The four bullets below are from a lengthy column by blogger Fjordman at the Gates of Vienna. He makes the case for federalism, of local free government by an engaged demos, people with common traditions and values. It’s a great term. In future posts I will use “demos” frequently and interchangeably with We the People, and the sovereign people. Thank you Mr. Fjordman:
- There must be a demos. That is, there must be a group of people with a shared pre-political loyalty. This common understanding would include mutual identification and trust between leaders who implement policies and the general public. There must be sanctions in place to allow the demos to hold accountable or remove incompetent or corrupt officials. The growth of supranational institutions has weakened the connections between the members of the elite and the nation states they are supposed to serve. The demos has been attenuated by both Multiculturalism and mass immigration.
- In the demos, there has to be true freedom of speech. There have to be genuine debates about crucial issues. For a combination of reasons, this process is now severely curtailed in many Western countries. Activists on the Left demand formal and informal censorship of sensitive issues. Meanwhile, the media isnâ€™t functioning as a counterweight to the political elites because it frequently is in lockstep with these elites.
- In the demos, there should be no significant Muslim presence. Islam is toxic to a democratic society for several reasons. One is the possibility of physical attack against anybody who criticizes the Islamic agenda. The fear thus engendered destroys any possibility of a free, civil public discourse. Another is the resentment generated by Muslim demands for separate laws and special treatment, demands which are driven by an inherent sense of entitlement. Finally, there is the harassment of non-Muslims, even those who do not criticize Islam. This aggressive behavior is always part and parcel of Jihad.
- The territorial entity where the demos lives must control its own borders. A nation that fails to discriminate between citizens and non-citizens, between members and non-members of the demos, will cease to function.
Alongside my previous two posts which dealt with the scotus’ substitution of the Founding generation’s fundamental concepts of Justice with deadly Social Justice, and how no action by our government may legitimately assault the demos on which republican free government is built, Mr. Fjordman outlines the dangers posed by the alliance of the Left and muslims to society.
First among the dangers is globalism.
Since passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913, free government diminished as political power increasingly centralized in Washington, DC. At first, congress absorbed powers once reserved to the states. In time, and being unsatisfied with the pace of social justice, Leftists drove ever more lawmaking power from congress and into the scotus and unelected Administrative State. Their dream accelerated under Obama who, at every turn, sought to sell American sovereignty cheap to the globalist elites at the UN. President Trump saved what little remains of free government when he pulled the US out of a European Union-style TPP, and will hopefully do the same with the Paris Climate Accords.
Globalism means open borders, destruction of the demos, and with it, free government.
In the Framers’ unique design, the people belonged to two civil societies, one local and one national. Simultaneous loyalty to two societies was not a contradiction, as long as the demos allocated distinct powers to each. Little remains of this distinction, which began with the destruction of federalism, enforced by state representation in the US senate. Post 17th Amendment, issues that were once handled at the state level floated upward to the national level. When any issue is moved to the national level, it creates a nationwide set of winners and a set of losers. Because the losers have to either live under the winner’s regime or leave the country, everyone will fight much harder to achieve their result or, failing that, to block the other side from achieving its goal. This is a recipe for never ending coast-to-coast turmoil harmful to the civil society.1
There was a period in Europe when religion was a national issue. Sovereign monarchs imposed one established religion and proscribed all others. Dissenters were legally persecuted. If one’s eternal soul depended on adherence to THE one true faith, why shouldn’t one fight to the death to prevail? And why isn’t it proper to save the souls of heretics by ensuring their conversion by any means?2
While Leftists sneer at Christians, whose predecessors hundreds of years ago solved the problem of religious turmoil by simple recognizing the right to live peacefully in one’s faith, Leftists embrace, as per Mr. Fjordman, practitioners of a belief system that cannot coexist with western civil society. Like the strict Christian societies of long ago, Islam fights to impose its beliefs and political system on others. Whole nations have been reduced to misery under islamic despotism. Western Europe is next. Shall the US follow?
It appears that way. Federal courts stand ready to stymie President Trump’s efforts to slow down muslim immigration. Social justice judges more devoted to relativism than to Constitutional Law, increasingly accept elements of sharia.
Globalism and islam destroy the demos, the civil society.
F.A. Hayek wrote in support of federalism:
Nowhere has democracy ever worked well without a great measure of local self-government, providing a school of political training for the people at large as much as for their future leaders. It is only where responsibility can be learnt and practised in affairs with which most people are familiar, where it is awareness of one’s neighbour rather than some theoretical knowledge of the needs of other people which guides action, that the ordinary man can take a real part in public affairs because they concern the world he knows. Where the scope of the political measures become so large that the necessary knowledge is almost exclusively possessed by the bureaucracy, the creative impulses of the private person must flag.
It is obviously easier to establish republicanism in smaller political units than in a large one. For this process to work there has to be a loyalty and identity that precedes political allegiance.
We must have a national, and many state communities that share common interests. This has no real counterpart in islamic countries, where the ideal is the global Ummah and the Caliphate. Concepts such as the nation state or territorial integrity have no equivalent in islamic jurisprudence, which helps explain why representative government is so hard to establish in muslim countries, and why they are typically mired in unhappiness.
Islam has no place in the United States. Since its defining characteristic is a political system hostile to civil society, it does not deserve the religious protections of the First Amendment. Yet, until our government is reformed (and soon), our political leaders will continue to coddle barbaric islam. If the American Republic is to survive, we must reform our governing institutions, and that begins with repealing the 17th Amendment.
We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Government is the playground of politicians, but the Constitution is ours. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.
- Barnett, R. E. (2016). Our Republican Constitution. New York: Harper Collins. 182.
- Ibid., 182.