Blueprint for Bondage
Previously by C.T. Rossi: A
Very Bad Movie
is the cloak of knavery.
said "There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said
it," philosophers were actually a component of the popular
culture. We don’t have philosophers nowadays. We have law professors.
Michael Seidman, Georgetown University constitutional law professor,
and his recent op-ed "Let’s
Give Up on the Constitution." In his calumny against the
United States Constitution, Professor Seidman, author of the forthcoming
Constitutional Disobedience, yearns to breathe free from
that "archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil" document.
As I read on I wondered whether Seidman was merely being purposefully
incendiary and ginning things up for book promotion night at Politics
and Prose, whether his mind had been rendered feeble and credulous
in the thin air of the ivory tower, or whether he was a sly and
cunning crypto-fascist offering a Trojan-horse-utopia vision for
In his clarion
call to break the weighty chains of – well, frankly – the rule of
law, Seidman displays himself ever the free thinker – his thinking
being free of logic, common sense, and eons of human experience.
He argues that because the "nation teeters at the edge of fiscal
chaos" the "culprit" must be the Constitution, bemoaning
for example that the Senate Democrats’ best-ever-plan-in-the-history-of-plans
plan to save us all is hampered by the fact that revenue measures
must originate in the House of Representatives. The good professor
makes no effort to analyze the causes of the chaos. (Could
it be that extra-constitutional institution the Federal Reserve?)
Neither does he, as a putative constitutional scholar, address the
check-and-balance rationale behind the House’s special revenue prerogative
or how the 17th Amendment
has altered that balance. Instead, like clockwork, Professor
Seidman offers the threadbare mantra of all legal
positivists – what do a bunch of dead white males 200 years
removed from us know about anything? Really, professor? Is that
all you’ve got?
does give us something else as he takes a rhetorical detour I didn’t
expect. As grounds for ditching former-decider-in-chief George W.’s
piece of paper, our Georgetown don makes perhaps the most candid
admission ever to get clicked-out on a keyboard – the usurpers on
the Potomac have actually been ignoring it for years! Not only does
Seiden come clean that Lincoln, FDR, and the Supreme Court didn’t
let America’s foundational document stand in the way of what they
wanted to do, the law be damned, but also offers the even more surprising
admission that the Constitutional Convention was itself a coup-d'etat
against the Articles
of Confederation. But rather than reach the sane conclusion
that this crisis situation was a function of the state’s attacks
on liberty and the American people’s unwarranted tolerance of usurping
petit despots, he offers us a utopian state which can only be conjured
when individual rights wither away. In Seiden’s cloud-cuckoo-land,
our cherished "protections against governmental deprivation
of life, liberty or property" would "continue" but
only "out of respect, not obligation." Dare I ask if a
government which was obligated to respect the rights of its
citizens had engaged in the wholesale disregard of those obligations,
as catalogued and endorsed by Seiden, what would its restraint out
of mere respect look
Seiden assures us that: "Our sometimes flagrant disregard of
the Constitution has not produced chaos or totalitarianism; on the
contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper." Neither does
an occasional illness kill the body, but it is sheer folly to contend
that sickness is the root cause of health or that destruction
is the key to prosperity.
Michael Seidman seriously believe that "extricating ourselves
from constitutional bondage" will lead to "real freedom"
or is he advocating that the American people keep the mere illusion
of our institutions while the substance becomes something very other
as that other Georgetown
sage put forth? Does he share the unrecanted
view of his academic
co-author Cass Sunstein that government should be free to "ban"
any views it defines as "conspiracy
theory" from public discourse?
of the op-ed – "before abandoning our heritage of self-government,
we ought to try extricating ourselves from constitutional bondage"
– can be read two ways: as a warning call or as a blueprint for
enslavement. Whether he is conscious of the hell he would unleash,
we’ve seen Professor Seiden’s rationale promoted again and again
(in those histories written by and about dead white men that he
finds so irksome) with horrific results and it’s the sirens’ song
that leads to doom always the same refrain: War
Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and Ignorance Is Strength.
Rossi [send him mail]
is an attorney who lives in Mobile, Ala.
© 2013 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or
in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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