“Democracy of the Dead”

I suppose that Jonah Goldberg is at least to be commended for this most accurate depiction of what constitutions really are–or at least eventually become.

This, via Drizzten, and you ought to head over and read his Spooner quote–if not the whole Spooner essay which he links to. It’s a classic ‘must-read’ for everyone, especially those who harbor sacred notions regarding the US Constitution.

Googling the Chesterton quote yielded the following:

"Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead." Chesterton goes on to say: "Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father."

OK, so it’s mostly crap. What else would you expect from someone who "…also argued against both socialism and capitalism and showed why they have both been the enemies of freedom and justice in modern society"?

So there you have it. Imagine yourselves. You embrace a political philosophy–democracy–and find that not only are you at the mercy of the mob, but also of those who died over 200 years ago–when bloodletting was still in vogue. Isn’t it all just so wonderful?

And don’t misunderstand. I am far less opposed to the actual basic content of the U.S. Constitution than I am with the very idea that some ancient document somehow–magically–binds me in any way. In fact, if the actual original content and meaning of the U.S. Constitution were actually followed without equivocation, there’s a good chance I’d have just kept quiet all these years. Instead, we have the worst of possible scenarios: a document we’re all subject to by threat of force, that we’re unable to reject or modify outside of the most laborious and unlikely process, but yet can be "interpreted" to mean virtually anything by an elite tribunal of lifetime appointees selected for their skill in obfuscating truth (legal "opinions") in the interest of popular politics.

The U.S. Constitution is quite likely the worst thing that ever happened to America. It took what America was supposed to be, from The Declaration of Independence, and destroyed it.

(via Beck)


  1. Richard Nikoley on April 16, 2006 at 15:11


    The "idea of America" is contained within the Declaration of Independence. Things promptly went down hill from there and the Constitution sealed its fate. A fate we're living today.

    That "idea of America" exists all over the world–as I'm fond of pointing out often. That seed was sown and, I believe, will flourish–somewhere and somehow.

  2. the commentator on April 16, 2006 at 14:58

    Then again, without it there is no idea of America. Why do I get the feeling Jefferson's tears are dripping on it? Indeed, the Forefathers must be slapping their hands to their foreheads and saying, "What a bunch of morons. They just don't get it…" Might as well start over…like the Stonecutters did. Homer missed the point just like how people today miss the point.

  3. the commentator on April 16, 2006 at 21:28

    America – the America in the Declaration of Independence – was the latest stage in the 'what ought to be' evolution of man and history. Question for you: How did the Constitution begin to cannibalize American ideals? Does America have any hope of harnessing the madness on their shores before achieving its goals elsewhere under a different race and nation? My observations – however imperfect- – has led me to the notion that citizens interpet the Constitution strictly through the prism of their own post-modern thinking. Worse, they do so in a highly polarized context (as revealed in various 'truth' 'impeach Bush' and the least offensive 'freedom blogs' blogs) which prevents them from soberly examining the mindset of their Forefathers in its proper spirit. Somehow it would take a leap of faith, for example, for people to believe any of the men of genius would approve of the prevailing leftist jargon corroding the spirit of that precious, powerful yet fragile Declaration. I agree with you; the idea has been planted and its DNA is universal. The torch will be carried one day. There is no doubt about that. For now, and we are unfortunately witnesses to it, jackals and hyenas jump and run around giggling while instilling their terrible faux ethos upon America; Michael Moore being one. An indifferent and intellectually lazy media is another. It's Republican Italy during the Renaissance Machiavelli lamented about all over again? Rome circa 476ad? Except it's in color now.

  4. Richard Nikoley on April 17, 2006 at 09:20

    "How did the Constitution begin to cannibalize American ideals?"

    It asserted authority that can only be enforced through the initiation of force. Granted that much of the Constitution is restrictive, but unlike the Declaration, it proscribes various legal procedures as well as proscribing universal dominion over all.

    The Declaration said "leave us alone" while the Constitution says "you belong to me."

    I'd suggest you take the brief time to read the Lysander Spooner essay that's linked to in that Drizzten reference above.

  5. the commentator on April 17, 2006 at 15:34

    Thanks. I did. Agree with its tenets.

  6. John T. Kennedy on April 18, 2006 at 19:42

    "How did the Constitution begin to cannibalize American ideals?"

    By corrupting the concept of consent, starting with the first three words.

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