Sunday, February 10, 2013
Discussion: How to lawfully confront and overcome the slave master
For those unfamiliar with Spence, he was a “country lawyer”, one of the most effective ethical litigators of our time, always fighting for the little guy against the predatory beast (at least after his awakening and personal epiphany). This biographical information from his webpage is worth repeating:
Gerry Spence, born, reared and educated in Wyoming, is recognized nationwide for his powerful courtroom victories. He graduated cum laude from the University of Wyoming Law School in 1952, and has spent his lifetime representing the poor, the injured, the forgotten and the damned against what he calls "the new slave master," a combine of mammoth corporations and gargantuan government. He has tried and won many nationally known cases, including the Karen Silkwood case, (a movie was made of the case with Meryl Streep and Cher,) the defense of Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge, the defense of Imelda Marcos, the case against “Penthouse Magazine” for Miss Wyoming and the murder defenses of Ed Cantrell and Sandy Jones.http://www.gerryspence.com/index2.html
In 2008 in a politically charged case brought by the Justice Department in Michigan against attorney Geoffrey Fieger, Spence won complete acquittals for his client on a ten-count indictment alleging federal campaign contribution violations, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Spence represented Brandon Mayfield, a modest Oregon attorney, against the United States in which Spence was instrumental in obtaining a federal court to hold the Patriot Act unconstitutional. He has tried numerous other important criminal and civil trials. He has never lost a criminal case either as a prosecutor or a defense attorney. He has not lost a civil case since 1969. He has had more multi-million dollar verdicts without an intervening loss than any lawyer in America.
Over the years, after reading some of his books and other writings and listening to some talks and interviews, I had occasion to share a few emails with Gerry and joined his email list once he started that. A couple weeks ago I got an email from Gerry announcing his latest blog, on the topic Speaking to Each Other as Slaves. As serendipity had its way, it was posted twice and Gerry didn't remove the duplicate before others had already started commenting, so the identical blog is posted twice with different reader comments for each:
At the end of the blog, Gerry invited a brainstorming session:
Now, dear friends, I am seeking a dialogue. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on how to lawfully confront and overcome the slave master and to provide liberty and justice for all, as is the promise of our constitution. Give this careful consideration in your concise responses here. Let us speak to each other out of our caring, with at least as much caring as we would offer a captured bird in a cage with a broken wing who is yet able to sing.
I immediately began working on my comments, but they were never approved to be added to those of others who also commented. Was it because my words were not concise or caring enough? Or perhaps because I dug deeper and questioned the premise of his call to action? Perhaps I was too damn pessimistic! So far I am in the dark. Since my comments weren't allowed to be added to the fray on his blog, I'll leave them here, somewhat edited and expanded as food for thought and hopefully dialog.
I first complimented Gerry for this latest “superb essay. It is the cream. Wado (Thank you)”. [Then the fun begins:]
As to his invitation to imagine "how to lawfully confront and overcome the slave master and to provide liberty and justice for all, as is the promise of our constitution", I think that will be a most difficult task, made more so by the constraint of being "lawful", when experience and reality tell us he who hath the gold, maketh the rules. Freedom, even seeking freedom from servitude and slavery to them is by definition, their definition, illegal.
In my (not so) humble opinion, providing "liberty and justice for all" is not the promise of the CONstitution, it is the propaganda of the CONstitution; it is the snare that traps us into blind obedience to the masters. We have been conned since infancy with incessant messages that the government is great, the government is pure, the government is here to help us, that it is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. That deception, that lie, is so immense we have a difficult time accepting the fact we have been tricked, too embarrassed to admit to ourselves, others and especially our children that we have been stung, hoodwinked, that we were the victims, the marks in the sting. So by our silence we cooperate with perpetuating the oppression on to the backs of our grandchildren.
Cooperate. Co-operate. As long as we co-operate, we are ourselves OPERATING the institutions that enslave us. It becomes self-inflicted, self-enforced slavery. We might engage in protest, even "illegal" civil disobedience occasionally, only to realize they have taken even that and turned it into a "law and order" profit center. No, non-cooperation has to go far beyond sit-ins, teach-ins, marches and protests. To quote John Trudell (Co-Optation, 1987), "Pretending civil disobedience by cooperating could be aiding and abetting enslavement".
The CONstitution is held up (by the master's propaganda) as the gold standard of democracy. More lies our teachers told us. See also: Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
At findbook: http://tinyurl.com/3fu4c5t
The truth can be seen more through the candid comments of MADison of the secret proceedings in which the scheme was being crafted. MADison was terrified of democracy so drafted the 'supreme law' to prevent it.
Stepping back a pace, the early colonies formed a federation modeled on the advanced social structure of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). After the so-called revolution against England, the colonies formed a union under the Articles of Confederation, notably with a unicameral legislative body. The provisions of that agreement allowed too much independence and not enough due respect to the ruling class rights to extricate wealth and redistribute it to themselves. These were not well served by a system of equity and social justice. they yearned for the good old days living the lives of idleness they had become accustomed to under the multi-level management of England's caste system.
MADison, as principle architect of the CONstitutional scheme, reveals his intent on reinstating the British system of hierarchical domination, to serve the interests of the landLORDS. To quote him:
"There will be particularly the distinction of rich & poor. It was true as had been observed (by Mr. Pinckney) we had not among us those hereditary distinctions of rank which were a great source of the contests in the ancient governments as well as the modern States of Europe...We cannot, however, be regarded even at this time as one homogeneous mass....In framing a system which we wish to last for ages, we should not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce. An increase of population will of necessity increase the proportion of those who will labor under all the hardships of life, and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above the feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former."
As can be seen from these statements, MADison was terrified of equality and democracy, since if that were to be effected, there could be no over-privileged class.
"The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge of the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections? and, unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and, to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability. Various have been the propositions; but my opinion is, the longer they continue in office, the better will these views be answered."
Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787, TUESDAY JUNE 26TH
I stumbled on this ~1750's quote from Benjamin Franklin just last week:
Manufactures are founded in poverty. It is the multitude of poor without land in a country, and who must work for others at low wages or starve, that enables undertakers to carry on a manufacture, and afford it cheap enough to prevent the importation of the same kind from abroad, and to bear the expence of its own exportation. But no man who can have a piece of land of his own, sufficient by his labour to subsist his family in plenty, is poor enough to be a manufacturer [a producer/production worker] and work for a master [as a wage slave].
Thus Franklin shows as did MADison that social injustice was a byproduct of the economic class system. MADison created a system of “checks and balances” to enable, protect and preserve such an unjust class divide, its foundation being bicameral legislature created under the CONstitution.
One would think that union of people would be served by a common law-making body. If the people are united, why would they need a divided legislature?
As MADison candidly admitted above, it was divided to preserve the caste system, the class divide between the haves and the havenots. The British system of royal domination had to be reinstated with a House for Commons and a House for Lords (with veto power over the voice of the commoners). The House of Commons was repainted as the House of Representatives and the House of Lords as the Senate, putting a Greco-Roman face on this subterfuge. Under MADison's scheme, how was the Senate to be the primary tool to "to protect the minority of the opulent against the [will of the] majority"? This was the REAL "check and balance". We are taught that we have a wonderful system of checks and balances, passed off as one branch of the government checking the others. What is masked by this deception is the diverse interests represented by those un-democratic bodies. We are never taught what is being balanced and who is doing the checking. MADison admitted it. The ultra rich "opulent minority" was to have a "checking" veto power over the will of the majority who might dare seek to balance and level life's bounty. MADison was for "just us" not justice.
The original scheme denied selection of the Senate and the presidency to the common people. The white male commoners who were allowed to vote could only be trusted to select the members of the House of Representatives, the body of which was the only democratically proportioned branch of this proposed government. As today, the President was not to be selected by any popular vote but by a vetting "electoral college" beholding to no one save the political machines, controlled by the rich. Madison had originally proposed that only the rich, those with at least one thousand pounds sterling silver, could vote for selection of Senators. When Ben Franklin argued eloquently against such an injustice, that was amended to mask the ultimate goal. To hide the fact that MADison was reinstating the House of Lords, that obvious wealth restriction gave way to having Senators to be chosen by state-level political institutions (again, controlled by the ultra-rich) instead of a direct vote of the people.
Now we have to look at this system of "checks and balances" in a different light. It is not simply about the superficial differences of the separation of powers between different functions of the government but rather is founded upon the different classes those power structures were created to serve.
If we accept for the sake of discussion that the House of Representatives, being in proportion to the population, is relatively democratic and assume they are true representatives of the interests of their constituencies (therefore not beholding to corporate interests), then we have to look at how the will of the majority they are supposed to represent gets marginalized. As MADison planned, the House of Lords under the facade of the Senate moniker becomes the primary paralyzing neutralizer.
So the first level of check by the ultra rich lies with the Senate power to veto any proposal issuing from the House of Representatives of the commoners "who will labor under all the hardships of life, and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings." If by chance some legislative enactment of social justice gets past the Senate, then it faces the backup veto power of the president, again being vetted and selected by mechanisms serving the interests of that "opulent minority" instead of society as a whole.
Starting with the understanding then that both the presidency and the Senate are by design intended to serve the interests of the rich, it gets a little more intriguing when one investigates the special powers granted to the Senate and office of president and barred to the House of Representatives representing the common folk.
Focus on two things. Treaties (international law) and appointments of federal attorneys and judges. The president acts and the Senate confirms. Commoners have no say.
Treaties are deemed, by the CONstitution, to be the supreme law of the land. These are created to serve corporate interests which is why the common people were to have no voice in the matter. The President proposes, the Senate confirms. The House of Representatives of the commoners has no legal authority to be involved in the process.
After making the law, then comes the arbiters. The President appoints the Attorney General and his assistant attorneys. The Senate confirms. The President appoints federal judges and the Senate confirms. the President appoints Justices to the Supreme Court and the Senate confirms. The deciders are selected by the "opulent minority" camp. Commoners have no say.
It's then seen to be a triple-level veto power that has been created, granting special 'legal authority' to the ultra-rich "opulent minority" class of landlords, with the financial means to be the investors and employers that assert mastery over our lives.
Toward an American Revolution
Exposing the Constitution and other Illusions
by Jerry Fresia
Chapter 3 - The Constitution: Resurrection of An Imperial System
Go to http://www.cyberjournal.org/authors/fresia/ for the whole book online....
Let's examine one item, Social Security. The ultra-rich have been bristling under it and trying to kill it since it was created. The people wouldn't stand for that. So a long-term "final solution" was embarked upon. Now we hear the "entitlement" of Social Security benefits will bankrupt the nation. “The fund is in peril”. Is that true? And if so why and how did it get that way? Simple. Cut the funding. But Social Security is funded by a tax on income earned by workers. The funding is automatic. But that depends on the largess of the plant managers and plantation masters to approve jobs. Without permission to work (jobs), there is no payroll to tax for funding Social Security. So make some new treaties, some new international law. The President and the Senate conspire to eliminate "trade barriers", reduce or eliminate import duties. Grant special "favored nation" status to enable "free enterprise". Enact international "free trade" agreements, such as NAFTA. The end result of which is opportunities to work ("jobs") are exported. Without sufficient domestic job opportunities, the taxable base of employee wages is reduced thereby effectively de-funding Social Security. These "free trade" laws are at the root of the "financial quagmire" of Social Security funding. The CONstitution confers such matters of law to the propertied class. Their financial interests are paramount and to be protected. That is the law.
So, what are we to do about this?
Can't we turn to the courts for justice? It should be obvious by now whose interest the courts serve. Consider the Supreme Court's selection of President in 2000 [subject of yet another book co-written by Gerry] and now the infamous decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, "legalizing" unlimited corporate "donations" to politicians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission
So we must rise up and vote them out right?
"A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years." - Lysander Spooner
"To vote is to abdicate. To name one or several masters for a short or long period means renouncing one’s own sovereignty. Whether he becomes absolute monarch, constitutional prince or a simple elected representative bearing a small portion of royalty, the candidate you raise to the throne or the chair will be your superior. You name men who are above laws, since they write them and their mission is to make you obey." - Elisée Reclus (1885)http://www.marxists.org/subject/anarchism/reclus/voting.htm
"Through obedience one develops the reflex of submission." - unknown
Living under their rules, within their laws, is not the solution, it is the problem. If we were able to game the system and start effecting some semblance of social justice, they merely marshal their forces for...
"When change threatens to rule, then the rules are changed." -- Michael Parenti
If living "lawfully" under their rules is not a viable option, what is?
"I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, & restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere." - Thomas Jefferson
We must effect the inalienable right of self-determination, the right to government by consent, not within their tyrannical system of corrupt laws, but by any means necessary.
Their Declaration of Independence speaks to this much more than the CONstitution, which has no legal or ethical foundation.
"The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, we know, historically, that only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. And the constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children. It is not only plainly impossible, in the nature of things, that they could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them. That is to say, the instrument does not purport to be an agreement between any body but "the people" then existing; nor does it, either expressly or impliedly, assert any right, power, or disposition, on their part, to bind anybody but themselves. Let us see. Its language is:http://www.lysanderspooner.org/notreason.htm#no6
"We, the people of the United States (that is, the people then existing in the United States), in order to form a more perfect union, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
It is plain, in the first place, that this language, as an agreement, purports to be only what it at most really was, viz., a contract between the people then existing; and, of necessity, binding, as a contract, only upon those then existing. In the second place, the language neither expresses nor implies that they had any right or power, to bind their "posterity" to live under it. It does not say that their "posterity" will, shall, or must live under it. It only says, in effect, that their hopes and motives in adopting it were that it might prove useful to their posterity, as well as to themselves, by promoting their union, safety, tranquility, liberty, etc."
*** 58 pages snipped ***
"Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such an one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the Constitution is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize. He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain --- that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
- Lysander Spooner 
If we put our minds to it, perhaps one day we might be as free as a bird. Imagine, we might be accorded animal rights. That would be a big step up from our current condition of enslavement.
"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children."
- Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull) - Hunkpapa Lakota
Let us stop operating their system, their institutions. Stop co-OPERATING for them.
"If every human being woke up tomorrow morning and said: 'Alright, I will not enable what I know to be the lie all day today, it would change. It could not function. If every human being got up tomorrow and said: 'I will not enable it, I will not participate in the lie today, it would change."- John Trudell
Prepare to be free.
Dare to be free.
Be Idle No More!