Very good read, thank you. I will add that I am in strong agreement with the philosophical spirit engendered there. However, I must disagree with the assessment of the document itself as being one of the best written instruments to issue from the minds of men. The US Constitution is in fact a rather weakly written document. This assessment is borne out in the reality with which our so-called "government" treats us daily in an ever increasingly miserable and niggardly fashion. This is not to imply that even a greatly improved version of such a document could not be similarly subverted, but would in any case make the subversion much more difficult to carry forth.
Originally Posted by Douglass Bartley
The fundamental structure of the document is hopelessly flawed, particularly for a world full of wicked men seeking to make their mules of the rest. In particular, the provision for amendments per Article V is especially weak and troubling for it leaves a door ajar, however imperceptibly to the casual observer, to chaos and the utter destruction of the nation and its people. A proper constitution, if such a document can even be so termed, would be constructed in at least two major sections wherein the provisions of at least one would lie beyond the reach of any governmental body or instrument to be altered in any way whatsoever. In such a section would reside the immutable principles by which human freedom is founded, bonded, and guaranteed in perpetuity; this in the spirit of the quotes you cite in your exposition from the likes of Marshall and Story and in defense from the likes of the traitorous and treasonous pig Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Without this hermetic seal securing the boundary between what is absolute and what is malleable, all becomes the latter. To this we all have borne witness in ever increasing strides that continues to grow in boldness and perfidy on almost a daily basis.The article is well taken but goes off the rails in a few places, not through fault of your own per se, but through the flaws of those quoted or paraphrased. For example, in section 1.004 the language of Jefferson itself impeaches the very philosophical structure of the nation. He asks,
The obvious answer is "no", but that is not quite sufficient. One must inquire into the reason for it being so and the answer to that is as manifold as the differences between peoples' passions and motivations. For one thing, what are the moral duties to which he refers? Who establishes them? What is their authority for so doing? These are the fundamental questions that must be asked and the answers are rarely simple and logically defensible or even consistent. And what of vice? I can strongly argue that there is not legitimate role for government to interfere in vice. But these are somewhat orthogonal points. The more centrally pressing issue here is that so-called "states" are no less prone to tyranny in principle than is a centralized establishment. Were a state to decide to exercise its 10th Amendment prerogatives and reinstate Jim Crow or perhaps make homosexual behavior a capital offense for which death is the mandatory penalty, how is this any better in principle than if the federal government doing the same? The "move to another state" argument is a non-starter as it fails to address the question substantively, if even at all.
"Can it be believed, that under the jealousies prevailing against the General Government, at the adoption of the Constitution, the States meant to surrender the authority of preserving order, of enforcing moral duties and restraining vice, within their own territory?"
Our Constitution is pretty and elegant. It is also a failure, not in the principles and ideas it espouses, but in its structure, its language, the specifics of some of the mechanisms and instruments specified, and its generally severe lack of language with which the average citizen may gird and arm himself against the capricious whim and predation of vicious bands of criminals labeling themselves "government".
Our Constitution is well suited to a far more perfect world where immoral and criminal men are relatively few and far between and where the good people actively participate in keeping government as scrupulously clean and proper as possible and are willing and able to carry forth even the most unpleasant aspects of such enforcement of civil rights such as serving as the executioners of duly convicted politicians who have earner themselves the penalty of death for crimes committed. It is not well suited to a nation wherein cynicism, lassitude and utter corruption rule the day and where men cannot trust it to be true when others tell them the sky is still blue and grass is green.
A well structured constitution must, above all else, be a technical document; a blueprint that very precisely specifies its stipulations in as context-constant a way as is humanly achievable in order to remove to the greatest degree possible any wiggle-room for "interpretation". In this our Constitution is a dismal and utter failure.
That our liberties have not been amended away, for example, lays credit not at the feet of the Constitution but at the still extant intolerance of the people. Granted that both are required, but the object is not to make perfidy impossible but only extremely difficult, possibility being what it is in such matters.
The section 1.004 further refers to "common sense", and once again we return to the question of a standard, which is to day a definition. Without it, the reference means literally nothing whatsoever, save that to which the individual's proclivities and personal bias may lead him, his neighbor quite possibly holding a very different sense of the concept.In having written a new and improved constitution for the USA I came to appreciate the difficulty of the task when the goal is to contrive an unbreakable document. I will not call it impossible, but will say that it is a difficulty of epic proportions. So once again, perhaps the goal should not be to make it perfect, but as close to it as is humanly achievable.
Just my worthless opinion, of course.