The Consent Of The Governed

The Consent Of The Governed

Have you given your consent? Recently, I was reading a interesting book based upon the Lewis & Clark journey. Napoleon Bonaparte sold the Louisiana Purchase, all territories west of the Mississippi to President Jefferson.

Nobody asked the Native Americans, the American Indian, if they consented to any of this or even if they understood what was going on. Lewis and Clark made their journey and the rest is now history.

Lysander Spooner has written about these issues of consent. The U.S. Constitution is allegedly considered the “highest law in the land” and all who live here are also allegedly under it’s protection. We know this is no longer true, and probably never was, but I don’t wish to deviate from my topic here too much.

Spooner wrote that the Constitution represents a contract between the people and the government, and that primarily, that this contract provided for a limited government. Yet Spooner also pointed out that he himself had never signed this contract, nor had he ever been asked to sign this contract.

In effect, Spooner argued the contract was null and void as far as he and everyone else was concerned, since nobody except the original signatories had been participatory parties to the contract.

This argument caused great consternation and confusion, since just about everyone believes that they are protected by the Constitution and that government derives its “just powers” from this document. But if we are not participatory signers to this agreement, then what does that make us?

If you need a hint, remember that coercion doesn’t mean consent.

More importantly, what does that make them, that exert their power over us?

I am instantly reminded of the situation between Napoleon and Jefferson, who simply agreed to steal both the land and the people and everything within it without their agreement or their understanding. The White Fathers as they were known to the Indians, were ridiculously informed on many issues, including that land could be bought and sold. Their presumptuous ways was a great mystery and mirth to the Indians, who cackled with laughter that they were now required to pay homage to the “White Father” and obey his laws.

History records this differently of course, but we now know that the Native Americans would have NEVER consented to selling any land, the land did not belong to any people. The land itself was sacred and was not owned by anyone. Territorial boundaries existed where tribes had established themselves and even defended themselves, but they did not own the land. Nobody did.

Therefore, nobody in the Native American eyes could actually sell the land either. The idea was quite preposterous to them. The White Man however, came, saw and took, determining that they wanted to possess the land and everything that was within it.

The extermination of the Native American commenced the moment the White Men came to these shores (long before the time of Jefferson). Their consent of course to the many “deals” that were brokered (and all were broken by you-know-who), was never asked for in terms which they could understand. Ownership of the land was a totally foreign concept to them, but that did not stop the white men from taking it.

Returning to my topic, the US Constitution is a similar agreement. When you are born in this country, or to American parents (you can be a citizen if you’re born to American parents offshore) you are automatically bound by this agreement of the US Constitution. Except that of course, you have absolutely no idea at all what it says or what it means or whether or not it is even any good.

You’re too young for starters to understand these things. And you’re very badly informed about the Constitution as you grow older. Almost nobody today understands it basic premises for example. But from that document, allegedly flows all power from the people to the government and all of it’s institutions and agents.

But did you give your consent to this agreement at any time? Did voting in an election give your consent? No, it did not. Voting is an entirely separate agreement. The authorities believe that by being a bona-fide American (naturalized or otherwise) you have “given your consent” to be governed.

Except that cannot possibly be true, because to give your consent, you must first be fully aware of the agreement that you have entered into. For examples, debtors that have been defrauded by shyster contracts and hidden requirements, fees or other unknown costs, have been found by the courts to be null and void, thereby releasing you from any obligation to continue your participation in the contract. Importantly, you are also freed from any debt you may have owed in these situations, because you were defrauded.

The concept that we are all under the US Constitutions because we are natural born citizens is essentially the same. Like any contract, we require full disclosure. We have all been defrauded from birth, whereas we could not give our consent, never have we given our consent and to make matters worse, we have been defrauded into believing that we actually have given our consent.

Lysander Spooner was right in other words, and still is. Our consent has never been given to be governed. Moreover and perhaps most importantly here, what we have today as government and governed, is not even remotely what the US Constitution intended. Government was supposed to be highly limited, with all power not enumerated in the Constitution to be reserved and protected by the people.

The Bill of Rights was tacked on to make this very clear, ostentiously to provide for the protection of every individual from unreasonable demands upon their persons, their liberties and their life. This was added because many people did not trust the Constitution, they considered it weak an ineffectual in many parts. And there were a lot of people who simply refused to obey the Constitution, intuitively knowing that they did not want to be underneath it’s auspices. This did not matter, as the Constitution then, as now, was enforced by the point of a gun. Consent was not required as far as the self-appointed authorities were concerned.

But compare that to our situation today, whereas our very lives are now in daily danger from the government and its innumerable agents. If you do not believe this, please read no further, you will not have understood anything at all about what I have written.

Individual rights have now been regulated to privileges, a huge distinction between their original meaning and what they have morphed into today. This is an abomination in reality, because now, the power flows from the government to the people, an absolute reversal of what it was supposed to be. It is the government and their courts who decide what “rights” are, not the people and not what has already been enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

So we have never given our consent and like the Native Americans, now find ourselves being overtaken by the new “white man” who’s White Father has become something of a monstrosity. He has taken what is not his, primarily our consent, ursurped all of our individual rights and authority, derided and discarded all concepts of personal sovereignty and individual dignity, and demanded of us that we pay in both tribute and in our lives.

The irony of all this is not lost on me, as I think about these things. We’re experiencing what we’ve inflicted on the ancestral people of this country. They too had little success in stopping the white man’s march and putting an end to to this insanity. But it is worth noting that huge numbers of them fought back, because they refused to be governed or indoctrinated by the aliens in their lands.

Many will say that this is not possible today or even necessary. There is a great fear for their lives, which they believe would be forfeit if they were to resist. This is true, but in reality, your life is already forfeit. It is not your own, you live according to their dictates every day. However, this is a concept that is also lost on most, since in essence, we do not know anything else. We do not know what real freedom is for example, or how we could possibly live any other way.

Even individual liberty and sovereignty is a foreign concept, so ingrained is our indoctrination into the “way things are”. But this is certainly not the way things always were. Most, if not all, have been willing to trade what they dimly perceive as a life of hardship and suffering for the baubles and trinkets they’ve been offered on today’s trading blanket. For them, this seems an acceptable trade, they can have job, career, family, retirement, but they have absolutely no idea like the Indians did, what they are giving up. And they are not being told either.

Lost to them is the connections to life and what this means to them, their families and even the planet. Our world is almost entirely based on the capitalist model, that requires the constant input of resources, money, labor and lives. In exchange for this voracious insatiable appetite of planetary and humanity destruction, we receive back our sustenance and our toys. This seemed sufficient — but not anymore as we face global collapse. Our appetites have been too big, our “ownership” too much, our destruction is imminent.

And our lives are empty while surrounded by the best money can buy. Our relationships are shallow, our pleasures in this life are hollow and our history is filled with the dead bones of those we’ve crushed in our quests to obtain all of this.

We are in fact, in my opinion, destroyed already. We just don’t know it, do not want to admit it and can barely comprehend it’s significance.

Our trading blanket began at birth as we were assimilated into this society, indoctrinated into its teachings and practices, but terribly or never informed about its costs. Most of our lives are actually built upon lies, but this too is a very hard thing for many to accept. Our dependency for example, is transparent to us, we can’t even see it, but it is real nonetheless.

What can we do? Knowledge is power, your consent is yours alone to give and nobody can tell you otherwise.


admin at survivalacres dot com

5 thoughts on “The Consent Of The Governed

  • March 2, 2008 at 12:30 pm
    While some of Spooner’s writings are flawed, his articles on the Constitution, and on the legal history and true meaning of “trial by jury” (which has been corrupted into something entirely different in this country) seem absolutely solid to me.

    Unfortunately, despite what may be said in speeches or high-sounding declarations, governments have always ruled by force alone, when it comes down to it.

    His article Natural Law, while not a solid argument, contains an excellent history of government and discussion of “rights”.

    It’s all good reading, and knowledge is power, but I worry that the guns of government may be a stronger power…

  • March 2, 2008 at 8:54 pm
    @Adam – just to add – that little document called your birth certificate makes you vassal of the state. It’s true.
  • March 2, 2008 at 11:55 pm
    Maybe so, but like everything else the government does, it’s unilateral — one group of humans forcing their way onto another group of humans.

    But that’s the way of the world, I guess. Might makes right seems to be the rule for all other species. As much as I’d like for humans to be the exception and for “justice” to exist, it doesn’t seem like it. The powerful always do and have done whatever they want…

  • March 4, 2008 at 9:12 am
    Joseph Tainter pointed out in “The Collapse of Complex Societies” that complex societies exist, and governments rule them by means of legitimatization and coercion.

    Legitimization can involve non-material elements (the emperor is a god, democracy is the best way of government), propaganda, indoctrination, etc, but no society can continue to survive unless it provides actual material benefits. The people must be shown that their taxes are benefiting them more than they are hurting. So, even while Rome was going bankrupt, they kept increasing the public dole. They had to, to maintain their legitimacy. Eventually, one out of three people was on the dole.

    Coercion is another method, but it, too can be expensive. Higher and higher taxes are demanded, with greater and greater punishments for not paying. The state may come to control where you can live, what your occupation is, what you can say. People get more rebellious, and more resources must be allocated to social control. The wealthier areas that can make it on their own may try to pull away; the government won’t let them, because it needs their production.

    Our governments use both methods to ensure “stability” and control.

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