Monthly Archives: April 2012

North Carolina Says No To The Free Exchange of Ideas for Nutrition Blogger

A man who has blogged about his success in overcoming diabetes is under fire from the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition for his allegedly giving “advice” to people regarding how to manage their diabetes. Steve Cooksey is not selling advice, drugs, or requesting any sort of compensation. He is recounting his experience, knowledge, and success in overcoming his previous diabetic condition. When the state refers to his needing a license to give advice, they are in essence saying they are the sole authority on what is viable or worthless information regarding medical issues. They would not take issue with Mr. Cooksey’s writings as long as he paid the State’s extortion fee for being able to freely communicate. Mr. Cooksey could be a complete quack and provide dangerous information, as long as he had a license from the State. Of course, getting a license probably means proving you have completed some sort of “approved” training or possess a degree in the field you are professing to be knowledgeable in, but that is still no bar to someone giving bad information.

There is a statement on that states:

I am not a doctor, dietitian nor nutritionist¦ in fact I have no medical training of any kind. If I can figure this out so should they¦ if it wasn’t for their ¦

A) Intellectual Laziness

B) Willful ignorance

C) Greed

D) All of the Above 🙂

Apparently Mr. Cooksey makes no attempt to profess himself to be any sort of license professional. As a matter of fact, Mr. Cooksey clearly takes exception to the current established medical industry. People who read Mr. Cooksey’s blog and see this information, and who are promoters of inferior western medicine, would not be inclined to follow Mr. Cooksey’s recommendations. Those who visit Mr. Cooksey’s blog and see his disclaimer but continue to read his blog are most likely distrusting and suspicious of failed western medicine and looking for an alternative.

Medical doctors give bad advice all the time. They dispense dangerous pharmaceuticals which cause sometimes unpredictable and life-threatening side effects. They subject people to unnecessary and dangerous tests and perform unnecessary surgery. Doctors possess licenses, as well as being indemnified to some degree for their incompetence or negligence. On the other hand, there are very good, competent doctors who are careful and compassionate with their patients. Being, or not being, in possession of a State license can empower the bad doctor to harm others or prevent the good doctor from helping others. The State is really in no position to say who may, and who may not, give advice. To say Mr. Cooksey is in no position to recommend to others a  non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-medical alternative to the conventional “bad medical advice” is no business of the State of North Carolina.

The State attempts to keep people who give “advice” in the same box. You must conform to a set of approved and accepted standards before you can give advice. Yet, the State has the monopoly of approving and accepting based on their corporate lackeys and professional benefactors and their secured interest in money in giving advice. Someone who persevere in succeeding in alternative, non-accepted approaches are then encumbered with devoting time and money in jumping through brainwashing hoops in hopes of carrying favor with the State before they can give advice. The only advice the State wants others to give is that which funnels people into the same failed and hackneyed remedies which line the pockets of government agencies, ignorant or incompetent doctors, and pharmaceutical companies. The State is not to be trusted, because there is no “license” to run for office or be appointed. The biggest nincompoop can be elected or appointed to a position that then wields such influence as is being wielded against Mr. Cooksey. They have no training or expertise, yet, they are empowered with determining what may be published or licensed. Do you really want to put your access to information in the hands of such nincompoops? The State is incompetence incarnate.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the individual to vet the information they act upon. The saying, “caveat emptor” (buyer beware) holds true with any advice. Doctors are given a pass for their mistakes because there is a doctrine of “fully informed consent”. If a doctor prescribes a medicine, you will receive a pamphlet of information on the drugs side-effects, precautions, and intended uses. Much of it contains medical jargon that most do not understand. Nevertheless, you have been “informed” and have little or no recourse if you choose to take the drug and suffer negative or harmful effects.

I encourage Mr. Cooksey to  persist with his endeavor and not change a thing on his blog. I’ll even go so far as to offer space on my blog for Mr. Cooksey to post his information if the State of North Carolina shuts him down. I also encourage people to review Mr. Cooksey’s blog and follow his advice, since he has found a holistic way of combating diabetes. I am always trying to get people I know with diabetes to adopt a healthier lifestyle and essentially follow Mr. Cooksey’s approach, even though I had no awareness of Mr. Cooksey until recently. How serendipitous.  That said, you can get off of insulin, meds, and harmful health consequences from diabetes if you modify your diet and lifestyle. My “ADVICE” to diabetics is to follow Mr. Cooksey’s successful approaches to overcoming diabetes. There, all that said and I have no license either.

An article regarding the matter follows.

State Threatens to Shut Down Nutrition Blogger

Nutrition board says he needs a license to advocate dietary approaches

Apr. 23rd, 2012
CHARLOTTE “ The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is threatening to send a blogger to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle.

Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition without a license. According to the law, “practicing nutrition includes “assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups and “providing nutrition counseling.

Steve Cooksey has learned that the definition, at least in the eyes of the state board, is expansive.

When he was hospitalized with diabetes in February 2009, he decided to avoid the fate of his grandmother, who eventually died of the disease. He embraced the low-carb, high-protein Paleo diet, also known as the “caveman or “hunter-gatherer diet. The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success.

But this past January the state diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog “ “ violated state law. The nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition, the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do.

Unless Cooksey completely rewrites his 3-year-old blog, he could be sued by the licensing board. If he loses the lawsuit and refuses to take down the blog, he could face up to 120 days in jail.

The board’s director says Cooksey has a First Amendment right to blog about his diet, but he can’t encourage others to adopt it unless the state has certified him as a dietitian or nutritionist.

The seminar

Jan. 12, Cooksey attended a nutrition seminar at a church in Charlotte. The speaker was the director of diabetes services for a local hospital.

“She was giving all the wrong information, just like everyone always does “ carbs are OK to eat, we must eat carbs to live, promoting low-fat, etc., Cooksey said. “So I spoke up.

After the meeting he handed out a couple of business cards pointing people to his website.

Three days later, he got a call from the director of the nutrition board.

“Basically, she told me I could not give out nutritional advice without a license, Cooksey said.

He said she also told him that his website was being investigated and gave him some suggestions about how to bring it into compliance.

If he does not go along, the board could file an injunction and “essentially shut the website down, Cooksey said.

The law

Charla Burill, the board’s director, told Carolina Journal she could not discuss the details of Cooksey’s case because his website is still under investigation, but agreed to talk about the law in the hypothetical.

It’s not necessarily against the law to give your sister or your friend nutritional advice, she said. And it’s not necessarily against the law to use a blog to tell people what they should eat.

Where it crosses the line, Burill said, is when a blogger “advertises himself as an expert and “takes information from someone such that he’s performing some sort of assessment and then giving it back with some sort of plan or diet.

Cooksey posted a link (6.3 MB PDF download) to the board’s review of his website. The document shows several Web pages the board took issue with, including a question-and-answer page, which the director had marked in red ink noting the places he was “assessing and counseling readers of his blog.

“If people are writing you with diabetic specific questions and you are responding, you are no longer just providing information “ you are counseling, she wrote. “You need a license to provide this service.”

The board also found fault with a page titled “My Meal Plan, where Cooksey details what he eats daily.

In red, Burril writes, “It is acceptable to provide just this information [his meal plan], but when you start recommending it directly to people you speak to or who write you, you are now providing diabetic counseling, which requires a license.

The board also directed Cooksey to remove a link offering one-on-one support, a personal-training type of service he offered for a small fee.

Cooksey posts the following disclaimer at the bottom of every page on his website:

“I am not a doctor, dietitian, nor nutritionist ¦ in fact I have no medical training of any kind.

In fact, he brags about his lack of formal training throughout his blog.

“It’s so simple, he told CJ. “I cut carbs, I reduced my drugs and insulin until I didn’t need them at all. If I can figure that out, why in the hell can’t all these other people [in the medical field]?

Burill said the disclaimer may not protect a nutrition blogger from the law.

“If I’ve given you reason to not worry that I don’t have a license because I have all these other reasons I’m an expert, you could still harm the public, she said. “At least you’re not trying to mislead the public, but you’re trying to get the public to trust you.

It’s a fine line between what’s legal and what’s not when it comes to talking about nutrition.

“Anyone can talk about anything they want, Burill said. “That’s a First Amendment right, so to speak.

For example, a person could write a blog advocating vegetarianism, she said.

“Now if you advertised that you’d taken classes in nutrition, you’ve worked at [the federal government’s Food and Nutrition Service] for three years, and you say I believe everyone should be a vegetarian, and I’m here to help you if you want to change your diet’ [that could be crossing the line], Burill said.

“A vegetarian diet would be a little bit harder [to prosecute] because a vegetarian is not really like a medical diet.

Burill said if Cooksey refuses to come into compliance with the law, the board could file for an injunction.

Free speech

Declan McCullagh, a correspondent who writes about online free speech, says the board probably is violating Cooksey’s First Amendment rights.

“The First Amendment says state and federal governments shall make no law’ abridging freedom of speech, McCullagh said. “It doesn’t say except for what annoys the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition.’

McCullagh pointed to a sentence in Cooksey’s blog the board didn’t approve of: “I do suggest that your friend eat as I do and exercise the best they can.

“If that language appeared in a book or a magazine article, do you think the board would complain? McCullagh asked. “How about if someone said that to a friend over dinner at a restaurant? Of course not. But because it’s on the Web, they seem to think that the First Amendment no longer applies.

McCullagh said the board may be on more solid ground in its complaint about the telephone support packages Cooksey offers. “But ¦ if customers are paying $97 or $149 or $197 a month to have someone listen, that sounds a lot like life coaching, which doesn’t require a license.

“In general, I think that as long as someone is very clear that they’re not a licensed dietician, state officials can probably find better uses of their time, he said.

Cooksey said the board both has violated his freedom of speech and done a disservice to the people of North Carolina. He said all he’s trying to do with his blog is provide an alternative to the nutritional advice pushed by mainstream sources on what they say people should be eating.

Cooksey said he’s seeking legal assistance in case the state decides to take further action against him.

Sara Burrows is an associate editor of Carolina Journal.

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Bradley VanHoose vs Village of Caseyville, Illinois

This information was provided to me by a source who will remain nameless. This involves a Bradley VanHoose’s pursuit of information through Freedom of Information Act requests relating to the City of Caseyville, Illinois. Mr. VanHoose.

Apparently, Mr. Van Hoose is having issues with the City of Caseyville, Illinois over a Freedom of Information Act request. I understand that since that time, the City Attorney, Mr. Duane C. Clarke and others in the Caseyville Police Department have taken steps to intimidate or harass Mr. VanHoose. Mr. VanHoose has stood his ground and filed a number of complaints with various agencies, including the Illinois Registry and Disciplinary Commission. I am posting the following information so others may possibly choose to inquire with the City of Caseyville about its practices and put them on notice that individuals will not be intimidates by such municipal thuggery.

Item 1.

1 March 2012

To: Illinois Attorney Registry and Disciplinary Commission

From: Bradley W. VanHoose

Subject: Duane C. Clarke, Village Attorney, Caseyville, Illinois

To Whom This Shall Concern:

I wish to lodge the following conduct complaint against Duane C. Clarke. Making False statements in a public meeting.

  1. On January 11, 2012 Caseyville, Illinois Municipal Attorney Duane C. Clarke made false statements to the Village Board of Trustees and other citizens present, concerning my legitimate request for public documents. In the enclosed recorded meeting, Mr. Clarke told the Village Board that I was a recurrent requester because I had made 21 requests for public documents in a 21 day period. This statement is false.
  2. In the same public meeting Mr. Clarke also publicly accused me of harassing him on Facebook. This statement is false.
  3. When I addressed the Caseyville Village Board on January 18, Mr. Clarke was hostile and out control. Displaying unprofessional conduct. At one point in the meeting, Mr. Clarke picked up his name plate and dropped it abruptly from the distance of approximately 18 inches making a very loud noise.

I am submitting audio cd’s from both meetings for your agency to review. Mr. Clarke continues to be hostile in an apparent attempt to stop me from seeking financial disclosure information from the Village of Caseyville, where he is currently failing to comply with a directive from the Illinois Attorney General by refusing to turn over a number of checks from the Village Hotel/ Motel tax fund.

I request you review these documents and audio files and take the appropriate action. Mr. Clarke’s conduct is unbecoming someone in the legal profession.


Bradley VanHoose


Belleville, Illinois 62221


Item 2.

17 Oct. 2011 5:26 AM

To: Caseyville Police Chief Roth

From: Bradley VanHoose

Subject: Police Report #4591, Officer Chris Singleton

Chief Roth-

In reading report #4591, I can’t say I am surprised by the false statements made by the accused and his immediate family members. I accept these fallacies as a conceivable part of any discourse between two parties. The “ad-hominem argument form enlisted here is not only entry level, but obvious. The larger concern for myself is the plethora of inaccuracies conveyed by a member of law enforcement. Specifically, Officer Chris Singleton. In several instances, I strongly dispute the statements he presents as fact. For example, I never stated, “Kerry Davis is mad at me, does not like me, or that he tries to intimidate me all the time. Those comments are not only inaccurate, but sound almost “child-like. Having never spoken to Mr. Davis, how could I say such a thing? Moreover, if I had said those things I would have given specific examples to backup my statements. I will say, however, the redness of his face when he saw me the morning of 9/27 did seem to indicate his being upset.

When I came to the Caseyville Police Department on the morning of 9/27, I only asked to make an incident report in order to document what had just occurred. In the voluntary written section of this report, Officer Singleton fails to mention that in addition to filing a conduct complaint against Keri Lin Cary, I also clearly stated I had filed a document request for a number of public records. Further, I see no notes indicating that on September 27, I also made a request to obtain the video surveillance footage from Village Hall between for between 10am and 11 am. I see nothing documented in Officer Singleton’s report indicating I specifically requested that the Caseyville Police obtain video footage from FCB Bank at the corresponding time. While Trustee Davis admits he was photographing me, I felt it should have at least been noted that I made a request. I never made a demand stating, “I wanted something done about Kerry Davis continually harassing me. That statement is completely inaccurate. The only time Trustee Davis ever harassed me was on 9/27, immediately following my second request for documents in as many days. Officer Singleton never notes that I asked it be put into the report that I felt this was an attempt on Trustee Davis’s part to harass and intimidate me. I am bewildered why Officer Singleton would omit these requests and so blatantly misrepresent my statements in his report?

I had never had as much as a conversation with Mr. Davis prior to this incident. As I stated previously, initially I had only asked to file an incident report, but after giving it some thought, when I returned to retrieve a copy of the police report, I officially requested that the case be forwarded to the St. Clair County States Attorney for consideration of charges. (I ask you to review all phone messages I left for Officer Singleton) I followed this up with an email to you.

It remains my contention that Trustee Davis took the actions he did in an attempt too harass and intimidate me. The attempt took place immediately after I had filed a Freedom of Information Request with the Village. There is no doubt that this incident was an obvious effort to prevent me from seeking public documents. The documents I’m currently requesting do involve a fishing dock and its expenses, (as well as possible open bid violations), my requests also include Caseyville’s hotel/motel tax fund and committee. This committee lists Trustee Davis and Carrol Davis as members. Carrol Davis being listed as committee secretary. (See Freedom of Information tab, page 5, of Official Village of Caseyville website).

Currently, I am being illegally denied access to those documents through the Village’s intentional misuse of a state statute. Attached please find the memo I submitted to The Village Board of Trustees, Mayor, and Village Clerk on 12 October 2011. In addition, I have a complaint on file with The Illinois Attorney General to have these public documents released, along with a few other related issues, including but not limited to, harassment of a private citizen(me) by a public official(Trustee Kerry Davis), while seeking public documents.

I am hesitant to even acknowledge the baseless, non-relevant statements made by the wife and daughter of the accused, however I do categorically deny any wrongdoing whatsoever and emphatically maintain that I have never remotely threatened his wife or daughter. For one, that kind of behavior would be inconsistent with the kind of person I am, and second how could I possibly gain anything, including public support in doing so? There has been public discourse over public policy in a very public news forum, to that I agree. But I have never come close to violating any civil or criminal law in my very public dissent over this or any other matter. The appropriate legal actions I take here should clearly indicate that I’m proceeding according to the law. I find the convenient timing of these baseless allegations to be biased, unfounded and very consistent with those who stand accused of wrongdoing. I request the statements of Carrol Davis and Keri Lin Cary be stricken from this record permanently as they are without cause or merit and completely unrelated to the issue at hand.

These facts remain. Kerry Davis admits he stopped behind my vehicle and began photographing me immediately following my request for public documents. The documents in question were directly related to things within his pervue as a public official. Other than my request for documents, Trustee Davis was completely unprovoked and had no justifiable reason whatsoever to take this course of action. While after the fact, his wife and daughter came up to make unsolicited statements to supposedly justify his actions, not one of their baseless allegations was presented prior to this incident nor do I feel any of their statements relevant in this case.

The argument Davis makes that he was attempting to get a picture of my vehicle so his wife and daughter could more easily identify me is clearly nonsense and illogical. I find it nothing more than a feeble attempt to somehow justify his illegal and unethical actions.

By her own account, Mrs. Davis alleges, that she witnessed me glaring at her on the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. Of course I did no such thing, but in making this statement Mrs. Davis indicates she has knowledge of what my vehicle looks like and clearly contradicts herself by maintaining she needs her husband to photograph myself and my vehicle. In addition, I have cut the grass next to Village Hall at St. Stephens Church for over five years. (without incident I might add) I park my vehicle in the same place, in plain sight every time I am there. I have little doubt Keri Cary has not seen me and my vehicle at the church countless times. On occasion I have even come into Village Hall and used the public restroom. In doing so, I have walked past Ms. Cary a number of times as her office is the first one you pass when you enter the building. I sat right next to her at Long Street Bar and Restaurant for an hour on election night just last April. Neither Carrol Davis nor Keri Lin Davis Cary were present during, or witness to what occurred on 9/27/2011.

To pose a question: With the political influence the Davis family obviously wields in Caseyville, would it not be safe to say that if my conduct were half as bad as they allege, wouldn’t it have been much easier for one or all of them to simply come to the Village Police Dept. and file a complaint? They did not. Instead, as Trustee Davis admits in his own statement, he was trying to hunt me down and take pictures of my vehicle. Trustee Davis even say he recognized me while at Village Hall. Why secretly photograph me from afar? Why did Trustee Davis wait until I left to take my picture when he could have easily walked outside and photographed my vehicle without incident or my knowing? Instead Trustee Davis carefully timed his departure to coincide with mine. He wanted to be sure I saw him photographing me as to purposely try to intimidate me. His actions would probably not been so disturbing or meaningful, except for the fact that I had just requested some public documents that may conceivably be directly contrary to his interests. I didn’t think Mr. Davis would be happy I made requests for these documents, but I never expected him to harass me right there on the parking lot of Village Hall as I was leaving.

The reason this public discourse continues to be the same as it began, a lack of public disclosure and transparency in public spending. The details continue to remain murky around the contracting procedures and the actual costs to residents to build this fishing dock. Mr. Davis has, on several occasions provided what I believe to be false and incomplete information which is the primary reason I seek these public documents. Which in turn, leads us to the only real source of conflict between myself and Trustee Davis. In contrast, when I requested similar information from the St. Clair County Park Grants Dept., my request was satisfied in three days. My request from Caseyville remains unfilled now for three weeks. That Caseyville is fighting this information request, only lends itself to the notion that they have something to hide.

If the Davis family wishes to make pointless distractions out of any and everything, I can’t stop them. But I intend to see it through to obtaining documents to which I have a legal right under the law. I am also puzzled why Leonard or Dale Black were even mentioned this matter? Neither was present during this incident or involved in any way.

Pursuant to our conversation today, I wish to rescind my request for a meeting with Officer Singleton and yourself. I have no reason to believe much will be accomplished by having a “He said, “He said dispute. While citing absolutely no wrongdoing on your part Chief Roth, it’s my genuine feeling that outside influences are possibly at work here and see no reason to waste my time or yours.

The primary objective for me is public interest and public disclosure. I request this letter to be submitted along with these attachments to the St. Clair County Prosecutor for consideration of charges, I make no other demands. While I feel this case has merit, I will stand by the decision they render as to whether they prosecute or do not prosecute in this cause.

In the meantime, I will not be deterred or distracted from my intended objective of obtaining public documents to hopefully achieve some public disclosure.

This report, presented by Officer Chris Singleton, is full of omissions, inaccuracies, and errors. It is my contention that it will not give The St. Clair County States Attorney a clear, unbiased accounting of what REALLY occurred at Caseyville Village Hall on Sept. 27, 2011.

At the moment, I must admit, I find myself profoundly disappointed in someone I previously viewed as a very capable, credible young police officer. Perhaps time will prove me wrong? I genuinely hope, in the end, that be the case.

In a free country, no citizen should be afraid to walk into any public building and request a public document. Therein lies the main reason I wish to seek criminal charges against Caseyville Village Trustee Kerry G. Davis. Regardless of what Mr. Kelly decides, it is my sincerest hope that my actions here will make this public official think twice before ever again harassing a private citizen who is merely exercising his or her rights, with due diligence and passion, within the boundaries of the law.

Respectfully Submitted,

Brad VanHoose

Item 3.

6 March 2012

To: Mark Green , Public Safety, Southwestern Illinois College

From: Bradley W. VanHoose

Subject: Grievance; Pursuant to Unauthorized Release of Personal Information

Dear Mr. Green:

On October 6, 2011, at 8:32 am , my class schedule and student identification number were released to Caseyville, Illinois Police. This was done without cause and without my knowledge or consent. Caseyville Police have never questioned me nor shown cause to indicate I was ever involved in any criminal activity. I feel my safety and the safety of my home were put into jeopardy as a result of this matter. I submit this grievance in order to lodge formal complaint against Southwestern Illinois College and Public Safety Officer, Christie Stennett.


Bradley VanHoose

Cc: H.O. Brownback, Mike Fleming

Item 4.

Determination by the Attorney General demanding the City of Caseyville to release the requested documents to Mr. VanHoose under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, and to refrain from treating Mr. VanHoose as a “recurrent requester”.

Attorney General Determination 3 February 2012 Matthew Rogina

Item 5.

Report from the Caseyville Police Department Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #139 citing essentially a vote of no-confidence in Chief Roth of the Caseyville Police Department, and citing therein a number of acts of abuse and malfeasance by the Chief. I’m sure that any of the information alleged by the Fraternal Order of Police can be obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Caseyville Police Report Union

Item 6.

Copy of letter from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission acknowledging its receipt of Mr. VanHoose’s request for an investigation into Caseyville Village Attorney, Duane C. Clark.

Related stories in local news:


Contact information for the officials involved: (All addresses/phone numbers may not be current)

Caseyville Village Attorney
Duane C. Clarke
Age 41
(618) 654-3735

(618) 654-3735,+Highland,+IL&ie=UTF-8&ei=Pk2yT5ONMNPfggeJ9ZGhCQ&oi=mode_link&cd=3&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg

(618) 651-3434,+Highland,+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8875ddc48c1bf7c9:0x62dd267dbbde7245,1260+Mercantile+Dr,+Highland,+IL+62249&gl=us&ei=dk2yT462CYifgwffk-nvAw&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CBwQ8gEwAA

(618) 654-3735,+Highland,+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8875de7f907e8719:0xcf70a6360b18078c,2121+St+Raphael+Ct,+Highland,+IL+62249&gl=us&ei=l02yT-nzD8baggfu-_CcCQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CBwQ8gEwAA

(618) 654-3735,+Belleville,+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x87d8a9048a1514d1:0x641c976839266fca,312+Warrensburg+Dr,+Belleville,+IL+62223&gl=us&ei=sk2yT6ilB4O0gwfY-7WiCQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CB8Q8gEwAA


Caseyville Trustee
Age 59
(618) 344-2009,+Caseyville,+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x87d8aadea0bea9cf:0x91b07a8a0a8d2cc3,26+Weinel+Ct,+Caseyville,+IL+62232&gl=us&ei=x02yT6DfKM70ggfQ17XICQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CBwQ8gEwAA

(618) 344-8788,305+W+Washington+St,+Caseyville,+IL+62232&gl=us&ei=602yT8-FIcz2gAeprd3MBw&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CBwQ8gEwAA


South­west­ern Illi­nois Col­lege Public Safety Officer
Age 36
103 ELLIOT ST #1
(618) 346-8496,103+Elliot+St,+Collinsville,+IL+62234&gl=us&ei=FU6yT6fzCMX9ggeKsqi2CQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CB8Q8gEwAA

COLLINSVILLE, IL 62234,1101+Quatto+Hill+Dr,+Collinsville,+IL+62234&gl=us&ei=Mk6yT-H4As2RgQfm5cDNCQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CBwQ8gEwAA

TROY, IL 62294
(618) 346-8496,+Troy,+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8875fc788f1a3711:0xf0a061e6b80b8b82,406+Riggin+Rd,+Troy,+IL+62294&gl=us&ei=Tk6yT9eABsWggwfYkf2nCQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CBwQ8gEwAA

COLLINSVILLE, IL 62234,723+Vandalia+St,+Collinsville,+IL+62234&gl=us&ei=cU6yT5OwB474ggeLkeW0CQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CEoQ8gEwAA

2500 CARLYLE AVENUE (This is SWIC College where Stennett works)
(618) 235-2700

COLLINSVILLE, IL 62234,612+N+Combs+Ave,+Collinsville,+IL+62234&gl=us&ei=lU6yT8CUFs7ggge-xtW_Cw&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CB8Q8gEwAA


Caseyville Police Chief
Age 55
618) 397-0000,+Fairview+Heights,+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x87d8aa5efd5ce055:0x2b6ea145aceca968,9704+Avalon+Dr,+Fairview+Heights,+IL+62208&gl=us&ei=rk6yT-_4J4mBgwe6n_SuCQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CB8Q8gEwAA

(618) 398-2888,+Fairview+Heights,+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x87d8aa7d82069337:0x965d5a23556ed791,503+Pleasant+Ridge+Rd,+Fairview+Heights,+IL+62208&gl=us&ei=xE6yT-T0F4XTgQf58djBCQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CB8Q8gEwAA

SOUTH BELOIT, IL 61080,+beliot+il+61080&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8808a1157e4880cb:0xf5c319bd24d1abb7,531+Northwestern+Ave,+South+Beloit,+IL+61080&gl=us&ei=706yT6f6JsjTgQeE49G-CQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CDAQ8gEwAA

(618) 398-2888,101+E+Ofallon+Dr,+Caseyville,+IL+62232&gl=us&ei=D0-yT5DaFMGagwe6uLyyCQ&oi=geocode_result&ved=0CBwQ8gEwAA


UPDATE 7/27/12

Congratulations to Bradley VanHoose on having his disorderly conduct charges dropped by Brendan Kelly, State’s Attorney. I’m sure it is not that kelly found no probable cause to prosecute since disorderly conduct is an ambiguous offense that is often abused by police as a retaliatory option. The accusations by Chief Rogh as to twhat constituted the offense, as VanHoose upsetting him, are ridiculous. Regardless, Brad is not being charged, and that is a good thing. I hope he maintains his pursuit of corruption in Caseyville and beyond.

From the story:

VanHoose was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct. Those charges were dismissed by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, who told a reporter the charges were dismissed for legal reasons and “for circumstances related to other ongoing investigations.

“SWIC officers arrested VanHoose as he sat in the college’s library studying for a test on April 10 after he passed a printed copy of a news story relating to Caseyville Police Chief J.D. Roth through the security window. That, according to the charge, was conduct “to cause alarm to” a SWIC police dispatcher.

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Sovereign Citizens – Walk Like a Citizen, Talk Like a Citizen, Guess What… You're Not Sovereign.

I’m seeing more-and-more about the phenomena called “Sovereign Citizens”. People subscribing to this theory assert that the government is not something that can compel one to follow its laws, pay its taxes, or otherwise claim legitimate authority over an individual. As a result, one would attempt to claim their rightful place in the hierarchy of authority, and call themselves sovereign citizens. Many of the followers employ a number of tactics to divest themselves of government control and act within their sovereign prerogatives. They will create their own ID’s, license plates, courts, and official documents. Many of the followers base their sovereignty on biblical principles. I believe sovereign citizens fail on a number of levels, but agree with the basic premise that in essence, people are the true authority over government. However, in many reports about sovereign citizens we see commentators and officials impugning the sovereign citizen movement because it fails to acknowledge or accept equal claims of sovereignty by government. We will examine this and determine just whose claim of sovereignty is legitimate.

The main questions we have to examine here are:

1.)  What is sovereignty?

2.) Who is sovereign?

3.) Is government superior to the individual?

4.) Do people have a right to deny government authority?

There are many definitions of sovereignty. The word itself has been used in a number of ways from the ancient Greeks to modern political theorists. I won’t touch on all of the ways sovereignty has been used, but I’ll look at the relationship between the individual and the State, and competing claims of sovereignty. Here are two examples of how sovereignty is defined:

1. The word “sovereign” is defined in the 6th edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, published in 1990, as being, “A person, body, or state in which independent authority is vested; a chief ruler with supreme power; a king or other ruler in a monarchy.” Prior to the War for American Independence, the British king was the sovereign and the American people were his subjects. The war’s outcome changed all this:The sovereignty has been transferred from one man to the collective body of the people – and he who before was a “subject of the king” is now “a citizen of the State.” – State v. Manuel, North Carolina, Vol. 20, Page 121 (1838)

It will be sufficient to observe briefly, that the sovereignties in Europe, and particularly in England, exist on feudal principles. That system considers the prince as the sovereign, and the people as his subjects; it regards his person as the object of allegiance… No such ideas obtain here; at the revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects… and have none to govern but themselves… – Chisholm v. Georgia, Dallas’ Supreme Court Reports, Vol. 2, Pages 471, 472 (1793)

2.  The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which any independent state is governed; supreme political authority; the supreme will; paramount control of the constitution and frame of government and its administration; the self-sufficient source of political power, from which all specific political powers are derived; the international independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign dictation; also a political society, or state, which is sovereign and independent.

The power to do everything in a state without accountability, –to make laws, to execute and to apply them, to impose and collect taxes and levy contributions, to make war or peace, to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like.

Sovereignty in government is that public authority which directs or orders what is to be done by each member associated in relation to the end of the association. It is the supreme power by which any citizen is governed and is the person or body of persons in the state to whom there is politically no superior. The necessary existence of the state and that right and power which necessarily follow is “sovereignty.” By “sovereignty” in its largest sense is meant supreme, absolute, uncontrollable power, the absolute right to govern. The word which by itself comes nearest to being the definition of “sovereignty” is will or volition as applied to political affairs.

We see constant references made to the “state”, and its ability to make and enforce laws. This brings two things to mind. From where ds the state originate, and where ds it get its authority? The state is not a thing that comes into existence by an act of nature. It has not existed since the beginning of time, and is not self-perpetuating. Many articles make reference to the state, as though it were an omnipotent and self-aware entity that could compel allegiance and dispense punishment. The state cannot exist without people. People are not, by nature, compelled to be a member of, or otherwise recognize, the state. People must first recognize it, desire to associate with it, and choose to observe and obey it. It can be said, that without people the state is just an abstraction, and in its fundamental sense, the state is nothing but people acting collectively in a political fashion, but possessing no inherent or natural authority over any other who ds not choose to likewise participate. For instance, the word sovereign/sovereignty is used in the Federalist Papers 93 times.

I will quote from one of the first Supreme Court cases in Illinois, which in my opinion is one of the most oppressive and corrupt states in the union, but from a time when the court recognized the source of political power as being that of the individual:

What is ment by the term constitution as applied to government? It is the form of government instituted by the people in their sovereign capacity, in which first principles and fundamental law are established. The constitution is the supreme, permanent and fixed will of the people in their original, unlimited and sovereign capacity, and in it are determined the condition, rights and duties of every individual of the community.”
“From the decrees of the constitution there can be no appeal, for it emanates from the highest source of power, the sovereign people. Whatever condition is assigned to any portion of the people by the constitution, is irrevocably fixed, however unjust in principle it may be. The constitution can establish no tribunal with power to abolish that which gave and continues such tribunal in existence. But a legislative act is the will of the legislature, in a derivative and subordinate capacity. The constitution is their commission, and they must act within the pale of their authority, and all their acts, contrary or in violation of the constitutional charter, are void.
An act of the legislature is different, and if it contravenes the constitution, no repetition of it can render it valid.” – Justice Samuel LockwoodPhbe. V. Jay1 Ill. 268, December 1828


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Phbe v.Jay Images

Phbe v. Jay Google Books

It would appear that Justice Samuel Lockwood was espousing many of the same sovereign citizen rhetoric we see today. It is not so absurd to view people as sovereigns, since before there can be a state there must be people who draft a constitution which creates that state, and in order for the people to have that ability they must first be free of any duty, allegiance, or submission to another authority, thereby placing them in a position of sovereignty to create a state. It would also follow that should the state move against the people, in violation of the powers enumerated to it by the people through the constitution, the people have the power and right to alter the state or abolish it. In doing so, it is not necessary to take physical measures to rail against that which has become so big, oppressive, and violent; it is merely that the people refuse to further support, obey, or acknowledge the state. It can be said that the state exists only as long as people support, obey, and acknowledge it.

Now remember, as Justice Lockwood said, it is the “people in their sovereign capacity”, not the citizen. For one to be a citizen there must first be a state for which to apply that citizenship. Citizenship is a political condition, not a natural one. Once the state, an un-natural thing deriving its existence from natural people, is created the people then relate to it through their citizenship. People cannot interract with un-natural things. Citizehship is that condition by which people relate to the thing they created. Claiming to be a sovereign citizen is to mix two conditions, natural and un-natural, one beholding to nothing and the second beholding to a political body.

To quote from this article from, the writer aptly states:

Under the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the Constitution as the foundational document and framework of organization of the United States, stated categorically in Article II, Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence. Nowhere in the Constitution is this retention of inherent sovereignty surrendered. The so-called sovereignty clause found in Article Six of the Constitution obviously gives precedence to the laws and treaties made by the Federal government it ds not however expressly say anywhere in the document that the States surrendered or forfeited their inherent sovereignty. If it had it never wouldve been ratified. As expressly stated in the 10th Amendment neither the States nor the people surrendered their sovereignty to the Federal Government, they delegated it. There is a difference between these two actions. To surrender is to give entirely and irrevocably to another while delegation is a temporary action based upon continued agreement between the parties involved.

Another strong argument can be made that since all governments are the products of a social contract between those who govern and those governed sovereignty ultimately resides in the people and governments are therefore merely agents of the peoples will.  According to this line of thought all governments wield delegated powers and can have no more power in and of themselves than the moon has light without the sun.

Amendment is the only legitimate process for change under the Constitution. If the design calls for a decentralized diffused sovereignty in an asymmetrical system how was change achieved from that to the current system of highly centralized power and control? Was it by amendment or practice? Is it possible for an illegitimate practice to become a legitimate tradition? Is it possible for an illegitimate tradition to set a legitimate precedent?

All of these historically based academic discussions aside and for all intents and purposes the argument about who is sovereign was forever settled by Abraham Lincoln.  When the South attempted to secede, an action not prohibited by the Constitution they were beat back into submission to the Federal Government. Debate over. Question answered. The Federal Government is supreme. However, though this is the reality of our circumstance since the Civil War this is a reality imposed through the use of military force not to be confounded with the original condition based upon the voluntary agreement between the people, the states and the national government in Constitution.

For years this question of who is sovereign has see-sawed back and forth. Today the Progressives and their two headed government party seek to make the exaltation of the central government permanent. If this stands unchallenged, America has devolved from the defused model established under the Constitution to a centralized version reminiscent of its original absolutist definition. If this new normal is enshrined as reality it will become increasingly obvious as States strive to assert their rights and people seek to preserve their freedom. For if the central government is now absolutely sovereign it will eventually crush all rivals. If the people are sovereign, in time theyll find their voice, reassert their power, re-establish the federal system, and return to the social contract as ratified in the Constitution.

As the writer points out, it was ultimately the use of force, in contravention of the Constitution which formed the United States Government, and which concordantly breathed life into the office of Mr. Lincoln’s presidency, that laid to rest the question of whether the States retained, or relinqished, their sovereignty when forming the union. It was this force, violent, destructive, blood-spilling force, wielded by Mr. Lincoln which subdued the rebellious south and “saved the union”.

Let’s now look at two recent mainstream stories regarding the sovereign citizen movement and how it is described. One is from ABC News and the other from Vegas News Review. The ABC News story was titled, “Sovereign Citizens: Radicals Exercising ‘God-Given Rights’ or Fueling Domestic Terrorism?“. The Vegas News Review story similarly was titled, “Sovereign Citizens – American citizens or domestic terrorists?” Notice how there is a recurring reference to “domestic terrorism”. This is the light being cast upon sovereign citizens. If someone wishes to remove themselves from the government, then that government implies they are engaging in domestic terrorism.

Quoting from the ABC News story:

Sovereign citizens are a loosely-organized collection of groups and individuals who believe they are both above the law and “true defenders of the Constitution.”

They follow their own set of rules and many refuse to pay taxes. The movement’s followers believe, in large part, that the existing government in the United States is illegitimate and needs to be “restored.” Many sovereigns refer to themselves as “patriots” or “constitutionalists.” Driver’s licenses, license plates, and insurance are not required, many sovereign believe, going as far as making their own identification badges and gun permits. Some members are known to turn violent against law enforcement and are notoriously hostile towards the media.

Federal government officials describe sovereign citizens as an “extremist anti-government group” and the FBI is concerned about members of the group becoming more violent, accusing them of “comprising a domestic terrorist movement.”

Quoting from the Vegas News Review story:

SCs are a growing group of radicals who claim no allegiance to the government and its rules, laws and representatives.  They have their own mishmash of gibberish they consider laws that they follow and enforce, sometimes with deadly results. In the United States, over 100,000 have dedicated themselves to the cause of Sovereign Citizenry with another 200,000 involved in one way or another.

Bear in mind, that the American political system is a bottom-up model,where monarchy was a top-down model. Kings and princes were placed on par with God on earth. They were accountable to no one, and their authority was without question. After the American Revolution, which resulted from people being tired of the abuses of monarchy, they felt it best to leave power with themselves and delegate only what they felt a government would need to secure their safety and happiness, never surrendering their sovereignty, but endowing the newly created State with power which rendered it as a sovereign power against all other powers that would lay a claim to govern or subjugate the people. It can be said that the Founding Fathers were, in a sense, sovereign citizens. They too, were radicals who claimed no allegiance to government or its rules, laws, and representatives. Both articles seem to be describing the very men who overthrew the shackles of monarchy and formed the United States of America.

 Truth be told, I claim no allegiance to the government nor follow its rules, yet, I am not a sovereign citizen. I do not consider myself to be a citizen of any political body. I fail to find one worthy of my allegiance or participation. The current system of government we have before us is violent, thieving, and oppressive. I am, in the words of Justice Lockwood, sovereign. I have unlimited power to do as I see fit with the self-imposed limitation that I do not transgress upon the like-rights and sovereignty of others. I am not extremist in any sense other than I regard myself as the only authority over my life. Government, on the other hand, could be viewed as extreme in that it believes it has power to pass and apply laws to anyone it wishes, tax their labor, and imprison or kill them for failing to obey. Who is the extremist?

Both stories fail because they rely upon the presupposition that the United States Government is legitimate, and has the legitimate authority to do the things it ds. Likewise, they fail to recognize the the source of governmental power, the people, and their right to “alter or abolish” the government. There is a very strong inference that the government, as now constituted, exists of its own volition and has plenary authority over everything. I won’t waste time here going tit-for-tat over everything the government says about sovereign citizens also applying to actions of government. However, for every negative aspect of sovereign citizens, there are equally and more heinous actions taken by government but it gives itself a pass because it is our master. Enough said.

So, if the people are sovereign and create a government which has limited power and uses that power in a way not intended or agreed upon by some citizens of that government, then when reclaiming their rightful place and exerting their sovereignty, why would they emulate or take on the characteristics of that government? If you are sovereign, why would you need to issue drivers licenses, license plates, and other official documents similar to those issued by government? If you are sovereign, then you need no license or plates on your vehicle. They cling to the notion of the “republic”, when the republic is a political body that required allegiance and surrendering some of your sovereignty.

Sovereign citizens exhibit many of the same tendencies people using such theories as the “Strawman“, or “Redemption Process” espouse.  Again, these are people claiming to be sovereign, yet resorting to an amalgamation of convoluted machinations found in government. If I am sovereign, I have no court, no official currency, and need for licensure. I cannot sue since civil procedure and remedies are a product of a government, and I renounce that government. It’s like canceling your membership to the YMCA, but claiming some divine right to go there and swim because no one has the right to confine hydrogen and oxygen in a pool and away from everyone else. In essence, sovereign citizens exhibit many of the same characteristics as government, but they do not agree with the government when it ds those very things. They rebel against government issued license plates and legal processes by creating their own license plates and legal processes.

The ABC News story makes reference to the sovereign citizens being “defenders of the Constitution”. Why would someone want to defend the Constitution when, as Lysander Spooner said, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” People in the sovereign citizen movement, the patriot movement, and other movements hold the Constitution in almost ecclesiastical reverence. They don’t realize that every action taken by government, upon which they disagree, is justified by government as originating with the Constitution. As a matter-of-fact, it is not even their constitution to defend. The Supreme Court has even commented that people in the States, have no claim to the Constitution. The case is Barron v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore – 32 U.S. 243 (1833), and the court said:

The question thus presented is, we think, of great importance, but not of much difficulty. The Constitution was ordained and established by the people of the United States for themselves, for their own government, and not for the government of the individual States. Each State established a constitution for itself, and in that constitution provided such limitations and restrictions on the powers of its particular government as its judgment dictated. The people of the United States framed such a government for the United States as they supposed best adapted to their situation and best calculated to promote their interests. The powers they conferred on this government were to be exercised by itself, and the limitations on power, if expressed in general terms, are naturally, and we think necessarily, applicable to the government created by the instrument. They are limitations of power granted in the instrument itself, not of distinct governments framed by different persons and for different purposes.

So, you see, the Constitution has no connection with individuals in the States. It stands apart as a source of political power. The respective States have their own constitutions, written by the sovereign people belonging the the political body creating such, but each retains their sovereignty. A body of people cannot draft a constitution that then binds people who do not consent to be ruled the ensuing laws. It is not majority rule. If such were the case, we could dispense with constitutional formality and just have people voting to what to do to whomever. There is a fundamental issue of law which supersedes even government and constitutions. The sovereign citizens call this “God’s law”.

As with anything, when you limit or define rights as deriving from something, you run the risk of deciding who interprets those laws or rights. The majority of sovereign citizens are Christian, therefore, it can be implied that if someone is not Christian they do not acknowledge your rights if, even though similar, derive from a deity not of the Christian persuasion. Likewise, they refer to biblical principles in justifying or supporting their position. What if someone ds not find any legitimacy with the Bible, or worships in accordance with the Quran? As with government, religion can be just as tyrannical.

In my opinion, individuals are sovereign, for lack of a better word. We are born into this world with all the power, rights, and abilities we will ever possess. There may be enormous disparity in circumstances or opportunity by which to exercise such, but we possess them regardless. People are not created alike  with physical attributes, but no one has any right to determine how or by what means another may try to make the best life they can for themselves. Government, tasting the blood of the ignorant and apathetic, becomes more aggressive, until some point it takes on a life of its own, manned by armies of supporters, bureaucrats, agents, and subjects who twist and bend so-called laws for the conquest and subjugation of other people, many of whom do not consent nor agree with that government. Do people have a right to rebel? Of course they do. However, successfully executing that rebellion is another thing to be considered. Being right ds not make you successful.

Do I disagree with sovereign citizens? I find the term oxymoronic. I agree with people abandoning government and functioning in their own society without interference from anyone else. I find it pointless to emulate that which with you disagree. I fail to see how one can claim to be sovereign, and yet, be a citizen. If you are going to take the step to be sovereign, then do it and do it totally. I find the two stories referenced to be nothing but propaganda against a growing movement of people who have had it with this government, and who are at a loss for expressing their ultimate displeasure and no other recourse for asserting their sovereignty. Both stories presuppose the legitimacy of government and discount the source of its power. Government causes more harm under claimed sovereignty than citizens do, and government ds it offensively where the sovereign citizens do it defensively. The government acts as an aggressor causing people to scramble for a defensive position, and having been indoctrinated in government schools, are left with limited options.

If you are truly free and sovereign, then just act like it. The government is not a behemoth immune to being dismantled, but it must be done individual-by-individual. It must rot and crumble from within, because it prepares its defenses for assaults from without. It has no control over you, other than what you provide by surrendering your mind to it. As the support weakens, the more vulnerable it becomes to, not bullets, but ideas. I recommend reading this article I previously posted. It is a very good analysis of the nature of governmental power. You do not need to take up arms against the tyrant, you only need to resolve to serve no more. That is the nature of true sovereignty.




Tracking the Sovereign Citizen Buzz on the Net.



Piedmont man faces charges in Pickens County burglary possibly tied to domestic terrorism group


The sovereign citizen movement, in all its various forms, poses a clear threat to the safety of our community because its an attempt to disengage from the rules which govern everyone, said Pickens County Sheriff David Stone. A person who fervently believes that he is not subject to the law, and can essentially dictate his own law, is potentially very dangerous. In result, theres not much difference between that type of individual and a jihadist who follows a radical form of Islam. In both cases, their belief structures convince them that what they are doing is right, regardless of the effect on society as a whole.


I would differ that the current rules govern “everyone”. Government clearly sets special rules aside for itself, indemnifying or absolving its actions, even when those actions “affect society as a whole”. But you see, government sets the rules to preserve its order, and not that of society. The government fervently believes it is not subject to the law because they dictate their own law. Government is that threat to society because when society finds its own rules for peaceful intercourse government intervenes claiming some overriding necessity to keep us safe or level the playing field. Police kill with relative impunity provided the killing could be justified as an officer being in fear for his safety, but let an individual kill a police officer, even in self-defense, and badges come from miles around to support “their” fallen brethren, as if they stand apart from the rest of us. Sure, to me, sovereign citizens are either misguided, ignorant, or opportunistic bottom-feeders using the same rules as bottom-feeding government bureaucrats to use a system for intimidation and theft.




Schaeffer Cox takes stand to detail when deadly force is justified


The only time that the use of force is morally justified is to stop someone from hurting you, Cox said from the witness stand, prompted by a question from his attorney. The use of violence to protect your family is morally justified. The use of violence to promote your fancies is not…


I do not know much about Schaeffer Cox, but aside from his sovereign citizen position and common law courts, I admire his tact. I believe he falls short of the philosophical mark about the illegitimacy of government in-general, but we’ll see how the jury takes to his charm. All things considered… good luck Mr. Cox.




Excerpt: Knezovich joined SWAT team negotiators because self-proclaimed sovereigns typically recognize the sheriff as the highest law enforcement authority, he said.

Commentary: I posted the following response to the story:

I’m concerned more about the government extremist mentality posting comments on this story. As usual, delusional sycophants supporting government power chime in to justify some illusory authority superior to the individual rights or people.

Sovereign citizen arguments fail on many levels, but what fails worse is government’s claim they have any natural or a priori sovereign right over individuals, which is not true.

I wrote at length on Sovereign Citizens and the concept of individual sovereignty trumping government’s claims of sovereignty.

People are sovereign, citizens are not. That said, there is no obligation or duty for people to obey everything malignancy called “law”that flows from the legislative pens of thugs and usurpers. Of course, being violence incarnate, will resort to terrorism and violence in order to suppress any notion that people are superior to government and strike fear in the contemplative rebels.

This government has payback coming and it is moving now to further establish itself as the parens patriae for every human being who inhabits the soil within its fictitious boundaries.

People need to begin resisting and disobeying en masse, and overwhelm this corrupt system and shine the light on murderous police and despotic judges. Most people, who are by nature cowards and predisposed to following whatever edict passes the lips of their keepers, will blindly follow any man in in authority in placing the collective boot upon their neighbors necks.

This is just the beginning, and otherwise good men and women serving the Leviathan had better reconsider where their allegiance lies.

Marc MkKoy

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Babies without Social Security Numbers & Without Birth Certifications


The document “Baby’s with no birth certificates nor social security numbers has been on this web
page ( for a considerable length of time, and in my view has not
gotten the attention it deserves. To provide some interest in its content and merit I have decided
to provide the following background information. Following the background information is the
original “Baby’s with no birth certificates nor social security numbers document. We often see
people whining about the actions taken by government with regards to their’ children, but these
same people will chose to ignore the information available when the opportunity presents itself.


Acting on false assumptions instead of on facts assures that our actions will lead us into
unintended obstacles. You cannot reach desired goals by taking the wrong paths. In no case is
this more apparent than in the matter of dates of birth. Make the wrong assumption, and you will
grovel in inescapable slavery. Act on facts, and you will set yourself free. Here are some facts
that are relevant to the subject of dates of birth:

Like many, many other words, “birth” and “date” have precise legal meanings which if not
fully comprehended will lead us into great trouble.

Through long training, habit and repetition we come to associate our date of birth with
that day, month and year on which we squeezed, kicking and screaming from our mother’s womb.
It’s been a bad habit with terrible consequences for most of us. That day of our entrance into this
world is not the birth date of the person named on the birth certificate! We have been suffering
under a false assumption. It’s high time we corrected the error.

BOUVIER’S LAW DICTIONARY (1867) defines “birth” as “the act of being brought
wholly into the world.” In expanding on this succinct definition, Bouvier’s remarks restrict the
legal meaning to the subject of actual, physical childbirth.

It goes without saying that a lot of water has passed under the bridge since Bouvier
penned his authoritative definition of “birth”. The forms of government have been radically
altered, and in many instances words have been assigned different meanings. Sometimes the
differences are subtle; sometimes extreme.

Today, Black’s Law Dictionary (Fifth Edition) defines “birth” to appear deceptively similar
to the definition given by Bouvier. Black’s defines “birth” as “The act of being born OR wholly
brought into separate existence.” The careless observer will discern no significant differences
between the definitions given by Bouvier and Black. But the differences are VERY

Bouvier does not provide a definition for “born”. But if he had, we can discern from his
definition of “birth” that he would define “born” as describing a human birth.

Black’s does provide its definition of “born” to mean:
“Act of being delivered or expelled from mother’s body.”
Black’s definition for “born” is essentially identical to Bouvier’s definition of “birth.” And like
Bouvier’s, Black’s first definition of “birth” describes a human birth.
But Black’s continues in his definitions of “birth”, providing a different, alternate
definition, “…OR (the act of being) wholly brought into separate existence.”

There is a subtle but significant difference between Bouvier’s “brought wholly” and Black’s
“wholly brought”.

In the case of Bouvier’s definition, “wholly” describes the total extent to which one comes
forth and separates from the womb; that not just parts of the new creature have exited and taken
on separate existence, but all of him. This refers only to a natural child/being.

Black’s uses “wholly” to describe the extent to which a generic entity, not a human being,
is deemed to have experienced “birth.” “Birth” by Black’s second definition requires that the
subject be completely and totally brought into existence. The difference between “wholly
brought” and “brought wholly” is something of a brain-teaser, but meditate on it and the
difference will come to you.

Bouvier refers to the child being brought into the WORLD, the connotation being that
something real and substantial, observable by the senses has arrived on the planet.

Black’s “brought into separate existence” can easily include a legal fiction or other artificial
entity, such as a name/person.

So far our inquiry has established that in modern legal jargon “birth” can mean the delivery
of a human child, OR the act of bringing into full and complete existence an artificial entity.

We find similar games played with the word, “DATE!

Bouvier defines “date” to mean, “The designation or indication in an instrument of writing
of the time AND PLACE when and WHERE it was made.” More: “Written instruments generally
take effect FROM THE DAY OF THEIR DATE, but the actual day of execution may be shown,
though different from that which the instrument bears.”

Black’s convenient definition of “date” does not include THE PLACE WHERE THE
INSTRUMENT IS EXECUTED: “The specification or mention, in a written instrument, of the
time (day, month and year) when it was made (EXECUTED).” (Parentheses in original)

Black’s defines “executed” as “COMPLETED: CARRIED INTO FULL EFFECT; already
done or performed; SIGNED; taking effect immediately; NOW IN EXISTENCE or in possession;
CONVEYING AN IMMEDIATE RIGHT OR POSSESSION. Act or course of conduct carried
to completion. Term imports idea that NOTHING REMAINS TO BE DONE.”

The PLACE at which a written instrument is executed is of extreme significance to its
effect. For example, a statute enacted by the California legislature may have great effect on the
lives of Californians…but none on Oregonians. By deleting “place” as an element of the definition
of “date”, Black’s, the ‘official’ lawyers dictionary, minimizes the importance of “place” while
diverting attention away from its significance.


The birth certificate ‘creates’ an artificial entity. In the beginning that entity is merely a
name, attached to which are other names of state-certified parents, doctors, informants and

The certificate is a written instrument created by a ‘registrar’ who is an employee/agent of
a ‘jurisdiction’ of the place in which the certificate is created. Neither the registrar nor his
principal created the human baby who is merely grist for the certifying process. The only things
bureaucrats can create are artificial entities and ‘legal’ fictions.

A birth certificate is EXECUTED by signing, filing and recording it, which constitutes the
act of wholly bringing the certificate (and the artificial entity it creates) into separate (distinct,
unique) being. The subject matter of the written instrument (certificate) is the live birth of an
infant. But it is not the live birth that is EXECUTED by signing, filing and recording the
certificate. That had already been accomplished, usually several days before the filing, by
conception and gestation, consummated by a child being born. Neither the state nor its registrar
had anything to do with ‘executing’ the live birth of the child.

The “DATE” (specification in the written instrument of the time when it was executed) is
the day, month and year on which the certificate was signed and filed; i.e., the time it executed;
when the ‘official name’/artificial entity/record, mentioned in the certificate was wholly brought
into separate existence. In other words, by Black’s SECOND DEFINITION…the DATE of
BIRTH of the record/entity.

Natural persons (real, live, flesh and blood people) have birthdays which commemorate

Only state-certified NAMES have BIRTHDATES or DATES OF BIRTH! There is
nothing about these DATES in the nature of commemoration or memorial; nothing happy, sad, or
otherwise emotional about them. Such DATES OF BIRTH are merely cold, dispassionate facts
which testify to the time and place of birth of the certificate.

Except when he is applying for a benefit that is made available only to artificial,
state-certified persons, an individual is free to go by any name that pleases him. He is under no
legal or moral compulsion to use the name attributed to him on a birth certificate. However, if he
uses that name, or a similar variation of it, he should be very careful in separating the two; the
natural and artificial creatures. He must remember: HE IS NOT THE NAME AND THE NAME

For example…when he is acting ‘as attorney’ for the artificial being, he should provide its
BIRTHDATE when required by business dealings. Alternatively, when he wishes to enjoy the
Rights inherent in natural individuals, he will want to distinguish between DATES and days…and
never state that his BIRTHDATE is the same as his birthday. The safest course is to avoid
situations (such as applying for or using benefits) where the giving of a BIRTHDATE may be
‘innocently’ construed as intent to obligate the natural person.

Not too many decades ago, birth certificates were generally perceived as innocuous and
harmless. Most people believe them to be beneficial in that they established reliable records for
genealogies, and assisted in expediting inheritances, probate matters, and the like. Few people
were ALARMED by sinister implications surrounding birth certificates…or the potential for abuse
inherent in them. It was this very absence of fear or concern that permitted them to eventually be
used against us. NOBODY WAS WATCHING! Nobody was warning their children about the
dangers of birth certificates. Nobody was educating the people on how they could be used as
‘government weapons against the people’ …or how the people could defend themselves from such

And today, most people still BELIEVE that birth certificates are harmless…and beneficial.

The danger with birth certificates is that, with just a little indoctrination by parents and
government schools, most people confuse the two entities involved (natural person and artificial
person). They do this primarily as a result of being trained from childhood to believe the DATE
OF BIRTH is synonymous with the day of birth. After a while most people cannot distinguish
between the name and their mortal being. They say, “I am John Smith” more frequently than they
will say “My name is ‘John Smith'”. It is this indoctrinated inability to distinguish between the two
that gets people in serious trouble.

They enter into adhesion contracts with ‘government’ agencies, that strip them of the
ability to exercise natural rights, and obligate them to all manner of demeaning servitude.

Black’s defines “ADHESION CONTRACT” as a:
“Standardized contract form offered to consumers of goods and SERVICES on essentially ‘take it
or leave it’ basis without affording consumer realistic opportunity to bargain and under such
conditions that consumer cannot obtain desired product or SERVICES except by acquiescing in
form contract. Distinctive feature of adhesion contract is that weaker party has no realistic choice
as to its terms.”

An intractable system of ‘governance’ has developed by which it is made difficult for the
natural person to exist, much less thrive, except by contract with ‘government’ agencies.
Adhesion contracts seem to be required of him to own and drive a car, own or rent property,
acquire food, gasoline…and most critically, to obtain the ‘government’ federal reserve notes
(“cash”) necessary to secure these ‘benefits’.

Every such ‘benefit’ is made available only to artificial, state-chartered persons. To prove
that one is eligible for the benefits, he must produce a BIRTHDATE and often even the certificate
(instrument) that certifies the DATE given is accurate.

Do you see what happens? The contractor provides, not the DATE OF BIRTH of the
certificate, but his BIRTHDAY. The bureaucrat never argues, even though the face of the
certificate proves the applicant is lying. (The consumer is always right)! The bureaucrat merely
pushes the adhesion contract across the counter for the applicant’s signature. The contract is
executed, and the natural person, who by association with the DATE OF BIRTH of an artificial
entity binds and obligates himself to whatever onerous specific performance will be required of
the contractor.

By submitting a BIRTHDATE, the contract ADHERES to the hapless individual.
Invariably, one condition of such contracts is that, should any controversies arise, the applicant
agrees to let the matter be arbitrated in the “company courts”. Neither natural rights nor
‘constitutional rights’ are issues, nor are they permitted expression in such courts.


End of Background

Original posting of “Baby’s with no birth certificates nor social security numbers begins below.

Babies without Social Security Numbers &
without Birth Certifications (Birth Certificates)
Making the Decision:

This essay is the result of an encouragement by my dad, who was, to some
degree, responsible for the status of my daughter, now over two years old. In
conversations with my father since the birth of my daughter, he thought it might be
beneficial to others to share my hospital experience with those who may be
wondering about such matters. Having been talked’ into sharing my experience, I
take up pen (now computer) to share those thoughts that led up to birthing a baby
girl who holds no Social Security number nor any county (government) issued Birth
Certification’ (Birth Certificate), and to share the events within the hospital in
refusing the allowance of these government identifications.

The decision to do this, although easy in the end, was somewhat of a
torturous path to travel. I have two children, a boy of several years and now a
daughter. Even before my son was born, my father had spoke with me about various
topics dealing with the devious nature of government. Although at that time I was in
my early twenties and believed, as I thought most American’s believed, that our
government was a champion of the under dog, the oppressed and those in need. I
did not feel that our government would intentionally take advantage of our fellow

When my father talked with me about the transgressions of government at
Ruby Ridge and at Waco, Texas, I could not help but think that he had taken a walk
off the map. Our government would not murder innocent people, especially children,
as he was saying took place at Waco. I did not think he was intentionally lying, dad
does not lie, but I did think that he was wholly mistaken. In my mind, I had
rationalized that our government had some justified reason to go after those
people’, even if that reason wasn’t readily apparent.

My father, despite my beliefs, kept the conversation alive from time to time,
sharing information and showing me things he had discovered about the actions and
coverup in which government agents & officials were involved. Apparently to
maintain the status quo’ within society.

Examining for myself the evidence that my dad presented to me for my
review caused a shift in my perception about our government. This was evidence,
not, not conjecture and not the opinion of my father. It was being collected and
presented by many rational people, some of them within the law enforcement

Whether or not it is intentional, the lack of education in our public school
system taught me well to believe in the goodness and humanity of our government.
The dilemma in which I was caught, was a knowledge that 1) my father would not
intentionally mislead me; 2) that my father is not a stupid man who is easily swayed,
either by self serving patriots nor by government; 3) that my father and my
government were in direct conflict on a number of critical matters and; 4) that if my
father was sufficiently concerned to keep bringing up government actions, it was
time for me to conduct my own independent investigation. Primarily to solidify in
my own mind which story to believe. The difference between what I wanted to
believe and the evidence being presented to me could not co-exist in my mind. In
determining the actual truth I could lay to rest the conflict occurring in my mind and
maybe make my dad eat crow.

And so I began doing some research of my own into some of the premises
dad had been putting forth. Premises that went far and beyond the events of Ruby
Ridge and Waco, Texas. I read books, surfed the Internet, investigated our
country’s founding documents, examined the interpretation of our founding
documents in court decisions, paying special attention to the burdens of citizenship
of both the State Citizen, and the United States Citizen. I must admit, that as I began
this trek, I was not even aware that there was a clear difference between citizens of
a State, and citizens of the United States. However, I was to learn that, as put forth
in the Slaughterhouse Cases (a supreme court decision), Americans do not
necessarily hold both citizenship classes, and there is considerable difference
between the burdens of each. I examined old history and law books and compared
them to current ones.

To my surprise, dad had been correct in each and every assertion he had
made. The commercial burdens’ of the United States citizens were the means by
which corporate government was taking the earnings and property from this class of
citizenship. Yet, it is not the purpose of this document to explain those matters in
detail, only to provide sufficient background that the reader will understand my
decision of citizenship for my daughter.

After engaging in considerable reading and research I had came to understand
that those of us holding a social security number, driver’s license, county issued
birth certificate, marriage license, or any other permit or license were being duped
by our government. Duped into entering into a contract which we no obligation to
enter. A contract which gives corporate government power and control over our
lives. We are being tricked into believing we are a free people when we are
anything but free. All of the above mentioned documents bind us to a jurisdiction
that has expanded beyond its constitutionally granted ten mile square allotment in
order to enslave the American people and hold us as surety for the national debt.

The research provided a realization that the county issued birth certificate and
federal social security number were a contractual means for the government to make
living souls into corporate entities (what we call a legal fiction) in order to gain
control of our lives and property. These contractual obligations make us subject to
the jurisdiction of the corporate United States and the Uniform Commercial Code,
of which almost all of our current law is based on. Taking note that there is a
difference between these united States (this refers to the sovereign States of the
republic that joined together to form a Union) and the United States ( a corporation
created by an act of Congress: 16 United States Statutes at Large 419; FORTY
FIRST CONGRESS, SESSION III; CHAPTER 62, 1871). This act created a
corporate UNITED STATES, a completely separate entity from the Republic of
these united States of America. In short, it forms a means by which the American
people may be tricked.

And believe me, I understand more than you know the reaction you may have
to such statements. I had them when my father was sharing this information with
me. As I have previously stated, I did not believe it possible for our grand’ and
great’ government to be capable of such devious actions. It was very hard for me to
fathom so many government officials, military personnel (to some extent), and
police officers (to some extent) were either being bought off through employment
and benefits, or intimidated (frightened) so badly they would sell out their own
people as well as their own children and families. I had believed in the checks and
balances put in place by our founding fathersand designed into our government
structure in a way that would never allow for such mass deceit of the people. Or so I

Although it was my father who was the catalyst for research, it was the
research itself that brought me to understanding and then to feel at least some
responsibility for the ignorance of others in my life. How could I, or for that
matter, how could anyone turn their backs from the truth of what is occurring
right now in our country? While in the beginning I thought that there was probably
only a 10% chance my father was correct, I had learned he was 100% correct, and
knowing this would not allow me to continue as I always had, believing that
government would do the honorable thing. I could no longer take that chance with
those I love. My father had apologized to me and my brother, stating that if he knew
as a young man what he knows now, neither of us would have had government
issued birth certificates nor social security numbers. Now, as a parent with
knowledge and understanding, it is my turn to step up to the plate.

Thus, the decision to birth my daughter without acquiring a government
issued birth certification or social security number was an easy one. Even when my
choice was based upon the partial and incomplete facts that were available to me at
the time I made this decision. In my heart and mind there just really wasn’t any
other choice because I wanted my daughter to enjoy the freedom that so many
Americans died to provide at the beginning of our county. To enjoy a freedom that
has been lost through ignorance by so many Americans. I did not want to sell my
daughter into slavery just to save a few dollars on my income taxes. I realize that
these statements may be inflammatory to some, but I feel confident that if you do
your homework and research in this matter, you will change your perspective and
agree that I have made the best possible decision on behalf of my daughter.

Unfortunately, I had not been as well informed when my son was born. Oh, I
had the opportunity to be informed, I chose not to be informed, not to believe. As I
once read:

“The mark of a stupid man is not that he does not know,
it is that he chooses not to know!

As such I will be changing my son’s status as soon as possible, given what I now
know. My husband and I will avoid asking the government for any kind of
assistance be it medical, income, retirement, or housing. These are the ways the
government traps individuals in the claws of its corporate jurisdiction, by getting
you to contract with them. Government engineers the crisis and then provides a
mediocre solution, if you will just contract with them, and give them jurisdiction
over your life. My children will learn to be responsible for themselves and if they
need help, to lean on those who truly care about them, rather than depend on the
government to take care of them. The government is not the parent nor part of my
family and should not be responsible for me or my children. It is not right for me or
my children to expect other hard working people, trying to raise their family, to
support mine. A lesson learned from my father.

Determining the consequences:

Now, that the decision had been made to avoid contracting with the
government on my daughter’s behalf, I needed to check into aspects of her life that
will be of immediate concern upon her birth. Both of my children would be taking
advantage of public education. I had to check with the school to find out if a social
security number was required for enrollment into school – it was not. I also checked
to see if the hospital birth certificate was adequate documentation to enroll a child
into school, and I found that the hospital issued birth certificate is adequate
documentation for the school.

The hospital and birth day (never allow the use of the term
“Birth Date):

After determining this, I was ready to proceed with my plans concerning my
daughter’s citizenship status. After having a baby it is standard policy for hospital
staff to bring in paperwork to be filled out and completed by the parents, to get the
newborn a social security number. I simply refused to fill it out or sign anything to
do with social security, being polite but firm. The person in charge of getting this
paperwork filled out and turned in, did attempt to pressure me by stating that when
grown my daughter will not be able to work or conduct any personal business
without that number. I politely responded that she was misinformed and that I was
certain that my daughter needed no permission from the government to carry out the
things she will do in her life. In one last attempt on the Social Security number I was
told that a social security card would be much more difficult to obtain later. I
informed her that didn’t matter to me and she went on to the next thing, the birth
certificate. Again I refused to sign or authorize anything to do with a government
birth record. This lady and I went through a similar discussion as with the social
security number. She told me that I would have difficulty proving my child’s identity
and enrolling her in school. I informed her that I had checked into that matter and
that neither a social security number or the county birth certificate is required to
enroll in school. If necessary, I could sign an affidavit as to my daughter’s identity
and status until she was old enough to sign one of her own.

With this, the lady folded and indicated that she didn’t want to argue with me.
The important thing to realize here is that both of these documents are contracts
which create a disability (a liability or obligation) upon your child. Not to put too
fine a point on it, but these contracts with government lack full disclosure and/or
equal consideration. (Necessary elements to a legally binding agreement.)
Additionally, they are accomplished under fraud and deception by virtue of the lack
of full disclosure. These contractual obligations, if entered into, give the
government control of your child, making the government the parent and you the
babysitter. In short, this is the legal process: 1) The Birth Certification is registered
with the bureau of vital statistics; 2) Whenever you “register (not record) anything
in any “public registry you have placed the object identified (in this case your
child) into international commerce and transferred “legal title to the government,
retaining only “equitable title to yourself. You may use’ the registered item, but
is not your property, you have transferred it to the government. Thus, when you
register your children, as is done with the issuance of a birth certification’, you
have given the government legal title, retaining equitable title to yourself. This is
why the government may now take the children and place them wherever they wish.
They are protecting their legal property. Check it out for yourself. Mary’s book is a
good place to begin. Available at

The benefits:

At the end of my hospital stay I walked out with a citizen of the Republic of
California, instead of a United States citizen. As an individual outside corporate
jurisdiction, she will have no taxable income, this benefit[???]’ being reserved for
those citizens inside corporate jurisdiction. She will not pay social security, another
benefit’ for those citizens inside a corporate jurisdiction. She will not have a drivers
license, nor vehicle registration for her car, both are requirements for those under
corporate [commercial] jurisdiction, as such they do not apply to her. She will be
completely and totally responsible for herself, the first requirement of freedom. No
social security, no disability compensation, no workman’s compensation, etc. It
does not mean that she can not have these benefits, it just means that she will have
to purchase them privately, but not from government.

As her parents, we cannot claim her on our income taxes. This is because
government has no responsibility for her, as such they can not claim a need for
collection or deduction on her behalf. As stated, she is outside the control and
jurisdiction of corporate government. It is important to note here that she is not
outside the law (of the Republic), but she has no connection (contractual nexus) to
corporate commercial law of the corporate United States. She is not in that

Obviously, there is much I will need to teach her in order to prepare her to
protect the freedom and status of citizenship she will enjoy. But after all, is that not
what parenting is all about? It will be a long road and I suspect it will require my
husband and I to keep up with the changes government may institute to trap the
ignorant and unwary. There is a quote from an author that I admire that is very
applicable here…

“Freedom is easily lost. All it takes is willful indifference. – Terry Goodkind

For myself, I have determined that I am not going to be one of the willfully
indifferent Americans that watches freedom slip away just because the changes
taking place do not seem to affect the everyday affairs of my life. I am wise enough
to understand that although it is not my ox that is gored today, if I allow my
neighbors ox to be gored, it is only a matter of time until it is mine. In a free society,
all we have to protect us, from the power of corrupt government, is each other. The
noose is tightening around our necks, and because of our own ignorance and our
own indifference, our rights have been usurped, because there is an entity out there
that is willing to wait the amount of time it takes for those who knew of the dangers
of a strong central government to forget, or give up or disappear through age and
death. I think, that there has been a general lack of concern by most Americans that
exists because of a general belief that those who founded America had finally put
something in place to protect those who would come after. Unfortunately, I think we
have become much too complacent, I know that I was… for a while. We have lost
our ability to see what absolute power is and what it looks like. It is a patient,
sneaky, devious, and evil foe, and it waits for the moment when there is no true
citizens of the Republic left for our Constitution to protect, at which time the
Constitution dies for lack of representation. My daughter is one of those who stands
in the way of that occurring, because she is a true citizen of the Republic of the
united States of America.

I have opened my private life and share this information with you for
whatever value it may have. For now, I wish to remain anonymous, simply because I
do not trust the government. Citizens, like my daughter, represent the greatest threat
to the total take over of our country and lives. And, remembering Waco, I do not
wish to place her (and us as a family) at undue risk.

Electile Dysfunction – Don't "Pull a Boner" and Vote for These People

When it comes to selecting a Democratic candidate from this year’s political menu, nothing speaks more to flaccid competency than the St. Clair County Democratic Party. I find all government to be a manifestation of a societal mental disorder, but the boots-on-the-ground for this political profundity are those served up on ballots across America. The fifedom known as a Judicial Hellhole, St. Clair County, is home to some of the more renowned malfeasants I have come to know.

I find it hard to believe that I would be so unfortunate to have encountered all of these officials and received the kind of treatment I witnessed. It is safe to say that arrogance, incompetence, and fraud are the order of the day for politics in St. Clair County and dare I say, probably everywhere. The issue is so systemic that jokes are made of public incompetence and corruption as though it were expected. Yet, people continue to vote for people like this and then proceed to whine.

The range of actions witnessed by the foregoing individuals goes from malfeasance to criminal. Mr. Kelly went so far as to invoke his constitutional duty, in one of our email conversations, and then in an act of fraud, file a civil case on my behalf.

I make no secret about my feelings towards government. I hold myself, and mankind, to a higher standard. Ordinary people elect ordinary people to do extraordinary things that in some way touch all of our lives. Truth be told, they are just ordinary people and have no power to do anything unless we surrender our will, and subsequently our wealth, to them and the institution they serve. Public service has become self-interest and becoming beholden to oligarchs who control us through our purse strings and threat of reprisal from the all-powerful State.

My experiences with these people was not an anomaly, or a one-off. I did not happen to catch them on a bad day. These are people who, when held to a standard presumed to be applicable to all who supposedly take an oath that at some point references a constitution designed to preserve and protect individual rights, resort to violence, fraud, and arrogance in either avoiding that duty or turning that power against us. I urge voters to not select any of these individuals for office. I make my case below.

Brendan Kelly - State's Attorney

State’s Attorney, Brendan Kelly. The man who mishandled criminal complaints as circuit clerk and filed a civil case on my behalf in an effort to derail my pursuit of criminal charges against police. I’ve had a number of actual, and attempted, conversations with Mr. Kelly all of which I have thoroughly documented. I believe if Mr. Kelly acted the way he did as Circuit Clerk then how can he be trusted with the power of the State’s Attorney? If Mr. Kelly acted in his official capacity and took sworn criminal complaints under the pretense of properly filing them, and then file a civil case on someone’s behalf where no filing fee is paid, how does that translate to being entrusted with executing the duties of the State’s Attorney where integrity should be primary consideration since we are talking about prosecuting individuals for violations of law which could result in their being imprisoned or executed? Is this the type of character we want in these matters? I think not. There are also other allegations brought to me by other concerned individuals concerning Mr. Kelly’s actions in office, but to be fair, until I have examined the allegations and evidence I can make no such mention here.

Zina Cruse - Associate Judge

Photo courtesy Zina Cruse for Judge

Judge, Zina Cruse. The woman who jailed me for contempt when I refused to enter a plea to a charge that was dismissed 3 years prior. I have posted about Ms. Cruse’s deficiencies a number of times. When confronted with a paper from her own court demanding an appearance for a specific issue, and then to adjudicate on another entirely different and moot issue is not the makings of a reasonable judge. Going further, when presented with the information, she becomes emotional and aggressive, calling the bailiffs to take me into custody for disagreeing with her and threatening to have me jailed over an entire weekend for contempt. Ms. Cruse seems to have some emotional or mental deficiencies that render her incapable of reason and impartiality.

Kahala Dixon - Circuit Clerk

Acting Circuit Clerk, Kahala Dixon. The woman who, then serving as Assistant State’s Attorney, argued that jurisdiction was related only to where an offense occurred (the situs), and that the State’s failure to file a verified complaint was not a jurisdictional matter. She also attempted to proceed to trial without a witness, and when the defendant moved to dismiss, she felt entitled to another court date because it is common for the State to not have their witnesses ready on the trial date. Ms. Dixon did not understand that there is subject matter jurisdiction, and in personam jurisdiction. She could only focus on “Did it happen in St. Clair County?” as her justification, and not on the fact that for the State to have in personam jurisdiction, there must be a properly filed complaint, and when the accused demands the filing of a verified complaint, under the law, she has a mental vapor-lock and requests a new trial date where she can really be prepared this time. Better she serve in the Circuit Clerk’s office where she can’t hurt anyone directly.

Judge Robert Lechien

Photo courtesy the Madison Record

Judge Robert Lechien. The judge who was previously assigned to my civil case against Fairview Heights Police. I filed the suit pro se, and in the usual course of business the opposing counsel filed motions for particular relief in a matter. Before I go on, some will say my opinion of Lechien results from sour grapes because I did not receive the ruling I desired and such is the way of law, and I’m just a poor loser. That may be said, even though I believe I thoroughly rebutted the opposing side based on the law, but the sticking point was when Judge Lechien called the letter of the law “punctilious”. What he was saying is, I am asking the court to apply the technical and specific wording of the law to the issue at hand, and that is presumably unreasonable. When I held him to the actual letter of the law and it’s application in other cases, he resorts to saying, “You’re just being picky.” If that is the case, then the Constitution, statutes, his oath…. are “punctilious”, and therefore of no power to bind him to any standard other than we he creates.

Judge Vincent Lopinot

Photo courtesy the Madison Record

Judge Vincent Lopinot. I originally had no issue with Judge Lopinot, as my initial exposure to him was as my instructor in a torts class I took at a local college. I may be judging Mr. Lopinot a little too harshly, but I took exception to the way he callously dismissed me when I attempted to approach him regarding criminal complaints against police officers, a duty bound to him by way of his position as a judge. He told me he did not have to hear such complaints and stomped out of the courtroom, after what I have to admit was a respectful ruling on a case he had just finished presiding over when the above, Khala Dixon, was acting as Assistant State’s Attorney. I also took exception to the way he handled a seat-belt ticket for my niece when she attempted to present a motion I had written to the court where Lopinot was presiding. He treated her with the same callousness and contempt he treated me. You could be my best friend, but when you have a duty to act then you act. You do not turn your back and walk away. On this point, I find it impossible to recommend Judge Lopinot for election. He may have acted out of ignorance, but as the adage goes, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

The elusive Brian Alben Babka

Judge Brian A. Babka. This judge is the consummate schmoozer and issue-dodger. Babka is the personification of the bastard-lawsuit filed on my behalf by Brendan Kelly when he was Circuit Clerk. I had 2 hearings before Babka regarding the issue, and he is aware that the case was not filed by me, but by Mr. Kelly. He continued to engage the fraud and hear my arguments regarding bringing criminal charges against Fairview Heights Police officers, Joshua Alemond and Aaron Nyman. Judge Babka actually had in his possession the criminal complaints, as well as my motions for presenting them to the court. Upon reviewing the supporting case law I provided where a private individual can present sworn complaints to a “magistrate” for hearing and upon finding probable cause issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused to be later held for possible prosecution, Babka managed to dodge the issue by claiming he did not know the difference between a magistrate and an associate judge. I went on to file a meticulous brief in support of my motion which Babka summarily dismissed.

I do not have a picture of Babka, but aside from my site information, here are some other links to his professional life.

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United States Government Owns the Patent on Cannabis Cures

Submitted by Geeksneek on Mon, 12/27/2010 – 23:10

For those of you who still have any doubts as to the miraculous
healing powers of cannabis and THC Oil or do not believe that there
is an ongoing international effort dead set on keeping this free and
100% organic medicine, along with all organic foods, supplements, and
natural medicines from a diseased and dying global population… I
am about to BLOW YOUR MINDS……

On October 7, 2003 The United States Government as represented
by the Department of Health and Human Services was granted a
U.S. Patent (#6630507) on any and all uses and applications
of: Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

Link to cannabis patent on USPTO Website.

with any and all combinations of the beneficial compounds found in
cannabinoids. As you read through this document you will discover
beyond any doubt whatsoever that cannabis has a tremendous variety
of medicinal values and applications specific and provable enough
to be granted a U.S. Patent, yet the Judicial [legislative] Branch
of our government continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule 1
Controlled Substance.


How can they possibly say that cannabis has no medicinal qualities
while at the same time they hold a patent that describes in great
detail so many of the proven medicinal qualities that actually DO
exist in cannabis?

There has been an ongoing effort to eliminate this ridiculous
classification by a wide variety of activists and organizations
for decades now but to date… the government holds all
the cards and rules with a closed mind and an iron fist.

The Abstract of the patent reads as follows:
Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant
properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism.

(The NMDA receptor is one of two kinds of receptors activated by
glutimates). This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the
treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation associated
diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and auto-immune
diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application
as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage
following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the
treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease,
Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.

Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil (mis-spelled in
document – should read cannabidiol), are particularly advantageous to
use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive
cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present
invention. A particular disclosed class of cannbinoids useful as
neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (1) wherein the R group
is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub3,
and COCH.sub3. ##STR1##

In other words, it is useful to separate the natural components
and use higher concentrations of the beneficial compounds found in
cannabis (the R group) to act as antioxidants and neuroprotectants
within the human body. Cannabidiol is designed and being engineered
to provide all the benefits of organic cannabis without the
psychoactive “high” associated with the drug. This will allow them
to continue patenting their product while demonizing cannabis in
the media and courts and keeping this pure and natural medicine
illegal and unavailable.

Be sure to take the time to scroll down and read through this
patent and you will discover what a miracle plant cannabis really
is. You will be asking yourself… “What can’t it do?” as application
after application is described in great detail about the medicinal
properties and natural treatment potentials of cannabis. Ask
yourselves “Why are multinational corporations allowed to continually
market dangerous and untested poisons, toxins and industrial waste
products described as food additives and incorporate them into our
processed food supply while you and I face arrest and incarceration
for simply growing and selling organic foods and medicines?”

I have been healing people and their pets for over two years now
using organic nutrients combined with THC Oil and the results are
miraculous. Screw the FDA… CANNABIS CURES CANCER!

Run from the cure:


Vitamin Cannabis:

Assorted videos (select play all)

Cannabinoid Research:

Text from the Patent Office Website:
United States Patent 6,630,507
Hampson , et al. October 7, 2003
Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants
Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub.3, and COCH.sub.3. ##STR1##
Inventors: Hampson; Aidan J. (Irvine, CA), Axelrod; Julius (Rockville, MD), Grimaldi; Maurizio (Bethesda, MD)
Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC)

Appl. No.: 09/674,028
Filed: February 2, 2001
PCT Filed: April 21, 1999
PCT No.: PCT/US99/08769
PCT Pub. No.: WO99/53917
PCT Pub. Date: October 28, 1999


Current U.S. Class: 514/454
Current International Class: A61K 31/35 (20060101); A61K 031/35 ()
Field of Search: 514/454


References Cited [Referenced By]


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4876276 October 1989 Mechoulam et al.
5227537 July 1993 Stoss et al.
5284867 February 1994 Kloog et al.
5434295 July 1995 Mechoulam et al.
5462946 October 1995 Mitchell et al.
5512270 April 1996 Ghio et al.
5521215 May 1996 Mechoulam et al.
5538993 July 1996 Mechoulam et al.
5635530 June 1997 Mechoulam et al.
5696109 December 1997 Malfroy-Camine et al.
6410588 June 2002 Feldmann et al.

Foreign Patent Documents

427518 May., 1991 EP
576357 Dec., 1993 EP
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658546 Jun., 1995 EP
WO9305031 Mar., 1993 WO
WO9412667 Jun., 1994 WO
WO9612485 May., 1996 WO
WO9618600 Jun., 1996 WO
WO9719063 May., 1997 WO
99/53917 Oct., 1999 WO

Other References
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Mechoulam et al., “A Total Synthesis of d1-.DELTA..sup.1 -Tetrahydrocannabinol, the Active Constituent of Hashish.sup.1,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 87:14:3273-3275 (1965). .
Mechoulam et al., “Chemical Basis of Hashish Activity,” Science, 18:611-612 (1970). .
Ottersen et al., “The Crystal and Molecular Structure of Cannabidiol,” Acta Chem. Scand. B 31, 9:807-812 (1977). .
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Consroe et al., “Acute and Chronic Antiepileptic Drug Effects in Audiogenic Seizure-Susceptible Rats,” Experimental Neurology, Academic Press Inc., 70:626-637 (1980). .
Turkanis et al., “Electrophysiologic Properties of the Cannabinoids,” J. Clin. Pharmacol., 21:449S-463S (1981). .
Carlini et al., “Hypnotic and Antielpileptic Effects of Cannabidiol,” J. Clin. Pharmacol., 21:417S-427S (1981). .
Karler et al., “The Cannabinoids as Potential Antiepileptics,” J. Clin. Pharmacol., 21:437S-448S (1981). .
Consroe et al., “Antiepileptic Potential of Cannabidiol Analgos,” J. Clin. Pharmacol., 21:428S-436S (1981). .
Colasanti et al., “Ocular Hypotension, Ocular Toxicity,a nd Neurotoxicity in Response to Marihuana Extract and Cannabidiol,” Gen Pharm., Pergamon Press Ltd., 15(6):479-484 (1984). .
Colasanti et al., “Intraocular Pressure, Ocular Toxicity and Neurotoxicity after Administration of Cannabinol or Cannabigerol,” Exp. Eye Res., Academic Press Inc., 39:251-259 (1984). .
Volfe et al., “Cannabinoids Block Release of Serotonin from Platelets Induced by Plasma frm Migraine Patients,” Int. J. Clin. Pharm. Res., Bioscience Ediprint Inc., 4:243-246 (1985). .
Agurell et al., “Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism of .DELTA..sup.1 -Tetrahydrocannabinol and Other Cannabinoids with Emphasis on Man*,” Pharmacological Reviews, 38(1):21-43 (1986). .
Karler et al., “Different Cannabinoids Exhibit Different Pharmacological and Toxicological Properties,”NIDA Res. Monogr., 79:96-107 (1987). .
Samara et al., “Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Dogs,” Drug Metabolism and Disposition, 16(3):469-472 (1988). .
Choi, “Glutamate Neurotoxicity and Diseases of the Nervous System,” Neuron, Cell Press, 1:623-634 (1988). .
Eshhar et al., “Neuroprotective and Antioxidant Activities of HU-211, A Novel NMDA Receptor Antagonist,” European Journal of Pharmacology, 283:19-29 (1995). .
Skaper et al., “The ALIAmide Palmitoylethanolamide and Cannabinoids, but not Anandamide, are Protective in a Delayed Postglutamate Paradigm of Excitotoxic Death in Cerebellar Granule Neurons,” Neurobiology, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 93:3984-3989 (1996). .
Alonso et al., “Simple Synthesis of 5-Substituted Resorcinols: A Revisited Family of Interesting Bioactive Molecules,” J. Org. Chem., American Chemical Society, 62(2):417-421 (1997). .
Combes et al. “A Simple Synthesis of the Natural 2,5-Dialkylresorcinol Free Radical Scavenger Antioxidant: Resorstation,” Synthetic Communications, Marcel Dekker, Inc., 27(21):3769-3778 (1997). .
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Zurier et al., “Dimethylheptyl-THC-11 OIC Acid,” Arthritis & Rheumatism, 41(1):163-170 (1998). .
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Primary Examiner: Weddington; Kevin E.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Klarquist Sparkman, LLP


Parent Case Text


This application is a 371 of PCT/US99/08769 filed Apr. 21, 1999, which claims benefit of No. 60/082,589 filed Apr. 21, 1998, which claims benefit of No. 60/095,993 filed Aug. 10, 1998.



We claim:

1. A method of treating diseases caused by oxidative stress, comprising administering a therapeutically effective amount of a cannabinoid that has substantially no binding to the NMDA receptor to a subject who has a disease caused by oxidative stress.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the cannabinoid is nonpsychoactive.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the cannabinoid has a volume of distribution of 10 L/kg or more.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the cannabinoid is not an antagonist at the NMDA receptor.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the cannabinoid is: ##STR22##

where R is H, substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, carboxyl, alkoxy, aryl, aryloxy, arylalkyl, halo or amino.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein R is H, substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, carboxyl or alkoxy.

7. The method of claim 2, wherein the cannabinoid is: ##STR23##

where A is cyclohexyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, or ##STR24## but not a pinene; R.sub.1 is H, substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, or substituted or unsubstituted carboxyl; R.sub.2 is H, lower substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, or alkoxy; R.sub.3 is of H, lower substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, or substituted or unsubstituted carboxyl; R.sub.4 is H, hydroxyl, or lower substituted or unsubstituted alkyl; and R.sub.5 is H, hydroxyl, or lower substituted or unsubstituted alkyl.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein R.sub.1 is lower alkyl, COOH or COCH.sub.3 ; R.sub.2 is unsubstituted C.sub.1 -C.sub.5 alkyl, hydroxyl, methoxy or ethoxy; R.sub.3 is H, unsubstituted C.sub.1 -C.sub.3 alkyl, or COCH.sub.3 ; R.sub.4 is hydroxyl, pentyl, heptyl, or diemthylheptyl; and R.sub.5 is hydroxyl or methyl.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the cannabinoid is: ##STR25##

where R.sub.1, R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are independently H, CH.sub.3, or COCH.sub.3.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the cannabinoid is: ##STR26##

where: a) R.sub.1 =R.sub.2 =R.sub.3 =H; b) R.sub.1 =R.sub.3 =H, R.sub.2 =CH.sub.3 ; c) R.sub.1 =R.sub.2 =CH.sub.3, R.sub.3 =H; d) R.sub.1 =R.sub.2 =COCH.sub.3, R.sub.3 =H; or e) R.sub.1 =H, R.sub.2 =R.sub.3 =COCH.sub.3.

11. The method of claim 2, wherein the cannabinoid is: ##STR27##

where R.sub.19 is H, lower alkyl, lower alcohol, or carboxyl; R.sub.20 is H or OH; and R.sub.21 -R.sub.25 are independently H or OH.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein R.sub.19 is H, CH.sub.3, CH.sub.2 OH, or COOH, and R.sub.20 -R.sub.24 are independently H or OH.

13. The method of claim 2, wherein the cannabinoid is: ##STR28##

where R.sub.19 and R.sub.20 are H, and R.sub.26 is alkyl.

14. The method of claim 10, wherein the cannabinoid is cannabidiol.

15. A method of treating an ischemic or neurodegenerative disease in the central nervous system of a subject, comprising administering to the subject a therapeutically effective amount of a cannabinoid, where the cannabinoid is ##STR29##

where R is H, substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, carboxyl, alkoxy, aryl, aryloxy, arylalkyl, halo or amino.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the cannabinoid is not a psychoactive cannabinoid.

17. The method of claim 15 where the ischemic or neurodegenerative disease is an ischemic infarct, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and human immunodeficiency virus dementia, Down’s syndrome, or heart disease.

18. A method of treating a disease with a cannabinoid that has substantially no binding to the NMDA receptor, comprising determining whether the disease is caused by oxidative stress, and if the disease is caused by oxidative stress, administering the cannabinoid in a therapeutically effective antioxidant amount.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the cannabinoid has a volume of distribution of at least 1.5 L/kg and substantially no activity at the cannabinoid receptor.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the cannabinoid has a volume of distribution of at least 10 L/kg.

21. The method of claim 1, wherein the cannabinoid selectively inhibits an enzyme activity of 5- and 15-lipoxygenase more than an enzyme activity of 12-lipoxygenase.

22. A method of treating a neurodegenerative or ischemic disease in the central nervous system of a subject, comprising administering to the subject a therapeutically effective amount of a compound selected from any of the compounds of claims 9 through 13.

23. The method of claim 22 where the compound is cannabidiol.

24. The method of claim 22, wherein the ischemic or neurodegenerative disease is an ischemic infarct, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and human immunodeficiency virus dementia, Down’s syndrome, or heart disease.

25. The method of claim 24 wherein the disease is an ischemic infarct.

26. The method of claim 1, wherein the cannabinoid is not an antagonist at the AMPA receptor.



The present invention concerns pharmaceutical compounds and compositions that are useful as tissue protectants, such as neuroprotectants and cardioprotectants. The compounds and compositions may be used, for example, in the treatment of acute ischemic neurological insults or chronic neurodegenerative diseases.


Permanent injury to the central nervous system (CNS) occurs in a variety of medical conditions, and has been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny in recent years. It is known that the brain has high metabolic requirements, and that it can suffer permanent neurologic damage if deprived of sufficient oxygen (hypoxia) for even a few minutes. In the absence of oxygen (anoxia), mitochondrial production of ATP cannot meet the metabolic requirements of the brain, and tissue damage occurs. This process is exacerbated by neuronal release of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which stimulates NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate), AMPA (.alpha.-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate) and kainate receptors. Activation of these receptors initiates calcium influx into the neurons, and production of reactive oxygen species, which are potent toxins that damage important cellular structures such as membranes, DNA and enzymes.

The brain has many redundant blood supplies, which means that its tissue is seldom completely deprived of oxygen, even during acute ischemic events caused by thromboembolic events or trauma. A combination of the injury of hypoxia with the added insult of glutamate toxicity is therefore believed to be ultimately responsible for cellular death. Hence if the additive insult of glutamate toxicity can be alleviated, neurological damage could also be lessened. Anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents have been proposed to reduce damage, but they often have poor access to structures such as the brain (which are protected by the blood brain barrier).

Given the importance of the NMDA, AMPA and kainate receptors in the mechanism of injury, research efforts have focused on using antagonists to these receptors to interfere with the receptor mediated calcium influx that ultimately leads to cellular death and tissue necrosis. In vitro studies using cultured neurons have demonstrated that glutamate receptor antagonists reduce neurotoxicity, but NMDA and AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists have different effects. Antagonists to NMDAr prevent neurotoxicity if present during the glutamate exposure period, but are less effective if added after glutamate is removed. In contrast, AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists are not as effective as NMDA antagonists during the glutamate exposure period, but are more effective following glutamate exposure.

Some of the research on these antagonists has focused on cannabinoids, a subset of which have been found to be NMDA receptor antagonists. U.S. Pat. No. 5,538,993 (3S,4S-delta-6-tetrahydrocannabinol-7-oic acids), U.S. Pat. No. 5,521,215 (sterospecific (+) THC enantiomers), and U.S. Pat. No. 5,284,867 (dimethylheptyl benzopyrans) have reported that these cannabinoids are effective NMDA receptor blockers. U.S. Pat. No. 5,434,295 discloses that the 1,1 dimethylheptyl (DMH) homolog of [3R,4R]-7-hydroxy-.DELTA..sup.6 THC (known as HU-210) is a superpotent cannabinoid receptor agonist with cannabinomimetic activity two orders of magnitude greater than the natural .DELTA..sup.9 THC. The HU-210 dimethylheptyl cannabinoid, has severe side effects, including fatigue, thirst, headache, and hypotension. J. Pharmacol. Sci. 60:1433-1457 (1971). Subjects who received this synthetic cannabinoid with a dimethylheptyl group experienced marked psychomotor retardation, and were unwilling or incapable of assuming an erect position.

In contrast to HU-210, the (-)(3R,4R) THC-DMH enantiomer (known as HU-211) displays low affinity to the cannabinoid receptors, but retains NMDA receptor antagonist neuroprotective activity. ##STR2##

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is another of the cannabinoids that has been shown to be neuroprotective in cell cultures, but this protection was believed to be mediated by interaction at the cannabinoid receptor, and so would be accompanied by undesired psychotropic side effects. ##STR3##

Although it has been unclear whether cannabimimetic activity plays a role in neuroprotection against glutamate induced neurological injury, the teaching in this field has clearly been that a cannabinoid must at least be an antagonist at the NMDA receptor to have neuroprotective effect. Hence cannabidiol (2-[3-methyl-6-(1-methylethenyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-yl]-5-pentyl-1,3-benzenedi ol or CBD), a cannabinoid devoid of psychoactive effect (Pharm. Rev. 38:21-43, 1986), has not been considered useful as a neuroprotectant. Cannabidiol has been studied as an antiepileptic (Carlini et al., J. Clin. Pharmacol. 21:417S-427S, 1981; Karler et al., J. Clin. Pharmacol. 21:437S-448S, 1981, Consroe et al., J. Clin Phannacol. 21:428S-436S, 1981), and has been found to lower intraocular pressure (Colasanti et al, Exp. Eye Res. 39:251-259, 1984 and Gen. Pharmac. 15:479-484, 1984). ##STR4##

No signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers (Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:175-185, 1980), even in large acute doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al., Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 40:701-708, 1991) but cannabidiol is inactive at the NMDA receptor. Hence in spite of its potential use in treating glaucoma and seizures, cannabidiol has not been considered a neuroprotective agent that could be used to prevent glutamate induced damage in the central nervous system.


It is an object of this invention to provide a new class of antioxidant drugs, that have particular application as neuroprotectants, although they are generally useful in the treatment of many oxidation associated diseases.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a subset of such drugs that can be substantially free of psychoactive or psychotoxic effects, are substantially non-toxic even at very high doses, and have good tissue penetration, for example crossing the blood brain barrier.

It has surprisingly been found that cannabidiol and other cannabinoids can function as neuroprotectants, even though they lack NMDA receptor antagonist activity. This discovery was made possible because of the inventor’s recognition of a previously unanticipated antioxidant property of the cannabinoids in general (and cannabidiol in particular) that functions completely independently of antagonism at the NMDA, AMPA and kainate receptors. Hence the present invention includes methods of preventing or treating diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as neuronal hypoxia, by administering a prophylactic or therapeutically effective amount of a cannabinoid to a subject who has a disease caused by oxidative stress.

The cannabinoid may be a cannabinoid other than THC, HU-210, or other potent cannabinoid receptor agonists. The cannabinoid may also be other than HU-211 or any other NMDA receptor antagonist that has previously been reported. A potent cannabinoid receptor agonist is one that has an EC.sub.50 at the cannabinoid receptor of 50 nM or less, but in more particular embodiments 190 nM or 250 nM or less. In disclosed embodiments the cannabinoid is not psychoactive, and is not psychotoxic even at high doses. In some particularly disclosed embodiments, the cannabinoid is selected from the group: ##STR5##

where A is aryl, and particularly ##STR6##

but not a pinene such as: ##STR7##

and the R.sub.1 -R.sub.5 groups are each independently selected from the groups of hydrogen, lower substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, substituted or unsubstituted carboxyl, substituted or unsubstituted alkoxy, substituted or unsubstituted alcohol, and substituted or unsubstituted ethers, and R.sub.6 -R.sub.7 are H or methyl. In particular embodiments, there are no nitrogens in the rings, and/or no amino substitutions on the rings.

In other embodiments, the cannabinoid is one of the following: ##STR8##

where there can be 0 to 3 double bonds on the A ring, as indicated by the optional double bonds indicated by dashed lines on the A ring. The C ring is aromatic, and the B ring can be a pyran. Particular embodiments are dibenzo pyrans and cyclohexenyl benzenediols. Particular embodiments of the cannabinoids of the present invention may also be highly lipid soluble, and in particular embodiments can be dissolved in an aqueous solution only sparingly (for example 10 mg/ml or less). The octanol/water partition ratio at neutral pH in useful embodiments is 5000 or greater, for example 6000 or greater. This high lipid solubility enhances penetration of the drug into the CNS, as reflected by its volume of distribution (V.sub.d) of 1.5 L/kg or more, for example 3.5 L/kg, 7 L/kg, or ideally 10 L/kg or more, for example at least 20 L/kg. Particular embodiments may also be highly water soluble derivatives that are able to penetrate the CNS, for example carboxyl derivatives.

R.sub.7-18 are independently selected from the group of H, substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, especially lower alkyl, for example unsubstituted C.sub.1 -C.sub.3 alkyl, hydroxyl, alkoxy, especially lower alkoxy such as methoxy or ethoxy, substituted or unsubstituted alcohol, and unsubstituted or substituted carboxyl, for example COOH or COCH.sub.3. In other embodiments R.sub.7-18 can also be substituted or unsubstituted amino, and halogen.

The cannabinoid has substantially no binding to the NMDAr (for example an IC.sub.50 greater than or equal to 5 .mu.M or 10 .mu.M), has substantially no psychoactive activity mediated by the cannabinoid receptor (for example an IC.sub.50 at the cannabinoid receptor of greater than or equal to 300 nM, for example greater than 1 .mu.M and a K.sub.i greater than 250 nM, especially 500-1000 nM, for example greater than 1000 nM), and antioxidant activity, as demonstratable by the Fenton reaction or cyclic voltametry.

In other particular embodiments, the cannabinoids are one of the following: ##STR9##

where R.sub.19 is substituted or unsubstituted alkyl, such as lower alkyl (for example methyl), lower alcohol (such as methyl alcohol) or carboxyl (such as carboxylic acid) and oxygen (as in .dbd.O); R.sub.20 is hydrogen or hydroxy; R.sub.21 is hydrogen, hydroxy, or methoxy; R.sub.22 is hydrogen or hydroxy; R.sub.23 is hydrogen or hydroxy; R.sub.24 is hydrogen or hydroxy; R.sub.25 is hydrogen or hydroxy; and R.sub.26 is substituted or unsubstituted alkyl (for example n-methyl alkyl), substituted or unsubstituted alcohol, or substituted or unsubstituted carboxy.

In yet other embodiments of the invention, the cannabinoids are ##STR10##

wherein numbering conventions for each of the ring positions are shown, and R.sub.27, R.sub.28 and R.sub.29 are independently selected from the group consisting of H, unsubstituted lower alkyl such as CH.sub.3, and carboxyl such as COCH.sub.3. Particular examples of nonpsychoactive cannabinoids that fall within this definition are cannabidiol and ##STR11##

and other structural analogs of cannabidiol.

In more particular embodiments, the cannabinoid is used to prevent or treat an ischemic or neurodegenerative disease in the central nervous system of a subject, by administering to the subject a therapeutically effective amount of a cannabinoid to protect against oxidative injury to the central nervous system. The cannabinoid may be any of the compounds set forth above, or more specifically ##STR12##

wherein R.sub.27, R.sub.28 and R.sub.29 are independently selected from the group consisting of H, lower alkyl such as CH.sub.3, and carboxyl such as COCH.sub.3, and particularly wherein a) R.sub.27 =R.sub.28 =R.sub.29 =H b) R.sub.27 =R.sub.29 =H; R.sub.28 =CH.sub.3 c) R.sub.27 =R.sub.28 =CH.sub.3 ; R.sub.29 =H d) R.sub.27 =R.sub.28 =COCH.sub.3 ; R.sub.29 =H e) R.sub.27 =H; R.sub.28 =R.sub.29 =COCH.sub.3

When R.sub.27 =R.sub.28 =R.sub.29 =H, then the compound is cannabidiol. When R.sub.27 =R.sub.29 =H and R.sub.28 =CH.sub.3, the compound is CBD monomethyl ether. When R.sub.27 =R.sub.28 =CH.sub.3 and R.sub.29 =H, the compound is CBD dimethyl ether. When R.sub.27 =R.sub.28 =COCH.sub.3 and R.sub.29 =H, the compound is CBD diacetate. When R.sub.27 =H and R.sub.28 =R.sub.29 =COCH.sub.3, the compound is CBD monoacetate. The ischemic or neurodegenerative disease may be, for example, an ischemic infarct, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Down’s syndrome, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) dementia, myocardial infarction, or treatment and prevention of intraoperative or perioperative hypoxic insults that can leave persistent neurological deficits following open heart surgery requiring heart/lung bypass machines, such as coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG).

The invention also includes an assay for selecting a cannabinoid to use in treating a neurological disease by determining whether the cannabinoid is an antioxidant. Once it has been determined that the cannabinoid is an antioxidant, an antioxidant effective amount of the cannabinoid is administered to treat the neurological disease, such as a vascular ischemic event in the central nervous system, for example the type caused by a neurovascular thromboembolism. Similarly, the method of the present invention includes determining whether a disease is caused by oxidative stress, and if the disease is caused by oxidative stress, administering the cannabinoid in a therapeutically effective antioxidant amount.

The invention also includes identifying and administering antioxidant and neuroprotective compounds (such as cannabidiol) which selectively inhibit the enzyme activity of both 5- and 15-lipoxygenase more than the enzyme activity of 12-lipoxygenase. In addition, such compounds posses low NMDA antagonist activity and low cannabinoid receptor activity. Assays for selecting compounds with the desired effect on lipoxygenase enzymes, and methods for using identified compounds to treat neurological or ischemic diseases are also provided. Such diseases may include a vascular ischemic event in the central nervous system, for example a thromboembolism in the brain, or a vascular ischemic event in the myocardium. Useful administration of the compounds involves administration both during and after an ischemic injury.

These and other objects of the invention will be understood more clearly by reference to the following detailed description and drawings.


FIG. 1A is a graph showing NMDA induced cellular damage in a neuron (as measured by LDH release) in cells that were exposed to glutamate for 10 minutes, which demonstrates that increasing concentrations of cannabidiol in the cell culture protects against cellular damage.

FIG. 1B is a graph similar to FIG. 1A, but showing that AMPA/kainate receptor mediated damage (induced by glutamate and the AMPA/kainate receptor potentiating agents cyclothiazide or concanavalin A) is also reduced in a concentration dependent manner by the presence of cannabidiol in the culture medium.

FIG. 2A is a bar graph showing cellular damage (as measured by LDH release) in the presence of glutamate alone (100 .mu.M Glu), and in the presence of glutamate and 5 .mu.M cannabidiol (CBD) or 5 .mu.M THC, and demonstrates that CBD and THC were similarly protective.

FIG. 2B is a bar graph similar to FIG. 2A, but showing the cellular damage assessed in the presence of the cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716A (SR), which was not found to alter the neuroprotective effect of CBD (5 .mu.M) or THC (5 .mu.M), indicating the effect is not a typical cannabinoid effect mediated by the cannabinoid receptor.

FIG. 3 is a graph showing the reduction oxidation potentials determined by cyclic voltametry for some natural and synthetic cannabinoids, the antioxidant BHT, and the non-cannabinoid anandamide (arachidonyl ethanolamide) which is a ligand for the cannabinoid receptor. The voltage at which initial peaks occur is an indication of antioxidant activity.

FIG. 4 is a graph that demonstrates the antioxidant properties of BHT, CBD and THC, by plotting the fluorescence of a fluorescent dye against concentrations of these substances, where declining fluorescence is an indication of greater antioxidant activity.

FIG. 5A is a graph illustrating decreased t-butyl peroxide induced toxicity (as measured by LDH release) in the presence of increasing concentrations of cannabidiol, demonstrating that cannabidiol is an effective antioxidant in living cells.

FIG. 5B is a bar graph comparing the antioxidant activity of several antioxidants against glutamate induced toxicity in neurons, showing that CBD has superior antioxidant activity.

FIG. 6A is a graph showing the effect of CBD (as measured by the change in absorbance at 234 nm) on the enzymatic activity of two lipoxygenase enzymes, rabbit 15-LO and porcine 12-LO, which demonstrates that CBD inhibits 15-LO, but not 12-LO enzyme.

FIG. 6B is a graph demonstrating that inhibitory effect of CBD on 15-LO is competitive.

FIG. 7A is a graph similar to FIG. 6A, but was performed in whole cells rather than purified enzyme preparations, and shows the effect of CBD (as measured by the change in absorbance at 236 nm) on the enzymatic activity of 5-LO from cultured rat basophillic leukemia cells (RBL-2H3), which demonstrates that CBD inhibits 5-LO.

FIG. 7B is a graph showing the effect of CBD (as measured by the change in absorbance at 236 nm) on the formation of 12-HETE (the product of 12-LO) by human leukocytes (12-LO type 1).

FIG. 7C is a graph similar to FIG. 7B, showing the effect of CBD (as measured by the change in absorbance at 236 nm) on the formation of 12-HETE by human platelets (12-LO type 2).

FIG. 8 is a bar graph demonstrating that 12-HETE can protect cortical neurons from NMDAr toxicity most effectively when administered during and post ischemia.


This invention provides antioxidant compounds and compositions, such as pharmaceutical compositions, that include cannabinoids that act as free radical scavengers for use in prophylaxis and treatment of disease. The invention also includes methods for using the antioxidants in prevention and treatment of pathological conditions such as ischemia (tissue hypoxia), and in subjects who have been exposed to oxidant inducing agents such as cancer chemotherapy, toxins, radiation, or other sources of oxidative stress. The compositions and methods described herein are also used for preventing oxidative damage in transplanted organs, for inhibiting reoxygenation injury following reperfusion of ischemic tissues (for example in heart disease), and for any other condition that is mediated by oxidative or free radical mechanisms of injury. In particular embodiments of the invention, the compounds and compositions are used in the treatment of ischemic cardiovascular and neurovascular conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases. However the present invention can also be used as an antioxidant treatment in non-neurological diseases.

Molecular oxygen is essential for aerobic organisms, where it participates in many biochemical reactions, including its role as the terminal electron acceptor in oxidative phosphorylation. However excessive concentrations of various forms of reactive oxygen species and other free radicals can have serious adverse biological consequences, including the peroxidation of membrane lipids, hydroxylation of nucleic acid bases, and the oxidation of sulfhydryl groups and other protein moieties. Biological antioxidants include tocopherols and tocotrieneols, carotenoids, quinones, bilirubin, ascorbic acid, uric acid, and metal binding proteins. However these endogenous antioxidant systems are often overwhelmed by pathological processes that allow permanent oxidative damage to occur to tissue.

Free radicals are atoms, ions or molecules that contain an unpaired electron, are usually unstable, and exhibit short half-lives. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a collective term, designating the oxygen radicals (e.g. .O.sub.2.sup.- superoxide radical), which by sequential univalent reduction produces hydrogen peroxide (H.sub.2 O.sub.2) and hydroxyl radical (.OH). The hydroxyl radical sets off chain reactions and can interact with nucleic acids. Other ROS include nitric oxide (NO.) and peroxy nitrite (NOO.), and other peroxyl (RO.sub.2.) and alkoxyl (RO.) radicals. Increased production of these poisonous metabolites in certain pathological conditions is believed to cause cellular damage through the action of the highly reactive molecules on proteins, lipids and DNA. In particular, ROS are believed to accumulate when tissues are subjected to ischemia, particularly when followed by reperfusion.

The pharmaceutical compositions of the present invention have potent antioxidant and/or free radical scavenging properties, that prevent or reduce oxidative damage in biological systems, such as occurs in ischemic/reperfusion injury, or in chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, HIV dementia, and many other oxidation associated diseases.


“Oxidative associated diseases” refers to pathological conditions that result at least in part from the production of or exposure to free radicals, particularly oxyradicals, or reactive oxygen species. It is evident to those of skill in the art that most pathological conditions are multifactorial, and that assigning or identifying the predominant causal factors for any particular condition is frequently difficult. For these reasons, the term “free radical associated disease” encompasses pathological states that are recognized as conditions in which free radicals or ROS contribute to the pathology of the disease, or wherein administration of a free radical inhibitor (e.g. desferroxamine), scavenger (e.g. tocopherol, glutathione) or catalyst (e.g. superoxide dismutase, catalase) is shown to produce detectable benefit by decreasing symptoms, increasing survival, or providing other detectable clinical benefits in treating or preventing the pathological state.

Oxidative associated diseases include, without limitation, free radical associated diseases, such as ischemia, ischemic reperfusion injury, inflammatory diseases, systemic lupus erythematosis, myocardial ischemia or infarction, cerebrovascular accidents (such as a thromboembolic or hemorrhagic stroke) that can lead to ischemia or an infarct in the brain, operative ischemia, traumatic hemorrhage (for example a hypovolemic stroke that can lead to CNS hypoxia or anoxia), spinal cord trauma, Down’s syndrome, Crohn’s disease, autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes), cataract formation, uveitis, emphysema, gastric ulcers, oxygen toxicity, neoplasia, undesired cellular apoptosis, radiation sickness, and others. The present invention is believed to be particularly beneficial in the treatment of oxidative associated diseases of the CNS, because of the ability of the cannabinoids to cross the blood brain barrier and exert their antioxidant effects in the brain. In particular embodiments, the pharmaceutical composition of the present invention is used for preventing, arresting, or treating neurological damage in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV dementia; autoimmune neurodegeneration of the type that can occur in encephalitis, and hypoxic or anoxic neuronal damage that can result from apnea, respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest, and anoxia caused by drowning, brain surgery or trauma (such as concussion or spinal cord shock).

As used herein, an “antioxidant” is a substance that, when present in a mixture containing an oxidizable substrate biological molecule, significantly delays or prevents oxidation of the substrate biological molecule. Antioxidants can act by scavenging biologically important reactive free radicals or other reactive oxygen species (.O.sub.2.sup.-, H.sub.2 O.sub.2, .OH, HOCl, ferryl, peroxyl, peroxynitrite, and alkoxyl), or by preventing their formation, or by catalytically converting the free radical or other reactive oxygen species to a less reactive species. Relative antioxidant activity can be measured by cyclic voltametry studies of the type disclosed in Example 5 (and FIG. 3), where the voltage (x-axis) is an index of relative antioxidant activity. The voltage at which the first peak occurs is an indication of the voltage at which an electron is donated, which in turn is an index of antioxidant activity.

“Therapeutically effective antioxidant doses” can be determined by various methods, including generating an empirical dose-response curve, predicting potency and efficacy of a congener by using quantitative structure activity relationships (QSAR) methods or molecular modeling, and other methods used in the pharmaceutical sciences. Since oxidative damage is generally cumulative, there is no minimum threshold level (or dose) with respect to efficacy. However, minimum doses for producing a detectable therapeutic or prophylactic effect for particular disease states can be established.

As used herein, a “cannabinoid” is a chemical compound (such as cannabinol, THC or cannabidiol) that is found in the plant species Cannabis saliva (marijuana), and metabolites and synthetic analogues thereof that may or may not have psychoactive properties. Cannabinoids therefore include (without limitation) compounds (such as THC) that have high affinity for the cannabinoid receptor (for example K.sub.i <250 nM), and compounds that do not have significant affinity for the cannabinoid receptor (such as cannabidiol, CBD). Cannabinoids also include compounds that have a characteristic dibenzopyran ring structure (of the type seen in THC) and cannabinoids which do not possess a pyran ring (such as cannabidiol). Hence a partial list of cannabinoids includes THC, CBD, dimethyl heptylpentyl cannabidiol (DMHP-CBD), 6,12-dihydro-6-hydroxy-cannabidiol (described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,227,537, incorporated by reference); (3S,4R)-7-hydroxy-.DELTA..sup.6 -tetrahydrocannabinol homologs and derivatives described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,876,276, incorporated by reference; (+)-4-[4-DMH-2,6-diacetoxy-phenyl]-2-carboxy-6,6-dimethylbicyclo[3.1. 1]hept-2-en, and other 4-phenylpinene derivatives disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,434,295, which is incorporated by reference; and cannabidiol (-)(CBD) analogs such as (-)CBD-monomethylether, (-)CBD dimethyl ether; (-)CBD diacetate; (-)3′-acetyl-CBD monoacetate; and .+-.AF11, all of which are disclosed in Consroe et al., J. Clin. Phannacol. 21:428S-436S, 1981, which is also incorporated by reference. Many other cannabinoids are similarly disclosed in Agurell et al., Pharmacol. Rev. 38:31-43, 1986, which is also incorporated by reference.

As referred to herein, the term “psychoactivity” means “cannabinoid receptor mediated psychoactivity.” Such effects include, euphoria, lightheadedness, reduced motor coordination, and memory impairment. Psychoactivity is not meant to include non-cannabinoid receptor mediated effects such as the anxiolytic effect of CBD.

The “lipoxygenase enzyme activity” refers to the relative level of lipoxygenase enzyme activity for a particular lipoxgenase, such as 5-, 15- or 12-lipoxygenase, as measured in Example 8. A compound would be said to “selectively inhibit a lipoxgenase enzyme” if the concentration of inhibitor required to reduce enzyme activity by 50% was at least about 5 times less than the amount required to reduce activity of a second lipoxgenase enzyme by the same degree (under the same conditions, i.e. temperature, substrate concentration, etc.)

An “antagonist” is a compound that binds and occupies a receptor without activating it. In the presence of a sufficient concentration of antagonist, an agonist cannot activate its receptor. Therefore, antagonists may decrease the neurotoxicity mediated by NMDA (as described in Example 3) or AMPA and Kainate (as described in Example 4).

An “agonist” is a compound that activates a receptor. When the receptor is activated for a longer than normal period of time, this may cause neurotoxicity, as in the case of NMDA, AMPA and kainate receptors (see Examples 3 and 4).

The term “alkyl” refers to a cyclic, branched, or straight chain alkyl group containing only carbon and hydrogen, and unless otherwise mentioned contains one to twelve carbon atoms. This term is further exemplified by groups such as methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, isobutyl, t-butyl, pentyl, pivalyl, heptyl, adamantyl, and cyclopentyl. Alkyl groups can either be unsubstituted or substituted with one or more substituents, e.g. halogen, alkyl, alkoxy, alkylthio, trifluoromethyl, acyloxy, hydroxy, mercapto, carboxy, aryloxy, aryloxy, aryl, arylalkyl, heteroaryl, amino, alkylamino, dialkylamino, morpholino, piperidino, pyrrolidin-1-yl, piperazin-1-yl, or other functionality.

The term “lower alkyl” refers to a cyclic, branched or straight chain monovalent alkyl radical of one to seven carbon atoms. This term is further exemplified by such radicals as methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, i-propyl, n-butyl, t-butyl, i-butyl (or 2-methylpropyl), cyclopropylmethyl, i-amyl, n-amyl, hexyl and heptyl. Lower alkyl groups can also be unsubstituted or substituted, where a specific example of a substituted alkyl is 1,1-dimethyl heptyl.

“Hydroxyl” refers to –OH.

“Alcohol” refers to R–OH, wherein R is alkyl, especially lower alkyl (for example in methyl, ethyl or propyl alcohol). An alcohol may be either linear or branched, such as isopropyl alcohol.

“Carboxyl” refers to the radical –COOH, and substituted carboxyl refers to –COR where R is alkyl, lower alkyl or a carboxylic acid or ester.

The term “aryl” or “Ar” refers to a monovalent unsaturated aromatic carbocyclic group having a single ring (e.g. phenyl) or multiple condensed rings (e.g. naphthyl or anthryl), which can optionally be unsubstituted or substituted with, e.g., halogen, alkyl, alkoxy, alkylthio, trifluoromethyl, acyloxy, hydroxy, mercapto, carboxy, aryloxy, aryl, arylalkyl, heteroaryl, amino, alkylamino, dialkylamino, morpholino, piperidino, pyrrolidin-1-yl, piperazin-1-yl, or other functionality.

The term “alkoxy” refers to a substituted or unsubstituted alkoxy, where an alkoxy has the structure –O–R, where R is substituted or unsubstituted alkyl. In an unsubstituted alkoxy, the R is an unsubstituted alkyl. The term “substituted alkoxy” refers to a group having the structure –O–R, where R is alkyl which is substituted with a non-interfering substituent. The term “arylalkoxy” refers to a group having the structure –O–R–Ar, where R is alkyl and Ar is an aromatic substituent. Arylalkoxys are a subset of substituted alkoxys. Examples of useful substituted alkoxy groups are: benzyloxy, naphthyloxy, and chlorobenzyloxy.

The term “aryloxy” refers to a group having the structure –O–Ar, where Ar is an aromatic group. A particular aryloxy group is phenoxy.

The term “heterocycle” refers to a monovalent saturated, unsaturated, or aromatic carbocyclic group having a single ring (e.g. morpholino, pyridyl or faryl) or multiple condensed rings (e.g. indolizinyl or benzo[b]thienyl) and having at least one heteroatom, defined as N, O, P, or S, within the ring, which can optionally be unsubstituted or substituted with, e.g. halogen, alkyl, alkoxy, alkylthio, trifluoromethyl, acyloxy, hydroxy, mercapto, carboxy, aryloxy, aryl, arylakyl, heteroaryl, amino, alkylamino, dialkylamino, morpholino, piperidino, pyrrolidin-1-yl, piperazin-1-yl, or other functionality.

“Arylalkyl” refers to the groups –R–Ar and –R–HetAr, where Ar is an aryl group. HetAr is a heteroaryl group, and R is a straight-chain or branched chain aliphatic group. Example of arylaklyl groups include benzyl and furfuryl. Arylalkyl groups can optionally be unsubstituted or substituted with, e.g., halogen, alkyl, alkoxy, alkylthio, trifluoromethyl, acyloxy, hydroxy, mercapto, carboxy, aryloxy, aryl, arylalkyl, heteroaryl, amino, alkylamino, dialkylamino, morpholino, peperidino, pyrrolidin-1-yl, piperazin-1-yl, or other functionality.

The term “halo” or “halide” refers to fluoro, bromo, chloro and iodo substituents.

The term “amino” refers to a chemical functionality –NR’R” where R’ and R” are independently hydrogen, alkyl, or aryl. The term “quaternary amine” refers to the positively charged group –N.sup.+ R’R”, where R’R” and R” are independently selected and are alkyl or aryl. A particular amino group is –NH.sub.2.

A “pharmaceutical agent” or “drug” refers to a chemical compound or composition capable of inducing a desired therapeutic or prophylactic effect when properly administered to a subject.

All chemical compounds include both the (+) and (-) stereoisomers, as well as either the (+) or (-) stereoisomer.

Other chemistry terms herein are used according to conventional usage in the art, as exemplified by The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Chemical Terms (1985) and The Condensed Chemical Dictionary (1981).

The following examples show that both nonpsychoactive cannabidiol, and psychoactive cannabinoids such as THC, can protect neurons from glutamate induced death, by a mechanism independent of cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids are also be shown to be potent antioxidants capable of preventing ROS toxicity in neurons.


Preparation of Cannabinoids and Neuronal Cultures

Cannabidiol, THC and reactants other than those specifically listed below were purchased from Sigma Chemical, Co. (St. Louis, Mo.). Cyclothiazide, glutamatergic ligands and MK-801 were obtained from Tocris Cookson (UK). Dihydrorhodamine was supplied by Molecular Probes (Eugene, Oreg.). T-butyl hydroperoxide, tetraethylammonium chloride, ferric citrate and sodium dithionite were all purchased from Aldrich (WI). All culture media were Gibco/BRL (MD) products.

Solutions of cannabinoids, cyclothiazide and other lipophiles were prepared by evaporating a 10 mM ethanolic solution (under a stream of nitrogen) in a siliconized microcentrifuge tube. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO, less than 0.05% of final volume) was added to ethanol to prevent the lipophile completely drying onto the tube wall. After evaporation, 1 ml of culture media was added and the drug was dispersed using a high power sonic probe. Special attention was used to ensure the solution did not overheat or generate foam. Following dispersal, all solutions were made up to their final volume in siliconized glass tubes by mixing with an appropriate quantity of culture media.

Primary neuronal cultures were prepared according to the method of Ventra et al. (J. Neurochem. 66:1752-1761, 1996). Fetuses were extracted by Cesarian section from a 17 day pregnant Wistar rat, and the feral brains were placed into phosphate buffered saline. The cortices were then dissected out, cut into small pieces and incubated with papain for nine minutes at C. After this time the tissue was dissociated by passage through a fire polished Pasteur pipette, and the resultant cell suspension separated by centrifugation over a gradient consisting of 10 mg/ml bovine serum albumin and 10 mg/ml ovomucoid (a trypsin inhibitor) in Earls buffered salt solution. The pellet was then re-suspended in high glucose, phenol red free Dulbeco’s modified Eagles medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum, 2 mM glutamine, 100 IU penicillin, and 100 .mu.g/ml streptomycin (DMEM). Cells were counted, tested for vitality using the trypan blue exclusion test and seeded onto poly-D-lysine coated 24 multiwell plates. After 96 hours, 10 .mu.M fluoro-deoxyuridine and 10 .mu.M uridine were added to block glial cell growth. This protocol resulted in a highly neuron-enriched culture.


Preparation of Astrocytes and Conditioned Media

Astrocyte conditioned DMEM was used throughout the AMPA/kainate toxicity procedure and following glutamate exposure in the NMDAr mediated toxicity protocol. Media was conditioned by 24 hour treatment over a confluent layer of type I astrocytes, prepared from two day old Wistar rat pups. Cortices were dissected, cut into small pieces, and enzymatically digested with 0.25% trypsin. Tissue was then dissociated by passage through a fire polished Pasteur pipette and the cell suspension plated into untreated 75 cm.sup.2 T-flasks. After 24 hours the media was replaced and unattached cells removed. Once astrocytes achieved confluence, cells were divided into four flasks. Media for experiments was conditioned by a 24 hour exposure to these astrocytes, after which time it was frozen at C. until use. Astrocyte cultures were used to condition DMEM for no longer than two months.


NMDA Mediated Toxicity Studies

Glutamate neurotoxicity can be mediated by NMDA, AMPA or kainate receptors. To examine NMDAr mediated toxicity, cultured neurons (cultured for 14-18 days) were exposed to 250 .mu.M glutamate for 10 minutes in a magnesium free saline solution. The saline was composed of 125 mM NaCl, 25 mM glucose, 10 mM HEPES (pH 7.4), 5 mM KCl, 1.8 mM calcium chloride and 5% bovine serum albumin. Following exposure, cells were washed twice with saline, and incubated for 18 hours in conditioned DMEM. The level of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in the media was used as an index of cell injury.

Toxicity was completely prevented by addition of the NMDAr antagonist, MK-801 (500 nM, data not shown). However, FIG. 1A shows that cannabidiol also prevented neurotoxicity (maximum protection 88.+-.9%) with an EC.sub.50 of 2-4 .mu.M (specifically about 3.5 .mu.M).


AMPA and Kainate Receptor Mediated Toxicity Studies

Unlike NMDA receptors, which are regulated by magnesium ions, AMPA/kainate receptors rapidly desensitize following ligand binding. To examine AMPA and kainate receptor mediated toxicity, neurons were cultured for 7-13 days, then exposed to 100 .mu.M glutamate and 50 .mu.M cyclothiazide (used to prevent AMPA receptor desensitization). Cells were incubated with glutamate in the presence of 500 nM MK-801 (an NMDAr antagonist) for 18-20 hours prior to analysis. Specific AMPA and kainate receptor ligands were also used to separately examine the effects of cannabinoids on AMPA and kainate receptor mediated events. Fluorowillardiine (1.5 .mu.M) was the AMPA agonist and 4-methyl glutamate (10 .mu.M) was the kainate agonist used to investigate receptor mediated toxicity. When specifically examining kainate receptor activity, cyclothiazide was replaced with 0.15 mg/ml Concanavalin-A.

Cannabidiol protection against AMPA/kainate mediated neurotoxicity is illustrated in FIG. 1B, where LDH in the media was used as an index of cell injury. The neuroprotective effect of cannabidiol was similar to that observed in the NMDA mediated toxicity model (FIG. 1A). Cannabidiol prevented neurotoxicity (maximum protection 80.+-.17%) with an EC.sub.50 of 2-4 .mu.M (specifically about 3.3 .mu.M). Comparable results were obtained with either the AMPA receptor ligand, fluorowillardiine or the kainate receptor specific ligand, 4-methyl-glutamate (data not shown). Hence cannabidiol protects similarly against toxicity mediated by NMDA, AMPA or kainate receptors.

Unlike cannabidiol, THC is a ligand (and agonist) for the brain cannabinoid receptor. The action of THC at the cannabinoid receptor has been proposed to explain the ability of THC to protect neurons from NMDAr toxicity in vitro. However in AMPA/kainate receptor toxicity assays, THC and cannabidiol were similarly protective (FIG. 2A), indicating that cannabinoid neuroprotection is independent of cannabinoid receptor activation. This was confirmed by inclusion of cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR-141716A in the culture media (SR in FIG. 2B). See Mansbach et al., Psychopharmacology 124:315-22, 1996, for a description of SR-141716A. Neither THC nor cannabidiol neuroprotection was affected by cannabinoid receptor antagonist (FIG. 2B).


Cyclic Voltametery Studies or ReDox Potentials

To investigate whether cannabinoids protect neurons against glutamate damage by reacting with ROS, the antioxidant properties of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids were assessed. Cyclic voltametry, a procedure that measures the ability of a compound to accept or donate electrons under a variable voltage potential, was used to measure the oxidation potentials of several natural and synthetic cannabinoids. These studies were performed with an EG&G Princeton Applied Research potentiostat/galvanostat (Model 273/PAR 270 software, NJ). The working electrode was a glassy carbon disk with a platinum counter electrode and silver/silver chloride reference. Tetraethylammonium chloride in acetonitrile (0.1 M) was used as an electrolyte. Cyclic voltametry scans were done from +0 to 1.8 V at scan rate of 100 mV per second. The reducing ability of cannabidiol (CBD), THC, HU-211, and BHT were measured in this fashion. Anandamide, a cannabinoid receptor ligand without a cannabinoid like structure, was used as a non-responsive control. Each experiment was repeated twice with essentially the same results.

Cannabidiol, THC and the synthetic cannabinoid HU-211 all donated electrons at a similar potential as the antioxidant BHT. Anandamide (arachidonyl ethanolamide) did not undergo oxidation at these potentials (FIG. 3). Several other natural and synthetic cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, nabilone, and levanantrodol were also tested, and they too exhibited oxidation profiles similar to cannabidiol and THC (data not shown).


Iron Catalyzed Dihydrorhodamine Oxidation (Fenton Reaction)

The ability of cannabinoids to be readily oxidized, as illustrated in Example 5, indicated they possess antioxidant properties comparable to BHT. The antioxidant activity of BHT was examined in a Fenton reaction, in which iron is catalyzed to produce ROS. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were evaluated for their ability to prevent oxidation of dihydrorhodamine to the fluorescent compound rhodamine. Oxidant was generated by ferrous catalysis (diothionite reduced ferric citrate) of t-butyl hydroperoxide in a 50:50 water:acetonitrile (v/v) solution. Dihydrorhodamine (50 .mu.M) was incubated with 300 .mu.M t-butyl hydroperoxide and 0.5 .mu.M iron for 5 minutes. After this time, oxidation was assessed by spectrofluorimetry (Excit=500 nm, Emiss=570 nm). Various concentrations of cannabinoids and BHT were included to examine their ability to prevent dihydrorhodiamine oxidation.

Cannabidiol, THC and BHT all prevented dihydrorhodamine oxidation in a similar, concentration dependent manner (FIG. 4), indicating that cannabinoids have antioxidant potency comparable to BHT.

To confirm that cannabinoids act as antioxidants in the intact cell, neurons were also incubated with the oxidant t-butyl hydroperoxide and varying concentrations of cannabidiol (FIG. 5A). The t-butyl hydroperoxide oxidant was chosen for its solubility in both aqueous and organic solvents, which facilitates oxidation in both cytosolic and membrane cell compartments. Cell toxicity was assessed 18-20 hours after insult by measuring lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release into the culture media. All experiments were conducted with triple or quadruple values at each point and all plates contained positive (glutamate alone) and baseline controls. The assay was validated by comparison with an XTT based metabolic activity assay. As shown in FIG. 5A, cannabidiol protected neurons against ROS toxicity in a dose related manner, with an EC.sub.50 of about 6 .mu.M. The maximum protection observed was 88.+-.9%.

Cannabidiol was also compared with known antioxidants in an AMPA/kainate toxicity protocol. Neurons were exposed to 100 .mu.M glutamate and equimolar (5 .mu.M) cannabidiol, .alpha.-tocopherol, BHT or ascorbate (FIG. 5B). Although all of the antioxidants attenuated glutamate toxicity, cannabidiol was significantly more protective than either .alpha.-tocopherol or ascorbate. The similar antioxidant abilities of cannabidiol and BHT in this chemical system (FIG. 4), and their comparable protection in neuronal cultures (FIG. 5B), implies that cannabidiol neuroprotection is due to an antioxidant effect.


In vivo Rat Studies

The middle cerebral artery of chloral hydrate anesthetized rats was occluded by insertion of suture thread into it. The animals were allowed to recover from the anesthetic and move freely for a period of two hours. After this time the suture was removed under mild anesthetic and the animals allowed to recover for 48 hours. Then the animals were tested for neurological deficits, sacrificed, and the infarct volume calculated. To examine the infarct volume, animals were anesthetized, ex-sanguinated, and a metabolically active dye (3-phenyl tetrazolium chloride) was pumped throughout the body. All living tissues were stained pink by the dye, while morbid regions of infarcted tissue remained white. Brains were then fixed for 24 hours in formaldehyde, sliced and the infarct volumes measured.

One hour prior to induction of ischemia 20 mg/kg of cannabidiol was administered by intra-peritoneal injection (ip) in a 90% saline:5% emulphor 620 (emulsifier):5% ethanol vehicle. A second ip 10 mg/kg dose of cannabidiol was administered 8 hours later using the same vehicle. Control animals received injections of vehicle without drug. IV doses would be expected to be 3-5 times less because of reduction of first pass metabolism.

The infarct size and neurological assessment of the test animals is shown Table 1.

TABLE 1 Cannabidiol protects rat brains from ischemia damage Volume of Infarct Behavioral Deficit (mm3) Score Animal Drug Control Drug Control 1 108.2 110.5 3 2 2 83.85 119.6 4 4 3 8.41 118.9 3 4 4 75.5 177.7 1 4 5 60.53 33.89 1 3 6 27.52 255.5 1 5 7 23.16 143 1 4 Mean 55.3 137.0 2.0 3.7 SEM 13.8 25.7 0.5 0.4 p = 0.016 significant p = 0.015 significant *Neurological scoring is performed on a subjective 1-5 scale of impairment. 0 = no impairment, 5 = severe (paralysis)

This data shows that infarct size was approximately halved in the animals treated with cannabidiol, which was also accompanied by a substantial improvement in the neurological status of the animal.

These studies with the nonpsychotropic marijuana constituent, cannabidiol, demonstrate that protection can be achieved against both glutamate neurotoxicity and free radical induced cell death. THC, the psychoactive principle of cannabis, also blocked glutamate neurotoxicity with a potency similar to cannabidiol. In both cases, neuroprotection is unaffected by the presence of a cannabinoid receptor antagonist. These results therefore surprisingly demonstrate that cannabinoids can have useful therapeutic effects that are not mediated by cannabinoid receptors, and therefore are not necessarily accompanied by psychoactive side effects. Cannabidiol also acts as an anti-epileptic and anxiolytic, which makes it particularly useful in the treatment of neurological diseases in which neuroanatomic defects can predispose to seizures (e.g. subarachnoid hemorrhage).

A particular advantage of the cannabinoid compounds of the present invention is that they are highly lipophilic, and have good penetration into the central nervous system. The volume of distribution of some of these compounds is at least 100 L in a 70 kg person (1.4 L/kg), more particularly at least 250 L, and most particularly 500 L or even 700 L in a 70 kg person (10 L/kg). The lipophilicity of particular compounds is also about as great as that of THC, cannabidiol or other compounds that have excellent penetration into the brain and other portions of the CNS.

Cannabinoids that lack psychoactivity or psychotoxicity are particularly useful embodiments of the present invention, because the absence of such side effects allows very high doses of the drug to be used without encountering unpleasant side effects (such as dysphoria) or dangerous complications (such as obtundation in a patient who may already have an altered mental status). For example, therapeutic antioxidant blood levels of cannabidiol can be 5-20 mg/kg, without significant toxicity, while blood levels of psychoactive cannabinoids at this level would produce obtundation, headache, conjunctival irritation, and other problems. Particular examples of the compounds of the present invention have low affinity to the cannabinoid receptor, for example a K.sub.i of greater than 250 nM, for example K.sub.i.gtoreq.500-1000 nM. A compound with a K.sub.i.gtoreq.1000 nM is particularly useful, which compound has essentially no psychoactivity mediated by the cannabinoid receptor.

Cannabidiol blocks glutamate toxicity with equal potency regardless of whether the insult is mediated by NMDA, AMPA or kainate receptors. Cannabidiol and THC have been shown to be comparable to the antioxidant BHT, both in their ability to prevent dihydrorhodamine oxidation and in their cyclic voltametric profiles. Several synthetic cannabinoids also exhibited profiles similar to the BHT, although anandamide, which is not structurally related to cannabinoids, did not. These findings indicate that cannabinoids act as antioxidants in a non-biological situation, which was confirmed in living cells by showing that cannabidiol attenuates hydroperoxide induced neurotoxicity. The potency of cannabidiol as an antioxidant was examined by comparing it on an equimolar basis with three other commonly used compounds.

In the AMPA/kainate receptor dependent neurotoxicity model, cannabidiol neuroprotection was comparable to the potent antioxidant, BHT, but significantly greater than that observed with either .alpha.-tocopherol or ascorbate. This unexpected superior antioxidant activity (in the absence of BHT tumor promoting activity) shows for the first time that cannabidiol, and other cannabinoids, can be used as antioxidant drugs in the treatment (including prophylaxis) of oxidation associated diseases, and is particularly useful as a neuroprotectant. The therapeutic potential of nonpsychoactive cannabinoids is particularly promising, because of the absence of psychotoxicity, and the ability to administer higher doses than with psychotropic cannabinoids, such as THC. Previous studies have also indicated that cannabidiol is not toxic, even when chronically administered to humans or given in large acute doses (700 mg/day).


Effect of Cannabidiol on Lipoxygenase Enzymes

This example describes in vitro and in vivo assays to examine the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on three lipoxygenase (LO) enzymes: 5-LO, 12-LO and 15-LO.

In vitro Enzyme Assay

The ability of CBD to inhibit lipoxygenase was examined by measuring the time dependent change in absorption at 234 nM following addition of 5 U of each lipoxygenase (rabbit 15-LO purchased from Biomol (PA), porcine 12-LO purchased from Cayman chemicals (MI)) to a solution containing 10 .mu.M (final concentration) linoleic acid.

Enzyme studies were performed using a u.v. spectrophotometer and a 3 ml quartz cuvette containing 2.5 ml of a stirred solution of 12.5 .mu.M sodium linoleic acid (sodium salt) in solution A (25 mM Tris (pH 8.1), 1 mM EDTA 0.1% methyl cellulose). The reaction was initiated by addition of 0.5 ml enzyme solution (10 U/ml enzyme in solution A) and recorded for 60 seconds. Lipoxygenase exhibits non-Michaelis-Menten kinetics, an initial “lag” (priming) phase followed by a linear phase which is terminated by product inhibition. These complications were reduced by assessing enzyme activity (change in absorption) over the “steepest” 20 second period in a 60 second run time. Recordings examined the absorption at 234 nm minus the value at a reference wavelength of 280 nm. Linoleic acid was used as the substrate rather than arachidonic acid, because the products are less inhibitory to the enzyme, thereby providing a longer “linear phase”.

Cell Purification and Separation

Human platelets and leukocytes were purified from buffy coat preparations (NIH Blood Bank) using a standard Ficoll based centrifugation method used in blood banks. Prior to use, cells were washed three times to eliminate contaminating cell types. Cultured rat basophillic leukemia cells (RBL-2H3) were used as a source of 5-lipoxygenase.

In vivo Determination of Lipoxygenase Activity

Cells were incubated with arachidonic acid and stimulated with the calcium ionophore A23187. Lipids were extracted and separated by reverse phase HPLC. Product formation was assessed as the area of a peak that co-eluted with an authentic standard, had a greater absorbance at 236 nm than at either 210 or 280 nm, and the formation of which was inhibited by a lipoxygenase inhibitor.

Cell pellets were triturated in DMEM culture media, aliquoted and pre-incubated for 15 minutes with 20 .mu.M arachidonic acid and varying concentrations of cannabidiol and/or 40 .mu.M nordihydroguaiaretic acid (a lipxygenase inhibitor). Platelets and leukocytes were also pre-incubated with 80 .mu.M manoalide (Biomol) to prevent phospholipase A2 activation. Product formation was initiated by addition of 5 .mu.M A23187 and incubation for 10 minutes at C. At the end of the incubation, the reaction was stopped by addition of 15% 1M HCl and 10 ng/ml prostaglandin B2 (internal standard). Lipids were extracted with 1 volume of ethyl ether, which was dried under a stream of nitrogen. Samples were reconstituted in 50% acetonitrile:50% H.sub.2 O and separated by reverse phase HPLC using a gradient running from 63% acetonitrile: 37% H.sub.2 O:0.2% acetic acid to 90% acetonitrile (0.2% acetic acid) over 13 minutes.

Measurement of NMDAr Toxicity

The ability of 12-HETE (12-(s)-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid, the product of the action of 12-lipoxygenase on arachidonic (eicosatetraenoic) acid) to protect cortical neurons from NMDAr toxicity was measured as described in Example 3. The 12-HETE (0.5 .mu.g/ml) was added either during ischemia (co-incubated with the glutamate), during post-ischemia (co-incubated with the DMEM after washing the cells), or during both ischemia and post-ischemia.


Using semi-purified enzyme preparations, the effect of CBD on rabbit 15-LO and porcine 12-LO was compared. As shown in FIGS. 6A and B, CBD is a potent competitive inhibitor of 15-LO with an EC.sub.50 of 598 nM. However, CBD had no effect on the 12-LO enzyme.

Using whole cell preparations, the effect of CBD on 5- and 12-LO enzymes was investigated. As shown in FIG. 7A, CBD inhibited 5-LO in cultured rat basophillic leukemia cells (RBL-2H3) with an EC.sub.50 of 1.92 .mu.M. However, CBD had no effect on 12-LO, as monitored by the production of 12-HETE (the product of 12-LO), in either human leukocytes or platelets (FIGS. 7B and C). The leukocyte 12-LO is similar, while the platelet 12-LO is structurally and functionally different, from the porcine 12-LO used in the in vitro enzyme study.

The ability of 12-HETE to protect cortical neurons from NMDAr toxicity is shown in FIG. 8. To achieve best protection from NMDAr toxicity, 12-HETE was administered both during and post ischemia.

Therefore, CBD serves as a selective inhibitor of at least two lipoxygenase enzymes, 5-LO and 15-LO, but had no effect on 12-LO. Importantly, this is the first demonstration (FIG. 8) that the 12-LO product 12-HETE can play a significant role in protecting neurons from NMDAr mediated toxicity. Although the mechanism of this protection is unknown at the present time, 12-HETE is known to be an important neuromodulator, due to its ability to influence potassium channel activity.


Methods of Treatment

The present invention includes a treatment that inhibits oxidation associated diseases in a subject such as an animal, for example a rat or human. The method includes administering the antioxidant drugs of the present invention, or a combination of the antioxidant drug and one or more other pharmaceutical agents, to the subject in a pharmaceutically compatible carrier and in an effective amount to inhibit the development or progression of oxidation associated diseases. Although the treatment can be used prophylactically in any patient in a demographic group at significant risk for such diseases, subjects can also be selected using more specific criteria, such as a definitive diagnosis of the condition. The administration of any exogenous antioxidant cannabinoid would inhibit the progression of the oxidation associated disease as compared to a subject to whom the cannabinoid was not administered. The antioxidant effect, however, increases with the dose of the cannabinoid.

The vehicle in which the drug is delivered can include pharmaceutically acceptable compositions of the drugs of the present invention using methods well known to those with skill in the art. Any of the common carriers, such as sterile saline or glucose solution, can be utilized with the drugs provided by the invention. Routes of administration include but are not limited to oral, intracranial ventricular (icv), intrathecal (it), intravenous (iv), parenteral, rectal, topical ophthalmic, subconjunctival, nasal, aural, sub-lingual (under the tongue) and transdermal. The antioxidant drugs of the invention may be administered intravenously in any conventional medium for intravenous injection such as an aqueous saline medium, or in blood plasma medium. Such medium may also contain conventional pharmaceutical adjunct materials such as, for example, pharmaceutically acceptable salts to adjust the osmotic pressure, lipid carriers such as cyclodextrins, proteins such as serum albumin, hydrophilic agents such as methyl cellulose, detergents, buffers, preservatives and the like. Given the low solubility of many cannabinoids, they may be suspended in sesame oil.

Given the excellent absorption of the compounds of the present invention via an inhaled route, the compounds may also be administered as inhalants, for example in pharmaceutical aerosols utilizing solutions, suspensions, emulsions, powders and semisolid preparations of the type more fully described in Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy ( Edition, 1995) in chapter 95. A particular inhalant form is a metered dose inhalant containing the active ingredient, in a suspension or a dispersing agent (such as sorbitan trioleate, oleyl alcohol, oleic acid, or lecithin, and a propellant such as 12/11 or 12/114).

Embodiments of the invention comprising pharmaceutical compositions can be prepared with conventional pharmaceutically acceptable carriers, adjuvants and counterions as would be known to those of skill in the art. The compositions are preferably in the form of a unit dose in solid, semi-solid and liquid dosage forms such as tablets, pills, powders, liquid solutions or suspensions, injectable and infusible solutions, for example a unit dose vial, or a metered dose inhaler. Effective oral human dosage ranges for cannabidiol are contemplated to vary from about 1-40 mg/kg, for example 5-20 mg/kg, and in particular a dose of about 20 mg/kg of body weight.

If the antioxidant drugs are to be used in the prevention of cataracts, they may be administered in the form of eye drops formulated in a pharmaceutically inert, biologically acceptable carrier, such as isotonic saline or an ointment. Conventional preservatives, such as benzalkonium chloride, can also be added to the formulation. In ophthalmic ointments, the active ingredient is admixed with a suitable base, such as white petrolatum and mineral oil, along with antimicrobial preservatives. Specific methods of compounding these dosage forms, as well as appropriate pharmaceutical carriers, are known in the art. Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, 19th Ed., Mack Publishing Co. (1995), particularly Part 7.

The compounds of the present invention are ideally administered as soon as a diagnosis is made of an ischemic event, or other oxidative insult. For example, once a myocardial infarction has been confirmed by electrocardiograph, or an elevation in enzymes characteristic of cardiac injury (e.g. CKMB), a therapeutically effective amount of the cannabinoid drug is administered. A dose can also be given following symptoms characteristic of a stroke (motor or sensory abnormalities), or radiographic confirmation of a cerebral infarct in a distribution characteristic of a neurovascular thromboembolic event. The dose can be given by frequent bolus administration, or as a continuous IV dose. In the case of cannabidiol, for example, the drug could be given in a dose of 5 mg/kg active ingredient as a continuous intravenous infusion; or hourly intramuscular injections of that dose.


The following table lists examples of some dibenzopyran cannabinoids that may be useful as antioxidants in the method of the present invention.

##STR13## ##STR14## Compound R.sub.19 R.sub.20 R.sub.21 R.sub.22 R.sub.23 R.sub.24 R.sub.25 R.sub.26 H 5 7-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH H H H H H H C.sub.5 H.sub.11 H 6 6.alpha.-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 .alpha.-OH H 7 6.beta.-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 .beta.-OH 8 1″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 OH H 9 2″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 OH 10 3″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 OH 11 4″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 OH H 12 6.alpha.,7-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH .alpha.-OH H 13 6v,7-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH .beta.-OH 14 1″,7-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH OH H 15 2″,7-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH OH H 16 3″,7-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH OH H 17 4″,7-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH OH 18 1″,6.beta.-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 .beta.-OH OH 19 1″,3″-diOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.3 OH OH 20 1″,6.alpha.,7-triOH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CH.sub.2 OH .alpha.-OH OH H 21 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-6-one CH.sub.3 .dbd.O 22 Epoxyhexahydrocannabinol CH.sub.3 (EHHC)* 23 7-oxo-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC CHO H 24 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-7″-oic acid COOH H 25 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-3″-oic acid CH.sub.3 C.sub.2 H.sub.4 COOH H 26 1″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-7″-oic acid COOH OH H 27 2″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-7″-oic acid COOH OH H 28 3″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-7″-oic acid COOH OH H 29 4″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-7″-oic acid COOH OH H 30 3″,4″,5″-trisnor-2″-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 – COOH C.sub.2 H.sub.4 OH THC-7-oic acid H 31 7-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-2″-oic acid CH.sub.2 OH CH.sub.2 COOH H 32 6.beta.-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-2″-oic acid CH.sub.3 .beta.-OH CH.sub.2 COOH H 33 7-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-3″-oic acid CH.sub.2 OH C.sub.2 H.sub.4 COOH H 34 6.beta.-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-3″-oic acid CH.sub.3 .beta.-OH C.sub.2 H.sub.4 COOH H 35 6.alpha.-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-4″-oic acid CH.sub.3 .alpha.-OH C.sub.3 H.sub.6 COOH H 36 2″,3″-dehydro-6U-OH-.DELTA..sup.1 – CH.sub.3 .alpha.-OH C.sub.3 H.sub.4 COOH THC-4″-oic acid H 37 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-1″,7-dioic acid COOH COOH H 38 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-2″,7-dioic acid COOH CH.sub.2 COOH H 39 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-3″,7-dioic acid COOH C.sub.2 H.sub.4 COOH H 40 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-4″,7-dioic acid COOH C.sub.3 H.sub.6 COOH H 41 1″,2″-dehydro-.DELTA..sup.1 -THC-3″,7- COOH C.sub.2 H.sub.2 COOH dioic acid H 42 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-glucuronic acid CH.sub.3 gluc.sup..dagger. H 43 .DELTA..sup.1 -THC-7-oic acid COO gluc.sup..dagger. glucuronide *Epoxy group in C-1 and C-2 positions .sup..dagger. Glucuronide Note: R-group substituents are H if not indicated otherwise.

Chemical structures of some of the dibenzopyran cannabinoids are shown below. ##STR15## ##STR16## ##STR17##


Examples of Structural Analogs of Cannabidiol

The following table lists examples of some cannabinoids which are structural analogs of cannabidiol and that may be useful as antioxidants in the method of the present invention. A particularly useful example is compound CBD, cannabidiol.

Compound R.sub.19 R.sub.20 R.sub.21 R.sub.22 R.sub.23 R.sub.24 R.sub.25 R.sub.26 ##STR18## ##STR19## 44 CBD CH.sub.3 H H H H H H C.sub.5 H.sub.11 45 7-OH–CBD CH.sub.2 OH 46 6.alpha.- CH.sub.3 .alpha.-OH 47 6.beta.- CH.sub.3 .beta.-OH 48 1″- CH.sub.3 OH 49 2″- CH.sub.3 OH 50 3″- CH.sub.3 OH 51 4″- CH.sub.3 OH 52 5″- CH.sub.3 C.sub.4 H.sub.8 CH.sub.2 OH 53 6,7-diOH–CBD CH.sub.2 OH OH 54 3″,7-diOH–CBD CH.sub.2 OH OH 55 4″,7-diOH–CBD CH.sub.2 OH OH 56 CBD-7-oic acid COOH 57 CBD-3″-oic acid CH.sub.3 C.sub.2 H.sub.4 COOH ##STR20## ##STR21## 58 CBN CH.sub.3 H H H H H H C.sub.5 H.sub.11 59 7-OH–CBN CH.sub.2 OH 60 1″-OH–CBN CH.sub.3 OH 61 2″-OH–CBN CH.sub.3 OH 62 3″-OH–CBN CH.sub.3 OH 63 4″-OH–CBN CH.sub.3 OH 64 5″-OH–CBN CH.sub.3 C.sub.4 H.sub.8 CH.sub.2 OH 65 2″-7-diOH–CBN CH.sub.2 OH OH 66 CBN-7-oic acid COOH 67 CBN-1″-oic acid CH.sub.3 COOH 68 CBN-3″-oic acid CH.sub.3 C.sub.2 H.sub.4 COOH Note: R-group substituents are H if not indicated otherwise.

The invention being thus described, variation in the materials and methods for practicing the invention will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art. Such variations are to be considered within the scope of the invention, which is set forth in the claims below.
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Affidavit and Assertion of a Foreign Neutral

An interesting read on the perpetual state of National Emergencies we have lived under since 1933 and how that relates to some of the seemingly unconstitutional actions taken by government over the years. I will post both articles here instead of separating.

(Blog Master’s Note) This piece will be divided into two parts, in the first part is the history of the national emergency’ and the powers given to the President while we are in an emergency. For those worried about S. 1867, the President under the emergency can have anyone, or group, arrested indefinitely by signing an Executive Order with that stated as the objective, and all with out Congress. I find no evidence that S.1867 is a threat. Although not covered thoroughly, the national emergency’ began with the Civil War and gave Lincoln extra-ordinary powers. I was surprised that Kucinich authored H.R. 2990, to do away with the Federal Reserve, the Bill mentions the national emergency’ throughout. the second part Austin gives remedy for the court system using All Capital Letter Names for defendants.







We are going to begin with a series of documents which are representative of the documents contained in this Report. We will be quoting from, in many cases, Senate and Congressional reports, hearings before National Emergency Committees, Presidential Papers, Statutes at Large, and the United States Code.

The first exhibit is taken from a book written by Carl Brent Swisher American Constitutional Development, A complete constitutional history, from the British colonies to the Truman era. Let’s read the first paragraph. It says,

We may well wonder in view of the precedents now established, said Charles E. Hughes, (Supreme Court Justice) in 1920, whether constitutional government as heretofore maintained in this Republic could survive another great war even victoriously waged.

How could that happen? Surely, if we go out and fight a war and win it, we’d have to end up stronger than the day we started, wouldn’t we? Justice Hughes goes on to say,

The conflict known as the World War had ended as far as military hostilities were concerned, but was not yet officially terminated. Most of the war statutes were still in effect, many of the emergency organizations were still in operation.

What is this man talking about when he speaks of war statutes in effect and emergency organizations still in operation?

In 1933, Congressman Beck, speaking from the Congressional Record, states,

I think of all the damnable heresies that have ever been suggested in connection with the Constitution, the doctrine of emergency is the worst. It means that when Congress declares an emergency, there is no Constitution. This means its death. It is the very doctrine that the German chancellor is invoking today in the dying hours of the parliamentary body of the German republic, namely, that because of an emergency, it should grant to the German chancellor absolute power to pass any law, even though the law contradicts the Constitution of the German republic. Chancellor Hitler is at least frank about it. We pay the Constitution lip-service, but the result is the same.

Congressman Beck is saying that, of all the damnable heresies that ever existed, this doctrine of emergency has got to be the worst, because once Congress declares an emergency, there is no Constitution. He goes on to say,

But the Constitution of the [u]nited States, as a restraining influence in keeping the federal government within the carefully prescribed channels of power, is moribund, if not dead. We are witnessing its death-agonies, for when this bill becomes a law, if unhappily it becomes a law, there is no longer any workable Constitution to keep the Congress within the limits of its Constitutional powers.

What bill is Congressman Beck talking about? In 1933, the House passed the Farm Bill by a vote of more than three to one. Again, we see the doctrine of emergency. Once an emergency is declared, there is no Constitution.

The CAUSE and EFFECT of the doctrine of emergency is the subject of this Report. In 1973, in Senate Report 93-549 (93rd Congress, 1st Session, 1973), the first sentence reads, Since March the 9th, 1933, the united States has been in a state of declared national emergency.

Let’s go back to Exhibit 1 just before this. What did that say? It says that if a national emergency is declared, there is no Constitution. Now, let us return to Exhibit 2. Since March the 9th of 1933, the United States has been, in fact, in a state of declared national emergency.

Referring to the middle of this exhibit:

This vast range of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to rule the country without reference to normal constitutional processes. Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens

This situation has continued uninterrupted since the Emergency Banking Act, March 9, 1933, 48 Stat. 1, Public Law 89-719

In the introduction to Senate Report 93-549:

A majority of the people of the united States have lived all their lives under emergency rule.

Remember, this report was produced in 1973. The introduction goes on to say:

For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency.

The introduction continues:

And, in the united States, actions taken by the government in times of great crisis have from, at least, the Civil War  in important ways shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of national emergency.

How many people were taught that in school? How could it possibly be that something which could suspend our Constitution would not be taught in school? Amazing, isn’t it?

Where does this come from? Is it possible that, in our Constitution, there could be some section which could contemplate what these previous documents are referring to? In Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution of the united States of America, we find the following words:

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Habeas Corpus the Great Writ of Liberty (Latin: you have the body.). This is the writ which guarantees that the government cannot charge us and hold us with any crime, unless they follow the procedure of due process of law. This writ also says, in effect, that the privilege of due process of law cannot be suspended, and that the government cannot not operate its arbitrary prerogative power against We the People. But we see that the great Writ of Liberty can, in fact, under the Constitution, be suspended when an invasion or a rebellion necessitates it.

In the 5th Amendment to the Constitution it says:

No Person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise Infamous Crime, unless on a Presentment or Indictment of a Grand Jury, except in Cases arising in the Land or Naval forces or in the Militia, when in actual Service in Time of War or public Danger.

We reserved the charging power for ourselves, didn’t we? We didn’t give that power to the government. And we also said that the government would be powerless to charge one of the citizens or one of the peoples of the united States with a crime unless We, the People, through our grand jury, orders it to do so through an indictment or a presentment. And if We, the People, don’t order it, the government cannot do it. If it tried to do it, we would simply follow the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and they would have to release us, wouldn’t they? They could not hold us.

But let us recall that it says:

except in Cases arising in the Land or Naval forces or in the Militia, when in actual Service in Time of War or public Danger

We can see here that the framers of the Constitution were already contemplating times when there would be conditions under which it might be necessary to suspend the guarantees of the Constitution.

Also from Senate Report 93-549 and remember that our congressmen wrote these reports and these documents and they’re talking about these emergency powers and they say:

They are quite careful and restrictive on the power, but the power to suspend is specifically contemplated by the Constitution in the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

Now, this is well known. This is not a concept that was not known to rulers for many, many years. The concepts of constitutional dictatorship went clear back to the Roman Republic. And there, it was determined that, in times of dire emergencies, yes, the constitution and the rights of the people could be suspended, temporarily, until the crisis, whatever its nature, could be resolved.

But once it was done, the Constitution, was to be returned to its peacetime position of authority. In France, the situation under which the constitution could be suspended is called the State of Siege. In Great Britain, it’s called the Defense of the Realm Acts. In Germany, in which Hitler became a dictator, it was simply called Article 48. In the United States, it is called the War Powers.

If that was, in fact, the case, and we are under a war emergency in this country, then there should be evidence of that war emergency in the current law that exists today. That means we should be able to go to the federal code known as the USC or United States Code, and find that statute, that law, in existence. If we went to the library today and picked up a copy of 12 USC Section 95b we will find a law which states:

The actions, regulations, rules, licenses, orders and proclamations heretofore or hereafter taken, promulgated, made, or issued by the President of the United States or the Secretary of the Treasury since March the 4th, 1933, pursuant to the authority conferred by Subsection (b) of Section 5 of the Act of October 6th, 1917, as amended [12 USCS Sec. 95a], are hereby approved and confirmed. (Mar. 9, 1933, c. 1, Title 1, Sec. 1, 48 Stat. 1.).

Now, what does this mean? It means that everything the President or the Secretary of the Treasury has done since the Emergency Banking Act of March 9, 1933, (48 Stat. 1, Public Law 89-719), or anything that the President or the Secretary of the Treasury is hereafter going to do, is automatically approved and confirmed. Referring back to Exhibit 2, let us remember that, according to the Congressional Record of 1973, the United States has been in a state of national emergency since 1933. Then we realize that 12 USC, Section 95b is current law. This is the law that exists over these united States right this moment.

If that be the case, let us see if we can understand what is being said here. As every action, rule or law put into effect by the President or the Secretary of the Treasury since March the 4th of 1933 has or will be confirmed and approved, let us determine the significance of that date in history. What happened on March the 4th of 1933?

On March the 4th of 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the United States. Referring to his inaugural address which was given at a time when the country was in the throes of the Great Depression, we read:

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.

But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis  broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

On March the 4th, 1933, at his inaugural, President Roosevelt was saying that he was going to ask Congress for the extraordinary authority available to him under the War Powers Act. Let’s see if he got it.

On March the 5th, President Roosevelt asked for a special and extraordinary session of Congress in Proclamation 2038. He called for the special session of Congress to meet on March the 9th at noon. And at that Congress, he presented a bill, an Act, to provide for relief in the existing national emergency in banking and for other purposes.

In the enabling portion of that Act it states:

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the united States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress hereby declares that a serious emergency exists and that it is imperatively necessary speedily to put into effect remedies of uniform national application.

What is the concept of the rule of necessity, referred to in the enabling portion of the Act as imperatively necessary speedily? The rule of necessity is a rule of law which states that necessity knows no law. A good example of the rule of necessity would be the concept of self-defense. The law says, Thou shalt not kill. But also know that, if you are in dire danger, in danger of losing your life, then you have the absolute right of self-defense. You have the right to kill to protect your own life. That is the ultimate rule of necessity.

Thus we see that the rule of necessity overrides all other law, and, in fact, allows one to do that which would normally be against the law. So it is reasonable to assume that the wording of the enabling portion of the Act of March 9, 1933, is an indication that what follows is something which will probably be against the law. It will probably be against the Constitution of the United States, or it would not require that the rule of necessity be invoked to enact it.

In the Act of March 9, 1933 it further states in Title 1, Section 1:

The actions, regulations, rules, licenses, orders and proclamations heretofore or hereafter taken, promulgated, made, or issued by the President of the United States or the Secretary of the Treasury since March the 4th, 1933, pursuant to the authority conferred by subdivision (b) of Section 5 of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended, are hereby approved and confirmed.

Where have we read those words before?

This is the exact same wording as is found (Exhibit 5) today in Title 12, USC 95b. The language in Title 12, USC 95b is exactly the same as that found in the Act of March 9, 1933, Chapter 1, Title 1, Section 48, Statute 1. The Act of March 9, 1933, is still in full force and effect today. We are still under the Rule of Necessity. We are still in a declared state of national emergency, a state of emergency that has existed, uninterrupted, since 1933, or for over sixty years.

As you may remember, the authority to do this is conferred by Subsection (b) of Section 5 of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended. What was the authority which was used to declare and enact the emergency in this Act? If we look at the Act of October 6, 1917 we see that at the top right-hand part of the page, it states that this was:

An Act To define, regulate, and punish trading with the enemy, and for other purposes.

By the year 1917, the United States was involved in World War I; at that point, it was recognized that there were probably enemies of the United States, or allies of enemies of the United States, living within the continental borders of our nation in a time of war.

Therefore, Congress passed this Act which identified who could be declared enemies of the United States, and, in this Act, we gave the government total authority over those enemies to do with as it saw fit. We also see, however, in Section 2, Subdivision (c) in the middle, and again at the bottom of the page:

other than citizens of the united States.

The Act specifically excluded citizens of the united States, because we realized in 1917 that the citizens of the united States were not enemies. Thus, we were excluded from the war powers over enemies in this Act.

Section 5b of the same Act states:

That the President may investigate, regulate, or prohibit, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of licenses or otherwise, any transactions in foreign exchange, export or earmarkings of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency, transfers of credit in any form (other than credits relating solely to transactions to be executed wholly within the United States).

Again, we see here that citizens, and the transactions of citizens made wholly within the United States, were specifically excluded from the war powers of this Act. We, the People, were not enemies of our country; therefore, the government did not have total authority over us as they were given over our enemies.

It is important to draw attention again to the fact that citizens of the United States in October, 1917, were not called enemies. Consequently the government, under the war powers of this Act, did not have authority over us; we were still protected by the Constitution. Granted, over enemies of this nation, the government was empowered to do anything it deemed necessary, but not over us. The distinction made between enemies of the United States and citizens of the united States will become crucial later on Please note the distinction between United States, and that of united States.

In Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933 Subdivision (b) of Section 5 of the Act of October 6, 1917 (40 Stat. L. 411), as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows;

So we see that they are now going to amend Section 5 (b). Now let’s see how it reads after it’s amended. The amended version of Section 5 (b) reads (emphasis is ours):

During time of war or during any other period of national emergency declared by the President, the President may, through any agency that he may designate, or otherwise, investigate, regulate, or prohibit, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of licenses or otherwise, any transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credit between or payments by banking institutions as defined by the President and export, hoarding, melting, or ear markings of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency, by any person within the (united States) or anyplace subject to the jurisdiction thereof. (NOTE: later we will discuss that jurisdiction for now please take note of this important point.)

What just happened? At as far as commercial, monetary or business transactions were concerned, the people of the united States were no longer differentiated from any other enemy of the United States.  We had lost that crucial distinction. We can see that the phrase which excluded transactions executed wholly within the united States has been removed from the amended version of Section 5 (b) of the Act of March 9, 1933, Section 2, and replaced with by any person within the united States or anyplace subject to the jurisdiction thereof’. All monetary transactions, whether domestic or international in scope, were now placed at the whim of the (President of the United States) through the authority given to him by the Trading with the enemy Act. (NOTE: change of title now! Exactly whom does the President represent in this situation now??)

To summarize this critical point: On October the 6th of 1917, at the beginning of America’s involvement in World War 1, Congress passed a Trading with the enemy Act empowering the government to take control over any and all commercial, monetary or business transactions conducted by enemies or allies of enemies within our continental borders. That Act also defined the term enemy and excluded from that definition citizens of the united States.

In Section 5 (b) of this Act, we see that the President was given unlimited authority to control the commercial transactions of defined enemies, but we see that credits relating solely to transactions executed wholly within the united States were excluded from that controlling authority. As transactions wholly domestic in nature were excluded from authority,the government had no extraordinary control over the daily business conducted by the citizens of the united States, because we were certainly not enemies.

Citizens of the united States were not enemies of their country in 1917, and the transactions conducted by citizens within this country were not considered to be enemy transactions.But in looking again at Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, we can see that the phrase excluding wholly domestic transactions has been removed from the amended version and replaced with by any person within the united States or anyplace subject to the jurisdiction thereof’.

The people of the united States were now subject to the power of the Trading with the Enemy Act of October 6, 1917, as amended. For the purposes of all commercial, monetary and, in effect, all business transactions, We, the People became the same as the enemy, and were treated no differently. There was no longer any distinction.

It is important here to note that, in the Acts of October 6, 1917 and March 9, 1933, it states: during times of war or during any other national emergency declared by the President.

So we now see that the war powers not only included a period of war, but also a period of national emergency as defined by the President of the United States. When either of these two situations occur, the President may, through any agency that he may designate, or otherwise, investigate, regulate or prohibit under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe by means of licenses or otherwise, any transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credit between or payments by banking institutions as defined by the President and export, hoarding, melting or earmarking of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency by any person within the united States or anyplace subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

What can the President do now to the We, the People, under this Section? He can do anything he wants to do. It’s purely at his discretion, and he can use any agency or any license that he desires to control it. This is called a constitutional dictatorship.

In Senate Document 93-549, Congress declared that a serious emergency exists, at: 48 Stat. 1. The exclusion of domestic transactions, formerly found in the Act, was deleted from Sect. 5 (b) at this time.

Our Congress wrote that in the year 1973.

Now let’s find out about the Trading with the Enemy Act of October 6, 1917. Quoting from a Supreme Court decision (Exhibit 9), Stoehr v. Wallace, 1921:

The Trading With the Enemy Act, originally and as amended, is strictly a war measure, and finds its sanction in the provision empowering Congress to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water Const. Art. 1, Sect. 8, cl. 11. P. 241.

Remember your Constitution? Congress shall have the power to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal and make all rules concerning the captures on the land and the water of the enemies. ALL RULES.


If that be the case, let us look at the memorandum of law that now covers trading with the enemy, the Memorandum of American Cases and Recent English Cases on The Law of Trading With the Enemy, remembering that we are now the same as the enemy. In this memorandum, we read:

Every species of intercourse with the enemy is illegal. This prohibition is not limited to mere commercial intercourse. (Which means commercial intercourse amongst the American people in any form, to include procreation, is illegal and thereby, can only take place, when a License is issued , authorizing Americans to interact and do business with other Americans while at all times being held to be (presumptive) enemies of the state.) This is the case of The Rapid (1814).


No contract is considered as valid between enemies, at least so far as to give them a remedy in the courts of either government, and they have, in the language of the civil law, no ability to sustain a persona standi in judicio. (Hence all statute or merchant law is copyright and foreign to be employed and used by the enemy

In other words, they have no personal rights at law in these Prize courts. This is the case of The Julia (1813).

In the next case, the case of The Sally (1814), we read the words:

By the general law of prize, property engaged in an illegal intercourse with the enemy is deemed enemy property. It is of no consequence whether it belong to an ally or to a citizen; the illegal traffic stamps it with the hostile character, and attaches to it all the penal consequences of enemy ownership. (Try operating your car on the public highways and by ways without licensing that car and yourself . . . they will seize that car and impound it to be sold at public auction., and you will go to jail as a Felon.)

Reading further in the memorandum, again from the case of The Rapid:

The law of prize is part of the law of nations. In it, a hostile character is attached to trade, independently of the character of the trader who pursues or directs it. Condemnation to the use of the captor is equally the fate of the property of the belligerent and of the property found engaged in anti-neutral trade. But a citizen or an ally may be engaged in a hostile trade, and thereby involve his property in the fate of those in whose cause he embarks.

Again from the memorandum:

The produce of the soil of the hostile territory, as well as other property engaged in the commerce of the hostile power, as the source of its wealth and strength, are always regarded as legitimate prize, without regard to the domicile of the owner.(Does summary seizure of property by the IRS come to mind? And this is why it became necessary for the American people to be declared the enemy of the state under the mere presumption of the Trading With the Enemy Act as amended in 1935, thereby, making all interests in the property of the American people a legitimate prize of a foreign corporation pretending to operate under the original constitution of the United States of America.)

From the case of The William Bagaley (1866):

In general, during war, contracts with, or powers of attorney or agency from, the enemy executed after outbreak of war are illegal and void; contracts entered into with the enemy prior to the war are either suspended or are absolutely terminated; partnerships with an enemy are dissolved; powers of attorney from the enemy, with certain exceptions, lapse; payments to the enemy (except to agents in the united States appointed prior to the war and confirmed since the war) are illegal and void; all rights of an enemy to sue in the courts are suspended.

From Senate Report No. 113, in which we find An Act to Define, Regulate, and Punish Trading with the Enemy, and For Other Purposes, we read:

The trade or commerce regulated or prohibited is defined in Subsections (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e), page 4. This trade covers almost every imaginable transaction, and is forbidden and made unlawful except when allowed under the form of licenses issued by the Secretary of Commerce (p. 4, sec. 3, line 18). This authorization of trading under licenses constitutes the principal modification of the rule of international law forbidding trade between the citizens of belligerents, for the power to grant such licenses, and therefore exemption from the operation of law, is given by the bill.

It says no trade can be conducted or no intercourse can be conducted without a license, because, by mere definition of the enemy, and under the prize law, all intercourse is illegal.

That was the first case we looked at, wasn’t it? So once we were declared enemies, all intercourse, commercial or otherwise became illegal for us. The only way we could now do business or any type of legal intercourse was to obtain permission from our government by means of a license. (License of Cosmetology for example, or be charged and declared an enemy felon without a license to perform our chosen or God given craft.) We are certainly required to have a Social Security Card, which is a license to work, and a Driver’s License, which gives the government the ability to restrict travel; all business in which we engage ourselves requires us to have a license, does it not?

Returning once again to the Memorandum of Law: (Exhibit 13)

But it is necessary always to bear in mind that a war cannot be carried on without hurting somebody, even, at times, our own citizens. The public good, however, must prevail over private gain. As we said in Bishop v. Jones (28 Texas, 294), there cannot be a war for arms and a peace for commerce. One of the most important features of the bill is that which provides for the temporary taking over of the enemy property,.

This point of law is important to keep in mind, for it authorizes the temporary take-over of enemy property. The question is: Once the war terminates, the property must be returned  mustn’t it?

The property that is confiscated, and the belligerent right of the government during the period of war, must be returned when the war terminates. Let us take the case of a ship in harbor; war breaks out, and the Admiral says, I’m seizing your ship. Can you stop him? No. But when the war is over, the Admiral must return your ship to you. This point is important to bear in mind, for we will return to, and expand upon, it later in the report.

Reading from Senate Document No. 43, Contracts Payable in Gold written in 1933:

The ultimate ownership of all property is in the State; individual so-called, ownership is only by virtue of government, i. e., law, amounting to mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State.

Who owns all the property? Who owns the property you call yours? Who has the authority to mortgage property? Let us continue with a Supreme Court decision, United States v. Russell:

Private property, the Constitution provides, shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

That is the peacetime clause, isn’t it? Further (emphasis added),

Extraordinary and unforeseen occasions arise, however, beyond all doubt, in cases of extreme necessity in time of war or of immediate and impending public danger, in which private property may be impressed into the public service, or may be seized or appropriated to public use, or may even be destroyed without the consent of the owner.

This quote, and indeed this case, provides a vivid illustration of the potential power that government can and will wield once no longer bound by constitutional restrictions.

Now, let us return to the period of time after March 4, 1933, and take a close look at what really occurred. On March 4, 1933, in his inaugural address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked for the authority of the war powers, and called a special session of Congress for the purpose of having those powers conferred to him.

On March the 2nd, 1933, however, we find that Herbert Hoover had written a letter to the Federal Reserve Board of New York, asking them for recommendations for action based on the over-all situation at the time. The Federal Reserve Board responded with a resolution which they had adopted, an excerpt from which follows:

Resolution Adopted By The Federal Reserve Board Of New York. Whereas, in the opinion of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the continued and increasing withdrawal of currency and gold from the banks of the country has now created a national emergency.

In order to fully appreciate the significance of this last quote, we must recall that, in 1913, The Federal Reserve Act was passed, authorizing the creation of a central bank, the thought of which had already been noted in the Constitution. The basic idea of the central bank was, among other things, for it to act as a secure repository for the gold of the people. We, the People, would bring our gold to the huge, strong vaults of the Federal Reserve, and we would be issued a note which said, in effect, that, at any time we desired, we could bring that note back to the bank and be given back our gold which we had deposited.

Until 1933, that agreement, that contract between the Federal Reserve and its depositors, was honored. Federal Reserve notes, prior to 1933, were indeed redeemable in gold. After 1933, the situation changed drastically. In 1933, during the depths of the Depression, at the time when We, the People, were struggling to stay alive and keep our families fed, the bankers began to say, People are coming in now, wanting their gold, wanting us to honor this contract we have made with them to give them their gold on demand, and this contractual obligation is creating a national emergency.

How could that happen? Reading from the Public Papers of Herbert Hoover:

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that, in this emergency, the Federal Reserve Board is hereby requested to urge the President of the United States to declare a bank holiday, Saturday, March 4, and Monday, March 6.

In other words, President Roosevelt was urged to close down the banking system and make it unavailable for a short period of time. What was to happen during that period of time?

Reading again from the Federal Reserve Board resolution, we find a proposal for an executive order, to be worded as follows:

Whereas, it is provided in Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended, that the President may investigate, regulate, or prohibit, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of licenses or otherwise, any transactions in foreign exchange and the export, hoarding, melting, or earmarkings of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency***.

Now, in any nominal usage of the American language, the standard accepted meaning of a series of three asterisks after a quotation means that what follows also must be quoted exactly, doesn’t it? If it’s not, that’s a fraudulent use of the American language. At that point marked by the red asterisk (*) above,  began, what did the original Act of October 6,1917 say?

Referring back to the remainder of Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917 says:

(other than credits relating solely to transactions to be executed whollywithin the [u]nited States).

This portion of Section 5 (b) specifically prohibited the government from taking control of We, the People’s money and transactions, didn’t it?

However, let us now read the remainder of Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended on March 9,1933 (Exhibit 17):

by any person within the united States or any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

Comparing the original with the amended version of Section 5 (b), we can see the full significance of the amended version, wherein the exclusion of domestic transactions from the powers of the Act was deleted, and any person became subject to the extraordinary powers conferred by the Act. Further, we can now see that the usage of the original text where the red asterisk is (above), it was, in all likelihood, meant to be deliberately misleading, if not fraudulent in nature.

Further, in the next section of the Federal Reserve Board’s proposal, we find that anyone violating any provision of this Act will be fined not more than $10,000.00, or imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both. A severe enough penalty at any time, but one made all the more harsh by the economic conditions in which most Americans found themselves at the time. And where were these alterations and amendments to be found? Not from the government itself, initially; no, they are first to be found in a proposal from the Federal Reserve Board of New York, a banking institution.

Let us recall the chronology of events: Herbert Hoover, in his last days as President of the united States, asked for a recommendation from the Federal Reserve Board of New York, and they responded with their proposals. We see that President Hoover did not act on the recommendation, and believed the actions were neither justified nor necessary (Appendix, Public Papers of Herbert Hoover, p. 1088). Let us see what happened; remember on March 4, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the united States. On March 5, 1933, President Roosevelt called for an extraordinary session of Congress to be held on March 9, 1933, as can be seen in Exhibit:

Whereas, public interests require that the Congress of the united States should be convened in extra session at twelve o’clock, noon, on the Ninth day of March, 1933, to receive such communication as may be made by the Executive.

On the next day, March 6 ,1933, President Roosevelt issued Proclamation 2039, which has been included in this report, we find the following:

Whereas there have been heavy and unwarranted withdrawals of gold and currency from our banking institutions for the purpose of hoarding . . .

Right at the beginning, we have a problem. And the problem rests in the question of who should be the judge of whether or not my gold, on deposit at the Federal Reserve, with which I have a contract which says, in effect, that I may withdraw my gold at my discretion, is being withdrawn by me in an unwarranted manner. Remember, the people of the united States were in dire economic straits at this point. If I had gold at the Federal Reserve, I would consider withdrawing as much of my gold as I needed for my family and myself a warranted action. But the decision was not left up to We, the People.

It is also important to note that it is stated that the gold is being withdrawn for the purpose of hoarding. The significance of this phrase becomes clearer when we reach Proclamation 2039, wherein the term hoarding is inserted into the amended version of Section 5 (b). The term, hoarding, was not to be found in the original version of Section 5(b) of the Act of October 6, 1917. It was a term which was used by President Roosevelt to help support his contention that the United States was in the middle of a national emergency, and his assertion that the extraordinary powers conferred to him by the War Powers Act were needed to deal with that emergency.

Let us now go on to the middle of Proclamation 2039, at the top of the next page, we find the following:

Whereas, it is provided in Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, (40 Stat. L. 411) as amended,  that the President may investigate, regulate, or prohibit, under such rules and regulations as be may prescribed, by means of licenses or otherwise, any transaction in foreign exchange and the export, hoarding, melting, or ear markings of gold or silver coin or bullion or currency . . .

exactly as was first proposed by the Federal Reserve Board of New York (Exhibit 31).

If we return to 48 Statute 1 (Exhibit 17), Title 1, Section 1, we find that the amended Section 5 (b) with its added phrase:

by any person within the united States or any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

Is this becoming clearer as to exactly what happened? On March 5, 1933, President Roosevelt called for an extra session of Congress, and on March 6, 1933, issued Proclamation 2039 . On March 9th, Roosevelt issued Proclamation 2040. We looked at Proclamation 2039(a), let’s see what Roosevelt is talking about in Proclamation 2040:

Whereas, on March 6, 1933, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, by Proclamation declared the existence of a national emergency and proclaimed a bank holiday.

We see that Roosevelt declared a national emergency and a bank holiday. Let’s read on:

Whereas, under the Act of March 9, 1933, all Proclamations heretofore or hereafter issued by the President pursuant to the authority conferred by section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1 91 7, as amended, are approved and confirmed;

This section of the Proclamation clearly states that all proclamations heretofore or hereafter issued by the President are approved and confirmed, citing the authority of section 5 (b). The key words here being all and approved. Further:

Whereas, said national emergency still continues, and it is necessary to take further measures extending beyond March 9, 1933, in order to accomplish such purposes

We again clearly see that there is more to come, evidenced by the phrase, further measures extending beyond March 9, 1933 .  Could this be the beginning of a new deal? Possibly a one-sided deal. How long can this type of action continue? Let’s find out.

Now, therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, in view of such continuing national emergency and by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917 (40 Stat. L. 411) as amended by the Act of March 9, 1933, do hereby proclaim, order, direct and declare that all the terms and provisions of said Proclamation of March 6,1933, and the regulations and orders issued there under are hereby continued in full force and effect until further proclamation by the President.

We now understand that the Proclamation 2039, of March 6, 1933 and Proclamation 2040 of March 9, 1933, will continue until such time as another proclamation is made by the President. Note that the term the President is not specific to President Roosevelt; it is a generic term which can equally apply to any President from Roosevelt to the present, and beyond.

So here we have President Roosevelt declaring a national emergency (we are now beginning to realize the full significance of those words) and closing the national banks for two days, by Executive Order. Further, he states that the Proclamations bringing about these actions will to continue in full force and effect until such time as the President, and only the President, changes the situation.

It is important to note the fact that these Proclamations were made on March 6, 1933, three days before Congress was due to convene its extra session. Yet references are made to such things as the amended Section 5 (b), which had not yet even been confirmed by Congress. President Roosevelt must have been supremely confident of Congress giving confirmation of his actions. And indeed, we find that confidence was justified. *** For on March 9, 1933, without individual Congressmen even having the opportunity to read for themselves the bill they were to confirm, Congress did indeed approve the amendment of Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917. ***

Referring to the Public Papers of Herbert Hoover:

That those speculators and insiders were right was plain enough later on. This first contract of the moneychangers with the New Deal netted those who removed their money from the country a profit of up to 60 percent when the dollar was debased.

Where had our gold gone? Our gold had already been moved offshore! The gold was not in the banks, and when We, the People lined up at the door attempting to have our contracts honored, the deception was exposed. What happened then? The laws were changed to prevent us from asking again, and the military was brought in to protect the Federal Reserve. We, the People, were declared to be the same as a public enemy in fact, and placed under military authority.

Going now to another section of 48 Statute 1:

Whenever in the judgment of the Secretary of the Treasury such action is necessary to protect the currency system of the (U)nited States, the Secretary of the Treasury, in his discretion, may require any or all individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations to pay and deliver to the Treasurer of the United States any or all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned by such individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations. Notice now to whom we refer as owning the money!

By this Statute, everyone was required to turn in their gold. Failure to do so would constitute a violation of this provision, such violation to be punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000.00 and imprisonment for not more than ten years. It was a seizure. Whose property may be seized without due process of law under the Trading With the Enemy Act? The enemy’s. Whose gold was seized? Ours  the gold of the people of the united States. Are you seeing the fraud here now?

From the Roosevelt Papers:

During this banking holiday it was at first believed that some form of scrip or emergency currency would be necessary for the conduct of ordinary business. We knew that it would be essential when the banks reopened to have an adequate supply of currency to meet all possible demands of depositors. Consideration was given by government officials and various local agencies to the advisability of issuing clearing house certificates or some similar form of local emergency currency. On March 7, 1933, the Secretary of the Treasury issued a regulation authorizing clearing houses to issue demand certificates against sound assets of the banking institutions, but this authority was not to become effective until March 10th. In many cities, the printing of these certificates was actually begun, but after the passage of the Emergency Banking Act of March 9, 1933 (48 Stat. 1), it became evident that they would not be needed, because the Act made possible the issue of the necessary amount of emergency currency in the form of Federal Reserve banknotes which could be based on any sound assets owned by banks.

Roosevelt could now issue emergency currency under the Act of March 9, 1933 and this currency was to be called Federal Reserve bank notes. From Title 4 of the Act of March 9, 1933:

Upon the deposit with the Treasurer of the United States, (a) of any direct obligations of the united States or (b) of any notes, drafts, bills of exchange, or bankers’ acceptances acquired under the provisions of this Act, any Federal reserve bank making such deposit in the manner prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury shall be entitled to receive from the Comptroller of the currency circulating notes in blank, duly registered and countersigned.

What is this saying? It says (emphasis is ours): Upon the deposit with the Treasurer of the United States, (a) of any direct obligation of the united States . That is a direct obligation of the united States? It’s a treasury note, which is an obligation upon whom? Upon We, the People, to perform. It’s a taxpayer obligation, isn’t it?

Title 4 goes on: or (b) of any notes, drafts, bills of exchange or bankers’ acceptances . .

What’s a note? If you go to the bank and sign a note on your home, that’s a note, isn’t it? A note is a private obligation upon We, the People. And if the Federal Reserve Bank deposits either (a) public and/or (b) private obligation of We, the People, with the Treasury, the Comptroller of the currency will issue this circulating note endorsed in blank, duly registered and countersigned, an emergency currency based on the (a) public and/or (b) private obligations of the people of the united States.

In the Congressional Record of March 9, 1933, we find evidence that our congressmen didn’t even have individual copies of the bill to read, on which they were about to vote. A copy of the bill was passed around for approximately 40 minutes.

(To be Continued with Congressman McFadden made a comment ).

Congressman McFadden made the comment:

Mr. Speaker, I regret that the membership of the House has had no opportunity to consider or even read this bill. The first opportunity I had to know what this legislation is, was when it was read from the clerk’s desk. It is an important banking bill. It is a dictatorship over finance in the united States. It is complete control over the banking system in the united States . It is difficult under the circumstances to discuss this bill. The first section of the bill, as I grasped it, is practically the war powers that were given back in 1917.

Congressman McFadden later goes on to say:

I would like to ask the chairman of the committee if this is a plan to change the holding of the security back of the Federal Reserve notes to the Treasury of the united States rather than the Federal Reserve agent.

Keep in mind, here, that, prior to 1933, the Federal Reserve bank held our gold as security, in return for Federal Reserve gold notes which we could redeem at any time we wanted. Now, however, Congressman McFadden is asking if this proposed bill is a plan to change who’s going to hold the security, from the Federal Reserve to the Treasury.

Chairman Steagall’s response to Congressman McFadden’s question, again from the Congressional Record:

This provision is for the issuance of Federal Reserve bank notes; and not for Federal Reserve notes; and the security back of it is the obligations, notes, drafts, bills of exchange, bank acceptances, outlined in the section to which the gentleman has referred.

We were backed by gold, and our gold was seized, wasn’t it? We were penniless, and now our money would be secured, not by gold, but by notes and obligations on which We, the People, were the collateral security.

Congressman McFadden then questioned,

Then the new circulation is to be Federal Reserve bank notes and not Federal Reserve notes. Is that true?

Mr. Steagall replied,

Insofar as the provisions of this section are concerned, yes.

Does that sound familiar?

Next we hear from Congressman Britten, as noted in the Congressional Record:

From my observations of the bill as it was read to the House, it would appear that the amount of bank notes that might be issued by the Federal Reserve System is not limited. That will depend entirely upon the amount of collateral that is presented from time to time for exchange for bank notes. Is that not correct?

What is the collateral that underwrites the debt?

(Our negotiable signature or voluntary acceptance of debt instruments which represents our ability to produce goods and services into the indefinite future.) We have no rights nor privileges in Admiralty, we as a natural/biological party can’t even be acknowledged in admiralty proceedings, the court can’t ever acknowledge our presence. (Our assigned and colorable public vessel however does have such privileges and we MUST do commerce through this vessel, to do business in general.) Our rights remain in a separate and limited jurisdiction foreign to admiralty, which is also termed to be Civil in nature. Our ability to produce goods and services underwrites and monetizes all offers of unsecured debt made to us by the insolvent United States Inc. So called credit money once issued to a federal reserve bank as unsecured debt and in the form of federal reserve notes, become monitized the moment these as yet un-circulated notes pass from the fed bank, into our hands and we voluntarily accept them as legal tender.

Congressman Patman, speaking from the Congressional Record (Exhibit 40):

The money will be worth 100 cents on the dollar because it is backed by the credit of the Nation. It will represent a mortgage on all the homes and other property of all the people in the Nation.

It now is no wonder that credit became so available after the Depression. It was needed to back our monetary system. Our debts, our obligations, our homes, our jobs “œ To those who don’t understand the debtor scheme, we appear to be economic slaves for the system and held to a condition of involuntary bankruptcy and thereby, peonage.

From Statutes at Large, in the Congressional Record:

When required to do so by the Secretary of the Treasury, each Federal Reserve agent shall act as agent of the Treasurer of the United States or of the Comptroller of the currency, or both, for the performance of any functions which the Treasurer or the Comptroller may be called upon to perform in carrying out the provisions of this paragraph.

The Treasury was taken over by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Holding companies, the Depository Trust Co. and the CEDE Co., hold the assets.

To summarize briefly: On March 9,1933 the American people in all their domestic, daily, and commercial transactions became the same as the enemy if they were not joined in a limited public private joint venture with the United States Inc, the insolvent party in this joint venture.

And we know that current law, to this day, says that all proclamations issued heretofore or hereafter by the President or the Secretary of the Treasury are approved and confirmed by Congress.

On March 11, 1933, President Roosevelt, in his first radio Fireside Chat (Exhibit 42), makes the following statement:

The Secretary of the Treasury will issue licenses to banks which are members of the Federal Reserve system, whether national bank or state, located in each of the 12 Federal Reserve bank cities, to open Monday morning.

It was by this action that the Federal Reserve took over the Treasury and the banking system.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines the Bank Holiday of 1933 (Exhibit 42a) in the following words:

Presidential Proclamations No. 2039, issued March 6, 1933, and No. 2040, issued March 9, 1933, temporarily suspended banking transactions by member banks of the Federal Reserve System. Normal banking functions were resumed on March 13, subject to certain restrictions. The first proclamation, it was held, had no authority in law until the passage on March 9, 1933, of a ratifying act (12 U. S. C. A. Sect. 95b). Anthony v. Bank of Wiggins, 183 Miss. 883, 184 So. 626.

The present law forbids member banks of the Federal Reserve System to transact banking business, except under regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury, during an emergency proclaimed by the President. 12 U.S.C.A. Sect. 95.

Take special note of the last sentence of this definition, especially the phrase, present law. The fact that banks are under regulation of the Treasury today, is evidence that the state of emergency still exists, by virtue of the definition. Not that, at this point, we need any more evidence to prove we are still in a declared state of national emergency.

From the Agricultural Adjustment Act of May 12,1933 (Exhibit 43):

To issue licenses permitting processors, associations of producers and others to engage in the handling, in the current of interstate or foreign commerce, of any agricultural commodity or product thereof . . .

This is the seizure of the agricultural industry by means of licensing authority.

In the first hundred days of the reign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, similar seizures by licensing authority were successfully completed by the government over a plethora of other industries, among them transportation, communications, public utilities, securities, oil, labor, and all natural resources. The first hundred days of FDR saw the nationalization of the united States, its people and its assets. What has Bill Clinton talked about during his campaign and early presidency? His first hundred days.

Now, we know that they took over all contracts, for we have already read in Exhibit 22:

No contract is considered as valid as between enemies, at least so far as to give them a remedy in the courts of law of either government, and they have,

in the language of civil law, no ability to sustain a persona standi in judicio.

The enemy has no personal rights at law or statute. Therefore, we should expect that we would see in the statutes a time when the contract between the Federal Reserve and We, the People, in which the Federal Reserve had to give us our gold on demand, was made null and void.

Referring to House Joint Resolution 192 (June 5, 1933) :

That (a) every provision contained in or made with respect to any obligation which purports to give the obligee a right to require payment in gold or a particular kind of coin or currency, or in an amount of money of the united States measured thereby is declared to be against public policy; and no such policy shall be contained in or made with respect to any obligation hereafter incurred.

Indeed, our contract with the Federal Reserve was invalidated at the end of Roosevelt’s hundred days. We lost our right to require our gold back from the bank in which we had deposited it.

Returning once again to the Roosevelt Papers:

This conference of fifty farm leaders met on March 10, 1933. They agreed on recommendations for a bill, which were presented to me at the White House on March 11th by a committee of the conference, who requested me to call upon the Congress for the same broad powers to meet the emergency in agriculture as I had requested for solving the bank crisis.

What was the broad powers? That was the War Powers, wasn’t it? And now we see the farm leaders asking President Roosevelt to use the same War Powers to take control of the agricultural industry. Well, needless to say, he did. We should wonder about all that took place at this conference, for it to result in the eventual acquiescence of farm leadership to the governmental take-over of their livelihoods.

Reading from the Agricultural Adjustment Act, May the 12th, Declaration of Emergency:

That the present acute economic emergency being in part the consequence of a severe and increasing disparity between the prices of agriculture and other commodities, which disparity has largely destroyed the purchasing power of farmers for industrial products, has broken down the orderly exchange of commodities, and has seriously impaired the agricultural assets supporting the national credit structure, it is hereby declared that these conditions in the basic industry of agriculture have affected transactions in agricultural commodities with a national public interest, have burdened and obstructed the normal currents of commerce in such commodities and rendered imperative the immediate enactment of Title 1 of this Act.

Now here we see that he is saying that the agricultural assets support the national credit structure. Did he take the titles of all the land? Remember Contracts Payable in Gold? President Roosevelt needed the support, and agriculture was critical, because of all the millions of acres of farmland at that time, and the value of that farmland. The mortgage on that farmland was what supported the emergency credit. So President Roosevelt had to do something to stabilize the price of land and Federal Reserve Bank notes to create money, didn’t he? So he impressed agriculture into the public interest.

The farming industry was nationalized.

Continuing with the Agricultural Adjustment Act, Declaration of Emergency

It is hereby declared to be the public policy of Congress.

Referring now back to Prize Cases (1862) (2 Black, 674) (Exhibit 24):

But in defining the meaning of the term enemies’ property,’ we will be led into error if we refer to Fleta or Lord Coke for their definition of the word, enemy’. It is a technical phrase peculiar to prize courts, and depends upon principles of public policy as distinguished from the common law.

Once the emergency is declared, the common law is abolished, the Constitution is abolished and we fall under the absolute will of Government public policy.

All the government needs to continue is to have public opinion on their side. If public opinion can be kept, in sufficient degree, on the side of the government, statutes, laws and regulations can continue to be passed. The Constitution has no meaning. The Constitution is suspended. It has been for over 60 years. We’re not under law. Law has been abolished.

We’re under a system of public policy, (War Powers).

So when you go into that courtroom with your Constitution and the common law in your hand, what does that judge tell you? He tells you that you have no persona standi in judicio. You have no personal standing at law. He tells you not to bother bringing the Constitution into his court, because it is not a Constitutional court, but an executive tribunal operating under a totally different jurisdiction.

Statutory/admiralty courts have no jurisdiction over you personally unless you volunteer by traverse and grant personum jurisdiction out of ignorance. Judge Bork once made the comment in a public appearance that over 90% of the people in prison today, volunteered to be there. The named or charged party is never you. The named party is however, the colorable/fictional public vessel assigned to you bearing a bastardized version of your given name in styled in ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS.

This slight of administrative hand is the subtle process employed by the courts to cause you to traverse by answering as the vessel, rather than for the vessel as the vessels authorized representative. When in an admiralty proceeding and the vessel name is called and you erroneously answer in such manner that you believe you are the one being addressed, you have given yourself over to the court.

A quick suggestion in how to respond to a court proceeding in which your public vessel is of course the named party:

When the bastardized version of your name is called, you say nothing, but simply stand up and remain silent until spoke to. The judge will ask the obvious question: Are you JOHN Q DOE” You say: No, I’m not, I am however the authorized representative for the named party and public vessel JOHN Q DOE.

The judge will probably ask if you’re JOHN Q DOE’S attorney. You would say: No I’m not, I am however, the Master of this named and colorable Public Vessel JOHN Q DOE and am here to settle and honorably close this particular account. What is owed and who am I to make the check out to?

According to the judge, the above will of course vary to some degree and you’ll have to be prepared to deal with those variations. Understanding the debtor scheme is how you are going to be prepared to deal with a judge that will try to lead you into a jurisdictional traverse.

From Section 93-549:

Under this procedure we retain Government by operation of law special, temporary law, perhaps, but law nonetheless. The public may know the extent and the limitations of the powers that can be asserted, and the persons affected may be informed by the statute of their rights and their duties.

Again from 93-549, from the words of Mr. Katzenbach:

My recollection is that almost every executive order ever issued straddles on several grounds, but it almost always includes the Trading With the Enemy Act because the language of that act is so broad, it would justify almost anything.

Speaking on the subject of a challenge to the Act by the people, Justice Clark then says,

Most difficult from a standpoint of standing to sue. The Court, you might say, has enlarged the standing rule in favor of the litigant. But I don’t think it has reached the point, presently, that would permit many such cases to be litigated to the merits.

Senator Church then made the comment:

What you’re saying, then, is that if Congress doesn’t act to standardize, restrict, or eliminate the emergency powers, that no one else is very likely to get a standing in court to contest.

No persona standi in judicio no personal standing in the courts to challenge the Trading With the Enemy Act.

(Thereby, out of necessity and due to the above referenced denial of standing to sue, cause is given for relief, to rebut any and all presumption that this presenter is, or acts as an enemy of the foreign forum, the United States, an insolvent body corporate.)

Continuing with Senate Report 93-549:

The interesting aspect of the legislation lies in the fact that it created a permanent agency designed to eradicate an emergency condition in the sphere of agriculture.

These agencies, of which there are now thousands, and which now control every aspect of our lives, were ostensibly created as temporary agencies meant to last only as long as the national emergency. They have become, in fact, permanent agencies, as has the state of national emergency itself. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said: We will never go back to the old order. That quote takes on a different meaning in light of what we have seen so far.

In Senate Report 93-549, we find a quote from Senator Church:

If the President can create crimes by fiat and without congressional approval, our system is not much different from that of the Communists, which allegedly threatens our existence.

We see on this same document, at the bottom right-hand side of the page, as a Title, the words,

Enormous Scope of Powers.A Time Bomb.

Remember, this is Congress’ own document, from the year 1973.

Most people might not look to agriculture to provide them with this type of information. But let us look at Title III of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which is also called the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act of 1933:

Title III Financing And Exercising Power Conferred by Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution: To Coin Money And To Regulate the Value Thereof.

From Section 43 of Exhibit 52:

Whenever the President finds upon investigation that the foreign commerce of the united States is adversely affected . and an expansion of credit is necessary to secure by international agreement a stabilization at proper levels of the currencies of various governments, the President is authorized, in his discretion. To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to enter into agreements with the several Federal Reserve banks.

Remember that in the Constitution it states that Congress has the authority to coin all money and regulate the value thereof. How can it be then that the Executive branch is issuing an emergency currency, and quoting the Constitution as its authority to do so?

Under Section 1 of the same Act we find the following:

To direct the Secretary of the Treasury to cause to be issued in such amount or amounts as he may from time to time order, United States notes, as provided in the Act entitled An Act to authorize the issue of United States notes and for the redemption of funding thereof and for funding the floating debt of the united States, approved February 25, 1862, and Acts supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof

What is the Act of February 25, 1862? It is the Greenback Act of President Abraham Lincoln. Let us remember that, when Abraham Lincoln was elected and inaugurated, he didn’t even have a Congress for the first six weeks. He did not, however, call an extra session of Congress. He issued money, he declared war, he suspended habeas corpus, it was an absolute Constitutional dictatorship. There was not even a Congress in session for six weeks.

When Lincoln’s Congress came into session six weeks later, they entered the following statement into the Congressional record: The actions, rules, regulations, licenses, heretofore or hereafter taken, are hereby approved and confirmed. This is the exact language of March 9,1933 and Title 12, USC, Section 95 (b), today.

We now come to the question of how to terminate these extraordinary powers granted under a declaration of national emergency. We have learned that, in order for the extraordinary powers to be terminated, the national emergency itself must be cancelled. Reading from the Agricultural Act, Section 13:

This title shall cease to be in effect whenever the President finds and proclaims that the national economic emergency in relation to agriculture has been ended.

Whenever the President finds by proclamation that the proclamation issued on March 6, 1933 has terminated, it has to terminate through presidential proclamation just as it came into effect. Congress had already delegated all of that authority, and therefore is in no position to take it back.

In Senate Report 93-549, we find the following statement from Congress:

Furthermore, it would be largely futile task unless we have the President’s active collaboration. Having delegated this authority to the President  in ways that permit him to determine how long it shall continue, simply through the device of keeping emergency declarations alive  we now find ourselves in a position where we cannot reclaim the power without the President’s acquiescence. We are unable to terminate these declarations without the President’s signature, so we need a large measure of Presidential cooperation.

It appears that no President has been willing to give up this extraordinary power, and, if they will not sign the termination proclamation, the access to and usage of, extraordinary powers does not terminate. At least, it has not terminated for over 65 years.

Now, that’s no definite indication that a President from Bill Clinton on might not eventually sign the termination proclamation, but 65 years of experience would lead one to doubt that day will ever come by itself. But the question now to ask is this: How many times have We, the People, asked the President to terminate his access to extraordinary powers, or the situation on which it is based, the declared national emergency? Who has ever demanded that this be done? How many of us even knew that it had been done? And, without the knowledge contained in this report, how long do you think the blindness of the American public to this situation would have continued, and with it, the abolishment of the Constitution? But we’re not quite as in the dark as we were, are we?

In Senate Report 93-549, we find the following statement from Senator Church:

These powers, if exercised, would confer upon the President total authority to do anything he pleased.

Elsewhere in Senate Report 93-549, Senator Church makes the remarkable statement:

Like a loaded gun laying around the house, the plethora of delegated authority and institutions to meet almost every kind of conceivable crisis stand ready for use for purposes other than their original intention . Machiavelli, in his Discourses of Livy, acknowledged that great power may have to be given to the Executive if the State is to survive, but warned of great dangers in doing so. He cautioned: Nor is it sufficient if this power be conferred upon good men; for men are frail, and easily corrupted, and then in a short time, he that is absolute may easily corrupt the people.

Now, a quote from an exclusive reply written May 21, 1973, by the Attorney General of the United States regarding studies undertaken by the Justice Department on the question of the termination of the standing national emergency:

As a consequence, a national emergency is now a practical necessity in order to carry out what has the regular and normal method of governmental actions. What were intended by Congress as delegations of power to be used only in the most extreme situations, and for the most limited durations, have become everyday powers, and a state of emergency has become a permanent condition.

From United States v. Butler (Supreme Court, 1936):

A tax, in the general understanding and in the strict Constitutional sense, is an exaction for the support of government; the term does not connote the expropriation of money from one group to be expended for another, as a necessary means in a plan of regulation, such as the plan for regulating agricultural production set up in the Agricultural Adjustment Act.

What is being said here is that a tax can all be an exaction for the support of government, not for an expropriation from one group for the use of another. That would be socialism, wouldn’t it?

Quoting further from United States v. Butler:

The regulation of farmer’s activities under the statute, though in form subject to his own will, is in fact coercion through economic pressure; his right of choice is illusory.

Even if a farmer’s consent were purely voluntary, the Act would stand no better. At best it is a scheme for purchasing with federal funds submission to federal regulation of a subject reserved to the states.

Speaking of contracts, those contracts are coercion contracts. They are adhesion contracts made by a superior over an inferior. They are under the belligerent capacity of government over enemies crafted by artifice. They are not valid contracts.

Again from United States v. Butler:

If the novel view of the General Welfare Clause now advanced in support of the tax were accepted, this clause would not only enable Congress to supplant the states in the regulation of agriculture and all other industries as well, but would furnish the means whereby all of the other provisions of the Constitution, sedulously framed to define and limit the powers of the United States and preserve the powers of the states, could be broken down, the independence of the individual states obliterated, and The Federal United States converted into a central government exercising uncontrolled police power throughout the union superseding all local control over local concerns.

Please, read the above paragraph again. The understanding of its meaning is vital.

The United States Supreme Court ruled the New Deal, the nationalization, unconstitutional in the Agricultural Adjustment Act and they turned it down flat.

The Supreme Court declared it to be unconstitutional. They said, in effect, You’re turning the federal government into an uncontrolled police state, exercising uncontrolled police power.

What did Roosevelt do next? He stacked the Supreme Court, didn’t he? And in 1937, United States v. Butler was overturned. Roosevelt knew exactly what he was doing.

From the 65th Congress, 1st Session Doc. 87, under the section entitled Constitutional Sources of Laws of War, Page 7, Clause II, we find the following:

The existence of war and the restoration of peace are to be determined by the political department of the government, and such determination is binding and conclusive upon the courts, and deprives the courts of the power of hearing proof and determining as a question of fact either that war exists or has ceased to exist.

The courts will tell you that is a political question, for they (the courts) do not have jurisdiction over the common law. (And the common law is the law of men, not fictions.)

The courts were deprived of the Constitution. They were deprived of the common law. The courts of today, are now courts of prize over the enemies, and we the American people have no persona standi in judicio. We have no personal standing under the statute law. Also from the 65th Congress, under the section entitled Constitutional Sources of Laws of War, we find:

When the sovereign authority shall choose to bring it into operation, the judicial department must give effect to its will. But until that will shall be expressed, no power of condemnation can exist in the court.

So . . . . WE THE PEOPLE are, and remain the SOVEREIGN power under the Constitution for the united States.

From Senate Report 93-549:

Just how effective a limitation on crisis action this makes of the court is hard to say. In light of the recent war, the court today would seem to be a fairly harmless observer of the emergency activities of the President and Congress. It is highly unlikely that the separation of powers and the 10th Article of Amendment will be called upon again to hamstring the efforts of the government to deal resolutely with a serious national emergency.

So much for our Constitutional system of checks and balances. And from that same Senate Report, in the section entitled, Emergency Administration, a continuation:

Organizationally, in dealing with the depression, it was Roosevelt’s general policy to assign new, emergency functions to newly created agencies, rather than to already existing departments.

Thus, thousands of temporary emergency agencies are now sitting out there with emergency functions to rule us with extreme prejudice in all cases whatsoever and whenever they so summarily chose.

Finally, let us look briefly at the courts, specifically with regard to the question of booty. The following definition of the term, prize is to be found in Bouvier’s Law Dictionary:

Goods taken on land from a public enemy are called booty; and the distinction between a prize and booty consists in this, that the former is taken at sea and the latter on land.

This significance of the distinction between these two terms is critical, a fact which will become quite clear shortly.

Let us now remember that Congress shall have the power to make rules on all captures on the land and the water. To reiterate, captures on the land are booty, and captures on the water are prize.

Now, the Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to provide and maintain a navy, even during peacetime. It also says that Congress shall have the power to raise and support an army, but no appropriations of money for that purpose shall be for greater than two years. Here we can see that an army is not a permanent standing body, because, in times of peace, armies were held by the sovereign states as militia. So the United States had a navy during peacetime, but no standing army; we had instead the individual state militias, both organized and unorganized.

Consequently, the federal government had a standing prize court, due to the fact that it had a standing navy, whether in times of peace or war

But in times of peace, there could be no federal police power over the continental united States, because there was to be no army, and NO jurisdiction over Sovereign American citizens!

From the report The Law of Civil Government in Territory Subject to Military Occupation by Military Forces of the United States, published by order of the Secretary of War in 1902, under the heading entitled The Confiscation of Private Property of Enemies in War, comes the following quote:

4. Should the President desire to utilize the services of the Federal courts of the *united States* in promoting this purpose or military undertaking, since these courts derive their jurisdiction from Congress and do not constitute a part of the military establishment, they must secure from Congress the necessary action to confer such jurisdiction upon said courts.

This means that, if the government is going to confiscate property within the continental united States on the land (booty), it must obtain the statutory authority of the Congress.

In this same section, we find the following words:

5. The laws and usages of war make a distinction between enemies’ property captured on the sea and property captured on land. The jurisdiction of the courts of the united States over property captured at sea is held not to attach to property captured on land in the absence of Congressional action.

There is no standing prize court over the land. Once war is declared, Congress must give jurisdiction to particular courts over captures on the land by positive Congressional action. To continue:

The right of confiscation is a sovereign right. In times of peace, the exercise of this right is limited and controlled by the domestic Constitution and institutions of the government.

In times of war, when the right is exercised against enemies’ property as a war measure, such right becomes a belligerent right, and as such is not subject to the restrictions imposed by domestic institutions, but is regulated and controlled by the laws and usages of war. This belligerent approach is consistent with the summary actions of the IRS when seizing property interest throughout the country and bypassing administrative and procedural mandates.

So we see that our government can operate in two capacities: (a) in its sovereign peacetime capacity, with the limitations placed upon it by the Constitution and restrictions placed upon it by We, the People, or (b) in a wartime capacity, where it may operate in its belligerent capacity governed not by the Constitution, but only by the laws of war.

In Section 17 of the Act of October 6, 1917, the Trading With the Enemy Act:

That the district courts of the United States are hereby given jurisdiction to make and enter all such rules as to notice and otherwise; and all such orders and decrees; and to issue such process as may be necessary and proper in the premises to enforce the provisions of this Act.

Here we have Congress conferring upon the district courts of the United States the booty jurisdiction, the jurisdiction over enemy property within the continental united States. And at the time of the original, un-amended, Trading with the Enemy Act, we were indeed at war, a World war, and so booty jurisdiction over enemies’ property in the courts was appropriate. At that time, remember, we were not yet declared the enemy. We were excluded from the provisions of the original Act.

In 1934 Congress passed an Act merging equity and law abolishing common law.

This Act, known as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures Act, was not to come into effect until 6 months after the letter of transmittal from the Supreme Court to Congress. The Supreme Court refused transmittal and the transmittal did not occur until Franklin D. Roosevelt stacked the Supreme Court in 1938.

But on March the 9th of 1933, the American people were declared to be the public enemy under the amended version of the Trading With the Enemy Act.

What jurisdiction were We, the People, then placed under? We were now the booty jurisdiction given to the district courts by Congress. (Being in commercial dishonor activates this booty jurisdiction.) It would no longer be necessary , or of any value at all, to bring the Constitution for the United States with us upon entering a booty courtroom, for that court was no longer a court of common law or Article III Court, but a tribunal under wartime booty jurisdiction. Take a look at the American flag in most American courtrooms. The gold fringe around our flag designates the Admiralty or wartime jurisdiction.

Executive Order No. 11677 issued by President Richard M. Nixon August 1, 1972 states:

Continuing the Regulation of Exports; By virtue of the authority vested in the President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended (12 U.S.C. 95a), and in view of the continued existence of the national emergencies.

Later, in the same Executive Order, we find the following: under the authority vested in me as President of the United States by Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended (12 U. S. C. 95a)

Section 5 (b) certainly seems to be an oft-cited support for Presidential authority, doesn’t it? Surely the reason for this can be found by referring back to the words of Mr. Katzenbach in Senate Report 93-549:

My recollection is that almost every executive order ever issued straddles on several grounds, but it almost always includes the Trading With the Enemy Act because the language of that act is so broad, it would justify almost anything.

The question here, and it should be a question of grave concern to every Sovereign American, is what type of acts can almost anything cover? What has been, and is being, done, by our government under the cloak of authority conferred by Section 5 (b)? By now, I think we are beginning to know.

Has the termination of the national emergency ever been considered? In Public Law 94412, September 14, 1976, we find that Congress had finally finished their exhaustive study on the national emergencies, and the words of their findings were that they would terminate the existing national emergencies. We should be able to heave a sigh of relief at this decision, for with the termination of the national emergencies will come the corresponding termination of extraordinary Presidential power, won’t it?

But yet we have learned two difficult lessons: that we are still in the national emergency, and that power, once grasped, is difficult to let go. And so now it should come as no surprise when we read, in the last section of the Act, Section 502, the following words:

(a): The provisions of this Act shall not apply to the following provisions of law, the powers and authorities conferred thereby and actions taken there under (1) Section 5 (b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended (1 2 U. S. C. 95a; 50 U. S. C. App. 5b)

The bleak reality is, the situation has not changed at all.

The alarming situation in which We, the People, find ourselves today causes us to think back to a time over two hundred years ago in our nation’s history when our forefathers were also laboring under the burden of governmental usurpation of individual rights. Their response, written in 1774, two years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to the attempts of Great Britain to retain extraordinary powers it had held during a time of war became known as the  Declaration Of Colonial Rights: Resolutions Of The First Continental Congress, October 14, 1774. And in that document, we find these words:

Whereas, since the close of the last war, the British Parliament, claiming a power of right to bind the people of America, by statute, in all cases whatsoever, hath in some acts expressly imposed taxes on them. and in others, under various pretenses, but in fact for the purpose of raising a revenue, hath imposed rates and duties payable in these colonies established a board of commissioners, with unconstitutional powers, and extended the jurisdiction of the courts of admiralty, not only for collecting the said duties, but for the trial of causes merely arising within the body of a county.

We can see now that we have come full circle to the situation which existed in 1774, but with one crucial difference. In 1774, Americans were protesting against a colonial power which sought to bind and control its colony by wartime powers in a time of peace. In 1994, it is our own government (as it was theirs) which has sought, successfully to date, to bind its own people by the same subtle, insidious method.

Article 3, Section 3, of our Constitution states:

Treason against the united States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No Person shall be convicted of treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Is the Act of March 9, 1933, treason? That would be for the common law courts to decide. At this point in our nation’s history, the point is moot, for common law, and indeed the Constitution itself, do not operate or exist at present. Whether governmental acts of theft of the nation’s money, the citizens’ property, and American liberty as an ideal and a reality which have occurred since 1933 is treason against the people of the united States, as the term is defined by the Constitution of the united States cannot even be determined or argued in the legal sense until the Constitution itself is re-established.

For My part, however, I firmly believe that, by their fruits ye shall know them, and on that superior authority I offer this Affidavit and Memorandum for cause and in support of relief and thereby, remedy both out of necessity and operation of law, declaring my foreign neutral status and thereby, persona standi in judicio and within my own court at all times ! The presumption of Enemy of the State as implemented under the Trading with the Enemy Act stands rebutted with prejudice and for cause. Droit, droit.

Albert Jay Nock – Our Enemy, the State

Albert Jay Nock

Our Enemy, the State


By Mr. Nock,


  • Jefferson,
  • On Doing the Right Thing; and other essays
  • The Theory of Education in the United States, (The Page-Barbour Lectures for 1930)
  • (Edited, with Catherine Rose Wilson) The Urquhart-Le Motteux Translation of the Works of Francis Rabelais, with introduction, critical notes and documentary illustrations
  • A Journal of These Days,
  • A Journey into Rabelais’s France,
  • Our Enemy, the State



In Memoriam
Edmund Cadwalader Evans
A sound economist, one of
the few who understand
the nature of the state

Be it or be it not true that Man is shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin, it is unquestionably true that Government is begotten of aggression, and by aggression.

Herbert Spencer, 1850.

This is the gravest danger that today threatens civilization: State intervention, the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the State; that is to say, of spontaneous historical action, which in the long-run sustains, nourishes and impels human destinies.

Jose Ortega y Gasset, 1922.

It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men.

Henry L. Mencken, 1926.


When OUR ENEMY THE STATE appeared in 1935, its literary merit rather than its philosophic content attracted attention to it. The times were not ripe for an acceptance of its predictions, still less for the argument on which these predictions were based. Faith in traditional frontier individualism had not yet been shaken by the course of events. Against this faith the argument that the same economic forces which in all times and in all nations drive toward the ascendancy of political power at the expense of social power were in operation here made little headway. That is, the feeling that “it cannot happen here” was too difficult a hurdle for the book to overcome.

By the time the first edition had run out, the development of public affairs gave the argument of the book ample testimony. In less than a decade it was evident to many Americans that their country is not immune from the philosophy which had captured European thinking. The times were proving Mr. Nock’s thesis, and by irresistable word-of-mouth advertising a demand for the book began to manifest itself just when it was no longer available. And the plates had been put to war purposes.

In 1943 he had a second edition in mind. I talked with him several times about it, urging him to elaborate on the economic ideas, since these, it seemed to me, were inadequately developed for the reader with a limited knowledge of political economy. He agreed that this ought to be done, but in a separate book, or in a second part of his book, and suggested that I try my hand at it. Nothing came of the matter because of the war. He died on August 19, 1945.

This volume is an exact duplication of the first edition. He intended to make some slight changes, principally, as he told me, in the substitution of current illustrations for those which might carry less weight with the younger reader. As for the sequel stressing economics, this will have to be done. At any rate, OUR ENEMY THE STATE needs no support.

Frank Chodorov
New York City, May 28th, 1946


If we look beneath the surface of our public affairs, we can discern one fundamental fact, namely: a great redistribution of power between society and the State. This is the fact that interests the student of civilization. He has only a secondary or derived interest in matters like price-fixing, wage-fixing, inflation, political banking, “agricultural adjustment,” and similar items of State policy that fill the pages of newspapers and the mouths of publicists and politicians. All these can be run up under one head. They have an immediate and temporary importance, and for this reason they monopolize public attention, but they all come to the same thing; which is, an increase of State power and a corresponding decrease of social power.It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power.

Moreover, it follows that with any exercise of State power, not only the exercise of social power in the same direction, but the disposition to exercise it in that direction, tends to dwindle. Mayor Gaynor astonished the whole of New York when he pointed out to a correspondent who had been complaining about the inefficiency of the police, that any citizen has the right to arrest a malefactor and bring him before a magistrate. “The law of England and of this country,” he wrote, “has been very careful to confer no more right in that respect upon policemen and constables than it confers on every citizen.” State exercise of that right through a police force had gone on so steadily that not only were citizens indisposed to exercise it, but probably not one in ten thousand knew he had it.

Heretofore in this country sudden crises of misfortune have been met by a mobilization of social power. In fact (except for certain institutional enterprises like the home for the aged, the lunatic-asylum, city-hospital and county-poorhouse) destitution, unemployment, “depression” and similar ills, have been no concern of the State, but have been relieved by the application of social power. Under Mr. Roosevelt, however, the State assumed this function, publicly announcing the doctrine, brand-new in our history, that the State owes its citizens a living. Students of politics, of course, saw in this merely an astute proposal for a prodigious enhancement of State power; merely what, as long ago as 1794, James Madison called “the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in the government”; and the passage of time has proved that they were right. The effect of this upon the balance between State power and social power is clear, and also its effect of a general indoctrination with the idea that an exercise of social power upon such matters is no longer called for.

It is largely in this way that the progressive conversion of social power into State power becomes acceptable and gets itself accepted. (1) When the Johnstown flood occurred, social power was immediately mobilized and applied with intelligence and vigour. Its abundance, measured by money alone, was so great that when everything was finally put in order, something like a million dollars remained. If such a catastrophe happened now, not only is social power perhaps too depleted for the like exercise, but the general instinct would be to let the State see to it. Not only has social power atrophied to that extent, but the disposition to exercise it in that particular direction has atrophied with it. If the State has made such matters its business, and has confiscated the social power necessary to deal with them, why, let it deal with them. We can get some kind of rough measure of this general atrophy by our own disposition when approached by a beggar. Two years ago we might have been moved to give him something; today we are moved to refer him to the State’s relief-agency. The State has said to society, You are either not exercising enough power to meet the emergency, or are exercising it in what I think is an incompetent way, so I shall confiscate your power, and exercise it to suit myself. Hence when a beggar asks us for a quarter, our instinct is to say that the State has already confiscated our quarter for his benefit, and he should go to the State about it.

Every positive intervention that the State makes upon industry and commerce has a similar effect. When the State intervenes to fix wages or prices, or to prescribe the conditions of competition, it virtually tells the enterpriser that he is not exercising social power in the right way, and therefore it proposes to confiscate his power and exercise it according to the State’s own judgment of what is best. Hence the enterpriser’s instinct is to let the State look after the consequences. As a simple illustration of this, a manufacturer of a highly specialized type of textiles was saying to me the other day that he had kept his mill going at a loss for five years because he did not want to turn his workpeople on the street in such hard times, but now that the State had stepped in to tell him how he must run his business, the State might jolly well take the responsibility.

The process of converting social power into State power may perhaps be seen at its simplest in cases where the State’s intervention is directly competitive. The accumulation of State power in various countries has been so accelerated and diversified within the last twenty years that we now see the State functioning as telegraphist, telephonist, match-pedlar, radio-operator, cannon-founder, railway-builder and owner, railway-operator, wholesale and retail tobacconist, shipbuilder and owner, chief chemist, harbour-maker and dockbuilder, housebuilder, chief educator, newspaper-proprietor, food-purveyor, dealer in insurance, and so on through a long list. (2) It is obvious that private forms of these enterprises must tend to dwindle in proportion as the energy of the State’s encroachments on them increases, for the competition of social power with State power is always disadvantaged, since the State can arrange the terms of competition to suit itself, even to the point of outlawing any exercise of social power whatever in the premises; in other words, giving itself a monopoly. Instances of this expedient are common; the one we are probably best acquainted with is the State’s monopoly of letter-carrying. Social power is estopped by sheer fiat from application to this form of enterprise, notwithstanding it could carry it on far cheaper, and, in this country at least, far better. The advantages of this monopoly in promoting the State’s interests are peculiar. No other, probably, could secure so large and well-distributed a volume of patronage, under the guise of a public service in constant use by so large a number of people; it plants a lieutenant of the State at every country-crossroad. It is by no means a pure coincidence that an administration’s chief almoner and whip-at-large is so regularly appointed Postmaster-general.

Thus the State “turns every contingency into a resource” for accumulating power in itself, always at the expense of social power; and with this it develops a habit of acquiescence in the people. New generations appear, each temperamentally adjusted – or as I believe our American glossary now has it, “conditioned” – to new increments of State power, and they tend to take the process of continuous accumulation as quite in order. All the State’s institutional voices unite in confirming this tendency; they unite in exhibiting the progressive conversion of social power into State power as something not only quite in order, but even as wholesome and necessary for the public good.




In the United States at the present time, the principal indexes of the increase of State power are three in number. First, the point to which the centralization of State authority has been carried. Practically all the sovereign rights and powers of the smaller political units – all of them that are significant enough to be worth absorbing – have been absorbed by the federal unit; nor is this all. State power has not only been thus concentrated at Washington, but it has been so far concentrated into the hands of the Executive that the existing regime is a regime of personal government. It is nominally republican, but actually monocratic; a curious anomaly, but highly characteristic of a people little gifted with intellectual integrity. Personal government is not exercised here in the same ways as in Italy, Russia or Germany, for there is as yet no State interest to be served by so doing, but rather the contrary; while in those countries there is. But personal government is always personal government; the mode of its exercise is a matter of immediate political expediency, and is determined entirely by circumstances.

This regime was established by a coup d’etat of a new and unusual kind, practicable only in a rich country. It was effected, not by violence, like Louis-Napoleon’s, or by terrorism, like Mussolini’s, but by purchase. It therefore presents what might be called an American variant of the coup d’tat. (3) Our national legislature was not suppressed by force of arms, like the French Assembly in 1851, but was bought out of its functions with public money; and as appeared most conspicuously in the elections of November, 1934, the consolidation of the coup d’etat was effected by the same means; the corresponding functions in the smaller units were reduced under the personal control of the Executive. (4) This is a most remarkable phenomenon; possibly nothing quite like it ever took place; and its character and implications deserve the most careful attention.

A second index is supplied by the prodigious extension of the bureaucratic principle that is now observable. This is attested prima facie by the number of new boards, bureaux and commissions set up at Washington in the last two years. They are reported as representing something like 90,000 new employs appointed outside the civil service, and the total of the federal pay-roll in Washington is reported as something over three million dollars per month. (5) This, however, is relatively a small matter. The pressure of centralization has tended powerfully to convert every official and every political aspirant in the smaller units into a venal and complaisant agent of the federal bureaucracy. This presents an interesting parallel with the state of things prevailing in the Roman Empire in the last days of the Flavian dynasty, and afterwards. The rights and practices of local self-government, which were formerly very considerable in the provinces and much more so in the municipalities, were lost by surrender rather than by suppression. The imperial bureaucracy, which up to the second century was comparatively a modest affair, grew rapidly to great size, and local politicians were quick to see the advantage of being on terms with it. They came to Rome with their hats in their hands, as governors, Congressional aspirants and such-like now go to Washington. Their eyes and thoughts were constantly fixed on Rome, because recognition and preferment lay that way; and in their incorrigible sycophancy they became, as Plutarch says, like hypochondriacs who dare not eat or take a bath without consulting their physician.

A third index is seen in the erection of poverty and mendicancy into a permanent political asset. Two years ago, many of our people were in hard straits; to some extent, no doubt, through no fault of their own, though it is now clear that in the popular view of their case, as well as in the political view, the line between the deserving poor and the undeserving poor was not distinctly drawn. Popular feeling ran high at the time, and the prevailing wretchedness was regarded with undiscriminating emotion, as evidence of some general wrong done upon its victims by society at large, rather than as the natural penalty of greed, folly or actual misdoings; which in large part it was. The State, always instinctively “turning every contingency into a resource” for accelerating the conversion of social power into State power, was quick to take advantage of this state of mind. All that was needed to organize these unfortunates into an invaluable political property was to declare the doctrine that the State owes all its citizens a living; and this was accordingly done. It immediately precipitated an enormous mass of subsidized voting-power, an enormous resource for strengthening the State at the expense of society.(6)




There is an impression that the enhancement of State power which has taken place since 1932 is provisional and temporary, that the corresponding depletion of social power is by way of a kind of emergency-loan, and therefore is not to be scrutinized too closely. There is every probability that this belief is devoid of foundation. No doubt our present regime will be modified in one way and another; indeed, it must be, for the process of consolidation itself requires it. But any essential change would be quite unhistorical, quite without precedent, and is therefore most unlikely; and by an essential change, I mean one that will tend to redistribute actual power between the State and society. (7) In the nature of things, there is no reason why such a change should take place, and every reason why it should not. We shall see various apparent recessions, apparent compromises, but the one thing we may be quite sure of is that none of these will tend to diminish actual State power.

For example, we shall no doubt shortly see the great pressure-group of politically-organized poverty and mendicancy subsidized indirectly instead of directly, because State interest can not long keep pace with the hand-over-head disposition of the masses to loot their own Treasury. The method of direct subsidy, or sheer cash-purchase, will therefore in all probability soon give way to the indirect method of what is called “social legislation”; that is, a multiplex system of State-managed pensions, insurances and indemnities of various kinds. This is an apparent recession, and when it occurs it will no doubt be proclaimed as an actual recession, no doubt accepted as such; but is it? Does it actually tend to diminish State power and increase social power? Obviously not, but quite the opposite. It tends to consolidate firmly this particular fraction of State power, and opens the way to getting an indefinite increment upon it by the mere continuous invention of new courses and developments of State-administered social legislation, which is an extremely simple business. One may add the observation for whatever its evidential value may be worth, that if the effect of progressive social legislation upon the sum-total of State power were unfavourable or even nil, we should hardly have found Prince de Bismarck and the British Liberal politicians of forty years ago going in for anything remotely resembling it.

When, therefore, the inquiring student of civilization has occasion to observe this or any other apparent recession upon any point of our present regime, (8) he may content himself with asking the one question, What effect has this upon the sum-total of State power? The answer he gives himself will show conclusively whether the recession is actual or apparent, and this is all he is concerned to know.

There is also an impression that if actual recessions do not come about of themselves, they may be brought about by the expedient of voting one political party out and another one in. This idea rests upon certain assumptions that experience has shown to be unsound; the first one being that the power of the ballot is what republican political theory makes it out to be, and that therefore the electorate has an effective choice in the matter. It is a matter of open and notorious fact that nothing like this is true. Our nominally republican system is actually built on an imperial model, with our professional politicians standing in the place of the pratorian guards; they meet from time to time, decide what can be “got away with,” and how, and who is to do it; and the electorate votes according to their prescriptions. Under these conditions it is easy to provide the appearance of any desired concession of State power, without the reality; our history shows innumerable instances of very easy dealing with problems in practical politics much more difficult than that. One may remark in this connexion also the notoriously baseless assumption that party-designations connote principles, and that party-pledges imply performance. Moreover, underlying these assumptions and all others that faith in “political action” contemplates, is the assumption that the interests of the State and the interests of society are, at least theoretically, identical; whereas in theory they are directly opposed, and this opposition invariably declares itself in practice to the precise extent that circumstances permit.

However, without pursuing these matters further at the moment, it is probably enough to observe here that in the nature of things the exercise of personal government, the control of a huge and growing bureaucracy, and the management of an enormous mass of subsidized voting-power, are as agreeable to one stripe of politician as they are to another. Presumably they interest a Republican or a Progressive as much as they do a Democrat, Communist, Farmer-Labourite, Socialist, or whatever a politician may, for electioneering purposes, see fit to call himself. This was demonstrated in the local campaigns of 1934 by the practical attitude of politicians who represented nominal opposition parties. It is now being further demonstrated by the derisible haste that the leaders of the official opposition are making towards what they call “reorganization” of their party. One may well be inattentive to their words; their actions, however, mean simply that the recent accretions of State power are here to stay, and that they are aware of it; and that, such being the case, they are preparing to dispose themselves most advantageously in a contest for their control and management. This is all that “reorganization” of the Republican party means, and all it is meant to mean; and this is in itself quite enough to show that any expectation of an essential change of regime through a change of party-administration is illusory. On the contrary, it is clear that whatever party-competition we shall see hereafter will be on the same terms as heretofore. It will be a competition for control and management, and it would naturally issue in still closer centralization, still further extension of the bureaucratic principle, and still larger concessions to subsidized voting-power. This course would be strictly historical, and is furthermore to be expected as lying in the nature of things, as it so obviously does.

Indeed, it is by this means that the aim of the collectivists seems likeliest to be attained in this country; this aim being the complete extinction of social power through absorption by the State. Their fundamental doctrine was formulated and invested with a quasi-religious sanction by the idealist philosophers of the last century; and among peoples who have accepted it in terms as well as in fact, it is expressed in formulas almost identical with theirs. Thus, for example, when Hitler says that “the State dominates the nation because it alone represents it,” he is only putting into loose popular language the formula of Hegel, that “the State is the general substance, whereof individuals are but accidents.” Or, again, when Mussolini says, “Everything for the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State,” he is merely vulgarizing the doctrine of Fichte, that “the State is the superior power, ultimate and beyond appeal, absolutely independent.”

It may be in place to remark here the essential identity of the various extant forms of collectivism. The superficial distinctions of Fascism, Bolshevism, Hitlerism, are the concern of journalists and publicists; the serious student (9) sees in them only the one root-idea of a complete conversion of social power into State power. When Hitler and Mussolini invoke a kind of debased and hoodwinking mysticism to aid their acceleration of this process, the student at once recognizes his old friend, the formula of Hegel, that “the State incarnates the Divine Idea upon earth,” and he is not hoodwinked. The journalist and the impressionable traveller may make what they will of “the new religion of Bolshevism”; the student contents himself with remarking clearly the exact nature of the process which this inculcation is designed to sanction.




This process – the conversion of social power into State power – has not been carried as far here as it has elsewhere; as it has in Russia, Italy or Germany, for example. Two things, however, are to be observed. First, that it has gone a long way, at a rate of progress which has of late been greatly accelerated. What has chiefly differentiated its progress here from its progress in other countries is its unspectacular character. Mr. Jefferson wrote in 1823 that there was no danger he dreaded so much as “the consolidation [i.e., centralization] of our government by the noiseless and therefore unalarming instrumentality of the Supreme Court.” These words characterize every advance that we have made in State aggrandizement. Each one has been noiseless and therefore unalarming, especially to a people notoriously preoccupied, inattentive and incurious. Even the coup d’etat of 1932 was noiseless and unalarming. In Russia, Italy, Germany, the coup d’etat was violent and spectacular; it had to be; but here it was neither. Under cover of a nationwide, State-managed mobilization of inane buffoonery and aimless commotion, it took place in so unspectacular a way that its true nature escaped notice, and even now is not generally understood. The method of consolidating the ensuing regime, moreover, was also noiseless and unalarming; it was merely the prosaic and unspectacular “higgling of the market,” to which a long and uniform political experience had accustomed us. A visitor from a poorer and thriftier country might have regarded Mr. Farley’s activities in the local campaigns of 1934 as striking or even spectacular, but they made no such impression on us. They seemed so familiar, so much the regular thing, that one heard little comment on them. Moreover, political habit led us to attribute whatever unfavourable comment we did hear, to interest; either partisan or monetary interest, or both. We put it down as the jaundiced judgment of persons with axes to grind; and naturally the regime did all it could to encourage this view.

The second thing to be observed is that certain formulas, certain arrangements of words, stand as an obstacle in the way of our perceiving how far the conversion of social power into State power has actually gone. The force of phrase and name distorts the identification of our own actual acceptances and acquiescences. We are accustomed to the rehearsal of certain poetic litanies, and provided their cadence be kept entire, we are indifferent to their correspondence with truth and fact. When Hegel’s doctrine of the State, for example, is restated in terms by Hitler and Mussolini, it is distinctly offensive to us, and we congratulate ourselves on our freedom from the “yoke of a dictator’s tyranny.” No American politician would dream of breaking in on our routine of litanies with anything of the kind. We may imagine, for example, the shock to popular sentiment that would ensue upon Mr. Roosevelt’s declaring publicly that “the State embraces everything, and nothing has value outside the State. The State creates right.” Yet an American politician, as long as he does not formulate that doctrine in set terms, may go further with it in a practical way than Mussolini has gone, and without trouble or question. Suppose Mr. Roosevelt should defend his regime by publicly reasserting Hegel’s dictum that “the State alone possesses rights, because it is the strongest.” One can hardly imagine that our public would get that down without a great deal of retching. Yet how far, really, is that doctrine alien to our public’s actual acquiescences? Surely not far.

The point is that in respect of the relation between the theory and the actual practice of public affairs, the American is the most un-philosophical of beings. The rationalization of conduct in general is most repugnant to him; he prefers to emotionalize it. He is indifferent to the theory of things, so long as he may rehearse his formulas; and so long as he can listen to the patter of his litanies, no practical inconsistency disturbs him – indeed, he gives no evidence of even recognizing it as an inconsistency.

The ablest and most acute observer among the many who came from Europe to look us over in the early part of the last century was the one who is for some reason the most neglected, notwithstanding that in our present circumstances, especially, he is worth more to us than all the de Tocquevilles, Bryces, Trollopes and Chateaubriands put together. This was the noted St.-Simonien and political economist, Michel Chevalier. Professor Chinard, in his admirable biographical study of John Adams, has called attention to Chevalier’s observation that the American people have “the morale of an army on the march.” The more one thinks of this, the more clearly one sees how little there is in what our publicists are fond of calling “the American psychology” that it does not exactly account for; and it exactly accounts for the trait that we are considering.

An army on the march has no philosophy; it views itself as a creature of the moment. It does not rationalize conduct except in terms of an immediate end. As Tennyson observed, there is a pretty strict official understanding against its doing so; “theirs not to reason why.” Emotionalizing conduct is another matter, and the more of it the better; it is encouraged by a whole elaborate paraphernalia of showy etiquette, flags, music, uniforms, decorations, and the careful cultivation of a very special sort of comradery. In every relation to “the reason of the thing,” however – in the ability and eagerness, as Plato puts it, “to see things as they are” – the mentality of an army on the march is merely so much delayed adolescence; it remains persistently, incorrigibly and notoriously infantile.

Past generations of Americans, as Martin Chuzzlewit left record, erected this infantilism into a distinguishing virtue, and they took great pride in it as the mark of a chosen people, destined to live forever amidst the glory of their own unparalleled achievements wie Gott in Frankreich. Mr. Jefferson Brick, General Choke and the Honourable Elijah Pogram made a first-class job of indoctrinating their countrymen with the idea that a philosophy is wholly unnecessary, and that a concern with the theory of things is effeminate and unbecoming. An envious and presumably dissolute Frenchman may say what he likes about the morale of an army on the march, but the fact remains that it has brought us where we are, and has got us what we have. Look at a continent subdued, see the spread of our industry and commerce, our railways, newspapers, finance-companies, schools, colleges, what you will! Well, if all this has been done without a philosophy, if we have grown to this unrivalled greatness without any attention to the theory of things, does it not show that philosophy and the theory of things are all moonshine, and not worth a practical people’s consideration? The morale of an army on the march is good enough for us, and we are proud of it.

The present generation does not speak in quite this tone of robust certitude. It seems, if anything, rather less openly contemptuous of philosophy; one even sees some signs of a suspicion that in our present circumstances the theory of things might be worth looking into, and it is especially towards the theory of sovereignty and rulership that this new attitude of hospitality appears to be developing. The condition of public affairs in all countries, notably in our own, has done more than bring under review the mere current practice of politics, the character and quality of representative politicians, and the relative merits of this-or-that form or mode of government. It has served to suggest attention to the one institution whereof all these forms or modes are but the several, and, from the theoretical point of view, indifferent, manifestations. It suggests that finality does not lie with consideration of species, but of genus; it does not lie with consideration of the characteristic marks that differentiate the republican State, monocratic State, constitutional, collectivist, totalitarian, Hitlerian, Bolshevist, what you will. It lies with consideration of the State itself.




There appears to be a curious difficulty about exercising reflective thought upon the actual nature of an institution into which one was born and one’s ancestors were born. One accepts it as one does the atmosphere; one’s practical adjustments to it are made by a kind of reflex. One seldom thinks about the air until one notices some change, favourable or unfavourable, and then one’s thought about it is special; one thinks about purer air, lighter air, heavier air, not about air. So it is with certain human institutions. We know that they exist, that they affect us in various ways, but we do not ask how they came to exist, or what their original intention was, or what primary function it is that they are actually fulfilling; and when they affect us so unfavourably that we rebel against them, we contemplate substituting nothing beyond some modification or variant of the same institution. Thus colonial America, oppressed by the monarchical State, brings in the republican State; Germany gives up the republican State for the Hitlerian State; Russia exchanges the monocratic State for the collectivist State; Italy exchanges the constitutionalist State for the “totalitarian” State.

It is interesting to observe that in the year 1935 the average individual’s incurious attitude towards the phenomenon of the State is precisely what his attitude was towards the phenomenon of the Church in the year, say, 1500. The State was then a very weak institution; the Church was very strong. The individual was born into the Church, as his ancestors had been for generations, in precisely the formal, documented fashion in which he is now born into the State. He was taxed for the Church’s support, as he now is for the State’s support. He was supposed to accept the official theory and doctrine of the Church, to conform to its discipline, and in a general way to do as it told him; again, precisely the sanctions that the State now lays upon him. If he were reluctant or recalcitrant, the Church made a satisfactory amount of trouble for him, as the State now does. Notwithstanding all this, it does not appear to have occurred to the Church-citizen of that day, any more than it occurs to the State-citizen of the present, to ask what sort of institution it was that claimed his allegiance. There it was; he accepted its own account of itself, took it as it stood, and at its own valuation. Even when he revolted, fifty years later, he merely exchanged one form or mode of the Church for another, the Roman for the Calvinist, Lutheran, Zuinglian, or what not; again, quite as the modern State-citizen exchanges one mode of the State for another. He did not examine the institution itself, nor does the State-citizen today.

My purpose in writing is to raise the question whether the enormous depletion of social power which we are witnessing everywhere does not suggest the importance of knowing more than we do about the essential nature of the institution that is so rapidly absorbing this volume of power. (10) One of my friends said to me lately that if the public-utility corporations did not mend their ways, the State would take over their business and operate it. He spoke with a curiously reverent air of finality. Just so, I thought, might a Church-citizen, at the end of the fifteenth century, have spoken of some impending intervention of the Church; and I wondered then whether he had any better-informed and closer-reasoned theory of the State than his prototype had of the Church. Frankly, I am sure he had not. His pseudo-conception was merely an unreasoned acceptance of the State on its own terms and at its own valuation; and in this acceptance he showed himself no more intelligent, and no less, than the whole mass of State-citizenry at large.

It appears to me that with the depletion of social power going on at the rate it is, the State-citizen should look very closely into the essential nature of the institution that is bringing it about. He should ask himself whether he has a theory of the State, and if so, whether he can assure himself that history supports it. He will not find this a matter that can be settled offhand; it needs a good deal of investigation, and a stiff exercise of reflective thought. He should ask, in the first place, how the State originated, and why; it must have come about somehow, and for some purpose. This seems an extremely easy question to answer, but he will not find it so. Then he should ask what it is that history exhibits continuously as the State’s primary function. Then, whether he finds that ” the State” and “government” are strictly synonymous terms; he uses them as such, but are they? Are there any invariable characteristic marks that differentiate the institution of government from the institution of the State? Then finally he should decide whether, by the testimony of history, the State is to be regarded as, in essence, a social or an anti-social institution?

It is pretty clear now that if the Church-citizen of 1500 had put his mind on questions as fundamental as these, his civilization might have had a much easier and pleasanter course to run; and the State-citizen of today may profit by his experience.


Footnotes to Chapter 1

1 The result of a questionnaire published in July, 1935, showed 76.8 per cent of the replies favourable to the idea that it is the State’s duty to see that every person who wants a job shall have one; 20.1 per cent were against it, and 3.1 per cent were undecided.(Back to text)

2 In this country, the State is at present manufacturing furniture, grinding flour, producing fertilizer, building houses; selling farm-products, dairy-products, textiles, canned goods, and electrical apparatus; operating employment-agencies and home-loan offices; financing exports and imports; financing agriculture. It also controls the issuance of securities, communications by wire and radio, discount rates, oil-production, power-production, commercial competition, the production and sale of alcohol, and the use of inland waterways and railways.(Back to text)


3 There is a sort of precedent for it in Roman history, if the story be true in all its details that the army sold the emperorship to Didius Julianus for something like five million dollars. Money has often been used to grease the wheels of a coup d’etat, but straight over-the-counter purchase is unknown, I think, except in these two instances. (Back to text)


4 On the day I write this, the newspapers say that the President is about to order a stoppage on the flow of federal relief-funds into Louisiana, for the purpose of bringing Senator Long to terms. I have seen no comment, however, on the propriety of this kind of procedure.(Back to text)


5 A friend in the theatrical business tells me that from the box-office point of view, Washington is now the best theatre-town, concert-town and general-amusement town in the United States, far better than New York.(Back to text)


6 The feature of the approaching campaign of 1936 which will most interest the student of civilization will be the use of the four-billion-dollar relief-fund that has been placed at the President’s disposal – the extent, that is, to which it will be distributed on a patronage-basis. (Back to text)


7 It must always be kept in mind that there is a tidal-motion as well as a wave-motion in these matters, and that the wave-motion is of little importance, relatively. For instance, the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the National Recovery Act counts for nothing in determining the actual status of personal government. The real question is not how much less the sum of personal government is now than it was before that decision, but how much greater it is normally now than it was in 1932, and in years preceding.(Back to text)


8 As, for example, the spectacular voiding of the National Recovery Act.(Back to text)


9 This book is a sort of syllabus or precis of some lectures to students of American history and politics – mostly graduate students – and it therefore presupposes some little acquaintance with those subjects. The few references I have given, however, will put any reader in the way of documenting and amplifying it satisfactorily.(Back to text)


10 An inadequate and partial idea of what this volume amounts to, may be got from the fact that the American State’s income from taxation is now about one third of the nation’s total income! This takes into account all forms of taxation, direct and indirect, local and federal.(Back to text)

As far back as one can follow the run of civilization, it presents two fundamentally different types of political organization. This difference is not one of degree, but of kind. It does not do to take the one type as merely marking a lower order of civilization and the other a higher; they are commonly so taken, but erroneously. Still less does it do to classify both as species of the same genus – to classify both under the generic name of “government,” though this also, until very lately, has always been done, and has always led to confusion and misunderstanding.A good example of this error and its effects is supplied by Thomas Paine. At the outset of his pamphlet called Common Sense, Paine draws a distinction between society and government. While society in any state is a blessing, he says, “government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” In another place, he speaks of government as “a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world.” He proceeds then to show how and why government comes into being. Its origin is in the common understanding and common agreement of society; and “the design and end of government,” he says, is “freedom and security.” Teleologically, government implements the common desire of society, first, for freedom, and second, for security. Beyond this it does not go; it contemplates no positive intervention upon the individual, but only a negative intervention. It would seem that in Paine’s view the code of government should be that of the legendary king Pausole, who prescribed but two laws for his subjects, the first being, Hurt no man, and the second, Then do as you please; and that the whole business of government should be the purely negative one of seeing that this code is carried out.

So far, Paine is sound as he is simple. He goes on, however, to attack the British political organization in terms that are logically inconclusive. There should be no complaint of this, for he was writing as a pamphleteer, a special pleader with an ad captandum argument to make, and as everyone knows, he did it most successfully. Nevertheless, the point remains that when he talks about the British system he is talking about a type of political organization essentially different from the type that he has just been describing; different in origin, in intention, in primary function, in the order of interest that it reflects. It did not originate in the common understanding and agreement of society; it originated in conquest and confiscation. (1) Its intention, far from contemplating “freedom and security,” contemplated nothing of the kind. It contemplated primarily the continuous economic exploitation of one class by another, and it concerned itself with only so much freedom and security as was consistent with this primary intention; and this was, in fact, very little. Its primary function or exercise was not by way of Paine’s purely negative interventions upon the individual, but by way of innumerable and most onerous positive interventions, all of which were for the purpose of maintaining the stratification of society into an owning and exploiting class, and a propertyless dependent class. The order of interest that it reflected was not social, but purely antisocial; and those who administered it, judged by the common standard of ethics, or even the common standard of law as applied to private persons, were indistinguishable from a professional-criminal class.

Clearly, then, we have two distinct types of political organization to take into account; and clearly, too, when their origins are considered, it is impossible to make out that the one is a mere perversion of the other. Therefore, when we include both types under a general term like government, we get into logical difficulties; difficulties of which most writers on the subject have been more or less vaguely aware, but which, until within the last half-century, none of them has tried to resolve. Mr. Jefferson, for example, remarked that the hunting tribes of Indians, with which he had a good deal to do in his early days, had a highly organized and admirable social order, but were “without government.” Commenting on this, he wrote Madison that “it is a problem not clear in my mind that [this] condition is not the best,” but he suspected that it was “inconsistent with any great degree of population.” Schoolcraft observes that the Chippewas, though living in a highly-organized social order, had no “regular” government. Herbert Spencer, speaking of the Bechuanas, Araucanians and Koranna Hottentots, says they have no “definite” government; while Parkman, in his introduction to The Conspiracy of Pontiac, reports the same phenomenon, and is frankly puzzled by its apparent anomalies.

Paine’s theory of government agrees exactly with the theory set forth by Mr. Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. The doctrine of natural rights, which is explicit in the Declaration, is implicit in Common Sense; (2) and Paine’s view of the “design and end of government” is precisely the Declaration’s view, that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men”; and further, Paine’s view of the origin of government is that it “derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.” Now, if we apply Paine’s formulas or the Declaration’s formulas, it is abundantly clear that the Virginian Indians had government; Mr. Jefferson’s own observations show that they had it. Their political organization, simple as it was, answered its purpose. Their code-apparatus sufficed for assuring freedom and security to the individual, and for dealing with such trespasses as in that state of society the individual might encounter – fraud, theft, assault, adultery, murder. The same is as clearly true of the various peoples cited by Parkman, Schoolcraft and Spencer. Assuredly, if the language of the Declaration amounts to anything, all these peoples had government; and all these reporters make it appear as a government quite competent to its purpose.

Therefore when Mr. Jefferson says his Indians were “without government,” he must be taken to mean that they did not have a type of government like the one he knew; and when Schoolcraft and Spencer speak of “regular” and “definite” government, their qualifying words must be taken in the same way. This type of government, nevertheless, has always existed and still exists, answering perfectly to Paine’s formulas and the Declaration’s formulas; though it is a type which we also, most of us, have seldom had the chance to observe. It may not be put down as the mark of an inferior race, for institutional simplicity is in itself by no means a mark of backwardness or inferiority; and it has been sufficiently shown that in certain essential respects the peoples who have this type of government are, by comparison, in a position to say a good deal for themselves on the score of a civilized character. Mr. Jefferson’s own testimony on this point is worth notice, and so is Parkman’s. This type, however, even though documented by the Declaration, is fundamentally so different from the type that has always prevailed in history, and is still prevailing in the world at the moment, that for the sake of clearness the two types should be set apart by name, as they are by nature. They are so different in theory that drawing a sharp distinction between them is now probably the most important duty that civilization owes to its own safety. Hence it is by no means either an arbitrary or academic proceeding to give the one type the name of government, and to call the second type simply the State.




Aristotle, confusing the idea of the State with the idea of government, thought the State originated out of the natural grouping of the family. Other Greek philosophers, labouring under the same confusion, somewhat anticipated Rousseau in finding its origin in the social nature and disposition of the individual; while an opposing school, which held that the individual is naturally anti-social, more or less anticipated Hobbes by finding it in an enforced compromise among the anti-social tendencies of individuals. Another view, implicit in the doctrine of Adam Smith, is that the State originated in the association of certain individuals who showed a marked superiority in the economic virtues of diligence, prudence and thrift. The idealist philosophers, variously applying Kant’s transcendentalism to the problem, came to still different conclusions; and one or two other views, rather less plausible, perhaps, than any of the foregoing, have been advanced.

The root-trouble with all these views is not precisely that they are conjectural, but that they are based on incompetent observation. They miss the invariable characteristic marks that the subject presents; as, for example, until quite lately, all views of the origin of malaria missed the invariable ministrations of the mosquito, or as opinions about the bubonic-plague missed the invariable mark of the rat-parasite. It is only within the last half-century that the historical method has been applied to the problem of the State. (3) This method runs back the phenomenon of the State to its first appearance in documented history, observing its invariable characteristic marks, and drawing inferences as indicated. There are so many clear intimations of this method in earlier writers – one finds them as far back as Strabo – that one wonders why its systematic application was so long deferred; but in all such cases, as with malaria and typhus, when the characteristic mark is once determined, it is so obvious that one always wonders why it was so long unnoticed. Perhaps in the case of the State, the best one can say is that the cooperation of the Zeitgeist was necessary, and that it could be had no sooner.

The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably had its origin in conquest and confiscation. No primitive State known to history originated in any other manner. (4) On the negative side, it has been proved beyond peradventure that no primitive State could possibly have had any other origin.(5) Moreover, the sole invariable characteristic of the State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. In this sense, every State known to history is a class-State. Oppenheimer defines the State, in respect of its origin, as an institution “forced on a defeated group by a conquering group, with a view only to systematizing the domination of the conquered by the conquerors, and safeguarding itself against insurrection from within and attack from without. This domination had no other final purpose than the economic exploitation of the conquered group by the victorious group.”

An American statesman, John Jay, accomplished the respectable feat of compressing the whole doctrine of conquest into a single sentence. “Nations in general,” he said, “will go to war whenever there is a prospect of getting something by it.” Any considerable economic accumulation, or any considerable body of natural resources, is an incentive to conquest. The primitive technique was that of raiding the coveted possessions, appropriating them entire, and either exterminating the possessors, or dispersing them beyond convenient reach. Very early, however, it was seen to be in general more profitable to reduce the possessors to dependence, and use them as labour-motors; and the primitive technique was accordingly modified. Under special circumstances, where this exploitation was either impracticable or unprofitable, the primitive technique is even now occasionally revived, as by the Spaniards in South America, or by ourselves against the Indians. But these circumstances are exceptional; the modified technique has been in use almost from the beginning, and everywhere its first appearance marks the origin of the State. Citing Ranke’s observations on the technique of the raiding herdsmen, the Hyksos, who established their State in Egypt about B.C. 2000, Gumplowicz remarks that Ranke’s words very well sum up the political history of mankind.

Indeed, the modified technique never varies. “Everywhere we see a militant group of fierce men forcing the frontier of some more peaceable people, settling down upon them and establishing the State, with themselves as an aristocracy. In Mesopotamia, irruption succeeds irruption, State succeeds State, Babylonians, Amoritans, Assyrians, Arabs, Medes, Persians, Macedonians, Parthians, Mongols, Seldshuks, Tatars, Turks; in the Nile valley, Hyksos, Nubians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks; in Greece, the Doric States are specific examples; in Italy, Romans, Ostrogoths, Lombards, Franks, Germans; in Spain, Carthaginians, Visigoths, Arabs; in Gaul, Romans, Franks, Burgundians, Normans; in Britain, Saxons, Normans.” Everywhere we find the political organization proceeding from the same origin, and presenting the same mark of intention, namely: the economic exploitation of a defeated group by a conquering group.

Everywhere, that is, with but the one significant exception. Wherever economic exploitation has been for any reason either impracticable or unprofitable, the State has never come into existence; government has existed, but the State, never. The American hunting tribes, for example, whose organization so puzzled our observers, never formed a State, for there is no way to reduce a hunter to economic dependence and make him hunt for you. (6) Conquest and confiscation were no doubt practicable, but no economic gain would be got by it, for confiscation would give the aggressors but little beyond what they already had; the most that could come of it would be the satisfaction of some sort of feud. For like reasons primitive peasants never formed a State. The economic accumulations of their neighbours were too slight and too perishable to be interesting; (7) and especially with the abundance of free land about, the enslavement of their neighbours would be impracticable, if only for the police-problems involved. (8)

It may now be easily seen how great the difference is between the institution of government, as understood by Paine and the Declaration of Independence, and the institution of the State. Government may quite conceivably have originated as Paine thought it did, or Aristotle, or Hobbes, or Rousseau; whereas the State not only never did originate in any of those ways, but never could have done so. The nature and intention of government, as adduced by Parkman, Schoolcraft and Spencer, are social. Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing. (9) So far from encouraging a wholesome development of social power, it has invariably, as Madison said, turned every contingency into a resource for depleting social power and enhancing State power. (10) As Dr. Sigmund Freud has observed, it can not even be said that the State has ever shown any disposition to suppress crime, but only to safeguard its own monopoly of crime. In Russia and Germany, for example, we have lately seen the State moving with great alacrity against infringement of its monopoly by private persons, while at the same time exercising that monopoly with unconscionable ruthlessness. Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class.




Such are the antecedents of the institution which is everywhere now so busily converting social power by wholesale into State power. (11) The recognition of them goes a long way towards resolving most, if not all, of the apparent anomalies which the conduct of the modern State exhibits. It is of great help, for example, in accounting for the open and notorious fact that the State always moves slowly and grudgingly towards any purpose that accrues to society’s advantage, but moves rapidly and with alacrity towards one that accrues to its own advantage; nor does it ever move towards social purposes on its own initiative, but only under heavy pressure, while its motion towards anti-social purposes is self-sprung.

Englishmen of the last century remarked this fact with justifiable anxiety, as they watched the rapid depletion of social power by the British State. One of them was Herbert Spencer, who published a series of essays which were subsequently put together in a volume called The Man versus the State. With our public affairs in the shape they are, it is rather remarkable that no American publicist has improved the chance to reproduce these essays verbatim, merely substituting illustrations drawn from American history for those which Spencer draws from English history. If this were properly done, it would make one of the most pertinent and useful works that could be produced at this time. (12)

These essays are devoted to examining the several aspects of the contemporary growth of State power in England. In the essay called Over-legislation, Spencer remarks the fact so notoriously common in our experience, (13) that when State power is applied to social purposes, its action is invariably “slow, stupid, extravagant, unadaptive, corrupt and obstructive.” He devotes several paragraphs to each count, assembling a complete array of proof. When he ends, discussion ends; there is simply nothing to be said. He shows further that the State does not even fulfill efficiently what he calls its “unquestionable duties” to society; it does not efficiently adjudge and defend the individual’s elemental rights. This being so – and with us this too is a matter of notoriously common experience – Spencer sees no reason to expect that State power will be more efficiently applied to secondary social purposes. “Had we, in short, proved its efficiency as judge and defender, instead of having found it treacherous, cruel, and anxiously to be shunned, there would be some encouragement to hope other benefits at its hands.”

Yet, he remarks, it is just this monstrously extravagant hope that society is continually indulging; and indulging in the face of daily evidence that it is illusory. He points to the anomaly which we have all noticed as so regularly presented by newspapers. Take up one, says Spencer, and you will probably find a leading editorial “exposing the corruption, negligence or mismanagement of some State department. Cast your eye down the next column, and it is not unlikely that you will read proposals for an extension of State supervision. (14) . . . Thus while every day chronicles a failure, there every day reappears the belief that it needs but an Act of Parliament and a staff of officers to effect any end desired. (15) Nowhere is the perennial faith of mankind better seen.”

It is unnecessary to say that the reasons which Spencer gives for the anti-social behaviour of the State are abundantly valid, but we may now see how powerfully they are reinforced by the findings of the historical method; a method which had not been applied when Spencer wrote. These findings being what they are, it is manifest that the conduct which Spencer complains of is strictly historical. When the town-dwelling merchants of the eighteenth century displaced the landholding nobility in control of the State’s mechanism, they did not change the State’s character; they merely adapted its mechanism to their own special interests, and strengthened it immeasurably. (16) The merchant-State remained an anti-social institution, a pure class-State, like the State of the nobility; its intention and function remained unchanged, save for the adaptations necessary to suit the new order of interests that it was thenceforth to serve. Therefore in its flagrant disservice of social purposes, for which Spencer arraigns it, the State was acting strictly in character.

Spencer does not discuss what he calls “the perennial faith of mankind” in State action, but contents himself with elaborating the sententious observation of Guizot, that “a belief in the sovereign power of political machinery” is nothing less than “a gross delusion.” This faith is chiefly an effect of the immense prestige which the State has diligently built up for itself in the century or more since the doctrine of jure divino rulership gave way. We need not consider the various instruments that the State employs in building up its prestige; most of them are well known, and their uses well understood. There is one, however, which is in a sense peculiar to the republican State. Republicanism permits the individual to persuade himself that the State is his creation, that State action is his action, that when it expresses itself it expresses him, and when it is glorified he is glorified. The republican State encourages this persuasion with all its power, aware that it is the most efficient instrument for enhancing its own prestige. Lincoln’s phrase, “of the people, by the people, for the people” was probably the most effective single stroke of propaganda ever made in behalf of republican State prestige.

Thus the individual’s sense of his own importance inclines him strongly to resent the suggestion that the State is by nature anti-social. He looks on its failures and misfeasances with somewhat the eye of a parent, giving it the benefit of a special code of ethics. Moreover, he has always the expectation that the State will learn by its mistakes, and do better. Granting that its technique with social purposes is blundering, wasteful and vicious – even admitting, with the public official whom Spencer cites, that wherever the State is, there is villainy – he sees no reason why, with an increase of experience and responsibility, the State should not improve.

Something like this appears to be the basic assumption of collectivism. Let but the State confiscate all social power, and its interests will become identical with those of society. Granting that the State is of anti-social origin, and that it has borne a uniformly anti-social character throughout its history, let it but extinguish social power completely, and its character will change; it will merge with society, and thereby become society’s efficient and disinterested organ. The historic State, in short, will disappear, and government only will remain. It is an attractive idea; the hope of its being somehow translated into practice is what, only so few years ago, made “the Russian experiment” so irresistibly fascinating to generous spirits who felt themselves hopelessly State-ridden. A closer examination of the State’s activities, however, will show that this idea, attractive though it be, goes to pieces against the iron law of fundamental economics, that man tends always to satisfy his needs and desires with the least possible exertion. Let us see how this is so.




There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man’s needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. (17) The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means. The primitive exercise of the political means was, as we have seen, by conquest, confiscation, expropriation, and the introduction of a slave-economy. The conqueror parcelled out the conquered territory among beneficiaries, who thenceforth satisfied their needs and desires by exploiting the labour of the enslaved inhabitants. (18) The feudal State, and the merchant-State, wherever found, merely took over and developed successively the heritage of character, intention and apparatus of exploitation which the primitive State transmitted to them; they are in essence merely higher integrations of the primitive State.

The State, then, whether primitive, feudal or merchant, is the organization of the political means. Now, since man tends always to satisfy his needs and desires with the least possible exertion, he will employ the political means whenever he can – exclusively, if possible; otherwise, in association with the economic means. He will, at the present time, that is, have recourse to the State’s modern apparatus of exploitation; the apparatus of tariffs, concessions, rent-monopoly, and the like. It is a matter of the commonest observation that this is his first instinct. So long, therefore, as the organization of the political means is available – so long as the highly-centralized bureaucratic State stands as primarily a distributor of economic advantage, an arbiter of exploitation, so long will that instinct effectively declare itself. A proletarian State would merely, like the merchant-State, shift the incidence of exploitation, and there is no historic ground for the presumption that a collectivist State would be in any essential respect unlike its predecessors; (19) as we are beginning to see, “the Russian experiment” has amounted to the erection of a highly-centralized bureaucratic State upon the ruins of another, leaving the entire apparatus of exploitation intact and ready for use. Hence, in view of the law of fundamental economics just cited, the expectation that collectivism will appreciably alter the essential character of the State appears illusory.

Thus the findings arrived at by the historical method amply support the immense body of practical considerations brought forward by Spencer against the State’s inroads upon social power. When Spencer concludes that “in State-organizations, corruption is unavoidable,” the historical method abundantly shows cause why, in the nature of things, this should be expected – vilescit origine tali. When Freud comments on the shocking disparity between State-ethics and private ethics – and his observations on this point are most profound and searching – the historical method at once supplies the best of reasons why that disparity should be looked for. (20) When Ortega y Gasset says that “Statism is the higher form taken by violence and direct action, when these are set up as standards,” the historical method enables us to perceive at once that his definition is precisely that which one would make a priori.

The historical method, moreover, establishes the important fact that, as in the case of tabetic or parasitic diseases, the depletion of social power by the State can not be checked after a certain point of progress is passed. History does not show an instance where, once beyond this point, this depletion has not ended in complete and permanent collapse. In some cases, disintegration is slow and painful. Death set its mark on Rome at the end of the second century, but she dragged out a pitiable existence for some time after the Antonines. Athens, on the other hand, collapsed quickly. Some authorities think that Europe is dangerously near that point, if not already past it; but contemporary conjecture is probably without much value. That point may have been reached in America, and it may not; again, certainty is unattainable – plausible arguments may be made either way. Of two things, however, we may be certain: the first is, that the rate of America’s approach to that point is being prodigiously accelerated; and the second is, that there is no evidence of any disposition to retard it, or any intelligent apprehension of the danger which that acceleration betokens.


Footnotes to Chapter 2
1 Paine was of course well aware of this. He says, “A French bastard, landing with an armed banditti, and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives, is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original.” He does not press the point, however, nor in view of his purpose should he be expected to do so.(Back to text)

2 In Rights of Man, Paine is as explicit about this doctrine as the Declaration is; and in several places throughout his pamphlets, he asserts that all civil rights are founded on natural rights, and proceed from them.(Back to text)


3 By Gumplowicz, professor at Graz, and after him, by Oppenheimer, professor of politics at Frankfort. I have followed them throughout this section. The findings of these Galileos are so damaging to the prestige that the State has everywhere built up for itself that professional authority in general has been very circumspect about approaching them, naturally preferring to give them a wide berth; but in the long-run, this is a small matter. Honourable and distinguished exceptions appear in Vierkandt, Wilhelm Wundt, and the revered patriarch of German economic studies, Adolf Wagner. (Back to text)


4 An excellent example of primitive practice, effected by modern technique, is furnished by the new State of Manchoukuo, and another bids fair to be furnished in consequence of the Italian State’s operations in Ethiopia.(Back to text)


5 The mathematics of this demonstration are extremely interesting. A resume of them is given in Oppenheimer’s treatise Der Staat, ch. I, and they are worked out in full in his Theorie der Reinen und Politischen Oekonomie.(Back to text)


6 Except, of course, by preemption of the land under the State-system of tenure, but for occupational reasons this would not be worth a hunting tribe’s attempting. Bicknell, the historian of Rhode Island, suggests that the troubles over Indian treaties arose from the fact that the Indians did not understand the State-system of land-tenure, never having had anything like it; their understanding was that the whites were admitted only to the same communal use of land that they themselves enjoyed. It is interesting to remark that the settled fishing tribes of the Northwest formed a State. Their occupation made economic exploitation both practicable and profitable, and they resorted to conquest and confiscation to introduce it.(Back to text)


7 It is strange that so little attention has been paid to the singular immunity enjoyed by certain small and poor peoples amidst great collisions of State interest. Throughout the late war, for example, Switzerland, which has nothing worth stealing, was never raided or disturbed.(Back to text)


8 Marx’s chapter on colonization is interesting in this connexion, especially for his observation that economic exploitation is impracticable until expropriation from the land has taken place. Here he is in full agreement with the whole line of fundamental economists, from Turgot, Franklin and John Taylor down to Theodor Hertzka and Henry George. Marx, however, apparently did not see that his observation left him with something of a problem on his hands, for he does little more with it than record the fact.(Back to text)


9 John Bright said he had known the British Parliament to do some good things, but never knew it to do a good thing merely because it was a good thing. (Back to text)


10 Reflections, 1.(Back to text)


11 In this country the condition of several socially-valuable industries seems at the moment to be a pretty fair index of this process. The State’s positive interventions have so far depleted social power that by all accounts these particular applications of it are on the verge of being no longer practicable. In Italy, the State now absorbs fifty per cent of the total national income. Italy appears to be rehearsing her ancient history in something more than a sentimental fashion, for by the end of the second century social power had been so largely transmuted into State power that nobody could do any business at all. There was not enough social power left to pay the State’s bills.(Back to text)


12 It seems a most discreditable thing that this century has not seen produced in America an intellectually respectable presentation of the complete case against the State’s progressive confiscations of social power; a presentation, that is, which bears the mark of having sound history and a sound philosophy behind it. Mere interested touting of “rugged individualism” and agonized fustian about the constitution are so specious, so frankly unscrupulous, that they have become contemptible. Consequently collectivism has easily had all the best of it, intellectually, and the results are now apparent. Collectivism has even succceded in foisting its glossary of arbitrary definitions upon us; we all speak of our economic system, for instance, as “capitalist,” when there has never been a system, nor can one be imagined, that is not capitalist. By contrast, when British collectivism undertook to deal, say with Lecky, Bagehot, Professor Huxley and Herbert Spencer, it got full change for its money. Whatever steps Britain has taken towards collectivism, or may take, it at least has had all the chance in the world to know precisely where it was going, which we have not had. (Back to text)


13 Yesterday I passed over a short stretch of new road built by State power, applied through one of the grotesque alphabetical tentacles of our bureaucracy. It cost $87,348.56. Social power, represented by a contractor’s figure in competitive bidding, would have built it for $38,668.20, a difference, roughly, of one hundred per cent!(Back to text)


14 All the newspaper-comments that I have read concerning the recent marine disasters that befell the Ward Line have, without exception, led up to just such proposals!(Back to text)


15 Our recent experiences with prohibition might be thought to have suggested this belief as fatuous, but apparently they have not done so. (Back to text)


16 This point is well discussed by the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, ch. XIII (English translation), in which he does not scruple to say that the State’s rapid depletion of social power is “the greatest danger that today threatens civilization.” He also gives a good idea of what may be expected when a third, economically-composite, class in turn takes over the mechanism of the State, as the merchant class took it over from the nobility. Surely no better forecast could be made of what is taking place in this country at the moment, than this: “The mass-man does in fact believe that he is the State, and he will tend more and more to set its machinery working, on whatsoever pretext, to crush beneath it any creative minority which disturbs it – disturbs it in any order of things; in politics, in ideas, in industry.”(Back to text)


l7 Oppenheimer, Der Staat, ch. I. Services are also, of course, a subject of economic exchange. (Back to text)


18 In America, where the native huntsmen were not exploitable, the beneficiaries – the Virginia Company, Massachusetts Company, Dutch West India Company, the Calverts, etc. – followed the traditional method of importing exploitable human material, under bond, from England and Europe, and also established the chattel-slave economy by importations from Africa. The best exposition of this phase of our history is in Beard’s Rise of American Civilization, vol. 1, pp. 103-109. At a later period, enormous masses of exploitable material imported themselves by immigration; Valentine’sManual for 1859 says that in the period 1847-1858, 2,486,463 immigrants passed through the port of New York. This competition tended to depress the slave-economy in the industrial sections of the country, and to supplant it with a wage-economy. It is noteworthy that public sentiment in those regions did not regard the slave-economy as objectionable until it could no longer be profitably maintained. (Back to text)


19 Supposing, for example, that Mr. Norman Thomas and a solid collectivist Congress, with a solid collectivist Supreme Court, should presently fall heir to our enormously powerful apparatus of exploitation, it needs no great stretch of imagination to forecast the upshot.(Back to text)


2O In April, 1933, the American State issued half a billion dollars’ worth of bonds of small denominations, to attract investment by poor persons. It promised to pay these, principal and interest, in gold of the then-existing value. Within three months the State repudiated that promise. Such an action by an individual would, as Freud says, dishonour him forever, and mark him as no better than a knave. Done by an association of individuals, it would put them in the category of a professional-criminal class. (Back to text)


In considering the State’s development in America, it is important to keep in mind the fact that America’s experience of the State was longer during the colonial period than during the period of American independence; the period 1607-1776 was longer than the period 1776-1935. Moreover, the colonists came here full-grown, and had already a considerable experience of the State in England and Europe before they arrived; and for purposes of comparison, this would extend the former period by a few years, say at least fifteen. It would probably be safe to put it that the American colonists had twenty-five years’ longer experience of the State than citizens of the United States have had.Their experience, too, was not only longer, but more varied. The British State, the French, Dutch, Swedish and Spanish States, were all established here. The separatist English dissenters who landed at Plymouth had lived under the Dutch State as well as under the British State. When James I made England too uncomfortable for them to live in, they went to Holland; and many of the institutions which they subsequently set up in New England, and which were later incorporated into the general body of what we call “American institutions,” were actually Dutch, though commonly – almost invariably – we accredit them to England. They were for the most part Roman-Continental in their origin, but they were transmitted here from Holland, not from England. (1) No such institutions existed in England at that time, and hence the Plymouth colonists could not have seen them there; they could have seen them only in Holland, where they did exist.

Our colonial period coincided with the period of revolution and readjustment in England, referred to in the preceding chapter, when the British merchant-State was displacing the feudal State, consolidating its own position, and shifting the incidence of economic exploitation. These revolutionary measures gave rise to an extensive review of the general theory on which the feudal State had been operating. The earlier Stuarts governed on the theory of monarchy by divine right. The State’s economic beneficiaries were answerable only to the monarch, who was theoretically answerable only to God; he had no responsibilities to society at large, save such as he chose to incur, and these only for the duration of his pleasure. In 1607, the year of the Virginia colony’s landing at Jamestown, John Cowell, regius professor of civil law at the University of Cambridge, laid down the doctrine that the monarch “is above the law by his absolute power, and though for the better and equal course in making laws he do admit the Three Estates unto Council, yet this in divers learned men’s opinions is not of constraint, but of his own benignity, or by reason of the promise made upon oath at the time of his coronation.”

This doctrine, which was elaborated to the utmost in the extraordinary work called Patriarcha, by Sir Robert Filmer, was all well enough so long as the line of society’s stratification was clear, straight and easily drawn. The feudal State’s economic beneficiaries were virtually a close corporation, a compact body consisting of a Church hierarchy and a titled group of hereditary, large-holding landed proprietors. In respect of interests, this body was extremely homogeneous, and their interests, few in number, were simple in character and easily defined. With the monarch, the hierarchy, and a small, closely-limited nobility above the line of stratification, and an undifferentiated populace below it, this theory of sovereignty was passable; it answered the purposes of the feudal State as well as any.

But the practical outcome of this theory did not, and could not, suit the purposes of the rapidly-growing class of merchants and financiers. They wished to introduce a new economic system. Under feudalism, production had been, as a general thing, for use, with the incidence of exploitation falling largely on a peasantry. The State had by no means always kept its hands off trade, but it had never countenanced the idea that its chief reason for existence was, as we say, “to help business.” The merchants and financiers, however, had precisely this idea in mind. They saw the attractive possibilities of production for profit, with the incidence of exploitation gradually shifting to an industrial proletariat. They saw also, however, that to realize all these possibilities, they must get the State’s mechanism to working as smoothly and powerfully on the side of “business” as it had been working on the side of the monarchy, the Church, and the large-holding landed proprietors. This meant capturing control of this mechanism, and so altering and adapting it as to give themselves the same free access to the political means as was enjoyed by the displaced beneficiaries. The course by which they accomplished this is marked by the Civil War, the dethronement and execution of Charles I, the Puritan protectorate, and the revolution of 1688.

This is the actual inwardness of what is known as the Puritan movement in England. It had a quasi-religious motivation – speaking strictly, an ecclesiological motivation – but the paramount practical end towards which it tended was a repartition of access to the political means. It is a significant fact, though seldom noticed, that the only tenet with which Puritanism managed to evangelize equally the non-Christian and Christian world of English-bred civilization is its tenet of work, its doctrine that work is, by God’s express will and command, a duty; indeed almost, if not quite, the first and most important of man’s secular duties. This erection of labour into a Christian virtue per se, this investment of work with a special religious sanction, was an invention of Puritanism; it was something never heard of in England before the rise of the Puritan State. The only doctrine antedating it presented labour as the means to a purely secular end; as Cranmer’s divines put it, “that I may learn and labour truly to get mine own living.” There is no hint that God would take it amiss if one preferred to do little work and put up with a poor living, for the sake of doing something else with one’s time. Perhaps the best witness to the essential character of the Puritan movement in England and America is the thoroughness with which its doctrine of work has pervaded both literatures, all the way from Cromwell’s letters to Carlyle’s panegyric and Longfellow’s verse.

But the merchant-State of the Puritans was like any other; it followed the standard pattern. It originated in conquest and confiscation, like the feudal State which it displaced; the only difference being that its conquest was by civil war instead of foreign war. Its object was the economic exploitation of one class by another; for the exploitation of feudal serfs by a nobility, it proposed only to substitute the exploitation of a proletariat by enterprisers. Like its predecessor, the merchant-State was purely an organization of the political means, a machine for the distribution of economic advantage, but with its mechanism adapted to the requirements of a more numerous and more highly differentiated order of beneficiaries; a class, moreover, whose numbers were not limited by heredity or by the sheer arbitrary pleasure of a monarch.

The process of establishing the merchant-State, however, necessarily brought about changes in the general theory of sovereignty. The bald doctrine of Cowell and Filmer was no longer practicable; yet any new theory had to find room for some sort of divine sanction, for the habit of men’s minds does not change suddenly, and Puritanism’s alliance between religious and secular interests was extremely close. One may not quite put it that the merchant-enterprisers made use of religious fanaticism to pull their chestnuts out of the fire; the religionists had sound and good chestnuts of their own to look after. They had plenty of rabid nonsense to answer for, plenty of sour hypocrisy, plenty of vicious fanaticism; whenever we think of seventeenth-century British Puritanism, we think of Hugh Peters, of Praise-God Barebones, of Cromwell’s iconoclasts “smashing the mighty big angels in glass.” But behind all this untowardness there was in the religionists a body of sound conscience, soundly and justly outraged; and no doubt, though mixed with an intolerable deal of unscrupulous greed, there was on the part of the merchant-enterprisers a sincere persuasion that what was good for business was good for society. Taking Hampden’s conscience as representative, one would say that it operated under the limitations set by nature upon the typical sturdy Buckinghamshire squire; the mercantile conscience was likewise ill-informed, and likewise set its course with a hard, dogged, provincial stubbornness. Still, the alliance of the two bodies of conscience was not without some measure of respectability. No doubt, for example, Hampden regarded the State-controlled episcopate to some extent objectively, as unscriptural in theory, and a tool of Antichrist in practice; and no doubt, too, the mercantile conscience, with the disturbing vision of William Laud in view, might have found State-managed episcopacy objectionable on other grounds than those of special interest.

The merchant-State’s political rationale had to respond to the pressure of a growing individualism. The spirit of individualism appeared in the latter half of the sixteenth century; probably – as well as such obscure origins can be determined – as a by-product of the Continental revival of learning, or, it may be, specifically as a by-product of the Reformation in Germany. It was long, however, in gaining force enough to make itself count in shaping political theory. The feudal State could take no account of this spirit; its stark regime of status was operable only where there was no great multiplicity of diverse economic interests to be accommodated, and where the sum of social power remained practically stable. Under the British feudal State, one large-holding landed proprietor’s interest was much like another’s, and one bishop’s or clergyman’s interest was about the same in kind as another’s. The interests of the monarchy and court were not greatly diversified, and the sum of social power varied but little from time to time. Hence an economic class-solidarity was easily maintained; access upward from one class to the other was easily blocked, so easily that very few positive State-interventions were necessary to keep people, as we say, in their place; or as Cranmer’s divines put it, to keep them doing their duty in that station of life unto which it had pleased God to call them. Thus the State could accomplish its primary purpose, and still afford to remain relatively weak. It could normally, that is, enable a thorough-going economic exploitation with relatively little apparatus of legislation or of personnel. (2)

The merchant-State, on the other hand, with its ensuing regime of contract, had to meet the problem set by a rapid development of social power, and a multiplicity of economic interests. Both these tended to foster and stimulate the spirit of individualism. The management of social power made the merchant-enterpriser feel that he was quite as much somebody as anybody, and that the general order of interest which he represented – and in particular his own special fraction of that interest – was to be regarded as most respectable, which hitherto it had not been. In short, he had a full sense of himself as an individual, which on these grounds he could of course justify beyond peradventure. The aristocratic disparagement of his pursuits, and the consequent stigma of inferiority which had been so long fixed upon the “base mechanical,” exacerbated this sense, and rendered it at its best assertive, and at its worst, disposed to exaggerate the characteristic defects of his class as well as its excellences, and lump them off together in a new category of social virtues – its hardness, ruthlessness, ignorance and vulgarity at par with its commercial integrity, its shrewdness, diligence and thrift. Thus the fully-developed composite type of merchant-enterpriser-financier might be said to run all the psychological gradations between the brothers Cheeryble at one end of the scale, and Mr. Gradgrind, Sir Gorgius Midas and Mr. Bottles at the other.

This individualism fostered the formulation of certain doctrines which in one shape or another found their way into the official political philosophy of the merchant-State. Foremost among these were the two which the Declaration of Independence lays down as fundamental, the doctrine of natural rights and the doctrine of popular sovereignty. In a generation which had exchanged the authority of a pope for the authority of a book – or rather, the authority of unlimited private interpretation of a book – there was no difficulty about finding ample Scriptural sanction for both these doctrines. The interpretation of the Bible, like the judicial interpretation of a constitution, is merely a process by which, as a contemporary of Bishop Butler said, anything may be made to mean anything; and in the absence of a coercive authority, papal, conciliar or judicial, any given interpretation finds only such acceptance as may, for whatever reason, be accorded it. Thus the episode of Eden, the parable of the talents, the Apostolic injunction against being “slothful in business,” were a warrant for the Puritan doctrine of work; they brought the sanction of Scripture and the sanction of economic interest into complete agreement, uniting the religionist and the merchant-enterpriser in the bond of a common intention. Thus, again, the view of man as made in the image of God, made only a little lower than the angels, the subject of so august a transaction as the Atonement, quite corroborated the political doctrine of his endowment by his Creator with certain rights unalienable by Church or State. While the merchant-enterpriser might hold with Mr. Jefferson that the truth of this political doctrine is self-evident, its Scriptural support was yet of great value as carrying an implication of human nature’s dignity which braced his more or less diffident and self-conscious individualism; and the doctrine that so dignified him might easily be conceived of as dignifying his pursuits. Indeed, the Bible’s indorsement of the doctrine of labour and the doctrine of natural rights was really his charter for rehabilitating “trade” against the disparagement that the regime of status had put upon it, and for investing it with the most brilliant lustre of respectability.

In the same way, the doctrine of popular sovereignty could be mounted on impregnable Scriptural ground. Civil society was an association of true believers functioning for common secular purposes; and its right of self-government with respect to these purposes was God-given. If on the religious side all believers were priests, then on the secular side they were all sovereigns; the notion of an intervening jure divino monarch was as repugnant to Scripture as that of an intervening jure divino pope – witness the Israelite commonwealth upon which monarchy was visited as explicitly a punishment for sin. Civil legislation was supposed to interpret and particularize the laws of God as revealed in the Bible, and its administrators were responsible to the congregation in both its religious and secular capacities. Where the revealed law was silent, legislation was to be guided by its general spirit, as best this might be determined. These principles obviously left open a considerable area of choice; but hypothetically the range of civil liberty and the range of religious liberty had a common boundary.

This religious sanction of popular sovereignty was agreeable to the merchant-enterpriser; it fell in well with his individualism, enhancing considerably his sense of personal dignity and consequence. He could regard himself as by birthright not only a free citizen of a heavenly commonwealth, but also a free elector in an earthly commonwealth fashioned, as nearly as might be, after the heavenly pattern. The range of liberty permitted him in both qualities was satisfactory; he could summon warrant of Scripture to cover his undertakings both here and hereafter. As far as this present world’s concerns went, his doctrine of labour was Scriptural, his doctrine of master-and-servant was Scriptural – even bond-service, even chattel-service was Scriptural; his doctrine of a wage-economy, of money-lending – again the parable of the talents – both were Scriptural. What especially recommended the doctrine of popular sovereignty to him on its secular side, however, was the immense leverage it gave for ousting the regime of status to make way for the regime of contract; in a word, for displacing the feudal State and bringing in the merchant-State.

But interesting as these two doctrines were, their actual application was a matter of great difficulty. On the religious side, the doctrine of natural rights had to take account of the unorthodox. Theoretically it was easy to dispose of them. The separatists, for example, such as those who manned theMayflower, had lost their natural rights in the fall of Adam, and had never made use of the means appointed to reclaim them. This was all very well, but the logical extension of this principle into actual practice was a rather grave affair. There were a good many dissenters, all told, and they were articulate on the matter of natural rights, which made trouble; so that when all was said and done, the doctrine came out considerably compromised. Then, in respect of popular sovereignty, there were the Presbyterians. Calvinism was monocratic to the core; in fact, Presbyterianism existed side by side with episcopacy in the Church of England in the sixteenth century, and was nudged out only very gradually. (3) They were a numerous body, and in point of Scripture and history they had a great deal to say for their position. Thus the practical task of organizing a spiritual commonwealth had as hard going with the logic of popular sovereignty as it had with the logic of natural rights.

The task of secular organization was even more troublesome. A society organized in conformity to these two principles is easily conceivable – such an organization as Paine and the Declaration contemplated, for example, arising out of social agreement, and concerning itself only with the maintenance of freedom and security for the individual – but the practical task of effecting such an organization is quite another matter. On general grounds, doubtless, the Puritans would have found this impracticable; if, indeed, the times are ever to be ripe for anything of the kind, their times were certainly not. The particular round of difficulty, however, was that the merchant-enterpriser did not want that form of social organization; in fact, one can not be sure that the Puritan religionists themselves wanted it. The root-trouble was, in short, that there was no practicable way to avert a shattering collision between the logic of natural rights and popular sovereignty, and the economic law that man tends always to satisfy his needs and desires with the least possible exertion.

This law governed the merchant-enterpriser in common with the rest of mankind. He was not for an organization that should do no more than maintain freedom and security; he was for one that should redistribute access to the political means, and concern itself with freedom and security only so far as would be consistent with keeping this access open. That is to say, he was thoroughly indisposed to the idea of government; he was quite as strong for the idea of the State as the hierarchy and nobility were. He was not for any essential transformation in the State’s character, but merely for a repartition of the economic advantages that the State confers.

Thus the merchant-polity amounted to an attempt, more or less disingenuous, at reconciling matters which in their nature can not be reconciled. The ideas of natural rights and popular sovereignty were, as we have seen, highly acceptable and highly animating to all the forces allied against the feudal idea; but while these ideas might be easily reconcilable with a system of simple government, such a system would not answer the purpose. Only the State-system would do that. The problem therefore was, how to keep these ideas well in the forefront of political theory, and at the same time prevent their practical application from undermining the organization of the political means. It was a difficult problem. The best that could be done with it was by making certain structural alterations in the State, which would give it the appearance of expressing these ideas, without the reality. The most important of these structural changes was that of bringing in the so-called representative or parliamentary system, which Puritanism introduced into the modern world, and which has received a great deal of praise as an advance towards democracy. This praise, however, is exaggerated. The change was one of form only, and its bearing on democracy has been inconsiderable. (4)




The migration of Englishmen to America merely transferred this problem into another setting. The discussion of political theory went on vigorously, but the philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty came out in practice about where they had come out in England. Here again a great deal has been made of the democratic spirit and temper of the migrants, especially in the case of the separatists who landed at Plymouth, but the facts do not bear it out, except with regard to the decentralizing congregationalist principle of church order. This principle of lodging final authority in the smallest unit rather than the largest – in the local congregation rather than in a synod or general council – was democratic, and its thorough-going application in a scheme of church order would represent some actual advance towards democracy, and give some recognition to the general philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty. The Plymouth settlers did something with this principle, actually applying it in the matter of church order, and for this they deserve credit. (5) Applying it in the matter of civil order, however, was another affair. It is true that the Plymouth colonists probably contemplated something of the kind, and that for a time they practised a sort of primitive communism. They drew up an agreement on shipboard which may be taken at its face value as evidence of their democratic disposition, though it was not in any sense a “frame of government,” like Penn’s, or any kind of constitutional document. Those who speak of it as our first written constitution are considerably in advance of their text, for it was merely an agreement to make a constitution or “frame of government” when the settlers should have come to land and looked the situation over. One sees that it could hardly have been more than this – indeed, that the proposed constitution itself could be no more than provisional – when it is remembered that these migrants were not their own men. They did not sail on their own, nor were they headed for any unpreƒ«mpted territory on which they might establish a squatter sovereignty and set up any kind of civil order they saw fit. They were headed for Virginia, to settle in the jurisdiction of a company of English merchant-enterprisers, now growing shaky, and soon to be superseded by the royal authority, and its territory converted into a royal province. It was only by misreckonings and the accidents of navigation that, most unfortunately for the prospects of the colony, the settlers landed on the stern and rockbound coast of Plymouth.

These settlers were in most respects probably as good as the best who ever found their way to America. They were bred of what passed in England as “the lower orders,” sober, hard-working and capable, and their residence under Continental institutions in Holland had given them a fund of politico-religious ideas and habits of thought which set them considerably apart from the rest of their countrymen. There is, however, no more than an antiquarian interest in determining how far they were actually possessed by those ideas. They may have contemplated a system of complete religious and civil democracy, or they may not. They may have found their communist practices agreeable to their notion of a sound and just social order, or they may not. The point is that while apparently they might be free enough to found a church order as democratic as they chose, they were by no means free to found a civil democracy, or anything remotely resembling one, because they were in bondage to the will of an English trading-company. Even their religious freedom was permissive; the London company simply cared nothing about that. The same considerations governed their communistic practices; whether or not these practices suited their ideas, they were obliged to adopt them. Their agreement with the London merchant-enterprisers bound them, in return for transportation and outfit, to seven years’ service, during which time they should work on a system of common-land tillage, store their produce in a common warehouse, and draw their maintenance from these common stores. Thus whether or not they were communists in principle, their actual practice of communism was by prescription.

The fundamental fact to be observed in any survey of the American State’s initial development is the one whose importance was first remarked, I believe, by Mr. Beard; that the trading-company – the commercial corporation for colonization – was actually an autonomous State. “Like the State,” says Mr. Beard, “it had a constitution, a charter issued by the Crown . . . like the State, it had a territorial basis, a grant of land often greater in area than a score of European principalities . . . it could make assessments, coin money, regulate trade, dispose of corporate property, collect taxes, manage a treasury, and provide for defense. Thus” – and here is the important observation, so important that I venture to italicize it – “every essential element long afterward found in the government of the American State appeared in the chartered corporation that started English civilization in America.” Generally speaking, the system of civil order established in America was the State-system of the “mother countries” operating over a considerable body of water; the only thing that distinguished it was that the exploited and dependent class was situated at an unusual distance from the owning and exploiting class. The headquarters of the autonomous State were on one side of the Atlantic, and its subjects on the other.

This separation gave rise to administrative difficulties of one kind and another; and to obviate them – perhaps for other reasons as well – one English company, the Massachusetts Bay Company, moved over bodily in 1630, bringing their charter and most of their stock-holders with them, thus setting up an actual autonomous State in America. The thing to be observed about this is that the merchant-State was set up complete in New England long before it was set up in Old England. Most of the English immigrants to Massachusetts came over between 1630 and 1640; and in this period the English merchant-State was only at the beginning of its hardest struggles for supremacy. James I died in 1625, and his successor, Charles I, continued his absolutist regime. From 1629, the year in which the Bay Company was chartered, to 1640, when the Long Parliament was called, he ruled without a parliament, effectively suppressing what few vestiges of liberty had survived the Tudor and Jacobean tyrannies; and during these eleven years the prospects of the English merchant-State were at their lowest. (6) It still had to face the distractions of the Civil War, the retarding anomalies of the Commonwealth, the Restoration, and the recurrence of tyrannical absolutism under James II, before it succeeded in establishing itself firmly through the revolution of 1688.

On the other hand, the leaders of the Bay Colony were free from the first to establish a State-policy of their own devising, and to set up a State-structure which should express that policy without compromise. There was no competing policy to extinguish, no rival structure to refashion. Thus the merchant-State came into being in a clear field a full half-century before it attained supremacy in England. Competition of any kind, or the possibility of competition, it has never had. A point of greatest importance to remember is that the merchant-State is the only form of the State that ever existed in America. Whether under the rule of a trading-company or a provincial governor or a republican representative legislature, Americans have never known any other form of the State. In this respect the Massachusetts Bay colony is differentiated only as being the first autonomous State ever established in America, and as furnishing the most complete and convenient example for purposes of study. In principle it was not differentiated. The State in New England, Virginia, Maryland, the Jerseys, New York, Connecticut, everywhere, was purely a class-State, with control of the political means reposing in the hands of what we now style, in a general way, the “business-man.”

In the eleven years of Charles’s tyrannical absolutism, English immigrants came over to join the Bay colony, at the rate of about two thousand a year. No doubt at the outset some of the colonists had the idea of becoming agricultural specialists, as in Virginia, and of maintaining certain vestiges, or rather imitations, of semi-feudal social practice, such as were possible under that form of industry when operated by a slave-economy or a tenant-economy. This, however, proved impracticable; the climate and soil of New England were against it. A tenant-economy was precarious, for rather than work for a master, the immigrant agriculturist naturally preferred to push out into unpreempted land, and work for himself; in other words, as Turgot, Marx, Hertzka, and many others have shown, he could not be exploited until he had been expropriated from the land. The long and hard winters took the profit out of slave-labour in agriculture. The Bay colonists experimented with it, however, even attempting to enslave the Indians, which they found could not be done, for the reasons that I have already noticed. In default of this, the colonists carried out the primitive technique by resorting to extermination, their ruthless ferocity being equalled only by that of the Virginia colonists. (7) They held some slaves, and did a great deal of slave-trading; but in the main, they became at the outset a race of small freeholding farmers, shipbuilders, navigators, maritime enterprisers in fish, whales, molasses, rum, and miscellaneous cargoes; and presently, moneylenders. Their remarkable success in these pursuits is well known; it is worth mention here in order to account for many of the complications and collisions of interest subsequently ensuing upon the merchant-State’s fundamental doctrine that the primary function of government is not to maintain freedom and security, but to “help business.”




One examines the American merchant-State in vain for any suggestion of the philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty. The company-system and the provincial system made no place for it, and the one autonomous State was uncompromisingly against it. The Bay Company brought over their charter to serve as the constitution of the new colony, and under its provisions the form of the State was that of an uncommonly small and close oligarchy. The right to vote was vested only in shareholding members, or “freemen” of the corporation, on the stark State principle laid down many years later by John Jay, that “those who own the country should govern the country.” At the end of a year, the Bay colony comprised perhaps about two thousand persons; and of these, certainly not twenty, probably not more than a dozen, had anything whatever to say about its government. This small group constituted itself as a sort of directorate or council, appointing its own executive body, which consisted of a governor, a lieutenant-governor, and a half-dozen or more magistrates. These officials had no responsibility to the community at large, but only to the directorate. By the terms of the charter, the directorate was self-perpetuating. It was permitted to fill vacancies and add to its numbers as it saw fit; and in so doing it followed a policy similar to that which was subsequently recommended by Alexander Hamilton, of admitting only such well-to-do and influential persons as could be trusted to sustain a solid front against anything savouring of popular sovereignty.

Historians have very properly made a great deal of the influence of Calvinist theology in bracing the strongly anti-democratic attitude of the Bay Company. The story is readable and interesting – often amusing – yet the gist of it is so simple that it can be perceived at once. The company’s principle of action was in this respect the one that in like circumstances has for a dozen centuries invariably motivated the State. The Marxian dictum that “religion is the opiate of the people” is either an ignorant or a slovenly confusion of terms, which can not be too strongly reprehended. Religion was never that, nor will it ever be; but organized Christianity, which is by no means the same thing as religion, has been the opiate of the people ever since the beginning of the fourth century, and never has this opiate been employed for political purposes more skilfully than it was by the Massachusetts Bay oligarchy.

In the year 311 the Roman emperor Constantine issued an edict of toleration in favour of organized Christianity. He patronized the new cult heavily, giving it rich presents, and even adopted the labarum as his standard, which was a most distinguished gesture, and cost nothing; the story of the heavenly sign appearing before his crucial battle against Maxentius may quite safely be put down beside that of the apparitions seen before the battle of the Marne. He never joined the Church, however, and the tradition that he was converted to Christianity is open to great doubt. The point of all this is that circumstances had by that time made Christianity a considerable figure; it had survived contumely and persecution, and had become a social influence which Constantine saw was destined to reach far enough to make it worth courting. The Church could be made a most effective tool of the State, and only a very moderate amount of statesmanship was needed to discern the right way of bringing this about. The understanding, undoubtedly tacit, was based on a simple quid pro quo; in exchange for imperial recognition and patronage, and endowments enough to keep up to the requirements of a high official respectability, the Church should quit its disagreeable habit of criticizing the course of politics; and in particular, it should abstain from unfavourable comment on the State’s administration of the political means.

These are the unvarying terms – again I say, undoubtedly tacit, as it is seldom necessary to stipulate against biting the hand by which one is fed – of every understanding that has been struck since Constantine’s day, between organized Christianity and the State. They were the terms of the understanding struck in the Germanies and in England at the Reformation. The petty German principality had its State Church as it had its State theatre; and in England, Henry VIII set up the Church in its present status as an arm of the civil service, like the Post-office. The fundamental understanding in all cases was that the Church should not interfere with or disparage the organization of the political means; and in practice it naturally followed that the Church would go further, and quite regularly abet this organization to the best of its ability.

The merchant-State in America came to this understanding with organized Christianity. In the Bay colony the Church became in 1638 an established subsidiary of the State, (8) supported by taxation; it maintained a State creed, promulgated in 1647. In some other colonies also, as for example, in Virginia, the Church was a branch of the State service, and where it was not actually established as such, the same understanding was reached by other means, quite as satisfactory. Indeed, the merchant-State both in England and America soon became lukewarm towards the idea of an Establishment, perceiving that the same modus vivendi could be almost as easily arrived at under voluntaryism, and that the latter had the advantage of satisfying practically all modes of credal and ceremonial preference, thus releasing the State from the troublesome and profitless business of interference in disputes over matters of doctrine and Church order.

Voluntaryism pure and simple was set up in Rhode Island by Roger Williams, John Clarke, and their associates who were banished from the Bay colony almost exactly three hundred years ago, in 1636. This group of exiles is commonly regarded as having founded a society on the philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty in respect of both Church order and civil order, and as having launched an experiment in democracy. This, however, is an exaggeration. The leaders of the group were undoubtedly in sight of this philosophy, and as far as Church order is concerned, their practice was conformable to it. On the civil side, the most that can be said is that their practice was conformable in so far as they knew how to make it so; and one says this much only by a very considerable concession. The least that can be said, on the other hand, is that their practice was for a time greatly in advance of the practice prevailing in other colonies – so far in advance that Rhode Island was in great disrepute with its neighbours in Massachusetts and Connecticut, who diligently disseminated the tale of its evil fame throughout the land, with the customary exaggerations and embellishments. Nevertheless, through acceptance of the State system of land-tenure, the political structure of Rhode Island was a State-structure from the outset, contemplating as it did the stratification of society into an owning and exploiting class and a propertyless dependent class. Williams’s theory of the State was that of social compact arrived at among equals, but equality did not exist in Rhode Island; the actual outcome was a pure class-State.

In the spring of 1638, Williams acquired about twenty square miles of land by gift from two Indian sachems, in addition to some he had bought from them two years before. In October he formed a “proprietary” of purchasers who bought twelve-thirteenths of the Indian grant. Bicknell, in his history of Rhode Island, cites a letter written by Williams to the deputy-governor of the Bay colony, which says frankly that the plan of this proprietary contemplated the creation of two classes of citizens, one consisting of landholding heads of families, and the other, of “young men, single persons” who were a landless tenantry, and as Bicknell says, “had no voice or vote as to the officers of the community, or the laws which they were called upon to obey.” Thus the civil order in Rhode Island was essentially a pure State order, as much so as the civil order of the Bay colony, or any other in America; and in fact the landed-property franchise lasted uncommonly long in Rhode Island, existing there for some time after it had been given up in most other quarters of America. (9) By way of summing up, it is enough to say that nowhere in the American colonial civil order was there ever the trace of a democracy. The political structure was always that of the merchant-State; Americans have never known any other. Furthermore, the philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty was never once exhibited anywhere in American political practice during the colonial period, from the first settlement in 1607 down to the revolution of 1776.


Footnotes to Chapter 3
1 Among these institutions are: our system of free public education; local self-government as originally established in the township system; our method of conveying land; almost all of our system of equity; much of our criminal code; and our method of administering estates.(Back to text)

2 Throughout Europe, indeed, up to the close of the eighteenth century, the State was quite weak, even considering the relatively moderate development of social power, and the moderate amount of economic accumulation available to its predatory purposes. Social power in modern France could pay the flat annual levy of Louis XIV’s taxes without feeling it, and would like nothing better than to commute the republican State’s levy on those terms.(Back to text)


3 During the reign of Elizabeth the Puritan contention, led by Cartwright, was for what amounted to a theory of jure divino Presbyterianism. The Establishment at large took the position of Archbishop Whitgift and Richard Hooker that the details of church polity were indifferent, and therefore properly subject to State regulation. The High Church doctrine of jure divino episcopacy was laid down later, by Whitgift’s successor, Bancroft. Thus up to 1604 the Presbyterians were objectionable on secular grounds, and afterwards on both secular and ecclesiastical grounds. (Back to text)

4 So were the kaleidoscopic changes that took place in France after the revolution of 1789. Throughout the Directorate, the Consulship, the Restoration, the two Empires, the three Republics and the Commune, the French State kept its essential character intact; it remained always the organization of the political means. (Back to text)


5 In 1629 the Massachusetts Bay colony adopted the Plymouth colony’s model of congregational autonomy, but finding its principle dangerously inconsistent with the principle of the State, almost immediately nullified their action; retaining, however, the name of Congregationalism. This mode of masquerade is easily recognizable as one of the modern State’s most useful expedients for maintaining the appearance of things without the reality. The names of our two largest political parties will at once appear as a capital example. Within two years the Bay colony had set up a State church, nominally congregationalist, but actually a branch of the civil service, as in England. (Back to text)


6 Probably it was a forecast of this state of things, as much as the greater convenience of administration, that caused the Bay Company to move over to Massachusetts, bag and baggage, in the year following the issuance of their charter. (Back to text)


7 Thomas Robinson Hazard, the Rhode Island Quaker, in his delightful Jonnycake Papers, says that the Great Swamp Fight of 1675 was “instigated against the rightful owners of the soil, solely by the cussed godly Puritans of Massachusetts, and their hell- hound allies, the Presbyterians of Connecticut; whom, though charity is my specialty, I can never think of without feeling as all good Rhode Islanders should, . . . and as old Miss Hazard did when in like vein she thanked God in the Conanicut prayer-meeting that she could hold malice forty years.” The Rhode Island settlers dealt with the Indians for rights in land, and made friends with them.(Back to text)


8 Mr. Parrington (Main Currents in American Thought, vol. I, p. 24) cites the successive steps leading up to this, as follows: the law of 1631, restricting the franchise to Church members; of 1635, obliging all persons to attend Church services; and of 1636, which established a virtual State monopoly, by requiring consent of both Church and State authority before a new church could be set up. Roger Williams observed acutely that a State establishment of organized Christianity is “a politic invention of man to maintain the civil State.”(Back to text)


9 Bicknell says that the formation of Williams’s proprietary was “a landholding, land-jobbing, land-selling scheme, with no moral, social, civil, educational or religious end in view”; and his discussion of the early land-allotments on the site where the city of Providence now stands, makes it pretty clear that “the first years of Providence are consumed in a greedy scramble for land.” Bicknell is not precisely an unfriendly witness towards Williams, though his history is avowedly ex parte for the thesis that the true expounder of civil freedom in Rhode Island was not Williams, but Clarke. This contention is immaterial to the present purpose, however, for the State system of land-tenure prevailed in Clarke’s settlements on Aquidneck as it did in Williams’s settlements farther up the bay. (Back to text)


After conquest and confiscation have been effected, and the State set up, its first concern is with the land. The State assumes the right of eminent domain over its territorial basis, whereby every landholder becomes in theory a tenant of the State. In its capacity as ultimate landlord, the State distributes the land among its beneficiaries on its own terms. A point to be observed in passing is that by the State-system of land-tenure each original transaction confers two distinct monopolies, entirely different in their nature, inasmuch as one concerns the right to labour-made property, and the other concerns the right to purely law-made property. The one is a monopoly of the use-value of land; and the other, a monopoly of the economic rent of land. The first gives the right to keep other persons from using the land in question, or trespassing on it, and the right to exclusive possession of values accruing from the application of labour to it; values, that is, which are produced by exercise of the economic means upon the particular property in question. Monopoly of economic rent, on the other hand, gives the exclusive right to values accruing from the desire of other persons to possess that property; values which take their rise irrespective of any exercise of the economic means on the part of the holder. (1)Economic rent arises when, for whatsoever reason, two or more persons compete for the possession of a piece of land, and it increases directly according to the number of persons competing. The whole of Manhattan Island was bought originally by a handful of Hollanders from a handful of Indians for twenty-four dollars’ worth of trinkets. The subsequent “rise in land-values,” as we call it, was brought about by the steady influx of population and the consequent high competition for portions of the island’s surface; and these ensuing values were monopolized by the holders. They grew to an enormous size, and the holders profited accordingly; the Astor, Wendel, and Trinity Church estates have always served as classical examples for study of the State-system of land-tenure.

Bearing in mind that the State is the organization of the political means – that its primary intention is to enable the economic exploitation of one class by another – we see that it has always acted on the principle already cited, that expropriation must precede exploitation. There is no other way to make the political means effective. The first postulate of fundamental economics is that man is a land-animal, deriving his subsistence wholly from the land. (2) His entire wealth is produced by the application of labour and capital to land; no form of wealth known to man can be produced in any other way. Hence, if his free access to land be shut off by legal preemption, he can apply his labour and capital only with the land-holder’s consent, and on the landholder’s terms; in other words, it is at this point, and this point only, that exploitation becomes practicable. (3) Therefore the first concern of the State must be invariably, as we find it invariably is, with its policy of land-tenure.

I state these elementary matters as briefly as I can; the reader may easily find a full exposition of them elsewhere. (4) I am here concerned only to show why the State system of land-tenure came into being, and why its maintenance is necessary to the State’s existence. If this system were broken up, obviously the reason for the State’s existence would disappear, and the State itself would disappear with it. (5) With this in mind, it is interesting to observe that although all our public policies would seem to be in process of exhaustive review, no publicist has anything to say about the State system of land-tenure. This is no doubt the best evidence of its importance. (6)

Under the feudal State there was no great amount of traffic in land. When William, for example, set up the Norman State in England after conquest and confiscation in 1066-76, his associate banditti, among whom he parcelled out the confiscated territory, did nothing to speak of in the way of developing their holdings, and did not contemplate gain from the increment of rental-values. In fact, economic rent hardly existed; their fellow-beneficiaries were not in the market to any great extent, and the dispossessed population did not represent any economic demand. The feudal regime was a regime of status, under which landed estates yielded hardly any rental-value, and only a moderate use-value, but carried an enormous insignia-value. Land was regarded more as a badge of nobility than as an active asset; its possession marked a man as belonging to the exploiting class, and the size of his holdings seems to have counted for more than the number of his exploitable dependents. (7) The encroachments of the merchant-State, however, brought about a change in these circumstances. The importance of rental-values was recognized, and speculative trading in land became general.

Hence in a study of the merchant-State as it appeared full-blown in America, it is a point of utmost consequence to remember that from the time of the first colonial settlement to the present day, America has been regarded as a practically limitless field for speculation in rental-values. (8) One may say at a safe venture that every colonial enterpriser and proprietor after Raleigh’s time understood economic rent and the conditions necessary to enhance it. The Swedish, Dutch and British trading-companies understood this; Endicott and Winthrop, of the autonomous merchant-State on the Bay, understood it; so did Penn and the Calverts; so did the Carolinian proprietors, to whom Charles II granted a lordly belt of territory south of Virginia, reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific; and as we have seen, Roger Williams and Clarke understood it perfectly. Indeed, land-speculation may be put down as the first major industry established in colonial America. Professor Sakolski calls attention to the fact that it was flourishing in the South before the commercial importance of either negroes or tobacco was recognized. These two staples came fully into their own about 1670 – tobacco perhaps a little earlier, but not much – and before that, England and Europe had been well covered by a lively propaganda of Southern landholders, advertising for settlers. (9)

Mr. Sakolski makes it clear that very few original enterprisers in American rental-values ever got much profit out of their ventures. This is worth remarking here as enforcing the point that what gives rise to economic rent is the presence of a population engaged in a settled exercise of the economic means, or as we commonly put it, “working for a living” – or again, in technical terms, applying labour and capital to natural resources for the production of wealth. It was no doubt a very fine dignified thing for Carteret, Berkeley, and their associate nobility to be the owners of a province as large as the Carolinas, but if no population were settled there, producing wealth by exercise of the economic means, obviously not a foot of it would bear a pennyworth of rental-value, and the proprietors’ chance of exercising the political means would therefore be precisely nil. Proprietors who made the most profitable exercise of the political means have been those – or rather, speaking strictly, the heirs of those – like the Brevoorts, Wendels, Whitneys, Astors, and Goelets, who owned land in an actual or prospective urban centre, and held it as an investment rather than for speculation.

The lure of the political means in America, however, gave rise to a state of mind which may profitably be examined. Under the feudal State, living by the political means was enabled only by the accident of birth, or in some special cases by the accident of personal favour. Persons outside these categories of accident had no chance whatever to live otherwise than by the economic means. No matter how much they may have wished to exercise the political means, or how greatly they may have envied the privileged few who could exercise it, they were unable to do so; the feudal regime was strictly one of status. Under the merchant-State, on the contrary, the political means was open to anyone, irrespective of birth or position, who had the sagacity and determination necessary to get at it. In this respect, America appeared as a field of unlimited opportunity. The effect of this was to produce a race of people whose master-concern was to avail themselves of this opportunity. They had but the one spring of action, which was the determination to abandon the economic means as soon as they could, and at any sacrifice of conscience or character, and live by the political means. From the beginning, this determination has been universal, amounting to monomania. (10) We need not concern ourselves here with the effect upon the general balance of advantage produced by supplanting the feudal State by the merchant-State; we may observe only that certain virtues and integrities were bred by the regime of status, to which the regime of contract appears to be inimical, even destructive. Vestiges of them persist among peoples who have had a long experience of the regime of status, but in America, which has had no such experience, they do not appear. What the compensations for their absence may be, or whether they may be regarded as adequate, I repeat, need not concern us; we remark only the simple fact that they have not struck root in the constitution of the American character at large, and apparently can not do so.




It was said at the time, I believe, that the actual causes of the colonial revolution of 1776 would never be known. The causes assigned by our schoolbooks may be dismissed as trivial; the various partisan and propagandist views of that struggle and its origins may be put down as incompetent. Great evidential value may be attached to the long line of adverse commercial legislation laid down by the British State from 1651 onward, especially to that portion of it which was enacted after the merchant-State established itself firmly in England in consequence of the events of 1688. This legislation included the Navigation Acts, the Trade Acts, acts regulating the colonial currency, the act of 1752 regulating the process of levy and distress, and the procedures leading up to the establishment of the Board of Trade in 1696. (11) These directly affected the industrial and commercial interests in the colonies, though just how seriously is perhaps an open question – enough at any rate, beyond doubt, to provoke deep resentment.

Over and above these, however, if the reader will put himself back into the ruling passion of the time, he will at once appreciate the import of two matters which have for some reason escaped the attention of historians. The first of these is the attempt of the British State to limit the exercise of the political means in respect of rental-values. (12) In 1763 it forbade the colonists to take up lands lying westward of the source of any river flowing through the Atlantic seaboard. The dead-line thus established ran so as to cut off from preemption about half of Pennsylvania and half of Virginia and everything to the west thereof. This was serious. With the mania for speculation running as high as it did, with the consciousness of opportunity, real or fancied, having become so acute and so general, this ruling affected everybody. One can get some idea of its effect by imagining the state of mind of our people at large if stock-gambling had suddenly been outlawed at the beginning of the last great boom in Wall Street a few years ago.

For by this time the colonists had begun to be faintly aware of the illimitable resources of the country lying westward; they had learned just enough about them to fire their imagination and their avarice to a white heat. The seaboard had been pretty well taken up, the free-holding farmer had been pushed back farther and farther, population was coming in steadily, the maritime towns were growing. Under these conditions, “western lands” had become a centre of attraction. Rental-values depended on population, the population was bound to expand, and the one general direction in which it could expand was westward, where lay an immense and incalculably rich domain waiting for preemption. What could be more natural than that the colonists should itch to get their hands on this territory, and exploit it for themselves alone, and on their own terms, without risk of arbitrary interference by the British State? – and this of necessity meant political independence. It takes no great stress of imagination to see that anyone in those circumstances would have felt that way, and that colonial resentment against the arbitrary limitation which the edict of 1763 put upon the exercise of the political means must therefore have been great.

The actual state of land-speculation during the colonial period will give a fair idea of the probabilities in the case. Most of it was done on the company-system; a number of adventurers would unite, secure a grant of land, survey it, and then sell it off as speedily as they could. Their aim was a quick turnover; they did not, as a rule, contemplate holding the land, much less settling it – in short, their ventures were a pure gamble in rental-values. (13) Among these pre-revolutionary enterprises was the Ohio Company, formed in 1748 with a grant of half a million acres; the Loyal Company, which like the Ohio Company, was composed of Virginians; the Transylvania, the Vandalia, Scioto, Indiana, Wabash, Illinois, Susquehannah, and others whose holdings were smaller. (14) It is interesting to observe the names of persons concerned in these undertakings; one can not escape the significance of this connexion in view of their attitude towards the revolution, and their subsequent career as statesmen and patriots. For example, aside from his individual ventures, General Washington was a member of the Ohio Company, and a prime mover in organizing the Mississippi Company. He also conceived the scheme of the Potomac Company, which was designed to raise the rental-value of western holdings by affording an outlet for their produce by canal and portage to the Potomac River, and thence to the seaboard. This enterprise determined the establishment of the national capital in its present most ineligible situation, for the proposed terminus of the canal was at that point. Washington picked up some lots in the city that bears his name, but in common with other early speculators, he did not make much money out of them; they were appraised at about $20,000 when he died.

Patrick Henry was an inveterate and voracious engrosser of land lying beyond the deadline set by the British State; later he was heavily involved in the affairs of one of the notorious Yazoo companies, operating in Georgia. He seems to have been most unscrupulous. His company’s holdings in Georgia, amounting to more than ten million acres, were to be paid for in Georgia scrip, which was much depreciated. Henry bought up all these certificates that he could get his hands on, at ten cents on the dollar, and made a great profit on them by their rise in value when Hamilton put through his measure for having the central government assume the debts they represented. Undoubtedly it was this trait of unrestrained avarice which earned him the dislike of Mr. Jefferson, who said, rather contemptuously, that he was “insatiable in money.” (15)

Benjamin Franklin’s thrifty mind turned cordially to the project of the Vandalia Company, and he acted successfully as promoter for it in England in 1766. Timothy Pickering, who was Secretary of State under Washington and John Adams, went on record in 1796 that “all I am now worth was gained by speculations in land.” Silas Deane, emissary of the Continental Congress to France, was interested in the Illinois and Wabash Companies, as was Robert Morris, who managed the revolution’s finances; as was also James Wilson, who became a justice of the Supreme Court and a mighty man in post-revolutionary land-grabbing. Wolcott of Connecticut, and Stiles, president of Yale College, held stock in the Susquehannah Company; so did Peletiah Webster, Ethan Allen, and Jonathan Trumbull, the “Brother Jonathan,” whose name was long a sobriquet for the typical American, and is still sometimes so used. James Duane, the first mayor of New York City, carried on some quite considerable speculative undertakings; and however indisposed one may feel towards entertaining the fact, so did the “Father of the Revolution” himself – Samuel Adams.

A mere common-sense view of the situation would indicate that the British State’s interference with a free exercise of the political means was at least as great an incitement to revolution as its interference, through the Navigation Acts, and the Trade Acts, with a free exercise of the economic means. In the nature of things it would be a greater incitement, both because it affected a more numerous class of persons, and because speculation in land-values represented much easier money. Allied with this is the second matter which seems to me deserving of notice, and which has never been properly reckoned with, as far as I know, in studies of the period.

It would seem the most natural thing in the world for the colonists to perceive that independence would not only give freer access to this one mode of the political means, but that it would also open access to other modes which the colonial status made unavailable. The merchant-State existed in the royal provinces complete in structure, but not in function; it did not give access to all the modes of economic exploitation. The advantages of a State which should be wholly autonomous in this respect must have been clear to the colonists, and must have moved them strongly towards the project of establishing one.

Again it is purely a common-sense view of the circumstances that leads to this conclusion. The merchant-State in England had emerged triumphant from conflict, and the colonists had plenty of chance to see what it could do in the way of distributing the various means of economic exploitation, and its methods of doing it. For instance, certain English concerns were in the carrying trade between England and America, for which other English concerns built ships. Americans could compete in both these lines of business. If they did so, the carrying-charges would be regulated by the terms of this competition; if not, they would be regulated by monopoly, or, in our historic phrase, they could be set as high as the traffic would bear. English carriers and shipbuilders made common cause, approached the State and asked it to intervene, which it did by forbidding the colonists to ship goods on any but English-built and English-operated ships. Since freight-charges are a factor in prices, the effect of this intervention was to enable British shipowners to pocket the difference between monopoly-rates and competitive rates; to enable them, that is, to exploit the consumer by employing the political means. (16) Similar interventions were made at the instance of cutlers, nailmakers, hatters, steelmakers, etc.

These interventions took the form of simple prohibition. Another mode of intervention appeared in the customs-duties laid by the British State on foreign sugar and molasses. (17) We all now know pretty well, probably, that the primary reason for a tariff is that it enables the exploitation of the domestic consumer by a process indistinguishable from sheer robbery. (18) All the reasons regularly assigned are debatable; this one is not, hence propagandists and lobbyists never mention it. The colonists were well aware of this reason, and the best evidence that they were aware of it is that long before the Union was established, the merchant-enterprisers and industrialists were ready and waiting to set upon the new-formed administration with an organized demand for a tariff.

It is clear that while in the nature of things the British State’s interventions upon the economic means would stir up great resentment among the interests directly concerned, they would have another effect fully as significant, if not more so, in causing those interests to look favourably on the idea of political independence. They could hardly have helped seeing the positive as well as the negative advantage that would accrue from setting up a State of their own, which they might bend to their own purposes. It takes no great amount of imagination to reconstruct the vision that appeared before them of a merchant-State clothed with full powers of intervention and discrimination, a State which should first and last “help business,” and which should be administered either by mere agents or by persons easily manageable, if not by persons of actual interests like to their own. It is hardly presumable that the colonists generally were not intelligent enough to see this vision, or that they were not resolute enough to risk the chance of realizing it when the time could be made ripe; as it was, the time was ripened almost before it was ready. (19) We can discern a distinct line of common purpose uniting the interests of the merchant-enterpriser with those of the actual or potential speculator in rental-values – uniting the Hancocks, Gores, Otises, with the Henrys, Lees, Wolcotts, Trumbulls – and leading directly towards the goal of political independence.

The main conclusion, however, towards which these observations tend, is that one general frame of mind existed among the colonists with reference to the nature and primary function of the State. This frame of mind was not peculiar to them; they shared it with the beneficiaries of the merchant-State in England, and with those of the feudal State as far back as the State’s history can be traced. Voltaire, surveying the dƒ©bris of the feudal State, said that in essence the State is “a device for taking money out of one set of pockets and putting it into another.” The beneficiaries of the feudal State had precisely this view, and they bequeathed it unchanged and unmodified to the actual and potential beneficiaries of the merchant-State. The colonists regarded the State as primarily an instrument whereby one might help oneself and hurt others; that is to say, first and foremost they regarded it as the organization of the political means. No other view of the State was ever held in colonial America. Romance and poetry were brought to bear on the subject in the customary way; glamorous myths about it were propagated with the customary intent; but when all came to all, nowhere in colonial America were actual practical relations with the State ever determined by any other view than this. (20)




The charter of the American revolution was the Declaration of Independence, which took its stand on the double thesis of “unalienable” natural rights and popular sovereignty. We have seen that these doctrines were theoretically, or as politicians say, “in principle,” congenial to the spirit of the English merchant-enterpriser, and we may see that in the nature of things they would be even more agreeable to the spirit of all classes in American society. A thin and scattered population with a whole wide world before it, with a vast territory full of rich resources which anyone might take a hand at preempting and exploiting, would be strongly on the side of natural rights, as the colonists were from the beginning; and political independence would confirm it in that position. These circumstances would stiffen the American merchant-enterpriser, agrarian, forestaller and industrialist alike in a jealous, uncompromising, and assertive economic individualism.

So also with the sister doctrine of popular sovereignty. The colonists had been through a long and vexatious experience of State interventions which limited their use of both the political and economic means. They had also been given plenty of opportunity to see how these interventions had been managed, and how the interested English economic groups which did the managing had profited at their expense. Hence there was no place in their minds for any political theory that disallowed the right of individual self-expression in politics. As their situation tended to make them natural-born economic individualists, so also it tended to make them natural-born republicans.

Thus the preamble of the Declaration hit the mark of a cordial unanimity. Its two leading doctrines could easily be interpreted as justifying an unlimited economic pseudo-individualism on the part of the State’s beneficiaries, and a judiciously managed exercise of political self-expression by the electorate. Whether or not this were a more free-and-easy interpretation than a strict construction of the doctrines will bear, no doubt it was in effect the interpretation quite commonly put upon them. American history abounds in instances where great principles have, in their common understanding and practical application, been narrowed down to the service of very paltry ends. The preamble, nevertheless, did reflect a general state of mind. However incompetent the understanding of its doctrines may have been, and however interested the motives which prompted that understanding, the general spirit of the people was in their favour.

There was complete unanimity also regarding the nature of the new and independent political institution which the Declaration contemplated as within “the right of the people” to set up. There was a great and memorable dissension about its form, but none about its nature. It should be in essence the mere continuator of the merchant-State already existing. There was no idea of setting up government, the purely social institution which should have no other object than, as the Declaration put it, to secure the natural rights of the individual; or as Paine put it, which should contemplate nothing beyond the maintenance of freedom and security – the institution which should make no positive interventions of any kind upon the individual, but should confine itself exclusively to such negative interventions as the maintenance of freedom and security might indicate. The idea was to perpetuate an institution of another character entirely, the State, the organization of the political means; and this was accordingly done.

There is no disparagement implied in this observation; for, all questions of motive aside, nothing else was to be expected. No one knew any other kind of political organization. The causes of American complaint were conceived of as due only to interested and culpable mal-administration, not to the essentially anti-social nature of the institution administered. Dissatisfaction was directed against administrators, not against the institution itself. Violent dislike of the form of the institution – the monarchical form – was engendered, but no distrust or suspicion of its nature. The character of the State had never been subjected to scrutiny; the cooperation of the Zeitgeist was needed for that, and it was not yet to be had. (21) One may see here a parallel with the revolutionary movements against the Church in the sixteenth century – and indeed with revolutionary movements in general. They are incited by abuses and misfeasances, more or less specific and always secondary, and are carried on with no idea beyond getting them rectified or avenged, usually by the sacrifice of conspicuous scapegoats. The philosophy of the institution that gives play to these misfeasances is never examined, and hence they recur promptly under another form or other auspices, (22) or else their place is taken by others which are in character precisely like them. Thus the notorious failure of reforming and revolutionary movements in the long-run may as a rule be found due to their incorrigible superficiality.

One mind, indeed, came within reaching distance of the fundamentals of the matter, not by employing the historical method, but by a homespun kind of reasoning, aided by a sound and sensitive instinct. The common view of Mr. Jefferson as a doctrinaire believer in the stark principle of “states’ rights” is most incompetent and misleading. He believed in states’ rights, assuredly, but he went much farther; states’ rights were only an incident in his general system of political organization. He believed that the ultimate political unit, the repository and source of political authority and initiative, should be the smallest unit; not the federal unit, state unit or county unit, but the township, or, as he called it, the “ward.” The township, and the township only, should determine the delegation of power upwards to the county, the state, and the federal units. His system of extreme decentralization is interesting and perhaps worth a moment’s examination, because if the idea of the State is ever displaced by the idea of government, it seems probable that the practical expression of this idea would come out very nearly in that form. (23) There is probably no need to say that the consideration of such a displacement involves a long look ahead, and over a field of view that is cluttered with the debris of a most discouraging number, not of nations alone, but of whole civilizations. Nevertheless it is interesting to remind ourselves that more than a hundred and fifty years ago, one American succeeded in getting below the surface of things, and that he probably to some degree anticipated the judgment of an immeasurably distant future.

In February, 1816, Mr. Jefferson wrote a letter to Joseph C. Cabell, in which he expounded the philosophy behind his system of political organization. What is it, he asks, that has “destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian senate.” The secret of freedom will be found in the individual “making himself the depository of the powers respecting himself, so far as he is competent to them, and delegating only what is beyond his competence, by a synthetical process, to higher and higher orders of functionaries, so as to trust fewer and fewer powers in proportion as the trustees become more and more oligarchical.” This idea rests on accurate observation, for we are all aware that not only the wisdom of the ordinary man, but also his interest and sentiment, have a very short radius of operation; they can not be stretched over an area of much more than township-size; and it is the acme of absurdity to suppose that any man or any body of men can arbitrarily exercise their wisdom, interest and sentiment over a state-wide or nation-wide area with any kind of success. Therefore the principle must hold that the larger the area of exercise, the fewer and more clearly defined should be the functions exercised. Moreover, “by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend,” there is erected the surest safeguard against usurpation of function. “Where every man is a sharer in the direction of his ward-republic, or of some of the higher ones, and feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day; . . . he will let the heart be torn out of his body sooner than his power wrested from him by a Cesar or a Bonaparte.”

No such idea of popular sovereignty, however, appeared in the political organization that was set up in 1789 – far from it. In devising their structure, the American architects followed certain specifications laid down by Harington, Locke and Adam Smith, which might be regarded as a sort of official digest of politics under the merchant-State; indeed, if one wished to be perhaps a little inurbane in describing them – though not actually unjust – one might say that they are the merchant-State’s defence-mechanism. (24) Harington laid down the all-important principle that the basis of politics is economic – that power follows property. Since he was arguing against the feudal concept, he laid stress specifically upon landed property. He was of course too early to perceive the bearings of the State-system of land-tenure upon industrial exploitation, and neither he nor Locke perceived any natural distinction to be drawn between law-made property and labour-made property; nor yet did Smith perceive this clearly, though he seems to have had occasional indistinct glimpses of it. According to Harington’s theory of economic determinism, the realization of popular sovereignty is a simple matter. Since political power proceeds from land-ownership, a simple diffusion of land-ownership is all that is needed to insure a satisfactory distribution of power. (25) If everybody owns, then everybody rules. “If the people hold three parts in four of the territory,” Harington says, “it is plain there can neither be any single person nor nobility able to dispute the government with them. In this case therefore, except force be interposed, they govern themselves.”

Locke, writing a half-century later, when the revolution of 1688 was over, concerned himself more particularly with the State’s positive confiscatory interventions upon other modes of property-ownership. These had long been frequent and vexatious, and under the Stuarts they had amounted to unconscionable highwaymanry. Locke’s idea therefore was to copper-rivet such a doctrine of the sacredness of property as would forever put a stop to this sort of thing. Hence he laid it down that the first business of the State is to maintain the absolute inviolability of general property-rights; the State itself might not violate them, because in so doing it would act against its own primary function. Thus in Locke’s view, the rights of property took precedence even over those of life and liberty; and if ever it came to the pinch, the State must make its choice accordingly. (26)

Thus while the American architects assented “in principle” to the philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty, and found it in a general way highly congenial as a sort of voucher for their self-esteem, their practical interpretation of it left it pretty well hamstrung. They were not especially concerned with consistency; their practical interest in this philosophy stopped short at the point which we have already noted, of its presumptive justification of a ruthless economic pseudo-individualism, and an exercise of political self-expression by the general electorate which should be so managed as to be, in all essential respects, futile. In this they took precise pattern by the English Whig exponents and practitioners of this philosophy. Locke himself, whom we have seen putting the natural rights of property so high above those of life and liberty, was equally discriminating in his view of popular sovereignty. He was no believer in what he called “a numerous democracy,” and did not contemplate a political organization that should countenance anything of the kind. (27) The sort of organization he had in mind is reflected in the extraordinary constitution he devised for the royal province of Carolina, which established a basic order of politically inarticulate serfdom. Such an organization as this represented about the best, in a practical way, that the British merchant-State was ever able to do for the doctrine of popular sovereignty.

It was also about the best that the American counterpart of the British merchant-State could do. The sum of the matter is that while the philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty afforded a set of principles upon which all interests could unite, and practically all did unite, with the aim of securing political independence, it did not afford a satisfactory set of principles on which to found the new American State. When political independence was secured, the stark doctrine of the Declaration went into abeyance, with only a distorted simulacrum of its principles surviving. The rights of life and liberty were recognized by a mere constitutional formality left open to eviscerating interpretations, or, where these were for any reason deemed superfluous, to simple executive disregard; and all consideration of the rights attending “the pursuit of happiness” was narrowed down to a plenary acceptance of Locke’s doctrine of the preiminent rights of property, with law-made property on an equal footing with labour-made property. As for popular sovereignty, the new State had to be republican in form, for no other would suit the general temper of the people; and hence its peculiar task was to preserve the appearance of actual republicanism without the reality. To do this, it took over the apparatus which we have seen the English merchant-State adopting when confronted with a like task – the apparatus of a representative or parliamentary system. Moreover, it improved upon the British model of this apparatus by adding three auxiliary devices which time has proved most effective. These were, first, the device of the fixed term, which regulates the administration of our system by astronomical rather than political considerations – by the motion of the earth around the sun rather than by political exigency; second, the device of judicial review and interpretation, which, as we have already observed, is a process whereby anything may be made to mean anything; third, the device of requiring legislators to reside in the district they represent, which puts the highest conceivable premium upon pliancy and venality, and is therefore the best mechanism for rapidly building up an immense body of patronage. It may be perceived at once that all these devices tend of themselves to work smoothly and harmoniously towards a great centralization of State power, and that their working in this direction may be indefinitely accelerated with the utmost economy of effort.

As well as one can put a date to such an event, the surrender at Yorktown marks the sudden and complete disappearance of the Declaration’s doctrine from the political consciousness of America. Mr. Jefferson resided in Paris as minister to France from 1784 to 1789. As the time for his return to America drew near, he wrote Colonel Humphreys that he hoped soon “to possess myself anew, by conversation with my countrymen, of their spirit and ideas. I know only the Americans of the year 1784. They tell me this is to be much a stranger to those of 1789.” So indeed he found it. On arriving in New York and resuming his place in the social life of the country, he was greatly depressed by the discovery that the principles of the Declaration had gone wholly by the board. No one spoke of natural rights and popular sovereignty; it would seem actually that no one had ever heard of them. On the contrary, everyone was talking about the pressing need of a strong central coercive authority, able to check the incursions which “the democratic spirit” was likely to incite upon “the men of principle and property.” (28) Mr. Jefferson wrote despondently of the contrast of all this with the sort of thing he had been hearing in the France which he had just left “in the first year of her revolution, in the fervour of natural rights and zeal for reformation.” In the process of possessing himself anew of the spirit and ideas of his countrymen, he said, “I can not describe the wonder and mortification with which the table-conversations filled me.” Clearly, though the Declaration might have been the charter of American independence, it was in no sense the charter of the new American State.




Footnotes to Chapter 4
1 The economic rent of the Trinity Church estate in New York City, for instance, would be as high as it is now, even if the holders had never done a stroke of work on the property. Landowners who are holding a property “for a rise” usually leave it idle, or improve it only to the extent necessary to clear its taxes; the type of building commonly called a “taxpayer” is a familiar sight everywhere. Twenty-five years ago a member of the New York City Tax Commission told me that by careful estimate there was almost enough vacant land within the city limits to feed the population, assuming that all of it were arable and put under intensive cultivation!(Back to text)

2 As a technical term in economics, land includes all natural resources, earth, air, water, sunshine, timber and minerals in situ, etc. Failure to understand this use of the term has seriously misled some writers, notably Count Tolstoy. (Back to text)


3 Hence there is actually no such thing as a “labour-problem,” for no encroachment on the rights of either labour or capital can possibly take place until all natural resources within reach have been preƒ«mpted. What we call the “problem of the unemployed” is in no sense a problem, but a direct consequence of State-created monopoly. (Back to text)


4 For fairly obvious reasons they have no place in the conventional courses that are followed in our schools and colleges. (Back to text)


5 The French school of physiocrats, led by Quesnay, du Pont de Nemours, Turgot, Gournay and le Trosne – usually regarded as the founders of the science of political economy – broached the idea of destroying this system by the confiscation of economic rent; and this idea was worked out in detail some years ago in America by Henry George. None of these writers, however, seemed to be aware of the effect that their plan would produce upon the State itself. Collectivism, on the other hand, proposes immeasurably to strengthen and entrench the State by confiscation of the use-value as well as the rental-value of land, doing away with private proprietorship in either. (Back to text)


6 If one were not aware of the highly explosive character of this subject, it would be almost incredible that until three years ago, no one has ever presumed to write a history of land-speculation in America. In 1932, the firm of Harpers published an excellent work by Professor Sakolski, under the frivolous catch-penny title of The Great American Land Bubble. I do not believe that anyone can have a competent understanding of our history or of the character of our people, without hard study of this book. It does not pretend to be more than a preliminary approach to the subject, a sort of path-breaker for the exhaustive treatise which someone, preferably Professor Sakolski himself, should be undertaking; but for what it is, nothing could be better. I am making liberal use of it throughout this section. (Back to text)


7 Regard for this insignia-value or token-value of land has shown an interesting persistence. The rise of the merchant-State, supplanting the regime of status by the regime of contract, opened the way for men of all sorts and conditions to climb into the exploiting class; and the new recruits have usually shown a hankering for the old distinguishing sign of their having done so, even though the rise in rental-values has made the gratification of this desire progressively costly. (Back to text)


8 If our geographical development had been determined in a natural way, by the demands of use instead of the demands of speculation, our western frontier would not yet be anywhere near the Mississippi River. Rhode Island is the most thickly-populated member of the Union, yet one may drive from one end of it to the other on one of its “through” highways, and see hardly a sign of human occupancy. All discussions of “over-population” from Malthus down, are based on the premise of legal occupancy instead of actual occupancy, and are therefore utterly incompetent and worthless. Oppenheimer’s calculation, made in 1912, to which I have already referred, shows that if legal occupation were abolished, every family of five persons could possess nearly twenty acres of land, and still leave about two-thirds of the planet unoccupied. Henry George’s examination of Malthus’s theory of population is well known, or at least, easily available. It is perhaps worth mention in passing that exaggerated rental-values are responsible for the perennial troubles of the American single-crop farmer. Curiously, one finds this fact set forth in the report of a farm-survey, published by the Department of Agriculture about fifty years ago. (Back to text)


9 Mr. Chinard, professor in the Faculty of Literature at Johns Hopkins, has lately published a translation of a little book, hardly more than a pamphlet, written in 1686 by the Huguenot refugee Durand, giving a description of Virginia for the information of his fellow-exiles. It strikes a modern reader as being very favourable to Virginia, and one is amused to read that the landholders who had entertained Durand with an eye to business, thought he had not laid it on half thick enough, and were much disgusted. The book is delightfully interesting, and well worth owning. (Back to text)


10 It was the ground of Chevalier’s observation that Americans had “the morale of an army on the march,” and of his equally notable observations on the supreme rule of expediency in America. (Back to text)


11 For a most admirable discussion of these measures and their consequences, cf. Beard, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 191-220.(Back to text)


12 In principle, this had been done before; for example, some of the early royal land-grants reserved mineral-rights and timber-rights to the Crown. The Dutch State reserved the right to furs and pelts. Actually, however, these restrictions did not amount to much, and were not felt as a general grievance, for these resources had been but little explored. (Back to text)


13 There were a few exceptions, but not many; notably in the case of the Wadsworth properties in Western New York, which were held as an investment and leased out on a rental-basis. In one, at least, of General Washington’s operations, it appears that he also had this method in view. In 1773 he published an advertisement in a Baltimore newspaper, stating that he had secured a grant of about twenty thousand acres on the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, which he proposed to open to settlers on a rental-basis. (Back to text)


14 Sakolski, op. cit., ch. 1.(Back to text)


15 It is an odd fact that among the most eminent names of the period, almost the only ones unconnected with land-grabbing or land-jobbing, are those of the two great antagonists, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Mr. Jefferson had a gentleman’s distaste for profiting by any form of the political means; he never even went so far as to patent one of his many useful inventions. Hamilton seems to have cared nothing for money. His measures made many rich, but he never sought anything from them for himself. In general, he appears to have had few scruples, yet amidst the riot of greed and rascality which he did most to promote, he walked worthily. Even his professional fees as a lawyer were absurdly small, and he remained quite poor all his life. (Back to text)

16 Raw colonial exports were processed in England, and reƒ«xported to the colonies at prices enhanced in this way, thus making the political means effective on the colonists both going and coming. (Back to text)


17 Beard, op. cit., vol. I, p. 195, cites the observation current in England at the time, that seventy-three members of the Parliament that imposed this tariff were interested in West Indian sugar-plantations.(Back to text)


18 It must be observed, however, that free trade is impracticable so long as land is kept out of free competition with industry in the labour-market. Discussions of the rival policies of free trade and protection invariably leave this limitation out of account, and are therefore nugatory. Holland and England, commonly spoken of as free-trade countries, were never really such; they had only so much freedom of trade as was consistent with their special economic requirements. American free-traders of the last century, such as Sumner and Godkin, were not really free-traders; they were never able – or willing – to entertain the crucial question why, if free trade is a good thing, the conditions of labour were no better in free-trade England than, for instance, in protectionist Germany, but were in fact worse. The answer is, of course, that England had no unpreƒ«mpted land to absorb displaced labour, or to stand in continuous competition with industry for labour. (Back to text)

19 The immense amount of labour involved in getting the revolution going, and keeping it going, is not as yet exactly a commonplace of American history, but it has begun to be pretty well understood, and the various myths about it have been exploded by the researches of disinterested historians.(Back to text)


20 The influence of this view upon the rise of nationalism and the maintenance of the national spirit in the modern world, now that the merchant-State has so generally superseded the feudal State, may be perceived at once. I do not think it has ever been thoroughly discussed, or that the sentiment of patriotism has ever been thoroughly examined for traces of this view, though one might suppose that such a work would be extremely useful. (Back to text)


21 Even now its coĦperation seems not to have got very far in English and American professional circles. The latest English exponent of the State, Professor Laski, draws the same set of elaborate distinctions between the State and officialdom that one would look for if he had been writing a hundred and fifty years ago. He appears to regard the State as essentially a social institution, though his observations on this point are by no means clear. Since his conclusions tend towards collectivism, however, the inference seems admissible. (Back to text)


22 As, for example, when one political party is turned out of office, and another put in. (Back to text)


23 In fact, the only modification of it that one can foresee as necessary is that the smallest unit should reserve the taxing-power strictly to itself. The larger units should have no power whatever of direct or indirect taxation, but should present their requirements to the townships, to be met by quota. This would tend to reduce the organizations of the larger units to skeleton form, and would operate strongly against their assuming any functions but those assigned them, which under a strictly governmental regime would be very few – for the federal unit, indeed, extremely few. It is interesting to imagine the suppression of every bureaucratic activity in Washington today that has to do with the maintenance and administration of the political means, and see how little would be left. If the State were superseded by government, probably every federal activity could be housed in the Senate Office Building – quite possibly with room to spare. (Back to text)


24 Harington published the Oceana in 1656. Locke’s political treatises were published in 1690. Smith’s Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations appeared in 1776. (Back to text)


25 This theory, with its corollary that democracy is primarily an economic rather than a political status, is extremely modern. The Physiocrats in France, and Henry George in America, modified Harington’s practical proposals by showing that the same results could be obtained by the more convenient method of a local confiscation of economic rent. (Back to text)


26 Locke held that in time of war it was competent for the State to conscript the lives and liberties of its subjects, but not their property. It is interesting to remark the persistence of this view in the practice of the merchant-State at the present time. In the last great collision of competing interests among merchant-States, twenty years ago, the State everywhere intervened at wholesale upon the rights of life and liberty, but was very circumspect towards the rights of property. Since the principle of absolutism was introduced into our constitution by the income-tax amendment, several attempts have been made to reduce the rights of property, in time of war, to an approximately equal footing with those of life and liberty; but so far, without success. (Back to text)

27 It is worth going through the literature of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century to see how the words “democracy” and “democrat” appear exclusively as terms of contumely and reprehension. They served this purpose for a long time both in England and America, much as the terms “bolshevism” and “bolshevist” serve us now. They were subsequently taken over to become what Bentham called “impostor-terms,” in behalf of the existing economic and political order, as synonymous with a purely nominal republicanism. They are now used regularly in this way to describe the political system of the United States, even by persons who should know better – even, curiously, by persons like Bertrand Russell and Mr. Laski, who have little sympathy with the existing order. One sometimes wonders how our revolutionary forefathers would take it if they could hear some flatulent political thimblerigger charge them with having founded “the great and glorious democracy of the West.”(Back to text)


28 This curious collocation of attributes belongs to General Henry Knox, Washington’s secretary of war, and a busy speculator in land-values. He used it in a letter to Washington, on the occasion of Shays’s Rebellion in 1786, in which he made an agonized plea for a strong federal army. In the literature of the period, it is interesting to observe how regularly a moral superiority is associated with the possession of property. (Back to text)

IT is a commonplace that the persistence of an institution is due solely to the state of mind that prevails towards it, the set of terms in which men habitually think about it. So long, and only so long, as those terms are favourable, the institution lives and maintains its power; and when for any reason men generally cease thinking in those terms, it weakens and becomes inert. At one time, a certain set of terms regarding man’s place in nature gave organized Christianity the power largely to control men’s consciences and direct their conduct; and this power has dwindled to the point of disappearance, for no other reason than that men generally stopped thinking in those terms. The persistence of our unstable and iniquitous economic system is not due to the power of accumulated capital, the force of propaganda, or to any force or combination of forces commonly alleged as its cause. It is due solely to a certain set of terms in which men think of the opportunity to work; they regard this opportunity as something to be given. Nowhere is there any other idea about it than that the opportunity to apply labour and capital to natural resources for the production of wealth is not in any sense a right, but a concession. (1) This is all that keeps our system alive. When men cease to think in those terms, the system will disappear, and not before.It seems pretty clear that changes in the terms of thought affecting an institution are but little advanced by direct means. They are brought about in obscure and circuitous ways, and assisted by trains of circumstance which before the fact would appear quite unrelated, and their erosive or solvent action is therefore quite unpredictable. A direct drive at effecting these changes comes as a rule to nothing, or more often than not turns out to be retarding. They are so largely the work of those unimpassioned and imperturbable agencies for which Prince de Bismarck had such vast respect – he called them theimponderabilia – that any effort which disregards them, or thrusts them violently aside, will in the long-run find them stepping in to abort its fruit.

Thus it is that what we are attempting to do in this rapid survey of the historical progress of certain ideas, is to trace the genesis of an attitude of mind, a set of terms in which now practically everyone thinks of the State; and then to consider the conclusions towards which this psychical phenomenon unmistakably points. Instead of recognizing the State as “the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men,” the run of mankind, with rare exceptions, regards it not only as a final and indispensable entity, but also as, in the main, beneficent. The mass-man, ignorant of its history, regards its character and intentions as social rather than anti-social; and in that faith he is willing to put at its disposal an indefinite credit of knavery, mendacity and chicane, upon which its administrators may draw at will. Instead of looking upon the State’s progressive absorption of social power with the repugnance and resentment that he would naturally feel towards the activities of a professional-criminal organization, he tends rather to encourage and glorify it, in the belief that he is somehow identified with the State, and that therefore, in consenting to its indefinite aggrandizement, he consents to something in which he has a share – he is, pro tanto, aggrandizing himself. Professor Ortega y Gasset analyzes this state of mind extremely well. The mass-man, he says, confronting the phenomenon of the State, “sees it, admires it, knows that there it is. . . . Furthermore, the mass-man sees in the State an anonymous power, and feeling himself, like it, anonymous, he believes that the State is something of his own. Suppose that in the public life of a country some difficulty, conflict, or problem, presents itself, the mass-man will tend to demand that the State intervene immediately and undertake a solution directly with its immense and unassailable resources. . . . When the mass suffers any ill-fortune, or simply feels some strong appetite, its great temptation is that permanent sure possibility of obtaining everything, without effort, struggle, doubt, or risk, merely by touching a button and setting the mighty machine in motion.”

It is the genesis of this attitude, this state of mind, and the conclusions which inexorably follow from its predominance, that we are attempting to get at through our present survey. These conclusions may perhaps be briefly forecast here, in order that the reader who is for any reason indisposed to entertain them may take warning of them at this point, and close the book.

The unquestioning, determined, even truculent maintenance of the attitude which Professor Ortega y Gasset so admirably describes, is obviously the life and strength of the State; and obviously too, it is now so inveterate and so widespread – one may freely call it universal – that no direct effort could overcome its inveteracy or modify it, and least of all hope to enlighten it. This attitude can only be sapped and mined by uncountable generations of experience, in a course marked by recurrent calamity of a most appalling character. When once the predominance of this attitude in any given civilization has become inveterate, as so plainly it has become in the civilization of America, all that can be done is to leave it to work its own way out to its appointed end. The philosophic historian may content himself with pointing out and clearly elucidating its consequences, as Professor Ortega y Gasset has done, aware that after this there is no more that one can do. “The result of this tendency,” he says, “will be fatal. Spontaneous social action will be broken up over and over again by State intervention; no new seed will be able to fructify. (2) Society will have to live for the State, man for the governmental machine. And as after all it is only a machine, whose existence and maintenance depend on the vital supports around it, (3) the State, after sucking out the very marrow of society, will be left bloodless, a skeleton, dead with that rusty death of machinery, more gruesome than the death of a living organism. Such was the lamentable fate of ancient civilization.”




The revolution of 1776-1781 converted thirteen provinces, practically as they stood, into thirteen autonomous political units, completely independent, and they so continued until 1789, formally held together as a sort of league, by the Articles of Confederation. For our purposes, the point to be remarked about this eight-year period, 1781- 1789, is that administration of the political means was not centralized in the federation, but in the several units of which the federation was composed. The federal assembly, or congress, was hardly more than a deliberative body of delegates appointed by the autonomous units. It had no taxing-power, and no coercive power. It could not command funds for any enterprise common to the federation, even for war; all it could do was to apportion the sum needed, in the hope that each unit would meet its quota. There was no coercive federal authority over these matters, or over any matters; the sovereignty of each of the thirteen federated units was complete.

Thus the central body of this loose association of sovereignties had nothing to say about the distribution of the political means. This authority was vested in the several component units. Each unit had absolute jurisdiction over its territorial basis, and could partition it as it saw fit, and could maintain any system of land-tenure that it chose to establish. (4) Each unit set up its own trade-regulations. Each unit levied its own tariffs, one against another, in behalf of its own chosen beneficiaries. Each manufactured its own currency, and might manipulate it as it liked, for the benefit of such individuals or economic groups as were able to get effective access to the local legislature. Each managed its own system of bounties, concessions, subsidies, franchises, and exercised it with a view to whatever private interest its legislature might be influenced to promote. In short, the whole mechanism of the political means was non-national. The

federation was not in any sense a State; the State was not one, but thirteen. Within each unit, therefore, as soon as the war was over, there began at once a general scramble for access to the political means. It must never be forgotten that in each unit society was fluid; this access was available to anyone gifted with the peculiar sagacity and resolution necessary to get at it. Hence one economic interest after another brought pressure of influence to bear on the local legislatures, until the economic hand of every unit was against every other, and the hand of every other was against itself. The principle of “protection,” which as we have seen was already well understood, was carried to lengths precisely comparable with those to which it is carried in international commerce today, and for precisely the same primary purpose – the exploitation, or in plain terms the robbery, of the domestic consumer. Mr. Beard remarks that the legislature of New York, for example, pressed the principle which governs tariff- making to the point of levying duties on firewood brought in from Connecticut and on cabbages from New Jersey – a fairly close parallel with the octroi that one still encounters at the gates of French towns.

The primary monopoly, fundamental to all others – the monopoly of economic rent – was sought with redoubled eagerness. (5) The territorial basis of each unit now included the vast holdings confiscated from British owners, and the bar erected by the British State’s proclamation of 1763 against the appropriation of Western lands was now removed. Professor Sakolski observes drily that “the early land-lust which the colonists inherited from their European forebears was not diminished by the democratic spirit of the revolutionary fathers.” Indeed not! Land-grants were sought as assiduously from local legislatures as they had been in earlier days from the Stuart dynasty and from colonial governors, and the mania of land-jobbing ran apace with the mania of land-grabbing. (6) Among the men most actively interested in these pursuits were those whom we have already seen identified with them in pre-revolutionary days, such as the two Morrises, Knox, Pickering, James Wilson and Patrick Henry; and with their names appear those of Duer, Bingham, McKean, Willing, Greenleaf, Nicholson, Aaron Burr, Low, Macomb, Wadsworth, Remsen, Constable, Pierrepont, and others which now are less well remembered.


There is probably no need to follow out the rather repulsive trail of effort after other modes of the political means. What we have said about the foregoing two modes – tariffs and rental-value monopoly – is doubtless enough to illustrate satisfactorily the spirit and attitude of mind towards the State during the eight years immediately following the revolution. The whole story of insensate scuffle for State-created economic advantage is not especially animating, nor is it essential to our purposes. Such as it is, it may be read in detail elsewhere. All that interests us is to observe that during the eight years of federation, the principles of government set forth by Paine and by the Declaration continued in utter abeyance. Not only did the philosophy of natural rights and popular sovereignty (7) remain as completely out of consideration as when Mr. Jefferson first lamented its disappearance, but the idea of government as a social institution based on this philosophy was likewise unconsidered. No one thought of a political organization as instituted “to secure these rights” by processes of purely negative intervention – instituted, that is, with no other end in view than the maintenance of “freedom and security.” The history of the eight-year period of federation shows no trace whatever of any idea of political organization other than the State-idea. No one regarded this organization otherwise than as the organization of the political means, an all-powerful engine which should stand permanently ready and available for the irresistible promotion of this-or-that set of economic interests, and the irremediable disservice of others; according as whichever set, by whatever course of strategy, might succeed in obtaining command of its machinery.




It may be repeated that while State power was well centralized under the federation, it was not centralized in the federation, but in the federated unit. For various reasons, some of them plausible, many leading citizens, especially in the more northerly units, found this distribution of power unsatisfactory; and a considerable compact group of economic interests which stood to profit by a redistribution naturally made the most of these reasons. It is quite certain that dissatisfaction with the existing arrangement was not general, for when the redistribution took place in 1789, it was effected with great difficulty and only through a coup d’etat, organized by methods which if employed in any other field than that of politics, would be put down at once as not only daring, but unscrupulous and dishonourable.


The situation, in a word, was that American economic interests had fallen into two grand divisions, the special interests in each having made common cause with a view to capturing control of the political means. One division comprised the speculating, industrial-commercial and creditor interests, with their natural allies of the bar and bench, the pulpit and the press. The other comprised chiefly the farmers and artisans and the debtor class generally. From the first, these two grand divisions were colliding briskly here and there in the several units, the most serious collision occurring over the terms of the Massachusetts constitution of 1780. (8) The State in each of the thirteen units was a class-State, as every State known to history has been; and the work of man…”œuvring it in its function of enabling the economic exploitation of one class by another went steadily on.


General conditions under the Articles of Confederation were pretty good. The people had made a creditable recovery from the dislocations and disturbances due to the revolution, and there was a very decent prospect that Mr. Jefferson’s idea of a political organization, which should be national in foreign affairs and non-national in domestic affairs might be found continuously practicable. Some tinkering with the Articles seemed necessary – in fact, it was expected – but nothing that would transform or seriously impair the general scheme. The chief trouble was with the federation’s weakness in view of the chance of war, and in respect of debts due to foreign creditors. The Articles, however, carried provision for their own amendment, and for anything one can see, such amendment as the general scheme made necessary was quite feasible. In fact, when suggestions of revision arose, as they did almost immediately, nothing else appears to have been contemplated.

But the general scheme itself was as a whole objectionable to the interests grouped in the first grand division. The grounds of their dissatisfaction are obvious enough. When one bears in mind the vast prospect of the continent, one need use but little imagination to perceive that the national scheme was by far the more congenial to those interests, because it enabled an ever-closer centralization of control over the political means. For instance, leaving aside the advantage of having but one central tariff-making body to chaffer with, instead of twelve, any industrialist could see the great primary advantage of being able to extend his exploiting operations over a nation-wide free-trade area walled-in by a general tariff; the closer the centralization, the larger the exploitable area. Any speculator in rental-values would be quick to see the advantage of bringing this form of opportunity under unified control. (9)Any speculator in depreciated public securities would be strongly for a system that could offer him the use of the political means to bring back their face-value. (10) Any shipowner or foreign trader would be quick to see that his bread was buttered on the side of a national State which, if properly approached, might lend him the use of the political means by way of a subsidy, or would be able to back up some profitable but dubious freebooting enterprise with “diplomatic representations” or with reprisals.

The farmers and the debtor class in general, on the other hand, were not interested in these considerations, but were strongly for letting things stay, for the most part, as they stood. Preponderance in the local legislatures gave them satisfactory control of the political means, which they could and did use to the prejudice of the creditor class, and they did not care to be disturbed in their preponderance. They were agreeable to such modification of the Articles as should work out short of this, but not to setting up a national (11) replica of the British merchant-State, which they perceived was precisely what the classes grouped in the opposing grand division wished to do. These classes aimed at bringing in the British system of economics, politics and judicial control, on a nation-wide scale; and the interests grouped in the second division saw that what this would really come to was a shifting of the incidence of economic exploitation upon themselves. They had an impressive object-lesson in the immediate shift that took place in Massachusetts after the adoption of John Adams’s local constitution of 1780. They naturally did not care to see this sort of thing put into operation on a nation-wide scale, and they therefore looked with extreme disfavour upon any bait put forth for amending the Articles out of existence. When Hamilton, in 1780, objected to the Articles in the form in which they were proposed for adoption, and proposed the calling of a constitutional convention instead, they turned the cold shoulder; as they did again to Washington’s letter to the local governors three years later, in which he adverted to the need of a strong coercive central authority.

Finally, however, a constitutional convention was assembled, on the distinct understanding that it should do no more than revise the Articles in such a way, as Hamilton cleverly phrased it, as to make them “adequate to the exigencies of the nation,” and on the further understanding that all the thirteen units should assent to the amendments before they went into effect; in short, that the method of amendment provided by the Articles themselves should be followed. Neither understanding was fulfilled. The convention was made up wholly of men representing the economic interests of the first division. The great majority of them, possibly as many as four-fifths, were public creditors; one-third were land-speculators; some were money-lenders; one-fifth were industrialists, traders, shippers; and many of them were lawyers. They planned and executed a coup d’etat, simply tossing the Articles of Confederation into the waste-basket, and drafting a constitution de novo, with the audacious provision that it should go into effect when ratified by nine units instead of by all thirteen. Moreover, with like audacity, they provided that the document should not be submitted either to the Congress or to the local legislatures, but that it should go direct to a popular vote! (12)

The unscrupulous methods employed in securing ratification need not be dwelt on here. (13) We are not indeed concerned with the moral quality of any of the proceedings by which the constitution was brought into being, but only with showing their instrumentality in encouraging a definite general idea of the State and its functions, and a consequent general attitude towards the State. We therefore go on to observe that in order to secure ratification by even the nine necessary units, the document had to conform to certain very exacting and difficult requirements. The political structure which it contemplated had to be republican in form, yet capable of resisting what Gerry unctuously called “the excess of democracy,” and what Randolph termed its “turbulence and follies.” The task of the delegates was precisely analogous to that of the earlier architects who had designed the structure of the British merchant-State, with its system of economics, politics and judicial control; they had to contrive something that could pass muster as showing a good semblance of popular sovereignty, without the reality. Madison defined their task explicitly in saying that the convention’s purpose was “to secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction [i.e., a democratic faction], and at the same time preserve the spirit and form of popular government.”

Under the circumstances, this was a tremendously large order; and the constitution emerged, as it was bound to do, as a compromise- document, or as Mr. Beard puts it very precisely, “a mosaic of second choices,” which really satisfied neither of the two opposing sets of interests. It was not strong and definite enough in either direction to please anybody. In particular, the interests composing the first division, led by Alexander Hamilton, saw that it was not sufficient of itself to fix them in anything like a permanent impregnable position to exploit continuously the groups composing the second division. To do this – to establish the degree of centralization requisite to their purposes – certain lines of administrative management must be laid down, which, once established, would be permanent. The further task therefore, in Madison’s phrase, was to “administration” the constitution into such absolutist modes as would secure economic supremacy, by a free use of the political means, to the groups which made up the first division.

This was accordingly done. For the first ten years of its existence the constitution remained in the hands of its makers for administration in directions most favourable to their interests. For an accurate understanding of the newly-erected system’s economic tendencies, too much stress can not be laid on the fact that for these ten critical years “the machinery of economic and political power was mainly directed by the men who had conceived and established it.” (14) Washington, who had been chairman of the convention, was elected President. Nearly half the Senate was made up of men who had been delegates, and the House of Representatives was largely made up of men who had to do with the drafting or ratifying of the constitution. Hamilton, Randolph and Knox, who were active in promoting the document, filled three of the four positions in the Cabinet; and all the federal judgeships, without a single exception, were filled by men who had a hand in the business of drafting, or of ratification, or both. Of all the legislative measures enacted to implement the new constitution, the one best calculated to ensure a rapid and steady progress in the centralization of political power was the judiciary Actof 1789. (15) This measure created a federal supreme court of six members (subsequently enlarged to nine), and a federal district court in each state, with its own complete personnel, and a complete apparatus for enforcing its decrees. The Act established federal oversight of state legislation by the familiar device of “interpretation”, whereby the Supreme Court might nullify state legislative or judicial action which for any reason it saw fit to regard as unconstitutional. One feature of the Act which for our purposes is most noteworthy is that it made the tenure of all these federal judgeships appointive, not elective, and for life; thus marking almost the farthest conceivable departure from the doctrine of popular sovereignty.

The first chief justice was John Jay, “the learned and gentle Jay,” as Beveridge calls him in his excellent biography of Marshall. A man of superb integrity, he was far above doing anything whatever in behalf of the accepted principle that est boni judicis ampliare jurisdictionem. Ellsworth, who followed him, also did nothing. The succession, however, after Jay had declined a reappointment, then fell to John Marshall, who, in addition to the control established by the judiciary Act over the state legislative and judicial authority, arbitrarily extended judicial control over both the legislative and executive branches of the federal authority; (16) thus effecting as complete and convenient a centralization of power as the various interests concerned in framing the constitution could reasonably have contemplated. (17)

We may now see from this necessarily brief survey, which anyone may amplify and particularize at his pleasure, what the circumstances were which rooted a certain definite idea of the State still deeper in the general consciousness. That idea was precisely the same in the constitutional period as that which we have seen prevailing in the two periods already examined – the colonial period, and the eight-year period following the revolution. Nowhere in the history of the constitutional period do we find the faintest suggestion of the Declaration’s doctrine of natural rights; and we find its doctrine of popular sovereignty not only continuing in abeyance, but constitutionally estopped from ever reappearing. Nowhere do we find a trace of the Declaration’s theory of government; on the contrary, we find it expressly repudiated. The new political mechanism was a faithful replica of the old disestablished British model, but so far improved and strengthened as to be incomparably more close-working and efficient, and hence presenting incomparably more attractive possibilities of capture and control. By consequence, therefore, we find more firmly implanted than ever the same general idea of the State that we have observed as prevailing hitherto – the idea of an organization of the political means, an irresponsible and all-powerful agency standing always ready to be put into use for the service of one set of economic interests as against another.




Out of this idea proceeded what we know as the “party system” of political management, which has been in effect ever since. Our purposes do not require that we examine its history in close detail for evidence that it has been from the beginning a purely bipartisan system, since this is now a matter of fairly common acceptance. In his second term Mr. Jefferson discovered the tendency towards bipartisanship, (18) and was both dismayed and puzzled by it. I have elsewhere (19) remarked his curious inability to understand how the cohesive power of public plunder works straight towards political bipartisanship. In 1823, finding some who called themselves Republicans favouring the Federalist policy of centralization, he spoke of them in a rather bewildered way as “pseudo-Republicans, but real Federalists.” But most naturally any Republican who saw a chance of profiting by the political means would retain the name, and at the same time resist any tendency within the party to impair the general system which held out such a prospect. (20) In this way bipartisanship arises. Party designations become purely nominal, and the stated issues between parties become progressively trivial; and both are more and more openly kept up with no other object than to cover from scrutiny the essential identity of purpose in both parties.

Thus the party system at once became in effect an elaborate system of fetiches, which, in order to be made as impressive as possible, were chiefly moulded up around the constitution, and were put on show as “constitutional principles.” The history of the whole post-constitutional period, from 1789 to the present day, is an instructive and cynical exhibit of the fate of these fetiches when they encounter the one only actual principle of party action – the principle of keeping open the channels of access to the political means. When the fetich of “strict construction,” for example, has collided with this principle, it has invariably gone by the board, the party that maintained it simply changing sides. The anti- Federalist party took office in 1800 as the party of strict construction; yet, once in office, it played ducks and drakes with the constitution, in behalf of the special economic interests that itrepresented. (21) The Federalists were nominally for loose construction, yet they fought bitterly every one of the opposing party’s loose-constructionist measures – the embargo, the protective tariff and the national bank. They were constitutional nationalists of the deepest dye, as we have seen; yet in their centre and stronghold, New England, they held the threat of secession over the country throughout the period of what they harshly called “Mr. Madison’s war,” the War of 18l2, which was in fact a purely imperialistic adventure after annexation of Floridan and Canadian territory, in behalf of stiffening agrarian control of the political means; but when the planting interests of the South made the same threat in 1861, they became fervid nationalists again. Such exhibitions of pure fetichism, always cynical in their transparent candour, make up the history of the party system. Their reductio ad absurdum is now seen as perhaps complete – one can not see how it could go further – in the attitude of the Democratic party towards its historical principles of state sovereignty and strict construction. A fair match for this, however, is found in a speech made the other day to a group of exporting and importing interests by the mayor of New York – always known as a Republican in politics – advocating the hoary Democratic doctrine of a low tariff!

Throughout our post-constitutional period there is not on record, as far as I know, a single instance of party adherence to a fixed principle, qua principle, or to a political theory, qua theory. Indeed, the very cartoons on the subject show how widely it has come to be accepted that party- platforms, with their cant of “issues,” are so much sheer quackery, and that campaign-promises are merely another name for thimblerigging. The workaday practice of politics has been invariably opportunist, or in other words, invariably conformable to the primary function of the State; and it is largely for this reason that the State’s service exerts its most powerful attraction upon an extremely low and sharp-set type of individual. (22)

The maintenance of this system of fetiches, however, gives great enhancement to the prevailing general view of the State. In that view, the State is made to appear as somehow deeply and disinterestedly concerned with great principles of action; and hence, in addition to its prestige as a pseudo-social institution, it takes on the prestige of a kind of moral authority, thus disposing of the last vestige of the doctrine of natural rights by overspreading it heavily with the quicklime of legalism; whatever is State-sanctioned is right. This double prestige is assiduously inflated by many agencies; by a State-controlled system of education, by a State- dazzled pulpit, by a meretricious press, by a continuous kaleidoscopic display of State pomp, panoply and circumstance, and by all the innumerable devices of electioneering. These last invariably take their stand on the foundation of some imposing principle, as witness the agonized cry now going up here and there in the land, for a “return to the constitution.” All this is simply “the interested clamours and sophistry,” which means no more and no less than it meant when the constitution was not yet five years old, and Fisher Ames was observing contemptuously that of all the legislative measures and proposals which were on the carpet at the time, he scarce knew one that had not raised this same cry, “not excepting a motion for adjournment.”

In fact, such popular terms of electioneering appeal are uniformly and notoriously what Jeremy Bentham called impostor-terms, and their use invariably marks one thing and one only; it marks a state of apprehension, either fearful or expectant, as the case may be, concerning access to the political means. As we are seeing at the moment, once let this access come under threat of straitening or stoppage, the menaced interests immediately trot out the spavined, glandered hobby of “state rights” or “a return to the constitution,” and put it through its galvanic movements. Let the incidence of exploitation show the first sign of shifting, and we hear at once from one source of “interested clamours and sophistry” that “democracy” is in danger, and that the unparalleled excellences of our civilization have come about solely through a policy of “rugged individualism,” carried out under terms of “free competition”; while from another source we hear that the enormities of laissez-faire have ground the faces of the poor, and obstructed entrance into the More Abundant Life. (23)

The general upshot of all this is that we see politicians of all schools and stripes behaving with the obscene depravity of degenerate children; like the loose-footed gangs that infest the railway-yards and purlieus of gas-houses, each group tries to circumvent another with respect to the fruit accruing to acts of public mischief. In other words, we see them behaving in a strictly historical manner. Professor Laski’s elaborate moral distinction between the State and officialdom is devoid of foundation. The State is not, as he would have it, a social institution administered in an anti-social way. It is an anti-social institution, administered in the only way an anti-social institution can be administered, and by the kind of person who, in the nature of things, is best adapted to such service.


Footnotes to Chapter 5
1 Consider, for example, the present situation. Our natural resources, while much depleted, are still great; our population is very thin, running something like twenty or twenty-five to the square mile; and some millions of this population are at the moment “unemployed,” and likely to remain so because no one will or can “give them work.” The point is not that men generally submit to this state of things, or that they accept it as inevitable, but that they see nothing irregular or anomalous about it because of their fixed idea that work is something to be given. (Back to text)2 The present paralysis of production, for example, is due solely to State intervention, and uncertainty concerning further intervention.(Back to text)


3 It seems to be very imperfectly understood that the cost of State intervention must be paid out of production, this being the only source from which any payment for anything can be derived. Intervention retards production; then the resulting stringency and inconvenience enable further intervention, which in turn still further retards production; and this process goes on until, as in Rome, in the third century, production ceases entirely, and the source of payment dries up.(Back to text)


4 As a matter of fact, all thirteen units merely continued the system that had existed throughout the colonial period – the system which gave the beneficiary a monopoly of rental-values as well as a monopoly of use-values. No other system was ever known in America, except in the short-lived state of Deseret, under the Mormon polity.(Back to text)


5 For a brilliant summary of post-revolutionary land-speculation, cf. Sakolski, op. cit., ch. 11.(Back to text)


6 Mr. Sakolski very justly remarks that the mania for land-jobbing was stimulated by the action of the new units in offering lands by way of settlement of their public debts, which led to extensive gambling in the various issues of “land-warrants.” The list of eminent names involved in this enterprise includes Wilson C. Nicholas, who later became governor of Virginia; “Light Horse Harry” Lee, father of the great Confederate commander; General John Preston, of Smithfield; and George Taylor, brother-in-law of Chief Justice Marshall. Lee, Preston and Nicholas were prosecuted at the instance of some Connecticut speculators, for a transaction alleged as fraudulent; Lee was arrested in Boston, on the eve of embarking for the West Indies. They had deeded a tract, said to be of 300,000 acres, at ten cents an acre, but on being surveyed, the tract did not come to half that size. Frauds of this order were extremely common.(Back to text)


7 The new political units continued the colonial practice of restricting the suffrage to taxpayers and owners of property, and none but men of considerable wealth were eligible to public office. Thus the exercise of sovereignty was a matter of economic right, not natural right.(Back to text)


8 This was the uprising known as Shays’s Rebellion, which took place in 1786. The creditor division in Massachusetts had gained control of the political means, and had fortified its control by establishing a constitution which was made to bear so hardly on the agrarian and debtor division that an armed insurrection broke out six years later, led by Daniel Shays, for the purpose of annulling its onerous provisions, and transferring control of the political means to the latter group. This incident affords a striking view in miniature of the State’s nature and teleology. The rebellion had a great effect in consolidating the creditor division and giving plausibility to its contention for the establishment of a strong coercive national State. Mr. Jefferson spoke contemptuously of this contention, as “the interested clamours and sophistry of speculating, shaving and banking institutions”; and of the rebellion itself he observed to Mrs. John Adams, whose husband had most to do with drafting the Massachusetts constitution, “I like a little rebellion now and then. . . . The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.” Writing to another correspondent at the same time, he said earnestly, “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.” Obiter dicta of this nature, scattered here and there in Mr. Jefferson’s writings, have the interest of showing how near his instinct led him towards a clear understanding of the State’s character.(Back to text)


9 Professor Sakolski observes that after the Articles of Confederation were supplanted by the constitution, schemes of land-speculation “multiplied with renewed and intensified energy.” Naturally so, for as he says, the new scheme of a national State got Strong support from this class of adventurers because they foresaw that rental-values “must be greatly increased by an efficient federal government.”(Back to text)


10 More than half the delegates to the constitutional convention of 1787 were either investors or speculators in the public funds. Probably sixty per cent of the values represented by these securities were fictitious, and were so regarded even by their holders. (Back to text)


11 It may be observed that at this time the word “national” was a term of obloquy, carrying somewhat the same implications that the word “fascist” carries in some quarters today. Nothing is more interesting than the history of political terms in their relation to the shifting balance of economic advantage – except, perhaps, the history of the partisan movements which they designate, viewed in the same relation.(Back to text)


12 The obvious reason for this, as the event showed, was that the interests grouped in the first division had the advantage of being relatively compact and easily mobilized. Those in the second division, being chiefly agrarian, were loose and sprawling, communications among them were slow, and mobilization difficult.(Back to text)


13 They have been noticed by several recent authorities, and are exhibited fully in Mr. Beard’s monumental Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States.(Back to text)


14 Beard, op. cit., p. 337.(Back to text)


15 The principal measures bearing directly on the distribution of the political means were those drafted by Hamilton for funding and assumption, for a protective tariff, and for a national bank. These gave practically exclusive use of the political means to the classes grouped in the first grand division, the only modes left available to others being patents and copyrights. Mr. Beard discusses these measures with his invariable lucidity and thoroughness, op. cit., ch. VIII. Some observations on them which are perhaps worth reading are contained in my Jefferson, ch. V.(Back to text)


16 The authority of the Supreme Court was disregarded by Jackson, and overruled by Lincoln, thus converting the mode of the State temporarily from an oligarchy into an autocracy. It is interesting to observe that just such a contingency was foreseen by the framers of the constitution, in particular by Hamilton. They were apparently well aware of the ease with which, in any period of crisis, a quasi-republican mode of the State slips off into executive tyranny. Oddly enough, Mr. Jefferson at one time considered nullifying the Alien and Sedition Acts by executive action, but did not do so. Lincoln overruled the opinion of Chief Justice Taney that suspension of the habeas corpus was unconstitutional, and in consequence the mode of the State was, until 1865, a monocratic military despotism. In fact, from the date of his proclamation of blockade, Lincoln ruled unconstitutionally throughout his term. The doctrine of “reserved powers” was knaved up ex post facto as a justification of his acts, but as far as the intent of the constitution is concemed, it was obviously a pure invention. In fact, a very good case could be made out for the assertion that Lincoln’s acts resulted in a permanent radical change in the entire system of constitutional “interpretation” – that since his time “interpretations” have not been interpretations of the constitution, but merely of public policy; or, as our most acute and profound social critic put it, “th’ Supreme Court follows th’ iliction rayturns.” A strict constitutionalist might indeed say that the constitution died in 1861, and one would have to scratch one’s head pretty diligently to refute him.(Back to text)


17 Marshall was appointed by John Adams at the end of his Presidential term, when the interests grouped in the first division were becoming very anxious about the opposition developing against them among the exploited interests. A letter written by Oliver Wolcott to Fisher Ames gives a good idea of where the doctrine of popular sovereignty stood; his reference to military measures is particularly striking. He says, “The steady men in Congress will attempt to extend the judicial department, and I hope that their measures will be very decided. It is impossible in this country to render an army an engine of government; and there is no way to combat the state opposition but by an efficient and extended organization of judges, magistrates, and other civil officers.” Marshall’s appointment followed, and also the creation of twenty-three new federal judgeships. Marshall’s cardinal decisions were made in the cases of Marbury, of Fletcher, of McCulloch, of Dartmouth College, and of Cohens. It is perhaps not generally understood that as the result of Marshall’s efforts, the Supreme Court became not only the highest law- interpreting body, but the highest law-making body as well; the precedents established by its decisions have the force of constitutional law. Since 1800, therefore, the actual mode of the State in America is normally that of a small and irresponsible oligarchy! Mr. Jefferson, regarding Marshall quite justly as “a crafty chief judge who sophisticates the law to his mind by the turn of his own reasoning,” made in 1821 the very remarkable prophecy that “our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence. The engine of consolidation will be the federal judiciary; the other two branches the corrupting and corrupted instruments.” Another prophetic comment on the effect of centralization was his remark that “when we must wait for Washington to tell us when to sow and when to reap, we shall soon want bread.” A survey of our present political circumstances makes comment on these prophecies superfluous.(Back to text)


18 He had observed it in the British State some years before, and spoke of it with vivacity. “The nest of office being too small for all of them to cuddle into at once, the contest is eternal which shall crowd the other out. For this purpose they are divided into two parties, the Ins and the Outs.” Why he could not see that the same thing was bound to take place in the American State as an effect of causes identical with those which brought it about in the British State, is a puzzle to students. Apparently, however, he did not see it, notwithstanding the sound instinct that made him suspect parties, and always kept him free from party alliances. As he wrote Hopkinson in 1789, “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”(Back to text)


19 Jefferson, p. 274. The agrarian-artisan-debtor economic group that elected Mr. Jefferson took title as the Republican party (subsequently renamed Democratic) and the opposing group called itself by the old preconstitutional title of Federalist.(Back to text)


2O An example, noteworthy only because uncommonly conspicuous, is seen in the behaviour of the Democratic senators in the matter of the tariff on sugar, in Cleveland’s second administration. Ever since that incident, one of the Washington newspapers has used the name “Senator Sorghum” in its humorous paragraphs, to designate the typical venal jobholder.(Back to text)


21 Mr. Jefferson was the first to acknowledge that his purchase of the Louisiana territory was unconstitutional; but it added millions of acres to the sum of agrarian resource, and added an immense amount of prospective voting-strength to agrarian control of the political means, as against control by the financial and commercial interests represented by the Federalist party. Mr. Jefferson justified himself solely on the ground of public policy, an interesting anticipation of Lincoln’s self-justification in 1861, for confronting Congress and the country with a like fait accompli – this time, however, executed in behalf of financial and commercial interests as against the agrarian interest.(Back to text)


22 Henry George made some very keen comment upon the almost incredible degradation that he saw taking place progressively in the personnel of the State’s service. It is perhaps most conspicuous in the Presidency and the Senate, though it goes on pari passu elsewhere and throughout. As for the federal House of Representatives and the state legislative bodies, they must be seen to be believed.(Back to text)


23 Of all the impostor-terms in our political glossary these are perhaps the most flagrantly impudent, and their employment perhaps the most flagitious. We have already seen that nothing remotely resembling democracy has ever existed here; nor yet has anything resembling free competition, for the existence of free competition is obviously incompatible with any exercise of the political means, even the feeblest. For the same reason, no policy of rugged individualism has ever existed; the most that rugged individualism has done to distinguish itself has been by way of running to the State for some form of economic advantage. If the reader has any curiosity about this, let him look up the number of American business enterprises that have made a success unaided by the political means, or the number of fortunes accumulated without such aid. Laissez-faire has become a term of pure opprobrium; those who use it either do not know what it means, or else wilfully pervert it. As for the unparalleled excellences of our civilization, it is perhaps enough to say that the statistics of our insurance-companies now show that four-fifths of our people who have reached the age of sixty-five are supported by their relatives or by some other form of charity.(Back to text)

Such has been the course of our experience from the beginning, and such are the terms in which its stark uniformity has led us to think of the State. This uniformity also goes far to account for the development of a peculiar moral enervation with regard to the State, exactly parallel to that which prevailed with regard to the Church in the Middle Ages. (1) The Church controlled the distribution of certain privileges and immunities, and if one approached it properly, one might get the benefit of them. It stood as something to be run to in any kind of emergency, temporal or spiritual; for the satisfaction of ambition and cupidity, as well as for the more tenuous assurances it held out against various forms of fear, doubt and sorrow. As long as this was so, the anomalies presented by its self-aggrandizement were more or less contentedly acquiesced in; and thus a chronic moral enervation, too negative to be called broadly cynical, was developed towards its interventions and exactions, and towards the vast overbuilding of its material structure. (2)A like enervation pervades our society with respect to the State, and for like reasons. It affects especially those who take the State’s pretensions at face value and regard it as a social institution whose policies of continuous intervention are wholesome and necessary; and it also affects the great majority who have no clear idea of the State, but merely accept it as something that exists, and never think about it except when some intervention bears unfavourably upon their interests. There is little need to dwell upon the amount of aid thus given to the State’s progress in self-aggrandizement, or to show in detail or by illustration the courses by which this spiritlessness promotes the State’s steady policy of intervention, exaction and overbuilding. (3)

Every intervention by the State enables another, and this in turn another, and so on indefinitely; and the State stands ever ready and eager to make them, often on its own motion, often again wangling plausibility for them through the specious suggestion of interested persons. Sometimes the matter at issue is in its nature simple, socially necessary, and devoid of any character that would bring it into the purview of politics. (4) For convenience, however, complications are erected on it; then presently someone sees that these complications are exploitable, and proceeds to exploit them; then another, and another, until the rivalries and collisions of interest thus generated issue in a more or less general disorder. When this takes place, the logical thing, obviously, is to recede, and let the disorder be settled in the slower and more troublesome way, but the only effective way, through the operation of natural laws. But in such circumstances recession is never for a moment thought of; the suggestion would be put down as sheer lunacy. Instead, the interests unfavourably affected – little aware, perhaps, how much worse the cure is than the disease, or at any rate little caring – immediately call on the State to cut in arbitrarily between cause and effect, and clear up the disorder out of hand. (5) The State then intervenes by imposing another set of complications upon the first; these in turn are found exploitable, another demand arises, another set of complications, still more intricate, is erected upon thefirst two; (6) and the same sequence is gone through again and again until the recurrent disorder becomes acute enough to open the way for a sharking political adventurer to come forward and, always alleging “necessity, the tyrant’s plea,” to organize a coup d’ tat. (7)

But more often the basic matter at issue represents an original intervention of the State, an original allotment of the political means. Each of these allotments, as we have seen, is a charter of highwaymanry, a license to appropriate the labour-products of others without compensation. Therefore it is in the nature of things that when such a license is issued, the State must follow it up with an indefinite series of interventions to systematize and “regulate” its use. The State’s endless progressive encroachments that are recorded in the history of the tariff, their impudent and disgusting particularity, and the prodigious amount of apparatus necessary to give them effect, furnish a conspicuous case in point. Another is furnished by the history of our railway-regulation. It is nowadays the fashion, even among those who ought to know better, to hold “rugged individualism” and laissez-faire responsible for the riot of stock-watering, rebates, rate-cutting, fraudulent bankruptcies, and the like, which prevailed in our railway-practice after the Civil War, but they had no more to do with it than they have with the precession of the equinoxes. The fact is that our railways, with few exceptions, did not grow up in response to any actual economic demand. They were speculative enterprises enabled by State intervention, by allotment of the political means in the form of land-grants and subsidies; and of all the evils alleged against our railway-practice, there is not one but what is directly traceable to this primary intervention. (8)

So it is with shipping. There was no valid economic demand for adventure in the carrying trade; in fact, every sound economic consideration was dead against it. It was entered upon through State intervention, instigated by shipbuilders and their allied interests; and the mess engendered by their manipulation of the political means is now the ground of demand for further and further coercive intervention. So it is with what, by an unconscionable stretch of language, goes by the name of farming. (9) There are very few troubles so far heard of as normally besetting this form of enterprise but what are directly traceable to the State’s primary intervention in establishing a system of land-tenure which gives a monopoly-right over rental-values as well as over use-values; and as long as that system is in force, one coercive intervention after another is bound to take place in support of it. (10)




Thus we see how ignorance and delusion concerning the nature of the State combine with extreme moral debility and myopic self-interest – what Ernest Renan so well calls la bassesse de l’homme int©ress© – to enable the steadily accelerated conversion of social power into State power that has gone on from the beginning of our political independence. It is a curious anomaly. State power has an unbroken record of inability to do anything efficiently, economically, disinterestedly or honestly; yet when the slightest dissatisfaction arises over any exercise of social power, the aid of the agent least qualified to give aid is immediately called for. Does social power mismanage banking-practice in this-or-that special instance – then let the State, which never has shown itself able to keep its own finances from sinking promptly into the slough of misfeasance, wastefulness and corruption, intervene to “supervise” or “regulate” the whole body of banking-practice, or even take it over entire. Does social power, in this-or-that case, bungle the business of railway-management – then let the State, which has bungled every business it has ever undertaken, intervene and put its hand to the business of “regulating” railway-operation. Does social power now and then send out an unseaworthy ship to disaster – then let the State, which inspected and passed the Morro Castle, be given a freer swing at controlling the routine of the shipping trade. Does social power here and there exercise a grinding monopoly over the generation and distribution of electric current – then let the State, which allots and maintains monopoly, come in and intervene with a general scheme of price-fixing which works more unforeseen hardships than it heals, or else let it go into direct competition; or, as the collectivists urge, let it take over the monopoly bodily. “Ever since society has existed,” says Herbert Spencer, “disappointment has been preaching, ‘Put not your trust in legislation’; and yet the trust in legislation seems hardly diminished.”

But it may be asked where we are to go for relief from the misuses of social power, if not to the State. What other recourse have we? Admitting that under our existing mode of political organization we have none, it must still be pointed out that this question rests on the old inveterate misapprehension of the State’s nature, presuming that the State is a social institution, whereas it is an anti-social institution; that is to say, the question rests on an absurdity. (11) It is certainly true that the business of government, in maintaining “freedom and security,” and “to secure these rights,” is to make a recourse to justice costless, easy and informal; but the State, on the contrary, is primarily concerned with injustice, and its function is to maintain a regime of injustice; hence, as we see daily, its disposition is to put justice as far as possible out of reach, and to make the effort after justice as costly and difficult as it can. One may put it in a word that while government is by its nature concerned with the administration of justice, the State is by its nature concerned with the administration of law – law, which the State itself manufactures for the service of its own primary ends. Therefore an appeal to the State, based on the ground of justice, is futile in any circumstances, (12) for whatever action the State might take in response to it would be conditioned by the State’s own paramount interest, and would hence be bound to result, as we see such action invariably resulting, in as great injustice as that which it pretends to correct, or as a rule, greater. The question thus presumes, in short, that the State may on occasion be persuaded to act out of character; and this is levity.

But passing on from this special view of the question, and regarding it in a more general way, we see that what it actually amounts to is a plea for arbitrary interference with the order of nature, an arbitrary cutting-in to avert the penalty which nature lays on any and every form of error, whether wilful or ignorant, voluntary or involuntary; and no attempt at this has ever yet failed to cost more than it came to. Any contravention of natural law, any tampering with the natural order of things, must have its consequences, and the only recourse for escaping them is such as entails worse consequences. Nature recks nothing of intentions, good or bad; the one thing she will not tolerate is disorder, and she is very particular about getting her full pay for any attempt to create disorder. She gets it sometimes by very indirect methods, often by very roundabout and unforeseen ways, but she always gets it. “Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be; why, then, should we desire to be deceived?” It would seem that our civilization is greatly given to this infantile addiction – greatly given to persuading itself that it can find some means which nature will tolerate, whereby we may eat our cake and have it; and it strongly resents the stubborn fact that there is no such means. (13)

It will be clear to anyone who takes the trouble to think the matter through, that under a regime of natural order, that is to say under government, which makes no positive interventions whatever on the individual, but only negative interventions in behalf of simple justice – not law, but justice – misuses of social power would be effectively corrected; whereas we know by interminable experience that the State’s positive interventions do not correct them. Under a regime of actual individualism, actually free competition, actual laissez-faire – a regime which, as we have seen, can not possibly coexist with the State – a serious or continuous misuse of social power would be virtually impracticable. (14)

I shall not take up space with amplifying these statements because, in the first place, this has already been thoroughly done by Spencer, in his essays entitled The Man versus the State; and, in the second place, because I wish above all things to avoid the appearance of suggesting that a regime such as these statements contemplate is practicable, or that I am ever so covertly encouraging anyone to dwell on the thought of such a regime. Perhaps, some aeons hence, if the planet remains so long habitable, the benefits accruing to conquest and confiscation may be adjudged over-costly; the State may in consequence be superseded by government, the political means suppressed, and the fetiches which give nationalism and patriotism their present execrable character may be broken down. But the remoteness and uncertainty of this prospect makes any thought of it fatuous, and any concern with it futile. Some rough measure of its remoteness may perhaps be gained by estimating the growing strength of the forces at work against it. Ignorance and error, which the State’s prestige steadily deepens, are against it; la bassesse de l’homme int©ress©, steadily pushing its purposes to greater lengths of turpitude, is against it; moral enervation, steadily proceeding to the point of complete insensitiveness, is against it. What combination of influences more powerful than this can one imagine, and what can one imagine possible to be done in the face of such a combination?

To the sum of these, which may be called spiritual influences, may be added the overweening physical strength of the State, which is ready to be called into action at once against any affront to the State’s prestige. Few realize how enormously and how rapidly in recent years the State has everywhere built up its apparatus of armies and police forces. The State has thoroughly learned the lesson laid down by Septimius Severus, on his death-bed. “Stick together,” he said to his successors, “pay the soldiers, and don’t worry about anything else.” It is now known to every intelligent person that there can be no such thing as a revolution as long as this advice is followed; in fact, there has been no revolution in the modem world since 1848 – every so-called revolution has been merely a coup coup d’©tat. (15) All talk of the possibility of a revolution in America is in part perhaps ignorant, but mostly dishonest; it is merely “the interested clamours and sophistry” of persons who have some sort of ax to grind. Even Lenin acknowledged that a revolution is impossible anywhere until the military and police forces become disaffected; and the last place to look for that, probably, is here. We have all seen demonstrations of a disarmed populace, and local riots carried on with primitive weapons, and we have also seen how they ended, as in Homestead, Chicago, and the mining districts of West Virginia, for instance. Coxey’s Army marched on Washington – and it kept off the grass.

Taking the sum of the State’s physical strength, with the force of powerful spiritual influences behind it, one asks again, what can be done against the State’s progress in self-aggrandizement? Simply nothing. So far from encouraging any hopeful contemplation of the unattainable, the student of civilized man will offer no conclusion but that nothing can be done. He can regard the course of our civilization only as he would regard the course of a man in a rowboat on the lower reaches of the Niagara – as an instance of Nature’s unconquerable intolerance of disorder, and in the end, an example of the penalty which she puts upon any attempt at interference with order. Our civilization may at the outset have taken its chances with the current of Statism either ignorantly or deliberately; it makes no difference. Nature cares nothing whatever about motive or intention; she cares only for order, and looks to see only that her repugnance to disorder shall be vindicated, and that her concern with the regular orderly sequences of things and actions shall be upheld in the outcome. Emerson, in one of his great moments of inspiration, personified cause and effect as “the chancellors of God”; and invariable experience testifies that the attempt to nullify or divert or in any wise break in upon their sequences must have its own reward.

“Such,” says Professor Ortega y Gasset, “was the lamentable fate of ancient civilization.” A dozen empires have already finished the course that ours began three centuries ago. The lion and the lizard keep the vestiges that attest their passage upon earth, vestiges of cities which in their day were as proud and powerful as ours – Tadmor, Persepolis, Luxor, Baalbek – some of them indeed forgotten for thousands of years and brought to memory again only by the excavator, like those of the Mayas, and those buried in the sands of the Gobi. The sites which now bear Narbonne and Marseilles have borne the habitat of four successive civilizations, each of them, as St. James says, even as a vapour which appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. The course of all these civilizations was the same. Conquest, confiscation, the erection of the State; then the sequences which we have traced in the course of our own civilization; then the shock of some irruption which the social structure was too far weakened to resist, and from which it was left too disorganized to recover; and then the end.

Our pride resents the thought that the great highways of New England will one day lie deep under layers of encroaching vegetation, as the more substantial Roman roads of Old England have lain for generations; and that only a group of heavily overgrown hillocks will be left to attract the archaeologist’s eye to the hidden dƒ©bris of our collapsed skyscrapers. Yet it is to just this, we know, that our civilization will come; and we know it because we know that there never has been, never is, and never will be, any disorder in nature – because we know that things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be.

But there is no need to dwell lugubriously upon the probable circumstances of a future so far distant. What we and our more nearly immediate descendants shall see is a steady progress in collectivism running off into a military despotism of a severe type. Closer centralization; a steadily growing bureaucracy; State power and faith in State power increasing, social power and faith in social power diminishing; the State absorbing a continually larger proportion of the national income; production languishing, the State in consequence taking over one “essential industry” after another, managing them with ever-increasing corruption, inefficiency and prodigality, and finally resorting to a system of forced labour. Then at some point in this progress, a collision of State interests, at least as general and as violent as that which occurred in 1914, will result in an industrial and financial dislocation too severe for the asthenic social structure to bear; and from this the State will be left to “the rusty death of machinery,” and the casual anonymous forces of dissolution will be supreme.




But it may quite properly be asked, if we in common with the rest of the Western world are so far gone in Statism as to make this outcome inevitable, what is the use of a book which merely shows that it is inevitable? By its own hypothesis the book is useless. Upon the very evidence it offers, no one’s political opinions are likely to be changed by it, no one’s practical attitude towards the State will be modified by it; and if they were, according to the book’s own premises, what good could it do?

Assuredly I do not expect this book to change anyone’s political opinions, for it is not meant to do that. One or two, perhaps, here and there, may be moved to look a little into the subject-matter on their own account, and thus perhaps their opinions would undergo some slight loosening – or some constriction – but this is the very most that would happen. In general, too, I would be the first to acknowledge that no results of the kind which we agree to call practical could accrue to the credit of a book of this order, were it a hundred times as cogent as this one – no results, that is, that would in the least retard the State’s progress in self-aggrandizement and thus modify the consequences of the State’s course. There are two reasons, however, one general and one special, why the publication of such a book is admissible.

The general reason is that when in any department of thought a person has, or thinks he has, a view of the plain intelligible order of things, it is proper that he should record that view publicly, with no thought whatever of the practical consequences, or lack of consequences, likely to ensue upon his so doing. He might indeed be thought bound to do this as a matter of abstract duty; not to crusade or propagandize for his view or seek to impose it upon anyone – far from that! – not to concern himself at all with either its acceptance or its disallowance; but merely to record it. This I say, might be thought his duty to the natural truth of things, but it is at all events his right; it is admissible.

The special reason has to do with the fact that in every civilization, however generally prosaic, however addicted to the short-time point of view on human affairs, there are always certain alien spirits who, while outwardly conforming to the requirements of the civilization around them, still keep a disinterested regard for the plain intelligible law of things, irrespective of any practical end. They have an intellectual curiosity, sometimes touched with emotion, concerning the august order of nature; they are impressed by the contemplation of it, and like to know as much about it as they can, even in circumstances where its operation is ever so manifestly unfavourable to their best hopes and wishes. For these, a work like this, however in the current sense impractical, is not quite useless; and those of them it reaches will be aware that for such as themselves, and such only, it was written.


Footnotes to Chapter 6
1 Not long ago Professor Laski commented on the prevalence of this enervation among our young people, especially among our student-population. It has several contributing causes, but it is mainly to be accounted for, I think, by the unvarying uniformity of our experience. The State’s pretensions have been so invariably extravagant, the disparity between them and its conduct so invariably manifest, that one could hardly expect anything else. Probably the protest against our imperialism in the Pacific and the Caribbean, after the Spanish War, marked the last major effort of an impotent and moribund decency. Mr. Laski’s comparisons with student-bodies in England and Europe lose some of their force when it is remembered that the devices of a fixed term and an irresponsible executive render the American State peculiarly insensitive to protest and inaccessible to effective censure. As Mr. Jefferson said, the one resource of impeachment is “not even a scarecrow.” (Back to text)

2 As an example of this overbuilding, at the beginning of the sixteenth century one-fifth of the land of France was owned by the Church; it was held mainly by monastic establishments.(Back to text)


3 It may be observed, however, that mere use-and-wont interferes with our seeing how egregiously the original structure of the American State, with its system of superimposed jurisdictions and reduplicated functions, was overbuilt. At the present time, a citizen lives under half-a-dozen or more separate overlapping jurisdictions, federal, state, county, township, municipal, borough, school-district, ward, federal district. Nearly all of these have power to tax him directly or indirectly, or both, and as we all know, the only limit to the exercise of this power is what can be safely got by it; and thus we arrive at the principle rather naƒ¯vely formulated by the late senator from Utah, and sometimes spoken of ironically as “Smoot’s law of government” – the principle, as he put it, that the cost of government tends to increase from year to year, no matter which party is in power. It would be interesting to know the exact distribution of the burden of jobholders and mendicant political retainers – for it must not be forgotten that the subsidized “unemployed” are now a permanent body of patronage – among income-receiving citizens. Counting indirect taxes and voluntary contributions as well as direct taxes, it would probably be not far off the mark to say that every two citizens are carrying a third between them. (Back to text)


4 For example, the basic processes of exchange are necessary, non-political, and as simple as any in the world. The humblest Yankee rustic who swaps eggs for bacon in the country store, or a day’s labour for potatoes in a neighbour’s field, understands them thoroughly, and manages them competently. Their formula is: goods or services in return for goods or services. There is not, never has been, and never will be, a single transaction anywhere in the realm of “business” – no matter what its magnitude or apparent complexity – that is not directly reducible to this formula. For convenience in facilitating exchange, however, money was introduced; and money is a complication, and so are the other evidences of debt, such as cheques, drafts, notes, bills, bonds, stock-certificates, which were introduced for the same reason. These complications were found to be exploitable; and the consequent number and range of State interventions to “regulate” and “supervise” their exploitation appear to be without end. (Back to text)


5 It is one of the most extraordinary things in the world, that the interests which abhor and dread collectivism are the ones which have most eagerly urged on the State to take each one of the successive single steps that lead directly to collectivism. Who urged it on to form the Federal Trade Commission; to expand the Department of Commerce; to form the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Federal Farm Board; to pass the Anti-trust Acts; to build highways, dig out waterways, provide airway services, subsidize shipping? If these steps do not tend straight to collectivism, just which way do they tend? Furthermore, when the interests which encouraged the State to take them are horrified by the apparition of communism and the Red menace, just what are their protestations worth?(Back to text)


6 The text of the Senate’s proposed banking law, published on the first of July, 1935, almost exactly filled four pages of the Wall Street Journal! Really now – now really – can any conceivable absurdity surpass that? (Back to text)


7 As here in 1932, in Italy, Germany and Russia latterly, in France after the collapse of the Directory, in Rome after the death of Pertinax, and so on. (Back to text)


8 Ignorance has no assignable limits; yet when one hears our railway-companies cited as specimens of rugged individualism, one is put to it to say whether the speaker’s sanity should be questioned, or his integrity. Our transcontinental companies, in particular, are hardly to be called railway-companies, since transportation was purely incidental to their true business, which was that of land-jobbing and subsidy-hunting. I remember seeing the statement a few years ago – I do not vouch for it, but it can not be far off the fact – that at the time of writing, the current cash value of the political means allotted to the Northern Pacific Company would enable it to build four transcontinental lines, and in addition, to build a fleet of ships and maintain it in around-the-world service. If this sort of thing represents rugged individualism, let future lexicographers make the most of it. (Back to text)


9 A farmer, properly speaking, is a freeholder who directs his operations, first, towards making his family, as far as possible, an independent unit, economically self-contained. What he produces over and above this requirement he converts into a cash crop. There is a second type of agriculturist, who is not a farmer, but a manufacturer, as much so as one who makes woolen or cotton textiles or leather shoes. He raises one crop only – milk, corn, wheat, cotton, or whatever it may be – which is wholly a cash crop; and if the market for his particular commodity goes down below cost of production, he is in the same bad luck as the motor-car maker or shoemaker or pantsmaker who turns out more of his special kind of goods than the market will bear. His family is not independent; he buys everything his household uses; his children can not live on cotton or milk or corn, any more than the shoe-manufacturer’s children can live on shoes. There is still to be distinguished a third type, who carries on agriculture as a sort of taxpaying subsidiary to speculation in agricultural land-values. It is the last two classes who chiefly clamour for intervention, and they are often, indeed, in a bad way; but it is not farming that puts them there. (Back to text)


10 The very limit of particularity in this course of coercive intervention seems to have been reached, according to press-reports, in the state of Wisconsin. On 31 May, the report is, Governor La Follette signed a bill requiring all public eating-places to serve two-thirds of an ounce of Wisconsin-made cheese and two-thirds of an ounce of Wisconsin-made butter with every meal costing more than twenty-four cents. To match this for particularity one would pretty well have to go back to some of the British Trade Acts of the eighteenth century, and it would be hard to find an exact match, even there. If this passes muster under the “due process of law” clause – whether the eating-house pays for these supplies or passes their cost along to the consumer – one can see nothing to prevent the legislature of New York, say, from requiring each citizen to buy annually two hats made by Knox, and two suits made by Finchley. (Back to text)


11 Admitting that the lamb in the fable had no other recourse than the wolf, one may none the less see that its appeal to the wolf was a waste of breath. (Back to text)


12 This is now so well understood that no one goes to a court for justice; he goes for gain or revenge. It is interesting to observe that some philosophers of law now say that law has no relation to justice, and is not meant to have any such relation. In their view, law represents only a progressive registration of the ways in which experience leads us to believe that society can best get along. One might hesitate a long time about accepting their notion of what law is, but one must appreciate their candid affirmation of what it is not. (Back to text)


l3 This resentment is very remarkable. In spite of our failure with one conspicuously ambitious experiment in State intervention, I dare say there would still be great resentment against Professor Sumner’s ill-famed remark that when people talked tearfully about “the poor drunkard lying in the gutter,” it seemed never to occur to them that the gutter might be quite the right place for him to lie; or against the bishop of Peterborough’s declaration that he would rather see England free than sober. Yet both these remarks merely recognize the great truth which experience forces on our notice every day, that attempts to interfere with the natural order of things are bound, in one way or another, to turn out for the worse. (Back to text)


14 The horrors of England’s industrial life in the last century furnish a standing brief for addicts of positive intervention. Child-labour and woman-labour in the mills and mines; Coketown and Mr. Bounderby; starvation wages; killing hours; vile and hazardous conditions of labour; coffin ships officered by ruffians – all these are glibly charged off by reformers and publicists to a regime of rugged individualism, unrestrained competition, and laissez-faire. This is an absurdity on its face, for no such regime ever existed in England. They were due to the State’s primary intervention whereby the population of England was expropriated from the land; due to the State’s removal of the land from competition with industry for labour. Nor did the factory system and the “industrial revolution” have the least thing to do with creating those hordes of miserable beings. When the factory system came in, those hordes were already there, expropriated, and they went into the mills for whatever Mr. Gradgrind and Mr. Plugson of Undershot would give them, because they had no choice but to beg, steal or starve. Their misery and degradation did not lie at the door of individualism; they lay nowhere but at the door of the State. Adam Smith’s economics are not the economics of individualism; they are the economics of landowners and mill-owners. Our zealots of positive intervention would do well to read the history of the Enclosures Acts and the work of the Hammonds, and see what they can make of them. (Back to text)


15 When Sir Robert Peel proposed to organize the police force of London, Englishmen said openly that half a dozen throats cut in Whitechapel every year would be a cheap price to pay for keeping such an instrument of potential tyranny out of the State’s hands. We are all beginning to realize now that there is a great deal to be said for that view of the matter. (Back to text)

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A look at what constitutes "speeding"

An interesting look at what constitutes “speeding”, be it posted limit or reasonable and prudent. Original post is here.Speeding in Traffic (Florida)Prudent or Posted?


The Florida statute providing the penalty for speeding is at section 316.183 (FS). Subsection (1) directs that everyone shall drive at “reasonable and prudent” under the conditions. Subsection (3) directs school buses (not even the drivers of them, but the buses!) shall not exceed the posted speed limit. Subsection (4) is directed at every driver, for him to adhere to the requirements of subsection (1), being “reasonable and prudent.” At subsection (6) all drivers are directed to obey the speed limits signs in a work zone area.

So, school buses (!) are to obey the posted speed limits at all times. Drivers in general need only be “reasonable and prudent” except when in a work zone area where the posted speed limits also apply.

Looking at the cross reference for the FAC, it shows that 316.183 is implemented only by FAC 6-3.017; this section deals with school buses, and it implements specifically 316.183(3). The other subsections of 316.183 (FS) therefore are not implemented (barring a mistake in the online version in the FAC(section 6 is a 15MB PDF file)).

What is reasonable and prudent? It depends on road, weather, and other conditions. But travelling faster than the posted speed limit is not reckless per se; see the following Attorney General opinion, which is reproduced here as it is found on page 351 of the Biennial Report of the Attorney General for 1950:

May 10, 1950–050-236


QUESTION: Does the operation of a motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than the rate prescribed by Section 317.22, Florida Statutes, constitute reckless driving per se?

To: Honorable John D. Justice, County Judge, Sarasota County, Sarasota, Florida:
. . . . .

Your question is accordingly answered in the negative.


FS 317.22 of 1950 was similar to what FS 316.183 is today.



It appears that since the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, is an agency of the Executive Branch of government…

FS 20.24 Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.–There is created a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
(1) The head of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is the Governor and Cabinet.
(2) The following divisions, and bureaus within the divisions, of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles are established:
(a) Division of the Florida Highway Patrol.
(b) Division of Driver Licenses.
(c) Division of Motor Vehicles.
1. Bureau of Motor Vehicle Inspection.

… the director of the DHSMV is responsible to comply with the rule adoption provisions of Chapter 120 (FS).

20.05 Heads of departments; powers and duties.–
(1) Each head of a department, except as otherwise provided by law, must:
* * *
(e) Subject to the requirements of chapter 120, exercise existing authority to adopt rules pursuant and limited to the powers, duties, and functions transferred to the department;

Rule making is required to implement to statute for the general public; see Rule Making.

As there are no rules bringing the general public within the operation of posted speed limits, it appears the general public (by this I mean those who hold driver’s licences but do not drive school buses) could argue (to a judge) that they have not been brought within the operation of the statute (FS 316.183) by an agency rule and therefore a (theoretical) speeding ticket charge should be dismissed. I don’t know if this argument will work as well if given for speeding in a “work zone area,” where one in theory endangered people working on or around the road. This is not legal advise – just a theory for some brave soul to try instead of paying a speeding fine.










316.183 Unlawful speed.— [implemented by FAC 6-3.017]

(1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance or object on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

(2) On all streets or highways, the maximum speed limits for all vehicles must be 30 miles per hour in business or residence districts, and 55 miles per hour at any time at all other locations. However, with respect to a residence district, a county or municipality may set a maximum speed limit of 20 or 25 miles per hour on local streets and highways after an investigation determines that such a limit is reasonable. It is not necessary to conduct a separate investigation for each residence district. The minimum speed limit on all highways that comprise a part of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and have not fewer than four lanes is 40 miles per hour.

(3) No school bus shall exceed the posted speed limits, not to exceed 55 miles per hour at any time.

(4) The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (1), drive at an appropriately reduced speed when:
(a) Approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing;
(b) Approaching and going around a curve;
(c) Approaching a hill crest;
(d) Traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway; and
(e) Any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.

(5) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

(6) No driver of a vehicle shall exceed the posted maximum speed limit in a work zone area.

(7) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.

History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 1, ch. 76-159; s. 3, ch. 76-218; s. 3, ch. 76-286; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 6, ch. 87-161; s. 2, ch. 88-47; s. 5, ch. 88-91; s. 4, ch. 88-93; s. 21, ch. 90-227; s. 17, ch. 94-306; s. 20, ch. 96-350; s. 135, ch. 99-248.



316.185 Special hazards.–The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the prescribed limits shall not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, or when special hazards exist or may exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or other roadway conditions, and speed shall be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the street in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care. A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.

History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 136, ch. 99-248.



316.187 Establishment of state speed zones.— [implemented by FAC 14.15.012]

(1) Whenever the Department of Transportation determines, upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation, that any speed is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the conditions found to exist at any intersection or other place, or upon any part of a highway outside of a municipality or upon any state roads, connecting links or extensions thereof within a municipality, the Department of Transportation may determine and declare a reasonable and safe speed limit thereat which shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected at the intersection or other place or part of the highway.

(2)(a) The maximum allowable speed limit on limited access highways is 70 miles per hour.

(b) The maximum allowable speed limit on any other highway which is outside an urban area of 5,000 or more persons and which has at least four lanes divided by a median strip is 65 miles per hour.

(c) The Department of Transportation is authorized to set such maximum and minimum speed limits for travel over other roadways under its authority as it deems safe and advisable, not to exceed as a maximum limit 60 miles per hour.

(3) Violation of the speed limits established under this section must be cited as a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; ss. 1, 18, ch. 76-31; s. 1, ch. 76-218; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 87-352; s. 9, ch. 93-164; s. 47, ch. 96-323; s. 21, ch. 96-350.

Note.–Former s. 316.181.



316.189 Establishment of municipal and county speed zones.— [implemented by FAC 6-3.017 & 14-15.012]

(1) MUNICIPAL SPEED.–The maximum speed within any municipality is 30 miles per hour. With respect to residence districts, a municipality may set a maximum speed limit of 20 or 25 miles per hour on local streets and highways after an investigation determines that such a limit is reasonable. It shall not be necessary to conduct a separate investigation for each residence district. A municipality may set speed zones altering the speed limit, both as to maximum, not to exceed 60 miles per hour, and minimum, after investigation determines such a change is reasonable and in conformity to criteria promulgated by the Department of Transportation, except that no changes shall be made on state highways or connecting links or extensions thereof, which shall be changed only by the Department of Transportation.

(2) SPEED ON COUNTY ROADS.–The maximum speed on any county-maintained road is:

(a) In any business or residence district, 30 miles per hour in the daytime or nighttime; provided that with respect to residence districts a county may set a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour after an investigation determines that such a limit is reasonable; and it shall not be necessary to conduct a separate investigation in each residence district.

(b) On any other part of a county road not a business or residence district, as set forth in s. 316.183.

However, the board of county commissioners may set speed zones altering such speeds, both as to maximum and minimum, after investigation determines such a change is reasonable and in conformity to criteria promulgated by the Department of Transportation, except that no such speed zone shall permit a speed of more than 60 miles per hour.

(3) POSTING OF SPEED LIMITS.–All speed zones shall be posted with clearly legible signs. No change in speeds from 30 miles per hour or from those established in s. 316.183 shall take effect until the zone is posted by the authority changing the speed pursuant to this section and s. 316.187. All signs which limit or establish speed limits, maximum and minimum, shall be so placed and so painted as to be plainly visible and legible in daylight or in darkness when illuminated by headlights.

(4) PENALTY.–Violation of the speed limits established under this section must be cited as a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

History.–s. 1, ch. 71-135; ss. 1, 19, ch. 76-31; s. 2, ch. 76-218; s. 1, ch. 88-47; s. 22, ch. 90-227; s. 48, ch. 96-323; s. 22, ch. 96-350.

Note.–Former s. 316.182.




6-3.017 Responsibilities of School Districts for Student Transportation.

Each school district shall exercise specific powers and responsibilities, as follows:
(1) Responsibilities of Superintendent. It shall be the duty of the superintendent, acting as executive officer for the school board to exercise functions and to perform duties listed below:
(a) To recommend to the school board such policies, rules and regulations, plans and procedures as the superintendent shall deem desirable or necessary for provisions of satisfactory transportation facilities and equipment in the district, and as executive officer of the board, to administer the transportation service and to make sure that all policies and actions approved by the board are properly executed.
(b) To recommend to the school board for employment such assistants as are, in his or her judgement, necessary to supervise transportation operation and maintenance and to provide essential records, maps and studies of the service.
(c) To recommend in writing to the school board for employment qualified bus drivers, attendants and mechanics as may be necessary for efficient functioning of the service.
(d) To develop safety regulations and promote proper safety practices for all drivers.
(e) To prepare and recommend to the school board plans for purchase of or contract for safe school buses to transport students to and from school or school activities.
(f) To organize or approve an inspection, maintenance and repair service for publicly owned or contracted buses designed to ensure that the condition of each bus is maintained to meet or exceed accepted school bus industry and state standards, and which will be adequate to provide for quick and economical repair of any bus, and to make sure that this service functions efficiently.
(g) To propose garages at which buses shall be inspected, when arrangements for this service have not been made to use school board employed mechanics, and to see that inspections are systematically made at least once each month at garages approved by the board.
(h) To make periodic, objective surveys of school bus and garage equipment, routes, safety practices, repair and operating costs, and when unsatisfactory conditions are discovered, to recommend corrective measures to the school board.
(i) To recommend a medical examiner or medical examiners to give physical examinations to bus drivers and to ascertain and ensure that all examinations are carried out as required. A medical examiner shall be defined as a medical physician or physician assistant licensed pursuant to Chapter 458, Florida Statutes; an osteopathic physician or physician assistant pursuant to Chapter 459, Florida Statutes, a chiropractic physician licensed pursuant to Chapter 460, Florida Statutes; and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner licensed pursuant to Chapter 464, Florida Statutes.
(2) The school district shall exercise additional specific powers and responsibilities, as follows:
(a) Enforcement of law and rules and formulation of policies.
(b) To make sure that State Board rules are known, understood and observed by all who have responsibility for student transportation.
(c) To assure that all transportation rules and statements of policy are in harmony with rules of the State Board and are fully observed.
(d) To assure that no state funds for transportation are used for transportation of students to schools which cannot qualify for recognition by the Department under the provisions of State Board rules.
(e) To adopt, after considering recommendations of the superintendent statements of policy in harmony with law and with rules of the State Board necessary for maintaining the requirements of adequate transportation. Such policies shall include at least the following responsibilities of the director or supervisor of transportation, the school principal or other designated staff and the bus driver for uniform school bus operating procedures:
1. Responsibilities of the director or supervisor of transportation:
a. To counsel with school bus drivers regarding safety and efficiency of service to schools and to make recommendations to them for improvement in service.
b. To confer with the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee regarding drivers and to recommend such personnel for employment.
c. To instruct school bus drivers in procedures to be followed in conducting school bus emergency evacuation drills and to confer with each school principal regarding scheduling, conducting and documenting school bus evacuation drills.
d. To counsel with bus drivers regarding driver responsibility and authority.
2. Responsibilities of the school principal or other designated school staff:
a. To assume responsibility under the direction of the superintendent for all student disciplinary cases which arise in connection with transportation.
b. To plan the program of the school so that transported students who arrive early or remain late will be under school supervision at all times.
c. To plan and assign places for students to get on and off school buses at the school, and to ensure the safety of the loading/unloading zone and to provide supervision of students.
d. To direct school bus emergency evacuation drills on each bus serving the school during the first six (6) weeks of each semester, and to maintain documentation for all students.
e. To provide instruction for all transported students in safe practices on and off the bus during the first six (6) weeks of the first semester of the school year.
f. To request authority in writing for transportation of students on field trips and activity trips, or other special trips, and to plan such trips in accordance with policies approved by the school board.
3. Responsibilities of the school bus driver:
a. To pass all required physical examinations and meet such requirements as may be prescribed by law or rules.
b. To be clean and neat in appearance, and to refrain from wearing shoes which are not securely held on the foot.
c. To refrain from use of tobacco while operating the bus, and to use no profane language in the presence of the students.
Drivers shall not use or be under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or any substance which may impair the driver’s alertness or performance while on duty. Drivers shall not carry firearms while on school board property.
d. To prescribe, in cooperation with the principals, the seating arrangements of students on all buses.
e. To report needed changes in school bus transportation to the director or supervisor of transportation including bus loads, bus deficiencies, road hazards, routes and schedules.
f. To study and observe all laws and rules of the State Board and the school board relating to the service of transportation.
g. To attend and participate in conferences and training classes for school bus drivers and to be prepared at any time to pass successfully a reasonable examination concerning traffic laws, state and local transportation rules and driving skills.
h. To ascertain and ensure that transported students observe all rules prescribed by law and by the state and local board.
i. To maintain order and discipline, under the direction of the school principal, on the part of every passenger.
j. To permit a student to leave the bus only at their assigned stop, except upon written authorization of the school principal or other district designee.
k. To observe all procedures incorporated in the Florida Department of Education Basic School Bus Driver’s Curriculum, as incorporated by reference in Rule 6A-3.0141(4)(b), FAC.
l. To instruct transported students in safe riding practices.
m. To require all passengers to remain seated and to keep aisles and exits clear.
n. To participate in emergency evacuation drills at least once each school semester under the direction of the school principal or the principal’s designee.
o. To use the bus, if it is publicly owned, only to transport students to and from school, except upon specific direction of the superintendent or from the principal upon written authorization by the superintendent.
p. To prepare immediately after every accident involving the bus or a school bus passenger an accident report to be filed with the director or supervisor of transportation.
q. To ascertain and ensure that all persons are off the bus before filling fuel tank.
r. To drive always at a safe speed and never in excess of the legally posted speed limit in business or residential districts or fifty-five (55) miles per hour outside business or residential districts.
s. To cooperate with duly authorized school officials, mechanics and other personnel in the mechanical maintenance and repair of bus in overcoming hazards which threaten the safety or efficiency of service.
t. To inspect the bus at least daily prior to the beginning of the first daily trip or more often as required by the school district and to report any defect affecting safety or economy of operation immediately to authorized service personnel. The inspection shall include all items identified in the procedures related to the mandatory daily inspection in the Basic School Bus Driver Curriculum.
u. To keep the bus clean and neat at all times and not affix any stickers or other unauthorized items to the interior or exterior of buses.
v. To prepare reports, keep all records required, and otherwise assist school officials in mapping bus routes, planning schedules and in obtaining information for a continuous study of all phases of transportation service.
w. To wear a seat belt at all times when the bus is in operation.
x. To use roof-mounted white flashing strobe lights (if equipped) at a minimum, whenever headlights are required to be used due to reduced visibility conditions pursuant to Section 316.217(1)(b), Florida Statutes, except that insufficient light due only to the time of day or night shall not require use of the strobe light.
y. To report immediately to the director or supervisor of transportation, school principal or other designated officials:
[1] Misconduct on the part of any student while on bus or under the driver’s immediate supervision,
[2] Complaints requiring attention of school authorities,
[3] Any hazards arising which would offer either an actual or a potential threat to the safety of students in the driver’s care,
[4] Causes for failure to maintain school bus time schedule, and
[5] Overloaded conditions on the bus which exceed the rated capacity of the bus.
z. To maintain as far as practicable by patient and considerate treatment of parents a feeling of security in the safety of students transported.
(3) Transportation personnel.
(a) To employ such assistants as may be recommended by the superintendent and as are necessary in the judgment of the board to supervise operation and maintenance of school buses and to provide records and maps for a continuous study of transportation routes and needs within the district.
(b) To employ or contract only for services of school bus drivers who meet the requirements of Rule 6A-3.0141, FAC., and who possess a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
(c) To officially maintain, after considering recommendations of the superintendent, an approved, current list of properly licensed physicians or medical facilities staffed by licensed physicians other than members of the school board or superintendent, eligible to examine all school bus drivers and driver applicants, in accordance with Form ESE 479, Physical Examination for School Bus Drivers and Medical Examiners Certificate, and School Bus Driver Physical Standards: Medical Regulatory Criteria for Physical Examinations, as adopted by reference in Rule 6A-3.0151, FAC.
(4) Transported students.
(a) To consider, and as nearly as possible to provide for, the transit, safety, and comfort of each student who will be transported to and from school.
(b) To approve, after considering recommendations of the superintendent, policies relating to and governing the conduct of transported students during the time they are riding on the school bus, and during the time spent on the school grounds awaiting the opening of school or in the afternoon hours waiting for the school bus.
(c) To suspend for a period exceeding ten (10) days, upon recommendation of the superintendent, any student who willfully and persistently violates school board policies.
(5) Purchases, lease and use of school buses.
(a) To provide, by purchase or contract, safe, comfortable and adequate transportation facilities and school buses which meet minimum standards of law and State Board rules.
(b) To purchase transportation equipment in accordance with all provisions of law and State Board rules.
(c) To assure that contracts entered into by school boards for operation of school buses are in accordance with law and rules of the State Board.
(d) To adopt policies governing the use of publicly owned and contracted school buses for transportation of students to school and school activities, and to ascertain and ensure that buses and bus bodies are used only after policies have been adopted and upon written instructions signed by the superintendent or designee. Such district policies shall include the provision that any equipment carried in a school bus which could shift on impact or sudden stop shall be securely fastened and shall not block any aisle or exit at any time.
(6) Routes and schedules.
(a) To designate school bus routes, following consideration of data and recommendations presented by the superintendent, to provide for students eligible for transportation when transportation by school bus is economical and practicable.
(b) To propose minimum distances from school centers within which no bus stops will be scheduled except for students with special transportation needs; to propose minimum distances from transportation routes as residence zones within which students must arrange to meet the bus at regularly scheduled stops; and to plan and arrange routes, schedules, and student capacities in accordance with policies adopted by the school board.
(c) To plan routes, so far as practicable, so that no elementary student shall be on a bus more than fifty (50) minutes or secondary school student more than one (1) hour during the morning or evening, and so that no more than an hour and one-half will elapse between the time the student boards the bus and the time school begins, or the time school closes and the student leaves the bus in the afternoon, and to arrange proposed routes which, insofar as possible, are free from major hazards.
(d) To assure that county and city officials are advised of hazards on bus routes and hazards involving students walking to and from school.
(7) School bus operating principles. To assure that all buses are operated in accordance with municipal, county and state traffic requirements and that every precaution is taken to assure the safety of students.
(8) Inspection and maintenance of school buses.
(a) To provide, after considering recommendations of the superintendent, adequate storage, maintenance and inspection procedures for all buses owned by the school board, and to assure that all contract buses in use in the district are properly inspected and maintained in accordance with law and rules of the State Board.
(b) The inspection shall be conducted in accordance with procedures and include all items listed in the State of Florida School Bus Safety Inspection Manual, 2000 Edition which is hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of this rule. This document may be obtained from the Bureau of Career Development, Department of Education, 325 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, at a cost not to exceed actual production and distribution cost.
(c) Inspection of buses shall be scheduled and required every twenty (20) school days. Any bus that is removed from service or deadlined so as to disrupt the safety inspection schedule shall be inspected prior to being returned to service. All deficiencies discovered during the safety inspection shall be noted on the inspection form. Follow-up repairs of all safety related items shall be made before the bus is returned to service and shall be documented.
(d) School bus inspections shall be conducted by technicians certified as school bus inspectors in accordance with the State of Florida School Bus Safety Inspection Manual, 2000 Edition. The requirement that inspections be performed by a certified school bus inspector may be waived for a period not to exceed six (6) months when an emergency condition exists, upon written notification to the Commissioner by the district superintendent. This paragraph shall become effective January 1, 2001.
(e) No person shall knowingly render inoperative or reduce compliance of any school bus equipment required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards applicable at the time of manufacture.
(9) Transportation records, reports and accounting.
(a) To ascertain and ensure that all prescribed records are kept and reports made which are required by law, rules or the Commissioner.
(b) To assure that all records and reports prescribed by the Commissioner are properly completed and are furnished on the dates due to those designated to receive them.
1. To file with the Deputy Commissioner for Planning, Budgeting and Management after each accident in which a school bus or a transported student is involved or in which total damages to property exceeds five hundred (500) dollars a report on Form ESE 256, School Bus Accident Report Form which is hereby incorporated by reference in this rule to become effective April 1996. This form may be obtained from the Administrator of School Transportation Management Section or Information Services and Accountability, Division of Planning, Budgeting and Management, Department of Education, The Florida Education Center, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.
2. To file with the Deputy Commissioner for Planning, Budgeting and Management, Form ESE 422, Hazardous Walking Conditions Report for K-6 Living Within 2 Miles of Assigned School which is hereby incorporated by reference and made a part of this rule to become effective April 1996. This form may be obtained from the Administrator of School Transportation Management Section or Information Services and Accountability, Division of Planning, Budgeting and Management, Department of Education, The Florida Education Center, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.
(c) Keep a current file of all approved physical examination forms for bus drivers, each showing the date of examination.
(d) To maintain records of inspection of each school bus in accordance with requirements of Subsection (8) of this rule.
(e) To prepare maps of routes and attendance zones and conduct and carry on such studies of transportation as shall enable the superintendent to measure progress and recommend improvements in the transportation service.
(f) To prescribe and maintain, upon recommendation of the superintendent, such additional records, reports, accounts and accounting procedures as may be necessary to provide complete information regarding the transportation service.
(10) Inter-agency relationships. To cooperate with municipal, county, state, and federal agencies to promote the safety of the transportation service through correction of remediable road hazards.
(11) Transportation by other means than school buses including passenger cars as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 49 C.F.R., Part 571, and which meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
(a) To share the expense, in unusual cases involving a small number of students living in isolated areas, or requiring specialized transportation services, of operating a vehicle of the type commonly called a passenger car or other conveyance for transporting eight (8) students or less to a public school:
1. Agreements to share the cost of operating such conveyance shall be set forth in the minutes of the board including the amount, mileage to bus route or school, names of students and school attended.
2. The board shall not expend funds to share in the expense of operating such vehicle to provide transportation to students whose houses are within a reasonable walking distance of the assigned school or bus routes.
3. Vehicles of the type commonly called passenger cars need not meet the requirements for specifications of school buses.
(b) To make such other arrangements, after considering recommendation of the superintendent, for the transportation of isolated, physically disabled or other students with special transportation needs as may be compatible with an adequate educational opportunity for such students and an economical administration of the service.
(c) To provide for transportation of students in vehicles owned or operated by a school board, other than school buses, when necessary or practical. Such transportation shall be provided in a passenger car or in a multipurpose passenger vehicle, as defined in 49 C.F.R., Part 571. Such multipurpose passenger vehicle shall meet all of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in 49 C.F.R., Part 571 applicable to passenger cars on the date of manufacture, except that window tinting, if equipped, shall meet requirements applicable to multipurpose passenger vehicles.

Specific Authority 232.25, 232.26, 234.01, 234.02, 234.051, 234.061 FS. Law Implemented 230.23(8), 230.33(10), 234.01, 234.02, 234.021, 234.051, 234.061, 316.183(3), 316.189 FS. History”œAmended 9-4-64, 3-25-66, 1-17-72, Revised 7-20-74, Repromulgated 12-5-74, Amended 11-24-76, 10-1-81, Formerly 6A-3.17, Amended 9-30-87, 6-26-89, 11-15-94, 8-28-95, 4-18-96, Formerly 6-3.017, Amended 6-11-00.





14-15.012 Manual on Speed Zoning for Highways, Roads, and Streets in Florida.

This manual, entitled Speed Zoning for Highways, Roads, and Streets in Florida, FDOT Manual Number 750-010-002, 1997 edition, is hereby incorporated by this rule and made a part of the rules of the Department of Transportation. Copies of this document are available from the Department of Transportation, Maps and Publications Sales, 605 Suwannee Street, Mail Station 12, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0450, at no more than cost pursuant to s. 119.07(1)(a), Florida Statutes.

Specific Authority 316.006(1), 316.189, 344.044(2) FS. Law Implemented 316.187, 316.189 FS. History”œNew 5-25-80, Formerly 14-15.12, Amended 8-23-89, 10-14-97.


Tagged , ,

Is the Driver License now strictly Federal?

An article by Walter Kenaston who delves into the question I have, is the driver license federal in nature? The original piece is  hereIs the Driver License now strictly Federal?
by Walter Kenaston 

“The Florida State Railroad and Public Utilities Commission does not have power to fix intrastate rates to be charged by common carriers for the transportation of property owned by the United States government and for the transportation of household effects of military personnel between points within the state, and the application of Florida state statutes as to rates of carriage of such goods is precluded by the supremacy clause of the federal Constitution.” UNITED STATES of America v. CARTER, hn. 3, 121 So.2d 433 (June 17, 1960, S. C. Fla.)

Why is this important? It is because I believe the driver license issued these days are all federal. It is a fact that regulation of intrastate carriage in Florida was repealed by sunset in the early 1980’s.

“Sunset Act, insofar as it repealed regulation of intrastate motor carriers and the trucking industry, did not unconstitutionally deny carriers access to state courts.” Alterman Transport Lines, Inc. v. State, 405 So.2d 456 (1981)

So regulation of carriage must be interstate in nature, and thus under federal auspices, and also the DL’s that are issued are federal in nature, even if done in compliance with state law.

This can be seen by looking at the Learners’ Permits issued to those 15 to 16 years of age. The statutory provision for same at FS 322.1615 was not enacted until c. 96-414, § 5, Laws of Florida, 1996, effective July 1, 1996. I had my learner’s permit at age 15 many years ago. While I need to investigate further, there appears to have been no Florida law providing for a “Learners’ Permit,” but the District of Columbia had one starting back in 1925.

And it is not by State law but by federal law that the age at which one can obtain a “regular” driver’s license is reduced from age 21 to age 18.

The Adult Rights Law, Laws 1973, c. 73-21, § 743.07, reduces the age limit from 21 years to 18 years for drivers of common-carrier motor vehicles described in § 323.17. Op.Atty.Gen., 073-207

This, as it says, applies to common-carrier drivers, not those working in private carriage, as in chauffeurs.

It was 1963 Laws, Ch. 67-377, an Act to permit transportation of newspapers and suppliments, exempting such from provisions of F.S. 323.03(1)(e), 323.08(1) and (2), and 323.19, that brought those who might be using mere standard automobiles and small trucks who were common carriers under regulation. This has never been repealed, despite the fact that the other sections in the chapter where this was codified were repealed, and that this chapter now stands repealed via “sunset.” The original law was not. I believe that the only authority to make the common folk get a driver license for their
own automobiles lies in that unrepealed law, again, regulating common carriers.

I believe that the “Class E” DL is an inferior DL granted under federal auspices to federal “children” who have a lower grade of test to pass to get the Class E. I also think it is merely a DL given to those who have attained 16 years having had their Leaners’ Permit, making it a learner-type permit for adults (under federal law).

I believe the Carter case is all the excuse “they” need to say we are all federal “children” engaged in interstate common carriage who are going about federally contracted hauling/carriage for a “price” negotiated federally – free. (Slaves work for free, ehh?)

The Carter case is, I believe, the fourth important case in cracking the DL “nut” and I mention it along with the other three I believe important at the “Certificate of public convenience and necessity” heading/section of my traffic compilation.




FAC 15A-7.016 Persons Exempt From Requirements of Commercial Driver’s License Program; Noncommercial Driver’s
License Endorsement.

(1) The following persons are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial driver’s license:
* * *
(e) Drivers of straight trucks that are exclusively transporting their own tangible personal property which is not for sale.
* * *
(4) A person operating an authorized emergency commercial motor vehicle is required to have a valid class D driver’s license which contains the endorsement “E = Emergency Commercial Motor Vehicle. The “E endorsement is to be issued without additional charge.
Specific Authority 322.02(3) FS. Law Implemented 322.01(18), 322.53(2), (4) FS. History”œNew 4-7-91.






15A-7.016 Persons Exempt From Requirements of Commercial Driver’s License Program; Noncommercial Driver’s License Endorsement.
(1) The following persons are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial driver’s license:
(a) Legitimate farm to market operations by farmers and to those operators of a farm vehicle which is:
1. Controlled and operated by a farmer;
2. Used to transport either agricultural, horticultural or forestry products, farm machinery, farm supplies or both to or from farm or harvest place to the first place of processing or storage or from farm or harvest place directly to market;
3. Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and
4. Used within 150 miles of the person’s farm.
(b) Military personnel driving military vehicles. This exemption applies to any active duty military personnel, and members of the reserves and national guard on active duty including personnel on full time national guard duty, personnel on part-time training and national guard military technicians (civilians who are required to wear military uniforms and are subject to the code of military justice);
(c) Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles as defined in s. 322.01(4), F.S. This exemption applies to drivers who operate emergency or fire equipment which is necessary for the preservation of life or property or the execution of emergency governmental functions performed under emergency conditions and are not subject to normal traffic regulations. These vehicles are equipped with audible and visual signals and are operated by a person in the employ of a volunteer or paid fire organization. Emergency equipment such as a fire truck, hook and ladder truck, foam or water transporter or other vehicles used only in response to emergencies are included;
(d) Drivers of recreational vehicles, as defined in s. 320.01, F.S. This exemption applies to drivers of recreational vehicles operated solely as a family/personal conveyance for recreational purposes;
(e) Drivers of straight trucks that are exclusively transporting their own tangible personal property which is not for sale.
(2) “Operated by a farmer in (1) above can include employees or family members of the farmer, as long as the vehicle is controlled by the farmer and conditions 2. through 4. are met, but not employees whose primary purpose of employment is the operation of motor vehicles.
(3) A person operating a farm commercial motor vehicle is required to have a valid class D driver’s license which contains the endorsement “F = Farm Commercial Motor Vehicle. The “F endorsement is to be issued without additional charge.
(4) A person operating an authorized emergency commercial motor vehicle is required to have a valid class D driver’s license which contains the endorsement “E = Emergency Commercial Motor Vehicle. The “E endorsement is to be issued without additional charge.
Specific Authority 322.02(3) FS. Law Implemented 322.01(18), 322.53(2), (4) FS. History”œNew 4-7-91.