Copyright 1993 by Frederick Mann, All Rights Reserved.
Edited by David T. Freeman.
A GAME CALLED "COUNTRIES"There is a game called "Countries." The game consists of subgames with names such as "U.S.A.," "France," "U.K.," "Australia," "China," etc. Each subgame has its own "territory," often bordered by rivers or seas, which is shown on a map with all the other "territories," to define the area of each subgame, so all players "know" which subgame they are playing.
The players have different pieces they move around. Some pieces are considered more important and more powerful than other pieces. The pieces are called names like "king," "queen," "emperor," "president," "prime minister," "senator," "representative," "secretary," "judge," "general," "captain," "governor," "attorney," "marshall," "sheriff," "policeman," "policewoman," "lawyer," "businessman," "businesswoman," "doctor," "soldier," "citizen," "employer," "employee," "taxpayer," "voter," "parent," "child," "teacher," "preacher," "journalist," "unemployee," "criminal," "illegal immigrant," etc.
The pieces considered to be most important (joined in associations called "governments," "monarchies," etc.) make up the rules of their games as they go along. The rules are called "laws." The "most important players" change the rules whenever they like. The scores of the games are kept with tokens called "money."
The boards on which the games are played have good squares, neutral squares, and bad squares. If a piece lands on a good square, the player might win a million tokens or get a promotion and exchange his or her piece for a more important piece. If a piece lands on a neutral square, the player just continues as usual. If a piece lands on a bad square, the player might get sick or die, or might have "money" tokens or "property" "seized" by the "most important players," or is locked up in "jail" by the "most important players." Sometimes when two pieces land on the same square, they form a union called "marriage" - this could be good, neutral, or bad.
The "most important players" compel the players with pieces called "children" to move them into squares called "schools," where the pieces are "educated" so they will learn that this game called "Countries" is the only game. The children of some subgames are also "taught" that their subgame is the best game in the world, and that other subgames are bad. Of course, they are also "educated" on how to play the game.
Sometimes the "most important players" organize their own subgame called "war." The purpose of this subgame is to destroy as many pieces as possible. When a player's piece is destroyed, the player is killed and buried. Sometimes these "war" games also involve taking over the subgame of others, so as to expand the "territory" of their own subgame.
The silly little game called "Countries" also has elements called "problems" that need to be "solved." These "problems" are called names like: "terrorism," "unemployment," "inflation," "depression," "drug addiction," "pollution," "crime," "suicide," etc.
Practically all humans have been "educated," throughout their lives, to believe that they must play the silly little game called "Countries," and its silly little subgames like "U.S.A.," "France," "U.K.," "Australia," "China," etc. And if they don't like their silly little game, they must change their silly little game, for example, by begging "the most important players" to change some of the rules of their silly little game.
Horror of horrors! Humans are "educated" to believe that their silly little game is real life. They have no idea that what they are doing is just playing a silly, arbitrary, optional game, and that they can play many other games if they wake up. Is it justified to ask whether practically all humans are like characters in an Alice-in-Wonderland dream who never wake up?
Free Sovereign Individuals "jump out" of the silly little game ("the system") to the maximum practical degree. They think and live freely. They create their own new games and make their own rules. Of course, there are "most important players" with guns and jails who try to force everyone else to play their silly little game. Free Sovereign Individuals apply freedom technology to safely play the games of their choice.
THE 'BIG LIE' PHENOMENON
It is a principle of political propaganda that:
THE BIGGER THE LIE,
AND THE MORE OFTEN IT IS REPEATED,
THE MORE EASILY PEOPLE BELIEVE IT!
This essay may contradict some of your basic ideas about the world - even if you are a most advanced Thinker, Libertarian, or Anarchist. "Cognitive dissonance" refers to the intellectual disruption that is caused by new or unusual ideas that challenge some of your current basic ideas. Your challenge is to handle any cognitive dissonance that may be caused by this essay, and not to let it interfere with your integration of this information.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF LYSANDER SPOONER
This brief biography is based on the chapter, "Lysander Spooner, Dissident Among Dissidents," in the book Men Against The State by James J. Martin (Ralph Myles Publisher, Colorado Springs; 1970). I (Frederick Mann) first read The Constitution of no Authority (probably Spooner's most famous essay) in 1976. It had a profound effect on my thinking. First it became clear to me that there is no legitimate country called "The United States of America" - it is a gigantic hoax, a fraud, a nothing. Next I realized that all other pretended "countries" in the world were also hoaxes, frauds, or nothings - there were hucksters, hoaxes, and believers. The people who call themselves "governments" are liars and impostors - Spooner's essential message.
Lysander Spooner was born on January 19, 1808 in Athol, MA. He died in May, 1887 in Boston, MA. He grew up on a farm, which he left at age 25 to become a clerk in Worcester. Soon thereafter he started studying "law." His first seven years as a lawyer were spent in Ohio.
Spooner became involved in the Freethought movement as a pamphleteer during the thirties. In 1836 he wrote, "all men of common sense disregard authority." During the late 1830s he also became an ardent advocate for Free Banking and alternative currencies, and wrote extensively on these subjects over a period of thirty years.
In 1844 Spooner started his own postal service, the American Letter Mail Company, carrying letters between New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. In 1845 his postal company was "outlawed" by "the government." Benjamin Tucker called Spooner "the father of cheap postage in America." (Tucker was one of the most influential early American Anarchists. He said, "Liberty, to be effective, must find its first application in the realm of economics." James Martin devotes two chapters to Tucker in Men Against the State.)
Spooner opposed slavery. In 1845 and 1846 he published two booklets titled The Unconstitutionality of Slavery. Tucker described Spooner as "one of the profoundest political philosophers that ever added to the knowledge of mankind."
Spooner was also an advocate of natural law or common law. In 1846 he published Poverty: Its Illegal Causes and Legal Cure. He wrote that it was a principle of natural law that every man was entitled to "all the fruits of his own labor." He was a strong opponent of all violations of the right to make contracts, particularly the granting of monopolies by terrocrats (terrorist bureaucrats or coercive "government" agents).
In 1852 he published An Essay On The Trial By Jury. He asserted that there had never been a single legal jury trial in the United States since the adoption of the pretended "constitution." No one has explained as well as Spooner, what the phrase "trial by jury" means.
During his career as a dissident, Spooner gradually became more radical. Early on, much of his economic, financial, and political criticism was based on the argument that various measures were unconstitutional. Later on, he started to expose the illegality of the pretended "constitution" itself. Soon after the Civil War he began publishing a series of pamphlets under the title No Treason. The final one appeared in 1870 and was subtitled The Constitution of No Authority.
In my opinion, Lysander Spooner was the greatest lawyer there has ever been.
GULLIVER'S TRAVELS AND ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll can be regarded as introductions to the Spooner-insight.
In his Introduction to Gulliver's Travels, Michael Foot wrote, "It is an attempt to tear off the mask of imposture from the world..."
The essence of the Spooner-insight is that all the political systems in his time (1869) were fraudulent impostures. This is as true today as it was in Spooner's time.
Note: In the rest of this essay, double quotation marks are used to invalidate the concept enclosed within quotation marks. For example, "constitution" indicates that the validity of the notion of a "U.S. Constitution" is being rejected. Sometimes 'pretended' is added to emphasize the rejection of the word, concept, or notion. It is vital that you understand this syntax (grammatical structure). Where, for example, 'pretended "president"' is written, it means that there is no real president - the idea that there is a real president is being rejected. In other words, the person masquerading as "president" is an impostor and a liar.
The Spooner-insight may be the most challenging viewpoint of political systems you have been confronted with. It is vital that you think it through in all its details and implications.
Because the basic political notions have been powerfully imprinted in your brain, you may be faced with a formidable challenge. In effect, what you may have to do to drastically change what has been 'burned into your brain' all your life. Because the basic political notions are represented by physical patterns in your brain, you may have to think about the Spooner-insight for at least 21 days before it 'sinks in'.
In order to fully understand the Spooner-insight, you will probably have to read this entire essay.
Eight Elements of the Spooner-Insight
Objection: The Founding Fathers were honorable and sincere men with the best of intentions. The U.S. Constitution is a legitimate contract "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
Response: The Founding Fathers were mostly lawyers. In their pretended "constitution" they misrepresented themselves as "We the people of the United States." They arbitrarily excluded women and blacks. They knew common law (in use at the time), which requires that for a contract to be valid it needs to be entered into knowingly, voluntarily, and intentionally by all parties. For a written contract to be valid, it must be signed by all parties. The Declaration of Independence was signed as a mutual pledge between the signatories. Comparing the Declaration to the pretended "constitution" may lead you to the conclusion that the latter was a betrayal of the former. Some of the Founding Fathers realized that the "constitution" was a betrayal of liberty, so they formulated the "bill of rights" in an attempt to undo the betrayal. The pretended "bill of rights" became part of the pretended "constitution" nearly three years after the latter was signed. The pretended "constitution" has been a fraud and a hoax from the outset - and an abomination, particularly if compared to the Declaration of Independence.
How to Grasp and Integrate the Spooner-Insight:
As Nietzsche wrote, "Everything the state says is a lie." All our political systems are based on lies. The pretended "constitution" is a lie. The pretended "U.S.A." is a lie. All other pretended "constitutions" and pretended "countries" are lies. The idea that Bill Clinton is "president of the U.S.A." is a lie - whether he knows it or not. The same applies to all the other politicians in the world. It is all lies.
The whole population of earth is being continuously brainwashed by the media to believe the colossal political lies. You have to put in the effort to unbrainwash yourself and reprogram your mind. You have to do some serious thinking. You may have to think about the Spooner-insight for at least 21 days to let it 'sink in'.
by Lysander Spooner (edited)
The "constitution" (pretended) has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. [This essay was written in 1869.] And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, we know, historically, that only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. And the pretended "constitution," so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children. It is not only plainly impossible, in the nature of things, that they could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them. That is to say, the instrument [the pretended "constitution"] does not purport to be an agreement between anybody but "the people" then existing; nor does it, either expressly or impliedly, assert any right, power, or disposition, on their part, to bind anybody but themselves. Let us see. Its language is:
"We, the people of the United States [that is, the people then existing in the pretended "United States"], in order to form a more perfect union, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
It is plain, in the first place, that this language, as an agreement, purports to be only what it at most really was, viz., a contract between the people then existing; and, of necessity, binding, as a contract, only upon those then existing. In the second place, the language neither expresses nor implies that they had any intention or desire, nor that they imagined they had any right or power, to bind their posterity to live under it. It does not say that their posterity will, shall, or must live under it. It only says, in effect, that their hopes and motives in adopting it were that it might prove useful to their posterity, as well as to themselves, by promoting their union, safety, tranquility, liberty, etc.
Legally speaking, therefore, there is nothing in the pretended "constitution" that professes or attempts to bind the posterity of those who established it. If, then, those who established the pretended "constitution," had no power to bind, and did not attempt to bind their posterity, the question arises, whether their posterity have bound themselves. If they have done so, they can have done so in only one or both of these two ways, viz., by voting, and paying taxes.
Let us consider these two matters, voting and tax paying, separately; and first, voting. All the voting that has ever taken place under the pretended "constitution" has been of such a kind that it not only did not pledge the whole people to support the pretended "constitution," but it did not even pledge any one of them to do so, as the following considerations show.
(Incidentally, due to the property qualifications required, it is probable that, during the first twenty or thirty years under the pretended "constitution," not more than one-tenth, fifteenth, or perhaps twentieth of the whole population (black and white, men, women, and minors) were permitted to vote. Consequently, so far as voting was concerned, not more than one-tenth, fifteenth, or twentieth of those then existing, could have incurred any obligation to support the pretended "constitution.")
Doubtless the most miserable of men, under the most oppressive "government" terrocrats in the world, if allowed the ballot, would use it, if they could see any chance of thereby meliorating their condition. But it would not, therefore, be a legitimate inference that the terrocrats themselves, that crush them, or their pretended "constitution," was one which they had voluntarily set up, or even consented to.
As we can have no legal knowledge as to who votes from choice, and who from the necessity thus forced upon him, we can have no legal knowledge, as to any particular individual, that he voted from choice; or consequently, that by voting, he consented, or pledged himself, to support any pretended "constitution," or the terrocrats who use it as a shield to "justify" their plunder and murder. Legally speaking, therefore, the act of voting utterly fails to pledge anyone to support any pretended "constitution." It utterly fails to prove that the "authority" or "jurisdiction" (pretended) of any terrocrats rest upon the voluntary support of anyone. On general principles of law and reason, it cannot be said that any terrocrats have any voluntary supporters at all, until it can be distinctly shown precisely who their voluntary supporters are.
For all the reasons that have now been given, voting furnishes no legal evidence as to who the particular individuals are (if there are any), who voluntarily support the pretended "constitution." It therefore furnishes no legal evidence that anybody supports it voluntarily.
So far, therefore, as voting is concerned, the pretended "constitution," legally speaking, has no supporters at all. And, as a matter of fact, there is not the slightest probability that the pretended "constitution" has a single legitimate supporter in the country. That is to say, there is not the slightest probability that there is a single man in the country, who both understands what the pretended "constitution" really is, and sincerely supports it for what it really is.
The ostensible supporters of the pretended "constitution," like the ostensible supporters of most terrocrats, are made up of three classes, viz.:
The payment of taxes, being compulsory, of course furnishes no evidence that anyone voluntarily supports the pretended "constitution" (or any supposed "government" under it), as the following considerations show.
Terrocrats do not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.
The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of "protection." He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest and pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a "rebel," a "traitor," and an "enemy" to your "country," and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his "authority" or "jurisdiction," or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.
The proceedings of those tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who call themselves "the government," are directly the opposite of these of the single highwayman.
(a) That every man who puts money into the hands of terrocrats (who masquerade as "government"), puts into their hands a sword which will be used against himself, to extort more money from him, and also to keep him in subjection of their arbitrary will.
(b) That those who will take his money, without his consent, in the first place, will use it for his further robbery and enslavement, if he presumes to resists their demands in the future.
(c) That it is a perfect absurdity to suppose that any body of men would ever take a man's money without his consent, for any such object as they profess to take it for, viz., that of protecting him; for why should they wish to protect him, if he does not wish them to do so? To suppose that they would do so, is just as absurd as it would be to suppose that they would take his money without his consent, for the purpose of buying food or clothing for him, when he did not want it.
(d) If a man wants protection, he is competent to make his own bargains for it; and nobody has any occasion to rob him, in order to "protect" him against his will.
(e) That the only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in their keeping their money in their own pockets, until they have assurances, perfectly satisfactory to themselves, that it will be used as they wish it to be used, for their benefit, and not for their injury.
(f) That no criminals (whether they call themselves "government" or not), can be trusted for a moment, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, for as long as they depend on extortion, rather than voluntary support.
These facts are all so vital and so self-evident, that it cannot reasonably be supposed that anyone will voluntarily pay money to the terrocrats who masquerade as "the government," for the purpose of securing their protection, unless he first makes an explicit and purely voluntary contract with them for that purpose.
It is perfectly evident, therefore, that neither such voting, nor such payment of taxes, as actually takes place, proves anybody's consent, or obligation, to support the pretended "constitution." Consequently we have no evidence at all that the supposed "constitution" is binding upon anybody, or that anybody is under any contract or obligation whatever to support it. And nobody is under any obligation to support it.
The pretended "constitution" not only binds nobody now, but it never did bind anybody. It never bound anybody, because it was never agreed to by anybody in such a manner as to make it, on general principles of law and reason, binding upon him.
It is a general principle of law and reason, that a written instrument binds no one until he has signed it. This principle is so inflexible a one, that even if a man is unable to write his name, he must still "make his mark," before he is bound by any contract. This custom was established ages ago, when few men could write their names; when a clerk - that is, a man who could write - was so rare and valuable a person, that even if he were guilty of high crimes, he was entitled to pardon, on the ground that the public could not afford to lose his services. Even at that time, a written contract must be signed; and men who could not write, either "made their mark," or signed their contracts by stamping their seals upon wax affixed to the parchment on which their contracts were written. Hence the custom of affixing seals, that has continued to this time.
The laws holds, and reason declares, that if a written instrument is not signed, the presumption must be that the party to be bound by it, did not choose to sign it, or to bind himself by it. And law and reason both give him until the last moment, in which to decide whether he will sign it, or not. Just as with a written contract, a man must not be compelled to enter into any unwritten (verbal) contract. Besides a written contract providing evidence of there being a contract; until it is written, he may not know its precise legal meaning. And when it is written, and he has had the opportunity to satisfy himself of its precise legal meaning, he is then expected to decide, and not before, whether he will agree to it or not. And if he do not then sign it, his reason is supposed to be, that he does not choose to enter into such a contract. The fact that the instrument was written for him to sign, or with the hope that he would sign it, goes for nothing.
Where would be the end of fraud and litigation, if one party could bring into court a written instrument, without any signature, and claim to have it enforced, upon the ground that it was written for another man to sign? that this other man had promised to sign it? that he ought to have signed it? that he had had the opportunity to sign it, if he would? but that he had refused or neglected to do so? Yet that is the most that could ever be said of the pretended "constitution." The very men who drafted it, never signed it in any way to bind themselves by it, as a contract. And not one of them probably ever would have signed it in any way to bind himself by it, as a contract. The impostor "judges," who profess to derive all their supposed "authority" from the pretended "constitution" - from an instrument that nobody ever signed - would spurn any other instrument, not signed, that should be brought before them for adjudication.
Moreover, a written instrument must, in law and reason, not only be signed, but must also be delivered to the party (or to some one for him), in whose favor it is made, before it can bind the party making it. The signing is of no effect, unless the instrument be also delivered. And a party is at perfect liberty to refuse to deliver a written instrument, after he has signed it. (When a signed contract is not delivered, there is no communication from one party to the other that the contract has been agreed to and executed, and the other party has no proof to the contrary. It is as ineffectual as if it was never signed.) The pretended "constitution" was not only never signed by anybody, but it was never delivered by anybody, or to anybody's agent or attorney. It can therefore be of no more validity as a contract, than can any other instrument that was never signed or delivered.
As further evidence of the general sense of mankind, as to the practical necessity there is that all men's important contracts, especially those of a permanent nature, should be both written and signed, the following facts are pertinent.
For nearly two hundred years - that is, since 1677 - there has been on the statute book of England, and the same, in substance, if not precisely in letter, has been re-enacted, and is now in force, in nearly or quite all the States of this Union, a statute, the general object of which is to declare that no action shall be brought to enforce contracts of the more important class, unless they are put in writing, and signed by the parties to be held chargeable upon them. [At this point there is a footnote listing 34 states whose statute books Spooner had examined, all of which had variations of this English statute; the footnote also quotes part of the Massachussetts statute.]
The principle of the statute, be it observed, is, not merely that written contracts shall be signed, but also that all contracts, except for those specially exempted - generally those that are for small amounts, and are to remain in force for but a short time - shall be both written and signed.
The reason of the statute, on this point, is, that it is now so easy a thing for men to put their contracts in writing, and sign them, and their failure to do so opens the door to so much doubt, fraud, and litigation, that men who neglect to have their contracts - of any considerable importance - written and signed, ought not to have the benefit of courts of justice to enforce them. And this reason is a wise one; and that experience has confirmed its wisdom and necessity, is demonstrated by the fact that it has been acted upon in England for nearly two hundred years, and has been so nearly universally adopted in this country, and that nobody thinks of repealing it.
We all know, too, how careful most men are to have their contracts written and signed, even when this statute does not require it. For example, most men, if they have money due them, of no larger amount than five or ten dollars, are careful to take a note for it. If they buy even a small bill of goods, paying for it at the time of delivery, they take a receipted bill for it. If they pay a small balance of a book account, or any other small debt previously contracted, they take a written receipt for it.
Furthermore, the law everywhere (probably) in our country, as well as in England, requires that a large class of contracts, such as wills, deeds, etc., shall not only be written and signed, but also sealed, witnessed, and acknowledged. And in the case of married women conveying their rights in real estate, the law, in many States, requires that the women shall be examined separate and apart from their husbands, and declare that they sign their contracts free of any fear or compulsion of their husbands.
Such are some of the precautions which the laws require, and which individuals - from the motives of common prudence, even in cases not required by law - take, to put their contracts in writing, and have them signed, and, to guard against all uncertainties and controversies in regard to their meaning and validity. And yet we have what purports, or professes, or is claimed, to be a contract - the pretended "constitution" - made eighty years ago, by men who are now all dead, and who never had any power to bind us, but which (it is claimed) has nevertheless bound three generations of men, consisting of many millions, and which (it is claimed) will be binding upon all the millions that are to come; but which nobody ever signed, sealed, delivered, witnessed, or acknowledged; and which few persons, compared with the whole number that are claimed to be bound by it, have ever read, or even seen, or ever will read, or see. And of those who ever have read it, or ever will read it, scarcely any two, perhaps no two, have ever agreed, or ever will agree, as to what it means.
Moreover, this supposed "contract," which would not be received in any court of justice sitting under its supposed "authority," if offered to prove a debt of five dollars, is one by which - as it is generally interpreted by those who pretend to "administer" it - all men, women, and children throughout the country, and through all time, surrender not only their property, but also their liberties, and even their lives, into the hands of men who by this supposed "contract," are expressly made wholly irresponsible for their disposal of them. And we are so insane, or so wicked, as to destroy property and lives without limit, in fighting to compel men to fulfill a supposed "contract," which, inasmuch as it has never been signed by anybody, is, on general principles of law and reason, the merest waste paper, binding upon nobody, fit only to be thrown into the fire; or, if preserved, preserved only to serve as a witness and a warning of the folly and wickedness of mankind.
It is no exaggeration, but a literal truth, to say that, by the pretended "constitution" - not as I interpret it, but as it is interpreted by those who pretend to "administer" it - the properties, liberties, and lives of the entire people of the supposed "United States" are surrendered unreservedly into the hands of men who, it is provided by the pretended "constitution" itself, shall never be "questioned" as to any disposal they make of them. Thus the pretended "constitution" (Art. I, Sec. 6) provides that, "for any speech or debate (or vote), in either house, they (the pretended "senators" and "representatives") shall not be questioned in any other place." The whole pretended "law-making power" is given to these pretended "senators" and "representatives" (when acting by a two-thirds vote - and this two-thirds vote may be but two-thirds of a quorum; that is, two-thirds of a majority, instead of two-thirds of the whole); and this provision protects them from all responsibility for the pretended "laws" they make.
The pretended "constitution" also enables them to secure the execution of all their supposed "laws," by giving them power to withhold the salaries of, and to impeach and remove, all "judicial and executive officers," who refuse to execute them. Thus the whole power of the gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers who masquerade as "government" is in their hands, and they are made utterly irresponsible for the use they make of it. What is this but absolute, irresponsible power?
It is no answer to this view of the case to say that these men are under pretended "oath" to use their power only within certain limits; for what care they, or what should they care, for pretended "oaths" and limits, when it is expressly provided in the pretended "constitution" itself, that they shall never be "questioned," or held to any responsibility whatever, for violating their pretended "oaths," or transgressing those limits.
Neither is it any answer to this view of the case to say that the particular individuals holding this irresponsible power can be changed once in two or six years; for the power of each set of men is absolute during the term for which they hold it; and when they can hold it no longer, they are succeeded only by men whose power will be equally absolute and irresponsible.
Neither is it any answer to this view of the case to say that the men holding this absolute, irresponsible power, must be men chosen by the people (or portions of them) to hold it. A man is nonetheless a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years. Neither are a people any the less slaves because they are permitted to periodically choose new masters. What makes them slaves is the fact that they now are, and are always hereafter to be, in the hands of men whose power over them is, and always is to be, absolute and irresponsible. And of what appreciable value is it to any man, as an individual, that he is allowed a voice in choosing these public masters? His voice is only one of several millions.
The right of absolute and irresponsible dominion is the right of property, and the right of property is the right of absolute, irresponsible dominion. The two are identical; the one necessarily implying the other. Neither can exist without the other. If, therefore, the individuals who pretend to constitute the pretended "congress," have the absolute and irresponsible "law-making power," which the pretended "constitution" - according to their interpretation of it - gives them, it can only be because they own us as property. If they own us as property, they are our masters, and their will is our "law." If they do not own us as property, they are not our masters, and their will, as such, is of no "authority" over us.
But these men who claim and exercise this absolute and irresponsible dominion over us, dare not be consistent, and claim either to be our masters, or to own us as property. They say they are only our servants, agents, attorneys, and representatives. But this declaration involves an absurdity, a contradiction. No man can be my servant, agent, attorney, or representative, and be, at the same time, uncontrollable by me, and irresponsible to me for his acts. It is of no importance that I appointed him, and put all power in his hands. If I made him uncontrollable by me, and irresponsible to me, he is no longer my servant, agent, attorney, or representative. If I gave him absolute, irresponsible power over my property, I gave him the property. If I gave him absolute, irresponsible power over myself, I made him my master, and gave myself to him as a slave. And it is of no importance whether I called him master or servant, owner or agent. The only question is, what power did I put into his hands? Was it an absolute and irresponsible one? or a limited and responsible one?
For still another reason they are neither our servants, agents, attorneys, or representatives. And that reason is, that we do not make ourselves responsible for their acts. If a man is my servant, agent, or attorney, I necessarily make myself responsible for all his acts done within the limits of the power I have entrusted to him. If I have entrusted him, as my agent, with either absolute power, or any power at all, over the persons or properties of other men than myself, I thereby necessarily make myself responsible to those other persons for any injuries he may do them, so long as he acts within the limits of the power I have granted him. But no individual who may be injured in his person or property by the acts of the individuals who pretend to constitute the pretended "congress," can come to the individual electors, and hold them responsible for these acts of their pretended agents or representatives. This fact proves that these pretended agents of the people, of everybody, are really the agents of nobody.
If, then, nobody is individually responsible for the acts of the members who pretend to constitute the pretended "congress," then these members are nobody's agents. And if they are nobody's agents, they are themselves individually responsible for their own acts, and for the acts of all whom they employ. And the "authority" they are exercising is simply their own individual "authority"; and, by the law of nature - the highest of all laws - anybody injured by their acts, anybody who is deprived by them of his property or his liberty, has the same right to hold them individually responsible, that he has to hold any other trespasser individually responsible. He has the same right to resist them, and their agents, that he has to resist any other trespassers or offenders.
It is plain, then, that on general principles of law and reason - such principles as we all act upon in courts of justice and in common life - the pretended "constitution" is no contract; that it binds nobody, and never did bind anybody; and that all those who pretend to act by its "authority," are really acting without any legitimate authority at all; that on general principles of law and reason, they are mere usurpers, and that everybody not only has the right, but is morally bound to treat them as such.
If some people wish to establish and maintain such a "government," as the pretended "constitution" describes, there is no reason in the world why they should not sign the instrument itself, and thus make known their wishes in an open, authentic manner; in such manner as the common sense and experience of mankind have shown to be reasonable and necessary in such cases; and in such manner as to make themselves (as they ought to do) individually responsible for the acts of their pretended "government." But no one has ever been asked to sign it. And the only reason why they have never been asked to sign it, is that it is known that they never would sign it; that they were neither such fools nor knaves as they must needs be to be willing to sign it; that (at least as it has been practically interpreted) it is not what any sensible and honest man wants for himself; nor such as he has any right to impose upon others. It is, to all moral intents and purposes, as destitute of obligation as the compacts which thieves, robbers, and pirates enter into with each other, but never sign.
If any considerable number of people believe the pretended "constitution" to be good, why do they not sign it themselves, and make laws for, and administer them upon, each other, leaving all other persons (who do not interfere with them) in peace? Until they have tried the experiment for themselves, how can they have the gall to impose their pretended "constitution" upon, or even to recommend it to, others? Plainly the reason for such absurd and inconsistent conduct is that they want the pretended "constitution," not solely for any honest or legitimate use it can be to themselves or others, but for the dishonest and illegitimate power it gives them over the persons and properties of others. It is for this latter reason, that they eulogize the pretended "constitution," that they exhort the gullible to revere it, that they expend so much money and blood to sustain it.
The pretended "constitution" itself, then, being of no authority, on what authority does the pretended "government" practically rest? On what ground can those who pretend to "administer" it, claim the right to seize men's property, to restrain them of their natural liberty of action, industry, and trade, and to punish, or even kill, all who deny their supposed "authority" to dispose of men's properties, liberties, and lives at their pleasure or discretion?
The most they can say, in answer to this question, is, that some half, two-thirds, or three-fourths, of the male adults of the country have a tacit understanding that they will maintain a pretended "government" under the pretended "constitution"; that they will select, by ballot, the persons to administer it; and that those persons who may receive a majority, or a plurality, of their ballots, shall act as their representatives, and administer the pretended "constitution" in their name, and by their authority.
But this tacit understanding (admitting it to exist) cannot at all justify the conclusion drawn from it. A tacit understanding between A, B, and C, that they will, by ballot, depute D as their agent, to deprive me of my property, liberty, or life, cannot at all authorize D to do so. He is none the less a tyrant, robber, and murderer, because he claims to act as their agent, than he would be if he avowedly acted on his own responsibility alone.
Neither am I bound to recognize him as their agent, nor can he legitimately claim to be their agent, when he brings no written authority from them accrediting him as such. I am under no obligation to take his word as to who his principals may be, or whether he has any. Bringing no credentials, I have a right to say he has no such authority even as he claims to have, and that he is therefore intending to rob, enslave, or murder me on his own account.
This tacit understanding, therefore, among the voters of the country, amounts to nothing as an authority to their agents. Neither do the ballots by which they select their agents, avail any more than does their tacit understanding; for their ballots are given in secret, and therefore in a way to avoid any personal responsibility for the acts of their agents.
No body of men can be said to authorize a man to act as their agent, to the injury of a third person, unless they do it in so open and authentic a manner as to make themselves personally responsible for his acts. None of the voters in this country appoint their political agents in any open, authentic manner, or in any manner to make themselves responsible for their acts. Therefore these pretended agents cannot legitimately claim to be really agents. Somebody must be responsible for the acts of these pretended agents; and if they cannot show any open and authentic credentials from their principals, they cannot, in law or reason, be said to have any principals. The maxim applies here, that what does not appear, does not exist. If they can show no principal, they have none.
But even these pretended agents do not themselves know who their pretended principals are. These latter act in secret; for acting by secret ballot is acting in secret as much as if they were to meet in secret conclave in the darkness of the night. And they are personally as much unknown to the agents they select, as they are to others. No pretended agent therefore can ever know by whose ballots he is selected, or consequently who his real principals are. Not knowing who his principals are, he has no right to say that he has any. He can, at most, say only that he is the agent of a secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who are bound by that faith which prevails among confederates in crime, to stand by him, if his acts, done in their name, shall be resisted.
Men honestly engaged in attempting to establish justice in the world, have no occasion thus to act in secret; or to appoint agents to do acts for which they (the principals) are not willing to be personally responsible.
The secret ballot makes a secret tyranny, a secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers. Open despotism is better than this. The single despot stands out in the face of all men, and says: "I am the state; my will is law; I am your master; I take the responsibility of my acts; the only arbiter I acknowledge is the sword; if any one denies my right, let him try conclusions with me."
But a secret tyranny is little less than a tyranny of assassins. Under it, a man knows not who his tyrants are, until they have struck, and perhaps not then. He may guess, beforehand, as to some of his immediate neighbors. But he really knows nothing with certainty. The man to whom he would most naturally fly for protection, may prove an enemy, when the time of trial comes.
This is the kind of tyranny we have; and it is the only one we are likely to have, until men are ready to say: "We will consent to no constitution, except such an one as we are neither ashamed nor afraid to sign; and we will authorize no agents or representatives to do anything in our name which we are not willing to be personally responsible for."
What is the motive behind the secret ballot? This, and only this: Like other confederates in crime, those who use it are not friends, but enemies, and they are afraid to be known, and to have their individual doings known, even to each other. They can contrive to bring about a sufficient understanding to enable them to act in concert against other persons; but beyond this they have no confidence, and no friendship, among themselves. In fact, they are engaged quite as much in schemes for plundering each other, as in plundering those who are not of them. And it is perfectly well understood among them that the strongest party among them will, in certain contingencies, murder each other by the hundreds of thousands (as they lately did do) to accomplish their purposes against each other. Hence they dare not be known, and have their individual doings known, even to each other. And this is avowedly the only reason for the ballot: for a secret tyranny; a tyranny by secret bands of tyrants, robbers, and murderers. And we are insane enough to call this liberty! To be a member of this secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers is esteemed a privilege and an honor! Without this privilege, a man is considered a slave; but with it a free man! With it he is considered a free man, because he has the same power to secretly (by secret ballot) procure the robbery, enslavement, and murder of another man, and that other man has to procure his robbery, enslavement, and murder. And this they call equal rights!
If any number of men, many or few, claim the right to "govern" the people of this country, let them make and sign an open compact with each other to do so. Let them thus make themselves individually known to those whom they propose to "govern." And let them thus openly take the legitimate responsibility of their acts. How many of those who now support the pretended "constitution," will ever do this? How many will ever dare openly proclaim their right to "govern"?, or take the legitimate responsibility for their acts? Not one!
It is obvious that, on general principles of law and reason, there is no such thing as a "government," created by, or resting upon, any consent, compact, or agreement of "the people of the United States" with each other; that what we have is a tyranny, composed of only a small number of individuals, who act in concert, and call themselves by the several names of "senators," "representatives," "presidents," "judges," "marshalls," "treasurers," "collectors," "generals," "colonels," "captains," etc., etc.
On general principles of law and reason, it is of no importance whatever, that those few individuals profess to be the agents and representatives of "the people of the United States"; since they can show no credentials from the people themselves; they were never appointed as agents or representatives in any open, authentic manner, they do not themselves know, and have no means of knowing, and cannot prove, who their principals (as they call them) are individually; and consequently cannot, in law or reason, be said to have any principals at all.
[The very idea that they could be "representatives," is in itself utterly absurd, in fact impossible. They claim that one person serves as a "representative" for all of the people in a particular area - yet it should be blatantly obvious that one person cannot possibly represent all of the different, even conflicting, views - from a few thousand to millions, since no-one thinks identically to anyone else - in just one view that ends up being presented and applied to all by a single pretended "representative," and which would also be affected by his or her biases.]
It is obvious, too, that if these alleged principals ever did appoint these pretended "agents," or "representatives," they appointed them secretly (by secret ballot), and in a way to avoid all personal responsibility for their acts; that, at most, these alleged principals put these pretended agents forward for the most criminal purposes, viz.: to plunder the people of their property, and restrain them of their liberty; and that the only "authority" that these alleged principals have for so doing, is simply a tacit understanding among themselves that they will imprison, shoot, or hang every man who resists the exactions and restraints which their agents or representatives may impose upon them.
Thus it is obvious that what we have is a tyranny, made up of these professed agents or representatives of a secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who, to cover up, or gloss over, their robberies and murders, have taken to themselves the title of "the people of the United States"; and who, on the pretense of being "the people of the United States," assert their right to subject to their dominion, and to control and dispose of at their pleasure, all property and persons found in the country.
On general principles of law and reason, the pretended "oaths" which these pretended agents of the people take to support and uphold the pretended "constitution," are of no validity or obligation. And why? For this, if for no other reason, viz., that they are given to nobody. There is no "privity" (as the lawyers say) - that is, no mutual recognition, consent, and agreement - between those who take these pretended "oaths," and any other persons.
If I go upon Boston Common, and in the presence of a hundred thousand people, men, women, and children, with whom I have no contract on the subject, take a pretended "oath" that I will enforce upon them the laws of Moses, of Lycurgus, of Solon, of Justinian, or of Alfred, that pretended "oath" is, on general principles of law and reason, of no obligation. It is of no obligation, not merely because it is intrinsically a criminal one, but also because it is given to nobody, and consequently pledges my faith to nobody. It is merely given to the winds.
For the same reasons, the pretended "oaths" of all the other pretended agents of this secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers are, on general principles of law and reason, equally destitute of obligation. They are given to nobody; but only to the winds.
The pretended "oaths" of the tax-gatherers and treasurers of the gang, are, on general principles of law and reason, of no validity. If any tax-gatherer, for example, should put the money he receives into his own pocket, and refuse to part with it, the members of this gang could not say to him: "You collected that money as our agent, and for our uses; and you swore to pay it over to us, or to those we should appoint to receive it. You have betrayed us, and broken faith with us."
It would be a sufficient answer for him to say to them:
"I never knew you. You never made yourselves individually known to me. I never gave my pretended "oath" to you, as individuals. You may, or you may not, be members of that secret gang, who appoint agents to rob and murder other people; but who are cautious not to make themselves individually known, either to such agents, or to those whom their agents are commissioned to rob. If you are members of that gang, you have given me no proof that you ever commissioned me to rob others for your benefit. I never knew you, as individuals, and of course never promised you that I would pay over to you the proceeds of my robberies. I committed my robberies on my own account, and for my own profit. If you thought I was fool enough to allow you to keep yourselves concealed, and use me as your tool for robbing other persons; or that I would take all the personal risk of the robberies, and pay over the proceeds to you, you were particularly stupid. As I took all the risk of my robberies, I propose to take all the profits. Begone! You are fools, as well as villains. If I gave my pretended "oath" to anybody, I gave it to other persons than you. But I really gave it to nobody. I only gave it to the winds. It answered my purposes at the time. It enabled me to get the money I was after, and now I propose to keep it. If you expected me to pay it over to you, you relied only upon that honor that is said to prevail among thieves. You now understand that that is a very poor reliance. I trust you may become wise enough to never rely upon it again. If I have any duty in the matter, it is to give back the money to those from whom I stole it; not to pay it over to such villains as you."
On general principles of law and reason, the pretended "oaths" which foreigners take, on coming here, and being "naturalized" (as it is called), are of no validity. They are necessarily given to nobody; because there is no open, authentic association, to which they can join themselves; or to whom, as individuals, they can pledge their faith. No such association, or organization, as "the people of the United States," having ever been formed by any open, written, authentic, or voluntary contract, there is, on general principles of law and reason, no such association, or organization, in existence. And all pretended "oaths" that purport to be given to such an association are necessarily given only to the winds. They cannot be said to be given to any man, or body of men, as individuals, because no man, or body of men, can come forward with any proof that the pretended "oaths" were given to them, as individuals, or to any association of which they are members. To say that there is a tacit understanding among a portion of the male adults of the country, that they will call themselves "the people of the United States," and that they will act in concert in subjecting the remainder of the people of the country to their dominion; but that they will keep themselves personally concealed by doing all their acts secretly, is wholly insufficient, on general principles of law and reason, to prove the existence of any such association, or organization, as "the people of the United States"; or consequently to prove that the pretended "oaths" of foreigners were given to any such association.
On general principles of law and reason, all the pretended "oaths" which since the civil war, have been given by southern men, that they will obey the pretended "laws of congress," support the supposed "union," and the like, are of no validity. Such pretended "oaths" are invalid, not only because they were extorted by military power, and threats of confiscation, and because they are in contravention of men's natural right to do as they please (provided they do not harm others or the property of others), but also because they were given to nobody. They were nominally given to the supposed "United States." But being nominally given to the supposed "United States," they were necessarily given to nobody, because, on general principles of law and reason, there were no pretended "United States," to whom the pretended "oaths" could be given. That is to say, there was no open, authentic, avowed, legitimate association, corporation, or body of men, known as the "United States," or as "the people of the United States," to whom the pretended "oaths" could have been given. If anybody says there was such a corporation, let him state who were the individuals that composed it, and how and when they became a corporation. Were Mr. A, Mr. B, and Mr. C members of it? If so, where are their signatures? Where is the evidence of their membership? Where is the record? Where is the open, authentic proof? There is none. Therefore, in law and reason, there was no such corporation.
On general principles of law and reason, every corporation, association, or organized body of men, having a legitimate corporate existence, and legitimate corporate rights, must consist of certain known individuals, who can prove, by legitimate and reasonable evidence, their membership. But nothing of this kind can be proved in regard to the corporation, or body of men, who call themselves "the United States." Not a man of them, in all the pretended "northern States," can prove by any legitimate evidence, such as is required to prove membership in other legal corporations, that he himself, or any other man whom he can name, is a member of any corporation or association called "the United States," or "the people of the United States," or, consequently, that there is any such corporation. And since no such corporation can be proved to exist, it cannot of course be proved that the pretended "oaths" of southern men were given to any such corporation. The most that can be claimed is that the pretended "oaths" were given to a secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who called themselves "the United States," and extorted those pretended "oaths." But that certainly is not enough to prove that the pretended "oaths" are of any obligation.
On general principles of law and reason, the pretended "oaths" of soldiers, that they will serve a given number of years, that they will obey the orders of their superior officers, that they will bear true allegiance to the supposed "government," and so forth, are of no obligation. Independently of the criminality of a pretended "oath," that, for a given number of years, he will kill all whom he may be commanded to kill, without exercising his own judgment or conscience as to the justice or necessity of such killing, there is this further reason why a soldier's pretended "oath" is of no obligation, viz., that, like all the other pretended "oaths" that have now been mentioned, it is given to nobody. There being, in no legitimate sense, any such corporation, or nation, as "the United States," nor, consequently, in any legitimate sense, any such entity as "the government of the United States," a soldier's pretended "oath" given to, or contract made with, such an absent entity, is necessarily an pretended "oath" given to, or a contract made with, nobody. Consequently such pretended "oath" or "contract" can be of no obligation or authorization. Hence any killing done by such a soldier is done purely on his personal responsibility.
On general principles of law and reason, the "treaties" (pretended) which purport to be entered into with other supposed "nations," by persons calling themselves "ambassadors," "secretaries," "presidents," and "senators" of the supposed "United States," in the name, and in behalf, of "the people of the United States," are of no validity. These pretended "ambassadors," "secretaries," "presidents," and "senators," who claim to be the agents of "the people of the United States," for making these purported "treaties," can show no open, written, or other authentic evidence that either the whole "people of the United States," or any other open avowed, responsible body of men, calling themselves by that name, ever authorized these pretended "ambassadors" and others to make treaties in the name of, or binding upon any one of, "the people of the United States," or any other open, avowed, responsible body of men, calling themselves by that name. No one ever authorized these pretended "ambassadors," "secretaries," and others, in their name and behalf, to recognize certain other persons, calling themselves "emperors," "kings," "queens," and the like, as the rightful rulers, sovereigns masters, or representatives of the different peoples whom they assume to "govern," to represent, and to bind.
The "nations," as they are called, with whom our pretended "ambassadors," "secretaries," "presidents," and "senators" profess to make supposed "treaties" are as much myths as our own. On general principles of law and reason, there are no such "nations." That is to say, neither the whole people of "England," for example, nor any open, avowed, responsible body of men, calling themselves by that name, ever, by any open, written, or other authentic contract with each other, formed themselves into any bona fide, legitimate association or organization, or authorized any pretended "king," "queen," or other representative to make treaties in their name, or to bind them, either individually, or as an association, by such treaties.
Our pretended "treaties," then, being made with no legitimate or bona fide "nations," or representatives of "nations," and being made, on our part, by persons who have no legitimate authority to act for us, have intrinsically no more validity than a pretended "treaty" made by the "Man in the Moon" with the "King of the Pleiades."
On general principles of law and reason, debts contracted in the name of "the United States," or of "the people of the United States," are of no validity. It is utterly absurd to pretend that debts to the amount of twenty-five hundred millions of dollars are binding upon thirty-five or forty millions of people, when there is not a particle of legitimate evidence - such as would be required to prove a private debt - that can be produced against any one of them, that either he, or his properly authorized attorney, ever contracted to pay one cent.
Certainly, neither the whole people of the country, nor any number of them, ever separately or individually contracted to pay a cent of these debts. Certainly, also, neither the whole people of the country, nor any number of them, by any open, written, or other authentic and voluntary contract, united themselves as a firm, corporation, or association, by the name of "the United States," or "the people of the United States," and authorized their agents to contract debts in their name. Certainly, too, there is in existence no such firm, corporation, or association as "the United States," or "the people of the United States," formed by any open, written, or other authentic and voluntary contract, and having corporate property with which to pay these debts.
How, then, is it possible, on any general principle of law or reason, that debts that are binding upon nobody individually, can be binding upon forty millions of people collectively, when, on general and legitimate principles of law and reason, these forty millions of people neither have, nor ever had, any corporate property?, never made any corporate or individual contract?, and neither have, nor ever had, any corporate existence?
Who, then, created these debts, in the name of "the United States"? Why, at most, only a few persons, calling themselves "members of congress," etc., who pretended to represent "the people of the United States," but who really represented only a secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who wanted money to carry on the robberies and murders in which they were then engaged; and who intended to extort from the future people of the country, by robbery and threats of murder (and real murder if that should prove necessary), the means to pay these debts.
This gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who were the real principals in contracting these debts, is a secret one, because its members have never entered into any open, written, avowed, or authentic contract, by which they may be individually known to the world, or even to each other. Their real or pretended representatives, who contracted these debts in their name, were selected (if selected at all) for that purpose secretly (by secret ballot), and in a way to furnish evidence against none of the principals individually; and these principals were really known individually neither to their pretended representatives who contracted these debts in their behalf nor to those who lent the money. The money, therefore, was all borrowed and lent in the dark; that is, by men who did not see each other's faces, or know each other's names; who could not then, and cannot now, identify each other as principals in the transactions; and who consequently can prove no contract with each other.
Furthermore, the money was all lent and borrowed for criminal purposes; that is, for purposes of robbery and murder; and for this reason the contracts were all intrinsically void, and would have been so, even though the real parties, borrowers and lenders had come face to face, and made their contracts openly, in their own proper names.
Furthermore, this secret gang of robbers and murderers, who were the real borrowers of this money, having no legitimate corporate existence, have no corporate property with which to pay these debts. They do indeed pretend to own large tracts of wild lands, lying between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and between the Gulf of Mexico and the North Pole. But, on general principles of law and reason, they might as well pretend to own the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans themselves; or the atmosphere and the sunlight; and to hold them, and dispose of them, for the payment of these debts.
Having no corporate property with which to pay what purports to be their corporate debts, this secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers are really bankrupt. They have nothing to pay with. In fact, they do not propose to pay their debts otherwise than from the proceeds of their future robberies and murders. These are confessedly their sole reliance; and were known to be such by the lenders of the money, at the time the money was lent. And it was, therefore, virtually a part of the contract, that the money should be repaid only from the proceeds of these future robberies and murders. For this reason, if for no other, the contracts were void from the beginning.
In fact, these apparently two classes, borrowers and lenders, were really one and the same class. They borrowed and lent money from and to themselves. They themselves were not only part and parcel, but the very life and soul, of this secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who borrowed and spent the money. Individually they furnished money for a common enterprise; taking, in return, what purported to be corporate promises for individual loans. The only excuse they had for taking these pretended corporate promises of, for individual loans by, the same parties, was that they might have some apparent excuse for the future robberies of the gang (that is, to pay the debts of the corporation), and that they might also know what shares they were to be respectively entitled to out of the proceeds of their future robberies.
Finally, if these debts had been created for the most innocent and honest purposes, and in the most open and honest manner, by the real parties to the contracts, these parties could thereby have bound nobody but themselves, and no property but their own. They could have bound nobody that should have come after them, and no property subsequently created by, or belonging to, other persons.
The pretended "constitution" having never been signed by anybody; and there being no other open, written, or authentic contract between any parties whatever, by virtue of which the "United States government" (pretended), is maintained; and it being well known that none but male persons, of twenty-one years of age and upwards, are allowed any voice in the supposed "government"; and it being also well known that a large number of these adult persons seldom or never vote at all; and that all those who do vote, do so secretly (by secret ballot ), and in a way to prevent their individual votes being known, either to the world, or even to each other; and consequently in a way to make no one openly responsible for the acts of their pretended agents, or representatives - all these things being known - the questions arise: Who composes the real "governing power" in the country? Who are the men, the responsible men, who rob us of our property? Who restrain us of our liberty? Subject us to their arbitrary dominion? And devastate our homes, and shoot us down by the hundreds of thousands, if we resist? How shall we find these men? How shall we know them from others? How shall we defend ourselves and our property against them? Who, of our neighbors, are members of this secret gang of tyrants, robbers and murderers? How can we know which are their houses, that we may burn or demolish them? Which their property, that we may destroy it? Which their persons, that we may kill them, and rid the world and ourselves of such tyrants and monsters?
These are questions that must be answered before men can be free; before they can protect themselves against this secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who now plunder, enslave, and destroy them. The answer to these questions is, that only those who have the will and the power to shoot down their fellow men, are the real rulers in this, as in all other pretended "civilized countries," for by no others will civilized men be robbed, or enslaved.
Among savages, mere physical strength, on the part of one man may enable him to rob, enslave, or kill another man. Among barbarians, mere physical strength, on the part of a body of men, disciplined, and acting in concert, though with very little money or other wealth, may, under some circumstances, enable them to rob enslave, or kill another body of men, as numerous, or perhaps even more numerous, than themselves. And among both savages and barbarians, mere want may sometimes compel one man to sell himself as a slave to another. But with so-called "civilized peoples," among whom knowledge, wealth, and the means of acting in concert, have become diffused; and who have invented such weapons and other means of defense as to render mere physical strength of less importance; and by whom soldiers in any requisite number, and other instrumentalities of war in any requisite amount, can always be had for money, the question of war, and consequently the question of power, is little else than a mere question of money. As a necessary consequence, those who stand ready to furnish this money, are the real rulers. It is so in Europe, and it is so in this country.
In Europe, the nominal rulers, the pretended "emperors," "kings," and "parliaments," are anything but the real rulers of their respective countries. They are little or nothing else than mere tools, employed by the wealthy to rob, enslave, and (if need be) murder those who have less wealth, or none at all. The Rothschilds, and that class of money-lenders of whom they are the representatives and agents - men who never think of lending a shilling to their next-door neighbors, for purposes of honest industry, unless upon the most ample security, and at the highest rate of interest - stand ready, at all times, to lend money in unlimited amounts to those tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who call themselves "governments," to be expended in shooting down those who do not submit quietly to being robbed and enslaved.
They lend their money in this manner, knowing that it is to be expended in murdering their fellow men, for simply seeking their liberty and their rights; knowing also that neither the interest nor the principal will ever be paid, except as it will be extorted under terror of the repetition of such murders as those for which the money lent is to be expended.
These money-lenders, the Rothschilds, for example, say to themselves: If we lend a hundred millions sterling to the pretended "queen and parliament of England," it will enable them to murder twenty, fifty, or a hundred thousand people in England, Ireland, or India; and the terror inspired by such wholesale murder, will enable them to keep the whole people of those countries in subjection for twenty, or perhaps fifty, years to come; to control all their trade and industry; and to extort from them large amounts of money, under the name of taxes; and from the wealth thus extorted from them, they (the "queen" and "parliament") can afford to pay us a higher rate of interest for our money than we can get in any other way. Or, if we lend this sum to the pretended "emperor of Austria," it will enable him to murder so many of his people as to strike terror into the rest and thus enable him to keep them in subjection, and extort money from them, for twenty or fifty years to come. And they say the same in regard to the pretended "czar of Russia," the "king of Prussia," the "emperor of France," or any other so called "ruler," who, in their judgment, will be able, by murdering a reasonable portion of his people, to keep the rest in subjection, and extort money from them, for a long time to come, to pay the interest and principal of the money lent to him.
And why are these men so ready to lend money for murdering their fellow men? Solely for this reason, viz., that such loans are considered better investments than loans for purposes of honest industry. They pay higher rates of interest; and it is less trouble to look after them. This is the whole matter.
The question of making these loans is, with these lenders, a mere question of pecuniary profit. They lend money to be expended in robbing, enslaving, and murdering their fellow men, solely because, on the whole, such loans pay better than any others. They are no respecters of persons, no superstitious fools, that reverence pretended "monarchs." They care no more for a pretended "king," or "emperor," than they do for a beggar, except as he is a better customer, and can pay them better interest for their money. If they doubt his ability to make his murders successful for maintaining his power, and thus extorting money from his people in future, they dismiss him as unceremoniously as they would dismiss any other hopeless bankrupt, who should want to borrow money to save himself from open insolvency.
When these great lenders of blood-money, like the Rothschilds, have loaned vast sums in this way, for purposes of murder, to a pretended "emperor" or "king," they sell out the bonds taken by them, in small amounts, to anybody, and everybody, who are disposed to buy them at satisfactory prices, to hold as investments. They (the Rothschilds and their ilk) thus soon get back their money, with great profits; and are now ready to lend money in the same way again to any other tyrant, robber, and murderer, called an "emperor" or "king," who, they think, is likely to be successful in his robberies and murders, and able to pay a good price for the money necessary to carry on his robberies and murders.
This business of lending blood-money is one of the most thoroughly sordid, cold-blooded, and criminal that was ever carried on, to any considerable extent, amongst human beings. It is like lending money to slave traders, or to common robbers and pirates, to be repaid out of their plunder. And the men who loan money to pretended "governments" for the purpose of enabling the latter to rob, enslave, and murder their people, are among the greatest villains that the world has ever seen. And they as much deserve to be hunted and killed (if they cannot otherwise be gotten rid of) as any slave traders, robbers, or pirates that ever lived.
When these "emperors" and "kings," pretended, have obtained their loans they proceed to hire and train immense numbers of professional murderers, called "soldiers," and employ them in shooting down all who resist their demands for money. In fact, most of them keep large bodies of these murderers constantly in their service, as their only means of enforcing their extortions. There are now, I think, four or five millions of these professional murderers constantly employed by the pretended "sovereigns" of Europe. The enslaved people are, of course, forced to support and pay all these murderers, as well as to submit to all the other extortions which these murderers are employed to enforce.
It is only in this way that most of the pretended "governments" of Europe are maintained. These pretended "governments" are in reality only great bands of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, organized, disciplined, and constantly on the alert. And the pretended "sovereigns," in these different supposed "governments," are simply the heads, or chiefs, of different bands of tyrants, robbers, and murderers. And these heads or chiefs are dependent upon the lenders of blood-money for the means to carry on their robberies and murders. They could not sustain themselves a moment but for the loans made to them by these blood-money loan-mongers. And their first care is to maintain their credit with them; for they know their end is come, the instant their credit with them fails. Consequently, the first proceeds of their extortions are scrupulously applied to the payment of the interest on their loans.
In addition to paying the interest on their bonds, they perhaps grant to the holders of them great monopolies in banking, like the Banks of England, of France, and of Vienna, with the agreement that these banks shall furnish money whenever, in sudden emergencies, it may be necessary to shoot down more of their people. Perhaps also, by means of tariffs on competing imports, they give great monopolies to certain branches of industry, in which these lenders of blood-money are engaged. They also, by unequal taxation, exempt wholly or partially the property of these loan-mongers, and throw corresponding burdens upon those who are too poor and weak to resist.
Thus it is evident that all these men, who call themselves by the high-sounding names of "Emperors," "Kings," "Sovereigns," "Monarchs," "Most Christian Majesties," "Most Catholic Majesties," "High Mightinesses," "Most Serene and Potent Princes," and the like, and who claim to rule "by the grace of God," by "Divine Right" - that is, by "special authority from Heaven" - are intrinsically not only the merest miscreants and wretches, engaged solely in plundering, enslaving, and murdering their fellow men, but that they are also the merest hangers on, the servile, obsequious, fawning dependents and tools of these blood-money loan-mongers, on whom they rely for the means to carry on their crimes. These loan-mongers, like the Rothschilds, laugh in their sleeves, and say to themselves: These despicable creatures, who call themselves "emperors," and "kings," and "majesties," and "most serene and potent princes," who profess to wear "crowns," and sit on "thrones"; who deck themselves with ribbons, and feathers, and jewels; and surround themselves with hired flatterers and lickspittles; and whom we suffer to strut around, and palm themselves off, upon fools and slaves, as "sovereigns and lawgivers specially appointed by Almighty God"; and to hold themselves out as the sole fountains of honors, and dignities, and wealth, and power - all these miscreants and impostors know that we make them, and use them; that in us they live, move, and have their being; that we require them (as the price of their positions ) to take upon themselves all the labor, all the danger, and all the odium of all the crimes they commit for our profit; and that we will unmake them, strip them of their gewgaws, and send them out into the world as beggars, or give them over to the vengeance of the people they have enslaved, the moment they refuse to commit any crime we require of them, or to pay over to us such share of the proceeds of their robberies as we see fit to demand.
Now, what is true in Europe, is substantially true in this country. The difference is the immaterial one, that, in this country, there is no visible, permanent head, or chief, of these tyrants, robbers, and murderers, who call themselves "the government." That is to say, there is no one man, who calls himself "the state," or even "emperor," "king," or "sovereign"; no one who claims that he and his children rule "by the Grace of God," by "Divine Right," or by "special appointment from Heaven." There are only certain men, who call themselves "presidents," "senators," and "representatives," and claim to be the authorized agents, for the time being, or for certain short periods, of all "the people of the United States"; but who can show no credentials, or powers of attorney, or any other open, authentic evidence that they are so, and who notoriously are not so; but are really only the agents of a secret gang of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, whom they themselves do not know, and have no means of knowing, individually; but who, they trust, will openly or secretly, when the crisis comes, sustain them in all their usurpations and crimes.
What is important to be noticed is, that these pretended "presidents," "senators," and "representatives," these pretended agents of all "the people of the United States," the moment their exactions meet with any formidable resistance from any portion of "the people" themselves, are obliged, like their co-robbers and murderers in Europe, to fly at once to the lenders of blood-money, for the means to sustain their power. And they borrow their money on the same principle, and for the same purpose, viz., to be expended in shooting down all those "people of the United States" - their own constituents and principals, as they profess to call them - who resist the robberies and enslavement which these borrowers of the money are practicing upon them. And they expect to repay the loans, if at all, only from the proceeds of the future robberies, which they anticipate it will be easy for them and their successors to perpetrate through a long series of years, upon their pretended principals, if they can but shoot down now some hundreds of thousands of them, and thus strike terror into the rest.
Perhaps the facts were never made more evident, in any country on the globe, than in our own, that these soulless blood-money loan-mongers are the real rulers; that they rule from the most sordid and mercenary motives; that the ostensible "government," the pretended "presidents," "senators," and "representatives," are merely their tools; and that no ideas of, or regard for, justice or liberty had anything to do in inducing them to lend their money for the war. In proof of all this, look at the following facts.
Nearly a hundred years ago we professed to have gotten rid of all that religious superstition, inculcated by a servile and corrupt priesthood in Europe, that supposed "rulers" derived their pretended "authority" directly from "heaven"; and that it was consequently a religious duty on the part of the people to obey them. We professed long ago to have learned that governments could rightfully occur only by the free will, and on the voluntary support, of those who might choose to sustain them. We all professed to have known long ago, that the only legitimate objects of government were the maintenance of liberty and justice equally for all. All this we had professed for nearly a hundred years. And we professed to look with pity and contempt upon those ignorant, superstitious, and enslaved peoples of Europe, who were so easily kept in subjection by the frauds and force of their terrocrats.
Notwithstanding all this, that we had learned, and known, and professed, for nearly a century, that these lenders of blood-money had, for a long series of years previous to the civil war, been the willing accomplices of the slave-holders in perverting the pretended "government" from the purposes of liberty and justice, to the greatest of crimes. They had been such accomplices for a purely pecuniary consideration, to wit, a control of the markets in the South; in other words, the privilege of holding the slave-holders themselves in industrial and commercial subjection to the manufacturers and merchants of the North (who afterwards furnished the money for the war). And these Northern merchants and manufacturers, these lenders of blood-money, were willing to continue to be the accomplices of the slave-holders in the future, for the same pecuniary consideration. But the slave-holders, either doubting the fidelity of their Northern allies, or feeling themselves strong enough to keep their slaves in subjection without Northern assistance, would no longer pay the price which these Northern men demanded. And it was to enforce this price in the future - that is, to monopolize the Southern markets, to maintain their industrial and commercial control over the South - that these Northern manufacturers and merchants lent some of the profits of their former monopolies for the war, in order to secure to themselves the same, or greater, monopolies in the future. These - and not any love of liberty or justice - were the motives on which the money for the war was lent by the North. In short, the North said to the slave-holders: If you will not pay us our price (give us control of your markets) for our assistance against your slaves, we will secure the same price (keep control of your markets) by helping your slaves against you, and using them as our tools for maintaining dominion over you; for the control of your markets we will have, whether the tools we use for that purpose be black or white, and be the cost, in blood and money, what it may.
On this principle, and from this motive, and not from any love of liberty, or justice, the money was lent in enormous amounts, and at enormous rates of interest. And it was only by means of these loans that the objects of the war were accomplished.
And now these lenders of blood-money demand their pay; and the "government," pretended, becomes their tool, their servile, slavish, villainous tool, to extort it from the labor of the enslaved people both of the North and the South. It is to be extorted by every form of direct, and indirect, and unequal taxation. Not only the nominal debt and interest - enormous as the latter was - are to be paid in full, but these holders of the debt are to be paid still further - and perhaps doubly, triply, or quadruply paid - by such tariffs on imports as will enable our home manufacturers to realize enormous prices for their commodities; also by such monopolies in banking as will enable them to keep control of, and thus enslave and plunder, the industry and trade of the great body of the Northern people themselves. In short, the industrial and commercial slavery of the great body of the people, North and South, black and white, is the price which these lenders of blood-money demand, and insist upon, and are determined to secure, in return for the money lent for the war.
This program having been fully arranged and systematized, they put their sword into the hands of the chief murderer of the war (pretended "general" Grant), and charge him to carry their scheme into effect. And now he, speaking as their organ, says: "Let us have peace." The meaning of this is: Submit quietly to all the robbery and slavery we have arranged for you, and you can have "peace." But in case you resist, the same lenders of blood-money, who furnished the means to subdue the South, will furnish the means again to subdue you. These, alone, are the terms on which terrocrats ever give "peace" to "their people."
The whole affair, on the part of those who furnished the money, has been, and now is, a deliberate scheme of robbery and murder; not merely to monopolize the markets of the South, but also to monopolize the currency, and thus control the industry and trade, and thus plunder and enslave the laborers, of both North and South. And the impostors who masquerade as "congress" and "the president" are today the merest tools for these purposes. They are obliged to be, for they know that their own power, as "rulers," pretended, is at an end, the moment their credit with the blood-money loan-mongers fails. They are like a bankrupt in the hands of an extortioner. They dare not say nay to any demand made upon them. And to hide at once, if possible, both their servility and their crimes, they attempt to divert public attention, by crying out that they have "Abolished Slavery!" That they have "Saved the Country!" That they have "Preserved our Glorious Union!" and that, in now paying the "National Debt" as they call it (as if the people themselves, all of them who are to be taxed for its payment, had really and voluntarily joined in contracting it), they are simply "Maintaining the National Honor!"
By "maintaining the national honor," they mean simply that they themselves, tyrants, robbers, and murderers, assume to be "the nation," and will keep faith with those who lend them the money necessary to enable them to crush the great body of the people under their feet; and will faithfully appropriate, from the proceeds of their future robberies and murders, enough to pay all their loans, principal and interest.
The pretense that the "abolition of slavery" was either a motive or justification for the war, is a fraud of the same character with that of "maintaining the national honor." Who, but such usurpers, robbers, and murderers as they, ever established slavery? And why did these men abolish slavery? Not from any love of liberty in general - not as an act of justice to the black man himself, but only "as a war measure," and because they wanted his assistance, and that of his friends, in carrying on the war they had undertaken for maintaining and intensifying that political, commercial, and industrial slavery, to which they have subjected the great body of the people, both white and black. And yet these impostors now cry out that they have abolished the chattel slavery of the black man - although that was not the motive of the war - as if they thought they could thereby conceal, atone for, or justify that other slavery which they were fighting to perpetuate, and to render more rigorous and inexorable than it ever was before. There was no difference in principle - but only one of degree - between the slavery they boast they have abolished, and the slavery they were fighting to preserve; for all restraints upon men's natural liberty, not necessary for the simple maintenance of justice, are of the nature of slavery, and differ from each other only in degree.
If their object had really been to abolish slavery, or maintain liberty or justice generally, they had only to say: "All, whether white or black, who want the protection of this government, shall have it; and all who do not want it, will be left in peace, so long as they leave us in peace." Had they said this, slavery would necessarily have been abolished at once; the war would have been saved; and a thousand times nobler union than we have ever had would have been the result. It would have been a voluntary union of free men; such a union as will one day occur among all men, the world over, if the several "nations," so called, shall ever get rid of the usurpers, robbers, and murderers, masquerading as "governments," that now plunder, enslave, and destroy them.
Still another of the frauds of these men is, that they are now establishing, and that the war was designed to establish, "a government of consent." The only idea they have ever manifested as to what is a "government of consent," is this - that it is one to which everybody must consent, or be shot. This idea was the dominant one on which the war was carried on; and it is the dominant one, now that we have gotten what is called "peace."
Their pretenses that they have "Saved the Country," and "Preserved our Glorious Union," are frauds like all the rest of their pretenses. By them they mean simply that they have subjugated, and maintained their power over, an unwilling people. This they call "Saving the Country"; as if an enslaved and subjugated people - or as if any people kept in subjection by the sword (as it is intended that all of us shall be hereafter) - could be said to have any "country." This, too, they call "Preserving our Glorious Union"; as if there could be said to be any union, glorious or inglorious, that was not voluntary. Or as if there could be said to be any union between masters and slaves; between those who conquer, and those who are subjugated.
All these cries of having "abolished slavery," of having "saved the country," of having "preserved the union," of establishing "a government of consent," and of "maintaining the national honor," are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats - so transparent that they ought to deceive no one - when uttered as justifications for the war, or for now compelling people to pay the cost of the war, or for compelling anybody to support terrocrats against their will.
The lesson taught by all these facts is this: As long as mankind continues to pay "national debts," pretended - that is, so long as they are such dupes and cowards as to pay for being cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered - so long there will be enough to lend the money for those purposes; and with that money a plenty of tools, called soldiers, can be hired to keep them in subjection. But when they refuse any longer to pay for being thus cheated, plundered, enslaved, and murdered, they will cease to have cheats, and usurpers, and robbers, and murderers, and blood-money loan-mongers for masters.
Inasmuch as the pretended "constitution" was never signed,
nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never
bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover,
such a one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent
to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the
bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning,
as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to
say that, in his opinion, the pretended "constitution"
is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be;
but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the
gang of terrocrats has made in practice a very widely, and almost
wholly, different thing from the intended "government"
the supposed "constitution" itself purports to "authorize."
He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to
prove that such is the truth. But whether the pretended "constitution"
really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it
has either "authorized" such a "government" as we have had, or has
been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
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