In such a case, profit-hungry shoe sales people could easily trick the unwary consumer into buying the wrong size. Without the government setting the size, there would be no guarantee that any shoe was really the size it purported to be. We simply cannot abandon the public to the vicissitudes of an unregulated market in shoes.
To Socrates' protests that people didn't seem to be exploited in other clothing markets and that the shoes manufactured under the present system didn't really fit very well anyway, the party leader responded:
The shoe market is unique. Adequate shoes are absolutely essential to public welfare. Therefore, the ordinary laws of supply and demand cannot be relied upon. And even if we could somehow get around the practical problems, your idea is simply not politically feasible. To make any progress, we must focus on what can actually be accomplished in the current political climate. If we begin advocating radical constitutional changes, we'll be routed in the next election.
Disillusioned by this response, Socrates approached the Conservative Republicans with his idea, explaining that if shoes could be manufactured in any size, all children could be provided with the well-fitting shoes they needed. However, the Conservative Republicans were even less receptive than the Liberal Democrats had been. The leader of their local party responded quite contemptuously, saying:
Look, Monosizea is the greatest, freest country on the face of the planet, and it's respect for our traditional values that has made it that way. Our constitution is based on these values, and it has served us well for the past 200 years. Who are you to question the wisdom of the founding fathers? If you don't like it in this country, why don't you just leave?
Somewhat taken aback, Socrates explained that he respected the Monosizean Constitution as much as they did, but that did not mean it could not be improved. Even the founding fathers included a process by which it could be amended. However, this did nothing to ameliorate the party leader's disdain. He responded:
It's one thing to propose amending the constitution; it's another to undermine it entirely. Doing away with the shoe size provision would rend the very fabric of our society. If people could make whatever size shoes they wanted whenever they wanted, there would be no way to maintain order in the industry. What you're proposing is not liberty, it's license. Were we to adopt your proposal, we would be abandoning the rule of law itself. Can't you see that what you are advocating is not freedom, but anarchy?
After this experience, Socrates came to realize that there was no place for him in the political realm. As a result, he went off to college where he took up the study of philosophy. Eventually, he got a Ph.D., became a philosophy professor, and was never heard from again.
So, what is the point of this outlandish parable? I stated at the beginning of this section that as long as the law remains a state monopoly, there will always be a political struggle for its control. This sounds like a cynical conclusion because we naturally assume that the law is necessarily the province of the state. Just as the Monosizeans could not conceive of a world in which shoe size was not set by the government, we cannot conceive of one in which law is not provided exclusively by it. But what if we are wrong? What if, just as Monosizea could eliminate the politics of shoe size by allowing individuals to produce and buy whatever size shoes they pleased, we could eliminate the politics of law by allowing individuals to adopt whatever rules of behavior best fit their needs? What if law is not a unique product that must be supplied on a one-size-fits-all basis by the state, but one which could be adequately supplied by the ordinary play of market forces? What if we were to try Socrates' solution and end the monopoly of law?


The problem with this suggestion is that most people are unable to understand what it could possibly mean. This is chiefly because the language necessary to express the idea clearly does not really exist. Most people have been raised to identify law with the state. They cannot even conceive of the idea of legal services apart from the government. The very notion of a free market in legal services conjures up the image of anarchic gang warfare or rule by organized crime. In our system, an advocate of free market law is treated the same way Socrates was treated in Monosizea, and is confronted with the same types of arguments.

The primary reason for this is that the public has been politically indoctrinated to fail to recognize the distinction between order and law. Order is what people need if they are to live together in peace and security. Law, on the other hand, is a particular method of producing order. As it is presently constituted, law is the production of order by requiring all members of society to live under the same set of state-generated rules; it is order produced by centralized planning. Yet, from childhood, citizens are taught to invariably link the words "law" and "order." Political discourse conditions them to hear and use the terms as though they were synonymous and to express the desire for a safer, more peaceful society as a desire for "law and order."

The state nurtures this confusion because it is the public's inability to distinguish order from law that generates its fundamental support for the state. As long as the public identifies order with law, it will believe that an orderly society is impossible without the law the state provides. And as long as the public believes this, it will continue to support the state almost without regard to how oppressive it may become.

The public's identification of order with law makes it impossible for the public to ask for one without asking for the other. There is clearly a public demand for an orderly society. One of human beings' most fundamental desires is for a peaceful existence secure from violence. But because the public has been conditioned to express its desire for order as one for law, all calls for a more orderly society are interpreted as calls for more law. And since under our current political system, all law is supplied by the state, all such calls are interpreted as calls for a more active and powerful state. The identification of order with law eliminates from public consciousness the very concept of the decentralized provision of order. With regard to legal services, it renders the classical liberal idea of a market-generated, spontaneous order incomprehensible.

I began this Article with a reference to Orwell's concept of doublethink. But I am now describing the most effective contemporary example we have of Orwellian "newspeak," the process by which words are redefined to render certain thoughts unthinkable. (34) Were the distinction between order and law well-understood, the question of whether a state monopoly of law is the best way to ensure an orderly society could be intelligently discussed. But this is precisely the question that the state does not wish to see raised. By collapsing the concept of order into that of law, the state can ensure that it is not, for it will have effectively eliminated the idea of a non-state generated order from the public mind. Under such circumstances, we can hardly be surprised if the advocates of a free market in law are treated like Socrates of Monosizea.


I am aware that this explanation probably appears as initially unconvincing as was my earlier contention that the law is inherently political. Even if you found my Monosizea parable entertaining, it is likely that you regard it as irrelevant. You probably believe that the analogy fails because shoes are qualitatively different from legal services. After all, law is a public good which, unlike shoes, really is crucial to public welfare. It is easy to see how the free market can adequately supply the public with shoes. But how can it possibly provide the order-generating and maintaining processes necessary for the peaceful coexistence of human beings in society? What would a free market in legal services be like?

I am always tempted to give the honest and accurate response to this challenge, which is that to ask the question is to miss the point. If human beings had the wisdom and knowledge-generating capacity to be able to describe how a free market would work, that would be the strongest possible argument for central planning. One advocates a free market not because of some moral imprimatur written across the heavens, but because it is impossible for human beings to amass the knowledge of local conditions and the predictive capacity necessary to effectively organize economic relationships among millions of individuals. It is possible to describe what a free market in shoes would be like because we have one. But such a description is merely an observation of the current state of a functioning market, not a projection of how human beings would organize themselves to supply a currently non-marketed good. To demand that an advocate of free market law (or Socrates of Monosizea, for that matter) describe in advance how markets would supply legal services (or shoes) is to issue an impossible challenge. Further, for an advocate of free market law (or Socrates) to even accept this challenge would be to engage in self-defeating activity since the more successfully he or she could describe how the law (or shoe) market would function, the more he or she would prove that it could be run by state planners. Free markets supply human wants better than state monopolies precisely because they allow an unlimited number of suppliers to attempt to do so. By patronizing those who most effectively meet their particular needs and causing those who do not to fail, consumers determine the optimal method of supply. If it were possible to specify in advance what the outcome of this process of selection would be, there would be no need for the process itself.

Although I am tempted to give this response, I never do. This is because, although true, it never persuades. Instead, it is usually interpreted as an appeal for blind faith in the free market, and the failure to provide a specific explanation as to how such a market would provide legal services is interpreted as proof that it cannot. Therefore, despite the self-defeating nature of the attempt, I usually do try to suggest how a free market in law might work.

So, what would a free market in legal services be like? As Sherlock Holmes would regularly say to the good doctor, "You see, Watson, but you do not observe." Examples of non-state law are all around us. Consider labor-management collective bargaining agreements. In addition to setting wage rates, such agreements typically determine both the work rules the parties must abide by and the grievance procedures they must follow to resolve disputes. In essence, such contracts create the substantive law of the workplace as well as the workplace judiciary. A similar situation exists with regard to homeowner agreements, which create both the rules and dispute settlement procedures within a condominium or housing development, i.e., the law and judicial procedure of the residential community. Perhaps a better example is supplied by universities. These institutions create their own codes of conduct for both students and faculty that cover everything from academic dishonesty to what constitutes acceptable speech and dating behavior. In addition, they not only devise their own elaborate judicial procedures to deal with violations of these codes, but typically supply their own campus police forces as well. A final example may be supplied by the many commercial enterprises that voluntarily opt out of the state judicial system by writing clauses in their contracts that require disputes to be settled through binding arbitration or mediation rather than through a lawsuit. In this vein, the variegated "legal" procedures that have recently been assigned the sobriquet of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) do a good job of suggesting what a free market in legal service might be like. (35)

Of course, it is not merely that we fail to observe what is presently all around us. We also act as though we have no knowledge of our own cultural or legal history. Consider, for example, the situation of African-American communities in the segregated South or the immigrant communities in New York in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Because of prejudice, poverty and the language barrier, these groups were essentially cut off from the state legal system. And yet, rather than disintegrate into chaotic disorder, they were able to privately supply themselves with the rules of behavior and dispute-settlement procedures necessary to maintain peaceful, stable, and highly structured communities. Furthermore, virtually none of the law that orders our interpersonal relationships was produced by the intentional actions of central governments. Our commercial law arose almost entirely from the Law Merchant, a non-governmental set of rules and procedures developed by merchants to quickly and peacefully resolve disputes and facilitate commercial relations. Property, tort, and criminal law are all the products of common law processes by which rules of behavior evolve out of and are informed by the particular circumstances of actual human controversies. In fact, a careful study of Anglo-American legal history will demonstrate that almost all of the law which facilitates peaceful human interaction arose in this way. On the other hand, the source of the law which produces oppression and social division is almost always the state. Measures that impose religious or racial intolerance, economic exploitation, one group's idea of "fairness," or another's of "community" or "family" values virtually always originate in legislation, the law consciously made by the central government. If the purpose of the law really is to bring order to human existence, then it is fair to say that the law actually made by the state is precisely the law that does not work.

Unfortunately, no matter how suggestive these examples might be, they represent only what can develop within a state-dominated system. Since, for the reasons indicated above, it is impossible to out-think a free market, any attempt to account for what would result from a true free market in law would be pure speculation. However, if I must engage in such speculation, I will try to avoid what might be called "static thinking" in doing so. Static thinking occurs when we imagine changing one feature of a dynamic system without appreciating how doing so will alter the character of all other features of the system. For example, I would be engaging in static thinking were I to ask how, if the state did not provide the law and courts, the free market could provide them in their present form. It is this type of thinking that is responsible for the conventional assumption that free market legal services would be "competing governments" which would be the equivalent of organized gang warfare. Once this static thinking is rejected, it becomes apparent that if the state did not provide the law and courts, they simply would not exist in their present form. This, however, only highlights the difficulty of describing free market order-generating services and reinforces the speculative nature of all attempts to do so.

One thing it seems safe to assume is that there would not be any universally binding, society-wide set of "legal" rules. In a free market, the law would not come in one-size-fits-all. Although the rules necessary to the maintenance of a minimal level of order, such as prohibitions against murder, assault, and theft, would be common to most systems, different communities of interest would assuredly adopt those rules and dispute-settlement procedures that would best fit their needs. For example, it seems extremely unlikely that there would be anything resembling a uniform body of contract law. Consider, as just one illustration, the differences between commercial and consumer contracts. Commercial contracts are usually between corporate entities with specialized knowledge of industrial practices and a financial interest in minimizing the interruption of business. On the other hand, consumer contracts are those in which one or both parties lack commercial sophistication and large sums do not rest upon a speedy resolution of any dispute that might arise. In a free market for legal services, the rules that govern these types of contracts would necessarily be radically different.

This example can also illustrate the different types of dispute-settlement procedures that would be likely to arise. In disputes over consumer contracts, the parties might well be satisfied with the current system of litigation in which the parties present their cases to an impartial judge or jury who renders a verdict for one side or the other. However, in commercial disputes, the parties might prefer a mediational process with a negotiated settlement in order to preserve an ongoing commercial relationship or a quick and informal arbitration in order to avoid the losses associated with excessive delay. Further, it is virtually certain that they would want mediators, arbitrators, or judges who are highly knowledgeable about commercial practice, rather than the typical generalist judge or a jury of lay people.

The problem with trying to specify the individuated "legal systems" which would develop is that there is no limit to the number of dimensions along which individuals may choose to order their lives, and hence no limit to the number of overlapping sets of rules and dispute resolution procedures to which they may subscribe. An individual might settle his or her disputes with neighbors according to voluntarily adopted homeowner association rules and procedures, with co-workers according to the rules and procedures described in a collective bargaining agreement, with members of his or her religious congregation according to scriptural law and tribunal, with other drivers according to the processes agreed to in his or her automobile insurance contract, and with total strangers by selecting a dispute resolution company from the yellow pages of the phone book. Given the current thinking about racial and sexual identity, it seems likely that many disputes among members of the same minority group or among women would be brought to "niche" dispute resolution companies composed predominantly of members of the relevant group, who would use their specialized knowledge of group "culture" to devise superior rules and procedures for intra-group dispute resolution. (36)

I suspect that in many ways a free market in law would resemble the situation in Medieval Europe before the rise of strong central governments in which disputants could select among several fora. Depending upon the nature of the dispute, its geographical location, the parties' status, and what was convenient, the parties could bring their case in either village, shire, urban, merchant, manorial, ecclesiastical, or royal courts. Even with the limited mobility and communications of the time, this restricted market for dispute-settlement services was able to generate the order necessary for both the commercial and civil advancement of society. Consider how much more effectively such a market could function given the current level of travel and telecommunication technology. Under contemporary conditions, there would be an explosion of alternative order-providing organizations. I would expect that, late at night, wedged between commercials for Veg-o-matic and Slim Whitman albums, we would find television ads with messages such as, "Upset with your neighbor for playing rock and roll music all night long? Is his dog digging up your flower beds? Come to Acme Arbitration Company's grand opening two for one sale."

I should point out that, despite my earlier disclaimer, even these suggestions embody static thinking since they assume that a free market would produce a choice among confrontational systems of justice similar to the one we are most familiar with. In fact, I strongly believe that this would not be the case. The current state-supplied legal system is adversarial in nature, pitting the plaintiff or prosecution against the defendant in a winner-take-all, loser-get-nothing contest. The reason for this arrangement has absolutely nothing to do with this procedure's effectiveness in settling disputes and everything to do with the medieval English kings' desire to centralize power. For historical reasons well beyond the scope of this Article, the Crown was able to extend its temporal power relative to the feudal lords as well as raise significant revenue by commanding or enticing the parties to local disputes to bring their case before the king or other royal official for decision. (37) Our current system of adversarial presentation to a third-party decisionmaker is an outgrowth of these early "public choice" considerations, not its ability to successfully provide mutually satisfactory resolutions to interpersonal disputes.

In fact, this system is a terrible one for peacefully resolving disputes and would be extremely unlikely to have many adherents in a free market. Its adversarial nature causes each party to view the other as an enemy to be defeated, and its winner-take-all character motivates each to fight as hard as he or she can to the bitter end. Since the loser gets nothing, he or she has every reason to attempt to reopen the dispute, which gives rise to frequent appeals. The incentives of the system make it in each party's interest to do whatever he or she can to wear down the opponent while being uniformly opposed to cooperation, compromise, and reconciliation. That this is not the kind of dispute-settlement procedure people are likely to employ if given a choice is evidenced by the large percentage of litigants who are turning to ADR in an effort to avoid it.

My personal belief is that under free market conditions, most people would adopt compositional, rather than confrontational, dispute settlement procedures, i.e., procedures designed to compose disputes and reconcile the parties rather than render third party judgments. This was, in fact, the essential character of the ancient "legal system" that was replaced by the extension of royal jurisdiction. Before the rise of the European nation-states, what we might anachronistically call judicial procedure was chiefly a set of complex negotiations between the parties mediated by the members of the local community in an effort to reestablish a harmonious relationship. Essentially, public pressure was brought upon the parties to settle their dispute peacefully through negotiation and compromise. The incentives of this ancient system favored cooperation and conciliation rather than defeating one's opponent. (38)

Although I have no crystal ball, I suspect that a free market in law would resemble the ancient system a great deal more than the modern one. Recent experiments with negotiated dispute-settlement have demonstrated that mediation 1) produces a higher level of participant satisfaction with regard to both process and result, 2) resolves cases more quickly and at significantly lower cost, and 3) results in a higher rate of voluntary compliance with the final decree than was the case with traditional litigation. (39) This is perhaps unsurprising, given that mediation's lack of a winner-take-all format encourages the parties to seek common ground rather than attempt to vanquish the opponent and that, since both parties must agree to any solution, there is a reduced likelihood that either will wish to reopen the dispute. Given human beings' manifest desire to retain control over their lives, I suspect that, if given a choice, few would willingly place their fate in the hands of third-party decisionmakers. Thus, I believe that a free market in law would produce a system that is essentially compositional in nature.


In this Article, I have suggested that when it comes to the idea of the rule of law, the American public is in a state of deep denial. Despite being surrounded by evidence that the law is inherently political in nature, most people are nevertheless able to convince themselves that it is an embodiment of objective rules of justice which they have a moral obligation to obey. As in all cases of denial, people participate in this fiction because of the psychological comfort that can be gained by refusing to see the truth. As we saw with our friends Arnie and Ann, belief in the existence of an objective, non-ideological law enables average citizens to see those advocating legal positions inconsistent with their values as inappropriately manipulating the law for political purposes, while viewing their own position as neutrally capturing the plain meaning immanent within the law. The citizens' faith in the rule of law allows them to hide from themselves both that their position is as politically motivated as is their opponents' and that they are attempting to impose their values on their opponents as much as their opponents are attempting to impose their values on them. But, again, as in all cases of denial, the comfort gained comes at a price. For with the acceptance of the myth of the rule of law comes a blindness to the fact that laws are merely the commands of those with political power, and an increased willingness to submit oneself to the yoke of the state. Once one is truly convinced that the law is an impersonal, objective code of justice rather than an expression of the will of the powerful, one is likely to be willing not only to relinquish a large measure of one's own freedom, but to enthusiastically support the state in the suppression of others' freedom as well.

The fact is that there is no such thing as a government of law and not people. The law is an amalgam of contradictory rules and counter-rules expressed in inherently vague language that can yield a legitimate legal argument for any desired conclusion. For this reason, as long as the law remains a state monopoly, it will always reflect the political ideology of those invested with decisionmaking power. Like it or not, we are faced with only two choices. We can continue the ideological power struggle for control of the law in which the group that gains dominance is empowered to impose its will on the rest of society, or we can end the monopoly.

Our long-standing love affair with the myth of the rule of law has made us blind to the latter possibility. Like the Monosizeans, who after centuries of state control cannot imagine a society in which people can buy whatever size shoes they wish, we cannot conceive of a society in which individuals may purchase the legal services they desire. The very idea of a free market in law makes us uncomfortable. But it is time for us to overcome this discomfort and consider adopting Socrates' approach. We must recognize that our love for the rule of law is unrequited, and that, as so often happens in such cases, we have become enslaved to the object of our desire. No clearer example of this exists than the legal process by which our Constitution was transformed from a document creating a government of limited powers and guaranteed rights into one which provides the justification for the activities of the all-encompassing super-state of today. However heart-wrenching it may be, we must break off this one-sided affair. The time has come for those committed to individual liberty to realize that the establishment of a truly free society requires the abandonment of the myth of the rule of law.

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrongs look like right in their eyes." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby mertensv16 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:32 pm

An interesting article, but the author ignores many statutory and constitutional provisions that are clear as a bell and cannot possibly lead to multiple interpretations or involve conflicting rules. For example, if a statute says that one must be 18 years of age in order to have a valid will, and a fourteen-year-old dies having written a will, there is no conflicing rule under which a court will ever recognize the will as valid (lest anyone try to introduce a multijurisdictional element into the hypothetical, let's assume that the testator, his property and his beneficiaries are all located in the same jurisdiction as the probate court).

His observation that the Free Speech Clause "contains the clearest, most definite legal language of which I am aware" is ludicrous. "Freedom of Speech" is hardly self-defining and is far more open to interpretation than, say, the constitutional rule that no one under 35 is eligible to be President.

That the law is political should come as no surprise, since laws are made by people; they are not brought down from a mountain written on stone tablets. They are also administered by people, which means that the system is subject to all of the vagaries and mistakes that occur whenever people do something.

It's also interesting to note that the examples he gives for free-market legal services (collective bargaining agreements, homeowners' association rules, university codes, and arbitration) are just as open to indeterminancy as the government-created rules he criticizes, especially the latter two examples. Will assistant professor X get tenure? Who knows? Y made a disparaging remark based upon the gender of another individual. Will Y be disciplined? Ya think it might depend on whether Y is male or female?

He also doesn't address how the decisions rendered by these types of private legal systems are to be enforced. If an arbitrator rules that A owes B $1 million and A refuses to pay, who will force A to do so? Perhaps the arbitration company has its own enforcement team that will be sent out to seize A's property; but suppose A thinks that the award isn't enforceable because (a) B bribed the arbitrator, (b) A was fraudulently induced to enter into the arbitration agreement because he wasn't told that the arbitrator was B's brother-in-law, (c) some other reason. Who gets to decide whether the arbitration company can legitimately seize A's property? Suppose further that B has hired his own team to protect his property. Will the two teams duke it out on A's front lawn?

Or perhaps there will still be government in the background to enforce the award, just as it's done in real life today. But if this is so, then government will also be there to referee B's objections to the procedure by which the award was made, and we're back to square one.
Some people believe with great fervor preposterous things that just happen to coincide with their self-interest. "Tax protesters" have convinced themselves that wages are not income, that only gold is money, that the Sixteenth Amendment is unconstitutional, and so on. These beliefs all lead--so tax protesters think--to the elimination of their obligation to pay taxes. The government may not prohibit the holding of these beliefs, but it may penalize people who act on them. Coleman v. Commissioner, 791 F.2d 68 (7th Cir. 1986)
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Re: American Jubilee that wasn't

Postby imnotthename » Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:50 am

mertensv16 wrote:That the law is political should come as no surprise, since laws are made by people; they are not brought down from a mountain written on stone tablets. They are also administered by people, which means that the system is subject to all of the vagaries and mistakes that occur whenever people do something.

LOL!!! I hope you are ready to tell God "the law is political" when you stand before Him one day. The "laws are made by people"? LOL!!! The only Law is found in the Word of God.


Of course I do not expect you to understand what the above link is all about.
"He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." John 8:47

1 Timothy 6:15 "which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,"

1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king."
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