When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands…
… That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.… it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide for new Guards for their future Security…
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
Frequently we speak of dissolution of the government, in one form or another. How often, however, do we consider what, exactly, this means?
Governments can be dissolved by a number of means. What used to be the most common was forceful encroachment by a conquering army. The effect was dissolution of the government and subsequent dissolution of the society, for every nation is composed of both government and society. Generally, under these circumstances, society was disrupted and scattered to the winds. This form of dissolution has not existed for quite some time.
Another form is when an enemy force dissolves government, and replaces that government with a government of their own choosing. The result, in this instance, is dissolution of government by non-violent means, and subsequent dissolution of the society, which is replaced, through a slow transitional process, by a society unlike the one that was first the source of the original government. We must not assume, in this circumstance, that the dissolution of government will, necessarily, take a forceful effort. The likelihood, in modern times, is that the dissolution of government, and subsequent dissolution of society will go unnoticed until history is revised and the transition is lost from existence, without a notice of its demise. Unless, of course, the efforts to dissolve the government and society is recognized in sufficient time to cast out the encroachers and restore both the society and the government.
If the form of government within a nation has any form of representative capacity, the means by which dissolution may occur will take one of three forms. First, the executive may begin to arbitrarily impose his will on the elected representatives and the people. Slowly the rule of law deviates from its original intent, and slowly the dissolution process occurs.
Second, by delivery of the people to the influence of a foreign power. Eventually, the legislative body finds themselves subjected to a set of rules not of their making, but to which they must adhere, which, again, results in the demise of the government, as was originally intended, and the society as it becomes subject to that foreign power.
Third, when the trust bestowed upon the legislative is betrayed, by whatever means, these same results of dissolution will occur. That trust, generally in the form of a constitution, forms a set of rules by which the government is empowered, with the belief that it will abide by such contract. Faith is necessary because there is a need to pass power to government so that it can conduct its business. When that power is directed in violation of the trust, ultimately it will be used to dissolve the society. The question here is, is the government dissolved as well? That answer shall be forthcoming.
Governments, of the nature of legislative authority, are created by, and subject to the will of the people. They are creatures of the will of the people, and their purpose for existence is only to administer the rights of the people, to the extent delegated, for the preservation of property and the protection of the rights of the people. There is no other purpose for government whose authority is of the people, than the preservation and protection of the People"s rights and property.
Once it is recognized that government has begun to deviate from its intended purpose, and the delivery to a foreign power is apparent, the people are more likely to presume that there is nothing that can be done to change that course. Many will accept that those chosen to legislate and administer are far wiser than they, and willingly subject themselves to the change that results in the conversion and dissolution. Within any society, it is far easier, especially so long as there is sufficient bread on the table, to allow the trend to continue, accepting that this is the evolution of government as it should be. Little do they recognize that what they are experiencing is tyranny in the same form that has imposed itself upon people throughout history. The despotic nature of government will advise them that they are freemen while they are, at the same time, wrapping the chains of slavery gently around their lives. This is a form of mockery that is little understood by most. What is understood even less is that they not only have the right to get out of it, but to prevent it.
The protection of property being the most significant cause for government, the power given to government must be limited to preclude any theft of property. When government, in an artful and crafty manner, begins the slow and meticulous theft of the property of the people, it has violated the sacred trust granted to it at its inception.
Government, then, when it does begin this process of conversion (dissolution of the intended government), has breached the trust of the people. The people, however, have not lost their right to the fundamental liberties, for the preservation of which the government was first formed, instead they have a responsibility to revise that form of government, to correct the errors and to rewrite the contract to provide for the protection of the property and the rights of the people to be secured.
What occurs that allows this action to be taken? Surely a resort to force of arms against those who have been granted the authority to use force of arms in the preservation of property is not an easily undertaken measure. What would rouse the people to return government to the place and to the ends that it was first erected?
Rebellion is the term that applies to those who seek to dissolve government, and society, from within. The determination of who the rebels, the usurpers, truly are is the question that must first be asked. If the government has drifted from the course first intended, and, after due notice, continues to deviate even further therefrom, and in that process imposes force of arms against the very people it was created to protect -- then that government, and all within it, have become the rebels, they are the ones that have sought to undo that which was first intended, and they are the ones that have resorted to armed force to impose their will upon the people. It is they who are guilty of rebellion. It is they who have created a state of war.
Who is it that would suggest to the populace that any who would denounce the actions of government, under the circumstances presented, are being the rebels? Those very people who had been selected as our representatives for the purpose of protection of property would proclaim that those who have found the need to protect their own fortunes are the usurpers, the rebels. They would denounce them and accuse them of crimes against the state and against the people themselves. They would argue that these rebels must be subdued, yet they are the pirates, the robbers and the thieves.
If the innocent, honest man must quietly quit all he has for the sake of peace -- to those that would impose violence upon him for protecting his own property, what kind of peace will we be subjecting ourselves? Violence would be maintained only for the preservation of the robbers and oppressors.
The end of government is the good of mankind, and what is best for mankind is that they not be subjected to this form of tyranny. The duty of government is to resist these evils, and protect the people from them. The exorbitant use of government"s power, when used for the destruction of that very government or the society, and not for the preservation of the property of their people, is the worst form of tyranny that can befall mankind, for it came of trust, and results in slavery.
Most of the people will believe accusations against those that proclaim the evils of government in this regard. Those who first recognize the tyranny will be scorned. When only a few stir against this tyranny, they are looked upon as mischievous and as likely to seek their own ruin. Until such time as the design of the despots has become visible to a sufficient number, the greater numbers will be content to suffer rather than to right themselves by resistance to the tyranny. Who, then, assumes responsibility to correct the problem before the goal of dissolution of both government and society has been achieved?
That determination is not one for earthly consideration. Simply, if the matter were cast before a court of the government, the ruling, without question, would be that those who support the dissolution are mistaken in their thoughts, and criminal in their nature. Under these circumstances, the course is set, and the goal will be achieved. The only recourse that can allow a just consideration of action is the ruler of the universe, who speaks to each individually, but sets no mandate from which we can seek guidance. The judgment will come, not in our lifetimes, but when the final determination as to our destiny is made. History will tell a story and the evidence of the actions must stand on the merit of the arguments presented and the actions taken. History is as likely to condemn those who sat idly by as to look favorably upon those who sought to retain the institutions for which they have cast their lot for the protection of their property. Each of us must make his own decision as to what course must be taken, but my feelings are that those who would usurp the faith and trust granted them are the worst criminals that can exist on the face of the earth, and should be treated accordingly -- punishment for crimes committed not only serves as a deterrent, but is just reward for those that commit those crimes.
Whoever uses force without right, who does so without true law, puts himself in a state of war against those against whom he so uses it -- and in this circumstance all former conditions of consideration cease to exist, all ties are canceled, all rights cease and each retains the right to defend himself as he sees fit, and to resist the aggressor. And, he who resists, by the very nature of resistance, must be allowed to strike. Resistance when backed into a corner is as cowardly as it is unsuccessful.
We all understand that an inferior cannot punish a superior, at least so long as he is the superior. When the state of war comes into existence, all former relations are canceled, and all respects and reverence for the superior ceases to exist. Since the original superior was the citizen who allowed the existence of government for the preservation of property, that condition returns, and it is the superior who now comes forward to subdue the inferior, the aggressor.
What then may happen that the people may, of right, and of their own authority, take up arms and set upon the government? Nothing can ever justify this form of action, for then, truly, the aggressor would be the rebel. Not, at least, so long as the government remains the government. The people can never come by power over the government unless the government ceases to be a government and divests itself of its authority. Only when the people must revert to the state of private man, and bear the responsibility for the protection of his own property can they become free and superior.
Each must judge for himself whether government continues to serve as government, or ceases to be that government to which his allegiance is owed. Each must resolve his own mind, his own heart and seek advice from heaven. The power that each person gave as his share of the authority of government can never be removed. It is the nature of community that requires that we all abide by that shared authority. Without that trust, that commitment, there can be no society, no commonwealth, no community, for that would be contrary to the original agreement, and a violation of the trust of our neighbors. The government can never revert to the people while the government lasts, not should it divest itself of that authority. It is assumed that government will last forever, for that is the purpose for which it was first created.
When the miscarriages of those in authority have achieved a point so far removed from the original purpose, the government has forfeited its existence, and upon forfeiture, divests itself, and returns to each of us his share of the cumulative authority. Government reverts to society and the people have the right to act as the supreme, to continue to legislate as they see fit -- to erect a new form, or to repair the old, assuring that what has been learned has also been corrected.
Has that time come when government has ceased to be? Has it now cast upon us the responsibility of assumption of that original right of self government? Has it bestowed us with the need to make a determination as to what course our future shall be? Has government become the true rebel and representative of a foreign interest and power?