Basic Concepts of "Government"
Rights, Federalism, and the Constitutional Republic

Essay by
Publius Huldah


June 2009

These are the notes for —
Basic Concepts of "Government"
Rights, Federalism, and the Constitutional Republic

  1. The authors' 18th century style of writing might seem difficult at first; but if you stick with it, you will get used to it, and may come to find it delightful. Return to text
  2. E.g., "mean" used to mean "poor"; "nice" used to mean "precise, exact"; "gay" used to mean "jovial, merry", etc.
    "Welfare" as used in the Preamble & in Art I, Sec 8, cl 1, U.S. Constitution, meant "Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government" (Webster's 1828). But The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), adds a new meaning: "Public relief" — "on welfare. Dependent on public relief". Do you see how our Constitution is perverted when 20th Century meanings are substituted for the original meanings?
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  3. As the national government usurps more & more of the powers retained by the States or the People, the form of our government becomes less & less "federal", and more & more "national". Return to text
  4. See Frederic Bastiat's short & easily understood work, The Law (1848), which is without a doubt, the best thing to ever come out of France. A magnificent refutation of socialism. On-line English ed. at Return to text
  5. In the classic work on political philosophy, Lex, Rex, or The Law And The Prince, Samuel Rutherford (1644), Rev. Rutherford sets forth the biblical model wherein the king is subject to the Law to the same extent as the citizens: e.g., Deut 17:18-20; 2 Kings 22:8-13; 23:1-3. THIS is what "The Rule of Law" means — when the "king" is under the Law. When the "king" claims that he is above the law, then we have "the Rule of Men" — i.e., tyranny.
    Contrast Rutherford's model, which the drafters of our Constitution followed, with that of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), who glorified the state and saw it as superior to the people. THAT is the political philosophy that gave rise to German statism, the Third Reich, and Hitler worship.
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  6. It's fast & easy: With an annotated copy of the Constitution, you look up the Federalist Paper cited, skim through it until you get to the relevant passage, and in a few minutes, you usually can know the original intent. You then know more than our judges know! Congratulations! [But sometimes we also have to refer to other contemporaneous works.] Return to text
  7. Thus, instead of the judges being subject to the Constitution; the Constitution is subject to the will of the judges. Return to text
  8. Franz Kafka's novel, The Trial (1937), describes an arbitrary and incomprehensible legal system where the peoples' access to The Law is cut off. "Before the Law, stands a door keeper ..." The hero of Kafka's novel couldn't get past the doorkeeper and so was denied access to The Law. Folks, that's what our courts — the doorkeepers — are doing to us. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme Law of the Land (Art VI, cl. 2); but the Courts have taken it away from us and won't give it back! The Trial is on-line in English translations from the German. Return to text
  9. The Bible reveals additional rights bestowed on us by God, such as the right to inherit, earn, & keep property; the right of self-defense; the right & duty to demand that the "king" adhere to the Covenant of civil government; etc. The distinguishing characteristics of all these God-given rights are (1) they are necessary for man to exist as man and (2) they may be held and enjoyed at NO expense or loss to any other man. (Ayn Rand was 100% right on these points.) Return to text
  10. They love death: abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. They hate private property. They hate Liberty. Productive men exist, not to pursue their own Happiness or to serve God; but to be plundered by civil government. Folks, we need to face Reality and acknowledge that these are not people whose "intentions" are "good". Return to text
  11. It is important that you always keep at the front of your mind: The national government is a creation of the People & their States. The People & their States are the Creators — the national government is merely the creature. Return to text
  12. Art I, Sec 10 prohibits the States from exercising powers specifically delegated to the national government, and from passing those obnoxious laws which are inimical to a free country such as Bills of Attainder, ex post facto Laws, laws impairing the Obligation of contracts, or granting Titles of Nobility. Return to text


© 2009 Publius Huldah

Basic Concepts of "Government"
Rights, Federalism, and the Constitutional Republic
by Publius Huldah

Publius Huldah is herself a lawyer;
this is a reprint from an extensive series at
Publius-Huldah's Blog:
Understanding the Constitution

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