Extraordinary Rights Of Americans
© by Stephen Neitzke, 2006There is nothing mysterious about rights, freedoms, and liberties. They are all made of the same stuff, the same powers. They are the freedom to be, the freedom to do, and the freedom from many human and political things involved with social, economic, and political fairness and equality. They are the discoveries and results of what it takes to defend those who are threatened or overwhelmed by aggressions against themselves and/or their society by powerful and unprincipled individuals and groups.
Once a fundamental human or political right is established, it lives forever. It might be suppressed by any government at any time. However, as long as it is recognized or rediscovered by any group of human individuals, it has its own life. Rights are humanly absolute.
From the rights established by 400 years in ancient Republican Rome, every civil society is the sovereign in its nation, whether the nation's laws recognize them as such or not. All political power flows from the people. The people are the nation.
Yes, we must live under our nation's laws. However, if and when we gain the opportunity to square those laws with the human and political rights that we know to be ours, the squaring is the right thing to do. Allowing predator elitists to deny us our rights, lawfully or unlawfully, so that they have increased opportunities to butcher us for profits and power, is clearly the wrong thing to do.
In the US, the people's sovereignty is not open to debate. There is no reason whatever that we the sovereign people must live with laws that suppress and violate our human and political rights. There is no reason whatever that we must allow predatory politicians to elevate themselves above our rule of law so that they can suppress and violate our rights for profits and power.
The public servants whom we elect and appoint to our governments are not the nation. They are not public masters. They are not the sovereign of the nation. They are public servants only, and the only powers they have legally are the ones that we the sovereign people delegate to them.
Now, we are at a turning point. All three branches of our national government have used their powers to become a massively illegitimate tyranny. This is not politics as usual. This is an unique proto despotism, violating our Constitution and laws to an unimaginable, 1934-Nazi-Germany-like degree; rejecting our hard-earned hard sciences in favor of ignorance spun by political hacks and party thugs (hello, Rumsfeld and Rove), backing the medieval barkings of the religious right's "values" against the established Constitutional rights of citizens; eliminating our personal privacy rights to entrench a bald-faced police state; lying and unconstitutionally manipulating us into a war of aggression; building an unconstitutional torture-murder gulag for POWs in our name; and obstructing justice with the DOJ to the degree that there is no justice for the despotism's crimes.
It begins with Bush v. Gore, 10 December 2000. As defined in 18 USC 241 -- felony conspiracy against rights -- the Supreme Court, Clinton, his AG, Bush-Cheney, their AG, and many others conspired together to deny the people's right to a president elected in accord with the Constitution. Felony forfeits judicial, executive, and legislative immunity. Everyone involved in that conspiracy is a constitutional criminal and felon-in-waiting. They can all be criminally prosecuted in federal court and, if conviced, fined and imprisoned for up to ten years. The holding of elected office or life-time appointment to the federal bench are not factors. Do the felony crime, do the time. No get-out-of-felony-free cards for high station in life.
They are loose to work their many other crimes because the proto-despotism has collapsed all of the checks and balances into collusions and obstructions of justice.
Now we need a heavily-protected 2nd NCC (national constitutional convention) to solemnly renew the Constitution, building in the people's fundamental governance rights so that we can rid ourselves of the proto-despotism -- and so that we can prevent anything similar from ever happening again.
The people's fundamental governance rights, derived from the Declaration Of Independence (DOI), do not exist at the national level. However, they do exist in many state constitutions and in thousands of "home rule" jurisdictions (boroughs, cities, counties, water districts, school districts, etc). That existence dates from the late 1800s to early 1900s "Reform Era". Because of our federalism, all of our fundamental governance rights from the DOI have a legal reality in our nation's governance. We have only to insert those fundamental rights into our national constitution -- and, of course, into the state constitutions that do not now have them.
Our DOI fundamental governance rights are:
(1) Individual citizens have the right to be politically equal with all other citizens.
(2) The sovereign people have the fundamental right to speak for themselves, in their voting majorities.
(3) The sovereign people have the fundamental right to be their own sovereign masters, democratically and directly electing all of their public servant representatives.
(4) The sovereign people have the fundamental right to remove any elected representative, for cause, without interference from government.
(5) The sovereign people have the fundamental right to control the output of legislation by formulating their own, by vetoing law made by government, and by affirming existing law in such a way that government is barred from amending it -- at every jurisdictional level, without interference from government.
(6) The sovereign people have the fundamental right to alter details of their governance, without interference from government.
(7) The sovereign people have the fundamental right to protect themselves from themselves by establishing the powers within government to administratively, legislatively, and judicially prevent zealous majorities, greedy corporations, the corrupting superrich, and government itself from violating individual and minority citizen rights, as given in the constitution and laws.
Our Revolutionary War patriots fought, died, suffered, hated, killed, and succeeded just so they could have the DOI's implied promises of rights. They were rights far beyond the traditional rights of Englishmen. Patriots of the 1770s and 1780s knew they were worth fighting for. They were, and are, the extraordinary rights of Americans.
The 1770s and 1780s American elites, however, knew from their studies of Republican Rome that the DOI's extraordinary rights would limit their social, eonomic, and political power. They weren't about to give the rabble such perogatives.
The DOI was a deceitful baiting of ordinary people to fight the war for the class-race elites' independence. Before the war was over, the elites were reneging on the DOI's implied promises. There's no mention of those rights in the new state constitutions. The USA's first national constitution, the "Articles of Confederation", ratified 1782, do not mention them. The 1787 Constitution buries them.
Pure representative government does not grant political equality to all citizens. Instead, it absurdly makes the public servants of the ruling elite vastly superior to sovereign civil society. It does not allow the sovereign people to speak for themselves. Instead, its charlatans, demagogues, and psychopaths get to legitimatly speak for, and in the name of, the majority of civil society. It does not allow sovereign civil society to directly elect all of its representatives. Instead, it maintains arbitrary corruption grounds called "the Electoral College" and "the independent judiciary" so that individuals in the highest reaches of power are appointed by the elites. It does not allow the sovereign civil society direct access to lawmaking. Instead, it makes whatever convoluted, loop-holed, and unenforceable laws best suit its corruption-on-corruption-in-corruption. It does not allow sovereign civil society to freely alter details of their governance. Instead, it protects all of the arbitrary mechanisms that ensure the power of the psychopathic few against the welfare of the many with highly controlled amendment procedures. It does not prevent violations of citizen rights by zealous majorities, greedy corporations, the corrupting superrich, or government itself. Instead, it is the facilitator for rights violations by all of those societal elements.
Even though the Constitution intervened and buried the extraordinary rights of Americans beyond reach, those principles and rights are still what most Americans have lived and died for since 1776.
The extraordinary rights of Americans became realities again in the midst of predator elitism's, slavery-driven Civil War. Lincoln was forced by the war over slavery to deal with it. He obviously saw that the DOI's great freedom statement -- all men are created equal -- mated with the Constitution's separation of church and state to overwhelm Biblical backing of slavery. The DOI's extraordinary rights of Americans reached into the Constitution and drove emancipation.
Again, predator elites, led by the South's white supremacists, buried the DOI beyond reach. It was buried -- law, facts, and truth -- in lynchings, race riots, and denial of African-Americans' political rights.
The DOI's extraordinary rights became realities again in the abuses of ordinary people by government-backed predator elites during the Guilded Age, 1880s to WW1.
The citizen backlash against the massive corruptions of the Guilded Age was the Reform Era. The people demanded direct legislation, so that they could have the republic promised to them in the nation's founding. The ordinary people understood that corruption negated republic. The people demanded that corruption be minimized. They demanded their sovereign right to control the output of legislation. They demanded their DOI rights.
Well-organized, with political sophistication booming due to the good fight lost by the Populists and the outrageous exposés done by the first generation of investigative reporters, the "muckrakers", citizens of 26 states rammed various parts of the DOI's rights down the elitist throats of their state constitutions.
The Reform Era was the greatest democracy movement of recorded history, involving the participation and supporting votes of many tens of millions of Americans.
Again, the predator elites buried the extraordinary rights of Americans. This time, citizen lawmaking was jammed with unconstitutional interferences masquerading as "administrative law". Statute-mandated "separation of powers" constitutional violations and "binding judicial review" constitutional violations gave government officials and judges the unconstitutional and arbitrary powers they needed to delay, alter, and/or reject any citizen-proposed law offensive to money-power.
No constitution in the nation defines the judicial power to include "binding judicial review" of proposed law.
The species-juvenile governance of competition among elites for obscenely excessive profits and power raged on.
The corrupting wealth and power bought all sorts of pro-elites propaganda. Media, think tanks, and history-department "Madisonian scholars" extolled the virtues of seeing governance from the government's point of view. Never mind that the government's point of view was bought and paid for by money-power. Never mind that governance from the people's point of view was needed to hold together the middle class and to solve grinding problems with bottom-up lawmaking.
Madisonian scholars were particularly handy for the elites. Over time they've all but deleted the increase of direct democracy from the history of the Reform Era. Pick up any history of the period and look for mention of the remarkable feats of Ohio citizens. In 1912, they triggered a constitutional convention, wrote provisions for over 40 constitutional innovations -- including initiative, referendum, and recall -- and then approved their convention's work, making the most sweeping state-level constitutional renewal in our nation's history.
You won't find mention of it in any more than about one out of a thousand history texts. But you can find it online in "The Constitutional Framework of Ohio State Government" at http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/guidebook/chapter1.pdf. Scroll down to the sub-head, "The 1912 Constitutional Convention".
As soon as the state legislatures could make admin law to control citizen-proposed law, the will of the sovereign people was toast -- unconstitutionally, feloniously, and treasonously. There's been no change for the hundred years since. What officials and judges do to citizen-proposed law would get them immediatley impeached and removed if they tried it on legislature-proposed law. But there sit the people, on their hands, not informing themselves, getting their slice of the pie, confident that government is doing about as well as can be expected.
Now, in our 2nd Guilded Age, abuses of ordinary people by the predators are bringing back our need for effective initiative, referendum, and recall -- this time, fully independent of government interference and at the national level.
Direct democracy (DD) is governance done by the sovereign people in majority-rules referendums.
The elections of representatives are done in referendums. Therefore, the election of representatives is as much direct democracy as is a petition-proposed and citizen approved statute law.
Including the election of representatives, the eight DD governance components that express our DOI fundamental governance rights group into three categories.
(1) The people's direct election of all representatives; done in open, fair, and peer-reviewed referendums called 'elections', and
(2)the people's recall of a public official's election who has violated the public trust or simply offended too many citizens; done by petition process.
(3) The people's constitutional amendment initiative, to propose amendments to our consitutions without government interference; done by petition process;
(4) the people's statute law initiative, to propose statute law without government interference; done by petition process;
(5) the people's statute law veto, now known as the "referendum" (should be changed to the "remand" to minimize confusion), to reject statute law made by representative government; done by petition process; and
(6) the people's statute law affirmation to bar government from amending a law that the people do not want changed; done by petition process.
(7) The legislature's statute law referral to the people's referendum, and
(8) the legislature's constitutional amendment referral to the people's referendum.
This is true democracy. It is the sovereign people's petition-proposed citizen lawmaking -- including initiative, referendum, and recall -- done without officers and without middlemen in any sort of citizen-managing institution, fully independent of representative government, and approved or rejected by binding referendums at every jurisdictional level within the nation.
True democracy is horizontal, non-hierarchical governance done by the sovereign people. It is best done in combination with repocracy.
'Repocracy' is a word invention of mine. It means "vertical, hierarchical governance done by representative government".
Whatever it is that representative government does, it is not democracy. Just Congress' party-line voting -- coercing many, suppressing their right to vote their conscience -- is a contradiction of democracy. Terms such as 'representative democracy' and 'indirect democracy', or 'parliamentary democracy', are all contradictions in terms. Representative government needs its own word. 'Repocracy' seems a good candidate.
True democracy melded to repocracy is true republican governance. It is a mixed form of government pioneered by the Roman Republic, the Swiss Confederation, our New England colonies, and, since the Reform Era, 24 modern US states. It was ruled a republican form of government intrinsic to the Constitution by the Supremes and many other high courts in the early 1900s.
The people's true democracy will need a still-strong, but more-regulated repocracy to help protect the people's rights -- for a long time to come. A properly regulated, helpmate repocracy can protect rights from encroachments that minorities within civil society cannot. The helpmate repocracy can help protect the people from themselves.
Contrary to predator elitism's sophistries, such a properly regulated repocracy, will not chase off the best and the brightest. It will, howeever, chase off the big-ego-tiny-minders who live for the thrills of corruption. It will give the best and the brightest increased tools to help protect the people from greedy corruption. It will give the best and the brightest increased motivation to serve. It will aid us in developing the same cooperation between sovereign civil society and public-servant repocracy that exists in Switzerland. And, while never perfect, that is a cooperation with intensities and national advantages that we need desperately. It is a cooperation that minimizes corruption and maximizes national unity.
True democracy melded to repocracy is our legacy from Reform Era citizens. The heavy lifting was done by them. The mixed form of government -- species-mature governance that automatically centers on equality, rights, and sustainability -- is just sitting there -- ready for us to clean it up at the state level and take on into the national level.