The necessity for and strength of Government is inversely proportional to the morality and consciousness of its public. The more fearful and less secure a populous feel, the more willing they are to sacrifice their liberties for the protections of the State.
“What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” – James Madison
The great French economist and journalist Frédéric Bastiat’s wrote a fantastic classic essay, “The Law”, first published in 1850. Bastiat believed that all human beings possessed God-given, natural rights of “individuality, liberty, property.” These “three gifts from God precede all human legislation.” But even in his time—writing in the late 1840s—Bastiat was alarmed over how the law had been “perverted” into an instrument of what he called “legal plunder”. Far from protecting individual rights, the law was increasingly used to deprive one group of citizens of those rights for the benefit of another group, and especially for the benefit of the state itself.
Bastiat’s warnings of the dire effects of legal plunder are as relevant today as they were the day he first issued them. The system of legal plunder, which many now celebrate as the system we foolishly call “democracy”, will erase from everyone’s conscience, he wrote, the distinction between justice and injustice. The plundered classes will eventually figure out how to enter the political game and plunder their fellow man. Legislation will never be guided by any principles of justice, but only by brute political force.
The great French champion of liberty also forecast the corruption of education by the state. Those who held “government-endowed teaching positions,” he wrote, would rarely criticize legal plunder lest their government endowments be ended.
It is remarkable, in reading “The Law,” how perfectly accurate Bastiat was in describing the statists of his day which, it turns out, were not much different from the statists of today or any other day. The French “socialists” of Bastiat’s day espoused doctrines that perverted charity, education, and morals, for one thing. True charity does not begin with the robbery of taxation, he pointed out. Government schooling is inevitably an exercise in statist brainwashing, not genuine education; and it is hardly “moral” for a large gang (government) to (legally) rob one segment of the population, keep most of the loot, and share a little of it with various “needy” individuals.
“Dictatorship” need not involve an actual dictator. All that was needed, said Bastiat, was “the laws,” enacted by a Congress or a Parliament, that would achieve the same effect: forced conformity. Bastiat was also wise to point out that the world has far too many “great men,” “fathers of their countries,” who in reality are usually nothing but petty tyrants with a sick and compulsive desire to rule over others. The defenders of the free society should have a healthy disrespect for all such men.
Bastiat’s opening paragraph:
“The law perverted! The law—and, in its wake, all the collective forces of the nation—the law, I say, not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law guilty of that very iniquity which it was its mission to punish! Truly, this is a serious fact, if it exists, and one to which I feel bound to call the attention of my fellow citizens.”
The British Government claims to be a moral institution. It describes Members of Parliament as right honourable ladies and gentlemen, it acknowledges that it has no authority to impose legislation upon the People without their consent, operating through what it rightly calls the lawful consent of the governed. Operating from the fundamental position of law, people agree to respect the life, liberty and property of others; they do not have the right to impose their will, limit freedoms, or make demands for monies or actions, unless a completely lawful and binding contract has agreed to any of those terms. The Government gets its authority and rights from the People, but the People can only give what lawful rights they possess, Government therefore can have no more than the lawful rights and authority lent to it by the People. It is bound by Common Law and the People’s Constitution.
“The theory of government is that we have surrendered some of our rights to the Government, so that the Government will protect the rights that we have not surrendered. That’s the idea behind, the Government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Does anyone… know anyone now living, who consented to the Government? The answer is no. The idea that Government derives its powers from the consent of the governed is a fiction. The fiction is that we have consented to the surrender of our rights. The reality is that our rights have been stolen from us because the Government monopolizes force. It’s a sad and terrible reality but it is a reality.” – U.S. Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Government is not some magic entity wielding its own power, it is merely a corporate body which was created to protect peoples’ rights, property and natural resources; and, to provide the people with services. It was never given, nor should it ever gain, the power to reign over them.
A corporation cannot legitimately rule over a People in a free country, unless the People agree to give it that authority. To be moral, a government must operate honourable and honestly, with all contractual agreements with the People being lawful. As previously detailed, probably the best means of achieving this aim is through the checks and balances of the original Common Law Constitution system of Trial and Annulment by Jury, with the People’s Common Law in a position of enforcement above the Government, where all unjust government legislation is subject to the Common Law and can be annulled by a jury of the People, without State interference.
All just and moral societies are governed through their Judicial System. In a Common Law country, the judicial system is empowered by the will and judgement of the People, who check and balance their own laws through the Common Law Trial and Annulment by Jury system of justice. Because the People control the laws which they themselves are subject to, they will not allow or agree to tyrannical or unjust laws, elitism, discrimination or inequality. The administrative governing system of the country should be entirely separate, independent and accountable to the judicial system. The justice system’s funding, administration and auditing must also be entirely independent and representative solely of the People. A judicial system which is not independent of and financed through the administrating Government is in a position of conflict where judicial officials may be corruptible.
The Government does not make, nor can it change Common Laws. It can only make and change statutory legislation. The Government is not above the Common Law, although those within it clearly think they are, but they can and do make themselves exempt from the provisions of statutes. It is probable that because officials within government know they are above statutes, that they have come to assume they are also above the Common Law of the Land. This demonstrates how important it is for the People to know the difference between the Common Law and statutes.
The British Government can create its own statutory regulatory framework, its own operational constitution, but it most certainly cannot amend or usurp the very thing which was designed to keep its powers in check - the People’s Great Common Law Constitutional Charter of 1215.