These United States Of America ... Are Not a Democracy!
|Learning Centre: Common Law, Constitution, Rights, Sovereignty, US History|
The United States of America was founded as a federation of Republics whose sole purpose was to protect persons and their property. Without regulations, subsidies and other privileges, individuals and businesses co-evolved in a competitive environment to be the most inventive and efficient on earth. Democracy—rule by the majority; disregard for individual rights—has perverted what was once a symbiotic relationship among individuals and businesses into a parasitic relationship. Even our massive deficit spending can no longer hide our decline.
This nation was never intended to be a democracy. The framers and ratifiers meant to impose the stable rule of law and not the rule of men, motivated, at the instant, by whim and passion. Democracy is the antithesis of the rule of law, for it is precisely the rule of the voters: that is, rule without limits, obtaining its power from 50%, plus 1, regardless of the established law. Under demos (populace) kratos (master), from the Greek, the mere whim of the majority, right, wrong or indifferent, becomes the law. A lynch mob is democratic within this definition.
Look at the Internal Revenue Service or the DEA—do they not violate the Law guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? Aren't they a product of the legislative democracy, outside the rule of the ratified Law? Yes, but they are certainly democratic. The voters in the States elected the whole Congress. The majority in Congress voted to empower these agents beyond the powers given to Congress by the People. Both votes, the direct election of Senators and the Congress's vote to bestow powers they do not Lawfully have, are contra to the Constitution as Lawfully ratified.
Consensus facit legem is an incontrovertible rule of law which means 'consent makes law.' How does a minority in the right oppose a majority in the wrong, without resort to a fixed rule of law? It cannot. Without a republican form of government a peaceful defense of rights may not be possible.
In short, the operative word is republican. (Not to be confused with the modern Republican party.) Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution states: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence." A serious and potentially damaging bit of misinformation usually follows this line: "Our Treasured Basic Freedoms . . . the historical basic documents that laid the foundation for our democracy, etc." The author of this mistake is usually innocent. He or she is not aware of the real foundation of our federated government.
The closest American dictionary to the ratification period is Noah Webster's "An American Dictionary of the English Language," printed in 1828. Noah Webster says in part:
REPUB'LIC, n. [L. respublica; res and publica; public affairs.]
Seems pretty clear, for the then commonly understood definition of 'republican.'
The Declaration of Independence (the Primary statute), along with the Constitution (the Organic Law), as properly ratified, by two- thirds of the states' votes, is the total and perfect definition of the American republic. The only external interpretation is the intent of the framers and ratifiers.1
Our nation is, properly, a limited constitutional federal republic, formed of limited constitutional state republics, all using majority rule to fill certain elective offices and decide certain matters. With the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the People reserved only four direct (majority) votes:
1. Direct election of Representatives to Congress;
2. Direct election of Presidential Electors;
3. Direct votes as Jurors;
4. Direct votes as Grand Jurors.
We are democratic to the extent of these direct votes of the People. Our government's model is republican in form.
The Fully Informed Jury
What is to keep the Republic just and free? Who watches the watchers? Fully informed jurors are the palladium of liberty.2 Statutes are formed by the various legislatures, and must be confirmed by fully informed Juries of the People, who have no tenure to earn, no election to win, no office to save but one: a safe home protected by peace and justice.
What is the Common Law? It is the law of common sense. It is the pursuit of justice tempered with mercy. It is the final barrier to overzealous legislation and enforcement. If there is no injury, there is no crime. No one can be arrested without probable cause. No ex post facto tricks; Habeas Corpus; no entry or search without a valid warrant. No life, liberty or property can be taken absent a judgment of peers, with all due process.
Grand Juries are required to return True Bills of indictment, or no trial may begin. Juries know of their right, power and duty to judge the statutes, the law and the facts, and the application of all to the case in question. This is the Law of which no competent adult can plead ignorance. It is based on the presumption that all are innocent persons of goodwill until conviction on charges of a crime that has caused injury.
What did Noah Webster say on the subject of the jury?
JU'RY, n. [Fr. juré , sworn, L. juro, to swear.]
It is on the authority of the People that the Constitutions for the States and for these United States of America exist in the first place. When an American Jury renders a verdict, they have spoken, as WE THE PEOPLE, resuming their delegation of legislative, executive and judicial authority, limited to the circumstances in the instant case. The verdicts of fully informed American Juries are not subject to rebuke or censure: they are the in-person voice of the true Sovereigns. The government can create any 'law' by statute, rule or regulation, but as long as the Jury stands between the accused and the accuser, neither life, liberty nor property can be taken without the knowing consent of twelve other potential victims of the same bad law. This right to trial by Jury is the glory of our English legal heritage and the cornerstone of our Republic.
American Juries are limited by due process and the common law, preventing legal murder. Juries have no power to create legislation, only to veto the statute before them. Juries have no power to execute law that is not already in existence, but they can refuse to act on it. Juries cannot judge the conduct of the defendant beyond the scope of the indicting charges, but they can refuse to convict. Juries of the People are, comparably to the Supreme Court, not bound by any precedent. If a legislated 'crime' is no longer seen as such by Juries, they can and do ignore the statute, acquitting in the face of the law and the facts.
This was the trend in the Fugitive Slave Law cases and in the Volstead Act cases during alcohol prohibition.
All action to legislate, to execute, and adjudicate, was delegated by the people, under the Constitution (the rule of Law), to the States and the threemajor branches of the National Government. All officers of State and National Government swear or affirm to protect and defend the appropriate constitutions. But Jurors do not take that oath, for they are not bound as servants: here, they are masters in their own house. This is the essence of res publica (affairs of the public).
Republic: Loss and Restoration
In our current society the word 'democracy' is used to signify a move away from the limited, enumerated constitutional powers. Away from the specific grants of power, delegated by the people, that are required to exist within our republican form. It is important to remember that what has been delegated can be resumed by the lawful holder of the power.
An excerpt from the script of a videotape which I helped produce3 tells part of the story of the drift:
Our founders were students of history, and they designed the Constitution for the United States of America to guard against such encroachment. But the tyrants eventually uncovered a flaw. It is precisely located in the Constitution in Article 1, section 8, clause seventeen. The clause reads:
[Congress shall have the power] "To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding 10 miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; "
Clear enough. The Constitution remains as a limitation on the federal government's authority in the States, while Congress is permitted to make all laws governing the territories and property under its jurisdiction. However, in the years following the Civil War, the 39th and 40th Congresses perverted the intention of the language such that the municipal government based in Washington, D.C . has come to control virtually every political, social and geographical subdivision of the individual States, effectively destroying their sovereignty and converting their citizens into federal subjects.
Prior to the 1930s, the United States of America was rarely referred to as a democracy. In a Republic, every individual is recognized to have certain absolute rights. The sole purpose of government is to secure those rights. In a democracy, individuals are dissolved into the body politic and are granted rights which vary according to the will of the majority.
Our restoration as a Constitutional Republic depends upon our individual knowledge of these essential facts and concepts. They are seldom mentioned in the government-controlled schools and almost never in modern schools of law. Monitor a class for yourself; ask the students about these 'revolutionary' ideas
There is one thing Karl Marx had right when he said: "If you can cut people off from their history they can be easily persuaded." Who we are and what we are is vitally connected to who we were. It all hangs on a word.
The framers and ratifiers did not intend to establish a democracy. As Dr. Franklin is reported to have said to an inquirer at the closing of the Constitutional Convention, "Madame, We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it."
James Kraft-Lorenz is a freelance writer and lecturer and has appeared in the Truth Seeker often. He resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1. The Federalist Papers, the Anti-federalist Papers, Madison's Notes, the constitutional debates (various). The Articles of Confederation, and the principal documents that preceded the American revolution, such as the various letters of Sam Adams' Committees of Correspondence, and Common Sense and The American Crisis, by the honorable Thomas Paine, whom George Washington credited with the title "Author of the Revolution."
2. The Palladium was the shrine of Athena, goddess of wisdom, war and justice. In ancient Greece it was allowed to be used as a sanctuary by the accused-in a word, the last refuge of freedom.
3. "Liberty In The Balance: America, the Fed, and the IRS," Mosaic Media, Common Law Copyright, 1993, Pasadena, California Republic. This 50-minute tape is available from the National League for the Separation of Church and State, P.O. Box 2832, San Diego, CA, 92112. $29 + $3 postage and handling.
For information on Fully Informed Jury Association call or write: F.I.J.A., P.O. Box 59, Helmville, Montana 59843. (406) 793-5550.
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