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Americans practice idolatry towards the Constitution; if you listen to Americans talk about the Constitution, it’s like when you watch North Koreans talk about how Kim Il-sung came down from Mt. Paektu upon a white stallion and inaugurated the bountiful years of Juche. The Constitution is not sacred, and given that the Founders themselves were 18th-century rationalists who did things like cut up the Bible to remove the “implausible” bits (i.e. the miracles) they could hardly be said to think it was “divinely inspired”—let’s face it, Jefferson, with his shredded “rational” Bible, was soy; he was the original New Atheist. I can see someone on Reddit posting a Bible they’ve cut up so as to remove the “irrational parts”—“So I decided to cut out the bigotry and woo and create a Bible that Jesus, as a brown Jew who liked prostitutes, would approve of.” – user: Jeff_3525 (and you know Franklin would retweet those cool science videos all the time—especially if a kite was involved).

Yet even the Founders didn’t think the Constitution would be permanent, as in a sacred text—Jefferson famously made a remark about the tree of liberty being watered by the blood of martyrs; i.e. the Founders saw a time when their own constitution would be overturned, renewed with blood. All revolutionaries say they return to a golden age—even feminists say there was a matriarchal golden age now concealed by man, so all revolutionaries think themselves conservative in a way. For the Founders the golden age was the Glorious Revolution (1688)—and the rights enshrined in their Constitution are “the rights of Englishmen”; and that is one reason why the Constitution is broken today—America is not peopled by Englishmen anymore; hence the Bill of Rights, those rights won by Englishmen over the years, means little to a modern American.

So the Constitution is not fit for purpose—it was designed to govern English colonists (along with some Dutch and German farmers—and, of course, the slaves). Modern America is nothing like that. The problem is that the Constitution is not an organic entity; it is static—it is a single document in which sovereignty is vested; and that is an illusion itself—sovereignty is not exercised by paper, it’s exercised by men. In its rigidity the Constitution struggles to deal with the way America has changed; and it has also created opportunities to exploit its rigidly delineated power relations—especially as the system itself has become decadent.

Hence a supposed advantage to the Constitution is that the various branches check and balance each other—so that it is often said nothing gets done in the American system, and that’s good because mostly the government wants to do bad things. The inefficiency in the system is an advantage. The flip-side is that the clash between the branches just empowers the now-vast Federal bureaucracy—while politicians face election practically every two years and wrangle to put together “bi-partisan” deals, the actual business of government is quietly conducted by the permanent bureaucracy.

If any branch in the American government is sovereign, it’s the Supreme Court—since the Constitution is nominally sovereign and they are the people who interpret it; they are the “voice of the Constitution”—although they are their own voices too. The Supreme Court is also more permanent than any branch of the American government, save the bureaucracy—and so the Justices really “know the ropes”; and, in fact, the Supreme Court has, over time, become a legislative body in its own way—it doesn’t just interpret the law, it makes law.

This is the problem with a codified Constitution: government is too complex to be summed up in one document, and when it happens man naturally looks for ways round the stated rules or ways to use the stated rules to create his own private lacunae of power—and, in fact, sometimes these arise naturally, just as the Supreme Court has become demi-sovereign.

It’s the problem with 18th-century rationalism: it thinks it can “start from scratch” like Descartes and design “the ideal constitution” with reason. Now, the Founders drew from history; and Hannah Arendt, in a comment that demonstrates why women are hopeless, disdained James Madison because “he collected constitutions”—for a woman, Madison’s “constitution autism” was icky; and yet it was why, in part, the Constitution was a success.

There are many deficiencies in the Constitution—not least that it is de facto atheist. The separation of church and state inaugurates de facto atheism. Annoying American atheists who complain about prayer in schools and so on are in the right, so far as the Constitution goes; and America is not a Christian country—she is only so insofar as her original demographic make-up was concerned, not insofar as what her Founders thought.

There is no such thing as “separation of church and state”—there is always a state religion, even if it is de facto; and America’s state religion, through various iterations, is what is called “wokeness” today—American conservatives truly are “anti-American”; it’s just that, as with the USSR, a state very similar to America in many ways, there is a hypocrisy in leftism—the virtues it disdains are still required to sustain the state.

America is in her decline period now; she cannot be defeated by an external enemy, so she will fall from within. The Founders themselves would not be surprised because they themselves did not think that the system they founded was eternal—given they were revolutionaries, they accepted the revolutionary logic that occasional “blood-induced” refreshments would be required to sustain liberty. If the Constitution were organic and evolutionary, as with the British Constitution, it would not suffer this problem—yet it was a product of its time, of 18th-century rationalism infused with a classical sensibility; it was meant to “be there” like marble in the Capitol—yet everything is subject to decay and growth; eventually we burst from our old clothes and find new ones.


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1 Comment

Some guy with no plan
Some guy with no plan
Dec 05, 2022

I guess

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