The American bourgeois republic is dead. The bourgeoisie now rules through an omnipotent government. Fascism prevails.
While the rest of us were sipping champagne and making resolutions we’ll never keep, President Bismarck Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which essentially nullifies the Bill of Rights. The latter has been on life support since the Patriot Act, and now the plug has been pulled.
Contrary to what many have been taught, the Founders were no fans of liberty. They discussed whether to allow freedom of speech and assembly and resoundingly rejected the idea. They did so because such things would eventually threaten their wealth and property, precisely that which they had assembled to safeguard. Unfortunately for them, once the revolution had displaced the Brits, genuinely democratic assemblies and institutions took hold. Local self-rule had broken out here and there. The American people were well armed, and were in no mind to surrender the democratic advances they had won at so dear a price. Governance had fallen into the hands of the people, and the wealthy northern merchants and southern planters met in Philadelphia to wrest it away.
The original form of the Constitution contained no Bill of Rights. It was presented to the states on a yes-or-no, as-is basis. Where the the power of money was strongest and democracy weakest, the Rights-less Constitution was passed. Elsewhere it was refused. Eventually, a series of compromises were reached among the upper classes of the respective states, the inclusion of a Bill of Rights being one of them, the Constitution was ratified.
The goal of a majority of the Founders was to throttle democracy. Or as Alexander Hamilton euphemistically put it:
“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well born, the other the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government. Can a democratic assembly, who annually revolve in the mass of the people, be supposed steadily to pursue the public good? Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy. Their turbulent and uncontroling disposition requires checks.”
In Commonors’ meetings around the country the disenfranchized “checked” fumed at the treachery. The new Constitution reversed the democratic gains which had been made, and denied to working peoples those reforms for which they had taken up arms against the British. Worse still it imposed onerous financial burdens which led to bankruptcies, foreclosures and repossessions. Talk of a new insurrection was heard.
Between the war and the ratification of the Constitution, dispossessed farmers in Massachusetts rebelled. Under their able leader, Daniel Shays, they did well enough to cause concern for the ruling class. Eventually they succumbed to superior forces, but their initial success inspired the newly dispossessed to act. The likes of John Fries and Herman Husband led insurgents against the new plutocracy, but they were defeated. The merchants and planter class had secured their ascendancy.
With the NDAA Hamilton’s work is now complete. Such democratic imprudence as gainsaying the policies of the United States has now been criminalized; one can be detained indefinitely, and without charges being brought. Those who would advocate a different course from that undertaken by government, or denounce one of its bureaucrats, or have the temerity to petition the government for redress of grievances, are now enemies of the state. Liberty within a bourgeois republic was never more than a conjured spectre, now even its shadow is subject to endless confinement.
The Oligarchy now rules free of the encumbrance of legal restrictions. The American counterrevolution is complete.
About the author: Dave Fryett is an Anarchist and Activist based in Seattle, Washington. Click here to visit his blog.