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Gypsy & Willy - The Original Libertarian Bloggers

How Can You Laugh at a Time Like This?

Gypsy & Willy

No. 419

A Constitution - Part 2

February 28, 2005

In a previous column...A Constitution...we dealt with some of the "easy" issues of creating it, like the various freedoms outlined in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights. This week, we want to deal with some of the more subtle matters.

One of the least understood and most frequently violated amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the tenth amendment, reads as follows:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

What this means is that the federal government...in our case, the world government...should limit the topics with which it is concerned, leaving most matters up to lower legislative bodies or to the people themselves. However, as the U.S. government...and those of other democratic countries...have evolved, the central government has taken on more and more subjects, passing more and more laws while seldom repealing any.

Partly this is due to simple inertia. It is easier to pass laws than it is to get rid of them. If our recommendations for the use of super majorities to pass laws and the initiative to pass or repeal them were employed, it would go a long way toward limiting the scope of central legislative power. However, there is also the problem of the corrupting nature of power, since the more laws passed by a legislature, the more important this body becomes, the more power each individual legislator assumes. Letting the whole people decide all legislative issues could limit this factor.

But what about certain sensitive issues, like gun control, drug abuse, obscenity, abortion, gay rights, etc., which so dominate current politics? Mostly we would feel more comfortable if most of these were left up to the individual and local institutions to decide, that the government...ALL governments...stay firmly out of them. As soon as some branch of government decides it should limit one or another right for some group, it begins the process of abridging the rights of all of us. If the legislature, or the courts, can decide what is or what is not obscene, then it is only a small step to deciding what any of us can say about any topic. When women's rights to control their own bodies are limited, then limiting men's rights to control their bodies soon follows. This is also true when it comes to what substances an individual can consume, what he or she can do in the privacy of his or her bedroom and other victimless "crimes."

However, it is about the issue of gun control...or more broadly, the control of deadly weapons...where a world government led by the people might do the most good for humanity's future. One of the most compelling reasons for NOT limiting the right of the individual to bear arms is the fact that the governments have police and armies. Then, if the individuals can not be armed, it becomes relatively easy for the central government to suppress all dissent. For example, the mere fact that so many Americans are armed is a strong incentive for our government to not get too uppity about telling us what we can or can't do.

On the other hand, it is the existence of armies that so often tempt our leaders to use force instead of negotiation to settle disputes. This, in turn, leads to the manufacture and distribution, through legal or illegal channels, of huge amounts of materials meant to kill, maim and terrorize, by various entities, both public and private.

So, the single most revolutionary accomplishment a world government of the people can attain is general disarmament. Of course, this is easier said than done. Those who favor force as a way of settling disputes will not easily surrender their arms. That means that the only way to achieve ANY disarmament is to disarm everyone simultaneously. The experience of Great Britain...where until recently all police bore no lethal weapons...is a good illustration of this point. This worked very well in limiting violence until the amount of arms in other countries became so large and the ease at which borders can be crossed became so easy. Now, in order to counter the proliferation of imported armament, some police in Great Britain must be themselves armed. Think about it. The future existence of the human race may well depend upon this single issue.

Talk to you later...

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To contact Willy or Gypsy and comment on what they have written...or anything else...write to willy@dreamagic.com or gypsy@dreamagic.com.

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