Constitutional Crisis? An outside perspective.
Mark Passio True Anarchist
I watched recently a video from one Mark Passio who has a website and general theme called “What in the World is Happening?” Without going into his bio suffice to say I don’t think there is any doubt that he is genuine, in the sense that he totally believes and I think lives what he professes.
Having said that, his ideas are somewhat jarring, and his presentation can be quite harsh sounding. He is definitely not fooling around and means what he says.
He has gone politically/ideologically well beyond libertarianism into likely the most pure form of anarchy I have heard. And he does not mince words about
what he thinks of those who participate as police and military in the current systems of government we all live under. If you follow his logic, what he has done is take individual freedom to its ultimate conclusion, and looking back from there made statements and judgments from that perspective. I think the logic is impeccable, if the goal is total human freedom.
The only law he believes in is Natural Law, which he rightly understands as that which is not created by human beings and which cannot be defied by human beings without the natural consequences of that defiance, regardless of their knowledge or state of mind or intention or regret.
He speaks a lot in terms of slavery vs freedom purely in either/or terms with no middle ground. He is clearly an idealist in the most literal meaning of that term. While his logic is right according to his stated goal, absolute human freedom, the biggest question of all to my mind is the worthiness of that goal based on what I have observed of what he would prefer to call the “human condition.”
Why Government at all?
The recent events in Washington caused me to think of his ideology, and I know that there are some Americans who believe just as he does. I should note here that I do not subscribe to his ideology, although I respect his willingness to take it to the logical conclusion. It has a fundamental flaw which he answers unsatisfactorily. There are others who would like the absolute freedom for themselves but not for anyone else, who are really pseudo-anarchists, the people we have been taught since our youth to consider as anarchists, and about whom we associate chaos. From a practical point of view, it is only anarchy in that case if those proposing it do not have power. There are many who are more than happy to act without restraint if they think they can get away with it.
What I have wondered about for some time is the reason for governance in the first place, regardless of the form that governance takes. I know it but haven’t articulated it.
The reason is actually really simple. We have government because there is evil in the world. Passio recognizes the presence of evil but seems to go no further than saying that he can defend himself, thank you very much. And he thinks that everyone else should defend themselves. It may well be true that he is capable of defending himself, although I doubt he has calculated all of the possibilities, but it does not account for the person who perhaps rightly realizes that he cannot defend himself adequately to the level of evil around him, or does not wish to spend his life on his front porch with a shotgun in his hands.
The minute that person makes an agreement with someone else or several someones to carry the shotguns for him, you have the rudiments of a police force, a military, etc.
What happens in a nation is that each and everyone is in an agreement such that a certain group of people are hired to oversee the making of laws pursuant to the general agreement, the social contract if you will, others are hired to enforce those laws within the nation, police and courts, and still others are hired to protect the entire nation from aggression from outside that nation. Within that agreement is the understanding that everyone makes a certain sacrifice of their absolute personal freedom for that protection.
Of course, most people at any given time do not sit down and enter into the agreement, but are rather born into it. Some systems of agreement are better than others and that is where we discuss political and social ideology, clearly and most often based on the level of freedom retained by the individual and the level of protection and benefit derived from the agreement. In very broad strokes that is the summary of political discussion. Revolutions are usually the result of a conviction on the part of many, often not even the majority, to radically change the agreement.
The original American Revolution was just that, a radical change in the agreement. The “we the people” declaration was the statement of the new agreement, and its underlying principle, new to the world and as many have said, an experiment in “self-governance” with the emphasis from the beginning of limited government in clearly defined boundaries, which was designed to maximize personal freedom while recognizing the trade off from absolute freedom as a prerequisite to the good and protection of all. The key and most important component of this experiment was the declaration and understanding that the rights of the individual person exist a priori, before any kind of government, and therefore cannot be bestowed by any government, only truncated for cause.
All of this leads to what I have heard said from several quarters, from different extremes of the political spectrum. Many have called the revelations of the FISA Memo just published and the very fact of its publication as a “constitutional crisis.” Perhaps it could be thus characterized, but from the perspective of someone outside America it seems to me that the constitution is actually working as it was supposed to in such a situation of corruption, that the people of “we the people” elected someone who as president would help the Congress have the back-bone to do what needed to be done to clean out what had been building up for a long time, and right the ship.
It also goes to show that the mechanisms are still there to reset the system, de-frag it so to speak, as long as there are enough people who care about it enough to put people in place to get it done. There will be a lot more to come, the FISA memo being just the first of many such memos and salvos in the battle. It will be as painful as those people who are corrupt wish to make it. If they were to capitulate and get out of the way of the clean up it would be quicker and less of a “crisis,” but in the end, either way I think it is a positive sign that the constitution is working as it should, even if not pretty to watch right now.