If Not Now, When?
If Not Now, When? by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York!” says the cunning Richard, Duke of Gloucester, of his brother, King Edward, in Shakespeare’s play, “Richard the Third”. That was then; this is now. And the coronation of the latest American “King”—or Duce, or Führer, or even (the piquant touch of blasphemy aside) “Messiah”, as may suit one’s taste in denominating exalted “leaders”—has not transformed America’s national winter into sunny days. Quite the contrary. The private economy is collapsing. The ostensible public debt is ballooning. The latter-day Ponzis who run their “debt-currency” and other “paper-wealth” confidence games and swindles through the Federal Reserve System, the Department of the Treasury, and the big Wall-Street financial houses are looting America on a scale and with a ferocity not witnessed anywhere in the world since Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. And rogue officialdom in the General Government work day and night to replace “America the Beautiful” with a first-class fascistic national-security police state, before the economic house of cards tumbles down entirely.
All this would be bad enough by itself. What renders the tragedy truly intolerable is the veritable Greek Chorus of complainers from the ranks of self-styled patriots who bemoan the supposed irreversibility of events: “We are losing all of our rights! They are ready to impose martial law! They are going to put us into concentration camps! There is nothing we can do! They are too smart, too rich, and too powerful to be stopped!” These people ridicule the rest of America’s population as being composed of frightened and ignorant “sheeple”. But who, pray tell, is bleating most loudly about the inevitability of defeat?
True enough, things are going from bad to worse, and at an accelerating pace. Each day witnesses an expansion, intensification, centralization, and (most ominously) personalization of raw political power in the Disgrace of Columbia. Almost by the hour, the hydra of tyranny grows new heads, even without any of the old ones being cut off. So much for a description of the disease. Now, what is the prescription for the remedy?
Why should average Americans presume that their country is lost, and their freedoms and prosperity with it? Are average Americans not smart? Do they not, collectively at least, have as much knowledge and as many skills as—or far more, if the truth be told, than—their oppressors? Are average Americans not rich? Do they not exercise immediate physical control over most of the valuable property in this country? Could they not easily extend that control to all the rest of the property worth controlling? And, as the old saw has it, is not actual possession “nine-tenths of the law”? Are average Americans not powerful? Do not “we” outnumber “them” by orders of magnitude? And does not God favor “the big battalions”? Yes, yes, and once again yes! So the obviously correct course of action is for Americans to stop sniveling and whining about their impotence and vulnerability and instead to set about doing something decisive with the strengths they have. After all, God helps those who help themselves.
First and foremost, a little thinking is in order. Only “a little thinking”, because not that much is really necessary to solve this country’s fundamental problem. What is that problem? Ultimately it is a matter of law—or, more specifically described, of lawlessness. America is suffering the transmogrification of her legal system from the rule of law to the lawlessness of rulers. With the aid of puppet-politicians, media propagandists, and other front men, influential factions and special-interest groups are systematically seizing control of the apparatus of law so that they can use the law to break the law under color of the law—while treating everyone who justifiably opposes them as, if not actual lawbreakers, “extremists” only one short step removed from outlaws.
Where, though, is the law to protect the people? Why, where it has always been and remains today—in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Those are We the People’s laws. In the Declaration, We the People “assume[d] among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle[d] them”. Then they “ordain[ed] and establish[ed] th[e] Constitution for the United States of America”. And all public officials “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support th[e] Constitution”.
But, the naysayers complain, “the Constitution has failed. It cannot prevent usurpation and tyranny. America needs a new constitution.” Easy enough to say. But the doing is another thing altogether. Who has the authority to prepare a new Constitution? What would it say? More to the point, what would it mean? How would it be adopted? And how would it be enforced, and by whom, if rogue public officials in the General Government and their satellites in various State governments refused to recognize it?
Besides, what real purpose would a new constitution serve? Anyone who takes the time actually to read the Constitution—and to peruse a few books of history so that he can understand its language as the Founding Fathers did—can come to know what the Constitution truly means. After all, the Constitution was written to be adopted and applied by farmers, yeomen, mechanics, merchants, and other common people—both in the late 1700s and thereafter throughout the ages. It contains no mysterious passages that can be deciphered only by graduates of Harvard, Yale, or other elitist law schools (which, by the way, none of the Framers attended), or by the black robes in the even smaller population of judges appointed to office because of their back-room political connections.
Moreover, anyone who studies the history of the modern “constitutional interpretation” for which those judges and graduates are responsible will soon realize what the Constitution does not mean and could not possibly mean. For decades, the legal gurus of the Bench, the Bar, and the law schools have inundated this country with tortuous and truly tortured theories of “the general Welfare”, “regulation of Commerce”, “implied powers”, “compelling governmental interests”, “judicial supremacy”, “the unitary executive”, and so on ad nauseum—all intended to infuse, increase, and intensify power in the General Government, at the expense of the States and especially of the people. What they failed to take into account, though, is that now Americans can see with the exactitude of personal experience how disastrously these crackpot notions have worked out in practice, and on that basis can foresee how much more harm they will undoubtedly cause—even unto this country’s utter destruction—if they are allowed to control the course of constitutional law any longer. As applied, these theories have engendered the exact opposite of what the Preamble to the Constitution catalogues as its purposes: namely, “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. Unless the Founding Fathers were veritable political idiots, they could never have written the Constitution so as even to suggest such aberrant theories of misconstruction. And unless contemporary Americans are worse than veritable political idiots, they will not suffer this travesty to continue at their own expense. Because, unlike the Founding Fathers who never lived with the horrific results that these perversions of the Constitution have visited upon this country, contemporary Americans now know that these theories were intended, not to “interpret” the Constitution, but to overthrow it—and to bury the common man’s liberty and prosperity in the rubble. This was never a matter simply of stupidity (although that, no doubt, played some part in it), but of calculated subversion.
Knowing what is wrong is not the same as supplying a remedy, however. Although patent to everyone with the eyes to see, the subversion continues apace. America’s enemies intend even to expand upon it, destroying what is left of the Constitution—and the Declaration of Independence along with it—by submerging this country in some hemispheric North American Union or global New World Order. But that in itself is highly instructive. For if America’s enemies are dead set on murdering the Constitution, common Americans should want that much more to preserve, protect, and enforce it. America’s enemies, after all, are no men’s fools. They know full well that if the Constitution is correctly construed and rigorously applied then they are finished. Which it why they have been undermining it for generations, and now want to eliminate it entirely, before too many Americans finally wake up and take action in their own and their country’s self-defense. Self-evidently, then, Americans need, not to give up on the Constitution, but instead to stand up for it—because that is what their enemies themselves admit, by their own actions, would be the most effective defense against them.
How can the Constitution, so twisted out of shape that it is barely recognizable, be straightened out and put to work for common Americans’ salvation and their enemies’ defeat? Not by amendments. Amendments are very difficult to enact. Worse yet, any new amendment will have to be “interpreted”—by the very same people, or at least the very same type of people, who are now misinterpreting the Constitution. So, self-evidently, the problem lies not in the document but in rogue public officials. We the People have allowed weasels to guard the chicken coop. As Cassius rightly chided Brutus in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, “the fault * * * is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings”. Now, We the People must muster the self-reliance and self-confidence to correct that error—because no one else is going to do it for them.
But where to begin? Of course, patriots must continue to oppose all of the horrendous legislation being proposed by their enemies. Mere opposition, though, even if successful in individual instances, will not suffice. For, as General MacArthur reminded America, “There is no substitute for victory!” And victory can hardly ever be won by defensive measures alone, particularly when the enemy already controls so much of this country. We the People must assume the offensive.
Yet a thoroughgoing reform cannot be accomplished all at once. Americans have to take back their Constitution, and with it their country, steadily and systematically, piece by piece. At the present moment, the most important powers that We the People need to reclaim for themselves are the Power of the Purse and the Power of Sword—not only because political philosophy has always treated these powers as the essence of sovereignty, but also and especially because America is now confronted by an accelerating economic collapse (to which the Power of the Purse must be addressed) and threatened by the imposition of a police state (against which the Power of the Sword must be applied).
Even such a partial reform cannot be effected everywhere at one fell swoop. Yet it must be done somewhere, to prove that it can be done anywhere. That “somewhere”, moreover, must offer the possibility of establishing a powerful political and economic base for further action. For We the People cannot be satisfied with nothing more than “political and economic survivalism”. Instead, they must establish a bridgehead from which to launch a political offensive that eventually will sweep across the entire country.
Fortunately, Americans can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the federal system: namely, that there are fifty States, each enjoying a large measure of sovereignty with the exercise of which rogue public officials in the General Government have no legal authority to interfere. Of course, in some States the odds against effecting any rational political and economic reforms are dauntingly high. In those States, both the “patricians” and the “plebeians” rightly deserve Marullus’s denunciation of the Roman mob in “Julius Caesar”: “You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!” Nothing can be done with them. For the nonce, they must be left (as an old saw has it) like cheap sausages in a hot pan, to smoke and sputter in their own indigestible grease. But that is not the case in every State. In some States—in at least one State—it surely must be possible for We the People to regain control over their legislators. And even one State will be enough to start the ball rolling.
The basis steps in the strategy are straightforward:
1. Identify a State in which a sizable segment of the population will support—yea, will demand—two measures:
(a) regaining the Power of the Purse through the introduction of an alternative-currency system based on silver and gold; and
(b) regaining the Power of the Sword through revitalization of “the Militia of the several States” in that State.
2. Draft comprehensive legislation for this purpose exactly as it needs to be enacted—thus embodying fully and precisely what We the People themselves demand, not some crumbs that legislators deign to throw to them.
3. Find patriotic, courageous, and sagacious legislators to introduce the bill and shepherd it through the legislative process.
4. Mobilize a mass of grass-roots activists, not only from that State but also from all over the country, to lobby for the legislation. Because the first State is the starting-point for reform throughout America, every patriot in every State has a vital interest in seeing the reform legislation enacted there.
5. If the bill does not pass, in the very next election remove from office as many as possible of those legislators who voted against it, replacing them with new legislators pledged to carry the reform to completion—legislators drawn from among We the People themselves, not from the ranks of professional politicians. The crucial, if not the only, issue in the election must be the candidates’ support for the reform legislation.
6. Return to step 3, and reiterate this process until the bill finally passes and is signed into law.
Once one or two States have enacted such legislation, others will follow because of the obvious economic and political advantages of doing so.
Then, with the Power of the Purse and the Power of the Sword firmly held in We the People’s hands, in jurisdictions with constitutional authority, other problems can be addressed, one after another, from a position of ever-increasing political, economic, and legal strength.
What is the alternative? This country’s enemies have been winning—and will continue to win—the political battles because they are organized, whereas We the People are not. The strategy advocated here will enable We the People, not simply to organize themselves, but also to organize around the two most important powers of sovereignty. Everything else—from Tea Parties, to resolutions invoking the Tenth Amendment, to calls to audit the Federal Reserve System, even to the demands of the 9/11 truth movement for a comprehensive investigation of that horrendous crime—amounts to mere political theater and wheel-spinning, because those endeavors, laudable as they are, have no teeth. They are not self-enforcing. In any country, those who actually wield the Power of the Purse and the Power of the Sword are the true sovereigns. Everyone else is a subject. For the Power of the Purse and the Power of the Sword are the fundamental enforcement-mechanisms for every form of government. If self-government is to exist in America, as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution require, then We the People—and only We the People themselves—must wield these powers. Not just “ought to”, but must.
One shrinks from adopting the apocalyptic tone of a Cassandra, that it is “now or never”. But, if not now, when?
© 2009 Edwin Vieira, Jr. – All Rights Reserved. This article originally appeared July 20, 2009 on newswithviews.com
- Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., P.h.D., J.D. —Biography, Books and Lectures.
Edwin Vieira, Jr., holds four degrees from Harvard: A.B. (Harvard College), A.M. and Ph.D. (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), and J.D. (Harvard Law School).
For more than thirty years he has practiced law, with emphasis on constitutional issues. In the Supreme Court of the United States he successfully argued or briefed the cases leading to the landmark decisions Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, and Communications Workers of America v. Beck, which established constitutional and statutory limitations on the uses to which labor unions, in both the private and the public sectors, may apply fees extracted from nonunion workers as a condition of their employment.
Dr. Vieira has written numerous monographs and articles in scholarly journals, and lectured throughout the county. Dr. Vieira is the author of the following books:
- Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution (II Volumes)
The most comprehensive study in existence of American monetary law and history viewed from a constitutional perspective. Available on Amazon.
- How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary
In this brilliant, accessible, and documented work, Dr. Edwin Vieira offers us the best researched and clearest over view to date of the power of the people to control a runaway judiciary. Available on Amazon.
- Constitutional “Homeland Security”, Volume One, The Nation in Arms
This book explains why “the Militia of the several States” are the only establishments the Constitution explicitly empowers to provide the crucial elements of “homeland security”. And it describes the practical steps Americans should take to revitalize the constitutional Militia in each of the States. Available on Amazon.
- Constitutional “Homeland Security” Volume Two, The Sword and Sovereignty: Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”
A comprehensive CD-ROM study—2,304 pages in length, with 6,544 footnotes and endnotes—of the constitutional and statutory history of America’s Militia, which gives special emphasis to the unique and indispensable rôle of the Militia as the institutions through which WE THE PEOPLE themselves ultimately provide, or withhold, the consent of the governed upon which this country’s form of government depends for its legitimacy. The Sword and Sovereignty derives the basic legal and practical principles of the Militia from a detailed study of the pre-constitutional Militia statutes of Rhode Island and Virginia selected, for reasons the book makes clear, as exemplars of what happened throughout America in that era. It explains how these principles are embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and how they should be applied in the operation of America’s true federal system of government—indeed, why it is Congress’s and every State’s duty to see to the organization of, and every American’s personal duty to participate in, the Militia, more imperatively now than ever before. It exposes the dangerous fallacy in the contemporary “individual-right” misinterpretation of the Second Amendment, and explains how the Supreme Court’s Heller decision reduced American’s right * * * to keep and bear Arms to a level far below what their forebears enjoyed when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified. And it examines ways in which revitalized Militia of the several States could, should, and if they were properly revitalized would deal with many of the most pressing contemporary problems this country faces—such as the correction of rogue public officials the supervision of the military-industrial complex, the conduct of honest elections, the provision of an alternative currency, etc. Available on Amazon.
- Thirteen Words
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr. examines the phrase in the Constitution of the United States that is most overlooked today, even though it is also the most important constitutional phrase of all for Americans to understand and apply if they are to preserve their country as an independent, free, and prosperous republic, “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State”. Available on Amazon.
- Three Rights
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr. elucidates the three indispensable rights of popular sovereignty, popular self-government, and popular resistance to usurpation and tyranny that lie at the heart of the Declaration of Independence, the original Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. Three Rights proves that these documents are not somehow separate and independent, but instead are integral components of a single coherent plan of government the foundational precepts of which call upon We the People to retain in their own hands, and to wield directly when circumstances demand it, the ultimate power of sovereignty in the defense of “a free State”. Available on Amazon.
- By Tyranny Out of Necessity: The Bastardy of Martial Law
All to many Americans today accept the notion they, should a “national emergency’ occur, only “martial law” could maintain “law and order” and secure the continuation of vital public services, and therefore “martial law” is not only desirable but inevitable in an era so fraught with “terrorism” and other dangers against which ordinary citizens are hopelessly unprepared to defend themselves. Available on Amazon.
- The Purse and the Sword: Imminent Dangers of U.S. Economic and Homeland Security Policies
Lecture presentation featuring Dr. Edwin Vieira., Jr. speaking. A four disc set, 8 hours in length. Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr. uses his “Visual Constitution” to address two of the most pressing issues in our nation:
• The Purse: America’s Economic Crisis…what can and should the government do? Few Americans understand our economic system and its complexities. Hear Dr. Vieira explain, in easy to understand language, the lawful Constitutional powers the government possesses for dealing with money and the economy. Hear the common sense application of those powers, the abuses and unlawful expansions of those powers, as well as the only logical way through which we can return sanity to our economic policies.
• The Sword: “Homeland Security”…how the Militia provides our only true security. Today an unending series of “crisis” are being used to rationalize the continual loss of liberty and expansion of government in size and scope. After years of research, Dr. Vieira presents the lawful and Constitutional remedies for threats to our “homeland security”. Hear how “the Militia of the several States” are the ultimate security against all threats—both foreign and domestic. Learn what you can do to help with “homeland security” in your community and State! Available on Amazon.
- Cra$hmaker: A Federal Affair: A Novel
A not-so-fictional story of an engineered crash of the Federal Reserve System, and the political upheaval it causes. Available on Amazon.
- Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution (II Volumes)