Friday, July 31, 2009

Not in Liberty Born (Jerome Wright)

Jerome Wright says the Founders talked a good game and wrote some nice things about liberty, but in reality, they simply grabbed power without the consent of the "governed." He adds that the assertion that Americans gained their freedom through the War for Independence is a myth, and the assertion that Americans have remained free is one of the bigger frauds in history:

Liberty was in the thoughts of many American colonials, probably often combined with an assumption that liberty was somehow compatible with the presence of a political government. But there were also many who wanted real liberty, with no national government to compromise it. Things did not turn out that way.

Certainly by the standards of classical liberals, the actions that led to the formation of the American governments were done without the consent of the governed.

Liberty was an ideal with many people, but with few among those who gained office. Liberty was not their objective. They were creating a government that would encompass the colonies as a national government. Their discussions typically revolved about the extent of that government's authority, not its existence. But they had in fact not been given a mandate by all of the colonials, not even by all of the land-owning white males of the colonies.

The First Continental Congress convened in September 1774. Its members came from often informal appointments made without ratification or colony-wide voting. Some representatives were appointed by colonial state legislatures, while others were by informal groups that came together on their own cognizance without legal authority, selected representatives from their group, and sent them off to the congress. This amounts to usurpation of office and political power.

This congress did little in the way of action, but just its existence set a precedent that was to have a major effect on the development of America.

Read the rest

1 comment:

jessica said...

Some representatives were appointed by colonial state legislatures.

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Jessica
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