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Monday, August 30, 2010

We Are The Surety of-and-for Our Family-Community

"Do no harm, cause no loss" is the responsibility of an armed citizenry, the "common law of the land" where we knowingly act as the surety of-and-for our family-community(-ies). [MMr]

The New Survival Guns — An Introduction
posted by Michael Bane blog link
March 24, 2010 | Michael Bane Blog
(article previously posted on March 27/Aug 13, 2010 -MMr)
(bold text emphasis added by MMr)


The More Things Change…

Back in the mid-1970s, not long before then-President Jimmy Carter in his cardigan sweater took to the airwaves to bemoan the new American “malaise,” a banker-turned-writer named Mel Tappan began one of the most successful firearms books ever written with these words:

“Why, in this age of the urban, industrial, interdependent society, would anyone write a book on guns for survival use — or, perhaps more to the point, why would anyone want to read it?”

That book, SURVIVAL GUNS, has remained in print for more than 30 years and, along with the writings of the late Col. Jeff Cooper, was a primary influence on a whole generation of shooters.Mel Tappan plugged into a nerve that at the time most people had either forgotten or were just beginning to remember, the sense that perhaps the inevitability of greater days ahead for the most powerful nation on earth was not nearly as certain as we’d been led to believe. We were reeling from the one-two punch of the 1960s, the vestiges of which linger still, and our humiliating withdrawal from Vietnam, culminating in the nationally televised fall of Saigon in 1975. Americans had been pounded in the OPEC-driven gas crisis — for the first time since World War 2 facing long lines and rationing for what was considered a national birthright — suffered our first post-Great Depression stock market crash and were being merciless ground in the nation’s first peacetime inflation, making, as Brad DeLong of the National Bureau of Economic Research noted, “…every business decision a speculation on monetary policy.”

Briefly put, we were afraid in a way that this generation of Americans had never been afraid before, and, worse, we feared on a gut level that we had lost control of the great machine that was the United States.

“Without really being aware of it,” wrote Tappan, “most of us have subcontracted almost all our life support activities to other people, corporations, governmental bodies and machines. Not only does this circumstance contribute to the sense of frustration which is symptomatic of modern man, it is life-threatening should there be an interruption in those vital services. We need only project ourselves into a natural disaster, a shipwreck or a riot to realize just how dependent we have become on the uninterrupted functioning of the social order merely to stay alive.”

What followed Tappan’s words was not the much-feared next Great Depression, but a stunning 30-year roller coaster ride through Affluence Land, an unanticipated and unplanned remaking of the world through the technological miracle of lowly silicon, the eighth most common element in the universe. In an interconnected, Internet-driven, YourSpace, FaceBook, Twitter, 24/7 overheated atmosphere, it was easy to forget Tappan’s almost quaint warning… not only had we subcontracted almost all our live support to other people, corporations, governmental bodies and machines, we were now doing so at Internet speeds. Our world became sleek, streamlined and global, without much thought to the implications. For even the smallest one-person business, supply lines began to stretch across the world… it didn’t matter where you worked, the mantra went, because we were all connected in instantaneous communication and the greatest transportation web in the history of mankind.

The mantra was reflected in our largest businesses as well, whether manufacturing or service or intellectual… the world began, to borrow a phrase from economic analysts Thomas Friedman, “flattening out.” Businesses moved from the old “inefficient” model of maintaining costly “gotta” inventories — gotta store ‘em; gotta count ‘em; gotta throw some away when we change the spec — to “just-in-time.” Instead of a warehouse full of products, for example, waiting to be restocked on store shelves, the products arrived at the store from suppliers “just-in-time,” just hours or even minutes before the shelves ran dry. For American manufacturers, the combination of instant communication, globalization and just-in-time was a godsend, allowing a long chain of supplies from all over the world, usually wherever the supply could be made most cheaply, flowing into factories just in time to be assembled into the newest consumer product.

The American economy prospered at a level that couldn’t even be imagined in the era of Jimmy Carter’s malaise… what could possibly go wrong?

At the same time, we emerged from the Cold War — our game of brinksmanship with a counterpart superpower, the USSR — to a newer, vaguer and infinitely more dangerous battlefield with an enemy we are still struggling to understand. Until the rise of radical Islam, we understood war as defined by Prussian general Carl Von Clausewitz in the early part of the 19th Century, an extension of diplomacy by other means. “War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means,” Clausewitz wrote in On War.

Wars sought not to completely overthrow an enemy, but were fought for one of two reasons, to gain specific limited goals — land, resources, sometime populations — or to disarm an enemy and leave him militarily or politically helpless.

While Clausewitz’ writings (and those of the other great military strategists) foreshadowed the world-wide conflicts to come, they left us uniquely unprepared for a different nihilistic view of war, a throwback to older, perhaps more darkly violent, times. Radical Islam doesn’t seek our lands, our resources or our Western lifestyle, nor does it seek to render us helpless. Rather, by the admissions of its leaders, radical Islam seeks the destruction of Western culture and us along with it. It’s a hard concept to get our Western minds around… I’m always reminded of the scene in the alien invasion movie Independence Day, where as U.S. President actor Bill Paxton finally is able to ask one of the alien invaders what they wanted us to do. “Die,” replied the alien.

The terrorist attacks of 9-11 ultimately redefined Americans view of America, a punctuation mark between our older, safer world and the dangerous, and dangerously unpredictable, landscape of the future. Add to that two long-running wars, multiple contested elections and a viciously poisonous atmosphere in Washington D.C., an endless media drumbeat of overheated disasters from climate change, financial systems teetering on the verge of collapse, exploding stock market bubbles, the “safe nest egg” of real estate collapsing and as perhaps the final nail in America’s confidence, the spectacle of New Orleans in the grip of Hurricane Katrina, a major American city descending into anarchy as the whole country followed breathlessly on 24/7 news and Internet feeds. All the governmental “safety nets” supposed in place sagged and eventually ripped apart as people, American citizens, struggled and died in the relentless floodwaters. Local government’s response to the spreading disaster was to order all private weapons seized even as murderous gangs ran rampant, and for the first time America was treated to the television spectacle of heavily armored National Guard troops seizing firearms from grandmothers.

The answer to Mel Tappan’s original question — ““Why, in this age of the urban, industrial, interdependent society, would anyone write a book on guns for survival use… or, perhaps more to the point, why would anyone want to read it?” — now seems self-evident.

The irony is that we and our society is now so thoroughly interconnected, so thoroughly bound together in a communications / entertainment / information / stuff web that just a few years back would have seemed the exclusive province of science fiction that we no longer understand, or even see, those connections. Our society has become seamless and we no longer notice the strange noises coming from behind the curtain of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. One of the my favorite examples of this loss of perspective is an email to a friend of mine, challenging him on his love of hunting. “That is so sick,” the email read. “Why can’t you just get your meat from the grocery store, where it comes from?”

Meat, vegetables, all kinds of food, sanitation, security, information, services of all sorts come from... somewhere else... the grocery store, the supermarket, the internet, the government, the garbage “man,” some entity who sole function is to provide. And while, as adults — well, ostensibly adults — we understand that behind the provider is a long chain of... something, we’re a little vague on what that something is or how it all comes together to deliver a Big Mac, fries and a 24-hour-a-day Twitter feed. To use another analogy, while we are certain the neck bone is connected to the foot bone, we’re not sure whether that connection is bone, rubber bands or magic. Nor do we particularly care.

Which is just spiffy as long as everything works, for lack of better words, to spec. We live and function in the most complex society in human history, and it works just fine... until it doesn’t. The problem with complexity is that it is complex — a lot of things have to happen in a very specific sequence, a dance, if you will, for 100 bottles of aspirin to arrive at your local Wal-Mart at the exact moment the last bottle walks out the door in your reuseable, environmentally sound, all-green grocery bag. Multiple that sequence by a thousand, by tens of thousands, by millions of transactions for a modern city to function day-to-day and you start to get a sense of the fragility of modern life.

That fragility only becomes apparent when a link in the chain breaks. It doesn’t actually matter what causes the break — a storm, a plane crashing onto a building, an unpopular court decision, a revolution in a country whose name we’re not sure how to pronounce correctly. When one link of the chain breaks, the entire chain is now at risk... and somewhere at the end of that chain are you and your family.

Which brings us to this book.

It turns out that, yes indeed, we are responsible for our own safety. Despite protestations of the rising Nanny State, the “guarantees” of state, local and federal government, the best efforts of law enforcement officers, nothing much has changed since February 25, 1525 where, in the battle for Pavia in northern Italy a peasant army described as “rabble” and armed with hand-connones slaughtered the French Mounted Horse, the cream of knighthood and the Age of Chivalry. It was the first, but not the last, time the individual firearm became known as the equalizer, the only way for the peasants to throw off the hundreds of years-old shackles of the brutal knights and their invincible armored war “machines,” the great destriers that were, in effect, the medieval equivalent of tanks.

I recently did a guest appearance on a History Channel special titled AFTER ARMAGEDDON. The show addressed the consequences of a pandemic influenza epidemic, focusing on a family in suburban Los Angeles.One of the questions I was asked in my capacity as an expert in firearms and self-defense was about the “veneer” of civilization. Under the hellish pressure of collapsing resources and rising death tolls, how long would human behavior remain “civilized” by the standards we recognize today?

My answer was that it took four days for New Orleans to descend into anarchy. “You’d have thought,” I added, “the veneer would be a little thicker.”

When we peak behind the curtain of the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, we don’t like what we see. I believe that if we sit down, take a deep breath and analyze the world we live in, if we are honest with ourselves we must take steps to protect both ourselves and those under our care.

This book is not a comprehensive guide to preparedness, if there is any such thing. When we produced THE BEST DEFENSE/SURVIVAL, the first television series to ever address these concerns, we were initially overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information. At the end of this book, there’s a reading list that’ll help you get started.

This book is about the primary tool for self-defense, the firearm, and what you need to know to make intelligent decisions about guns, training, self-defense and personal responsibility. Parts of this book will be controversial, and I can guarantee you there will be parts you don’t agree with.

If it makes you think, it has accomplished the job I set out to do.

Mel Tappan wikipedia
Mel Tappan was a survival consultant, freelance writer, lecturer, and survival editor of Soldier of Fortune magazine. His interest in firearms began at the age of 6 when he received his first .22 rifle. From that time, he was an avid shooter, student of weaponry, and outdoorsman. He was devoted to evaluating firearms, outdoor and survival equipment, storable foods, and communications devices in order to provide assistance, by means of his writings and public lectures, to people who see the value of self-sufficient living and long-term survival planning. [Paladin Press]

Tappan On Survival
by Mel Tappan, with a foreward by Bruce Clayton

One of the greatest books ever written on practical survival is back in print for the next generation of self-reliant citizens! Mel Tappan was the godfather of the modern preparedness movement, and this classic collection of his writings is an indispensable resource for information on how to develop a survival mind-set, identify the best survival locations, store food, maintain communications, select firearms and much more. A new foreword by Bruce Clayton, himself an important figure in the preparedness movement after the publication of his book Life After Doomsday in 1980, describes the unique appeal of Tappan's writings and personality, puts Tappan's role in the survivalist movement in historical perspective and explains why his work is still highly relevant today. [Paladin Press]

Survival Guns
by Mel Tappan

When he wrote Survival Guns in 1979, Mel Tappan demonstrated that having the right weapons for securing food and providing personal defense is the key to sustaining life on an independent basis, whether or not a catastrophe occurs. This is even more true today.

Survival Guns became the standard in its own time and went through several printings. When it finally went out of print, it graduated from a classic to a sought-after collector's item, because the principles and advice in this well-reasoned volume are sound and perennially valuable. Some new guns and some new calibers have become available since this book was first published, but its principles, advice, and value remain unchanged. Having more choices only increases the value of advice on how to choose what is best for you.

As used copies of this book became harder and harder to find, Paladin received numerous requests to bring Tappan's classic back into print. We are pleased to make the most well-known survival firearms book ever published available once more to a new generation of concerned citizens facing the same threats Tappan chronicled during his lifetime. Survival Guns remains the definitive book for anyone interested in the practical use of firearms and related weapons for defense, food gathering, and predator and pest control under conditions of long-term, self-sufficient living. [Paladin Press]

Paladin Press books link
Mel Tappan Survival Guns amazon link
Mel Tappan Survival Guns barnes&noble link
Mel Tappan On Survival amazon link
Mel Tappan On Survival barnes&noble link
The Michael Bane Blog blog home

GunsAmerica Magazine and Discussion Forum
The State of the Gun Blogosphere
by Steve PW Johnson blog link incl. Gun Blog Directory
March 25, 2010
GunsAmerica home page
Handgun World Show home page
The Firearm Blog blog home

Surviving Economic Collapse: Tips, Tactics, And Gear
by Giordano Bruno article link
01/26/2010 | Neithercorp Press

Survival is about more than living, it is about more than believing, it is about KNOWING. Knowing what the world should be, and knowing what the world should not be. Knowing in an intuitive way, beyond simple examination and observation. Knowing from a deeper perspective.

In the end, our survival and the survival of our ideals depends not only on our two hands, our cleverness, or even our fear of death, but the content of each man’s heart, and how much of that content he is willing to trust.

Final Survival Preparations
By Giordano Bruno article link
08/29/2010 | Neithercorp Press

In previous articles such as ‘Surviving Economic Collapse: Tips, Tactics, And Gear’, we covered the Big Four in survival; food, water, shelter, and self-defense. ... The following information is meant for those who are already well on their way towards survival preparedness, covering more advanced strategies and gear. ...

SurvivalBlog blog home
The Chip Monk Family Survival Podcast home page
The Survival Podcast home page
Today's Survival Show home page

Gun Control: Countering Misleading Claims
Mammon or Messiah research article link

The Gun is Civilization
by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret) article link MMr link
May 26th, 2010 | SHTF Plan
SHTF Plan home page

Why the "Smartest Men in the Room" are Worried
Studying TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It)
Why the "Smartest Men in the Room" are Worried
June 4, 2010 | SurvivalBlog: James Wesley Rawles

Five Stages Of Social Collapse
How to Do More than Survive at the Different Stages of Societal Collapse
April 8, 2010 | SurvivalBlog | Silver Bear Cafe
The Silver Bear Cafe home page
SurvivalBlog home page
Posted by caimbhriain myrddin at 10:11 AM 0 comments
Labels: ApocalypseImprint

10 Practical Steps That You Can Take To Insulate Yourself (At Least Somewhat) From The Coming Economic Collapse

10 Practical Steps That You Can Take To Insulate Yourself (At Least Somewhat) From The Coming Economic Collapse
by The Economic Collapse article link article link
08.27.10 | Economic Collapse | Silver Bear Cafe

Most Americans are still operating under the delusion that this "recession" will end and that the "good times" will return soon, but a growing minority of Americans are starting to realize that things are fundamentally changing and that they better start preparing for what is ahead. These "preppers" come from all over the political spectrum and from every age group. More than at any other time in modern history, the American people lack faith in the U.S. economic system. In dozens of previous columns, I have detailed the horrific economic problems that we are now facing in excruciating detail. Many readers have started to complain that all I do is "scare" people and that I don't provide any practical solutions. Well, not everyone can move to Montana and start a llama farm, but hopefully this article will give people some practical steps that they can take to insulate themselves (at least to an extent) from the coming economic collapse.

But before I get into what people need to do, let's take a minute to understand just how bad things are getting out there. The economic numbers in the headlines go up and down and it can all be very confusing to most Americans.

However, there are two long-term trends that are very clear and that anyone can understand....

#1) The United States is getting poorer and is bleeding jobs every single month.

#2) The United States is getting into more debt every single month.

When you mention the trade deficit, most Americans roll their eyes and stop listening. But that is a huge mistake, because the trade deficit is absolutely central to our problems.

Every single month, Americans buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us. Every single month tens of billions of dollars more goes out of the country than comes into it.

That means that every single month the United States is getting poorer.

The excess goods and services that we buy from the rest of the world get "consumed" and the rest of the world ends up with more money than when they started.

Each year, hundreds of billions of dollars leave the United States and don't return. The transfer of wealth that this represents is astounding.

But not only are we bleeding wealth, we are also bleeding jobs every single month.

The millions of jobs that the U.S. economy is losing to China, India and dozens of third world nations are not going to come back. Middle class Americans have been placed in direct competition for jobs with workers on the other side of the world who are more than happy to work for little more than slave labor wages. Until this changes the U.S. economy is going to continue to hemorrhage jobs.

The U.S. government has helped to mask much of this economic bleeding by unprecedented amounts of government spending and debt, but now the U.S. national debt exceeds 13 trillion dollars and is getting worse every single month. Not only that, but state and local governments all over America are getting into ridiculous amounts of debt.

So, what we have got is a country that gets poorer every single month and loses jobs to other countries every single month and that has accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world which also gets worse every single month.

Needless to say, this cannot last indefinitely. Eventually the whole thing is just going to collapse like a house of cards.

So what can we each individually do to somewhat insulate ourselves from the economic problems that are coming?....

1 - Get Out Of Debt:

The old saying, "the borrower is the servant of the lender", is so incredibly true. The key to insulating yourself from an economic meltdown is to become as independent as possible, and as long as you are in debt, you simply are not independent. You don't want a horde of creditors chasing after you when things really start to get bad out there.

2 - Find New Sources Of Income:

In 2010, there simply is not such a thing as job security. If you are dependent on a job ("just over broke") for 100% of your income, you are in a very bad position. There are thousands of different ways to make extra money. What you don't want to do is to have all of your eggs in one basket. One day when the economy melts down and you are out of a job are you going to be destitute or are you going to be okay?

3 - Reduce Your Expenses:

Many Americans have left the rat race and have found ways to live on half or even on a quarter of what they were making previously. It is possible - if you are willing to reduce your expenses. In the future times are going to be tougher, so learn to start living with less today.

4 - Learn To Grow Your Own Food:

Today the vast majority of Americans are completely dependent on being able to run down to the supermarket or to the local Wal-Mart to buy food. But what happens when the U.S. dollar declines dramatically in value and it costs ten bucks to buy a loaf of bread? If you learn to grow your own food (even if is just a small garden) you will be insulating yourself against rising food prices.

5 - Make Sure You Have A Reliable Water Supply:

Water shortages are popping up all over the globe. Water is quickly becoming one of the "hottest" commodities out there. Even in the United States, water shortages have been making headline news recently. As we move into the future, it will be imperative for you and your family to have a reliable source of water. Some Americans have learned to collect rainwater and many others are using advanced technology such as atmospheric water generators to provide water for their families. But whatever you do, make sure that you are not caught without a decent source of water in the years ahead.

6 - Buy Land:

This is a tough one, because prices are still quite high. However, as we have written previously, home prices are going to be declining over the coming months, and eventually there are going to be some really great deals out there. The truth is that you don't want to wait too long either, because once Helicopter Ben Bernanke's inflationary policies totally tank the value of the U.S. dollar, the price of everything (including land) is going to go sky high. If you are able to buy land when prices are low, that is going to insulate you a great deal from the rising housing costs that will occur when the U.S dollar does totally go into the tank.

7 - Get Off The Grid:

An increasing number of Americans are going "off the grid". Essentially what that means is that they are attempting to operate independently of the utility companies. In particular, going "off the grid" will enable you to insulate yourself from the rapidly rising energy prices that we are going to see in the future. If you are able to produce energy for your own home, you won't be freaking out like your neighbors are when electricity prices triple someday.

8 - Store Non-Perishable Supplies:

Non-perishable supplies are one investment that is sure to go up in value. Not that you would resell them. You store up non-perishable supplies because you are going to need them someday. So why not stock up on the things that you are going to need now before they double or triple in price in the future? Your money is not ever going to stretch any farther than it does right now.

9 - Develop Stronger Relationships:

Americans have become very insular creatures. We act like we don't need anyone or anything. But the truth is that as the economy melts down we are going to need each other. It is those that are developing strong relationships with family and friends right now that will be able to depend on them when times get hard.

10 - Get Educated And Stay Flexible:

When times are stable, it is not that important to be informed because things pretty much stay the same. However, when things are rapidly changing it is imperative to get educated and to stay informed so that you will know what to do. The times ahead are going to require us all to be very flexible, and it is those who are willing to adapt that will do the best when things get tough.

The Economic Collapse blog home
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Posted by caimbhriain myrddin at 9:55 AM 0 comments
Labels: ApocalypseImprint

Friday, August 27, 2010

Joyce Lee Malcolm: The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms

The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: The Common Law Tradition
By Joyce Lee Malcolm article link article link

Introduction [**]

Every generation suffers to some degree from historic amnesia. However, when the history of a major political tradition, along with the assumptions and passions that forged it, are forgotten, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to understand or evaluate its legacy. This is particularly unfortunate when that legacy has been written into the enduring fabric of government. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is such a relic, a fossil of a lost tradition. Even a century ago its purpose would have been clearly appreciated. To nineteenth century exponents of limited government, the checks and balances that preserved individual liberty were ultimately guaranteed by the right of the people to be armed. The preeminent Whig historian, Thomas Macaulay, labelled this "the security without which every other is insufficient," [1] and a century earlier the great jurist, William Blackstone, regarded private arms as the means by which a people might vindicate their other rights if these were suppressed. [2] Earlier generations of political philosophers clearly had less confidence in written constitutions, no matter how wisely drafted. J.L. De Lolme, an eighteenth century author much read at the time of the American Revolution [3] pointed out:

But all those privileges of the People, considered in themselves, are but feeble defences against the real strength of those who govern. All those provisions, all those reciprocal Rights, necessarily suppose that things remain in their legal and settled course: what would then be the recourse of the People, if ever the Prince, suddenly freeing himself from all restraint, and throwing himself as it were out of the Constitution, should no longer respect either the person, or the property of the subject, and either should make no account of his conversation with the Parliament, or attempt to force it implicitly to submit to his will?--It would be resistance . . . the question has been decided in favour of this doctrine by the Laws of England, and that resistance is looked upon by them as the ultimate and lawful resource against the violences of Power. [4]

This belief in the virtues of an armed citizenry had a profound influence upon the development of the English, and in consequence the American, system of government. However, the many years in which both the British and American governments have remained "in their legal and settled course[s]," have helped bring us to the point where the history of the individual's right to keep and bear arms is now obscure. British historians, no longer interested in the issue, have tended to ignore it, while American legal and constitutional scholars, ill-equipped to investigate the English origins of this troublesome liberty, have made a few cursory and imperfect attempts to research the subject. [5] As a result, Englishmen are uncertain of the circumstances surrounding the establishment of a right to bear arms and the Second Amendment to the Constitution remains this country's most hotly debated but least understood liberty.

In a report on the legal basis for firearms controls, a committee of the American Bar Association observed:

There is probably less agreement, more misinformation, and less understanding of the right of citizens to keep and bear arms than on any other current controversial constitutional issue. The crux of the controversy is the construction of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which reads: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." [6]

Few would disagree that the crux of this controversy is the construction of the Second Amendment, but, as those writing on the subject have demonstrated, that single sentence is capable of an extraordinary number of interpretations. [7] The main source of confusion has been the meaning and purpose of the initial clause. Was it a qualifying or an amplifying clause? That is, was the right to arms guaranteed only to members of "a well-regulated militia" or was the militia merely the most pressing reason for maintenance of an armed community? The meaning of "militia" itself is by no means clear. It has been argued that only a small, highly trained citizen army was intended, [8] and, alternatively, that all able-bodied men constituted the militia. [9] Finally, emphasis on the militia has been proffered as evidence that the right to arms was only a "collective right" to defend the state, not an individual right to defend oneself. [10] Our pressing need to understand the Second Amendment has served to define areas of disagreement but has brought us no closer to a consensus on its original meaning.

The fault lies not with the legal, but with the scholarly, community. For if the crux of the controversy is the construction of the Second Amendment, the key to that construction is the English tradition the colonists inherited, and the English Bill of Rights from which much of the American Bill of Rights was drawn. Experts in English constitutional and legal history have neglected this subject, however, with the result that no full-scale study of the evolution of the right to keep and bear arms has yet been published. Consequently, there is doubt about such elementary facts as the legality and availability of arms in seventeenth and eighteenth century England, and uncertainty about whether the English right to have arms extended to the entire Protestant population or only to the aristocracy. Experts in American constitutional theory have nevertheless endeavored to define the common law tradition behind the Second Amendment without the benefit of research into these basic questions. These experts' findings are contradictory, often involve serious mistakes of fact, and muddle, rather than clarify, matters. For example, in their report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, George Newton and Franklin Zimring insist that any traditional right of Englishmen to own weapons was "more nominal than real," [11] while the authors of The Gun in America conclude that few Englishmen ever owned firearms because prior to the adoption of the English Bill of Rights in 1689, firearms were expensive and inefficient, and thereafter guns were not considered "suitable to the condition" of the average citizen. [12] Neither set of authors provides more than cursory evidence. [13] On the other hand, one British author found that until modern times his countrymen's right to keep arms was "unimpaired as it was then [in 1689] deliberately settled" [14] and a second noted that with only "minor exceptions" the Englishman's "right to keep arms seems not to have been questioned." [15]

The continuing confusion is apparent in the articles that have appeared on this subject in American law journals. David Caplan, writing in the North Carolina Central Law Journal, finds that "the private keeping of arms was completely guaranteed by the common law as an 'absolute right of individuals,'" [16] while James Whisker argues in the West Virginia Law Review that long before the American Revolution "Englishmen came to view the retention of arms by individuals or by private groups as productive only of rebellion or insurrection." [17] There is a temptation to superimpose the debate over the Second Amendment's militia clause back onto the English guarantee of the right to have arms, although the English guarantee contained no such clause. Roy Weatherup, for example, interprets the clear English guarantee that "Protestant subjects may have arms for their defence" to mean "Protestant members of the militia might keep and bear arms in accordance with their militia duties for the defense of the realm." [18] Despite the fact that the Convention Parliament which drafted the English Bill of Rights purposely adopted the phrase "their defence" in preference to "their common defence" [19] he could find "no recognition of any personal right to bear arms." [20] In short, there is disagreement over who could, or did, own firearms both before and after passage of the English Bill of Rights.

Nearly all writers agree, however, that an accurate reading of the Second Amendment is indispensable to resolving current debates over gun ownership, and that a clarification of the common law tradition is necessary to that reading. [21] There are compelling reasons for this consensus. To begin with, the royal charters that created the new colonies assured potential emigrants that they and their children would "have and enjoye all Liberties and Immunities of free and naturall Subjects . . . as if they and every of them were borne within the Realme of England." [22] Furthermore, the entire body of common law, with the exception of those portions inappropriate to their new situation, crossed the Atlantic with the colonists. [23] The perilous circumstances of the infant colonies made the common law tradition of an armed citizenry both appropriate and crucial to the survival of the plantations. [24] Indeed, the colonies began very early requiring residents to keep firearms and establishing militias. [25]

There is a further reason for examining the Second Amendment in the light of English legal traditions. Not only did colonists arrive in the new land equipped with an elaborate legal framework, they were for the most part imbued with that attitude of antiauthoritarianism that had fueled the traumatic upheavals of the seventeenth century: the English Civil War of 1642, and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. This general distrust of central power resulted in the English Bill of Rights in 1689 and was to produce the American Bill of Rights a century later. Bernard Bailyn, in The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, is emphatic about there being a connection between English opposition philosophy and American political thought:

To say simply that this tradition of opposition thought was quickly transmitted to America and widely appreciated there is to understate the fact. Opposition thought, in the form it acquired at the turn of the seventeenth century and in the early eighteenth century, was devoured by the colonists. . . . There seems never to have been a time after the Hanoverian succession when these writings were not central to American political expression or absent from polemical politics. [26]

When they had won their battle to retain the rights of Englishmen, and came to write the federal and state constitutions and draw up the federal Bill of Rights, American statesmen borrowed heavily from English models. [27] Since the federal Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, is to a very great extent an example of such borrowing, it behooves us to take a closer look at their English models.

I. The Traditional Obligation to be Armed [28]

During most of England's history, maintenance of an armed citizenry was neither merely permissive nor cosmetic but essential. Until late in the seventeenth century England had no standing army, and until the nineteenth century no regular police force. The maintenance of order was everyone's business and an armed and active citizenry was written into the system. All able-bodied men between the ages of sixteen and sixty were liable to be summoned to serve on the sheriff's posse to pursue malefactors or to suppress local disorders. [29] For larger scale emergencies, such as invasion or insurrection, a civilian militia was intermittently mustered for military duty. [30] While all able-bodied males were liable for this service, the practice during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had been to select a group of men within each county to be intensively trained. [31] Whenever possible, members of these trained bands were supposed to be prosperous farmers and townsmen, but in practice, the rank-and-file were usually men of modest means--small freeholders, craftsmen, or tenant-farmers. [32] They were, however, invariably led by prestigious members of their community, and commanded by lords lieutenant, who were peers appointed by, and directly responsible to, the Crown. [33] The effectiveness of the militia varied with the need for their services, the interest of particular monarchs, and even with the enthusiasm of individual muster masters and captains. [34] During some reigns, the trained bands were scarcely mustered from one year to the next; in others they were drilled with regularity. In the 1630's, a major effort was made to re-equip these citizen-soldiers and have them instructed in the latest European military tactics. [35]

The militia and the posse were summoned only occasionally, but English subjects were frequently involved in everyday police work. The old common law custom persisted that when a crime occurred citizens were to raise a "hue and cry" to alert their neighbors, and were expected to pursue the criminals "from town to town, and from county to county." [36] Villagers who preferred not to get involved were subject to fine and imprisonment. [37] As an additional incentive to aid in crime prevention, local residents were expected to make good half the loss caused by robbers or rioters. [38]

The most frequent police duty was the keeping of watch and ward. Town gates were closed from sundown until sunrise and all householders, "sufficiently weaponed" according to the requirement, took turns standing watch at night or ward during that day. [39] Widows, disabled men, and other townsmen unable to carry out the task had to hire substitutes to serve in their stead. [40]

Citizens were not only expected to have suitable weapons at the ready for these duties, but, since passage of the Statute of Winchester in 1285, were assessed according to their wealth for a contribution of arms for the militia. [41] When not in use for musters or emergencies, nearly all of this equipment remained in private hands. A series of later statutes spelled out in detail the arms each household was required to own and the frequency of practice sessions. [42] During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, for example, every family was commanded to provide a bow and two shafts for each son between the ages of seven and seventeen and to train them in their use or be subject to a fine. [43] To promote proficiency in arms, Henry VIII and his successors ordered every village to maintain targets on its green at which local men were to practice shooting "in holy days and other times convenient." [44]

The obligation to own and be skilled in the use of weapons does not, of course, imply that there were no restrictions upon the type of weapon owned or the manner of its use. A statute passed in 1541, for instance, cited the problem of "evil-disposed" persons who daily rode the King's highway armed with crossbows and handguns--weapons easily concealed beneath a cloak--and preyed upon Henry VIII's good subjects. The new law limited ownership of such questionable weapons to persons with incomes over one hundred pounds a year--citizens presumably more trustworthy--whereas those with less income were not to carry a crossbow bent, or a gun charged "except it be in time and service of war." [45] This law, often misinterpreted as restricting all ownership of firearms to the upper classes, merely limited the use of those weapons most common in crime. Indeed, the statute specifically states that it is permissible not only for gentlemen, but for yeomen, servingmen, the inhabitants of cities, boroughs, market towns, and those living outside of towns "to have and keep in every of their houses any such hand-gun or hand-guns, of the length of one whole yard." [46] The use of shot was forbidden, as was the brandishing of a firearm so as to terrify others, and the use of guns in hunting by unqualified persons. [47] It is notable that in cases in which crossbows, handguns, or other weapons were confiscated because of improper use, the courts were at pains to specify that the weapon in question was "noe muskett or such as is used for defence of the realm." [48]

The kingdom's Catholics formed an important exception to the tolerant attitude toward individual ownership of weapons. After the English Reformation they were regarded as potential subversives, and as such were liable to have their arms impounded. They were still assessed for a contribution of weapons for the militia, but were not permitted to keep these in their homes or to serve in the trained bands. [49] They were allowed to keep personal weapons for their defense, although in times of extreme religious tension their homes might be searched and all weapons removed. [50] The various restrictions on Catholic subjects are significant for demonstrating that a particular group could be singled out for special arms controls, but they did not advantage a substantial proportion of the community, for, by the second half of the seventeenth century, Catholics seem to have comprised not more than one in fifty of the English population. [51]

For the great majority of Englishmen there was a natural tendency during tranquil years or in periods of government indifference to become blase about military duties; complaints of widespread negligence echo through the years. In 1569, a jury presented a grievance "that there is to much bowling and to little shoting," [52] and fifty years later, in the 1620's, Charles I had to resort to the closure of alehouses on Sundays to keep men at their shooting practice. [53] In 1621 Sir James Parrett complained of the lamentable decline in the numbers of armed retainers maintained by the wealthy. "Those gentlemen whose grandfathers kept 15 or 17 lusty serveing men and but one or 2 good silver boules to drinke in," he noted, had been succeeded by "grand-children fallen from Charity to impiety [who] keepe scarce 6 men and greate Cubards of plate to noe purpose." Worse still, Parrett reported that public complacency had reached the stage where "in two shyres [there was] not a barrell of Gunn-powder to bee seene." [54]

During the 1620's and 1630's there was a serious effort to modernize the militia, but the increased expenses and requirement of additional participation aroused popular resistance. Robert Ward, author of a military manual published just prior to the Civil War, was distressed at the failure of many bandsmen to appreciate how deeply every man is interested in it, for if they did, our yeomandrie would not be so proud and base to refuse to be taught, and to thinke it a shame to serve in their own armes, and to understand the use of them; were they but sensible, that there is not the worth of the peny in a kingdome well secured without the due use of Armes. [55]

Two years later, with the commencement of frantic preparations for civil war and party struggles over public arsenals, the public's attitude had completely altered. Wails of despair were heard from city after city as the royal army confiscated public magazines and disarmed local residents. "The best of it is," a disarmed and distraught townsman of Nantwich wrote, "if we stay at home, we are now their slaves. Being naked they will have of us what they list, and do with us what they list."[56] Forewarned was forearmed, and from 1642 Englishmen learned to hide their firearms and to stockpile weapons.

Nearly twenty years later, this proliferation of privately owned weapons would be regarded by the restored monarch and his supporters as a menace. It was their efforts to control weapons that convinced Englishmen that the duty to keep arms must be recognized as a right. The events of the Restoration period, therefore, are of crucial importance.

II. Royal Efforts to Control Arms

To grasp the magnitude of the problem that awaited Charles II upon his return in 1660 it is useful to get some idea of the numbers of firearms kept in private homes. In ordinary times each household was expected to possess arms suitable to its defense, but what was considered suitable? It is possible to obtain an indication of what was regarded as a minimal arsenal by examining the responses of those charged by Charles II's government with stockpiling weapons. For example, in 1660, in reply to allegations that he had concealed weapons, one Robert Hope pleaded that in the past he had, indeed, kept guns for neighbors, but at present he had only "one light rapire and a small birdinge gunne." [57] Hope obviously considered this small stock beyond exception. In 1667, a Catholic subject informed an official that he was "not so well furnished with arms" as formerly, having only two fowling pieces and two swords. [58] Those not suspected of disaffection had, or at least admitted to having, comparatively more weapons. A Buckinghamshire squire kept for private use a pair of pocket pistols, another pair of "screwed" pistols, a suit of light armour, a sword, and a carbine. [59] A country curate in the early eighteenth century, unqualified to hunt and certainly no soldier, nonetheless owned two guns and a blunderbuss. [60] While wealthier citizens usually owned more weapons, firearms seem to have been well distributed throughout the community. [61] Quarter Session records reveal that men charged with illegal use of a gun for hunting were most often poor laborers, small farmers, or craftsmen. [62] This is not surprising, since guns abounded during and after the Civil War [63] and seem not to have been beyond the means of the poorer members of the community. In 1664 a musket could be purchased for ten shillings, a sum that would take only a little over a week for a foot soldier in a militia band to accumulate from his wages, and a little more than two weeks for a citizen to afford with the modest wages paid for standing night watch. [64] Used weapons could probably be bought even more cheaply.

The anxious period between Cromwell's death and the arrival of Charles II was no ordinary time, and many citizens began to assemble caches of weapons, some of which turned up years later in homes, churches, and guildhalls throughout the realm. [65] In 1660 a Bristol prebendary notified authorities that the stables of his predecessor's house were full of cannon balls and, even twenty years later, a Shropshire man and his son were found with a cache of some thirty muskets and other guns and admitted to having owned and burned fifty pikes. [66] City officials stockpiled weapons as well, and Northampton and Exeter were among those communities later embarrassed by the disclosure of stocks of arms hidden in public buildings. In 1661 the city of Exeter surrendered 937 musket barrels only to have another hoard of weapons discovered shortly afterwards in the guildhall. [67]

As his subjects and the republican army of some 60,000 men waited, "armed to the teeth," to greet their new monarch, Charles II found himself virtually unarmed. In the months before his arrival public arsenals had suffered such extensive embezzlements that the King's men were unable to find in them "firearms enough . . . to arm three thousand men." [68] The King was careful to conceal the fact "that it might not be known abroad or at home, in how ill a posture he was to defend himself against an enemy." [69]

It is scarcely surprising, therefore, that the wild rejoicing that greeted Charles II upon his return to London in May, 1660 [70] failed to disguise from the King the precariousness of his position. He was painfully aware that many of these same citizens had gathered for his father's execution eleven years earlier and that despite its obedient professions, Parliament had never been at "so high a pitch," for "the power which brought in may cast out, if the power and interest be not removed."[71] A study sent to his Court recommended the removal of that power. The anonymous author argued that no prince could be safe "where Lords and Commons are capable of revolt," hence it was essential to disarm the populace and establish a professional army. "It is not the splendor of precious stones and gold, that makes Ennemies submit," he observed, "but the force of armes. The strength of title, and the bare interest of possession will not now defend, the stres will not lye there, the sword is the thing." [72]

Charles agreed completely. But to achieve a shift in the balance of armed might from the general populace to reliable supporters, he needed an obedient police establishment and a series of legal or quasi-legal enactments that would permit the disarmament of his opponents, among whom he counted members of the republican army. [73] In this latter task he had help from Parliament, whose members had learned a lasting distrust of all armies at the hands of Cromwell's soldiers. Parliament speedily devised a scheme to pay off regiments by lot, taking care to secure their weapons "for his Majesty's service." [74] While Charles was relieved to have this particular army disbanded, he was anxious to launch a permanent establishment of his own, and shortly after his return to England secretly began to plan for a force of eight thousand men. A loophole in the disbandment bill permitted the King to maintain as many soldiers as he liked, provided he paid for their upkeep. [75]

The militia was a knottier problem. Both King and Parliament were eager to reestablish the old trained band system, but Parliament was reluctant to confront the numerous difficulties any militia act would have to resolve. A bill submitted at the time of the Restoration had been rejected because many representatives believed its provision for martial law might make Englishmen "wards of an army." [76] The struggle over control of the militia had driven the realm to war in 1642; [77] the issue of royal command would have to be clarified and a militia assessment set, which would involve an evaluation of every subject's property. Despite vigorous pressure from the Court, members of Parliament refused to approve even a temporary militia bill for more than a year. [78] The King, however, was unwilling to wait even a few days before establishing a militia, and was reported within ten days of his return to London to be "settling the militia in all counties by Lords Lieutenants." [79] His right to do so, even in the absence of a valid militia act, does not seem to have been questioned. All candidates for the post of lord lieutenant were carefully screened, and officers were instructed to select bandsmen of unblemished royalist complexion. [80] The resulting force should in no way be seen as representative of the people.

In conjunction with this purged and loyal militia, Charles created a new military body as large again as the militia for which there was far less precedent. It was composed of regiments of volunteers who met at their own, rather than the county's, expense and drilled alongside the regular militia. [81] Both the size of this private army and its longevity were impressive. It continued as an organized force well after the Militia Act of 1662 took effect, and at least through 1667, when the entire militia fell into decline. [82] Although the official task of the volunteers was "to assist on occasion," occasion occurred with great frequency, particularly when such controversial and unpopular duties as the disarmament of fellow subjects were involved. [83]

Charles II employed his militia and volunteer regiments differently from the manner in which militia had been used before the Civil War. In place of the occasional muster in time of peace and mobilization during an invasion or rebellion, his men were to be ready for action at an hour's warning. [84] Their main task was to police possible opponents of the regime. Their first order was to monitor the "motions" of persons of "suspected or knowne disaffection" and prevent their meeting or stockpiling weapons. [85] All arms and munitions in the possession of such suspects beyond what they might require for personal defense were to be confiscated. [86]

With this police apparatus in place, the King turned to the royal proclamation, a device of uncertain legal status, to tighten arms control. In September, 1660, he issued a proclamation forbidding footmen to wear swords or to carry other weapons in London. [87] In December another proclamation expressed alarm that many "formerly cashiered Officers and Soldiers, and other dissolute and disaffected persons do daily resort to this City." [88] All such soldiers and others "that cannot give a good Account for their being here" were to leave London within two days and remain at least twenty miles away indefinitely. [89] At the same time the royal government launched a campaign to control firearms at the source. Gunsmiths were ordered to produce a record of all weapons they had manufactured over the past six months together with a list of their purchasers. [90] In future they were commanded to report every Saturday night to the ordnance office the number of guns made and sold that week. [91] Carriers throughout the kingdom were required to obtain a license if they wished to transport guns, and all importation of firearms was banned. [92]

Events then played into Charles's hands, for on January 6, 1661, an uprising by a handful of religious zealots provided the perfect excuse to crack down on all suspicious persons and to recruit his own standing army. Thomas Venner, a cooper, had led his small band of Fifth Monarchists into the streets of London to launch the prophesied fifth universal monarchy of the world. Although the group was soon subdued, [93] the Court administration blatantly exaggerated the threat they had posed. Speaking to Parliament six months later, the Lord Chancellor characterized the pitiful uprising as the "most desperate and prodigious Rebellion . . . that hath been heard of in any Age" and insisted the plot had "reached very far," and that "there hath not been a Week since that Time in which there hath not been Combinations and Conspiracies formed." [94]

The timing of the Fifth Monarchist uprising was especially opportune, for it occurred the very day the last regiments of the Commonwealth army were due to be disbanded. In response to this visible danger, these regiments were retained and twelve more companies were recruited to form the nucleus of a royalist army. [95] The militia and volunteers throughout the realm were ordered to carry out a general disarmament of everyone of doubtful loyalty. [96] By January 8, 1661, two days after the Venner uprising, Northamptonshire lieutenants reported that all men of known "evill Principles" had been disarmed and secured "so as we have not left them in any ways of power to attempt a breach of the peace." [97]

By the autumn of 1661, with his enemies in prison or at least disarmed and under surveillance, with strict monitoring of both production and distribution of weapons, and with a small standing army and a large police establishment, Charles was ready to disarm the most dangerous element of the population--the thousands of disbanded soldiers of the republican army. Acting by proclamation on November 28, he ordered all veterans of that army and all those who had ever fought against the Stuarts to depart from the capital within the week and to remain at least twenty miles away until June 24, 1662. [98] During their six months of banishment the veterans were warned not to "weare, use, or carry or ryde with any sword, pistoll or other armes or weapons." [99] Two days before this proclamation was due to expire, another appeared which extended the ban and the prohibition against carrying arms for an additional six months. [100] The scope of these bans was so broad it is doubtful whether the militia and volunteers were capable of enforcing them. Nevertheless, the proclamations had the practical effect of depriving a large portion of the male population of its legal right to carry firearms.

Endless alarms of plots provided an excuse to keep the militia on full alert, to impose restrictions on the production, importation, and movement of arms, and to create a standing royal army. Parliament cooperated in this policy by passing militia acts in 1661 and 1662 which reaffirmed the King's control of that force and specifically authorized bandsmen to continue the seizure of arms that Charles's militia had been undertaking on the King's orders alone. [101] Any two deputy lieutenants could initiate a search for, and seizure of, arms in the possession of any person whom they judged "dangerous to the Peace of the Kingdom." [102] This definition of those who could be disarmed was less precise than that of any former militia act, and permitted lower ranking officers great latitude in disarming their neighbors.

Charles II's program to police his realm and control its arms demonstrated skill, timing, and resourcefulness. Arriving unarmed in 1660 to confront an armed nation and a veteran republican army, he succeeded within two years in molding the militia and volunteers into a police force of unprecedented size and effectiveness. All possible adversaries were watched, harassed, disarmed, and in many instances imprisoned. And the men of Oliver Cromwell's army, once the pride of England and terror of Europe, were flattened, disbanded, psychologically disarmed, and then actually deprived of their right to carry weapons. Many members of Parliament were skeptical about the need for such broad powers or the actual danger of rebellion [103] but were content to give the King what he wished as long as their own interests were protected.

III. Parliament's Campaign to Regulate Arms

The royalist aristocrats who flocked to welcome Charles II on his return had every reason to rejoice, for his restoration was theirs as well. After twenty years during which their prestige, pocketbooks, and property had been ravaged by war, revolution, and a republican government, they had an opportunity to restore, and even enhance, their former position. The royalists were to be so successful in this aim that their position by 1688 was described as like that of the barons of Henry III. [104] In order to restore order they were prepared to concede much to the Crown, but jealously guarded the power of the sword and mastery of the localities. They administered local justice, staffed the militia, served in the royal volunteers, and sat in Parliament. [105] The King was dependent upon them to carry out his policies and shore up his regime. [106] For the sake of maintaining their political dominance they acquiesced in the King's program of arms control and, in the Militia Act of 1662, extended the power of militia officers to disarm suspects. [107] But the aristocracy went beyond approving the royal controls. On its own initiative, Parliament passed a game act in 1671 that, for the first time, deprived the vast majority of Englishmen of their legal right to keep weapons. [108]

Game acts had been passed from time to time and were ostensibly designed to protect wild game and to reserve the privilege of hunting for the wealthy. But disarming the rural population was sometimes an underlying motive for their passage. [109] Game acts of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries had made possession of certain breeds of dog and possession of equipment specifically designed for hunting illegal for all those not qualified by income to hunt. [110] However, since guns were acknowledged to have legitimate purposes, they were confiscated only if used illegally. [111]

The Game Act passed in 1671 differed from its predecessors in several important respects. To begin with, it raised the property qualification necessary to hunt from forty pounds to one hundred pounds annual income from land, a figure so high that only the nobility, gentry, and a very few yeomen could qualify, whereas all those whose wealth came from a source other than land--such as lawyers and merchants--were forbidden to hunt. [112] This extraordinarily high qualification divided the rural population into two very unequal groups and placed the aristocracy at odds with everyone else. Many critics would later express astonishment that "the legislature of a mighty empire should require one hundred [pounds] a year to shoot a poor partridge, and only forty shillings to vote for a senator!" [113] The qualification to hunt was fifty times that required to vote.

Of more importance, this game law stated that all persons unqualified to hunt, at least ninety-five percent of the population, were not qualified to keep or bear arms. In the language of the statute: "[A]ll and every person and persons, not having Lands and Tenements of the clear yearly value of One hundred pounds . . . are . . . not allowed to have or keep for themselves, or any other person or persons, any Guns, Bowes, . . . or other Engines." [114] It was no longer necessary to prove illegal use or intent; the mere possession of a firearm was illegal. The new act also empowered owners of forests and parks to appoint gamekeepers who, by warrant, could search the homes of persons suspected of harboring weapons, and confiscate any arms they found. [115]

There can be little doubt that it was the intention of the promoters of the Game Act to give themselves the power to disarm their tenants and neighbors and to bolster the position of their class with respect to that of the King and of the wealthy members of the middle class. They had begun to be suspicious of Charles II by 1671, and frightened by a spate of rural violence. [116] Hence, the provision of the Game Act that enabled country squires to set up their own gamekeeper-police and to confiscate the weapons of unqualified persons at their discretion must have seemed most desirable. As James II was to demonstrate, however, it was a statute with great potential for the Crown.

There appears to have been no overt protest or widespread alarm over the royalist program of arms control. While this may have been due to the conviction that such controls were necessary, it seems more likely that the real reason was that the program was not rigidly enforced during the reign of Charles II. It would have been difficult to carry out the proclamations against the carriage of arms by parliamentary veterans, and the militia's disarmament of suspicious persons was always selective. [117] The prosecution of the Game Act of 1671 was left to the gentry and from the scant evidence available appears to have been sporadic.

After 1680, however, Charles II began to use the Militia Act to disarm his Whig opponents, and in 1686, James II made use of both the Militia Act and the Game Act to disarm his Protestant subjects. [118] Englishmen were outraged and alarmed, and finally convinced of the need to guarantee their right to own weapons. After James II had fled from the kingdom, members of the Convention Parliament convened by William of Orange [119] felt it incumbent upon them to shore up the rights of English subjects before a new monarch ascended the throne. During their discussions, the need for Protestant subjects to have arms came up repeatedly. [120] When the many rights considered most in need of reaffirmation had been pared to thirteen, and a Declaration of Rights presented to William and Mary, the seventh among the "true, ancient, and indubitable" rights proclaimed was the right of all Protestants "to have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law." [121]

IV. The English Bill of Rights and the Present Controversy

As an article of the English Bill of Rights, the right to have arms was part and parcel of that bundle of rights and privileges that English men carried with them to America and which they later fought to preserve. Much of the present confusion over the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution stems from the failure to understand the meaning or to determine the effect of the English right--problems that can both be finally solved by a careful reading of the historic record.

Roy Weatherup is one of several authors who fail in the attempt to fix the meaning of the English right by slipping into the common trap of imposing a modern controversy upon past events. [122] Weatherup is so caught up in the debate over the reference to the militia in the Second Amendment and the attendant quarrel over whether that amendment conveys a collective or an individual right [123] that he totally ignores the fact that the English right to arms makes no mention whatsoever of the militia. Undeterred, Weatherup insists that the English right conveyed "no recognition of any personal right to bear arms on the part of subjects generally" but merely granted members of the militia the right to "keep and bear arms in accordance with their militia duties." [124] Such an interpretation ignores the clear language of the English right and disregards the accompanying historic record. The militia was certainly of grave concern to members of the Convention Parliament, but this was not because members of the militia had been disarmed. Quite the contrary. The militia was a problem because the Militia Act of 1662 had permitted its officers wide latitude to disarm law-abiding citizens. The correction of this abuse and many others that preoccupied the members required new legislation which, they reluctantly admitted, in the present emergency they did not have the leisure to draft. [125] Instead, they decided to concentrate their energies upon reaffirming those ancient rights most recently imperiled through a declaration of rights they hoped would be "like a new magna charta." [126] Legislative reform was meant to follow when time allowed.

Weatherup is somewhat nearer the mark in his assertion that a collective right was intended. [127] A collective right to arms was discussed by the Convention, but it was rejected in favor of an individual right alone. The Whig members of the Convention had pressed hard for a collective as well as an individual right [128] and the first version of the arms article adhered to their view that the public should be armed to protect their rights:

It is necessary for the publick Safety, that the Subjects which are Protestants, should provide and keep Arms for their common Defence. And that the Arms which have been seized, and taken from them, be restored. [129]

The second version of this article retreated somewhat from this stance. It stated:

That the Subjects, which are Protestants, may provide and keep Arms, for their common Defence. [130]

All mention of arms being "necessary for the publick Safety" was omitted although this version still asserts that arms could be kept for "common" defense; instead of the exhortation that citizens "should" provide and keep arms, the permissive "may" is used.

It was the third, and final version, however, that constituted a complete retreat from any collective right to have arms. It read:

That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions, and as allowed by Law. [131]

The reference to a need for arms for "their common Defence" was replaced by the right to keep arms for "their Defence," and two modifying clauses were added at the last moment at the instigation of the cautious House of Lords.

In the opinion of a modern British scholar, the retreat from a collective to an exclusively individual right to have arms "emasculated" the article: "The original wording implied that everyone had a duty to be ready to appear in arms whenever the state was threatened. The revised wording suggested only that it was lawful to keep a blunderbuss to repel burglars." [132] The Whigs continued to press for the notion that it was necessary for the safety of the constitution that subjects be armed and, in the course of the eighteenth century, Blackstone among others reinterpreted the English right to arms to include that position. [133] At the time it was drafted, however, the English right to have arms was solely an individual right. By the outbreak of the American Revolution, it had been transformed into both an individual and a collective right.

The actual impact of the English right as stated in the new Bill of Rights is far more difficult to determine than its meaning. Modern critics have argued that the limitation to Protestants of the right to have arms and the qualifying clauses further restricting lawful possession by Protestants to those weapons "suitable to their conditions" and "as allowed by Law" made this right so exclusive and uncertain as to be "more nominal than real." [134] But if, at first glance, the article's exclusiveness appears striking, much hinges on how these clauses, added at the last moment, were in fact interpreted. There is no doubt that "as allowed by law" included those sixteenth century laws which placed certain restrictions on the type of arms subjects could own, but did not deprive Protestant subjects of their right to have firearms. [135] However, the Game Act of 1671 was in direct conflict with that right. Since the Convention Parliament had agreed to restate rights but leave legislative reform for the future, [136] it is not surprising that the right to have arms contradicted laws still on the statute books. The best means of determining the extent to which the qualifying clauses limited ownership of firearms is to examine subsequent legislation and those legal cases that decided permissible use.

Early in the reign of William and Mary, Parliament approved two acts affecting arms ownership: "An Act for the better securing the Government by disarming Papists and reputed Papists" in 1689, [137] and, in 1692, "An Act for the more easie Discovery and Conviction of such as shall Destroy the Game of this Kingdom." [138] A militia act was also approved by the House of Commons in July 1689, but failed to pass the House of Lords. [139] The first of these acts, the act for disarming Catholics, was meant to secure the realm against a rising on behalf of the deposed Catholic king, James II. It prohibited Catholics from keeping all "Arms, Weapons, Gunpowder, or Ammunition," but did permit a Catholic to retain those weapons that local justices at Quarter Sessions thought necessary "for the Defence of his House or Person." [140] This exception is especially significant, as it demonstrates that even when there were fears of religious war, Catholic Englishmen were permitted the means to defend themselves and their households; they were merely forbidden to stockpile arms. The need for individual self-defense was conceded to have precedence over other considerations. Furthermore, while the Bill of Rights excluded Catholics from any absolute right to have arms, members of that faith were, in practice, accorded the privilege of retaining some weapons.

In 1692, Parliament passed a game statute designed to supercede all previous game acts. [141] This act incorporated many articles of the Game Act of 1671, but altered that act's ban on ownership of firearms by persons unqualified to hunt by omitting all mention of guns from the list of forbidden devices. Whereas the Game Act of 1671 stated that persons not qualified to hunt were "not allowed to have or keep for themselves, or any other person or persons, any Guns, Bowes, Greyhounds . . . or other Engines," [142] the new act prohibited such persons from keeping and using "any bows, greyhounds . . . or any other instruments for destruction of . . . game." [143] According to the rule of law of that era, a later statute expressed in terms contrary to those of a former statute takes away the force of the first statute even without express negative words. [144] Of course, it was possible that guns could be included among "other instruments for destruction of . . . game." All evidence, however, points to the intentional exclusion of firearms from the terms of the statute.

The House of Commons journals reveal the sensitivity of members to the new act's potential for disarming Englishmen. At the time of the bill's third reading, an engrossed clause, offered as a rider, stated that "any Protestant may keep a Musquet in his House, notwithstanding this or any other Act." [145] This was a very sweeping proposal, as it made no allowance for factors such as the sanity or previous criminality of the gun owner, and would, moreover, have purportedly bound future parliaments--something no session was really at liberty to do. [146] On the question of whether this rider should have a second reading, there was sufficient controversy to compel a division. The proposal lost by sixty-five votes to one hundred sixty-nine. [147] Despite its failure to become part of the new game act, it is of interest for two reasons: first, because it indicated the awareness of members that a game act could jeopardize the right of Protestants to have arms; second, because although it was an extreme proposal, it was not dismissed out of hand but occasioned a rare division in the House of Commons.

There is a frustrating lack of commentary or cases bearing on the issue of whether the omission of guns from the list of proscribed devices in the Game Act of 1692 should be regarded as legalizing their ownership, or whether firearms ought to be included under "any other engine." But the fact that there is no recorded instance of anyone charged under the new act for mere possession of a firearm, coupled with decisions from cases under a later law with similar language, [148] lends weight to the conclusion that guns were meant to be excluded from the terms of the statute.

In reference to the successor to the Game Act of 1692, "An act for the better preservation of the game," passed in 1706, [149] Joseph Chitty, an expert on game law, notes: "We find that guns which were expressly mentioned in the former acts were purposely omitted in this because it might be attended with great inconvenience to render the mere possession of a gun prima facie evidence of its being kept for an unlawful purpose." [150] Two cases brought under that game act dealt specifically with the question of the inclusion of firearms under prohibited devices. Perhaps the most important of these was Rex v. Gardner, [151] in which the defendant had been convicted by a justice of the peace for keeping a gun in alleged violation of the Game Act. There was no evidence that the gun in question had been wrongfully used. But it was argued that a gun was mentioned in the 1671 Game Act [152] and considered there as an engine, and that the use of the general words "other engines" in the 1706 Act should be taken to include a gun. [153] It was objected "that a gun is not mentioned in the statute [of 1706], and though there may be many things for the bare keeping of which a man may be convicted, yet they are only such as can only be used for destruction of the game, whereas a gun is necessary for defence of a house, or for a farmer to shoot crows." [154]

The court concluded that "a gun differs from nets and dogs, which can only be kept for an ill purpose, and therefore this conviction must be quashed." [155] The justices reasoned:

[I]f the statute is to be construed so largely, as to extend to the bare having of any instrument, that may possibly be used in destroying game, it will be attended with very great inconvenience; there being scarce any, tho' ever so useful, but what may be applied to that purpose. And tho' a gun may be used in destroying game, and when it is so, doth then fall within the words of the act; yet as it is an instrument proper, and frequently necessary to be kept and used for other purposes, as the killing of noxious vermin, and the like, it is not the having a gun, without applying it in the destruction of game, that is prohibited by the act. [156]

Indeed, Lord Macclesfield commented in this regard that he himself was in the House of Commons when that game act was drafted and personally objected to the insertion of the word gun therein "because it might be attended with great inconvenience." [157]

In Wingfield v. Stratford & Osman, [158] appellant challenged his conviction under the Game Act and the confiscation of his gun and dog, the dog being a setting dog, the gun allegedly "an engine" for killing of game. The prosecution's plea was held faulty because it amounted to a general issue, [159] but the court pointed out that it would have held for appellant in any case as the prosecution had not alleged that the gun had been used for killing game:

It is not to be imagined, that it was the Intention of the Legislature, in making the 5 Ann.c.14 to disarm all the People of England. As Greyhounds, Setting Dogs . . . are expressly mentioned in that Statute, it is never necessary to alledge, that any of these have been used for killing or destroying the Game; and the rather, as they can scarcely be kept for any other Purpose than to kill or destroy the Game. But as Guns are not expressly mentioned in that Statute, and as a Gun may be kept for the Defence of a Man's House, and for divers other lawful Purposes, it was necessary to alledge, in order to its being comprehended within the Meaning of the Words "any other Engines to kill the Game", that the Gun had been used for killing the Game. [160]

By the middle of the eighteenth century, therefore, English courts could not "imagine" that Parliament intended to disarm the people of England.

In 1775, the American colonists fought for what they regarded as the rights of Englishmen. [161] Fortunately, there is ample contemporary evidence defining exactly what the rights of Englishmen were at that time in respect to the keeping and bearing of arms. In 1782, Granville Sharp, an English supporter of the American cause, wrote that no Englishman "can be truly Loyal" who opposed the principles of English law whereby the people are required to have "arms of defence and peace, for mutual as well as private defence." [162] He argued that the laws of England "always required the people to be armed, and not only to be armed, but to be expert in arms." [163] Edward Christian noted in his edition of Blackstone's Commentaries, published in 1793, that "ever since the modern practice of killing game with a gun had prevailed, everyone is at liberty to keep or carry a gun, if he does not use it for the destruction of game." [164] But the most definitive opinion on the rights of Englishmen "to bear arms, and to instruct themselves in the use of them" came from the Recorder of London, the chief legal adviser to the mayor and council, in 1780. He stated:

The right of his majesty's Protestant subjects, to have arms for their own defence, and to use them for lawful purposes, is most clear and undeniable. It seems, indeed, to be considered, by the ancient laws of this kindom, not only as a right, but as a duty; for all the subjects of the realm, who are able to bear arms, are bound to be ready, at all times, to assist the sheriff, and other civil magistrates, in the execution of the laws and the preservation of the public peace. And that right, which every Protestant most unquestionably possesses, individually, may, and in many cases must, be exercised collectively, is likewise a point which I conceive to be most clearly established by the authority of judicial decisions and ancient acts of parliament, as well as by reason and common sense. [165]

V. Conclusion

Prior to the Restoration, Englishmen had the obligation to be armed for the public defense and the privilege of keeping arms for their personal defense. During the reigns of Charles II and James II, from 1660 to 1688, the Court and Parliament passed laws and issued proclamations that severely restricted the rights of the people to possess firearms, and followed a policy designed to control production and distribution of weapons. The English Bill of Rights of 1689, however, not only reasserted, but guaranteed, the right of Protestant subjects to be armed. The qualifying clauses of the Bill that appear to limit arms ownership were, in fact, interpreted in a way that permitted Catholics to have personal weapons and allowed Protestants, regardless of their social and economic station, to own firearms. The ancillary clause "as allowed by Law" merely limited the type of weapon that could be legally owned to a full-length firearm, enforced the ban on shot, and permitted legal definition of appropriate use. The right of Englishmen to have arms was a very real and an individual right. For all able-bodied men there was also the civic duty to bear arms in the militia. The twin concepts of a people armed and a people trained to arms were linked, but not inseparably.

If one applies English rights and practice to the construction of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, it is clear that the Amendment's first clause is an amplifying rather than a qualifying clause, and that a general rather than a select militia was intended. In fact, every American colony formed a militia that, like its English model, comprised all able-bodied male citizens. [166] This continued to be the practice when the young republic passed its first uniform militia act under its new constitution in 1792. [167] Such a militia implied a people armed and trained to arms.

The Second Amendment should properly be read to extend to every citizen the right to have arms for personal defense. This right was a legacy of the English, whose right to have arms was, at base, as much a personal right as a collective duty. It is significant that the American right to keep arms was unfettered, unlike the English right, which was limited in various ways throughout its development.

Thus, in guaranteeing the individual right to keep and bear arms, and the collective right to maintain a general militia, the Second Amendment amplified the tradition of the English Bill of Rights for the purpose of preserving and protecting government by and for the people.

[*] Visiting Scholar, Harvard Law School; B.A., 1963, Barnard College; Ph.D., 1977, Brandeis University.

[**] This article is part of a larger project on the history of the right to bear arms, the research for which has been made possible from the following generous awards: a Research Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Fellowship in Legal History from the American Bar Foundation, a Summer Fellowship from the Liberty Fund, and a Mark DeWolfe Howe research grant from Harvard Law School.

[1] 1 T. Macaulay, Critical and Historical Essays, Contributed to the Edinburgh Review 154, 162 (Leipzig 1850).

[2] See 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *139-40 (1st ed. Oxford 1765).

[3] De Lolme's book, The Constitution of England, was first published in 1771 and quickly went through an impressive number of editions. D'Israeli later referred to De Lolme as "the English Montesquieu." See Oxford University Press, 1 The Concise Dictionary of National Biography 332 (2d ed. 1903); 7 Encyclopaedia Britannica 970 (11th ed. 1910).

[4] J. De Lolme, The Constitution of England 227 (New York 1793).

[5] See, e.g., L. Kennet & J. Anderson, the Gun in America 25-27 (1975); G. Newton & F. Zimring, Firearms & Violence in American Life; A Staff Report Submitted to the National Commission on the Causes & Prevention of Violence 255 (1968); Levin, The Right to Bear Arms: The Development of the American Experience 48 Chi-Kent L. Rev. 148 (1971); Weatherup, Standing Armies and Armed Citizens: An Historical Analysis of the Second Amendment, 2 Hastings Const. L.Q. 961 (1975).

[6] Miller, Sec. III The Legal Basis for Firearms Controls, in Report to the American Bar Association 22 (1975).

[7] See, e.g., Caplan, Handgun Control: Constitutional or Unconstitutional? A Reply to Mayor Jackson, 10 N.C. Cent. L.J. 53, 54 (1978); Weatherup, supra note 5, at 973-74; Whisker, Historical Development and Subsequent Erosion of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 78 W. Va. L. Rev. 171, 176-78 (1975).

[8] See Miller, supra note 6, at 25-28.

[9] See Caplan, supra note 7, at 54-55.

[10] See, e.g., Levin, supra note 5, at 154, 159; Weatherup, supra note 5, at 973-74.

[11] G. Newton & F. Zimring, supra note 5, at 255.

[12] L. Kennet & J. Anderson, supra note 5, at 25-27.

[13] For example, Newton and Zimring, fail to cite a single seventeenth or eighteenth century source for the critical assertion that the English Convention Parliament of 1688 intended to guarantee only a general, not an individual, right to have arms. See G. Newton & F. Zimring, supra note 5, at 254-55, n.12. Kennet and Anderson conclude that in the seventeenth century firearms "were not generally held . . . because of their inefficiency, costliness, and general scarcity," but provide no evidence of their efficiency, cost, or availability in that period. See L. Kennet & J. Anderson, supra note 5, at 27.

[14] 1 J. Paterson, Commentaries on the Liberty of the Subject and the Laws of England Relating to the Security of the Person 442 (London 1877).

[15] C. Greenwood, Firearms Control: A Study of Armed Crime and Firearms Control in England and Wales 10 (1972).

[16] Caplan, supra note 7, at 54.

[17] Whisker, supra note 7, at 176.

[18] Weatherup, supra note 5, at 973-74. For the precise English guarantee of the rights of the subject to have arms, see The Bill of Rights, 1 W. & M., Sess. 2, ch. 2 (1689).

[19] 10 H.C. Jour., 1688-93, 21-22; 1 W. & M., Sess. 2, ch. 2 (1689).

[20] Weatherup, supra note 5, at 974.

[21] See, e.g., Caplan, supra note 7, at 53-54; Emery, The Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 28 Harv. L. Rev. 473-75 (1915); Hays, The Right to Bear Arms, A Study in Judicial Misinterpretation, 2 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 383 (1960); Levin, supra note 5, at 148; Weatherup, supra note 5, at 964; Whisker, supra note 7, at 175-76.

[22] Charter of Connecticut, Charles II, 1 The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut 7 (Hartford 1850) [hereinafter cited as Records of Connecticut]. See also Charter of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, William and Mary, 1 Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay 14 (Boston 1869).

[23] See T. Barnes, The English Legal System: Carryover to the Colonies 16 (1975).

[24] See, e.g., Records of Connecticut, supra note 22, at 285-86; 19 The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia 137 passim (Atlanta 1911); The Book of the General Lawes and Libertyes Concerning the Inhabitants of the Massachusetts 39-41 (Hunt. Lib. reprint 1975) (1st ed. Boston 1648); 1 Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England 77, 94 (Providence 1856); W. Billings, The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century 172 (1975).

[25] See, e.g., Acts of the Grand Assembly of Virginia 1623-24, Nos. 24 & 25; Acts of the Grand Assembly of Virginia 1673, Act 2; The Compact with the Charter and General Laws of the Colony of New Plymouth 44-45 (1836); 8 Records of Connecticut, supra note 22, at 380; 1 Colonial Laws of New York 161 (1894); South Carolina Stat. No. 206 (1703).

[26] B. Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution 43 (1967).

[27] See, e.g., 2 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, 509, 617 (M. Ferrand ed. 1911); Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Held in the Year 1788, 198-99 (Boston 1856); Debates and Other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia, 1788, 271 (2d ed. Richmond 1805); The Federalist Nos. 26, 84 (Hamilton).

[28] Earlier versions of sections I, II, & III of this article appear in Malcolm, Disarmed: The Loss of the Right to Bear Arms in Restoration England (Bunting Inst., Radcliffe College 1980).

[29] See R. Burn, 2 The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer 16-20 (London 1755); F. Maitland, The Constitutional History of England 276-77 (1968) (1st ed. Cambridge 1908).

[30] See Assizes of Arms, Hen. 2 (1181); Statute of Winchester, Edw. (1285); 4 & 5 Phil. and M., ch. 3 (1557).

[31] See C. Cruickshank, Elizabeth's Army 24-25 (2d ed. 1966).

[32] Manuscripts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries contain repeated complaints to this effect. For printed comment, see, e.g., J. Morrill, Cheshire, 1630-1660, 26 (1974); G. Trevelyan, England Under the Stuarts 187-88 (1928).

[33] See C. Cruickshank, supra note 31, at 19-20; H. Hallam, The Constitutional History of England 386 (London 1870).

[34] See, e.g., R. Ashton, The English Civil War 55-59, 66 (1978); L. Boynton, The Elizabethan Militia 212 passim, 264-65 (1967); C. Cruickshank, supra note 31, at 5-11.

[35] See L. Boynton, supra note 34, at 245-54.

[36] See R. Burn, supra note 29, at 17-20.

[37] See id.

[38] See id.

[39] See id. at 512.

[40] See id.

[41] See Statute of Winchester, Edw. (1285).

[42] See, e.g., 2 Acts & Ords. Interregnum 397-402 (London 1911); An Act for Setling the Militia of the Commonwealth of England (London 1650); 4 & 5 Phil. & M., ch. 3 (1557); An Act Declaring the Sole Right of the Militia to Be in the King, 14 Car. 2, ch. 3 (1662).

[43] See G. Sharp, Tracts, Concerning the Antient and Only True Legal Means of National Defence, By a Free Militia 12 (London 1782).

[44] Id. at 13.

[45] 33 Hen. 8, ch. 6 (1541).

[46] Id.

[47] 2 & 3 Edw. 6, ch. 14 (1549); Statute of Northampton, 2 Edw. 3, ch. 3 (1328).

[48] W. Fisher, The Forest of Essex 214-15 (1887).

[49] See C. Cruickshank, supra note 31, at 24.

[50] This occurred, for example, just prior to the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642. See Manning, The Outbreak of the English Civil War, in The English Civil War and After, 1642-1658, 16 (R. Perry ed. 1970). Charles I empowered Catholics who had been disarmed to rearm in 1642. See A Discourse of the Warr in Lancashire, 62 Chetham Soc. 12-14 (1864); Tracts Relating to Military Proceedings in Lancashire during the Great Civil War, 2 Chetham Soc. 38-40 (1844).

[51] See J. Jones, The Revolution of 1688 in England 77 n.2 (1972).

[52] See G. Roberts, The Social History of the People of the Southern Counties of England in Past Centuries viii-ix (London 1856).

[53] Id.

[54] 6 Commons Debates 1621, at 318 (1935).

[55] R. Ward, Animadversions of Warre, or a Militaire Magazine of the Truest Rules and Ablest Instruction For the Managing of Warre 150 (London 1639).

[56] The Latest Remarkable Truths from Worcester, Chester, Salop in Tracts Relating to the Civil War in Cheshire, 1641-1659, reprinted in 65 Chetham Soc. (n.s.) 238 app. B (1909).

[57] William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire, Correspondence as Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire from 1660 to 1666, Additional MS. 34, 306, fol. 12, British Library, London.

[58] LeFleming MS, Historical Manuscripts Commission, 12th Report, Pt. 7, at 44 (1890).

[59] See 4 Memoirs of the Verney Family 167 (1899).

[60] See E. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters 71 (1975).

[61] Much evidence of the widespread ownership of firearms is scattered throughout the personal and public documents of this period. The most accessible proof is found in the county quarter session records, some of which are in print, which cite English men and women from all walks of life for misuse of firearms. See, e.g., Minutes of the Proceedings in Quarter Sessions Held for the Parts of Kesteven in the County of Lincoln, 1674-1695, reprinted in Lincoln Record Soc. 25, 26 (1931); Quarter Session Records for the County of Somerset, 1607-77, reprinted in Somerset Rec. Soc. 23-24, 28, 34 (1907-19); Warwick County Records: Quarter Session Order Books, 1625-90, reprinted in Warwick County Council 6, 7 (1935-53); Worcestershire County Records Division 1: Documents Relating to Quarter Sessions, in Worcestershire Hist. Soc. passim (1899-1900).

[62] See sources cited supra note 61.

[63] See, e.g., E. Thompson, supra note 60, at 71; J. Western, The English Militia in the Eighteenth Century 4, 5 (1965); 4 Memoirs of the Verney Family 167 (1899); Letter from West to Fleming, Jan. 27, 1667, LeFleming MS, supra note 58, at 44.

[64] See 92 Clarendon MS 143, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

[65] See J. Western, supra note 63, at 4-5.

[66] See id.

[67] See id. at 4; Privy Council Registers, P.C. 2, vol. 55, fol. 520 (Jan. 22, 1661), Public Record Office, London.

[68] E. Hyde, 2 The Life of Edward Earl of Clarendon 117 (Oxford 1827).

[69] Id.

[70] See 3 Memoirs Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn 246 (deBeer ed. 1955).

[71] Two Treatises Addressed to the Duke of Buckingham, Lansdowne MS 805, fol. 79 British Library, London.

[72] Id.

[73] See 8 H. C. Jour. 5-6; E. Hyde, supra note 68, vol. 1 at 335.

[74] See 8 H. C. Jour. 142-43, 161, 163, 167.

[75] See id. at 167.

[76] 4 Parl. Hist. Eng., 145 (London 1808-20).

[77] See J. Kenyon, The Stuart Constitution 196 (1966); J. Malcolm, Caesar's Due: Loyalty and King Charles 1642-1646, at 17-21 (1983).

[78] A militia act was not passed until the spring of 1662, although a temporary measure was passed a year earlier. See 13 Car. 2, ch. 6 (1661); 13 & 14 Car. 2, ch. 3 (1662).

[79] Historical Manuscripts Commission, 5th Report 153 (1876).

[80] See id.; State Papers Domestic, Charles II, S.P. 29, vol. 11, fols. 146-74 (Aug. 26, 1660), Public Record Office, London; Instructions to Lords Lieutenants, Whitehall, 1660, Egerton MS 2542, fol. 512, British Library, London.

[81] See sources quoted in Malcolm, supra note 28, at 8-9.

[82] See, e.g., Letter Book of Thomas Belasyse, Viscount Fauconberg Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding of Yorkshire, 1665-84, Additional MS 41,254, fols. 20-22, British Library, London, which reported that the militia had not been ordered to muster for several years. See also J. Western, supra note 63, at 48.

[83] See, e.g., Norfolk Lieutenancy Journal, 1661-1674, Additional MS 11,601, fol. 29, British Library, London; Earl of Westmorland Letter Book, 1660-1665, Northamptonshire Militia, Additional MS 34,222, fols. 25-26, 32, British Library, London; Westmorland to Vane, July 21, 1662, Clarendon State Papers, vol. 77, fol. 66a, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

[84] Additional MS 34,306, supra note 57, at fol. 14. The King went still further and, for a time, required militia commanders to keep a portion of their men on duty at all times. This scheme proved unworkable. See Additional MS 34,222, supra note 83, at fol. 43; Additional MS 34,304, fol. 44; D. Ogg, England in the Reign of Charles II 253 (1967).

[85] Instructions to Lords Lieutenants, Whitehall, 1660, Egerton MS 2542, supra note 80, at fol. 512.

[86] See id.

[87] "A Proclamation For Suppressing of disorderly and unseasonable Meetings, in Taverns and Tipling Houses, And also forbidding Footmen to wear Swords, or other Weapons, within London, Westminster, and their Liberties", Sept. 29, 1660, B.M. 669, fol. 26 (13), British Library, London. This and subsequent proclamations cited in this article are calendared in R. Steele, Tudor and Stuart Proclamations (1910). Originals can be found at the British Library and the citations will be to these.

[88] "A Proclamation commanding all cashiered Soldiers and other Persons that cannot give a good account of their being here to depart out of the Cities of London and Westminster", Dec. 17, 1660, B.M. 669, fol. 26 (37), British Library, London.

[89] Id.

[90] See Privy Council Registers, P.C. 2, vol. 55, fol. 71 (Dec. 1660), Public Record Office, London.

[91] See id.

[92] See Privy Council Register, P.C. 2, vol. 55, fol. 187 (Sept. 4, 1661), fol. 189 (Mar. 29, 1661), Public Record Office, London.

[93] See Burrage, The Fifth Monarchy Insurrections, 25 The English Hist. Rev. 722-47 (1910).

[94] 11 H.L. Jour. 243.

[95] See 1 J. Clarke, The Life of James the Second, King of England, etc. Collected out of Memoirs Writ of His Own Hand 390-91 (London 1816).

[96] See Additional MS. 34,222, supra note 83, at fol. 15.

[97] Id. at fol. 17. The seizure of arms and persons was so zealously carried out--a Derbyshire man claimed his house had been searched nine times in one week--that in mid-January the King had to issue a proclamation to reassure outraged Londoners that the customary restrictions against unwarranted search and seizure were still in effect. See B.M. 669, fol. 26 (49), British Library, London.

[98] See B.M. 1851, ch. 8 (133), (134), (135), British Library, London.

[99] Id.

[100] This proclamation was issued on June 22, 1662. There is no record of a proclamation for 1663, but on November 18, 1664, June 28, 1665, and June 10, 1670, the proclamation was reissued. See R. Steele, supra note 87.

[101] 13 Car. 2, ch. 6 (1661); 14 Car. 2, ch. 3 (1662).

[102] Id.

[103] Sir John Dalrymple observed that in government rhetoric, "mobs were swelled into insurrections, and insurrections into concerted rebellion." J. Dalrymple, 1 Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland 26 (2d ed. London 1771-73).

[104] See J. Plumb, The Growth of Political Stability England, 1675-1725, at 21-22 (1967).

[105] See id. at 20-21. See also C. Hill, Reformation to Industrial Revolution 110-11 (1967).

[106] The English monarch had only a small bureaucracy and was dependent upon the nobility and, in particular, the gentry throughout the realm to carry out numerous functions of government as unpaid volunteers. In reference to the militia itself, see J. Western, supra note 63, at 16-17, 63.

[107] See 13 & 14 Car. 2, ch. 3 (1662-63).

[108] See 22 & 23 Car. 2, ch. 25 (1671).

[109] The very first game act to set a property qualification on the right to hunt appeared in 1389, eight years after that century's devastating peasant rebellion. The preamble to 13 Ric. 2, ch. 13, "None shall hunt but they which have a sufficient living" read: "Item, for as much as divers artificers, labourers, and servants, and grooms, keep greyhounds and other dogs, and on the holy days, when good Christian people be at church, hearing divine service, they go hunting in parks, warrens, and connigries of lords and others, to the very great destruction of the same, and sometimes under such colour they make their assemblies, conferences, and conspiracies for to rise and disobey their allegiance." See J. Chitty, A Treatise on the Game Laws, and On Fisheries 368 (2d ed. London 1826); W. Holdsworth, 4 A History of English Law 505 (1924).

[110] See 19 Hen. 7, ch. 11 (1495); 5 Eliz., ch. 21 (1562); 3 Jac. ch. 13 (1605); 7 Jac. ch. 13 (1609); 13 Car. 2, ch. 10 (1663).

[111] See sources cited supra note 110.

[112] The Game Act of 1609, in effect until the act of 1671, provided that those who had personal property of £400 were entitled to hunt. This permitted merchants and professionals whose wealth was not based on land to hunt. The Act of 1671, however, abolished this category. Compare 7 Jac., ch. 13 (1609) with 22 & 23 Car. 2, ch. 25 (1671).

[113] J. Chitty, Observations of the Game Laws, with Proposed Alterations for the Protection and Increase of Game, and the Decrease of Crime 180 (London 1816).

[114] 22 & 23 Car. 2, ch. 25 (1671).

[115] Id.

[116] From at least 1665 there was growing distrust of the regime of Charles II. At the beginning of 1667, Samuel Pepys, a civil servant, found the royal court "[a] sad, vicious, negligent Court, and all sober men there fearful of the ruin of the whole kingdom this next year; from which good God, deliver us!" Cited by D. Witcombe, Charles II and the Cavalier House of Commons, 1663-1674, at 55 (1966); see D. Ogg, supra note 84, at 313; 22 & 23 Car. 2, ch. 7 (1671).

[117] Persons judged to be suspicious by the royal administration were those active in the parliamentary party during the Civil War and its aftermath, and those who belonged to the Protestant sects that refused to remain within the Church of England. The Quakers were prominent sufferers. See, e.g., fol. 18, Additional MS 34,306, British Library, London, and 13 Car. 2, ch. 6 (1661), a militia act which noted that since June 24, 1660, less than a month after Charles II's return, "divers persons suspected to be fanaticks, sectaries or disturbers of the peace have been assaulted, arrested, detained or imprisoned, [by the militia] and divers arms have been seized and houses searched for arms." The militia had specifically been ordered to disarm all persons "notoriously knowne to be of ill principles or [who] have lately . . . by words or actions shewn any disaffection to his Majestie or his Government, or in any kind disturbed the publique peace." Additional MS 34,222, supra note 83, at 15.

[118] See J. Western, supra note 63, at 48-51; Calendar of State Papers Domestic, 1686-87, at 314 (1964).

[119] James II decided to abandon his kingdom in the face of a growing army of his subjects led by William of Orange and the desertion of his own army. The realm was thrown into a constitutional crisis, as no Parliament was in session and only the king could legally summon a parliament. William consulted with the nobility and former members of the Commons and on their advice summoned a convention parliament to meet to resolve the kingdom's succession. He promised to abide by its decision. A convention parliament had been called in 1659 by George Monck, again in the absence of a reigning monarch, and it was this body that invited Charles II to return as king. Unlike its predecessor, however, the Convention Parliament of 1688 was determined to ensure the rights of subjects and to prevent any infringement by future monarchs. See infra sources cited at note 120.

[120] We have only sketchy records remaining of the debates of the Convention Parliament. The best of these in print are the notes made by John Somers, chairman of the committee that drafted the English Bill of Rights reprinted in 2 Miscellaneous State Papers from 1501 to 1726 passim & esp. 407-18 (London 1778). Somers's notes are punctuated with the angry comments of members at the use of the Militia Act in particular to disarm law-abiding citizens. Sir John Maynard was furious that "an Act of Parliament was made to disarm all Englishmen, whom the lieutenant should suspect, by day or night, by force or otherwise" and branded it "an abominable thing to disarm a nation, to set up a standing army." Id. at 407. Another member argued that there was "no safety but the consent of the nation--the constitution being limited, there is a good foundation for defensive arms--It has given us right to demand full and ample security." Id. at 410. See also L. Schwoerer, The Declaration of Rights, 1689 (1981) (a recent study of the Convention Parliament).

[121] 1 W. & M., Sess. 2, ch. 2 (1689). The English Declaration of Rights drawn up by the Convention Parliament was approved by the first parliament summoned by William and Mary and incorporated with the legislation recognizing them as king and queen. It was thereafter known as the English Bill of Rights.

[122] See Weatherup, supra note 5.

[123] See id. at 962-64.

[124] Id. at 973-74.

[125] Anonymous Account of the Convention Proceeding, 1688, Rawlinson MS D1079, fol. 10, Bodleian Library, Oxford. The committee was instructed "to distinguish such of the . . . heads [of grievances] as are introductory of new laws, from those that are declaratory of ancient rights." The revised version of their report can be found in 10 H.C. Jour. 1688-93, at 21-22.

[126] See G. Burnet, 2 Bishop Burnet's History of His Own Time 534 (London 1840).

[127] See Weatherup, supra note 5, at 974.

[128] The Whigs had sizable majorities on the committees which drafted the Declaration of Rights, and those most outspoken in favor of a general possession of arms for the purpose of resisting tyranny were Whigs. See L. Schwoerer, supra note 120, at 152; and members quoted in J. Somers, supra note 120, at 107-18, with their affiliation as described by Schwoerer. See also D. Lacey, Dissent and Parliamentary Politics in England, 1661-1689, at 382-83, 422-23 (1969).

[129] Rawlinson MS D1079, supra note 125, at fol. 8.

[130] 10 H.C. Jour., 1688-93, at 21-22.

[131] 1 W. & M., Sess. 2, ch. 2 (1689).

[132] J. Western, Monarchy and Revolution: The English State in the 1680's, 339 (1972).

[133] For examples of Whig efforts to incorporate into legislation their view that the citizenry must be armed to prevent tyranny, see 10 H.C. Jour. 621; 5 Parl. Hist. Eng., supra note 76, at 344; N. Luttrell, the Parliamentary Diary of Narcissus Luttrell, 1691-1693, at 444 (H. Horwitz ed. 1972). See also 2 W. Blackstone, Commentaries 441 (E. Christian ed. London 1793-95) (editor's comment); and 1 W. Blackstone, supra note 2, at *140-41.

[134] G. Newton & F. Zimring, supra note 5, at 255 (quoting from 2 J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 678 (3d ed. 1858)).

[135] These acts were: 33 Henry 8, ch. 6 (1541) and 2 & 3 Edw. 6, ch. 14 (1549). For evidence of their continued enforcement, see sources cited supra note 61 (relating to quarter session records); G. Sharp, supra note 43, at 17-18; Rex v. Alsop, 4 Mod. Rep. 51 (K.B. 1691).

[136] See supra notes 125-26 and accompanying text.

[137] 1 W. & M., ch. 15 (1689).

[138] 4 & 5 W. & M., ch. 23 (1692).

[139] In July, 1689, members of the House of Commons passed a measure "for ordering the Forces in the several Counties of this Kingdom," which was designed to make the militia more efficient, to strengthen local control over it, and to eliminate its powers to search for and seize weapons of so-called suspects. The measure ran into opposition in the House of Lords and was lost when the King dissolved Parliament. See J. Western, supra note 132, at 340 n.1, 343; J. Western, supra note 63, at 85-89; 5 Parl. Hist. Eng., supra note 76, at 344.

[140] 1 W. & M. ch. 15 (1689).

[141] 4 & 5 W. & M., ch. 23 (1692).

[142] 22 Car. 2, ch. 25 (1671).

[143] 4 & 5 W. & M., supra note 141.

[144] H. Rolle, Reports 91 (London 1675).

[145] 10 H.C. Jour. 824.

[146] A future parliament was always at liberty to amend a statute or to repeal it. During the debate on this rider an opponent of the measure argued that it "savours of the politics to arm the mob, which I think is not very safe for any government." See N. Luttrell, supra note 133, at 444. The Whig view expressed later by Blackstone did not yet prevail.

[147] 10 H.C. Jour. 824.

[148] See 5 Ann, ch. 14 (1706). This statute levied a fine against any person or persons "not qualified by the laws of this realm so to do" who "shall keep or use any greyhounds, setting dogs . . . or any other engines to kill and destroy the game." Id.

The Devonshire Quarter Sessions clearly regarded the possession of firearms as legal after passage of the 1692 Game Act, for in 1704 it explained that while the houses of unqualified persons could be searched for dogs, nets and other "engines," no Protestant was to be deprived of his gun. See A.H.A. Hamilton, Quarter Sessions from Queen Elizabeth to Queen Ann 289 (1878).

[149] 5 Ann, ch. 14 (1706).

[150] J. Chitty, supra note 109, at 83 & note c.

[151] Rex v. Gardner, Strange, 2 Reports 1098, 93 Eng. Rep. 1056 (K.B. 1739); 1 R. Burn, supra note 29, at 442-43.

[152] See supra text accompanying note 114.

[153] Rex v. Gardner, 93 Eng. Rep. at 1056.

[154] Id.

[155] Id.

[156] Id.

[157] 1 R. Burn, supra note 29, at 443. Lord Macclesfield sat on an earlier case, King v. King, 3 Geo. 2, in which the question of whether guns were intentionally omitted from the statute was raised but never determined. This is noted in the Gardner decision, along with his comments. See 93 Eng. Rep. at 1056.

[158] Wingfield v. Stratford & Osman, Sayer, Reports 15-17, 96 Eng. Rep. 787 (K.B. 1752).

[159] Id. at 16, 96 Eng. Rep. at 787.

[160] Id. (Lee, C.J., concurring).

[161] For extensive treatment of this subject see B. Bailyn, supra note 26. Bailyn writes, for example: "For the primary goal of the American Revolution, which transformed American life and introduced a new era in human history, was not the overthrow or even the alteration of the existing social order but the preservation of political liberty threatened by the apparent corruption of the [English] constitution, and the establishment in principle of the existing conditions of liberty." Id. at 19.

[162] G. Sharp, supra note 43, at 18, 27.

[163] Id. at 18.

[164] 2 W. Blackstone, Commentaries 411 (E. Christian ed. 1793-95).

[165] W. Blizard, Desultory Reflections on Police 59-60 (London 1785) (emphasis in original).

[166] See supra notes 24-25 and accompanying text.

[167] That act stipulated that "each and every free able-bodied white male citizen . . . between the ages of 18 and 45 . . . shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia." Act of May 8, 1792, 2d Cong., 1st Sess., ch. 33.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuart R. Hays: The Right To Bear Arms

William and Mary Law Review
Stuart R. Hays, 2 (1960): 381.
Posted for Educational use only. The printed edition remains canonical.
For citational use please visit the local law library or obtain a back issue.

by STUART R. HAYS article link article link


Since the very dawn of time, man had weapons to protect and defend himself. As primitive man learned the interplays of the tribal order which required set standards, he also learned the advantages of belonging to the tribe. The early tribes were based on the inter-action of the group against those outside the tribal group; not, against the members of the tribal group. From this interplay evolved a system of early social law.

The problem of the social control of weapons is not new. In 124 B.C. the Imperial Chancellor Kung-Sun Hung petitioned the Emperor Han to take the people's arms from them. The emperor replied:

Your subject has heard that when the ancients made the five kinds of weapons, it was not for the purpose of killing each other, but to prevent tyranny and to punish evil. When people lived in peace, these weapons were to be prepared against emergencies and to kill the fierce animals. If there were military affairs, then the weapons were used to set up defenses and form battle arrays…[1]

The petition was turned down, stressing the right of the individual to bear arms for the common protection of society and the individual.

Weapons have been used in warfare for defense, offense, and revolution. It is with the defensive and revolutionary forces that the Second Amendment concerns itself. As part of the great power of the revolutionary force, weapons are an element of the control of men's destiny. In the operation of government they are a safeguard against tyranny. It has been said the Tudors were rulers surrounded by an army: that of the English people.

Whenever men have banded together, in that fiction known as society, a series of laws have evolved. When these laws fail some form of social revolution results, whether it be widespread or guerilla in nature. England, with the tradition for law, has felt the force of arms in the reconstruction of the social order.

The Norman conquest of Anglo-Saxon England brought with it a legal upheaval that lasted for centuries, while the Angles and Saxons "reformed" the Norman administrator with Anglo-Saxon law and sword. Gradually the Norman Conquerors became conquered by the "legal system" and the rights of the common man began to evolve. Coke considers "due process of law" evolving during the reign of Edward III (1326-1377).[2] Throughout the Commentaries there pervades the theory of government by law, with remedies at law to prevent the usurpation of power; hence the special writs of Prohibition and Mandamus. The contrasting theory is government by revolution and insurrection to correct usurpation. Our South American neighbors with their foundations in the Roman-Civil law prefer this latter.

During the Reformation there was a tendency to revive the Roman law; this reception was powerful enough to shake the common law to its roots, but insufficient to overpower it. The Justinian theory of legibus solutus, the leader is absolved from the law, gained favor with the English Stuarts. In contemporary France the lettre de cachet, which permitted indefinite imprisonment by the ruler or high official were the popular modes of revenge and non-judicial ruling. The legal systems began to fail and revolution was the solution.

History has proved that no man without a standing army can subjudicate a free and armed people. George III did not profit from this advice. Americans did understand the nature and effects of law by force and edict. Hence the preservation of the militia and the right to bear arms: remembered also was the right to revolt when the laws of the government began to oppress; witness the War Between the States in 1861.

The Second Amendment was thought to be an expression of the common law rights of all Englishmen since the bill of rights of 1688. A grievance of Colonial America was the keeping of a standing army in the Colonies as a mode of enforcing the "king's justice". A cursory glance shows the amendment to be a limitation upon this practice and an expression of the common law as was inherited from England.[3]


From the very beginnings of early "England" the Saxons, Angles, Picts, Jutes, and other tribal factions possessed weapons for waging war and self-defense. The Roman conquest of lower "England" served to increase the fighting ability of these native people. The very early laws of Anglo-Saxon "England" were derived from the social pressures of the family group. This group of kin-folk was called the kindred and was connected in name and "blood" with the legendary characters of several ages before the beginnings of recorded time.[4]

The determining factor in the kindred was the blood line, which determined the proper faction to which one belonged. The kindred was a society for the protection of the various members of the family group and served from the beginnings as a deterrent in feuds and warfare. The right of self-defense was recognized only to the extent by which one kindred was stronger than another. Revenge for death involved the entire kindred of each party involved in the homicide. This bloody form of revenge lasted until it became the custom (law) to "purchase revenge" and thus limit the combatants to those originally wronged and not to cousins several times removed.[5] Slowly the laws evolved so that the members of the kindred could disclaim the feud itself, and leave the wronged party to his own revenge.[6] Thus the basis for the kindred was the force and armed might of the kindred itself. As the individual might grew so did the structure of the laws of England, until legend tells us that a strong man called Arthur united much of England under the laws of the "Round Table". By circa 690 A.D. the ceorl, the lowest free social position in the kindred, owed the duty of protection to his lord or immediate master.[7] This "duty owed" in terms of military service and readiness was the militia of the day and involved all who could bear arms.

The kindreds expanded and became boroughs, which served as the principal defensive units, and were the equivalent of the medieval castles. They depended upon the services of the free-man for their defense and thus there was no need for a standing army.[8] By the year 1066 A.D. and the Battle of Hastings the Anglo-Saxon kindred had become the bastion of society and law in the "early dark ages": the Norman invasion began the struggle for human rights. The kindred was more personal than the feudal system under the conquerors; and, while great steps were made in the advancing of administration, legend and fact tell also of great advances in oppression. The right to self-defense was not recognized if the dead was Norman.

The Norman conquest brought with it the feudal system in a complete form, which reached its zenith in England during the 16th Century. During this period the kings began to formulate plans called assizes to determine the amount and tenure of their subjects in the military service of the king. Standing armies were unknown and little desired by the majority of free-men.

The Assize of Arms of Henry II (1181) required every free-man to keep arms suited to his station in life, and to be prepared to fight for the common defense and the king.[9] It also developed the system of scutage, by which the subject could pay money to the king and avoid military service: it did not forfeit the right to bear or own personal arms. This right was protected by Henry II in an un-named charter of 1154, in which Henry declared that all men should retain the free rights and customs that they had always possessed.[10] Richard I also assized the rights and duties of the nobles and free-men to the king and increased the privileges of scutage in the Assize of Arms of 1198.[11]

This position continued until the capture of Richard during the Crusades and the ascent of John to the throne. In 1210 a contemporary scholar said:

...all men bore witness that never since the time of Arthur was there a king who was so greatly feared…[12]

Thus the stage was set and the scene was Runnymede in 1215.

Section 61 of the Magna Carta provided that if the King (John) did not follow the provisions of the charter, the Barons should have a right to correct the King by force until the King should begin to follow the articles of the charter.[13] Thus the right of lawful revolution was born into the constitutional law of England. This is of major import because without the right to revolt there is less reason to preserve the right to bear arms. This particular portion of the carta has been reaffirmed as were the regulations concerning the bearing of arms and tenure by serjeanty.[14]

It was also recognized at an early date that the society had certain rights against being terrorized by those going armed. The Statute of Northampton (1328) made it illegal to ride in the darkness armed with a dangerous weapon and terrorizing the people.[15] Thus the right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense and revolution were not impeded, but the "police power" to limit the use of weapons was recognized.

With the ascent of the Stuarts to the throne, England underwent sudden change. James I and Charles I made fine use of the scutage and raised small standing armies. After the Commonwealth, James II and Charles II raised even larger armies until the time of William and Mary (1688). Charles II forbade the owning of arms by anyone not owning land with rents of one hundred pounds or higher.[16]

The year 1688 brought the bill of rights which provided that standing armies were a menace, and that the people should all have the right to bear arms equally:

That the raising or keeping of a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with the consent of the parliament, be against the law…[17]

That the subjects known as protestants may have arms suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law…[18]

These two provisions would seem to reaffirm the theory and right to revolution, for they were born in revolution. Blackstone, speaking of the evils of the standing army, said:

Our notions, indeed, of the dangers of standing armies, in time of peace are derived in a great measure from the principles and examples of our English ancestors. In England, the king possessed the power of raising standing armies in time of peace according to his own pleasure. And this perogative was justly esteemed dangerous to the public liberties. Upon the revolution of 1688 Parliament wisely insisted upon a bill of rights, which should furnish an adequate security for the future.[19]

In addition to the right of revolution is the right of personal self-defense. Without this basic right there would be no reason for man to bear arms. The right to bear arms must therefore draw its strength from the rights of man to resort to force when law fails or an adequate remedy is not immediately available to prevent the loss of human life. The thin line between self-defense with regard to actual bodily fear and that of stopping a progressing felony is in itself a delicate modern problem. A more ancient problem is that of self-defense when faced with an aggressive deadly force. Little is known about the early laws regarding self-defense; it is known that the Saxons and Angles relied on the kindred to avenge the death caused by an outsider of the kindred. What occurred when the killer was a member of the same kindred as that of the deceased is unknown.

The earliest cases of the 13th Century declare that the party was to be found guilty subject to the King's pleasure.[20] This usually meant a royal pardon for the offender. The Statute of Gloucester (1278) provided that the King be notified in all cases of defensive homicide.[21] This position was later clarified by a statute of Henry VIII (1532) which declared that the defendant be found not guilty (of murdrum) of homicide.[22] This was said to be declarative of the common. law.[23] Thus man by the 16th Century had the right of self-defense of his property and kin. This is a portion of the American common law as inherited from England.

It is interesting to note that by 1920 the tide of public opinion in England had so changed as to practically eliminate the ownership of all weapons.[24] It is ironic to see that the very nation that was founded on the right to bear arms and limit the standing army had to beg the American people to ship them small arms during the early 1940's.

It then stands to reason that the right to bear arms rests on three solid English rights: the right of revolution; the right of group self-preservation; and, the right of self-defense. Without these rights there would be no reason for the bearing of arms. If there were no reason for bearing arms, then there would be no valid legal basis for the right to bear arms. These basic rights are a portion of the English common law and had evolved prior to the landing at Jamestown in 1607. Further, these basic rights applied to all Englishmen and not merely to those living in England and personal to England. They are the basis for the interpretation of the Constitution of the United States.[25] The Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as do many other state codes, provides that the common law of England is in full force and effect as it existed at the time of the reign of (fourth year) of James I (1607) and is not repealed by statute.[26]


America in the 17th and 18th Centuries was a frontier country. The sense of group self-preservation and self-defense was strong; weapons were the natural backbone of the wilderness civilization. As the frontier was pushed back into the hills, urban areas developed and flourished. A new instinct of self-defense and self-administered local law developed. Thus at the time of the Revolution (1776) nearly every man was an army unto himself, equipped with rifle and powder. The retaining of arms was encouraged by the mother country.[27] With arms came the pushing back of the curtain of the frontier and expansion in quest of the gold and jewels that were not there.

When the shot "was heard round the world" and the Revolutionary War began, it was a war fought with musket and powder belonging to the revolutionaries.[28] With the surrender at Yorktown the victorious colonies bound themselves together with the Articles of Confederation. They were a series of weak and ineffective laws, based on the absolute consent of all the colonies involved.[29] The solution to these weak Articles was the proposed Constitution of 1787. It provided for a stronger central government, which could provide for the self-preservation of the nation in time of emergency and the posse comitatus to enforce the interior laws.

The Commonwealth of Virginia was the acknowledged leader in the fight for freedom; she did not want to be "oppressed" by another central government. For this reason were the "checks and balances" included in the central portion of Randolph's Virginia Plan. This plan did not include provisions relating to the militia and the rights to bear arms.[30]

What fears promoted the constitutional conventions and the bill of rights? The Articles of Confederation did not provide for a mode of coercing a sister state to come to the aid of another; nor, was there any mode of raising a central army or armed force in time of emergency.[31] With travel slow and time of the essence, this was a major consideration. The (major) objection was the fact that the English army had done nothing but oppress the colonies; and, indeed, all Englishmen since the time of its creation.

...all nations, under all governments, must have parties; the great secret is to control them; there are but two ways, either by monarchy and standing army, or by balance in the Constitution where the people have a voice, and there is no balance, there will be everlasting fluctuations, revolutions, and horrors, until a standing army, with a general at its head, commands the peace, or the necessity of an equilibrium is made appear to all, and is adopted by all.[32]

The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic usurpation of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expense with which they afford ambitious and unprincipled rulers to subvert the government, or trammel upon the rights of the people. The rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms, has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary powers of rulers: and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.[33]

The greatest worry was of usurpation of the military powers of government by either a strong civil or military leader. The Constitution must cure these evils or not exist. Virginia already was committed to the position of maintaining a strong militia for self-defense and to prevent the usurpation of internal powers in the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776:

That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state: that standing armies in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.[34]

Thus the struggle for a strong constitution was set, the scenes were Williamsburg, New York, Boston, and other capital cities, not Runnymede.

On May 29, 1787, sufficient delegates had gathered in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. Governor Randolph objected to the Confederation on the ground that it was ineffective defensively.[35] Mr. Williamson agreed, but was firmly against any decrease in the states' police power by the right of the proposed federal government in using the militia for a posse comitatus to enforce federal law.[36] Mr. Gerry attempted compromise by suggesting a dual form of militia with concurrent powers of activation in time of emergency.[37] Governor Randolph suggested that in lieu of the dual form, no state be allowed to have any form of army or navy without the consent of the Congress, but to retain the militia under the sole direction of the Congress.[38] Mr. Gerry suggested again the dual system, saying that all the power in the federal government was dangerous; but, that there was much to be said for a uniform system of martial action.[39] Mr. George Mason suggested that the power of the purse over the army was the best safeguard.[40] The final voting on the proposals showed two states against allowing the federal government some control over the militia. Eight (including Virginia) were against allowing the appointment of officers by the federal government. Four (including Virginia) were against allowing the federal government the right of training the militia.[41] By September 17, 1787, a draft of the proposed Constitution was completed and signed by a bare majority of the convention delegates. Thus the line was drawn tautly when the delegates returned home to consider the proposed Constitution during the ratification assemblies of the various states.

Two factions soon developed: the Federalists or pro-constitutionalists, and the anti-constitutionalists. The Federalists favored the strong central form of government that the Constitution proposed, while the anti-constitutionalists were split into many splinter groups. The Federalists, led by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, were much in favor of the militia provision. They felt that there was little fear or danger from England and Europe in the way of aggression; and, hence little need of anything greater than the militia, and the provisions for a standing army limited by the two year appropriation rule.[42] In addition the militia would never be required to travel long distances, but would be responsible only for the immediate defense.[43] The raising of a standing army would then be the solution to the relief of the militia in time of war.[44]

The Federalist's position concerning the federal control of the militia with the attendant fear of possible federal disarmament caused many long hours and days of debate in this Commonwealth. Many Virginians felt the proposed Constitution was a government over the individual, and not a government of the several states with the supreme sovereignty vested in the citizens of the several states.[45] Without the militia there could be no strong provision for self-defense: with the militia there was the constant danger of federal disarmament--thus hung the sword of Damocles.

The Virginia debates of 1789 (in Williamsburg) touched on the militia as follows: Mr. Clay was concerned, why the Congress should have the power to call the states militia. Mr. Madison answered, showing that this was to provide for a unform method of defense and law enforcement. Mr. George Mason expressed fear this would lead to a general harassment by the militia, with the people finally clamoring for a standing army in place of the militia. He feared having the sword and the purse in the same Congress without any separation thereof. Mr. Madison answered that we must first trust ourselves. The absence of the militia would be a better reason for the creation of the standing army so greatly feared. Mr. Clay interjected the idea of using the militia as a posse comitatus out of the militia's home state. Mr. Madison conceded that this is a necessary power of the sovereign, who must enforce the laws of the people as the final safeguard against chaos and anarchy. Mr. Henry was much more eloquent in his fears:

Pardon me if I am too jealous and suspicious to confide in this remote possibility (that the Congress would use the militia wisely). My friend (Madison) went on a supposition that the American Rulers, like all others, will not depart from their duties without bars and checks. No government can be safe without checks. Then he told us that they had no temptation to violate their duty, and that it would be to their interest to perform it. …His supposition that they will not depart from their duty as having no interest to do so, is no answer to my mind. This is no check…the militia sir, is our ultimate safety. We can have no security without it…[46]

Mr. Henry continued to say that the final power over the militia should rest with the states; and, the federal government be without the power to disarm the militia. Mr. Nicholas pointed out that the states have at common law the power to arm the militia and that the Constitution does not take this power away. There is no pre-emption here that would be vested in the Congress. Governor Randolph mentioned the evils attendant where there is common defense without coercion as was the case under the Articles. Mr. (Chief Justice) Marshall strongly supported this reasoning.[47]

A committee was formed to consider the militia problem and to formulate a bill of rights.[48] This committee recommended the people should have the right to govern the militia through civil authority; and, the federal government would not be allowed to disarm the militia.[49] Because the assembly was under the impression that it was to be the ninth state to ratify, thus making the Constitution binding on all ratifiers, the matter of the bill of rights was agreed to be brought up later as amendments to the Constitution.[50] The final resolutions concerning the Virginia Plan bill of rights were:

That no standing army or regular troops, shall be raised, or kept up, in time of peace, without consent of two thirds of the members in both houses.[51]

That no soldier shall enlist for any longer term than four years, except in time of war, and then for no longer term than the continuance of the war.[52]

That each state, respectively shall have the power to provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining its own militia, whensoever Congress shall omit to neglect to provide for the same. The militia shall not be subject to martial law, except when in actual service, in time of war, invasion, or rebellion; and, when not in the actual service of the United States: shall be subject only to such fines, penalties, and punishments, as shall be directed or inflicted by the laws of its own state.[53]

After a strong fight the Constitution became law and the rig to bear arms, the Second Amendment, included in the Bill Rights.



The Constitution of the United States provides for:

"…the Common Defense and General Welfare of the United States…"[54]

"…the Congress shall have the power…to provide for the calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection, and repel invasion."[55]

"…to provide for the organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving of the states respectively, the appointment of the officers and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress."[56]

"…to declare war…"[57]

"…to raise and support armies…"[58]

"The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the…militia of the several states, when called into (the) actual service of the United States."[59]

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed."[60]

The Constitutional provisions are the core of a great deal of discussion, but very little substantive case law. Dean Roscoe Pound feels the Second Amendment to be an error in American constitutional history, and the controversy surrounding it a form of the goblin of Don Quixote chasing rifles.

...but bearing arms today is a very different thing from what it was in the days of the embattled farmers, who withstood the British in 1775. In the urban industrial society of today a general right to bear arms so as to be able to resist oppression by the Government would mean that gangs could defeat the whole Bill of Rights.[61]

It is interesting to speculate the attitude of the British toward the American revolutionary of 1775. With a minority taking part in the war, it would be nearly impossible to think the Tories regarded the revolutionary American as much more than a "gang" defeating the English bill of rights. Certainly the average Russian who is without arms could not defeat the oppression of his government, but what of America with twenty million hunting licenses issued every year?

The largest area of controversy centers around the words, "right of the people" phrase of the Second Amendment. Is this part of the Amendment separable from the militia phrase? Does this particular phrase refer to individual rights, or the rights of the state as a sovereign power? Chief Justice Story thought that the clause was not separable; that the right was that belonging to the sovereign state, not to the individual citizen of the stare from which the sovereignty is evolved.[62]

The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasion, and domestic insurrection, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large standing armies…the right of the citizen to bear arms has been justly considered the palladium of the liberties…[63]

Justice Story does not consider that the miltia is often controlled by the faction in power and that even with the militia usurpation may occur. The same usurpation cannot occur with the people individually holding their own personal arms.

The majority of the jurisdictions have concluded that both the United States Constitution and the various state constitutions, having a similar provision relating to the right to bear arms, refer to the militia as a whole composed and regulated by the state as it desires. The individual does not have the right to own or bear individual arms, such being a privilege not a right.[64] States holding the right to bear arms is an individual right belonging to the individuals of the state as the basis of the state's sovereign powers are in the minority.[65] In view of the Dred Scott case, this minority would appear to be the better view.[66] In Dred Scott Justice Tanney interpreted the Preamble of the Constitution to mean the powers of government flow from the individuals to form the sovereignty of the United States.[67] The government of the United States holds the power of sovereignty in a "giant trust" as granted by the individual persons that compose the citizenship of the United States.[68] There can be no reason for this principle not to apply to the several states. No state disputes the police power of the state to prevent or limit the carrying of concealed or unusual weapons; they do dispute the general theory of a right to bear arms by the individual.[69]

Earlier decisions required that the weapons be of the type used in civilized warfare to be included under the right.[70]

One state even upheld a law preventing the carrying of any handgun except of a military type held openly in the hand.[71] Others have restricted the ownership of handguns to those of the current military type used by the armed forces.[72] Arkansas limited the right to ownership of handguns to all except police or military persons.[73] Under a Michigan Constitution that give the right to bear arms to all resident citizens for self-defense, it was held the state could not then take this right away under the guise of a game law.[74]

The Georgia courts have been more outspoken in their defense of the right to bear arms. In discussing the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States the Georgia Supreme Court said:

...does it follow, that because the people refused to delegate the right to keep and bear arms, that they (are) designed to rest in the state governments? Is this a right reserved to the states or to themselves? Is it not an inalienable right, which lies at the bottom of every free government? We do not believe that, because the people withheld this arbitrary power of disfranchisement from Congress, they intended to confer it on the local legislatures. This right is too dear to be confided to a republican legislature.[75]

This same court some years later drew a distinction between "bearing arms" and "carrying weapons". The former, "bearing arms" refers to the constitutional right to own and possess conferred upon the individual. The latter is the state granted privilege of concealing a weapon on the person.[76]

Upon its very front, as we have said, the object of the clause is declared to be to secure to the state a well regulated well settled rules for the interpretation of laws, as well as by the dictates of common sense, the object and intent is the prime purpose to its meaning. A well regulated militia may fairly mean…The arms bearing population of this state, organized under law, in possession of weapons for defending the state, and accustomed to their use. The Constitution declares that as such a militia is necessary to the existence of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…If the general right to carry and to use them exists; if they may be at pleasure borne and used in the fields, and woods, on the highways and byways, at home and abroad, the whole declared purpose of the provision is fulfilled. The right to keep and bear arms so that the state may be secured in the existence of a well regulated militia, is fully attained.[77]

It does not follow, that in those jurisdictions that do not regard the clause as separable, and preserving the individual's right to bear arms, that the state should have the power to disarm the citizenry and render the entire militia useless to the federal government.[78] This power would be equal to that under the Articles, where each state could determine its position without regard to the nation as a whole. It would seem that the power to disarm is equal in danger to the power to remain armed. The latter power is that chosen by the Constitution. It would then appear that one is the correlative to the other: if the Federal power cannot disarm, neither can the state.

The Supreme Court of the United States passed on the right to bear arms in Cruickshank v. U.S., which concerned the Reconstruction government after the War Between the States.[79] The defendants et al. had been convicted of conspiracy under the Enforcement Acts of 1870 in that they desired to feloniously injure a Negro.[80] The Supreme Court held the Second Amendment was not a limitation on the states, but was only a control on Federal powers.[81] This decision did not consider if the right to bear arms was a fundamental right possessed by all free men.

This position was affirmed several years later when the defendant was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon.[82] The states have a right under the police power to control concealment or use of unusual weapons, but the Supreme Court did not consider this position as an exception to the general theory of a right to bear arms. The position taken was a flat affirming of the Cruickshank principle. Arguments in later cases have failed where the defendant has contended that the right is a "privilege and immunity" under the Fourteenth Amendment.[83]

Where the violation consisted of armed marching in a parade as part of a quasi-military group without a state permit, the defendants were convicted.[84] Here was added to the Cruickshank theory the additional factor that the states control the membership in the militia. This control is without regard to any existing federal control. This viewpoint is interesting when considering that World War I and World War II brought the militia under the complete control of the federal government, and that control has remained vested therein.[85] By allowing the federal government to define the composition of the militia (National Guard) the state has lost this same power through the operation of the pre-emption theory of constitutional powers. Query, why couldn't the federal government then cause the standards of the National Guard's membership to be so defined as to eliminate the national militia? This would circumvent the construction of the Second Amendment, unless the provisions were in fact separable. Then without regard to definition there still would remain the unorganized "militia" of the individual.

The dissent in Presser v. Illinois, forsees the continued fight between the "arms bearing" portion of the population and the local governmental units. It also foresees the present federal control of the militia:

It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitutes the reserved military force of the United States as well as of the states; and, in view of this prerogative of the General Government, as well as of its general powers, the states cannot, even laying the Constitutional provision out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resources for maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the General Government.[86]

Another dissent, this time concerning the State of New York's Sullivan Act, which virtually disarmed the populous of the City of New York, denied the right of the state under the police power to take or render useless prior legally owned property.[87] The effect of this was to render it impossible for the honest citizen to own a handgun or purchase ammunition therefor without a police issued permit, which was not issued as a matter of course. This in effect then disarms those who should be armed, the citizen, and allows those who will break the law to remain armed. This should be a denial of the right to self-defense.

Considering that the strongest pro-right to bear arms arguments are found in the dissenting opinions, or those of certain state courts, it seems strange to hear the Supreme Court then say (concerning the right):

Simply to embody certain guarantees and immunities, which we had inherited from our English ancestors, and which had from time immemorial been subjected to certain well-recognized exceptions, arising from the necessity of the case: incorporated these into the fundamental law there was no intention of disregarding the exceptions, which continue to be recognized as if they had been formally expressed.[88]

To admit the exceptions, is to admit there must be a fundamental right from which the exception came. How can the court then deny the fundamental right and recognize the mental right and recognize the exceptions? It is apparent that this right has not been recognized, because to recognize the right would be to reverse the Cruickshank and Presser cases. It would appear that the Court should determine first that there is a right, not that there are exceptions to a non-existent right.

Congress has the right to delegate the authority of calling out the militia to the President in times of civil strife or insurrection.[89] This power over the militia is concurrent with that of the states.[90]

…the power over the militia by Congress being unlimited except, in the particulars of officering and training them…it may be exercised to any extent that may be deemed necessary by Congress…the power of the state government to legislate on the same subjects, having existed prior to the formation of the Constitution, and not having been prohibited by that instrument, it remains with the states, subordinated nevertheless to the paramount law of the General Government.[91]

Both Congress and the President have exercised this power quite sparingly, allowing the states the first privilege of declaring a "state of emergency" and/or martial law.[92] One of these instances was the call for troops in 1861 by President Lincoln. In this instance the troops were designated as a posse comitatus and sent into northern Virginia against Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The Southern States did not answer this call on the ground that the states had called the militia prior to the federal call. Secondly, they were engaged in a lawful revolution, which is a basic right of all men.

During the era of Prohibition a new form of legislation appeared on the federal scene, patterned after the Harrison Anti-Narcotics Act.[93] These were the Federal Firearms Acts of 1934 and 1938, based on the power of the Congress to levy tax and regulate inter-state commerce by means of the police power.[94] These particular acts defined a "firearm" and placed certain taxes on the transfer of any weapon designated by the Act to be a "firearm".[95] These taxes ($200) are sufficient to make transfer both expensive and traceable by police authorities. Thus the traffic in machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, the principal weapons included in the Act as "firearms" was reduced under stiff penalty of law.

This Act was sustained in U.S. v. Adams, as a revenue measure.[96] The District Court said that the Second Amendment did not apply to gangsters as a social group, but only to the lawful militia, of which criminals were excluded.[97] This is not stretching a point, because it is a well known theory of law that the law breaker cannot subjugate the Constitution to overcome the Constitution. You must follow the legal rules of the game of life. Gangsters are not engaged in lawful revolution from the oppression of the police state.

When the defendant contended that the tax was confiscatory and penal in nature, the Supreme Court said the Congress has the power to levy confiscatory taxes under the Constitution, provided these taxes do not interfere with the local police powers.[98] U.S. v. Miller, found a District Court upholding the claim that the acts deprived the defendant of his property without due process of law.[99] Here the petitioners contended, because they could lawfully possess the weapon (sawed-off shotgun) in a state, but could not transport it into another state under the act, without payment of the tax, that this was the denial of due process. The Supreme Court reversed this case and sanctioned the acts as valid exercises of the police power by taxation under the interstate commerce and directed tax provisions of the United States Constitution.[100] In reality this series of limiting laws is based on public opinion and the necessity of the times. Yet why should the honest citizen forfeit the right to own a certain type of weapon because criminals also use that type of weapon. Criminals and gangsters use motor vehicles, yet we do not limit the ownership of them. The real issue in the anti-narcotics case revolved about the fact that narcotics addiction is contra mores bonum or malum in se, with firearms there is not the same connotation, except in so far as the press is able to arouse the public. The Federal Firearms Acts are a direct result of the aroused public during the "war" between gangsters and the F.B.I. They also are the result of misguided persons who shout "there ought to be a law" every time someone is killed with a firearm. This same type of person does not pay any attention to the rising death rate on the highways. Yet would anyone deny there is a right to own a motor vehicle?


Historically, society has recognized that man has the right to preserve his own species. This is the right to repeal invasion and to resist enemy activity. Secondly, society has recognized the right of man to protect himself against his internal enemies and to preserve his own life through the right of personal self-defense. This basic ground has been enlarged to include that which society has deemed super malum in se; that is to include the prevention of certain felonies and the protection of certain property rights. Thirdly, society has recognized the right of man to revolt against the oppression of his political leaders. This right, the sword of the Magna Carta, has been preserved throughout the Anglo-American history of the last five hundred years. When society is able to guarantee to each member that he will have no fear of oppression, aggression, or bodily harm, then no longer will these rights be of any real legal meaning. When the reason ceases the rule should cease. Has the modern society met this responsibility? It would seem that as long as there is danger to the life of man that the society has not eliminated the right of self-defense. As long as this right lives, then also should coexist the right to bear arms, this is exoteric. Can we deny the right of self-defense and remove the ability therefor? The United States Supreme Court has admitted there are exceptions to the right to bear arms; and, then refused to recognize the right itself. Isn't this a recognition of the right, and also perhaps an understanding that the Presser and Cruickshank decisions were the children of the War Between the States and "Black Republican Reconstructionism"?

The term militia means an army of citizens; it is a collective term referring to a group of persons acting under authority as the army of the people. Why then does the Second Amendment refer to both the "militia" and the "people" if not for the very purpose of protecting the rights of both groups? Militia connotes a group, while people refers to all the group. It is very possible for a person in the militia to be of the people, in fact all persons in the militia are of the people group, but not all of the people are in the militia.

Does it not follow that the state courts would not have expended as much effort in defining the differences between a weapon and a concealed weapon if they thought that the Amendment referred only to the militia? Why did the legislatures before the Cruickshank decision expend so many terms in defining their various statutes in terms of types of weapons if they did not think that the Amendment might include the people? Why did certain states outlaw all except military handguns if they were not fearful of a declaration of unconstitutionality? The logical result is that the terms militia and people were thought to be separate in nature and preserving two distinct rights.

Why does the state have the power to disarm the Federal Government (militia) while the Federal Government does not have the same right? Is it because the states could eliminate the militia but not the right of the people to bear arms? Is it to be considered that the reason this issue did not evolve any sooner was because the "framers" of the Constitution had no idea that the state and local governments would attempt to disarm the people? That the bearing of arms for self-defense was so common that it does need a constitutional guarantee? The answer of yes to any of the above questions is a recognition of the right of all people to bear arms for their self-defense and to preserve their forms of government.


[1] Am. Rifleman, Jan. 1959, p. 14.

[2] Coke, Comm. 381.

[3] See for a general discussion: Pound, Constitutional Guarantees of Liberty.

[4] Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 449(A); Grimm, Teutonic Mythology 354.

[5] 1 Aelfred 27; 1 Cnut § 5(2b).

[6] 2 Eadmund 1.

[7] 1 Ine 51.

[8] See for general discussion: Burghal Hidage (circa 911-919); Chadwick, Anglo-Saxon Institutions, 207 et seq.

[9] McKechnie, Magna Charta, p. 243 (2nd ed.).

[10] Stubbs, Select, Charters, 158.

[11] 1 Richard I, Assize of Arms of 1198.

[12] Historie des ducs, 109.

[13] Magna Carta § 61; McKechnie, Magna Carta, 465 (2d ed.).

[14] 1 Stat. of Westminster c. 36; Stat. de Mil. (1 Edward 2); 3 Edward 1.

[15] 2 Edward III c.3; Bishop, Stat. Crimes, §§ 783, 784 (3rd ed.); 4 Bl, Comm. 149; Knight's Case, 3 Mod. 117; 87 Eng. Rep. 75 (1686).

[16] 22 Charles II, c. 25, § 3; 4 Bl. Comm. 150.

[17] English bill of rights, § 6; 1 William and Mary, c. 6; 5 Corbett, Parl. Hist. 110; 1 Bl. Comm. 143, 144.

[18] Id., §7.

[19] 1 Bl. Comm. 263.

[20] Stat. of Gloucester, 6 Edward I; 4 Bl. Comm. 182-188.

[21] Bracton, 3 Notebook 229, mentioning a case dating to 1234; The Case of Robert of Herthale, 1 Seldon Society Select Pleas of the Crown 31 (1203); The Case of Leonin and Jacob, 1 Seldon Society Select Pleas of the Crown 85 (1212); The Case of the Carter, 1 Seldon Society Select Pleas of the Crown 94 (1222); Anon., Fitzherbert, Grand. Abridg., C & P Co. no. 284 (1328); 21, Edward III, c. 17.

[22] 24 Henry VIII, c. 5.

[23] 1 Hale P.C. 487; I East P.C. 272 (1803).

[24] Firearms Acts of 1940; 10 & 11 George V, c. 43.

[25] The various royal charters and grants all provided for the common law, "...not repugnate to the relme of Englande..."; Massachusetts (1626); Rhode Island (1663); Connecticut (1662); New York (1664); New Jersey (charter date is unknown); Pennsylvania (1681); Delaware (1701); Maryland (1701); Virginia (1606); North Carolina (1663); South Carolina (1712); and, Georgia (1732). N.B., The original boundaries of these colonies are not always the boundaries of the present state, and in some instances composed several present states. See also, Zenger's Case, 1 Chand. (N.Y.) Am. Crim. Trials, 151 (1734); Paxton's Case, Massachusetts (1761); In Re Stamp Act, Virginia (1776).

[26] Va. Code, § 1-11 (1950).

[27] 3 Henn. Stat. 131 (Virginia); 3 Henn. Stat. 338 (Virginia); 4 Anne § 23.

[28] Longfellow, inscription on the base of the statue of The Minuteman, Concord, Massachusetts.

[29] U.S. Const. art. 1, § 8, cls. 10, 11, 15, and 16; art. 2, § 2.

[30] Federalist Papers, no. 8 (Hamilton).

[31] 2 Story, Comm. 265 (1833 ed.).

[32] Adams, A Defense of the Constitution 392 (1787 ed.).

[33] 2 Story, Comm. 607 (1851 ed.). See also, 1 Tucker's Bl. Comm. App. 299, 300; Rawle, On the Const., ch. 10, p. 125; 2 Lloyd's Debates, 219-220.

[34] Virginia Bill of Rights of 12 May 1776, §13; 2 Poore, Const. 1909 (1877 ed.); Note this provision is still carried in the Virginia Constitution to date: Va. Const., 29 June 1776, 2 Poore, Const. 1911; Va. Const., 1850, 2 Poore, Const. 1920, 1931; Va. Secession Const., 1861; 2 Poore, Const. 1947; Va. Const., 1864, 2 Poore 1947; Va. Const., 1870, 2 Poore 1954, 1968; Va. Const. 1902, Va. Code v. 9.

[35] 5 Elliot, Debates, 127 (1845 ed.).

[36] Id. 172.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Id., 205; See also, U.S. Const., Art I, §10, cl. 3.

[39] Id., 440.

[40] Id., 443.

[41] Id., 446.

[42] 3 Story, Comm. 297 (1833 ed.); See also, Federalist Papers, numbers 24, 35.

[43] 3 Story, Comm. 1196 (1833 ed.).

[44] 3 Story, Comm. 297 (1833 ed.).

[45] Adams, A Defense of the Constitution, 296 (1797 ed.); U.S. Const., Art. I, § 10, cl. 2.

[46] 3 Elliot, Debates, 385 (1836 ed.).

[47] See, 3 Eliot, Debates, 378-459 (1836 ed.). for a transcription of the debates.

[48] The committee included: Geo. Wythe, Geo. Washington, Geo. Madison, Gov. Randolph, and John Marshall; 3 Elliot, Debates 656.

[49] 3 Elliot, Debates 678 (1836 ed.).

[50] New Hampshire ratified on June 21, 1788, three days before Virginia on June 24, 1788; 3 Elliot, Debates 657.

[51] 3 Elliot, Debates 660, § 9.

[52] 3 Elliot, Debates 660, § 10.

[53] 3 Elliot, Debates 660, § 11.

[54] U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8.

[55] U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 15.

[56] U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 16.

[57] U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 10.

[58] U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 11.

[59] U.S. Const., Art. 2, § 2.

[60] U.S. Const., Second Amendment.

[61] Pound, Development of Constitutional Guarantees of Liberty 91.

[62] 2 Story, Comm. 605 (1855 ed.); 1 Tucker's Bl. Comm. App. 299, 300; 2 Lloyd's Debates 219, 220.

[63] 2 Story, Comm. 607 (1855 ed.).

[64] State v. Buzzard 4 Ark. 18 (1843); Aymette v. State, 2 Humphr. (Tenn.) 154 (1891); State v. Workman, 35 W. Va. 367, 14 S.E. 9 (1891).

[65] Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243 (1846); State v. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574, 107 S.E. 222 (1921); Andrews v. State, 3 Heisk (1871).

[66] The Dred Scott Case, 19 How. (U.S.) 393 (1857).

[67] Id. at 397.

[68] McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat (U.S.) 316 (1819); Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall (U.S.) 419 (1783).

[69] State v. Reid, 1 Ala. 612 (1840); State v. Mitchell, 3 Blackfrd. (Ind.) 229 (1833); State v. Buzzard, 4 Ark. 18 (1839); Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243 (1846).

[70] Salina v. Blaksley, 72 Kan. 230; 83 Pac. 619 (1905); State v. Smith, 11 La. Ann. 633 (1856); Pierce v. State, 42 Okla. Cr. 272, 275 p. 393 (1929); English v. State, 35 Tex. 473 (1872); Ex parte Thomas, 21 Okla. 770, 97 p. 260 (1910).

[71] State v. Wilburn, 7 Baxt. (Tenn.) 57 (1856).

[72] Page v. State, 3 Heisic. (Tenn.) 198 (1871); State v. Reid, 1 Ala. 612 (1840); Glenn v. State, 10 Ga. App. 128, 72 S.E. 927 (1911); State v. Jummel, 13 La. Ann. 399 (1858); Comm. v. Murphy, 166 Mass. 171, 44 N.E. 138 (1896); Contra: In re Brinkley, 8 Idaho 597, 70 P. 609 (1902); Bliss v. Comm., 2 Litt. (Ky.) 90 (1822). Note: The latter two cases allowed some regulation but not abolition.

[73] Haide v. State, 4 Turner (Ark.) 564 (1882).

[74] People v. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N.W. 927 (1922).

[75] Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243, 250 (1846).

[76] Hill v. State, 53 Ga. 472, 475 (1874).

[77] Id. at 475, 476.

[78] Nunn v. State 1 Ga. 243 (1846).

[79] U.S. v. Cruickshank, et al., 92 U.S. (2 Otto) 425, 23 L. Ed. 588 (1876).

[80] 16 Stat. 140 (1870).

[81] U.S. v. Cruickshank, supra; Barron v. City of Baltimore, 7 Pet. (U.S.) 250 (1835); Fox v. Ohio, 5 How. (U.S.) 434 (1840); Lessee of Livingtson v. Moore, 7 Pet. (U.S.) 551 (1836); Smith v. Maryland, 18 How. (U.S.) 76 (1856); Withers v. Buckley, 20 How. (U.S.) 90 (1860); Pervear v. Comm., 5 Wall. (U.S.) 479 (1862); Twitchell v. Comm. 7 Wall (U.S.) 321 (1864); Edwards v. Elliot, 21 Wall (U.S.) 557 (1867).

[82] Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 6 S. Ct. 1065, 30 L.Ed. 320 (1886); Patsone v. Penn., 232 U.S. 138, 34 S. Ct. 281, 58 L. Ed. 539 (1913); Miller v. Texas, 153 U.S. 535, 38 L.Ed. 812 (1893); Brown v. Walker, 161 U.S. 591, 16 S. Ct. 644, 40 L.Ed. 819 (1896).

[83] U.S. v. Cruickshank, supra.

[84] Presser v. Ill., 116 U.S. 252, 6 S. Ct. 580, 29 L. Ed. 615 (1885).

[85] 39 Stat. 166 (1916); 61 Stat. 191 (1947).

[86] Presser v. Ill., 116 U.S. 252, 256, 6 S. Ct. 580, 585, 29 L.Ed. 615, 619.

[87] People ex rel Darling v. Board of Wardens, City Prison, 154 N.Y. App. Div. 413 (1913). See also, Fredrich, Pistol Regulations, 23 J.C.L.; C. & P.S. 531.

[88] Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275, 281, 17 S.Ct. 326, 329, 41 L.Ed. 715, 717 (1899).

[89] 1 Stat. 424 (1785); Martin v. Mott, 12 Wheat. (U.S.) 19, 32 (1827).

[90] Moore v. Houston, 3 S. & R.(Penn.) 169 (1817); Houston v. Moore, 5 Wheat (U.S.) 1 (1820).

[91] Houston v. Moore, supra 16.

[92] Whiskey Rebellion of 1792, under 1 Stat. 264 (1792); Embargo Acts of 1808 under 1 Stat. 264 (1792), 1 Stat. 424 (1795), 2 Stat. 443 (1807); Lincoln's Call of Apr. 15, 1861, 12 Stat. 281 (1861), 12 Stat. (App.) 1258 (1861).

[93] Harrison Anti-Narcotics Act, held to be a constitutional grant of the taxing power as a police power over interstate commerce in, U.S. v. Doremus, 249 U.S. 86, 39 S.Ct. 214, 62 L.Ed. 493 (1919).

[94] National Firearms Act of 1934, 48 Stat. 1236 (1934); National Firearms Act of 1938, 48 Stat. 1237 (1938); See also, 1939 Internal Rev. Code, 15 U.S.C. § 902 et seq.; See also, 1954 Internal Rev. Code, 26 U.S.C. § 5848.

[95] The tax levied is at the rate of $200, to be paid by the transferor, both parties are liable for the payment. Under certain exceptions where the weapon is included within the meaning of the Act, but is deemed to be for collectors, the tax is $1.

[96] Generally included in the term "firearm" are all weapons capable of firing more than one shot with each pull of the trigger (machine and sub-machine guns), any rifle or shotgun with a barrel length of under 18 inches in length. Thus mainly concealed rifles and shotguns are included in the term.

[97] U.S. v. Adams, 11 F. Supp. 216 (D.Ct., Fla. 1935).

[98] U.S. v. Adams, supra; U.S. v. Tot., 28 F. Supp., 900 (D.Ct., N.J. 1935); State v. Workman, 35 W. Va. 365, 14 S.E. 9 (1891); Hill v. State, 53 Ga. 472 (1874); Civil Rights cases, 109 U.S. 3, 3 S.Ct. 18, 27 L.Ed. 835 (1869); Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275, 17 S. Ct. 356, 41 L.Ed. 715 (1899).

[99] U.S. v. Miller, 26 F. Supp. 1002 (D. Ct. Ark. 1935).

[100] U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 59 S.Ct. 816, 83 L.Ed. 1206 (1939). See also, Sonzinsky v. U.S., 300 U.S. 506, 57 S.Ct. 554, 87 L.Ed. 772 (1937).

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chartism: The People's Petition, 1838

Heaven has dealt graciously by the people; but the foolishness of our rulers has made the goodness of God of none effect. ... The energies of a mighty kingdom have been wasted in building up the power of selfish and ignorant men, and its resources squandered for their aggrandisement. ... The good of a party has been advanced to the sacrifice of the good of the nation; the few have governed for the interest of the few, while the interest of the many has been neglected, or insolently and tyrannously trampled upon.

Chartism: The People's Petition, 1838
Modern History Sourcebook article link

Chartism was an English working class radical movement centered on a 'People's Charter" (1837) of six points. In 1838 a national Petition was collected and submitted to Parliament.

National Petition

Unto the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled, the Petition of the undersigned, their suffering countrymen.


That we, your petitioners, dwell in a land whose merchants are noted for enterprise, whose manufacturers are very skilful, and whose workmen are proverbial for their industry.

The land itself is goodly, the soil rich, and the temperature wholesome; it is abundantly furnished with the materials of commerce and trade; it has numerous and convenient harbours; in facility of internal communication it exceeds all others.

For three and twenty years we have enjoyed a profound peace.

Yet, with all these elements of national prosperity, and with every disposition and capacity to take advantage of them, we find ourselves overwhelmed with public and private suffering.

We are bowed down under a load of taxes; which, notwithstanding, fall greatly short of the wants of our rulers; our traders are trembling on the verge of bankruptcy; our workmen are starving; capital brings no profit, and labour no remuneration; the home of the artificer is desolate, and the warehouse of the pawnbroker is full; the workhouse is crowded, and the manufactory is deserted.

We have looked on every side, we have searched diligently in order to find out the causes of a distress so sore and so long continued

We can discover none in nature, or in Providence.

Heaven has dealt graciously by the people; but the foolishness of our rulers has made the goodness of God of none effect.

The energies of a mighty kingdom have been wasted in building up the power of selfish and ignorant men, and its resources squandered for their aggrandisement.

The good of a party has been advanced to the sacrifice of the good of the nation; the few have governed for the interest of the few, while the interest of the many has been neglected, or insolently and tyrannously trampled upon.

It was the fond expectation of the people that a remedy for the greater part, if not for the whole, of their grievances, would be found in the Reform Act of 1832.

They were taught to regard that Act as a wise means to a worthy end; as the machinery of an improved legislation, when the will of the masses would be at length potential.

They have been bitterly and basely deceived.

The fruit which looked so fair to the eye has turned to dust and ashes when gathered.

The Reform Act has effected a transfer of power from one domineering faction to another, and left the people as helpless as before.

Our slavery has been exchanged for an apprenticeship to liberty, which has aggravated the painful feeling of our social degradation, by adding to it the sickening of still deferred hope.

We come before your Honourable House to tell you, with all humility, that this state of things must not be permitted to continue; that it cannot long continue without very seriously endangering the stability of the throne and the peace of the kingdom; and that if by God's help and all lawful and constitutional appliances, an end can be put to it, we are fully resolved that it shall speedily come to an end.

We tell your Honourable House that the capital of the master must no longer be deprived of its due reward; that the laws which make food dear, and those which by making money scarce, make labour cheap, must be abolished; that taxation must be made to fall on property, not on industry; that the good of the many, as it is the only legitimate end, so must it be the sole study of the Government.

As a preliminary essential to these and other requisite changes; as means by which alone the interests of the people can be effectually vindicated and secured, we demand that those interests be confided to the keeping of the people.

When the State calls for defenders, when it calls for money, no consideration of poverty or ignorance can be pleaded in refusal or delay of the call.

Required as we are, universally, to support and obey the laws, nature and reason entitle us to demand, that in the making of the laws, the universal voice shall be implicitly listened to.

We perform the duties of freemen; we must have the privileges of freemen.


The suffrage to be exempt from the corruption of the wealthy, and the violence of the powerful, must be secret.

The assertion of our right necessarily involves the power of its uncontrolled exercise.


The connection between the representatives and the people, to be beneficial must be intimate.

The legislative and constituent powers, for correction and for instruction, ought to be brought into frequent contact.

Errors, which are comparatively light when susceptible of a speedy popular remedy, may produce the most disastrous effects when permitted to grow inveterate through years of compulsory endurance.

To public safety as well as public confidence, frequent elections are essential.


With power to choose, and freedom in choosing, the range of our choice must be unrestricted.

We are compelled, by the existing laws, to take for our representatives, men who are incapable of appreciating our difficulties, or who have little sympathy with them; merchants who have retired from trade, and no longer feel its harassings; proprietors of land who are alike ignorant of its evils and their cure; lawyers, by whom the honours of the senate are sought after only as means of obtaining notice in the courts.

The labours of a representative, who is sedulous in the discharge of his duty, are numerous and burdensome.

It is neither just, nor reasonable, nor safe, that they should continue to be gratuitously rendered.

We demand that in the future election of members of your Honourable House, the approbation of the constituency shall be the sole qualification; and that to every representative so chosen shall be assigned, out of the public taxes, a fair and adequate remuneration for the time which he is called upon to devote to the public service.

Finally, we would most earnestly impress on your Honourable House, that this petition has not been dictated by any idle love of change; that it springs out of no inconsiderate attachment to fanciful theories; but that it is the result of much and long deliberation, and of convictions, which the events of each succeeding year tend more and more to strengthen.

The management of this mighty kingdom has hitherto been a subject for contending factions to try their selfish experiments upon.

We have felt the consequences in our sorrowful experience-short glimmerings of uncertain enjoyment swallowed up by long and dark seasons of suffering.

If the self government of the people should not remove their distresses, it will at least remove their repinings.

Universal suffrage will, and it alone can, bring true and lasting peace to the nation; we firmly believe that it will also bring prosperity.

May it therefore please your Honourable House to take this our petition into your most serious consideration; and to use your utmost endeavours, by all constitutional means, to have a law passed, granting to every male of lawful age, sane mind, and unconvicted of crime, the right of voting for members of Parliament; and directing all future elections of members of Parliament to be in the way of secret ballot; and ordaining that the duration of Parliaments so chosen shall in no case exceed one year; and abolishing all property qualifications in the members; and providing for their due remuneration while in attendance on their Parliamentary duties.

From The Life and Struggles of William Lovett, (New York: Knopf, 1920), pp. 478 482.

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.

(c) Paul Halsall Aug 1997

Internet Modern History Sourcebook home page
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Monday, August 23, 2010

G. William Domhoff: There Are No Conspiracies

There Are No Conspiracies
by G. William Domhoff article link article link
March 2005 | Who Rules America? | MM research

Many people seem to believe that America is ruled from behind the scenes by a conspiratorial elite with secret desires, i.e., by a small secretive group that wants to change the government system or put the country under the control of a world government. In the past, the conspirators were usually said to be secret Communist sympathizers who were intent upon bringing the United States under a common world government with the Soviet Union, but the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 undercut that theory. So most conspiratorial theorists changed their focus to the United Nations as the likely controlling force in a "new world order," an idea which is undermined by the powerlessness of the United Nations and the unwillingness of even moderates with the American power structure to give it anything but a limited role.

For a smaller group of conspiratorial thinkers, a secret group of operatives located within the CIA was responsible for many terrible tragedies and assassinations since the 1960s, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Problems with a conspiratorial view

There are several problems with a conspiratorial view that don't fit with what we know about power structures. First, it assumes that a small handful of wealthy and highly educated people somehow develop an extreme psychological desire for power that leads them to do things that don't fit with the roles they seem to have. For example, that rich capitalists are no longer out to make a profit, but to create a one-world government. Or that elected officials are trying to get the constitution suspended so they can assume dictatorial powers. These kinds of claims go back many decades now, and it is always said that it is really going to happen this time, but it never does. Since these claims have proved wrong dozens of times by now, it makes more sense to assume that leaders act for their usual reasons, such as profit-seeking motives and institutionalized roles as elected officials. Of course they want to make as much money as they can, and be elected by huge margins every time, and that can lead them to do many unsavory things, but nothing in the ballpark of creating a one-world government or suspending the constitution.

Second, the conspiratorial view assumes that the behind-the-scenes leaders are extremely clever and knowledgeable, whereas social science and historical research shows that leaders often make shortsighted or mistaken decisions due to the limits placed on their thinking by their social backgrounds and institutional roles. When these limits are exposed through stupid mistakes, such as the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs during the Kennedy Administration, then conspiratorial theorists assert that the leaders failed on purpose to fool ordinary people.

Third, the conspiratorial view places power in the hands of only a few dozen or so people, often guided by one strong leader, whereas sociologists who study power say that there is a leadership group of many thousands for a set of wealth-owning families that numbers several million. Furthermore, the sociological view shows that the groups or classes below the highest levels buy into the system in various ways and support it. For example, highly trained professionals in medicine, law, and academia have considerable control over their own lives, make a good living, and usually enjoy their work, so they go along with the system even though they do not have much political power.

Fourth, the conspiratorial view often assumes that clever experts ("pointy-headed intellectuals") with bizarre and grandiose ideas have manipulated the thinking of their hapless bosses. But studies of policy-making suggest that experts work within the context of the values and goals set out by the leaders, and that they are ignored or replaced if they step outside the consensus (which is signaled by saying they have become overly abstract, idealistic, or even, frankly, "pinko").

Finally, the conspiratorial view assumes that illegal plans to change the government or assassinate people can be kept secret for long periods of time, but all evidence shows that secret groups or plans in the United States are uncovered by civil liberties groups, infiltrated by reporters or government officials, and written about in the press. Even secrets about wars and CIA operations -- Vietnam, the Contras, the rationales for Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- are soon exposed for everyone to see. As for assassinations and assassination attempts in the United States, from McKinley to Franklin D. Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy to Martin Luther King, Jr., to Robert F. Kennedy to Reagan, they have been the acts of individuals with no connections to any power groups.

Because all their underlying assumptions are discredited by historical events and media exposures, no conspiracy theory is credible on any issue. If there is corporate domination, it is through leaders in visible positions within the corporate community, the policy planning network, and the government. If there is class domination, it is through the same mundane processes that social scientists have shown to be operating for other levels of the socioeconomic system.

More on illegal government actions

Even though there are no conspiracies, it is also true that government officials sometimes take illegal actions or try to deceive the public. During the 1960s, for example, government leaders claimed that the Vietnam War was easily winnable, even though they knew otherwise. In the 1980s the Reagan Administration defied a Congressional ban on support for anti-government rebels in Nicaragua (the "Contras") through a complicated scheme that raised money for the rebels from foreign countries. The plan included an illegal delivery of armaments to Iran in exchange for money and hostages. But deceptions and illegal actions are usually uncovered, if not immediately, then in historical records.

In the case of the Vietnam War deception, the unauthorized release in 1971 of government documents called The Pentagon Papers (which revealed the true state of affairs) caused the government great embarrassment and turned more people against the war. It also triggered the creation of a secret White House operation to plug leaks (the "Plumbers"), which led in turn to an illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters during the 1972 elections, an attempted cover-up of high-level approval of the operation, and the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in the face of impeachment charges. As for the Reagan Administration's illegal activities, they were unraveled in widely viewed Congressional hearings that led to a six-month imprisonment for the president's National Security Adviser for his part in an unsuccessful cover-up, along with convictions or guilty pleas for several others for obstruction of justice or lying to Congress. The Secretary of Defense was indicted for his part in the cover-up, but spared a trial when he was pardoned by President George H. W. Bush on Christmas Eve, 1992.

It is also true that the CIA has been involved in espionage, sabotage, and the illegal overthrow of foreign governments, and that the FBI spied on and attempted to disrupt Marxist third parties, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Ku Klux Klan. But careful studies show that all these actions were authorized by top government officials, which is the critical point here. There was no "secret team" or "shadow government" committing illegal acts or ordering government officials to deceive the public and disrupt social movements. Such a distinction is crucial in differentiating all sociological theories of power from a conspiratorial one.

Claims about the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

The group said by many conspiratorial thinkers to be at the center of the alleged conspiracy in the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, is in fact a mere policy discussion forum. It has nearly 3,000 members, far too many for secret plans to be kept within the group. All the CFR does is sponsor discussion groups, debates and speakers. As far as being secretive, it issues annual reports and allows access to its historical archives. Historical studies of the CFR show that it has a very different role in the overall power structure than what is claimed by conspiratorial theorists.

More information

For my responses to an interviewer on the issue of conspiracy, see (article below)

For more about conspiracism, including links to other resources, please visit the Conspiracy section, especially Chip Berlet's excellent article entitled "Conspiracism as a Flawed Worldview".

All content ©2010 G. William Domhoff, unless otherwise noted.

Who Rules America? home page

Interview: G. William Domhoff
by Chip Berlet article link
September 2004 | Public Eye

New Internationalist: Don't you study how power elites conspire? How can someone tell the difference between conspiracism and criticism of the status quo based on power structure research?

Domhoff: I think I study how elites strive to develop consensus, which is through such publicly observable organizations as corporate boards and the policy-planning network, which can be studied in detail, and which are reported on in the media in at least a halfway accurate manner. I think this is the opposite of a small, secretive, illegitimate conspiracy because this large group called the power elite is known to the public, clearly states its aims (profit, profit, and more profit, and less government), publishes its policy suggestions, and is seen as legitimate by a great majority of the public.

I also study the way in which elites in the United States and other democracies have agreed for a few hundred years now to settle the issues where they can't reach complete consensus, namely, through elections, which are also public and legitimate, and which can be observed by researchers in a fair amount of detail, including on the issue of campaign finance, and which are reported on fairly well in the media.

The interesting thing with elections, in terms of addressing the conspiracy kind of stuff, is that rival elites have in effect agreed not to get into all out violence and war with each other, although Americans elites did so only 144 years ago in the bloody Civil War. Political scientist John Higley talks of elites coming to "settlements" or "pacts" that lead to elections, but this is not through conspiring, historically speaking, but through sitting down to talk in frustration and exhaustion, usually after fighting each other to a draw over decades.

For the U.S., where there was no fight among elites in the 18th century, partly because they had a bigger common enemy in King George, the elite pact is the Constitution, which cuts all the key deals on property and slaves and government structure, and which is well known for the process of its creation, and was put to the people for a vote, which forced a Bill of Rights, so this is a very visible and legitimate elite pact. Within its context they agree to disagree. Once again, this is just about the opposite of a conspiracy.

Within that broad context, we all know that all of us plot and plan to further our interests on specific issues, not just elites, and we sometimes try out ideas in confidentiality. And within government there are discussions and plans that we do not know about, and there is often an attempt to mislead us, but that is not what I would mean by a conspiracy.

One of the great mistakes of conspiracy theorists is to take these everyday machinations as evidence for some grand conspiracy at the societal and historical levels. These theorists ignore all the evidence that such planning is usually discovered, whether in the media or by elite opponents, and sometimes leads to prosecutions.

There is no falsifying a conspiracy theory. Its proponents always find a way to claim the elite really won, even though everyday people stop some things, or win some battles, or have a say so through elections in which factions of the power elite win political power.

How to tell the difference from power structure research? We study visible institutions, take most of what elites say as statements of their values and intentions, and recognize that elites sometimes have to compromise, and sometimes lose. Conspiracists study alleged behind the scenes groups, think everything elites say is a trick, and claim that elites never lose.

New Internationalist: Why should progressive people be sensitized to the issue of conspiracism? Doesn't conspiracism help build a constituency that challenges that status quo? That's what people like Michael Parenti argues.

Domhoff: Conspiracism is a disaster for progressive people because it leads them into cynicism, convoluted thinking, and a tendency to feel it is hopeless even as they denounce the alleged conspirators.

Conspiracism is so contrary to what most everyday people believe and observe that it actually drives people away because they sense the tinge of craziness to it.

What social psychologists who study social movements say is that a social movement definitely needs a clear and visible opponent that embodies the values that are opposed, and which can be vilified and railed against. But in opposition to the conspiracists, these opponents are readily identifiable and working through visible and legitimate institutions.

So, I would say that the opponents are the corporate conservatives and the Republican Party, not the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderbergers, and Bohemians. It is the same people more or less, but it puts them in their most important roles, as capitalists and political leaders, which are visible and legitimate...If thought of this way, then the role of a CFR as a place to try to hear new ideas and reach consensus is more readily understood, as is the function of a social club as a place that creates social cohesion. Moreover, those understandings of the CFR and the clubs fit with the perceptions of the members of the elite.

Political Research Associates home page Public Eye

by Chip Berlet article link
October 2004 | Issue 372 | New Internationalist
New Internationalist home page
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Michael Parenti: Capitalism’s Self-inflicted Apocalypse

Capitalism’s Self-inflicted Apocalypse
by Michael Parenti article link
(posted in 2009)

After the overthrow of communist governments in Eastern Europe, capitalism was paraded as the indomitable system that brings prosperity and democracy, the system that would prevail unto the end of history.

The present economic crisis, however, has convinced even some prominent free-marketeers that something is gravely amiss. Truth be told, capitalism has yet to come to terms with several historical forces that cause it endless trouble: democracy, prosperity, and capitalism itself, the very entities that capitalist rulers claim to be fostering.

Plutocracy vs. Democracy

Let us consider democracy first. In the United States we hear that capitalism is wedded to democracy, hence the phrase, “capitalist democracies.” In fact, throughout our history there has been a largely antagonistic relationship between democracy and capital concentration. Some eighty years ago Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis commented, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Moneyed interests have been opponents not proponents of democracy.

The Constitution itself was fashioned by affluent gentlemen who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 to repeatedly warn of the baneful and dangerous leveling effects of democracy. The document they cobbled together was far from democratic, being shackled with checks, vetoes, and requirements for artificial super majorities, a system designed to blunt the impact of popular demands.

In the early days of the Republic the rich and well-born imposed property qualifications for voting and officeholding. They opposed the direct election of candidates (note, their Electoral College is still with us). And for decades they resisted extending the franchise to less favored groups such as propertyless working men, immigrants, racial minorities, and women.

Today conservative forces continue to reject more equitable electoral features such as proportional representation, instant runoff, and publicly funded campaigns. They continue to create barriers to voting, be it through overly severe registration requirements, voter roll purges, inadequate polling accommodations, and electronic voting machines that consistently “malfunction” to the benefit of the more conservative candidates.

At times ruling interests have suppressed radical publications and public protests, resorting to police raids, arrests, and jailings—applied most recently with full force against demonstrators in St. Paul, Minnesota, during the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The conservative plutocracy also seeks to rollback democracy’s social gains, such as public education, affordable housing, health care, collective bargaining, a living wage, safe work conditions, a non-toxic sustainable environment; the right to privacy, the separation of church and state, freedom from compulsory pregnancy, and the right to marry any consenting adult of one’s own choosing.

About a century ago, US labor leader Eugene Victor Debs was thrown into jail during a strike. Sitting in his cell he could not escape the conclusion that in disputes between two private interests, capital and labor, the state was not a neutral arbiter. The force of the state--with its police, militia, courts, and laws—was unequivocally on the side of the company bosses. From this, Debs concluded that capitalism was not just an economic system but an entire social order, one that rigged the rules of democracy to favor the moneybags.

Capitalist rulers continue to pose as the progenitors of democracy even as they subvert it, not only at home but throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Any nation that is not “investor friendly,” that attempts to use its land, labor, capital, natural resources, and markets in a self-developing manner, outside the dominion of transnational corporate hegemony, runs the risk of being demonized and targeted as “a threat to U.S. national security.”

Democracy becomes a problem for corporate America not when it fails to work but when it works too well, helping the populace move toward a more equitable and livable social order, narrowing the gap, however modestly, between the superrich and the rest of us. So democracy must be diluted and subverted, smothered with disinformation, media puffery, and mountains of campaign costs; with rigged electoral contests and partially disfranchised publics, bringing faux victories to more or less politically safe major-party candidates.

Capitalism vs. Prosperity

The corporate capitalists no more encourage prosperity than do they propagate democracy. Most of the world is capitalist, and most of the world is neither prosperous nor particularly democratic. One need only think of capitalist Nigeria, capitalist Indonesia, capitalist Thailand, capitalist Haiti, capitalist Colombia, capitalist Pakistan, capitalist South Africa, capitalist Latvia, and various other members of the Free World--more accurately, the Free Market World.

A prosperous, politically literate populace with high expectations about its standard of living and a keen sense of entitlement, pushing for continually better social conditions, is not the plutocracy’s notion of an ideal workforce and a properly pliant polity. Corporate investors prefer poor populations. The poorer you are, the harder you will work—for less. The poorer you are, the less equipped you are to defend yourself against the abuses of wealth.

In the corporate world of “free-trade,” the number of billionaires is increasing faster than ever while the number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world’s population. Poverty spreads as wealth accumulates.

Consider the United States. In the last eight years alone, while vast fortunes accrued at record rates, an additional six million Americans sank below the poverty level; median family income declined by over $2,000; consumer debt more than doubled; over seven million Americans lost their health insurance, and more than four million lost their pensions; meanwhile homelessness increased and housing foreclosures reached pandemic levels.

It is only in countries where capitalism has been reined in to some degree by social democracy that the populace has been able to secure a measure of prosperity; northern European nations such as Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark come to mind. But even in these social democracies popular gains are always at risk of being rolled back.

It is ironic to credit capitalism with the genius of economic prosperity when most attempts at material betterment have been vehemently and sometimes violently resisted by the capitalist class. The history of labor struggle provides endless illustration of this.

To the extent that life is bearable under the present U.S. economic order, it is because millions of people have waged bitter class struggles to advance their living standards and their rights as citizens, bringing some measure of humanity to an otherwise heartless politico-economic order.

A Self-devouring Beast

The capitalist state has two roles long recognized by political thinkers. First, like any state it must provide services that cannot be reliably developed through private means, such as public safety and orderly traffic. Second, the capitalist state protects the haves from the have-nots, securing the process of capital accumulation to benefit the moneyed interests, while heavily circumscribing the demands of the working populace, as Debs observed from his jail cell.

There is a third function of the capitalist state seldom mentioned. It consists of preventing the capitalist system from devouring itself. Consider the core contradiction Karl Marx pointed to: the tendency toward overproduction and market crisis. An economy dedicated to speedups and wage cuts, to making workers produce more and more for less and less, is always in danger of a crash. To maximize profits, wages must be kept down. But someone has to buy the goods and services being produced. For that, wages must be kept up. There is a chronic tendency—as we are seeing today—toward overproduction of private sector goods and services and underconsumption of necessities by the working populace.

In addition, there is the frequently overlooked self-destruction created by the moneyed players themselves. If left completely unsupervised, the more active command component of the financial system begins to devour less organized sources of wealth.

Instead of trying to make money by the arduous task of producing and marketing goods and services, the marauders tap directly into the money streams of the economy itself. During the 1990s we witnessed the collapse of an entire economy in Argentina when unchecked free marketeers stripped enterprises, pocketed vast sums, and left the country’s productive capacity in shambles. The Argentine state, gorged on a heavy diet of free-market ideology, faltered in its function of saving capitalism from the capitalists.

Some years later, in the United States, came the multi-billion-dollar plunder perpetrated by corporate conspirators at Enron, WorldCom, Harkin, Adelphia, and a dozen other major companies. Inside players like Ken Lay turned successful corporate enterprises into sheer wreckage, wiping out the jobs and life savings of thousands of employees in order to pocket billions.

These thieves were caught and convicted. Does that not show capitalism’s self-correcting capacity? Not really. The prosecution of such malfeasance— in any case coming too late—was a product of democracy’s accountability and transparency, not capitalism’s. Of itself the free market is an amoral system, with no strictures save caveat emptor.

In the meltdown of 2008-09 the mounting financial surplus created a problem for the moneyed class: there were not enough opportunities to invest. With more money than they knew what to do with, big investors poured immense sums into nonexistent housing markets and other dodgy ventures, a legerdemain of hedge funds, derivatives, high leveraging, credit default swaps, predatory lending, and whatever else.

Among the victims were other capitalists, small investors, and the many workers who lost billions of dollars in savings and pensions. Perhaps the premiere brigand was Bernard Madoff. Described as “a longstanding leader in the financial services industry,” Madoff ran a fraudulent fund that raked in $50 billion from wealthy investors, paying them back “with money that wasn’t there,” as he himself put it. The plutocracy devours its own children.

In the midst of the meltdown, at an October 2008 congressional hearing, former chair of the Federal Reserve and orthodox free-market devotee Alan Greenspan confessed that he had been mistaken to expect moneyed interests--groaning under an immense accumulation of capital that needs to be invested somewhere--to suddenly exercise self-restraint.

The classic laissez-faire theory is even more preposterous than Greenspan made it. In fact, the theory claims that everyone should pursue their own selfish interests without restraint. This unbridled competition supposedly will produce maximum benefits for all because the free market is governed by a miraculously benign “invisible hand” that optimizes collective outputs. (“Greed is good.”)

Is the crisis of 2008-09 caused by a chronic tendency toward overproduction and hyper-financial accumulation, as Marx would have it? Or is it the outcome of the personal avarice of people like Bernard Madoff? In other words, is the problem systemic or individual? In fact, the two are not mutually exclusive. Capitalism breeds the venal perpetrators, and rewards the most unscrupulous among them. The crimes and crises are not irrational departures from a rational system, but the converse: they are the rational outcomes of a basically irrational and amoral system.

Worse still, the ensuing multi-billion dollar government bailouts are themselves being turned into an opportunity for pillage. Not only does the state fail to regulate, it becomes itself a source of plunder, pulling vast sums from the federal money machine, leaving the taxpayers to bleed.

Those who scold us for “running to the government for a handout” are themselves running to the government for a handout. Corporate America has always enjoyed grants-in-aid, loan guarantees, and other state and federal subventions. But the 2008-09 “rescue operation” offered a record feed at the public trough. More than $350 billion was dished out by a right-wing lame-duck Secretary of the Treasury to the biggest banks and financial houses without oversight--not to mention the more than $4 trillion that has come from the Federal Reserve. Most of the banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York Mellon, stated that they had no intention of letting anyone know where the money was going.

The big bankers used some of the bailout, we do know, to buy up smaller banks and prop up banks overseas. CEOs and other top banking executives are spending bailout funds on fabulous bonuses and lavish corporate spa retreats. Meanwhile, big bailout beneficiaries like Citigroup and Bank of America laid off tens of thousands of employees, inviting the question: why were they given all that money in the first place?

While hundreds of billions were being doled out to the very people who had caused the catastrophe, the housing market continued to wilt, credit remained paralyzed, unemployment worsened, and consumer spending sank to record lows.

In sum, free-market corporate capitalism is by its nature a disaster waiting to happen. Its essence is the transformation of living nature into mountains of commodities and commodities into heaps of dead capital. When left entirely to its own devices, capitalism foists its diseconomies and toxicity upon the general public and upon the natural environment--and eventually begins to devour itself.

The immense inequality in economic power that exists in our capitalist society translates into a formidable inequality of political power, which makes it all the more difficult to impose democratic regulations.

If the paladins of Corporate America want to know what really threatens “our way of life,” it is their way of life, their boundless way of pilfering their own system, destroying the very foundation on which they stand, the very community on which they so lavishly feed.

Michael Parenti is an internationally known award-winning author and lecturer. He is one of the nation’s leading progressive political analysts. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad.

Michael Parenti home page
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Siv O'Neall: Barbarism on the Rise - Civilization on the Wane

Barbarism on the Rise - Civilization on the Wane
By Siv O'Neall article link
Nov 26, 2007 | Axis of Logic

Democracy has become an empty word that the world leaders kick around like an inflated balloon when it serves their interests. What is of importance to the Corporatocracy that is running the planet is very much the opposite of democracy. What the leaders are depending on for the continuation of the current misrule of the world is centralized power and dumbed-down, apathetic and poverty-stricken masses who pose no danger to the status quo.

Democracy doesn't promote the interests of the ruling plutocrats. Their goal is to concentrate all the money and power in the tiny elite that hold the strings of the dancing puppets who are politicians. Government and business are all one and the same. Or different parts of the same monster. Some hold the strings of power, others do the kicking and dancing.

What is the difference between a totalitarian state which controls all the means of production and one where the owners of the means of production control the state? A different brand of totalitarianism but the contempt for the people could not be more deadly.

To make the control game possible, the people have to be drugged, muzzled and rendered powerless. Also, the means of running the show have to be deprived of all transparency. Propaganda, biased or filtered media news coverage, violent punishment of 'disobedient' individuals, all clouded in a web of secrecy - these are the tools for running this show of the most flagrant in-egalitarian state of the world that has ever existed. The former lords of money empires pale in comparison to the multi-billionaires of today's distorted world.

Laws have to be ignored or annulled. People who might possibly become a threat to the puppeteers have to be rendered harmless. By any means possible. There are no more any legal limits to what can be done to individuals who are arbitrarily declared to be terrorists or aiding and abetting the 'enemy'. Since international and national laws have become irrelevant, it is no more a big deal to get rid of undesirable persons.

There is also a general tendency to destroy what are considered superfluous masses of people through calculated starvation, wars and well planned genocide. Added to this, there is a carefully staged neglect of the lower classes - with more and more of the so-called middle classes falling into the category of the working poor.

Instead of individual nations taking care of their own interests - economy, education, health care and the general running of business - we now have transnational powers, both political/financial (WTO, IMF, the World Bank) and the big corporations, who see to the piling up of the wealth of the planet in the hands of a very limited number of plutocrats. Those are the soulless robots who hold the strings of power and who make decisions like so many machines. They decide which people are destined for extinction and which ones can in some way be useful for the money and power machines.

The current dehumanizing process may have started in the U.S. but other nations are following suit. Money is what counts. People are expendables. So there is less and less concern for the rights and the well-being of the people. Use them as slaves, but make sure they are left ignorant and docile, easy to bend to the needs of the powerful.

Europe is slavishly following in the steps of the Empire in the West, and so is Russia. Concentration of power in the executive, which is a Siamese twin of the Big Corporations, is an essential step in the direction of making people powerless pawns. The legislators and the judges are easily bought up by the corporations and so we have a powerless Congress, a symbolic Parliament, a docile Reichtag, a voiceless Duma.

There is fierce competition for the diminishing hydrocarbon resources of the world and the war is on for the domination of the strategic areas where the essential riches of the planet are concentrated.

Europe is fiercely hanging on to the coattails of the U.S., not risking getting left out when the wealth is divvied up. However, China and India will be ever more powerful competitors to the West as far as the limited existing resources are concerned. And all over the world, the urge for producing agro-fuel - at any cost - is raging. If fields used to grow needed food have to be converted to the growing of agro-fuel crops, so be it.

Obviously all U.S. politicians who subscribe to the supremacy of the Empire are loyal to the idea of an indefinite occupation of Iraq. They are even blindly willing to go along with expanding our influence in the Great Middle East, attacking and occupying other neighboring sovereign countries, running the risk of causing a complete collapse of the entire region. And all the while, Israel, the U.S. 51st State, is doing its utmost to aid the American ambition of destabilizing and ultimately conquering the region.

In all of this desperate grabbing of power and resources, the fate of the people is of no importance whatsoever, nor is there any concern for the environment and the possibility of a continuation of life on our planet.

The whole idea of setting the world aflame for the unipolar domination of the most precious resources seems totally senseless since, at the same time, the planet is thoughtlessly being destroyed and made unlivable for future generations in the name of short-term profits.

What is going on in the world at this time is utter self-destruction and it is looking less and less credible that the U.S. Empire, which is leading the destruction, will ever come to its senses and reverse the trend.

There may still be a chance that the world can be ecologically, financially and socially saved. But where is the Gandhi, where is the Martin Luther King, where are the men and women with hearts and brains who are willing to step up and lead the world back to sanity?

Copyright 2007 by

Siv O'Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. She can be reached at

Read the Biography and additional articles by Axis Columnist, Siv O'Neall
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Siv O'Neall: Owning the World - The Great Illusion

Owning the World - The Great Illusion
By Siv O'Neall article link
Apr 16, 2007 | Axis of Logic

In the sixties and seventies, a group of right-wingers in the United States formed a society of vindictive and power hungry men who thought they could reinvent reality. Initially they received little notice and operated inside the American Enterprise Institute; that think tank became the womb for these megalomaniacs and their monstrous ambition of remaking the world. Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz were among them and the movement was to turn into a preposterous beast. The group called themselves Neoconservatives although they were hardly conservatives in the traditional sense and were very much out there on a new and tenuous limb.

As the group assumed greater visibility, they established their goal as the creation of an artificial world which the U.S. empire would rule single-handedly. Ignoring history, they were set on creating an illusory world, one where they alone would set the rules, decide who would run big corporations, who would dominate the world scene, who would control the enormous oil wealth of the Middle East and Central Asia, who would dictate the fate of the world - without taking into consideration the ambitions of the rest of the world or the aspirations of human beings. This virtual universe began to turn into a frightening reality decades later when these men managed to seize power. And they did this through manipulating the Supreme Court into appointing a clown as President, a marionette to serve as their front man. The clown didn't have to do anything other than smirk and occasionally lift his hand in a fist; they knew that would be enough to impress the world and, in particular, the American people. Oh yes, and he would pretend to be one of the people, just like your cousin Dave or your next-door neighbor.

These men shared the illusion that all that needed to be done to control the world forever was to attack and occupy the nations that were in the way of world-wide domination. In view of the unequaled military and economic power of the United States, nobody would be able to resist or object. The United Nations was irrelevant, the industrialized world and the developing world were irrelevant; the only relevance was the military power of the United States.

So they made a plan to play the world as though it were a game of chess. This was to be an illusory world where human beings didn't count, where nationalism didn't exist. The outcome was certain before the first pawn was moved. Opponents were going to fall, they thought, like so many chessmen before the king; the fact that the king is vulnerable was not taken into consideration. This was a gambit to grab control of the world�s riches; nobody was to know what hit them until everything was in the hands of mighty U.S. corporations.

The field is open

When the Soviet Union was unmasked as being merely a mouse that roared rather than a fearful dragon, the Neoconservatives saw the opening they had awaited; the United States could now take over the running of the planet.

They had lost their most valuable asset, the cold war that had justified the arms race all by itself. But now, in their megalomania, they saw the chance to enlarge the U.S. empire to previously unheard of greatness. The groundwork had been laid by presidents Reagan and Clinton but with their clown prince in the White House, they seized upon the events of 9/11 to solidify control of the newly unipolar world.

The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) has been built to provide a gospel for these armchair warriors and its dogma assured there was no limit to the aggression the U.S. empire would permit itself to undertake. America the great, America the morally upstanding, America the invincible. They saw the world as clearly defined by good versus evil; America was all good. But to move PNAC forward, an enemy had to be created. September 11 came to the rescue.

Under cover of a 'war on terrorism' and 'national security', the now-ruling clique could count on solid levels of cooperation from people who had not previously been part of the Neocon junta. Generals and civilians played the game, willingly to begin with, and the Neocons knew they could count on that so long as the game could be made to appear as if the U.S. had the upper hand. A war on terrorism provided the perfect tool; such a war can never be won, so the basis was in place for an eternal war. That was all that was needed to make the arms manufacturers happy and keep business moving; the economy would take care of itself. Or so they thought.

They believed the best way of winning over one's enemies would be to own them. Or to dominate them by military and economic means, if needed. One easy way of dealing with enemies would be to convert most of the peoples of the planet to the American way of life. The spread of America's so-called culture, which had started right after World War II first in Europe and Japan, seemed to be a propitious way of tilling the ground for the planned American empire that was going to take shape. Military aggression might be needed in some cases, but always there would be insidious propaganda. The cultural domination, if thorough enough, might alleviate any need for the military to complete the task, or at least soften the blow on masses no longer culturally resistant to a U.S. invasion. Once the U.S. was allowed to install military bases on foreign land, the end was achieved and the empire could spread its tentacles to the next client state. The U.S. now needs Europe to play their ball game. And so they have eagerly pushed for the formation of an EU bloc, which is wholeheartedly set on playing the neoliberal game.

The Neocon grand scheme, which took root firmly in the 1990s as the Republicans were all set on a long-term plan to outsmart the Democrats, was clearly with the intention of taking over the world. They would begin with a takeover of the United States and they intended never to let go of their supremacy. 'Pax Americana' would rule the world. So simple. The United States would own the world economically or militarily; in either case, the goal would be achieved.

Neoliberalism, the prevailing economic system today, has served well in the hands of the unipolar megalomaniacs who have reached out greedily into all the corners of the planet. In a parallel way, there has been a gradual replacement of native culture by American standards. Even in cultures traditionally very different from the United States, such as India and the countries of south-east Asia, an American-tainted way of life is emerging.

The cultural crusaders hit a snag

Gradually converting people into Americans has worked to a certain extent in some regions of the world; but, in others, nationalism has proved stronger than the Neocons anticipated. In fact, nationalist instincts seem to have been left out of their vision altogether, a phenomenon outside their narrow understanding of human nature. They had set up their virtual game with no regard for or even consideration of human feelings and aspirations.

Their credo was that the world would love them for their 'freedom'. They utterly failed to grasp that the freedom people want is to live their own lives, in their own particular ways, even if that way was not seen as democracy.

The fact that 'Pax Americana' actually stands for eternal war was not supposed to be so obvious as it is. We were all meant to be taken in by the Orwellian Newspeak; when the Neocons say "peace" we are supposed to feel secure and protected. However, the 'freedom' that they are selling to the world has finally been discredited as a hollow word.

What the Moslem countries care most about is not getting democracy installed, but simply living secure lives, having jobs and a functioning infrastructure, peaceful living, basic civic rights, a working educational system, decent health care. In the days of Saddam Hussein, when political assassinations were a routine occurrence, the majority of Iraqis still had the life they only dream of now and today many are actually looking back on those days with some regret.

Where has the megalomania taken us?

As the U.S. has deviously moved to swallow every continent on the planet, what is becoming increasingly clear is that the neoliberal economic system does not serve anyone except, for a limited period of time, the upper crust of society, the corporate leaders who are awash in obscene wealth. They have profited from the stranglehold they have on developing countries; and now the poverty that is increasing all over the world, even in the so-called rich world, has reached proportions that one day soon will topple the neoliberal structure. Their inhuman and shortsighted economic game will be exposed for what it is - a totally inhuman game to profit the very few under a false pretext of eradicating poverty in the world at large.

The immense greed and megalomania and the grotesque lack of vision of our alleged leaders is about to bring on an implosion of the U.S. power structure. The economic game has been played so poorly and so viciously that the United States will soon be bankrupt, living on the goodwill of creditor countries, mainly China and Japan. So while it still seems to some as if the United States is getting away with its attempted take-over of the world's resources and the control of the world, the structure is actually highly unstable and as we are seeing it reach into the sky, its wheels are sinking into the mud.

A light in the dark

Most importantly, as the U.S. believes it's winning on all fronts, there is, in the midst of this merciless profiteering by the imperial corpocracy, a clear beacon of hope for a different future - on the great continent of Latin America. Here, one country after another is releasing themselves from the shackles of dependence on the United States, and freeing themselves from the bondage of U.S. and European-centered corporations which were, until recently, stealing the natural resources of Latin America. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are seeing the end of their power to gobble up and destroy. Poor people are clamoring for a voice and it seems as if they have found it.

The United States power structure is falling apart in the Middle East from lack of insight and vision on the part of the madmen who believe they are running the world. At the same time, there is hope that Latin America will take the lead towards independence from their giant northern neighbor. We put our faith in Latin America and hope its resurgence and resistance will spell doom for the already tottering megalomaniac that is the United States of America.

The virtual world that the Neocons have constructed has very little to do with the real world. It is doomed to be shown up in all its artificial light, wearing a grimace for a face and a cleft foot.

Copyright 2007 by

Siv O'Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. She can be reached at

Read the Biography and additional articles by Axis Columnist, Siv O'Neall
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Richard Hofstadter: The Paranoid Style in American Politics

The Paranoid Style in American Politics
By Richard Hofstadter† article link
Harper’s Magazine, November 1964, pp. 77-86.

It had been around a long time before the Radical Right discovered it—and its targets have ranged from “the international bankers” to Masons, Jesuits, and munitions makers.

American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority. But behind this I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wind. I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind. In using the expression “paranoid style” I am not speaking in a clinical sense, but borrowing a clinical term for other purposes. I have neither the competence nor the desire to classify any figures of the past or present as certifiable lunatics., In fact, the idea of the paranoid style as a force in politics would have little contemporary relevance or historical value if it were applied only to men with profoundly disturbed minds. It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.

Of course this term is pejorative, and it is meant to be; the paranoid style has a greater affinity for bad causes than good. But nothing really prevents a sound program or demand from being advocated in the paranoid style. Style has more to do with the way in which ideas are believed than with the truth or falsity of their content. I am interested here in getting at our political psychology through our political rhetoric. The paranoid style is an old and recurrent phenomenon in our public life which has been frequently linked with movements of suspicious discontent.

Here is Senator McCarthy, speaking in June 1951 about the parlous situation of the United States:

How can we account for our present situation unless we believe that men high in this government are concerting to deliver us to disaster? This must be the product of a great conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, which it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.…What can be made of this unbroken series of decisions and acts contributing to the strategy of defeat? They cannot be attributed to incompetence.…The laws of probability would dictate that part of…[the] decisions would serve the country’s interest.

Now turn back fifty years to a manifesto signed in 1895 by a number of leaders of the Populist party:

As early as 1865-66 a conspiracy was entered into between the gold gamblers of Europe and America.…For nearly thirty years these conspirators have kept the people quarreling over less important matters while they have pursued with unrelenting zeal their one central purpose.…Every device of treachery, every resource of statecraft, and every artifice known to the secret cabals of the international gold ring are being used to deal a blow to the prosperity of the people and the financial and commercial independence of the country.

Next, a Texas newspaper article of 1855:

... It is a notorious fact that the Monarchs of Europe and the Pope of Rome are at this very moment plotting our destruction and threatening the extinction of our political, civil, and religious institutions. We have the best reasons for believing that corruption has found its way into our Executive Chamber, and that our Executive head is tainted with the infectious venom of Catholicism.…The Pope has recently sent his ambassador of state to this country on a secret commission, the effect of which is an extraordinary boldness of the Catholic church throughout the United States.…These minions of the Pope are boldly insulting our Senators; reprimanding our Statesmen; propagating the adulterous union of Church and State; abusing with foul calumny all governments but Catholic, and spewing out the bitterest execrations on all Protestantism. The Catholics in the United States receive from abroad more than $200,000 annually for the propagation of their creed. Add to this the vast revenues collected here.…

These quotations give the keynote of the style. In the history of the United States one finds it, for example, in the anti-Masonic movement, the nativist and anti-Catholic movement, in certain spokesmen of abolitionism who regarded the United States as being in the grip of a slaveholders’ conspiracy, in many alarmists about the Mormons, in some Greenback and Populist writers who constructed a great conspiracy of international bankers, in the exposure of a munitions makers’ conspiracy of World War I, in the popular left-wing press, in the contemporary American right wing, and on both sides of the race controversy today, among White Citizens’ Councils and Black Muslims. I do not propose to try to trace the variations of the paranoid style that can be found in all these movements, but will confine myself to a few leading episodes in our past history in which the style emerged in full and archetypal splendor.

Illuminism and Masonry

I begin with a particularly revealing episode—the panic that broke out in some quarters at the end of the eighteenth century over the allegedly subversive activities of the Bavarian Illuminati. This panic was a part of the general reaction to the French Revolution. In the United States it was heightened by the response of certain men, mostly in New England and among the established clergy, to the rise of Jeffersonian democracy. Illuminism had been started in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, a professor of law at the University of Ingolstadt. Its teachings today seem to be no more than another version of Enlightenment rationalism, spiced with the anticlerical atmosphere of eighteenth-century Bavaria. It was a somewhat naïve and utopian movement which aspired ultimately to bring the human race under the rules of reason. Its humanitarian rationalism appears to have acquired a fairly wide influence in Masonic lodges.

Americans first learned of Illumism in 1797, from a volume published in Edinburgh (later reprinted in New York) under the title, Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies. Its author was a well-known Scottish scientist, John Robison, who had himself been a somewhat casual adherent of Masonry in Britain, but whose imagination had been inflamed by what he considered to be the far less innocent Masonic movement on the Continent. Robison seems to have made his work as factual as he could, but when he came to estimating the moral character and the political influence of Illuminism, he made the characteristic paranoid leap into fantasy. The association, he thought, was formed “for the express purpose of rooting out all religious establishments, and overturning all the existing governments of europe.” It had become “one great and wicked project fermenting and working all over Europe.” And to it he attributed a central role in bringing about the French Revolution. He saw it as a libertine, anti-Christian movement, given to the corruption of women, the cultivation of sensual pleasures, and the violation of property rights. Its members had plans for making a tea that caused abortion—a secret substance that “blinds or kills when spurted in the face,” and a device that sounds like a stench bomb—a “method for filling a bedchamber with pestilential vapours.”

These notions were quick to make themselves felt in America. In May 1798, a minister of the Massachusetts Congregational establishment in Boston, Jedidiah Morse, delivered a timely sermon to the young country, which was then sharply divided between Jeffersonians and Federalists, Francophiles and Anglomen. Having read Robison, Morse was convinced of a Jacobinical plot touched off by Illuminism, and that the country should be rallied to defend itself. His warnings were heeded throughout New England wherever Federalists brooded about the rising tide of religious infidelity or Jeffersonian democracy. Timothy Dwight, the president of Yale, followed Morse’s sermon with a Fourth-of-July discourse on The Duty of Americans in the Present Crisis, in which he held forth against the Antichrist in his own glowing rhetoric. Soon the pulpits of New England were ringing with denunciations of the Illuminati, as though the country were swarming with them.

The anti-Masonic movement of the late 1820s and the 1830s took up and extended the obsession with conspiracy. At first, this movement may seem to be no more than an extension or repetition of the anti-Masonic theme sounded in the outcry against the Bavarian Illuminati. But whereas the panic of the 1790s was confined mainly to New England and linked to an ultraconservative point of view, the later anti-Masonic movement affected many parts of the northern United States, and was intimately linked with popular democracy and rural egalitarianism. Although anti-Masonry happened to be anti-Jacksonian (Jackson was a Mason), it manifested the same animus against the closure of opportunity for the common man and against aristocratic institutions that one finds in the Jacksonian crusade against the Bank of the United States.

The anti-Masonic movement was a product not merely of natural enthusiasm but also of the vicissitudes of party politics. It was joined and used by a great many men who did not fully share its original anti-Masonic feelings. It attracted the support of several reputable statement who had only mild sympathy with its fundamental bias, but who as politicians could not afford to ignore it. Still, it was a folk movement of considerable power, and the rural enthusiasts who provided its real impetus believed in it wholeheartedly.

As a secret society, Masonry was considered to be a standing conspiracy against republican government. It was held to be particularly liable to treason—for example, Aaron Burr’s famous conspiracy was alleged to have been conducted by Masons. Masonry was accused of constituting a separate system of loyalty, a separate imperium within the framework of federal and state governments, which was inconsistent with loyalty to them. Quite plausibly it was argued that the Masons had set up a jurisdiction of their own, with their own obligations and punishments, liable to enforcement even by the penalty of death. So basic was the conflict felt to be between secrecy and democracy that other, more innocent societies such as Phi Beta Kappa came under attack.

Since Masons were pledged to come to each other’s aid under circumstances of distress, and to extend fraternal indulgence at all times, is was held that the order nullified the enforcement of regular law. Masonic constables, sheriffs, juries, and judges must all be in league with Masonic criminals and fugitives. The press was believed to have been so “muzzled” by Masonic editors and proprietors that news of Masonic malfeasance could be suppressed. At a moment when almost every alleged citadel of privilege in America was under democratic assault, Masonry was attacked as a fraternity of the privileged, closing business opportunities and nearly monopolizing political offices.

Certain elements of truth and reality there may have been in these views of Masonry. What must be emphasized here, however, is the apocalyptic and absolutistic framework in which this hostility was commonly expressed. Anti-Masons were not content simply to say that secret societies were rather a bad idea. The author of the standard exposition of anti-Masonry declared that Freemasonry was “not only the most abominable but also the most dangerous institution that ever was imposed on man.…It may truly be said to be hell’s master piece.”

The Jesuit Threat

Fear of a Masonic plot had hardly been quieted when the rumors arose of a Catholic plot against American values. One meets here again the same frame of mind, but a different villain. The anti-Catholic movement converged with a growing nativism, and while they were not identical, together they cut such a wide swath in American life that they were bound to embrace many moderates to whom the paranoid style, in its full glory, did not appeal. Moreover, we need not dismiss out of hand as totally parochial or mean-spirited the desire of Yankee Americans to maintain an ethnically and religiously homogeneous society nor the particular Protestant commitments to individualism and freedom that were brought into play. But the movement had a large paranoid infusion, and the most influential anti-Catholic militants certainly had a strong affinity for the paranoid style.

Two books which appeared in 1835 described the new danger to the American way of life and may be taken as expressions of the anti-Catholic mentality. One, Foreign Conspiracies against the Liberties of the United States, was from the hand of the celebrated painter and inventor of the telegraph, S.F.B. Morse. “A conspiracy exists,” Morse proclaimed , and “its plans are already in operation…we are attacked in a vulnerable quarter which cannot be defended by our ships, our forts, or our armies.” The main source of the conspiracy Morse found in Metternich’s government: “Austria is now acting in this country. She has devised a grand scheme. She has organized a great plan for doing something here.… She has her Jesuit missionaries traveling through the land; she has supplied them with money, and has furnished a fountain for a regular supply.” Were the plot successful, Morse said, some scion of the House of Hapsburg would soon be installed as Emperor of the United States.

“It is an ascertained fact,” wrote another Protestant militant, that Jesuits are prowling about all parts of the United States in every possible disguise, expressly to ascertain the advantageous situations and modes to disseminate Popery. A minister of the Gospel from Ohio has informed us that he discovered one carrying on his devices in his congregation; and he says that the western country swarms with them under the name of puppet show men, dancing masters, music teachers, peddlers of images and ornaments, barrel organ players, and similar practitioners.

Lyman Beecher, the elder of a famous family and the father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote in the same year hisPlea for the West, in which he considered the possibility that the Christian millennium might come in the American states. Everything depended, in his judgment, upon what influences dominated the great West, where the future of the country lay. There Protestantism was engaged in a life-or-death struggle with Catholicism. “Whatever we do, it must be done quickly.…” A great tide of immigration, hostile to free institutions, was sweeping in upon the country, subsidized and sent by “the potentates of Europe,” multiplying tumult and violence, filling jails, crowding poorhouses, quadrupling taxation, and sending increasing thousands of voters to “lay their inexperienced hand upon the helm of our power.”


The Paranoid Style in Action

The John Birch Society is attempting to suppress a television series about the United Nations by means of a mass letter-writing campaign to the sponsor, …The Xerox Corporation. The corporation, however, intends to go ahead with the programs. ...

The July issue of the John Birch Society Bulletin… said an “avalanche of mail ought to convince them of the unwisdom of their proposed action—just as United Air Lines was persuaded to back down and take the U.N. insignia off their planes.” (A United Air Lines spokesman confirmed that the U.N. emblem was removed from its planes, following “considerable public reaction against it.”)

Birch official John Rousselot said, ”We hate to see a corporation of this country promote the U.N. when we know that it is an instrument of the Soviet Communist conspiracy.”

—San Francisco Chronicle, July 31, 1964


Anti-Catholicism has always been the pornography of the Puritan. Whereas the anti-Masons had envisaged drinking bouts and had entertained themselves with sado-masochistic fantasies about the actual enforcement of grisly Masonic oaths,* the anti-Catholics invented an immense lore about libertine priests, the confessional as an opportunity for seduction, licentious convents and monasteries. Probably the most widely read contemporary book in the United States before Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a work supposedly written by one Maria Monk, entitled Awful Disclosures, which appeared in 1836. The author, who purported to have escaped from the Hotel Dieu nunnery in Montreal after five years there as novice and nun, reported her convent life in elaborate and circumstantial detail. She reported having been told by the Mother Superior that she must “obey the priests in all things”; to her “utter astonishment and horror,” she soon found what the nature of such obedience was. Infants born of convent liaisons were baptized and then killed, she said, so that they might ascend at once to heaven. Her book, hotly attacked and defended , continued to be read and believed even after her mother gave testimony that Maria had been somewhat addled ever since childhood after she had rammed a pencil into her head. Maria died in prison in 1849, after having been arrested in a brothel as a pickpocket.

Anti-Catholicism, like anti-Masonry, mixed its fortunes with American party politics, and it became an enduring factor in American politics. The American Protective Association of the 1890s revived it with ideological variations more suitable to the times—the depression of 1893, for example, was alleged to be an international creation of the Catholics who began it by starting a run on the banks. Some spokesmen of the movement circulated a bogus encyclical attributed to Leo XIII instructing American Catholics on a certain date in 1893 to exterminate all heretics, and a great many anti-Catholics daily expected a nationwide uprising. The myth of an impending Catholic war of mutilation and extermination of heretics persisted into the twentieth century.

Why They Feel Dispossessed

If, after our historically discontinuous examples of the paranoid style, we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.

Important changes may also be traced to the effects of the mass media. The villains of the modern right are much more vivid than those of their paranoid predecessors, much better known to the public; the literature of the paranoid style is by the same token richer and more circumstantial in personal description and personal invective. For the vaguely delineated villains of the anti-Masons, for the obscure and disguised Jesuit agents, the little-known papal delegates of the anti-Catholics, for the shadowy international bankers of the monetary conspiracies, we may now substitute eminent public figures like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower., secretaries of State like Marshall, Acheson, and Dulles, Justices of the Supreme Court like Frankfurter and Warren, and the whole battery of lesser but still famous and vivid alleged conspirators headed by Alger Hiss.

Events since 1939 have given the contemporary right-wing paranoid a vast theatre for his imagination, full of rich and proliferating detail, replete with realistic cues and undeniable proofs of the validity of his suspicions. The theatre of action is now the entire world, and he can draw not only on the events of World War II, but also on those of the Korean War and the Cold War. Any historian of warfare knows it is in good part a comedy of errors and a museum of incompetence; but if for every error and every act of incompetence one can substitute an act of treason, many points of fascinating interpretation are open to the paranoid imagination. In the end, the real mystery, for one who reads the primary works of paranoid scholarship, is not how the United States has been brought to its present dangerous position but how it has managed to survive at all.

The basic elements of contemporary right-wing thought can be reduced to three: First, there has been the now-familiar sustained conspiracy, running over more than a generation, and reaching its climax in Roosevelt’s New Deal, to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism or communism. A great many right-wingers would agree with Frank Chodorov, the author of The Income Tax: The Root of All Evil, that this campaign began with the passage of the income-tax amendment to the Constitution in 1913.

The second contention is that top government officialdom has been so infiltrated by Communists that American policy, at least since the days leading up to Pearl Harbor, has been dominated by men who were shrewdly and consistently selling out American national interests.

Finally, the country is infused with a network of Communist agents, just as in the old days it was infiltrated by Jesuit agents, so that the whole apparatus of education, religion, the press, and the mass media is engaged in a common effort to paralyze the resistance of loyal Americans.

Perhaps the most representative document of the McCarthyist phase was a long indictment of Secretary of State George C. Marshall, delivered in 1951 in the Senate by senator McCarthy, and later published in a somewhat different form. McCarthy pictured Marshall was the focal figure in a betrayal of American interests stretching in time from the strategic plans for World War II to the formulation of the Marshall Plan. Marshal was associated with practically every American failure or defeat, McCarthy insisted, and none of this was either accident or incompetence. There was a “baffling pattern” of Marshall’s interventions in the war, which always conduced to the well-being of the Kremlin. The sharp decline in America’s relative strength from 1945 to 1951 did not “just happen”; it was “brought about, step by step, by will and intention,” the consequence not of mistakes but of a treasonous conspiracy, “a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man.”

Today, the mantle of McCarthy has fallen on a retired candy manufacturer, Robert H. Welch, Jr., who is less strategically placed and has a much smaller but better organized following than the Senator. A few years ago Welch proclaimed that “Communist influences are now in almost complete control of our government”—note the care and scrupulousness of that “almost.” He has offered a full scale interpretation of our recent history in which Communists figure at every turn: They started a run on American banks in 1933 that forced their closure; they contrived the recognition of the Soviet Union by the United States in the same year, just in time to save the Soviets from economic collapse; they have stirred up the fuss over segregation in the South; they have taken over the Supreme Court and made it “one of the most important agencies of Communism.”

Close attention to history wins for Mr. Welch an insight into affairs that is given to few of us. “For many reasons and after a lot of study,” he wrote some years ago, “I personally believe [John Foster] Dulles to be a Communist agent.” The job of Professor Arthur F. Burns as head of Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisors was “merely a cover-up for Burns’s liaison work between Eisenhower and some of his Communist bosses.” Eisenhower’s brother Milton was “actually [his] superior and boss within the Communist party.” As for Eisenhower himself, Welch characterized him, in words that have made the candy manufacturer famous, as “a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy”—a conclusion, he added, “based on an accumulation of detailed evidence so extensive and so palpable that it seems to put this conviction beyond any reasonable doubt.”

Emulating the Enemy

The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms—he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point. Like religious millenialists he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days and he is sometimes disposed to set a date fort the apocalypse. (“Time is running out,” said Welch in 1951. “Evidence is piling up on many sides and from many sources that October 1952 is the fatal month when Stalin will attack.”)

As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated—if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman—sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid’s interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will. Very often the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction (the Catholic confessional).

It is hard to resist the conclusion that this enemy is on many counts the projection of the self; both the ideal and the unacceptable aspects of the self are attributed to him. The enemy may be the cosmopolitan intellectual, but the paranoid will outdo him in the apparatus of scholarship, even of pedantry. Secret organizations set up to combat secret organizations give the same flattery. The Ku Klux Klan imitated Catholicism to the point of donning priestly vestments, developing an elaborate ritual and an equally elaborate hierarchy. The John Birch Society emulates Communist cells and quasi-secret operation through “front” groups, and preaches a ruthless prosecution of the ideological war along lines very similar to those it finds in the Communist enemy.* Spokesmen of the various fundamentalist anti-Communist “crusades” openly express their admiration for the dedication and discipline the Communist cause calls forth.

On the other hand, the sexual freedom often attributed to the enemy, his lack of moral inhibition, his possession of especially effective techniques for fulfilling his desires, give exponents of the paranoid style an opportunity to project and express unacknowledgeable aspects of their own psychological concerns. Catholics and Mormons—later, Negroes and Jews—have lent themselves to a preoccupation with illicit sex. Very often the fantasies of true believers reveal strong sadomasochistic outlets, vividly expressed, for example, in the delight of anti-Masons with the cruelty of Masonic punishments.

Renegades and Pedants

A special significance attaches to the figure of the renegade from the enemy cause. The anti-Masonic movement seemed at times to be the creation of ex-Masons; certainly the highest significance was attributed to their revelations, and every word they said was believed. Anti-Catholicism used the runaway nun and the apostate priest; the place of ex-Communists in the avant-garde anti-Communist movements of our time is well known. In some part, the special authority accorded the renegade derives from the obsession with secrecy so characteristics of such movements: the renegade is the man or woman who has been in the Arcanum, and brings forth with him or her the final verification of suspicions which might otherwise have been doubted by a skeptical world. But I think there is a deeper eschatological significance that attaches to the person of the renegade: in the spiritual wrestling match between good and evil which is the paranoid’s archetypal model of the world, the renegade is living proof that all the conversions are not made by the wrong side. He brings with him the promise of redemption and victory.

A final characteristic of the paranoid style is related to the quality of its pedantry. One of the impressive things about paranoid literature is the contrast between its fantasied conclusions and the almost touching concern with factuality it invariably shows. It produces heroic strivings for evidence to prove that the unbelievable is the only thing that can be believed. Of course, there are highbrow, lowbrow, and middlebrow paranoids, as there are likely to be in any political tendency. But respectable paranoid literature not only starts from certain moral commitments that can indeed be justified but also carefully and all but obsessively accumulates :evidence.” The difference between this “evidence” and that commonly employed by others is that it seems less a means of entering into normal political controversy than a means of warding off the profane intrusion of the secular political world. The paranoid seems to have little expectation of actually convincing a hostile world, but he can accumulate evidence in order to protect his cherished convictions from it.

Paranoid writing begins with certain broad defensible judgments. There was something to be said for the anti-Masons. After all, a secret society composed of influential men bound by special obligations could conceivable pose some kind of threat to the civil order in which they were suspended. There was also something to be said for the Protestant principles of individuality and freedom, as well as for the nativist desire to develop in North America a homogeneous civilization. Again, in our time an actual laxity in security allowed some Communists to find a place in governmental circles, and innumerable decisions of World War II and the Cold War could be faulted.

The higher paranoid scholarship is nothing if not coherent—in fact the paranoid mind is far more coherent than the real world. It is nothing if not scholarly in technique. McCarthy’s 96-page pamphlet, McCarthyism, contains no less than 313 footnote references, and Mr. Welch’s incredible assault on Eisenhower, The Politician, has one hundred pages of bibliography and notes. The entire right-wing movement of our time is a parade of experts, study groups, monographs, footnotes, and bibliographies. Sometimes the right-wing striving for scholarly depth and an inclusive world view has startling consequences: Mr. Welch, for example, has charged that the popularity of Arnold Toynbee’s historical work is the consequence of a plot on the part of Fabians, “Labour party bosses in England,” and various members of the Anglo-American “liberal establishment” to overshadow the much more truthful and illuminating work of Oswald Spengler.

The Double Sufferer

The paranoid style is not confined to our own country and time; it is an international phenomenon. Studying the millennial sects of Europe from the eleventh to the sixteenth century, Norman Cohn believed he found a persistent psychic complex that corresponds broadly with what I have been considering—a style made up of certain preoccupations and fantasies: “the megalomaniac view of oneself as the Elect, wholly good, abominably persecuted, yet assured of ultimate triumph; the attribution of gigantic and demonic powers to the adversary; the refusal to accept the ineluctable limitations and imperfections of human existence, such as transience, dissention, conflict, fallibility whether intellectual or moral; the obsession with inerrable prophecies…systematized misinterpretations, always gross and often grotesque.”

This glimpse across a long span of time emboldens me to make the conjecture—it is no more than that—that a mentality disposed to see the world in this way may be a persistent psychic phenomenon, more or less constantly affecting a modest minority of the population. But certain religious traditions, certain social structures and national inheritances, certain historical catastrophes or frustrations may be conducive to the release of such psychic energies, and to situations in which they can more readily be built into mass movements or political parties. In American experience ethnic and religious conflict have plainly been a major focus for militant and suspicious minds of this sort, but class conflicts also can mobilize such energies. Perhaps the central situation conducive to the diffusion of the paranoid tendency is a confrontation of opposed interests which are (or are felt to be) totally irreconcilable, and thus by nature not susceptible to the normal political processes of bargain and compromise. The situation becomes worse when the representatives of a particular social interest—perhaps because of the very unrealistic and unrealizable nature of its demands—are shut out of the political process. Having no access to political bargaining or the making of decisions, they find their original conception that the world of power is sinister and malicious fully confirmed. They see only the consequences of power—and this through distorting lenses—and have no chance to observe its actual machinery. A distinguished historian has said that one of the most valuable things about history is that it teaches us how things do not happen. It is precisely this kind of awareness that the paranoid fails to develop. He has a special resistance of his own, of course, to developing such awareness, but circumstances often deprive him of exposure to events that might enlighten him—and in any case he resists enlightenment.

We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only by the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well.

† Richard Hofstadter is DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University. His latest book, “Anti-intellectualism in American Life,” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction earlier this year. This essay is adapted from the Herbert Spencer Lecture delivered at Oxford University in November 1963.

* Many anti-Masons had been fascinated by the penalties involved if Masons failed to live up to their obligations. My own favorite is the oath attributed to a royal archmason who invited “having my skull smote off and my brains exposed to the scorching rays of the sun.”

* In his recent book, How to Win an Election, Stephen C. Shadegg cites a statement attributed to Mao Tse-tung: “Give me just two or three men in a village and I will take the village.” Shadegg comments: “ In the Goldwater campaigns of 1952 and 1958 and in all other campaigns where I have served as consultant I have followed the advice of Mao Tse-tung.” “I would suggest,” writes senator Goldwater in Why Not Victory? “that we analyze and copy the strategy of the enemy; theirs has worked and ours has not.

The Paranoid Style in American Politics wikipedia
The Paranoid Style in American Politics: And Other Essays amazon barnes&noble
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

SPLC: Top 10 Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories

Top 10 Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories
By Alexander Zaitchik article link article link
Southern Poverty Law Center | AlterNet
SPLC Intelligence Report Issue Number: 139 | Fall 2010

Conspiracy theorizing has flourished as a virtual art form in all nations and across all political persuasions. But the American radical right has to be considered a strong contender for the title of modern conspiracy champion. A vast body of academic literature exists exploring this history, of which Richard Hofstadter's 1964 essay, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" is the most famous. Hundreds of books and articles have chronicled the rise (and fall) of an unceasing march of disparate conspiracy-based movements that, at different points in American history, have trembled before and warned against imaginary threats posed by Catholics, Mormons, Jews, American Communists, Freemasons, bankers, and U.S. government officials and agencies.

Scholars continue to debate the psychological and sociological origins of conspiracy theories, but there is no arguing that these theories have seen a revival on the extreme right in recent years. Over the last two decades, a far-right conspiracy culture of self-proclaimed "Patriots" has emerged in which the United States government itself is viewed as a mortal threat to everything from constitutional democracy to the survival of the human race. This conspiracy revival -- which has been accompanied by the explosive growth of Patriot groups over the last year and a half -- kicked into overdrive with the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, who is seen by Patriots as a foreign-born Manchurian candidate sent by forces of the so-called "New World Order" to destroy American sovereignty and institute one-world socialist government.

Since Obama's election, the constituent theories within the overarching narrative of the New World Order have increasingly made inroads into the mainstream national discourse. Thanks to conservative cable news hosts like Glenn Beck (of Fox News) and Lou Dobbs (formerly of CNN), conspiratorial rants about FEMA concentration camps and the "North American Union" have been beamed directly into the living rooms of millions of Americans. Websites popular with Tea Party conservatives, meanwhile, have further stoked fears of a socialistic one-world government takeover by "un-American" forces. Joseph Farah's, for example, has grown its influence by peddling paranoia about the president's birth certificate and AmeriCorps' "domestic armies." Earlier this year, the John Birch Society, a group with a long history of hatching and promoting wild conspiracy theories (including the idea that President Eisenhower was a communist agent), co-sponsored the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual powwow of leading conservatives and Republican Party figures. Speakers at this year's conference included such mainstream names as Washington Post columnist George Will, former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner.

Here is a compilation of 10 of the most popular conspiracy theories currently circulating on the radical right and, increasingly, on points of the political spectrum much too close to the center for comfort.

1. Chemtrails

In the world of Patriot antigovernment paranoia, New World Order forces attempt to manipulate and control the unwitting population from every conceivable source and direction -- from the images on your television screen to the very water that comes out of your kitchen tap. In recent years, the New World Order has been meddling most nefariously from above, high among the clouds.

Few Internet-age antigovernment conspiracies have spread as quickly or as widely as the idea of "chemtrails": the belief that air and water vapor contrails that form in the wake of high-altitude aircraft are really clouds of toxic soup being deliberately sprayed by hundreds, if not thousands, of secret government planes executing the designs of the New World Order. What is the insidious purpose of the chemtrails program? It depends which paranoid Patriot you ask. The most popular theories include population control, weather manipulation, and outright human extermination. If, as some cultural historians suggest, the UFO sightings of the 1940s and 50s were the skyward projection of early atomic-age fears, chemtrails are the climate-change-age corollary, with cultural panic over pollution and strange weather mixing with deeper traditions of Patriot antigovernment animus.

Hundreds of websites currently peddle chemtrails theories, along with books, DVDs and all manner of survivalist gear. They maintain that toxic clouds in the sky are easily distinguished from normal contrails by their longer duration and expansive dissipation patterns. Most of the spraying is believed to take place at night over the population centers of the NATO countries, especially the United States.

Who, exactly, is responsible for the program? There are conflicting schools of thought here as well. But among Patriot groups it is generally agreed that some alignment of New World Order lords -- sometimes referred to as the Illuminati -- is busy spraying cities and towns with pathogens. In the grimmest of the scenarios, the spraying represents the first of a two-stage depopulation program. Stage one involves spreading pathogens to weaken humanity's collective immune system; once general T-cell weakness is attained, goes the theory, we can expect aerial dispersal of smallpox or anthrax to finish us off.

Fear over chemtrails long ago spread beyond the Patriot fringe. Twenty years ago, the buzz surrounding chemtrails had grown to the extent that the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration felt compelled to issue a joint "Aircraft Contrails Factsheet." The six-page illustrated report patiently explained the science of contrails, such as the role humidity plays in the variance between how long contrails linger and spread, sometimes forming cirrus cloud cover, and pointed out that they have zero impact on human health.

But as these things go, official efforts to confront the conspiracy only fueled its growth. It is today bigger than ever, commanding adherents across the globe.

2. Martial Law

If Patriot groups fear anything more than the water vapor in the sky, it is the imminent imposition of martial law. A longstanding and central plank of the Patriot catechism is the belief that one day -- very soon! -- federal forces, in league with the states, will suspend constitutional government and institute a police state.

During the first few years after the 9/11 attacks, this fear was also discussed on the left. But what was a temporary concern there has long been an absolute certainty on the far right. Today, hundreds of Patriot groups around the country are actively preparing for the declaration of martial law, some of them by mapping wilderness areas, learning how to set booby traps, studying and practicing guerrilla warfare tactics, and setting up short-wave radio communications systems. The question is not if, but when, the New World Order will come crashing down.

Patriot groups believe the legal groundwork for the inevitable imposition of martial law is being laid in Washington, within the pages of a steady stream of classified National Security documents and directives. At the local level, meanwhile, they suspect town and city governments are also in on the plan, as evidenced by their passing of emergency powers ordinances.

Once the legal mechanisms are in place, all that's needed is a "crisis trigger," for which Patriots are constantly on the lookout. Whether this trigger is real or manufactured matters less than the fact that it will succeed in frightening the population into submission and be used to justify suspension of the Constitution. This crisis trigger could take any form. Common scenarios suggested on Patriot discussion boards include economic collapse, followed by massive social unrest; a global (and likely government-created) pandemic; multiple acts of mega-terrorism (again, featuring government collusion); or possibly a fraudulent presidential election, resulting in rioting in major cities around the country.

Patriot groups often refer to the unelected junta that will rule the coming police state as a "metropolitan government." This language, like the martial law scenario, has a long pedigree. As Patriot/survivalist Don Harkin explains in the Idaho Observer, a conspiracy rag popular among militia groups: "Metropolitan government was exposed in the late 1950s by Jo Hindman. … [Today] this unconstitutional form of government is being implemented all over the country -- particularly in the nation's more densely populated areas such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle."

Once the "metropolitan government" is instituted, most Patriots are certain they will immediately be rounded up and sent to internment camps -- which takes us to our next conspiracy.

3. FEMA Concentration Camps

Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Domestic Terrorism held hearings on the Patriot/militia subculture that bred and nurtured the bombers. Throughout the hearings, a running theme expressed by Patriots was a fear that "urban gangs," directed by Washington and possibly acting in concert with U.N. and foreign troops, would sweep in from the coasts, confiscate their guns, and round them up. This home-invasion force would hold down the streets during the imposition of martial law, then send the members of Patriot militias to internment camps run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which most Patriot groups consider to be "the executive arm of the coming police state."

This conspiracy has recently surged in popularity, especially after the Senate in March 2009 passed the Serve America Act, the meat of which was a multi-billion-dollar expansion of AmeriCorps, a federal program that employs many inner-city youths in community service jobs. For the Patriot fringe (and media enablers like Glenn Beck), the thought of billions of dollars going to employ inner-city youth evoked images of "domestic armies." Soon, the far-right media was full of warnings about "Obama's brown shirts" and "slavery."

The renewed chatter about "FEMA concentration camps" took many forms. Glenn Beck promised to "look into it." Films such as "Camp FEMA: American Lockdown," featuring conspiracy-monger Alex Jones, have been wildly popular on conspiracy-driven websites like, outselling all previous conspiracy-driven pseudo-documentaries. Aerial photographs, each supposedly showing secret government holding facilities, went viral on the Web.

Of course, the photos showed nothing of the sort. A careful review of some of the photographs carried out by Popular Mechanics editor James Meigs made clear that the visual "evidence" was bogus in every instance. For example, a photograph of an alleged secret prison was actually a North Korean work camp. Other photographs showed nothing more sinister than well-known National Guard training centers and Amtrak rail yards.

Just as the agencies responsible for air travel and air quality have tried to respond to the chemtrails conspiracy allegations, so, too, has FEMA gone on record reassuring Americans that it has no intention of abrogating the Constitution or rounding up citizens. An internal FEMA memo, however, made clear that agency brass understands the losing-battle nature of trying to quell the conspiracies. "Most people know us as the agency that responds to natural disasters," the memo read. "Others believe we have a somewhat sinister role. For the latter, it is not realistic to think that we can convince them otherwise and it is advisable not to enter into debate on the subject."

4. Foreign Troops on U.S. Soil

While "urban gangs" are considered a leading candidate to enforce a New World Order (NWO) lockdown, they are not the only threatening force clouding the Patriot mind. There is also a belief on the radical right that treasonous government officials are colluding with other governments to suppress Americans with the use of foreign troops. Patriots believe this foreign assistance will be necessary due to the patriotism of America's own troops. As explained on the Patriot website, many U.S. active military personnel and veterans would likely refuse orders to suppress the rights of their fellow citizens, and so "the US/NWO/UN government is importing foreign troops into the USA to do what US soldiers did to Iraq." Among the many Patriot groups dedicated to resisting this is the Oath Keepers, made up of veteran and active-duty U.S. military personnel.

Whose troops, exactly, would be deployed here? Those of whichever allies the U.S. is partnering with at any given moment. For example, Patriot sites were atwitter with news that, in July 2009, FEMA organized a terrorist-response exercise in conjunction with troops from 14 allied countries, including Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

After the 2009 exercise, the Web burst with YouTube clips attempting to alert people to the sinister presence of foreign troops. Like other popular conspiracies to see a revival in recent years, this one is hardly new. In 1997, one Patriot blogger warned that Red Chinese troops would be allowed to take over America. The fevered language of this Clinton-era theorist nicely captures the frantic energy that has always defined Patriot conspiracy culture, as well as the racial dimension never far from the surface of so many conspiracies:

"During the 1950s, the elitists planning for world government made plans to use occupation forces in every country that did not submit to their greedy, arrogant ambitions. Their plan called for using Chinese troops in America… . Now that American soldiers have been used in Kuwait, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo, a precedent has been set to bring the red Chinese troops here. The UN could justify such an action if the Black Muslims instigate a race war. I expect this scenario if the Democrats loose [sic] the White House and Congress in the 2000 elections. Comrade Clinton could not be slicker in making himself Commandant of Gulag America."

5. 'Door-to-Door' Gun Confiscations

One of the defining features of Patriot/militia subculture is an obsession with firearms. Patriot groups stockpile them, train using them, and, perhaps most of all, worry about losing them. Any attempt to restrain their gun rights is viewed as the thin-edge-wedge of a New World Order crackdown. Patriots believe it inevitable that NWO forces in black masks and jackboots -- and possibly UN blue helmets -- will one day be sent door to door to take away their weapons by force. This fear is also stoked by mainstream figures within the conservative movement. Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association, a major player in the Republican Party coalition, is the author of a book entitled, The Global War on Your Guns: Inside the UN Plan To Destroy the Bill of Rights. In 2006, Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter attached an amendment to a domestic-security spending bill that prohibited the confiscation of legally owned guns during an emergency. The measure passed by a vote of 84-16.

Within Patriot subculture, the gun-confiscation fear sometimes dovetails with other conspiracies of an anti-Semitic flavor. Proponents of gun control in these instances are seen as representing a New World Order cabal run by Jews. At the website Real Zionist News, for example, a New York State gun control law aimed at protecting police officers was described as "the first step toward confiscation." According to the site, "The real agenda is to disarm law-abiding GENTILES, whom Zionist Jews fear will soon discover Jewry's anti-American, freedom-hating mission."

6. 9/11 as Government Plot

The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., were seen by both the far left and far right as fitting the bill for an intentional "crisis trigger." In the weeks and months after the attacks, a subculture of "9/11 Truthism" emerged in which the attacks were seen as anything but a simple case of well-trained Al Qaeda operatives flying planes into landmark buildings. Instead, "truthers" argued that the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed by controlled demolitions, that a missile brought down United Airlines 93, and that a missile -- and not an airliner at all -- struck the Pentagon. Who was responsible? The U.S. government, of course. On the far left, the reason seen for attacking the American people was to justify a perpetual state of war; on the far right, it provided an excuse for the government to, at long last, institute a police state.

On both extremes, a distinct current of anti-Semitism runs through 9/11 conspiracies. Especially in the right-wing variants associated with Patriot groups -- and in a number of radical-right black separatist group as well -- the central agents are often very pointedly described as either high officials of Jewish descent or outright Israeli agents. Another feature of anti-Semitic 9/11 conspiracies is the popular claim that 4,000 Israelis and Jews did not show up for work at the World Trade Center on the morning of the attacks. The origins of that conspiracy theory appear to have come from a statement by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that some "4,000 Israelis" were in the New York and Washington areas the day of the attacks. Here again, we see how a misread or misconstrued fact can be distorted through paranoia and multiplied by the power of the Internet, allowing totally unfounded rumors to travel the globe at warp speed.

For many Patriot groups dedicated to the fight against the New World Order -- often referred to as "American Revolution II" -- the American people have been denied the truth about the 2001 attacks by "the New World Order-controlled corporatist-Jewish media."

Of course, when this media does mention 9/11 truther claims, this, too, is seen as evidence of a conspiracy within a conspiracy. For example, when former White House official Van Jones was found to have signed a petition calling for an investigation into truther-related allegations, Patriots saw the subsequent media attention as a ruse. "Our patriot movements are totally being hijacked," said Jeffrey Grupp of the popular conspiracy website, "not by infiltrators, but by a takeover of our patriot discussions."

That's typical of most conspiracies in the Patriot pantheon: When the mainstream media does not address the conspiracists' allegations, it is proof of their propaganda role. And when they do, it is a sign of an even more sophisticated and perfidious manipulation.

7. Population Control

For the conspiracy-minded, there is no such thing as an accidental tragedy or historical caprice. Each epidemic, mass industrial poisoning and medical advance (vaccinations, in particular) is just another highly suspicious example of the latest technologies being employed to further the agenda of hidden New World Order forces.

When the fluoridation of the U.S. water supply began in the middle of the last century, proto-Patriot groups screamed of a poisonous plot by communists in high places. A half century later, when the Food and Drug Administration approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items, the descendents of the anti-fluoride conspiracists sounded yet another poison-ingredient alarm. But even aspartame paled in comparison to the threat supposedly posed by the avian flu virus, which many Patriots, from the late 1990s to the present, believe to be the result of research conducted at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Maryland's Fort Detrick.

In the Patriot mind, population control is often intimately linked to gun rights. After all, they say, it was gun control that led to large-scale slaughters in nations as diverse at Idi Amin's Uganda, Josef Stalin's Russia, Adolf Hitler's Germany and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's Turkey. American citizens, they believe, once deprived of their guns, will be next in line for a slaughter worthy of the history books.

What is the point of limiting -- or even intentionally decimating -- the U.S. population? One Patriot theory says the United Nations wants to create a "biosphere" out of most of the United States, and that eliminating the humans who put pressure on the environment will be a necessary first step.

Increasingly, devastating weather events are considered the result of government-engineered efforts to depopulate the country. In Patriot circles, Hurricane Katrina was not only seen as a pretext to begin confiscating guns, but is sometimes viewed as a man-made disaster orchestrated in secret government command centers where sophisticated high-altitude weapons control both the weather and the minds of men.

Chief among these weapons is one allegedly operating high above the earth, appropriately enough named after the instrument traditionally favored by mythological angels.


This is the "Death Star" of the Patriot conspiracy galaxy, around which so many other conspiracies orbit and often intersect.

According to the U.S. government, the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program is a joint scientific research project of the Air Force and Navy, based in Gakona, Ala., whose stated purpose is "studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes."

Few true-blue Patriots believe that -- and they aren't alone in their skepticism. Earlier this year, former Minnesota governor and tele-conspiracist Jesse Ventura visited the HAARP site for his TV show in an attempt to probe the official claims and find out "what's really going on." For those enthralled to a Patriot view of the world, the government's description of HAARP only scratches the surface. To the conspiracy-minded, HAARP is a government program tasked with creating secret directed-energy weapons, instruments for weather and mind control, and even potent new methods to cause earthquakes. Predictably, after January's devastating earthquake in Haiti, some Patriot sites noted that the neighboring Dominican Republic was undamaged, leading them to speculate that the U.S. government was responsible and had targeted Haiti alone -- ignoring the more relevant explanation that the Republic's capital and major population center, Santo Domingo, was 160 miles from the quake's epicenter.

Discussions of HAARP often overlap with the chemtrails conspiracy. Many Patriot sites argue that NATO aircraft are spraying the toxic soup as part of a top-secret HAARP-related weather-modification program, or are refining a new-generation of high-frequency atmospheric weapons developed at the HAARP research center. Any number of wild-eyed (and self-published) introductions to the subject of HAARP are circulating on the web; one example is HAARP: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy, by Jerry E. Smith.

9. The Federal Reserve Conspiracy

It wasn't long after its creation under Woodrow Wilson that the Federal Reserve System became a central fixture in the world of right-wing conspiracy. It was seen, rightly, as introducing European-style central banking into the United States. It was also seen, this time wrongly, as the latest form of spreading Jewish and banker control over every aspect of American life. No one did more to promote anti-Fed hysteria in the early years than automobile magnate Henry Ford, who in the 1920s penned a multi-volume, anti-Semitic conspiracy opus called The International Jew, in which the Fed plays a starring role.

Ford's modern-day ideological descendants in the Patriot movement continue to view the Fed -- without question, an opaque institution to most -- through a lens colored by deep suspicion, paranoia, and hatred. For many, it remains the ultimate symbol of New Word Order power, in both Jewish and non-Jewish variants. Nor is anti-Fed paranoia limited to the Patriot fringe. Both the Idaho-based neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations and the black separatist Nation of Islam have claimed significance for the fact that the Federal Reserve System and the Anti-Defamation League both were founded in 1913.

In May 2009, a group of leading radical rightists convened on the South Georgia key known as Jekyll Island, where 100 years earlier bankers and government officials first hashed out plans for what became the Federal Reserve System. This meeting played a key role in launching the current resurgence of militias. Less than five months into the Obama Administration, the Jekyll Island conclave warned of "increasing national instability," worried about the coming New World Order, denounced secret schemes to merge Canada, Mexico and the United States, and furiously attacked the President Barack Obama's "socialized" policies.

Which leads, appropriately, to our final top conspiracy.

10. The North American Union

Since the passage of NAFTA in 1993, fears of economic dislocation and loss of sovereignty have animated both sides of the political spectrum. On the left, these fears are centered on the growth of transnational corporate power at the expense of U.S. labor and national policy. In some circles on the right, the trade bill is seen as the beginning of the so-called "North American Union" (NAU), the goal of a secret plan to merge the United States with Mexico and Canada and, in the process, eliminate sovereign government for each country. It is also a dominant conspiracy theory animating the hard-line anti-immigration movement, which overlaps heavily with Patriot territory.

As proof of the NAU plot, left- and right-wing conspiracy theorists typically point to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a series of working groups between the countries of North America to study regulatory cooperation in transportation, energy, aviation, the environment and more. To many adherents, participants at these meetings plot how best to send millions of Mexico's citizens to the United States, erect international courts designed to overrule and undermine American law, and pass continental hate crime laws that will send anti-gay Christian preachers to prison, and more.

In recent years, the paranoia about the SPP process has become so intense that a proposed highway project linking Canada, Mexico and the United States -- the NAFTA-inspired Canamex Corridor concept which has managed only 85% completion after 15 years of planning -- is seen as part of an evil design that will end with the Mexican government seizing control of Kansas City's Missouri River port. Other conspiracy theorists fear that a new currency, the "Amero," will displace American dollars -- though no U.S. official of even marginal influence has ever proposed such a thing. (This last fear is odd coming from Patriot circles that otherwise have no love for Federal Reserve-issued greenbacks.)

As with so many conspiracies, the NAU plot is often inflamed by real news items that are seen as vastly more significant than they really are. This is especially true when the news items involve traditional New World Order bogeymen. In 2005, for example, when the Council on Foreign Relations released a document entitled "Building a North American Community" -- calling for exploring the idea of further integration of Canada, the United States and Mexico -- Patriot sites responded as if the report were a New World Order directive, spelling the imminent end of national sovereignty.

Alexander Zaitchik is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist and AlterNet contributing writer. His book, Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, is published by Wiley & Sons.

© 2010 Southern Poverty Law Center All rights reserved.

Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence Report web page Issue Number: 139 | Fall 2010
Posted by caimbhriain myrddin at 9:54 AM 0 comments
Labels: ApocalypseImprint

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let Us Finally Gift The Life That Was Gifted To Us !!

The occupation of America (the public-Nation) by the United States (the private-State) MUST END - this applies to Canada as well, essentially the 51st State (has been for decades), and Britain; ALL ARE SIMILARLY OCCUPIED AND OWNED, the Anglo-American Brotherhood goes back millennia. WE MUST RESIST: ** OUR ONLY WEAPON IS OUR REFUSAL !! ** Violence must be avoided at all cost, the Corporate behave as beasts, we must not. Partisanship is used by those wholly corporate as it is an instrumentality of it. A blend of Rwandan-Serbian "Tea" steeped in hate and violence will only serve corporate interests and increase our suppression and enslavement. Those who incite violence must be indicted; if death results they must be charged with inciting Genocide. An invective firestorm can only result in harm and they know it - DO NOT BE USED BY THEM !!

We are the VALUE of the currency. The CORPORATE hold the threat of physical force over us, but we hold the the ultimate power over them, the VALUE of their riches, without us they are less than paupers. 
We must take back our value and employ it for ourselves, together !! Disinvest from the Corporate, repudiate their debt and Government and invest in community. Withdraw all support and use of Federal Reserve Notes (FRN's) and associate currencies (CDN Dollar / Pound / EURO), demand employment of public monies !! Protect your neighbors from predatory banks: surround their homes and resist repossession (without violence) !! Withdraw all monies from any bank who will repossess any home !! POLICE AND MILITARY, WE ARE YOUR BROTHERS, SISTERS, SONS, DAUGHTERS, AUNTS, UNCLES, MOTHERS AND FATHERS: YOU ARE US, WE ARE YOU - STAND WITH US NOT THE CORPORATE: YOU ARE FAMILY, THEY ARE NOT (all of us are considered chattel by them - they "disowned" us as family a long time ago inorder to "own" us as slaves) !! WHEN OUR RIGHTS ARE SUPPRESSED AND TRAMPLED ON SO ARE YOURS - PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOUR SOLES ON OUR SOULS !!

Our Nations are about to collapse, their artificial supports have rotted away, have crumbled, have been hammered by willful intent, neglect and greed !! If we do not step in and assume responsibility for our safety and security we will surely perish. WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR FAMILIES AND TO OURSELVES: OUR FUTURE IS OURS OR THERE WILL BE NO FUTURE !! "DO NO HARM, CAUSE NO LOSS" MUST BE REMADE AS THE COMMON LAW OF THE LAND !! The Spiritual Illness that possesses us, that occupies every facet of our lives must be cured. It is Mammon, the false-god of the Corporate. It is cured by out-going concern, forgiveness and unselfish love - well-being and salvation is the result - a gift from God (no matter your definition): if the "result" is unselfish love (giving not taking) then it is the truth - all else is error. A society of the "gift" gives life, a society of the "take" takes life. LET US FINALLY GIFT THE LIFE THAT WAS GIFTED TO US, IT IS OURS TO GIVE !!

MM meta: previously posted on May 14, 2010
Cross-Post from Mammon or Messiah research: posted on MMr April 03, 2010
Posted by caimbhriain myrddin at 8:15 AM 0 comments
Labels: ApocalypseImprint

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Negate The Claim, Take Back Your Sovereignty

MM Book 1 Chapter 5-15

The “Nation” is considered by most as an “open hand of welcome” – but the “(Nation-)State” is actually a “closed fist” (ie., “America” and the “United States” are in reality two very different perceptions/actualities/entities, though the religion of “America, the Chosen” is utilized to give/take divine sanction to/by the US); the “divinization” of the National Epic/Narrative, the “divine sanction” — War is being redefined in the public mind by “shallow” use (self-serving overt aggression) by “shallow” politicians, ie., the Iraq-Afghanistan War – evil begets evil; all sides fighting for their “God given rights” – the only innocents here are the non-combatants on both sides who are in-the-main the ones being killed; the SAGE seek conflict and unrest as a means of controlled exploitation; take a look around, their Agenda is everywhere — War is Mammon’s “consolidation mechanism”; naked overt aggression, not clothed in any accepted reason; non-justified (complicit) – WAR TO CREATE WAR !! — the progression of war, engendered conflicts as means (the interrelated events, etc.) – the Grimm (the “forces of wealth” need to extricate for their own systemic maintenance/survival (predicated upon debt/profit; exploitation is essential)); wealth protection vs. the vulgaris (the common people) !!

The Nations are in effect a “business environment” conditioned by the “social temperament” — the “elect” corporations are “economic entities” in-and-of themselves with the prerogatives once considered sanctioned by “States” only, ie., private armies and influence — corporate interest is now national interest; the SAGE are the corporate “controlling interest(s)”, the “progenitor wealth” — war is a weapon of weakness and deep spiritual illness — business as “mechanism of/for life”, its “growth and profit” dynamic is a cancer on the social body — the “secular church” is married to the State, the “Bride of Christ” has married the Devil instead; the concept of the separation of “Church and State” is for common consumption to ensure the State “as religion”, the false, selfish and prejudiced idol-god of nationalism and patriotism — “profit” based on “debt-instruments” is systemic bondage to Mammon; business “growth” demanded to ensure “profit” of investment; Mammon’s growth is a cancer on Humanity and will consume us !!

MM Book 1 Chapter 5-16

1 Cor 15:24, all rule, authority, power and establishment shall be put down: the “rape” of the earth – every human being has a sacred “being” in the eyes of God (not a “sacred being” as such, as yet, but a sacred “being”) — every Human Being has “divine rights” and anyone or anything that denies such is in “violation of God” — SAGE-systemic design, development and implementation of Mammon = advocatus mamona diaboli = the satanic defender(s) of the “rights” of the FALLEN and their enslavement of mankind = their abrogation of God(-ing) as “Desposynic”, their “descendant responsibility” – pre-Adamic “merchandise” systemic (Tree of Good and Evil); post-Adamic term: Tyrean (King and Princes of Tyrus); open-revolt against God’s “living” systemic (Tree of Life); defeat resultant “the FALLEN” and their systemic “establishment” (First Estate corruption; systemic of death) over mankind by their Edenic deception and rejection of God’s systemic — the End Times “spiritual flood” of Mammon (drowning all; Preachers of Unrighteousness), Mammon’s “Corporate Giants” demanding and consuming all; Nation-States “false secular Eden’s” seeking to impart “God’s presence” (mimicry of; divine warrant claim) to a deceived/imprisoned populace — our civilization-systemic is a mirror image of the pre-Genesis Angelic, the Tyrean systemic of Mammon.

MM Book 1 Chapter 5-17

The flow of money from private-rich to public-poor termed socialism/communism; the flow of money from public purse to private purse termed vital recapitalization — Nation-State systemic enclosure, business environment, psychological social moulds – Mammon is about subjugation and conquest, war called “business competition”, “competitive advantage”, etc., and “national interest”; the wasting of humanity and the ecosystem by those willing to be possessed by the Mammon-corporate — the public (present and future) disenfranchised in total to support the private — the “faces of the devil” in the world; institutionalized evil overwhelming our shared humanity; the “State” is the “institutionalized nation” and we, as nation, are all complicit — we must understand the “social encoding”, the “framework” and those who occupy the positions we accept as “part of life”, the “way things are”, including the “encoded faith systemics”, the “god-sanction”, given to, and used by Mammon [Matt 23]; our “perceptual filter(s)” must be examined and understood — the “world behind the world”, the physical world is a reflection of the spiritual: Mammon, the “Faith of the Fallen”, the “possession” of “spiritual wickedness”; the SAGE-Progenitors’ “spiritual separation” from the rest of mankind — inhuman animalistic behaviour denotes a “spiritual vacuum” created by lust and greed — the “person” who preaches/brings “fear of God” knows nothing about God.

MM Book 1 Chapter 5-18

The “Devil” kills no man, men do; we actuate the Devil or we can actuate God — the corporate “structure” of society, roles/professions; the “State” is all about “corporate wealth” and “national debt”, the enforced “privatization of wealth/profit” and the “socialization of debt/cost”; the “public-Nation” pays for and supports the “private-State”; since the “debt” can never be repaid (as Money is Debt), “income tax” is a necessity to repay the Debt as it is essentially “already issued debt” and it is regarded and collected by the corporate-State as a “franchise fee” for “public” State-Citizenship and Benefit; the Public must pay a “fee” to access some of their God-given “rights” usurped and taken by the State — the State is “private-ownership” overriding and/or dismissing the Nation’s “public stewardship” — “religion” is the re-binding to the systemic; Mammon “is” the possession; the State is all about the controlled “structure” and “psychology” of the Nation (our “group think” and “conformity”); our physical “world view” and our spiritual “God-view”; the monetary “de-meaning” of a Human Being (in “violation of God”); defined in Mammon’s terms: “worth” for life; how can one be “Lord and Master” if everyone actually had “equal rights” in all things.

The link between our “real” world and the “artificial” systemic is our consent whether known-or-unknown; every citizen has been “capitalized” monetarily and nominally as Nation-State debt-surety (the State-issued “Strawman”, the “artificial you”); the SAGE Nation-State “owns” you and everything connected to you (your possessions, even children) — the systemic manipulation of the Nation is pure evil: the very “forces” that assassinated ML King in 1968 selected/placed Barack Obama into the Presidency 40 years later – Mammon or Messiah: “sell your soul to the devil” (lust) or “give it unto God(-ing)” (love); no Human “Being” has “right” to wealth when so many are in poverty (anything above need is greed); the present “spiritual war” is about consciousness, against the “faces” and “masks” of death and corruption, the very “imagery”; negate the claim, take back your sovereignty vs. an artificial systemic evoking real and deadly repercussions; violence (in any form) is a betrayal of our God(-ing) and a failure of our humanity.

Mammon or Messiah Book 1 Chapter 5 web page (widescreen)
Mammon or Messiah Book 1 graphics (widescreen)
Mammon or Messiah Book 1 blog home

It Is Time To Burn The Strawman [update1]

For Your Consideration:

* Take a look at your Government issued I.D., License, Birth Certificate, SSN, etc.
* Your name is written in CAPITAL letters, ie., JOHN WILLIAM DOE.
* That is the artificial you - the corporate you - registered at birth or upon application of a SSN or SIN (in Canada).
* The Corporate-State/Corporations can only legally contract with another fiction, thus your "STRAWMAN", the corporate NAME, the LEGAL PERSON/TRADE NAME not with your Lawful/Christian name.
* Under the Uniform Commercial Code, the STRAWMAN is the "transmitting utility" to access goods and services, a "dummy corporation" of one, and even though you do NOT hold Title to your STRAWMAN you are responsible for the public liability associated with the "benefits" that come to you through it.

* All law in Americanada is Corporate-Statute Law/Admiralty Law, every organization is a for-profit corporation, incl. the Police, Law Courts, Government and registered as such (Standard and Poor's). The UNITED STATES has been a corporate legal fiction for decades.
* All your legal documents, contracts, deeds, mortgages, bank accounts, retirement funds, etc. have your STRAWMAN name on them - that is not you in the flesh-and-blood, everything you think you own - YOU DO NOT - you have legal use because you signed your name John Doe (first letter capitalized only) on the forms, ie., your checking/chequing accounts, withdrawal slips, contracts, etc.
* Your children do not belong to you (they have their own STRAWMAN, you gave them to the State when you registered their births), neither your house, car, etc., that is why the Corporate-State can take all from you legally, including your children - all is owned by the private-State including you. They have "Title".
* They can enforce laws over you because they own you, even laws to protect their investment (ie., seat belts, helmets).

* You are "debt surety" on the National Debt and are listed as such at the Bank for International Settlements.
* You pay "Income Tax" on the private currency that you are allowed to earn - and once again "you" do not own your money, you are allowed to retain and use private-State Currency because it is earned/held under a STRAWMAN and you have been granted signing authority, as privilege, as-long-as you conform.
* That dollar bill does not say the Bank of John on it - everything held in your STRAWMAN's account can be seized or withheld at any time because, once again, IT IS NOT YOURS, NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK.
* ALL IS CORPORATE, AND ALL THAT IS CORPORATE IS PROTECTED AND ENFORCED BY THE STATE (slaves are provided the necessities to continue working, and only that).
* Reference Black's Law Dictionary for CAPITALIZED NAMES and their meaning.

* As "debt surety" the private-State can create/borrow "in your name" $30-50,000 each year, basically the same as your salary, and you and your children and your grandchildren are Federally mandated to pay Income Tax yearly to provide an economic foundation for the Debt created, partial payment ad infinitum (the Debt can never be repayed) - the average lifetime wage/salary expectation of a middle-class person working 40 years is between 1 and 2 Million dollars (+/- $50,000/year) - you have no choice but to repay a portion of your wage/salary, as in-effect your money is not actually owned by you, and the "owners" require their cut or they will repossess everything that they own (everything you have).
* Trillions of Dollars can be created and your progeny are mandated as the "debt surety", perpetual slavery.
* With a population of 300M people the private-State (United States (Inc.)) - not the public-Nation of America - can theoretically create a Debt of 300 Million x 30 Thousand(+)) Dollars each year = $9,000,000,000,000 = $9 Trillion Dollars, economic performance and/or necessity being a factor in creating a Debt of this magnitude.
* "The Powers That Be" thus can bail-out their criminality with change to spare, knowing the Systemic can absorb the debt as-long-as the public do not catch on to the mechanisms of control - the private creation of capital/national currency - ALL ON THE BACKS OF THE POPULATION IN WHO'S NAME (STRAWMAN) IT IS CREATED, AND REMEMBER, YOUR ASSET VALUE IS ACTUALLY THEIRS AND TABULATED AS SUCH.

* WE CREATE THE VERY MONIES WE SLAVE AWAY TO "EARN" FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PRIVATE OWNERS: The private-State borrows from a private-Corporation (The Federal Reserve System who "creates" the monies "in your name") and pays interest on the debt.
* Public-Money (Interest Free) created by the public-Nation (actual Greenbacks) would begin to remove the control of the Private from the Nation and Community - the interface between the public-Nation and the private-State, our selected-to-be-elected Government has to be purged of the Corporate, the private-State rescinded and the public-Nation reinstated, the re-birth of the American and Canadian Nations (essentially one family, brothers).

* The created and fashioned Monetary Crisis is manipulated to ensure absolute control for acquisition and globalization. Fear runs wild on Main Street while in the back rooms of Wall Street all is well - the wage-slaves underwriting the systemic.
* Other Nations "buy the debt" (as an investment, or by necessity) because the "economic engine" (that's you) will continue to run - population must be maintained or increased so that STRAWMAN issued debt and repayment (Federal Income Tax) can be maintained.
* To take back your sovereignty, to take possession of your STRAWMAN is near impossible, an Enemy of the State is not too kindly looked upon - some have achieved partial success - stories vary. You would negate any "citizenship" benefits if you were able to.

* A "sovereign" individual is NOT a "citizen" no matter how you define it or whom you exclude; you "take back" your sovereignty by gradual disinvestment and withdrawal not by seeking drawing rights from the very state-systemic repudiated.
* There is NO Treasury Direct Account with monies available upon "redemption" of your Strawman. The SPLC (link below) is correct in their description of sovereign financial scams like "redemption."
* Slowly withdrawing from the Systemic is the first step, but TOTAL WITHDRAWAL must eventually be realized; we achieve sovereignty by LEGAL non-cooperation and refusal to participate [as much as we are able; NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE] while at the same time building an alternative - just saying "NO" by voluntary simplicity in your everyday life is a good beginning.
* WE BUILD A NEW WORLD BY GIFTING WHAT WE HAVE, minimizing the claim of others until the claim is negated by utility of alternative / sustainable means (ie. negative-interest community currencies): pure eco-nomy, A SOCIETY OF THE GIFT !! [MM Book 1 Chapter 3-7]
* The “private” Federal Reserve Notes [FRNs] are stained and tainted with blood and oppression; they are separate from the love of God, indeed opposed to it ... Each FRN is contaminated with evil and the degree of our infection [the social control, the bondage], our social sickness, is determined by the degree [the intensity] of our contact with it. [MM Book 1 Chapter 4-12,13]
* Violence (in any form) is a betrayal of our God(-ing) and a failure of our humanity. [MM Book 1 Chapter 5-18 (above)]

* The "Game" being played, and its threats/repercussions of deflation/inflation/hyper-inflation are cruel with very real public impact - lives have been, are, and will be destroyed.
* Again, money is NOT created out-of-thin-air, it cannot be, you enable the money to be created - YOU CREATE THE MONEY - it is STRAWMAN issued, and you guarantee it as "debt-surety". We partially recognize this by taking out a car loan, mortgage, etc. Our "debt-servitude" is the "Bond", the debt-security, a life-time of labor.
* You are the "precious metal" backing the currency, your "metal" (your strength of character, your tenacity, your work ethic/need), the collective Human "Resources" of the Nation.

* The purposeful, temporary partial-destruction of the "middle-class" has been determined as the best way to achieve Global Control. As the "debt-surety" is negated so to the value of the US Dollar, precipitating the needed world crisis. Total collapse is not the objective - absolute ownership and consolidation is - the Economic Union of the US and Canada being a chief aim with the collective Natural Resources then partially underpinning the State currency to replace the lost STRAWMAN surety - Corporate Raiding at its finest. This is NOT Big Government gaining control of the corporations, this is Big Corporate in control of the Government.
* The growing "middle-class" of the more easily manipulated Asian economies who were seeded with the jobs transferred out of North America and Europe are the added "debt-surety" for the New Economy - thus global enslavement achieved.

Total disinvestment, systemic withdrawal, and repudiation of the "odious" debt is the only way to undermine and collapse this systemic. We must be preparing and prepared to accommodate the many displaced. The issue of public-monies by the public-Nation is an essential step but in the meantime, or in tandem with, community or regional currencies should be implemented. THE SLAVES MUST RISE IN NON-VIOLENT REVOLUTION (FIGURATIVELY BURNING THEIR STRAWMEN), AND TAKE BACK THEIR LIVES !!

Previously posted March 16, 2010 Mammon or Messiah research article link

Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence Report web page
Issue Number: 139 | Fall 2010
'Sovereign' Citizen Kane web page
The Sovereigns: A Dictionary of the Peculiar web page
The Sovereigns: Leaders of the Movement web page
Seeing Evil: A Scholar Discusses Conspiracy Theories in America web page
SPLC Intelligence Report previous issues
Posted by caimbhriain myrddin at 1:18 PM 0 comments
Labels: FallenImprint

Friday, August 13, 2010

We Must Demand Right Of God

MM Book 1 Chapter 3-5

WE MUST PERCEIVE ALL THINGS WITH GOD’S EYES, GOD’S DEFINITIONS – CHRIST HAS DEFINED GOD FOR US: ** GOD IS LOVE, PURE AGAPE LOVE !! ** — God is Love, giving all, taking nothing: this must be our definition also !! – “taking” what does NOT belong to you (incl., God’s Name; walking in self, in vain) is theft, a violation of God, of God’s character [10C]; this includes position/office, authority/rule, reputation, etc., SERVANT AUTHORITY IS AN AGAPE GIFT !! — corporate money is “worthless” to God [denominated in oppression], its business worth/value is predicated on, and maintained by, evil works: MAMMON — we “bear *our* sins, *our* shame” as a resultant of our actions, even if we are ignorant of them [Lev 5:17]; “we shall bear the sins” of “our idols” also [we are responsible, we are complicit] [Ezek 23:49]; WE WILL BEAR THE INDIGNATION OF THE LORD, BECAUSE OUR SINS ARE AGAINST HIM !! [Micah 7:9]; Christ will “bear our sins” if we allow Him [Heb 9:28], He will “heal” us !! – we will experience the shame of our sins, we will feel/bear the hurt [physically, spiritually, emotionally] of our actions, what we have done [being/doing] to others [** OUR RESULTANT **], and we will feel, experience the joy of our righteousness [Christ's righteousness gifted to us]; THIS WILL ELICIT AND STRENGTHEN OUR EMPATHIC RESPONSE AS FAMILY !!

MM Book 1 Chapter 3-6

Christ took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses [Matt 8:17]; He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows [Isa 53:4]; GOD FEELS OUR PAIN [incl., our infliction of the same] AND OUR JOY, AND SO WILL WE !! – Christ Jesus is the propitiation [atonement; expiator] of our sins, for the sins of the whole world [Lexicon G2889 kosmos] [1 John 2:2]; if we keep His Commandments, if we keep His Word, WE KNOW GOD, WE PERFECT OUR LOVE [1 John 2:3,5], THE LOVE OF GOD; we walk as Christ walked [1 John 2:6]: “For this *is* the love of God, that we keep His Commandments [GOD'S AGAPE CHARACTER, the 10C]: and His Commandments are not grievous [burdensome (opposed to self; the self-conflict)]” [1 John 5:3]; “grieve not the Holy Spirit of God” [Eph 4:30] — Mankind is physically and spiritually ill, each and every one of us; CHRIST WILL HEAL US; we will “bear our unrepented sins” but the “penalty” of those sins has and will be born by Christ: 2 Cor 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world [CHRIST KOSMOS vs. the KOSMIC CHRIST (Christ reconciled to the world, the Inc.)] unto himself, ** not imputing their trespasses unto them ** and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation”; the “pure” word of reconciliation vs. “dialect” groups, *prejudiced* definitions/interpretations: the COG Inc. – WE ARE THE “COMMON MINISTRANTS” OF JESUS CHRIST, THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION, THE VERY FAMILY OF GOD !!

MM Book 1 Chapter 3-7

Baptism is a “betrothal” [considered married], a ** one flesh ** union with Christ; we are the Bride of Jesus Christ: ONE FLESH WITH CHRIST, HIS VERY FLESH AND BLOOD !! — “increased in riches” results in self-satisfaction, an erosion of the God-need/awareness; God-ing empathy is lessened [money becomes the false "agency" of God]; ANYTHING ABOVE OUR NEED(S) MUST BE GIFTED TO MEET THE NEED OF OTHERS: our gratitude / awareness of God will grow by our God-ing, it is the *only* way to grow in the grace/knowledge of God; anything beyond need is “greed” — do we request/demand SANCTUARY from the “systemic”, do we demand RIGHT OF GOD, SABBATH COMMUNITY free from the “complicity of evil” or do we make community “within” the systemic and reduce our complicity by slowly withdrawing ?? – slowly withdrawing is the first step, but TOTAL WITHDRAWAL must eventually be realized, accomplished; the systemic “vested interest” will NOT relinquish what it has taken, a “request of withdrawal” will NOT be considered; we must pool the resources we have [give back to God what is His] and “come together” into a *PURE* SABBATH COMMUNITY [in this world (kosmos) but not *of* this world] utilizing Christ *as* Systemic, depending on the protection of God as we gift His Rights [vs. the commodification of life] [pure Apostolic Christ-ian-ity; EKKLESIAN COMMUNITY] !! – WE BUILD A NEW WORLD BY GIFTING WHAT WE HAVE, minimizing the claim of others until the claim is negated by utility of alternative / sustainable means (ie. negative-interest community currencies): pure eco-nomy, A SOCIETY OF THE GIFT !!

MM Book 1 Chapter 3-8

The Mind of God enables us to see through and beyond the Mammon-systemic !! — mankind is to “steward” the resources of God, His resources, to supply the “needs” of humanity: the gifting of God and His blessings to all [by man in the physical and by Christ-ians in the spiritual (the God-need)] !! — war imagined and declared against our fellow-man is war imagined and declared against God !! – BLESSED ARE THE PEACE MAKERS; war is a human tragedy, it is a criminal act !! – WAR [its advocation] MUST BE QUESTIONED, IT IS NOT AN ANSWER !! — we are complicit in the “national prejudice” and the selfishness engendered, an evil selfishness considered as “right” of God: power, privilege, position and authority [God is NOT present when these are; they are NOT bestowed by God in His service]; 1 Cor 15:24 Christ will “put down” [make void; destroy] all rule and all authority and power when He returns !! — SERVANT AUTHORITY IS THE POWER OF AGAPE LOVE !!

Mammon or Messiah Book 1 Chapter 3 web page (widescreen)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

We Must Commit "The Crime Of Christ"

MM Book 2 Chapter 8-18

Christianity articulates a very radical view: equity and righteousness – this is sedition to the business world [the very "crime" of Christ; WE MUST COMMIT "THE CRIME OF CHRIST"]; GOD-THINK vs. BUSINESS-THINK – this is anathema to the carefully maintained climate of public opinion based on fear, the very fear that would be eradicated by the equity and righteousness the fear-threat is predicated on [that equity and righteousness would take what is "rightfully" theirs] !! – the wall of oppression and ignorance holds back, shelters them from the winds of change; the manufactured, manipulated, consensus viewpoint is protected in their business interest, taking what is *not* “rightfully” theirs; the unrighteousness of MAMMON - what is rightful in the business context is NOT what is rightful in the God context !! – GOD GIVES/IS LIFE *NOT* MONEY – ** MONEY AS RIGHT [MAMMON] IS ABSOLUTE EVIL !! ** — we endure, tolerate each other, we put up with each other, as long as “they” are not too much in *our way*, or we are getting something from them, or if there is an advantage to be gained, or a law to be feared [impure, evil motives]; GOD IS PURE LOVE, PURE MOTIVE, AND SO MUST WE BE !! – if someone is regarded as “in our way” then we are regarded as “out of” God’s way, His path, in effect “in the way” of God, blocking Him; there is no “our way” as Christians, there is only God’s way: His character.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Private Agency that Owns and Controls the World

The SAGE: A Private, Closed Society - The Private Agency that Owns and Controls the World

MM Addendum 1-2

An “artificial reality construct”, dependent systemic(s) defined by the corporate – we must deconstruct the construct — social “agency(-ies)”, ie., police, military, levels of government, etc., vying together and in conflict (vested interest(s)); omnipresent yet unseen, blended within the social mix - social encoding endemic (public education, private education, corporate advertising, etc., all corporate focused as the social glue/religion) — an idea(s) will find a willing/suitable mind — state(s) within the state, the corporate governing directors, private governance of the public sphere (state = enabler); the corporation is the “dominant institution” of our time; shareholder value/profit mandated by law above all other social or stakeholder considerations (3rd party/social cost “externalities”, ie., infrastructure, military/war, pollution, etc.); all other considerations (especially non-monied) dismissed or eradicated; the Inc. are unaccountable, in effect a fascist oligarchy of transnational governance: the high-priests of Mammon and the corporate masters.

MM Addendum 1-3

Who are the privileged and powerful, those whom the SAGE count as their very own ?? – those who own and direct the Federal Reserve, the central banks, the financial houses, the TNCs, the manufacturing and mining conglomerates, the media and entertainment industries, the PR firms, the agribusiness and life science firms, the public policy institutions (the think-tanks and universities), and the legal and medical establishments are what is meant by the “owning class,” the Fortune 500’s, etc. – the “ruling elites” or “ruling class” are the politically active portion of the “owning class” – they and their faithful acolytes and scribes compose the Business Roundtable, the Business Council, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations, etc., they direct the World Bank and the IMF and set the conditions for the WTO – from their ranks are recruited the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury, National Security Advisors and CIA Directors, and, indeed, U.S. Senators, Presidents, and Vice Presidents – for the very top positions of state in the US/UK/EU, the ruling class is mostly self-recruiting – the SAGE are those who direct the “ruling elite” (those “holding power”), they are the “guardian elite” (“holding authority”), the self-appointed royalty of the privileged.

MM Addendum 1-4

It is often frustrating and sometimes dangerous to challenge those who own and control the land, labor, capital, and technology of society – including those seeking an equity (or ownership) position in the system (cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse) through the purchase of stocks and securities (they are not only paying the high price of an inflated market, but also the high price of personal enslavement to a system that cares only for its own – among whom they are not numbered – consolidating its grip on society); but, in the long run, it is even more dangerous not to challenge – many are plugged into the system willingly, but most are just caught in its grasp, increasingly crushed – popular passivity is the goal of all rulers who seek to preserve their entrenched privileges against the claims of the public – it is what they usually mean by “stability” and “order” – the real name of their system is plutocracy, rule by the wealthy few, the very “opposite” of democracy – PRIVATE GOVERNANCE (Private Interest in Public Office).

Suggestions that something is fundamentally wrong with our National systemics are more than difficult to accept; they are difficult even to reflect upon – it is far easier to live in the comfort zone and to seek some happiness in our daily lives – even in our protests (our immune responses to a sickened society) we shy away from a direct confrontation with the imposed structure – we tend to avoid the harsh implications of reality and cling to the image of the United States, Britain and Europe as basically free and democratic entities in the way that one clings to prayer beads or a good luck charm – the axioms of empire have become the axioms of faith.

MM Addendum 1-5

We live amidst massive inequality - we don’t really care that most people have little power to alter the conditions of their lives – we refuse to acknowledge that the earth is dying and that we are killing it – we play games with the most horrible weapons imaginable and actually seem to take pride in our ability to end life as we know it – our unthinking celebration of individual achievement and upward mobility works to damage the life-giving ties of kinship and the bonds of community - we, as nations, accept the systematic subordination of human beings – we pretend not to understand the linkages between our comfortable standard of living and the results engendered – the visual splendor of society outshines the oppression that makes it possible.

Psalms 111:10 The fear (respect, reverence) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

MM Addendum 1-6

The US/UK/EU political-economic systemics are not democratic systemics; their power and wealth depends upon rule by a few and the subordination of the many, and the people who run them are horrified by genuine democratic movements which aim to give majorities political and economic power, at home and abroad – in the US a battle was waged by the Framers of the Constitution to maintain between themselves as property owners and common people as non-property owners a “political separation” which could not be bridged - we call this relationship democracy and it is this vision of the world that is dangerously “inaccurate” – the Constitution was designed to ensure that the majority of citizens (without property) would not have a real voice in political affairs and it is not a coincidence that that is the case today; and the Constitution was designed to ensure that real political power in the US would always be held by the handful of very large property owners and it is not a coincidence that that is the case today – simply stated, the Constitution was designed to protect the privilege and power of large property owners and shatter the logic of the majority – the merchants, bankers, and plantation slave-owners of 1787 (on both sides of the Atlantic) have become the global corporate clan of today.

Addendum 1-3,4,5,6 Text (with additions) based on:
[USA HISTORY: A QUICK STUDY FOR STUDENTS A summary by Dr. June Scorza Terpstra, revised 2006]
[Fresia, J. 1998. Toward an American Revolution: Exposing the Constitution and Other Illusions]
[Parenti, M. 1998. America Besieged]

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Beyond The Normal Realm Of Comprehension

MM Addendum 1-9


The House of Israel: the US/UK/EU (Israel) Elect – the SAGE Royals, the SAGE Elders and the SAGE High Priests (Anointed Aaronic) and the Levites (called to supervise the execution of all national affairs, at the same time helping the High Priests in their fulfilment of the Tabernacle Ministry) – including the Samurai Japanese, High/Royal Russia, and Prussia (High Germany) — Rhodes Scholars (eventual unification of US-Britain a pivotal aim) — receiving the 10%, the “congregation” (ie., equity ownership; 1%=50%, 09%=50%) — the Elect, the RENOWNED of the congregation (those within the Shadow), PRINCES of the tribes of their fathers [refer to the vast amount of BI (British-Israel) literature for the biblical exegesis].

Numbers 1:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; 3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. 4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. 5 And these [are] the names of the men that shall stand with you: … 16 These were the RENOWNED of the congregation, PRINCES of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.

MM Addendum 1-10

SAGE financed “war of eradication” - WWII an extension of WWI – a contrived HOLOCAUST, using the Assyrian threat (Asshur ”Feroher”, the Sacred presence), Germanic “Fuhrer” – ie., Hitler’s bankers, US-Swiss complicity; RC Church Ratlines; selective prosecutions, complicity on a grand scale; incorporation of SS-Gestapo into Interpol; the division of Europe; Bretton Woods; the Marshall Plan (rebuild in the image and likeness), etc. — eradication of the economic slump of 1929 by a war economy; eradication of Italian Fascism and eastern european unrest; use/eradication of Germanic paganism, revived militant-religious nationalism (Nazism: Hitler “Beast, False Prophet”, 1000yr Reich, Occult “Aryan” High Priest); eradication of non-Judah eastern european Jewry; the defeat and assimilation of Samurai Japan: 1931 sep.18 Manchuria to 1945 sep.02 surrender = 14yrs …

Tanaka Memorial; blueprint for world conquest; based on document dated May 18, 1592 – the great national hero of Japan, Hideyoshi, had set forth in this document the great national plan for world empire and setting the Mikado on the throne to rule the world – this had been a Japanese national dream for three centuries – Baron Tanaka, then Premier, presented the Tanaka Memorial as a definite blueprint for world conquest to the Mikado – this led directly to the bombing of Pearl Harbour – it was based on the religious conviction that the Mikado is the direct descendant of the Mother of Heaven – being, therefore, the SON of Heaven, the Emperor had to be established on the throne of the world to show that he is God.

MM Addendum 1-11

… the awakening and using of Soviet Russia (1922/23 Apr 16 Treaty of Rapallo – Germany-USSR; Oct 30 Mussolini forms Fascist government; Soviet States form USSR) — a CULL, esp. of Germany-USSR (75% of the european theatre) — beyond the normal realm of comprehension — Versailles Treaty, the Wilson Plan, League of Nations attempt until 1922 – 1914-1918 WWI (end of the antagonistic monarchies; the old world order (1898-1908 Boer War, Spanish-American War, the Russian-Japanese War)) – the “Stone Kingdom”, the “5th great empire”, the Kingdom of Israel filling the earth after smiting the “image upon its feet” (Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; Dan 2:34-35, 42-44) – SAGE Holy War vs. the twin (both feet of the image) pagan Beast-False Prophet threat of Japan and Germany — the “Israel Empire” fulfilling its destiny, setting up the foundation of a redeemed Israel; SAGE Armageddon 1939-45 (as understood and received then by the SAGE); (as generally understood now by secular-Christianity, the two legs of iron represent the divided Roman Empire, East and West, while the feet and 10 toes of iron-miry clay represent the divided Roman systemic (feet) and the final ten nation states and/or combines, in a physical fulfillment of Daniel’s Image: the NWO (the SAGE construct)).

MM Addendum 1-12

The SAGE agenda has repeatedly demonstrated its savagery: 75+ million killed in WWI and WWII; an estimated 80 million culled by Stalin; three million Koreans and Chinese slain in the Korean War; two million Vietnamese; tens of thousands of Iraqis murdered in the slaughter of the first Persian Gulf War, and over one million dead as a consequence of the West’s starvation blockade and destruction of infrastructure; tens of thousands killed in the Balkan’s and now again ten’s of thousands killed in the second Iraq War, including Afghanistan; not to mention the hundreds of thousands of allied and US troops killed, who went to war in the defense of their country, unwitting pawns under SAGE control — this barbaric system of racism, oppression and mass murder has been exposed – this is dangerous knowledge – if we remain silent we give silent approval to our continued complicity (no longer unknown) in this insane-evil systemic – what are we going to do about it ?? – disinvestment and expatriation is the beginning, the first step.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Primaevus Lineage: The Desposyni

Mammon or Messiah Addendum 2 excerpts:

Lineage: [000]

The Fallen, the former Agents of Creation (DEVOLUTION PROGENITOR / First Estate) (the Shining Ones (hued shimmering appearance)); The Anunnaki Custodians (An-unna-ki "Heaven came to Earth") (Psm 82 "Court of the Elohim"); The Angelic Host, Martian "Cydonian" civilization (pre-rebellion Terran/Terrene Atlantian Ancients); Jer 4:23-26 (Mosaic insert) Gen 1 "… the fruitful place was a wilderness, all the cities thereof were broken down …"

—(Twyman) Anu (first God-King of Earth according to Sumerian legend)/ (Anu/Adamu(Adam))
000 Enli/Ilu-kur-gal ("Lofty One of the Mountain")/the Storm God/Jehovah/Osiris/ ((Twyman) Enlil(Abel); Enki(Cain))
000 Enki/Samael/Lord of the Earth/Set/Adon the Lord/Quinotaur … 000 Nin-khursag (sis), "Lady of Life" (surrogate mother to Atabba and Eve, created from Human/Eljo (NV) ova fertilized by Enki (INTERVENTION PROGENITOR))

(GENESIS PROGENITOR (pre-Genesis Re-Creation/Earth "became" without form and void, erased in Adversarial Rebellion))
001 Adam/Atabba (THE GOD FAMILY SPIRITUAL COVENANT offered to Adam-Eve "beni Elohim" (Blood: OO/Rh–))
001 Chavvah/Kava/Eve (deceived by the Adversary to disobey God; Adam not deceived, but disobeyed) (I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, and between thy seed (H2233) and her seed (H2233 zera: posterity); it shall bruise thy head (SAGE intent), and thou shalt bruise his heel (track; path) (Gen 3:15 physically/spiritually)) (Edenic Sanctuary closed; Adam-Eve depart into the World (Way of the Fallen) to mix with existent re-created Human Kind; all of Humankind threaded to Adam-Eve beni Elohim at the time of the Messiah (2nd Adam), who died for "all" of Mankind)


006 Jared (200 Holy Watchers/rebel Angels descend in the days of Jared to choose wives (1 Enoch 6:6 RHC ed.)) (a dynasty of "mighty men/giants" born (spirit-flesh), evil-spirits/** ADVERSARIAL SYSTEMIC ** ("secret things" taught)) (the rebel Watchers now sublunary (their transcendental qualities lost), mated with the daughters of Cain (Ginzberg)) (The Nephilim (not "those who were cast down" "the fallen" (-Z Sitchin, in error)), the GIANTS, the progeny of, but NOT the (un-)Holy Watchers themselves (-Michael S. Heiser/M. Jastrow) were on Earth in those days (Gen 6))


007 Enoch/Henok/Hanokh ("Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Gen 5:22,24 NKJV)) (Enoch taught all sons of men the ways of God and reigned as King 243 yrs; peace was thoughout the earth (Jasher 3:1-12)) (Enoch chosen by God as a counter to the rebel Watchers/progeny - taught the "secret things" in a proper context) (Enoch/Anak ben Kain(-03) (Anakim "descendants of Anak", Nephilim/Watcher(??) descent: "the elect" progeny (-Boyd Rice))


010 Menachem / Noah ("a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God." (Gen 6:9 NKJV)) (the sons of men given 120 years to (re)turn to God); Uta-Napishtim(Twyman) (Sumerian legend) (pish "fish") ("his posterity shall beget on the earth "giants", not spiritual, but carnal" (1 Enoch addendum; spiritual countenance)) ("as in the days of Noah" - the end-time "Giants", "Corporate begettal" (legal entities/beings/Beasts; 1907-2027AD)


Abram, a Chaldean of Ur, a teacher of Astrology and the Chaldean Craft in Phoenicia and Egypt (Heliopolis), the teachings of “the Watchers”/”Ir” (Hebrew), the Sumerian-Chaldean sciences (in Enochian/Essene applicaton). Ur quite possibly the primordial city-state of the Watchers. Abram (descendant of the Giants -Eusebius), excelled all in nobility and wisdom (-pseudo Eupolemus). This man who excelled all in Chaldea was chosen and called by God to overcome and replace this very systemic with God’s Way of Righteousness. This man of genetic/intellectual Enochian/Essene/(Watcher-Chaldean(??)) descent would be the progenitor of the Family-Nation Israel who would be instructed and taught to conduct themselves “As God Is”, their teachers being led by the Spirit of God (their Spiritual descent), overcoming the usurpative adversarial systemic of the Agents of Creation – the “Fallen”, who ultimately had rejected through pride and selfishness their very Creator.

Claiming to be like the Most High in their accomplishments (the pinnacle being the development of the Human Being), and forgetting the Author of “their very being”, they ascribed to themselves a God-level existence and sought the very Throne of the Universe itself. Being defeated and cast back down to their “First-Estate”, these “Fallen” now claimed the Human Family for itself, seeking to thwart Human Kind’s destiny of becoming the Family of God(-Kind) for which it was designed – even to the point of the procreation of themselves instead through the Watchers lust (though not of the original Fallen Angels) (the Holy Watchers possibly coerced or deceived by the Fallen, Humankind being now physically restricted to them)), as related in Genesis 6 and the Book of Enoch, a resultant physical usurpation of the very “spiritual procreation” of God’s Family – THE GENOME AND FAITH OF THE FALLEN.


-26-2 Moses m. ---(Zagwe) m2. Tarbis, Nubian (Maternal g-Aunt of Rameses II)

(19th Dynasty 03. SETI I [SETHOS] [MENMAATRE SETI] (father of Rameses II) = Thuya [A], dau of Reyja [son of Payai, a Lybian prince] & wife Thuya, dau of Bekra, # 12 [18th Dynasty] & wife Baktaten, dau of Amenhotep III, # 9 [18th-Dynasty] [note: Payai was the son of Payuti, King of Libya. The sister of Payai, namely, Iteye [Eti] “The Corpulent”, was the wife and queen of Piori II, King of Kush, the parents of Tarbis, who was Moses’ Nubian / Ethiopian wife] (Numbers Ch. 12)) (12th Dynasty 05. SENWOSRET III [SESOSTRIS] [KHAKAURE SENWOSRE] [note: his grand-vizier was JOSEPH of Bible fame; and, in a relief of Senwosret III it shows the arrival of a group of Semitic looking people presented to the Pharaoh; apparently, they were important enough to have their images portrayed by the Egyptians; this, is cited by some scholars as representing Israel's entry into Egypt, when Joseph brought his whole family from Canaan-Palestine to Egypt, numbering about 70 people.]) reference file: Hyksos-Ephraimite 15th, Hyksos-Judahite 16th Egyptian Dynasties (post-Joseph) (source: DH)


(Judah-Zerah (Z); Trojan Origins)

--- 061 Julius Caesar, Roman Imperator (49-44BC, d. 44BC) m. 061 Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt (m3.) (d. 30BC) (Hosea 11:1b "... out of Egypt have I [God] called my son.") (Jesus' paternal-maternal g-grandparents (pmGF/GM2-1))

(issue of CLEOPATRA by 3rd husband, JULIUS CAESAR: 1. CAESARION [PTOLEMY XV], mur 30BC; 2. Cleopatra “of Jerusalem” [Julius Caesar's posthumous dau], given in marriage 30BC (14/15yrs) by OCTAVIUS CAESAR to “an obscure eastern prince”, identified with =1(30BC) Yakov “Nasi”, the Patriarch of Jerusalem; =2(23BC) Simon III, High-Priest, also his 2nd; =3(19BC) Herod, King of Judea, his 5th wife) [note: she was JESUS' grandmother via her 1st husband, the Jewish "Nasi"; (ref: Moses, above, Hyksos (post-Joseph descendants), 33rd Egyptian Dynasty; and below, The Holy Family (sources: DH))

(NOTE: Jesus the Christ - not only Davidic-Messianic Heir but also Pharaonic and Caesaric: KING, PHARAOH, CAESAR; Christ was not only crucified as a Messianic claimant by Jewish establishment demand but also as a rival Caesaric claimant by the Roman establishment, and his Desposynic relations were in turn later targeted for extermination by various incumbent Emperors; the Christians were considered and targeted as a political-faction for supporting the rival Caesar-Christ (and His Divine claim) during numerous oppressions; 300 years later Constantine would claim his Caesaric and Desposynic (JA-Jo) Heritage as Roman Emperor and as Founder-Apostle of the Roman Catholic Church, enforcing the claimed pre-eminent authority of both as MESSIANIC CHURCH and STATE)


083d Chrotechilde of Burgundy (HG-1) m.(-C) --- Chlodovech I (Clovis), rex Francorum [SENIOR LINE] (Clotide known as "the girl of the French Vineyards") (MEROVINGIAN meaning "Vine of Mary" (various sources)) (Clovis I "the Great" of France, King (RCC recognition) m. St. Clotide de Bourgogne) (NOTE: "Merovingian" Meroving(-2) descent from JC=MM originates from Clovis I)


082 Zambor Nasciensson (Archdruid) m. (-C) 079d Ceredwin del Acqs, d'Avalon h'Eireann c415 (*) (la Dompna del Aquae: the Mistress of the Waters (LIVING WATERS))(Maison de(del) Acqs)(HG-JM "Magdalene" Lines joined) (Grail kept under the care/tutelage of -U John the Apostle (tarry-ing, alive until Christ returns; John left Patmos to establish Corbenic Castle with 077-2[002] Joshua, the first Grail King; 2 Witnesses: John/Lazarus witnessing in the spirit of Moses (withdrawal)/Elijah (return))


075-2[000]* (JM) Yakob Zebedee (=Mary Magdalene (m2.)) (-C-Apostle, martyred AD44 whereupon MM/entourage fled to Provence)

076-2 Josephes (father of Alain "Li Gros") (JM(JZ=MM)) (-C2-1-3rd to J1/sAnna; Y/J Zebedee's mother was Mariam's -C-1st)

077-2 Joshua (Jesus) dsp, first "Grail"-King, c. AD 100, built Corbenic Castle to house The Holy Grail and as the religious order’s home/community ("Corbenic", is derived from "cors benoit" = "blessed body", whence the town of "Corbeni" in Picardy, France, got its name. The religious order removed to Britain in the early 500s, circa AD 519 (post-Roman occupation, under the protection of Artur I "Grail" Pendragon), and left Corbenic Castle empty (post-Clovis I (d AD 511)). The castle was razed by Charlemagne circa AD 800, IN USURPATIVE GUILT)


Trojan Origins (Judah-Zerah) (John 19:11 "power given" to Pilate (Rome) from above (Gen 49 Judah Sceptre inclusion))

“Cassibelaun, king of the Britains, to Caius Julius Caesar. we cannot but wonder, Caesar, at the avarice of the Roman people, since their insatiable thirst after money cannot let us alone whom the dangers of the ocean have placed in a manner out of the world; but they must have the presumption to covet our substance, which we have hitherto enjoy’d in quiet. Neither is this indeed sufficient: we must also prefer subjection and slavery to them, before the enjoyment of our native liberty.

Your demand therefore, Caesar, is scandalous, since the SAME VEIN OF NOBILITY, FLOWS FROM AENEAS, IN BRITONS AND ROMANS, and ONE AND THE SAME CHAIN OF CONSANGUINITY SHINES IN BOTH: which ought to be a band of firm union and friendship. That was what you should have demanded of us, and not slavery: we have learned to admit of the one, but never to bear the other. And so much have we been accustomed to liberty, that we are perfectly ignorant what it is to submit to slavery. And if even the gods themselves should attempt to deprive us of our liberty, we would to the utmost of our power resist them in defense of it. Know then, Caesar, that we are ready to fight for that and our kingdom if, as you threaten, you shall attempt to invade Britain.” (source: The Trojan Origins of European Royalty (just above))


Prince William of Hesse-Hanau was the son of Landgrave Frederick of Hesse-Cassel, of the royal family of Hesse. Prince William was a Freemason, and his younger brother Karl, was according to JEWS AND FREEMASONS IN EUROPE, 1723-1939, “accepted as the head of all German Freemasons.” Members of the Hesse dynasty have been described as the leaders of the Strict Observance (in 1782 a Masonic Congress in Wilhelmsbad, a city in the Hesse province, dropped the name “Strict Observance” and changed it to “Beneficent Knights of the Holy City”). The Hesse dynasty is connected to the “Jesuit” Illuminati (Bavarian Illuminati founded 01 May 1776). Prince William was the grandson of King George II of England. The Hesse-Cassel’s were one of the richest royal houses in Europe. Their income came mainly from the loaning-out of Hessian soldiers to foreign countries (incl., the American Revolution fighting for the British; the SAGE ensured victory over the British by manipulated use of their mercenary forces ostensibly employed (at huge profit) as their comrades-in-arms).

In 1769 Meyer Amschel Rothschild became “Crown Agent to the Prince of Hesse-Hanau”; c.1785 Carl Buderus, Chief Financial Advisor to the Prince also became an Agent for Rothschild to funnel the Prince’s business through him (not “on the sly” as the majority of histories claim; Rothschild’s appointed Primary SAGE Monetary Operons: Red (“Blood”) Shield masking the SAGE who owned and controlled the wealth; the money now the “Scarlet Thread” (soaked in blood) – the Princes’ usurp and draw blood (1776-1789 War of Independence; American colonies taken – the United Merchant-States of America). The development (and wealth-extracton) of the United Merchant-States continues with intermittant conflicts between vested-interest(s) and between those same interests and the perceived “America” of the “common” masses – their expectations. The “financial” era of 1907-14 established complete SAGE control over America – the “common” and “independent” wealth. In 1929-34 they enforced their control over the remaining hold-out “independents” (“State franchise” consolidation was completed in 1934 when the SAGE-Government decreed that private citizens could no longer hold or store Gold bullion or coin – forced FRN exchange (manipulated markets and enforced financial erasure)).

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Astrology of 2010 through the Mirror of History

Astrology of 2010 through the Mirror of History
BY VERDARLUZ article link

Right before the moment of coherence is the point of maximum chaos.

Just 2 years before the prophesied Mayan calendar end date of December 21, 2012, in the summer of 2010, 2 transpersonal planets, Uranus and Pluto, 2 social planets, Jupiter and Saturn, and 2 personal planets, the Sun and Mars, will confront each other upon the Cross of Matter in one of the most intense formations in all of astrology, often experienced only once in a human lifetime, a Grand Cardinal Cross. The waiting is over....

The Cardinal signs are the initiators of the zodiac, the outward, expressive thrust of energy in each of the four elements and seasons. Hence, Aries is cardinal fire and the spark of spring. Cancer is cardinal water and ignites the summer solstice. Libra is cardinal air and marks the autumn equinox. Capricorn is cardinal earth and initiates the dark season at the winter solstice. Since they rule the seasons, the alignment of many planets upon the Cardinal signs can literally change the face of the earth. We are about to embark on a time of dramatic change, mounting tension, and the aching pulse for a whole new paradigm of human existence. Do we have a map for the mystery? Are we in completely uncharted waters?

History does in fact repeat itself, only in an updated form, with new masks, costumes, and stakes at play. Planets represent evolutionary urges or archetypal forces within our soul. All of history can be studied as a series of interdependent planetary cycles, where planets relate to each other in specific geometric formations, called Aspects, and when planets occupy particular signs or primal energies of the zodiac. By combining these two modalities of study with astrology and history, we can cultivate an elaborate toolbelt from which to foreshadow the energies approaching all of us.

In Richard Tarnas' epic study of archetypal history, Cosmos and Psyche, he describes the rare experiences where multiple archetypal cycles overlap, involving Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto, as begins in 2010. We find this explosive dynamic during the French Revolution, in 1929-1933, and during the mid 60's.

Of the overlapping, tense asngles between Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto, Tarnas writes, "Especially problematic in such eras was the extreme intensification of both wisdespread revolutionaryy upheaval and violent authoritarian repression in a tightly bound dialectic, mutually activating each other."

The 1793-1796 combination of these three planetary forces gave birth to the Reign of Terror. Dictatorial "revolution" was assumed by the Committee of Public Safety, a term which foreshadows the current geopolitical Orwellian linguistics. This committee attempted to control the entire populace through fear mongering, pressuring neighbors and family members to inform on each other, rushing imprisonments, trials, and executions, and suppressing all women's societies, with their leaders imprisoned and guillotined. In response to this massive slaughter of the populace, the highly conservative Thermidorean Reaction took charge. This all sounds quite similar to the 2009 geopolitical rhetoric, especially in the United States.

The 1964-67 period included the outbreak and intensification of the Vietnam War along with urban riots in over 120 cities, the assassination of Malcolm X, and the stampeding repressive 'revolution' in China under Mao Tse Tung's Red Guards. All of these events led to the last years of the 60's, the psychedelic explosion of the flower power movement and Woodstock, and the further assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

Within a month of 'the blackest day in stock market history, in October of 1929, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto moved within one degree of an exact T-square formation, mirroring the 2010-11 angle of tension. This formation sets the stage for all the ensuing events of the 1930's, including the rise of dictatorial regimes, communist, nationalist, and other sociopolitical movements, labor unrest, and widespread immigration.

In the 3 above examples, we witness unforgettable pivot points in history's march which mirror back to us in this present moment, overlapping cycles and subsequent themes emerging on the planet through the entire decade of the 2010's. We will unpack all of these further, but briefly, the Saturn-Uranus cycle produces conflict between Saturnian authority's order and structure and the forces of Uranian rebellion seeking freedom and innovative change. This cycle combines with the Saturn-Pluto cycle: its widespread financial failures, the rise of totalitarian regimes, poverty, despair, and a need to study the depths of the soul. A final layer to the above complexes, are the energies erupting under the Uranus-Pluto cycle: mass movements, radical philosophies and politics, cultural upheaval, and a volcanic creative counterculture. Overwhelming, traumatic, and often catastrophic effects ripple out as sociopolitical tsunamis during this potent planetary cycle. What each of these cycles unveils to the collective psyche are systemic problems that catalyze huge breakdowns of socio-political structures, and equally massive breakthoughs in human consciousness.

The 1929-33 configuration of planets. contains a special resonance for the 2010's because of its position on the Cardinal Axis. This was the last time Uranus occupied Aries and opposed Saturn in Libra, both squaring Pluto, who was then in Cancer, the opposite sign of its 2010 transit through Capricorn. During the years surrounding the Great Depression, Pluto transited the U.S. Sun and Mercury, annihilating the very vitality (Sun) of the country and its ability to trade (Mercury).

The cardinal climax will directly challenge the majority of the U.S. birthchart. For instance, between 2008-2022, the archetypal force of Pluto will dominate the U.S. populace in a cascade of intensifying experiences that will force a complete destruction and regeneration of the United States. In succession, beginnng in 2008, Pluto will oppose the U.S. Venus, Jupiter, Sun, and Mercury, in addition to squaring the U.S. Saturn and Chiron, all before climaxing in the country's Pluto return in 2022, a first in U.S. History. Stress, tension, and volatility are understatements in this scenario. Will the United States still be 'united' at this point? Will the U.S. dollar exist or signify anything? How will the citizens of the United States regenerate themselves and their country? Will there be a one-world government with one currency and what will the effect of this be? Will climate change and species depopulation force our consciousness to shift through global cataclysm? What new forms of art, what scientific discoveries, what emerging spiritualities will guide Gaia and her species through the pressures of her birth canal into self-aware, ascending beings participating in a unified, multidimensional consciousness? ...

Saturn-Pluto - an Introduction

It is important for us to begin with the Saturn-Pluto complex for a number of reasons. First, the cycle peaks during the winter of 2009-2010 and the summer of 2010 with a tense waning square formation. Secondly, Saturn-Pluto will continue through the entire decade of the 2010s, as the two planets powerfully join forces between 2019-2020, with a conjunction in Capricorn. Also, Pluto is in Saturn's sign of rulership, Capricorn through 2022, while Saturn will occupy Pluto's sign of affinity, Scorpio, between 2012-2014. That 2.5 year period will mark a mutual reception, where the two planets occupy each other's signs and work to mutually enhance and enforce their combined energies onto the planet as a whole. These two facts emphasize the importance of these archetypes to demonstrate key events erupting on the planet and within our souls over the decade of the 2010's.

Additionally, everyone on the planet will experience Saturn transiting their natal Pluto between 2004 and 2017. This can be one of the more challenging of aspects in astrology as the grime and grit and depth and mystery of our souls must be confronted and integrated. Often we are shoved to our very limits with this transit. Our core wounds are revealed and seek to catalyze a deeper breadth of self awareness, acting as transformative agents on our paths of evolution. As Saturn transits our personal Pluto, he applies pressure to our generational purposes to regenerate and rebirth an archetype.

In our studies of the Saturn-Pluto complex, we will traverse complicated, vast, and intense realms of consciousness, from the need to shift from a monetary to a resource-based economy to the psychological foundations of war. We will venture into artifical intelligence and examine expolitics - the consequences of alien contact for humanity. We will study the territory of the the soul itself by discussing the breakthrough potential of past life therapy, cathartic breathwork, shamanic journeying, and karmic astrology. We will also dive into the film, music, literature, philosophies, and psychological studies of previous Saturn-Pluto cycles, which can support us with luminous candles of insight in our journey through the dark and perplexing caverns of the Saturn-Pluto combination. ...

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An Alignment for Our Times: 2010

An Alignment for Our Times: 2010
by Bill Streett article link
1/13/04 | Astrology for the Soul

The beginning of the next decade has received much attention by futurists, metaphysicians, and historians of ancient civilizations. This brief but important period of time is considered by many to signal either a leap of human evolution, an exponential increase in creativity, or a time of dramatic societal change. Arguably, this time period is receiving more attention than the beginning of the millennium a few years ago as we began the new century.

Astrology also suggests that this brief time period will be an important one, as a dramatic alignment between Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus constellates at this time. Specifically, Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus form what is called a “T-Square” in which the three planets form an isosceles right triangle. Although forming an exact T-Square in the year 2010, the alignment will certainly be potent in its manifestations for a year or two on either side of 2010.

Throughout history, when Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus form hard alignments(1) such as a T-Square, a time of socio-economic and political destabilization, tension, and contraction arise. Any hard alignment involving these planets suggests a period of stress where growth and evolution is demanded yet hard to achieve. On one hand, the alignment represents a stalemate between opposing forces, and, on the other, the alignment represents a time where pressure, hardship, and frustration ultimately give birth to something radically new. Out of this alignment arises a new order, where the old order disintegrates and gives rise to new social, economic, and political visions and movements.

A cursory look at the planetary archetypes involved can explain why these times tend to be so challenging and destabilizing. Saturn symbolizes tradition, order, and limits; for all intents and purposes, Saturn represents the establishment at any given point in time. In many ways, Uranus is in complete contrast to Saturn’s order and tradition. Uranus symbolizes humanitarian progress and freedoms relative to Saturn’s restrictions and traditions. Archetypally, Uranus ushers in new changes, a heightened renewal of creativity, new reforms, and new ideals to aspire to. A person aligned with the archetype of Uranus tends to be more visionary, more idealistic, and unbound from the limits, traditions, social expectations and conservative sensibility that defines the person more attuned with the archetypal Saturn.

Arguably Pluto is the most difficult archetype to define, particularly in a limited space. Writing about Pluto is applying a rational process to a symbol that is almost wholly irrational. In a simplistic way, Pluto represents the primal, primitive survival instincts that drive and compel individual and social evolution onward. What can be expressed is that Pluto is an analogous to a will to power, which often implies a ‘power over’ or dominion over something or someone. Seen more as a process versus a steady state, Pluto symbolizes powerful times of transformation and change that occur at a fundamental level. Both terrifying and cathartic, Plutonic events are the eruption of processes that have long been gestating underground and hidden from collective consciousness.

When these planetary symbols come together in hard aspect, they are “forced to negotiate their differences” and the cross talk between these archetypes is not always polite nor productive. During these times, the socio-political dimensions of the collective approach conflict, if not crisis and breakdown. During these critical junctures in time, prevailing modes of economic and political discourse are pushed far-from-equilibrium and mounting tensions that have been ignored or repressed due to limitations of the current socio-political paradigm reach a breaking point. Simultaneously, new alternatives that range from enlightened progress to regressive barbarism rise to cope with the ensuing crises and difficulties of the time. During the period of the alignment, the problems and crises are often exaggerated or rendered more intense; real progress, forward momentum, or breakthroughs toward the challenges presented manifest after the alignment subsides.

Twice in the twentieth century have all three planets aligned in hard aspect: once in the early 1930s and again in the middle part of the 1960s. Certainly, these times were crucial in constructing the socio-political makeup of the decades that followed and were arguably the most dynamic and tumultuous years of the previous century. A look at the dynamics of these years will help to understand the themes and possibilities that lay ahead in 2010.

Late 1930-1932: Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-Square

This T-Square in the Cardinal Signs of Capricorn, Aries, and Cancer was the symbol of economic breakdown in the Western economies. Astrologically speaking, we have an instance of the quality of dearth or scarcity associated with Saturn being ignited, empowered, and intensified by the outer planets of Uranus and Pluto. In the United States and Europe, unemployment rates reached their highest levels of the century and many people in industrialized countries experienced the bare subsistence levels typically associated with the Third World. The Great Depression effected all countries; only communist Soviet Union was able to increase industrial production levels at this time.

However, this T-Square symbol of Uranus, Saturn, and Pluto is a complex one, and one would be negligent not to broaden the scope of perspective to include how Pluto and Uranus were each adding their own archetypal dimension to the time at hand. Although the Crash in 1929 and subsequent Depression were sudden, many factors were at work years before the Depression to bring it into manifestation. The industrial boom of the 1920s helped to mask large and looming difficulties in industrialized economies. Moreover, throughout the 1920s, national economies tried to return to pre-World War One strategies that were hopelessly insufficient. Thus, although unexpected, the Depression was the result of many hidden variables that erupted at once. It is the nature of the archetype of Pluto to lay dormant for many years only to manifest in great power, not unlike a volcano or an earthquake.

The beginning of the decade also saw the emergence of the darker aspects of the collective psyche in the appearance of fascist governments, and in particular, Nazism. The scapegoating, lust for political dominance, paranoid obsession with total dictatorial control, and manipulation of mass consciousness through propaganda seen in the Third Reich are all manifestations of the lower qualities of Pluto. With Saturn and Uranus aspecting Pluto at this time, the ‘return of repressed’ elements from the shadow of the unconscious reared its ugly head.

The workings of Uranus can be observed through the quality of accelerated change of the period, as Uranus is always associated with sudden change and reversals. Certainly, the unexpected decline in the world economic situation is the most apparent corollary with this quality of Uranus. However, the acceleration of changing conditions is also noted in socio-political conditions of the day, most notably in Germany. During the time period of the T-Square, the Nazi party rose from a tiny minority with little over ten seats in the German Reichstag to becoming the majority party of the German political system—an extraordinary, sudden twist of events in European history.

1964-mid 1967: Saturn opposition to Uranus and Pluto

If the 1930s alignment brought out the face of Saturn dealing with scarcity and lack, the 1960s opposition brought out the side of Saturn dealing with convention, established values, and tradition. The period of the early 1960s saw a rise in new and unconventional ways of being in all facets of society, however, it was the mid-1960s where the real struggle between old and new, authority and youth, convention and progress came to a head. To the establishment, the wave of rising countercultural tendencies of the late 1950s and early 1960s was not going to influence and permeate cultural values without a showdown and standoff. In nearly every cultural and political arena, the mid-1960s witnessed the old guard of tradition tensely poised against the new vanguard of countercultural and progressive sympathies.

As Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X pushed the frontier of civil rights, race riots erupted all over the United States. In South Africa, as the government tightened its segregationist apartheid policies, resistance led by Mandela and others grew stronger. With American forces in Viet Nam intensifying, protests and civil unrest arose against a war deemed unexplainable and unviable by the majority of the American public. As self-expression and intolerance of communism increased inside the Eastern Bloc, the Soviet regime enforced harsher and stricter controls against dissention.

The greatest demonstration of tension between social and political opposites was not in the West but in China. With his hope of eradicating a rising tide against communism, Mao Tse-Tung initiated his great Cultural Revolution—a veritable civil war in which China’s political and social history and future were at stake. Mao’s enemies were not so much a political party or group but rather values, including his list of four olds: old customs, old habits, old culture, and old thinking. Anything associated with capitalist sympathies and traditional Chinese culture was to be annihilated, and Mao’s Red Guard was happy to oblige his extremism.

During the mid-1960s, progressive idealism and entrenched traditions were in heightened dialectical tension—and the main astrological alignment of the times perfectly mirrored the standoffs across the globe. Saturn, representing order, tradition, authority, fear of change, and restrictions was symbolically and literally opposite Uranus and Pluto, representing change, disorder, youthful idealism, rebellion, liberation of the oppressed and suppressed, and self-expression.

The Aftermath

The above examples demonstrate that when Uranus, Pluto, and Saturn form hard alignments, an era of socio-political destabilization and heightened cultural tensions manifest. During the early 1930s, an age of economic scarcity pressured the rise of new governments and new economic policies across the globe. In the mid-1960s, ideological tensions reached their peak surrounding issues of war, race, politics, self-expression, and economics. These alignments represent global pressure cookers wherein crucial socio-political issues smelt.

Out of this crucible, new ideologies, governments, policies, reforms, and social movements are born—and often the offspring of these alignments are a mixed blessing. After the crises of the Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus alignment of the early 1930s, the Nazi regime established its legacy of hatred, terror, and tyrannical cruelty, and much of Europe embraced fascism and totalitarian control as an answer to the economic woes of the early part of the decade. However, the destabilization and catastrophes of the early 1930s also spawned innovation, reform, and progressive humanitarianism. FDR’s “New Deal”—albeit controversial—reformed business, labor, and the American Presidency to a greater degree than any presidential policy since. Sweden—hit as hard as any nation during the worldwide depression of the time—established the very model of social democratic government and initiated public and political reforms that were way ahead of its time.

The Saturn, Pluto, Uranus Alignment of 2010

Given historical precedence and the archetypal dynamics involved, The Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus T-Square of 2010 should coincide with a period of great socio-political upheaval and destabilization, if not crisis. This alignment is arguably one of the most important astrological signatures of the first half of this century, certainly of the first three decades. This T-Square symbolically represents a turning point in which economic, cultural, and political difficulties of the last decades come to a head and demand resolution.

Out of this alchemical vessel of 2010 should arise significantly original and unprecedented social and political movements and reform. Certainly, there is a hope that what will emerge out the tensions of this time will produce greater freedoms, tolerance, peace, and prosperity. However, to remain true to past patterns, we can only say that what will materialize we be both progressive and regressive, tolerant and fascist, peaceful and oppositional—polarities that grow stronger.

If astrology is to grant anything to collective knowledge, it is the visionary capacity to see through the contingencies of history and see into forces and energies that inform and are in dialogue with our collective evolution. Whatever the period surrounding 2010 may bring—environmental catastrophe, financial collapse, political reformation and counter-reformation (or any combination thereof)—it is best not to see the events as an isolated crisis. Rather, astrology suggests that the events around 2010 should be seen upon a continuum in which tension and problems of the era demand and create growth and evolution. Thus, the astrological paradigm is not the province of Cassandras who intuit gloom and doom but is a way of seeing that potential greatness and maturity doesn’t come without growing pains and birth pangs.

(1) “hard alignments” for this article refer to the opposition and the 90-degree alignment, or square.

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August 6-7, 2010 Grand Cardinal Cross

Democratic Underground
Cardinal Grand Cross post link article link
August 06, 2010 | Democratic Underground | Reality Sandwich

The exponential acceleration and evolution is upon us.

Astrologically, the summer’s Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010 far surpasses any events on the winter solstice of 2012 for catalyzing consciousness. In many ways, the whole next decade, and even the priorities and motivations for humanity’s next century are being seeded in the trance-formations of 2010....

One of the great tests of transitioning into the Aquarian age will be the full embodiment of its opposite sign, Leo by each individual. We can only enter into the egalitarian, idealist vision of the cosmic Aquarian tribe if each individual discovers the Source within them, and channels their unique offerings for the healing and evolution of earth. During this Mars retrograde in Leo, and until Mars leaves Leo in late May, we should ask ourselves what specific gift can I contribute to the tribe? And how do I sabotage myself in offering this gift through impatient decision making, an insufficient strategy, or a lack of teamwork?....

....One of the great tests of transitioning into the Aquarian age will be the full embodiment of its opposite sign, Leo by each individual. We can only enter into the egalitarian, idealist vision of the cosmic Aquarian tribe if each individual discovers the Source within them, and channels their unique offerings for the healing and evolution of earth. During this Mars retrograde in Leo, and until Mars leaves Leo in late May, we should ask ourselves what specific gift can I contribute to the tribe? And how do I sabotage myself in offering this gift through impatient decision making, an insufficient strategy, or a lack of teamwork? ....

....Summer Climax: The Grand Cardinal Cross

Right before the moment of coherence is the point of maximum chaos. We are now there at the topof the roller coaster, zero point, chaos point.

Just two years before the Mayan calendar end date of December 21,2012, in the summer of 2010, 2 transpersonal planets, Uranus and Pluto, 2 social planets, Jupiter and Saturn, and 2 personal planets, the Sun and Mars, will confront each other upon the Cross of Matter in one of the most intense formations in all of astrology, often experienced only once in a human lifetime, a Grand Cardinal Cross. The waiting is over....

The Cardinal signs are the initators of the zodiac, the outward, expressive thrust of energy in each of the four elements and seasons. Hence, Aries is Cardinal Fire and the spark of spring. Cancer is cardinal water and begins at the summer solstice. Libra is cardinal air and marks the equinox. Capricorn is cardinal earth and initiates the dark season at the winter solstice. Since they rule the seasons, the alignment of many planets upon the Cardinal Cross can literally change the face of the earth. We are about to embark on a time of dramatic change, mounting tension, and the aching pulse for a whole new paradigm for human existence.

In his Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas describes the rare experiences where multiple archetypal cycles overlap, involving Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto, as begins in 2010. We find this explosive dynamic during the French Revolution, the years 1964-67, and 1929-1933.

Tarnas writes, "Especially problematic in such eras was the extreme intensification of both wisdespread revolutionary upheaval and violent authoritarian repression in a tightly bound dialectic, mutually activating each other."

Those specially affected by this transit, with an important role to play as initiators of this will have planets at the first degrees of the Cardinal signs and the last degrees of the mutable signs, Gemini, Sagitarrius, Virgo, Pisces. There will be a surge of intense stress, motivation, and passion in the planets located at these positions. Let them be your guides for your next phase of evolution.....

....The other side of Saturn-Pluto is that an unveiling occurs. While certain people and institutions will close down in fear, many people will wake up. In 2001, many people awoke to the deception, lies, and fear-mongering of the government. Also, earlier in the year, many government and military officials announced their knowledge of alien species and UFOs on this planet, as part of the Disclosure Project. Indeed, much will be disclosed in 2010, which will serve to either traumatize or give massive epiphanies to people, depending on their perspective on the events which occur. In fact, we are being invited into the heartsource of the problems that exist. If there is a group who hates another group of people, the question to ask is why? What is the root of this issue? In this strategy the solution may be found not in the increase in security measures that obviously do not work. If other civilizations are here and want to help us in our transition to a new earth, why is this being hidden from us?

Uranus-Pluto: Talkin' Bout a Revolution

If there are more threats or another attack on this country, how will we individually and collectively react? We must build conscious, compassionate dialogues around this. If we find ourselves inside of clamp-down legislation, it will likely result in revolutionary action by U.S. citizens and different world populations this year with the Uranus-Pluto square, a five-year transit that promises to shake up every institution through rebellious movements for freedom and liberation. ....

....It is essential that we stay informed to stay empowered in 2010, because the rapid motion will likely feel overwhelming at times. With our willing participation and community support we can co-create the world we want to live in.

The best way of working with the intensity of this summer's energy is to do one's own alchemical and shamanic work, cleansing the old baggage, the outdated dualistic perspectives. Gratitude and forgiveness are some of the best tools for breaking through the irritable, frustrating, finger-pointing and name-calling that can occur. Aligning oneself with peaceful and creative strategies for traversing the coming changes is key. Gaia, our mother, is shapeshifting. We are her stewards. With the Bodhisattva vow to save all sentient beings, let us embrace each other, let down our defenses, and move into the unified field of love, life, and harmony.

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A letter from Susan Miller from article link
August 3, 2010 To my Friends:

On August 6 and 7 this week we will have a configuration in deep space that astrologers call a Grand Cardinal Cross. Planets have been building up in cardinal signs lately to a very high degree. Cardinal signs are Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn. Within those signs all the elements are represented - air, fire, earth, and water. While we have seen cardinal crosses before, we have never seen one with such a large number of planets involved and in such tight mathematical degree. If you checked your August forecast on Astrology Zone, you already know this is coming up, for I discussed this at some length.

When I went on my pages on Twitter and Facebook this week, I noticed that many readers were apprehensive of the coming cardinal cross. In this letter to you, I want to assure you that the cardinal cross will be helpful. Hard aspects like the one the world is about to experience this week are meant to push us forward in a big way and help us see where we stand.

Truths will be illuminated, secrets will be exposed, and any injustices will be corrected. Under this type of configuration, we cannot deny, ignore, or hide from certain realities, but that's good, for only then can we be energized to make things better. The cardinal cross - like eclipses - often pushes us to either end of the spectrum. That means you may find events to be either very difficult or very thrilling. Either way you will know where you stand and you will be able to plan with a greater sense of certainty. ...

... This month's cardinal cross will include Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Mars, Venus, and the transiting moon in Cancer. That's eight heavenly bodies! The only ones not involved will be the Sun, Neptune, and Mercury. That is a large degree of participation!

Technically, in order to have a true cardinal cross, you need to have four squares and two oppositions. You would see a perfect square box with an X in the middle. That's a grand cross. When the group of planets involved are all cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn) you have a grand cardinal cross.

This month's grand cardinal cross is extraordinary because it will have not four squares but ten, and not two oppositions but seven. Wow, as you see, this is a very intense cardinal cross. Looking ahead 500 years, I could not find another cardinal cross involving so many planets.

Another remarkable feature of this cardinal cross is that each planet will be within five degrees of each another, and many will be in even tighter configuration, within a degree or so! Cardinal signs are VERY energetic and when they are found in very early degrees of zero to 1.5 degrees, like many of these planets will be, they epitomize the very life force. This is very powerful!

Furthermore - another point that astounded me - is that Mars will be at a very sensitive degree on August 6 and 7, unlocking the message of the June 26 lunar eclipse, or bringing more news to a situation that arose at that time.

Squares are known to present obstacles, but they also help you move forward and even turn a corner. They are a necessary part of life, for they uproot us from our complacency and shake us into awareness. You may experience a big breakthrough or the final ending of a long and debilitating circumstance.

If, for example, you have been hoping against hope that you would 1) get a generous raise even though your company is failing, or 2) see your sweetheart end his or her wild ways and suddenly show a desire to commit, or 3) get your landlord to agree to lower your rent, you will likely see the truth of the situation now and see the other's true colors. You may finally realize you may need to make other arrangements. On the other hand, if you were accused of something unfairly, the truth will come out, and you will be vindicated. View the cardinal cross as a harbinger of clarity and the purveyor of justice.

If you are a cardinal sign - Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn - you will feel this cross the most, but only if you were born at the end of March, June, September, or December. These reader birthdays will correspond to the early degrees of this group of planets.

Even if you are not born at the end of the months listed, you might still feel this cross quite strongly if you have a rising sign or a planet in of one of the cardinal signs listed, and if you have those planets or rising sign in early degrees of the sign (between 0 and 5 degrees). Still, for example, a Pisces or a Virgo - two mutable signs - could be feeling general financial tensions, for example, even if they have no planets in the qualifying degrees.

Remember, however, that when planets set up "birth pangs" like these, you get results, and sometimes the results feel like a great relief. Other times, things don't quite go your way, but even so, you can find a way to fix things if you like. A lot will depend on actions and decisions you made earlier. Now that those events are maturing, they are reaching a certain critical or fruition stage. While I cannot see all in your chart, I can see your Sun and rising sign, so check my August forecast on Astrology Zone to know more about how things might play out for you.

Two particularly important planets to watch will be Saturn and Uranus, still standing approximately 180 degrees apart. Even though they had their last opposition on July 21, they are still very close. Saturn rules all that is traditional and conservative, and Uranus represents all that is new and revolutionary. As you see, these two planets are very different.

These two began confronting each other on November 4, 2008. Since then, they have been engaging in combat, separating and retreating, engaging and now finally separating. They have not have had direct confrontation since 1965-1967, a time when society moved out of the roles and mood of the 1950's into a much more modern time. In the USA the changes focused on the changing role of women and African Americans in our society. Often when we are participating in big change we are too busy to notice how massive things are shifting, but in hindsight it becomes clear.

Certainly Saturn and Uranus have been keeping up the pressure to force us to decide what is valuable and to be preserved, and what is new and revolutionary and should be embraced to replace all that is outworn. As creatures of habit we tend to cling to what we know rather than try something new. The universe knows this and is currently giving us a big nudge. Saturn is about to do a similar dance with Pluto - and I will describe that situation in more detail in a subsequent newsletter to you.

While it is true, as I said earlier, that squares help us turn a corner by presenting an obstacle, you still have to keep alert, for you will be expected to show resourcefulness to steer your ship correctly out of any choppy waters that you may encounter and into smoother, warmer seas. Oppositions are just as they sound - two planets battling it out for dominance - although in all oppositions there is an equal and counteracting opportunity for cooperation and balance.

Which way things go is ultimately up to each of us, and will most often have to be viewed in the light of what has come before. No one is born "new" into a month, for we bring along all our dreams and goals, disappointments, and victories with us into each month as we go along. You are the sum total of all the decisions you have made so far in life, both little ones and big ones. This grand cardinal cross will pertain to what has come before, and of those decisions and actions, which ones demand correction in the light of changes in the world and in your life.

Everyone will likely notice some tension in the air this week in world events. In the news, we will likely see the global financial market gyrate a bit, a mirror of people's shifting emotions and reactions to what is reported in the news. You may see some wild weather patterns, too.

Here is an important point that I would like you to keep in mind. Any cross pattern isn't just operative for a day, but much, much longer into the future. Some astrologers view a cross as a mid-point, so therefore the outcome might not fully manifest for several months.

It may be helpful to look back on the last time we had a grand cross. That one was not cardinal but in fixed signs on August 17-18, 1999. Fixed signs include Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Those signs felt the changes in a powerful way in 1999, especially those readers born at the very end of their signs, in the third week of February, May, August, and November.

So in the coming week, if anything is weak and ready to break, it will. It will be obvious that the center will not hold - something has to change. Actually, that's the good news, for extreme planetary energies like the one we are about to experience will soon display any defective parts in a relationship, project, certain investment deal, or other endeavor or part of life. Those outworn or faulty elements will either spin off quickly and be discarded, or demand fixing or advice very soon. If you were deprived of reward on any level, it may come to you now.

Cardinal energy is not patient, so when the news its, it will demand you attend to it quickly with a sense of urgency. We all will have no choice but to act under such strong gale force winds, but let's not forget that forceful, difficult aspects illuminate and clarify situations like none other. The universe will now take a strong hand in things to show us what we could not see for ourselves. Yet, as I have been saying, if you are with the wrong boss, the wrong sweetheart, the wrong investor, or in the wrong living situation (you name it - there are many possibilities), the cardinal cross may suddenly end that situation and help you get into a new one quickly.

With the planets going through such massive birth pangs, as a society, they will move us to a new and more enlightened social order. The cardinal signs born early in their signs will be at the center of all news and will see the most radical shifts - that is, if you were born at the end of March, June, September, and December, this configuration will speak to you.

We all have cardinal signs somewhere in our horoscopes, so that means everyone will feel some changes. I have written extensively in your August forecast about how you might experience the cardinal cross of August 6-7, 2010.

Best of luck, dear reader. Let me know on Facebook or Twitter how events play out for you, or by writing to me on Astrology Zone. Thank you! Sincerely, Susan Miller

SoulGardenTV home page
AstrologyZone home page

The Cardinal Cross Years: 2010-12 article link
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Richard C. Cook: 2010: Humanity’s Choice as Foreseen by Rudolf Steiner

2010: Humanity’s Choice as Foreseen by Rudolf Steiner
by Richard C. Cook article link
Aug 04, 2010

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian philosopher and esotericist and founder of one of the key modern spiritual movements in the West. He is best known for his books and lectures before and after World War I, when he founded the Anthroposophical Society with its present-day headquarters in Dornach, Switzerland. After World War I, Steiner and his work were criticized viciously by right-wing nationalists in Germany, which caused him to give up his residence in Berlin. Among the critics was Adolf Hitler, who attacked him in print as a traitor to Germany for his efforts to promote peace.

The work of prophetic thinkers like Rudolf Steiner makes clear that the history of humanity proceeds through the evolution of consciousness, where changes take place in the psyche of people well in advance of their outward manifestations. Thus an understanding of what is happening before our eyes is never simple, nor can it be taken at face value. Discernment requires a level of knowledge that can only be achieved through study and insight.

But only an approach that penetrates deeply into human nature allows us to see the real inner causes of events. Such causes can be positive or negative, constructive or destructive. It is the genius and dilemma of man that we can choose which influences we serve. As Steiner prophesied almost a century ago, we appear today to be at a pivotal point where how we make such choices can determine the fate of the world.

It is perfectly clear that we are living in an era of technological achievement that, historically speaking, began just a short time ago. Steiner said what today is accepted as a truism: that the present era arose from discoveries in the 15th century that marked the beginning of the Renaissance, when the intellect of Western man became able systematically to apply the scientific method to phenomena of motion and matter.

The invention that made all else possible was operational by the 1450s: the printing press, first made practical by Johannes Gutenberg of Germany. Over the next four-and-a-half centuries, until the dawn of the 20th, technology surged in every field, but exploded with the near-simultaneous harnessing of electricity and the widespread exploitation of fossil fuels.

The latest phase took place long after Steiner’s death: the use of electrical impulses for high-speed data processing, such that computers are rapidly taking over the human workload. With only slight exaggeration, it can be said that humans are needed less all the time, except to program the computers and keep them humming or to carry out the leftover menial labor that machines cannot yet perform.

The unsolved problem lies in the fact that no one knows how, with declining need for employment, to continue to deliver purchasing power to the jobless masses that businesses require for them to purchase the products which machines can increasingly manufacture on their own. Until now, such purchasing power was delivered through debt-based money creation—consumer lending, mortgages against inflated home prices, etc. The collapse of this system is the cause of the current global recession and has set the stage for the huge disruptions that may come next.

Not all nations have been equal participants in the forging of the modern world that is now in crisis. The best at it have been the British and Americans, whose hegemony was established through several centuries of ruthless empire-building, followed by two world wars during which their Eurasian rivals—mainly Germany, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire—were smashed.

The Anglo-American combination, now with America supplying the muscle, is intertwined with a powerful Zionist element centered in the state of Israel but aligned with dominant domestic influences. What can accurately be called the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire is reaching today for total global domination.

The Asian nations of Japan, India, and even the somewhat restless China, have largely been incorporated into the imperial order. Latin America has long been within the American sphere of influence, and Africa is being re-colonized commercially. The Islamic world has been under imperial attack since Britain and France dismembered the Ottoman Empire after 1918.

Only the enigmatic Russians seem to stand today on the outside looking in, their nation oddly still alive and increasingly powerful after the furious financial assault from the West, leading to the “collapse” of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. This took place when a fall in world oil prices was engineered, causing the Soviet Union to lose access to hard currency.

How have the Anglo-American-Zionists come so far in what is historically such a short period of time? Two features stand out.

The first is state violence: the absolute lack of restraint in the use of weapons of destruction against non-English-speaking peoples, including the ships of war natural to seafarers and genius in the invention and utilization of guns, bombs, airplanes, and missiles. They also pioneered nuclear weapons, which only they have used against a live enemy.

The second is financialization: their ability to generate vast amounts of money through a banking system unrestrained by law, custom, or conscience, one that exercises the power to capitalize phenomenal economic and institutional growth. The basis for this power is a symbiotic relationship between big banking and big government, whereby the former can create money literally out of nothing and charge interest for its use, while loaning the latter sufficient funds to wage its wars and keep the domestic population docile and dependent through spending on social welfare programs.

The impetus for the U.S. government to spend huge amounts of fiat money for financial system bailouts, economic stimuli, etc., skyrocketed after the collapse of the housing bubble in 2007-8. The collapse led to the ongoing worldwide recession which is not and cannot be overcome through conventional means such as Keynesian deficit spending.

The rest of the world has failed to keep up with Anglo-American-Zionist proficiency and were overthrown in the wars cited above. The primary regions that might have challenged the Empire were continental Europe, with its strong historical investment in the rules and procedures of law and government, and Asia, with its spiritual traditions unsuited to unbridled commerce and warfare.

The Anglo-American-Zionists have had no such constraints, ever since King Henry VIII’s epochal break with the Roman Catholic Church in the first half of the 16th century for reasons related to his six successive marriages.

This eliminated the chief obstacle in the Western world—a unified Catholic Europe—to the elevation of greed for gain to the status of a socially-approved imperative for action. The title of the celebrated book published in 1904 by German sociologist Max Weber—The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism—documented the link, if not the identical psychological sources, of the two ideologies.

The Reformation came at a key moment of history, when the technological age was receiving its formative definition. With the Reformation having a geographic base in Great Britain and Northern Europe, the rulers in those regions were able to form lasting alliances with powerful banking families who now were entirely free of the traditional Catholic opposition to usury.

Oddly, Martin Luther also was strongly against usury and other predatory trade practices but did not prevail. With the Reformation, religion as a factor in defining the morality of economics was swept away. The symbol of what now transpired was the Bank of England, established in 1694 with the aid of bankers who had come over from the Netherlands with William of Orange at the time of the Glorious Revolution.

Thus did trade and commerce backed by military might take over the world, with Great Britain at the helm. The industrial revolution made that nation a manufacturing powerhouse as well. When Britain’s power declined, the U.S. was able to step in by rescuing the “Mother Country” from destruction during World Wars I and II.

After World War II, especially with the creation of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank assuring the replacement of the pound with the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. maneuvered itself into the driver’s seat. But it was the same Empire, with the same aims and characteristics.

Rudolf Steiner wrote extensively about the three major elements of human life that throughout history have contributed to a balanced and sane existence whenever it could be found. His core idea was known as the Threefold Social Order.

The first element is the economic, defined as the production and distribution of commodities, which obviously prevails today as the controlling force for most societal action.

The second is the legal/governmental, where, says Steiner, the rule of law should have as its first priority the protection of human rights and of fairness and competition in manufacturing and trade.

The third is the spiritual/intellectual/cultural, allowing for the free development of individual human capabilities.

Each of these elements, said Steiner, should function independently within their own spheres. The economic sector should not try to control the government or spiritual institutions, government should not operate businesses, and the spiritual/intellectual/cultural sector, including education at all levels, should be free to propose principles and ideals for the economy and government to implement.

Unfortunately, this model has failed to be observed or even noticed by the vested interests that profit from social paralysis and breakdown.

People today are seeing their rights disappear, not only among nations over which the Anglo-American-Zionists rule politically or commercially, but even among their own domestic populations. The alliance between big banking and the government leaderships it controls throttles the legislatures and the courts where human rights should be defined and protected. Documents like the Magna Carta, the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights have been shredded. The legal profession, which should be the social guardian of human rights, sells itself to the highest bidder or acts as the prosecutor for the corporate-owned imperial state.

In the area of spiritual/intellectual/cultural life, we see the increasing standardization of government-run school systems and the suppression of all non-collectivist ideas. We see domination of higher education by corporate-sponsored foundations and think tanks, the co-optation of churches by political players who support the Empire’s wars, and the push for Zionist interests in every policy area. The dumbing-down of the population by financier-owned media have turned the population into the “sheeple.” Such half-human, frightened, and heavily-medicated creatures are fit only for zombie-like obedience to the imperatives of consumerism and militarism.

The importance to human life of efficient economic development, especially given the current world population, cannot and should not be denied. But the problem is not economic development per se. The machine is here to stay. Nor need we be too sentimentally concerned about the rate of consumption, as economic output is naturally self-limiting based on resource availability.

Waste and abuse have their own built-in consequences if people are ignorant enough to brush them aside, and we all have choices in this regard. Perhaps of greater concern should be engineered scarcity, where corporations limit availability of goods and services to root out competition and fix prices.

Even more serious, Steiner wrote, is the lack of balance among the three major aspects of human endeavor, causing the destruction of human dignity and decency everywhere. If anything, conditions have gotten worse since Steiner’s day.

It is the lack of balance that is pathological. It invites control of society by people completely unsuited to exercise it, due to their level of immaturity and lack of truly human qualities. In fact, many of those in charge of the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire seem anti-human in character and have been that way for a very long time. One could even hypothesize, as did Steiner, that many of them are sociopathic or even demonically-possessed.

Steiner pointed out in lectures from the early 1920s that in Great Britain and America these possessed people were managing affairs from behind the scenes through secret societies. From this observation we recognize such organizations contemporary with Steiner as the Round Table and the Society of the Elect, founded in Great Britain by Cecil Rhodes and Lord Nathan Rothschild, and the Council on Foreign Relations, established in the U.S. after World War I by Colonel Edward M. House using Morgan and Rockefeller money. House, we recall, was the power behind the throne during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, practically becoming Wilson’s “familiar spirit.”

The trajectory the Empire embarked upon almost a century ago has not changed. Today the denouement is at hand. The present situation, unless sufficient numbers of people wake up to the way in which they must act immediately to ensure a balanced social order, including at least some of the controllers themselves, can end only in catastrophe, which Steiner in his writings foresaw.

In my opinion, there are four ways this possible catastrophe could come about–alone or in combination.

One is a third world war, where Russia, China, Iran, and/or other nations would make a stand against the obliteration of what remains of world culture by the Empire.

The second could be a violent worldwide revolution of the masses against all forms of economic injustice.

The third would involve a comprehensive enslavement of mankind by the imperial controllers, using advanced technological means to suppress all remaining vestiges of free thought and independent action.

The fourth may be a widespread collapse resulting in breakdown of economic systems, social anarchy, disintegration of infrastructure, and return to primitive conditions.

The elite of the Empire clearly prefer the third option and are rapidly moving toward it. But they are also well-advanced in preparing for numbers one and two. Number four is more problematical. We see those with available resources now stockpiling supplies, purchasing country property, creating arsenals of weapons, etc. Big business and big government have drawn up elaborate contingency plans, with the military prepared to institute martial law.

Many people, including so-called progressives, make the mistake of believing a fifth option lies in more control of economic, legal, and cultural matters, including education, by government. This puts them at odds with so-called conservatives, who want to reduce government funding for programs that benefit the lower- and middle-income sectors, while augmenting spending on the police and military.

Rudolf Steiner was an opponent of socialism, which as an economic system has been thoroughly discredited. It should also be clear that government involvement in any economic activity means more entrenched bureaucracy, standardization, taxes, court action, accounting overhead, forms, paperwork, police power, and stifling of innovation and initiative.

These are complicated issues, but my own view is that looking to government to rescue us is a historical dead-end and is often just an excuse for the controllers to extend their power. Many believe this is the hidden meaning of the Barack Obama phenomenon.

How else to explain how this unknown Chicago politician with a murky background came out of nowhere to attain the heights of power by repeating a one-word slogan: “Change”? Much of his campaign funding came from the financial sector that benefited when he continued Bush administration programs to bail them out after the crisis of October 2008.

The one major area where I believe government should do an about-face would be to break the monopoly held by big finance on the creation of money out of thin air which they then exploit by lending at interest. This government-chartered privilege is the bedrock of elite control.

I have written about the ways this system should be reformed, including facilitation of mutual credit clearing exchanges and acceptance of local currencies in payment of taxes. But the best way for governments to combine greater human freedom with concrete economic benefits may be through an international basic income guarantee as a means of promoting human dignity while introducing much-needed consumer purchasing power.

Fortunately for humanity, the hellish materialistic ideology that the Empire espouses, from which the tragedies of the 20th and early 21st centuries have proceeded, may be peaking. Today, increasing numbers of people have grown to feel that their being consists of more than their physical bodies or than the mere sum of their lives, in Steiner’s words, “between birth and death.”

The masses worldwide increasingly do not want war and oppose economic exploitation. It may therefore be hoped that what is now unfolding is close to the last wave of the horrible disturbances that take place between epochs.

Thus my own view is that a sixth option exists, which is divine revelation arising in a universe where the loving Creator in which a majority of mankind believes does not abandon His children. It would appear, from many indications, that the revelation Steiner forecast is already in progress. But for individuals to benefit, they must seek and find it, as it does not announce itself on billboards or in infomercials.

Steiner spoke of this revelation as a Second Coming of Christ in the Etheric. I believe this revelation is reflected in the proliferation of teachings and movements that focus on individuals entering within themselves through prayer or meditation in search of inner peace or consolation.

This new revelation may be working its way in the world in very practical ways, but always starting with changes in the psyche. Gradually a new attitude can come alive to displace a viewpoint where people worship the idols of their imagination—money, houses, bodily adornment, the people they want to posses—rather than observe the holy injunctions central to all religions to love God and to love their neighbor as themselves.

The new revelation shows up wherever people are aspiring to assure that what is produced in the area of economics does not belong just to the money-masters but to all people.

It would show itself when the world of law and government minds its own business except to assure equal rights for all, along with fairness and competition in the marketplace.

It manifests through spiritual, intellectual, and cultural striving, where the highest goal is unfettered individual expression of Self- and God-consciousness.

Again, according to Steiner, it is the spiritual sector that should give guidance to the economic and legal ones. Someday it will. A sign this is happening is the rapid growth of instantaneous communication through the internet. Whether spiritual revelation can prevent more disasters from taking place remains to be seen and may depend on how many individuals eschew despair and choose to respond to the signs of the times in new and positive ways.

The world is indeed changing, in ways different from what the imperialists have planned. They may try to wreck the world to prevent these changes, but it won’t work. As Steiner and other prophetic thinkers made clear, at-one-ment is here and now. Nothing else in fact has ever really existed.

Richard C. Cook is a former federal government analyst who writes on public policy issues. His website His latest book is “We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform.” He is preparing major article two-part article to appear this fall in New Dawn magazine on “Esoteric Christianity and the World Crisis.”

Richard C. Cook home page
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Real Christians Fight Against Injustice

Real Christians Fight Against Injustice
Washington's Blog blog link
March 8, 2010 | Washington's Blog

Preface: If you are (1) an atheist and believe that religion is crazy or (2) of a faith that doesn't value the Bible, please remember that the overwhelming majority of Americans identify themselves as Christian, and that most people make decisions and process information based on their beliefs. As I pointed out last month:

The overwhelming majority - 75% - of all Americans consider themselves to be Christian. It is irrelevant for this discussion ... whether or not those 75% are all living up to their values, whether every word of the Bible is true, whether Christianity is a detrimental force undermining democracy and reason, or whether all organized religion is a con... What is important is that most Americans are Christian, and so [I invite you to become at least a little bit "bilingual" and to] speak in language meaningful to Christians.

As James 2:20 reminds us:

Faith without works is dead.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges points out that:

Anger at injustice, as Martin Luther King wrote, is the political expression of love.

In other words, having faith and love is only half of what it means to be Christian. The other half is putting that faith and love into action, by fighting for justice.

As I wrote in November:

The Bible does not counsel us to ignore the breaking of laws by the the powerful.

In fact, the Bible mentions justice over 200 times -- more than just about any other topic. The Bible asks us to do justice and to stand up to ANYONE -- including the rich or powerful -- who do injustice or oppress the people.

There have been widespread, credible allegations that Goldman Sachs and other giant banks have broken the law (see this, for example).

Indeed, one of the first things God asks of us is to do justice:

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

While many churches and synagogues have become obsessed with other issues, many have arguably ignored this most important of God's demands of us. As pointed out by a leading Christian ministry, which rescues underage girls trapped as sex slaves in third world countries:

In Scripture there is a constant call to seek justice. Jesus got upset at the Pharisees because they neglected the weightier matters of the law, which He defined as justice and the love of God . . . Isaiah 58 complains about the fact that while the people of God are praying and praying and praying, they are not doing anything about the injustice.

Should Christians just pray for justice and leave the rest to God?

That's not what the Bible asks us to do. Instead, Hebrews 11:33 tells us that we are God's hands for dispensing justice, and God uses us to "administer justice."

We have to "walk our talk" and put our prayers into action.

God demands that we do everything in our power to act as "God's hands" in bringing justice. And as Saint Augustine reminds us, "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld."

Please reflect on the following Scripture:

The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene. (Isaiah 59:15-16)

This is the only place in the Bible where the word "appalled" is used for the way God feels -- in other words, the only thing which we know God is appalled by is if people are not doing justice.

There are hundreds of other references to justice in the Bible, including:

* Blessed are they who maintain justice . . . . (Psalm 106:3)
* This is what the LORD says: Maintain justice and do what is right . . . . (Isiah 56:1)
* This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. (Jeremiah 22:3,13-17)
* Follow justice and justice alone. (Deuteronomy 16:19, 20)
* For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice . . . . (Job 11:5,7)
* Learn to do right! Seek justice . . . . (Isaiah 1:17)

So if the powerful players in the giant banks broke the laws, they must be held to account.

Manipulating Money

Moreover, there have been credible allegations that Goldman Sachs and other giant banks manipulate the currency and other markets.

As Ron Paul notes, the Bible forbids altering the quality of money (which, at the time and place, was entirely in the form of coins):

Even the Bible is clear that altering the quality of money is an immoral act. We are instructed to follow the rules of "just weights and measures." "You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin" (Leviticus 19:35-36). "Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, and a false balance is not good" (Proverbs 20:23). The general principle can be summed as "You shall not steal."

Proverbs 11:1 also provides:

Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.

So to the extent that the giant banks have engaged in any dishonest acts or the manipulation of currencies, they are violating scripture.

Of course, any bankers who charge usurious interest rates should remember the little story about Jesus turning over the money changers' tables.

Oppression of the Poor

Finally, the Bible condemns oppression of the poor for the benefit of the affluent:

He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want. (Proverbs 22:16)

To the extent that the giant banks have oppressed the poor to increase their riches, they are violating scripture.

Real Christians Versus Fake Christians

In view of the foregoing, Glenn Beck calling churches which teach justice "nazis" and "communists" is fairly amusing.

Of course, churches in Nazi Germany mainly supported Adolph Hitler's unjust fascist policies. And communist Russia largely banned churches and persecuted Christians. So Beck's comparison of American churches which teach social justice to nazi or communist churches is - on its face - nonsensical.

More importantly, in a must-read essay, Reverend James Martin rips apart Beck's fake Christianity:

Glenn Beck said last week on his eponymous show that Christians should leave churches that preach “social justice.” Mr. Beck equated the desire for a just society with—wait for it—Nazism and Communism.

I'm begging you, your right to religion and freedom to exercise religion and read all of the passages of the Bible as you want to read them and as your church wants to preach them . . . are going to come under the ropes in the next year. If it lasts that long it will be the next year. I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes.

Of course this means that you would have to leave the Catholic Church, which has long championed that aspect of the Gospel. The term “social justice” originated way back in the 1800s (and probably predates even that), and has been continually underlined by the Magisterium and popes since Leo XIII, who began the modern tradition of Catholic social teaching with his encyclical on capital and labor, Rerum Novarum in 1891. Subsequent popes have built on Leo’s work, continuing the church’s meditation on a variety of issues of social just in such landmark documents as Pope Pius XI’s encyclical on "the reconstruction of the social order," Quadregismo Anno (1931), Paul VI’s encyclical "on the development of peoples,"Populorum Progressio (1967) and John Paul II’s encyclical "on the social concerns of the church"Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (1987). Social justice also undergirds much of Catholic social teaching on peace. “If you want peace,” said Pope Paul VI, “work for justice.”

The Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church, published by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, says this:

The Church's social Magisterium constantly calls for the most classical forms of justice to be respected: commutative, distributive and legal justice. Ever greater importance has been given to social justice., which represents a real development in general justice, the justice that regulates social relationships according to the criterion of observance of the law. Social justice, a requirement related to the social question which today is worldwide in scope, concerns the social, political and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their respective solutions....

Justice is particularly important in the present-day context, where the individual value of the person, his dignity and his rights — despite proclaimed intentions — are seriously threatened by the widespread tendency to make exclusive use of criteria of utility and ownership.

Oh, and social justice is not just some silly foreign idea. American Catholics know that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have an Office of Justice, Peace and Human Development. On that website the U.S. bishops say: “At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Our love for all our sisters and brothers demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.” I.e., social justice.

Okay, you get it, right? Social justice is an essential part of Catholic teaching. It's part of being a Catholic. So Glenn Beck is, in essence, saying “Leave the Catholic church.” Or, if you like, the Catholic church is a Nazi church. (Which would have surprised Alfred Delp or Rupert Mayer or Maximilian Kolbe.) Or a Communist one (Which would have suprised Jerzy Popieluszko and Karol Wojtyla).

But Glenn Beck is saying something else, which might get lost in the translation: "Leave Christianity." ...

Our responsibility to care for “the least of these” does not end with simple charity. Giving someone a handout is an important part of the Christian message. But so is advocating for them.It is not enough simply to help the poor, one must address the structures that keep them poor. Standing up for the rights of the poor is not being a Nazi, it’s being a Christian. And Communist? It’s hard not to think of the retort of the great apostle of social justice, Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." ...

Ignoring the poor, and ignoring what keeps the poor, is, quite simply, unchristian. For the poor are the church in many ways. When St. Lawrence, in the fourth century, was ordered by the prefect of Rome to turn over the wealth of the church, he presented to him the poor.

Glenn Beck's desire to detach social justice from the Gospel is a subtle move to detach care for the poor from the Gospel. But a church without the poor, and a church without a desire for a just social world for all, is not the church. At least not the church of Jesus Christ.

Churches working for social and economic justice are also speaking out:

Bread for the World, a Christian group devoted to eradicating world hunger, has started apetition to demand that Beck stop spreading "misinformation and fear" through his radio and TV broadcasts.

"Economic and social justice are central to the gospel of Jesus Christ," the petition reads. "Quit using your bully pulpit to spread misinformation and fear by comparing faithful Christians who care 'for the least of these' to Nazis and communists."

The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good ... has started a campaign to raise money towards a video rebuking Beck's assertion.

"We are launching a campaign to reclaim love of neighbor, especially the least, last, and lost, as an Evangelical Christian value. We believe love is central to everything Jesus taught, and we think Glenn Beck needs to hear about it," the group stated on its Web site.

Beyond Poverty

While fighting unjust conditions which cause poverty is a core task for Christians, it is not the only task.

For example, unless we do everything we can to prosecute government officials who ordered crimes against humanity (such as starting unjust wars under false pretenses and ordering widespread and indiscriminate torture), we are not fulfilling our responsibilities as Christians.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Richard K. Moore: Towards A New World Social Order

Prognosis 2012: Towards a New World Social Order
By Richard K. Moore article link article link
May 13, 2010 | ICH | Global Research February 27, 2010

When the Industrial Revolution began in Britain, in the late 1700s, there was lots of money to be made by investing in factories and mills, by opening up new markets, and by gaining control of sources of raw materials. The folks who had the most money to invest, however, were not so much in Britain but more in Holland. Holland was the leading Western power in the 1600s, and its bankers were the leading capitalists. In pursuit of profit, Dutch capital flowed to the British stock market, and thus the Dutch funded the rise of Britain, who subsequently eclipsed Holland both economically and geopolitically.

In this way British industrialism came to be dominated by wealthy investors, and capitalism became the dominant economic system. This led to a major social transformation. Britain had been essentially an aristocratic society, dominated by landholding families. As capitalism became dominant economically, capitalists became dominant politically. Tax structures and import-export policies were gradually changed to favor investors over landowners.

It was no longer economically viable to simply maintain an estate in the countryside: one needed to develop it, turn it to more productive use. Victorian dramas are filled with stories of aristocratic families who fall on hard times, and are forced to sell off their properties. For dramatic purposes, this decline is typically attributed to a failure in some character, a weak eldest son perhaps. But in fact the decline of aristocracy was part of a larger social transformation brought on by the rise of capitalism.

The business of the capitalist is the management of capital, and this management is generally handled through the mediation of banks and brokerage houses. It should not be surprising that investment bankers came to occupy the top of the hierarchy of capitalist wealth and power. And in fact, there are a handful of banking families, including the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, who have come to dominate economic and political affairs in the Western world.

Unlike aristocrats, capitalists are not tied to a place, or to the maintenance of a place. Capital is disloyal and mobile – it flows to where the most growth can be found, as it flowed from Holland to Britain, then from Britain to the USA, and most recently from everywhere to China. Just as a copper mine might be exploited and then abandoned, so under capitalism a whole nation can be exploited and then abandoned, as we see in the rusting industrial areas of America and Britain.

This detachment from place leads to a different kind of geopolitics under capitalism, as compared to aristocracy. A king goes to war when he sees an advantage to his nation in doing so. Historians can 'explain' the wars of pre-capitalist days, in terms of the aggrandizement of monarchs and nations.

A capitalist stirs up a war in order to make profits, and in fact our elite banking families have financed both sides of most military conflicts since at least World War 1. Hence historians have a hard time 'explaining' World War 1 in terms of national motivations and objectives.

In pre-capitalist days warfare was like chess, each side trying to win. Under capitalism warfare is more like a casino, where the players battle it out as long as they can get credit for more chips, and the real winner always turns out to be the house – the bankers who finance the war and decide who will be the last man standing. Not only are wars the most profitable of all capitalist ventures, but by choosing the winners, and managing the reconstruction, the elite banking families are able, over time, to tune the geopolitical configuration to suit their own interests.

Nations and populations are but pawns in their games. Millions die in wars, infrastructures are destroyed, and while the world mourns, the bankers are counting their winnings and making plans for their postwar reconstruction investments.

From their position of power, as the financiers of governments, the banking elite have over time perfected their methods of control. Staying always behind the scenes, they pull the strings controlling the media, the political parties, the intelligence agencies, the stock markets, and the offices of government. And perhaps their greatest lever of power is their control over currencies. By means of their central-bank scam, they engineer boom and bust cycles, and they print money from nothing and then loan it at interest to governments. The power of the banking elites is both absolute and subtle...

"Some of the biggest men in the United States are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere, so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak incondemnation of it." -- President Woodrow Wilson

The end of growth – capitalists vs. capitalism

It was always inevitable, on a finite planet, that there would be a limit to economic growth. Industrialization has enabled us to rush headlong toward that limit over the past two centuries. Production has become ever more efficient, markets have become ever more global, and finally we have reached the point where the paradigm of perpetual growth can no longer be maintained.

Indeed, that point was actually reached by about 1970. Since then capital has not so much sought growth through increased production, but rather by extracting greater returns from relatively flat production levels. Hence globalization, which moved production to low-waged areas, providing greater profit margins. Hence privatization, which transfers revenue streams to investors that formerly went to national treasuries. Hence derivative and currency markets, which create the electronic illusion of economic growth, without actually producing anything in the real world.

If one studies the collapse of civilizations, one learns that failure-to-adapt is fatal. Continuing on the path of pursuing growth would be such a failure to adapt. And if one reads the financial pages these days, one finds that it is full of doomsayers. We read that the Eurozone is doomed, and Greece is just the first casualty. We read that stimulus packages are not working, unemployment is increasing, the dollar is in deep trouble, growth continues to stagnate, business real estate will be the next bubble to burst, etc. It is easy to get the impression that capitalism is failing to adapt, and that our societies are in danger of collapsing into chaos.

Such an impression would be partly right and partly wrong. In order to understand the real situation we need to make a clear distinction between the capitalist elite and capitalism itself. Capitalism is an economic system driven by growth; the capitalist elite are the folks who have managed to gain control of the Western world while capitalism has operated over the past two centuries. The capitalist system is past its sell-by date, the banking elite are well aware of that fact – and they are adapting.

Capitalism is a vehicle that helped bring the bankers to absolute power, but they have no more loyalty to that system than they have to place, or to anything or anyone else. As mentioned earlier, they think on a global scale, with nations and populations as pawns. They define what money is and they issue it, just like the banker in a game of Monopoly. They can also make up a new game with a new kind of money. They have long outgrown any need to rely on any particular economic system in order to maintain their power. Capitalism was handy in an era of rapid growth. For an era of non-growth, a different game is being prepared.

Thus, capitalism has not been allowed to die a natural death. First it was put on a life-support system, as mentioned above, with globalization, privatization, derivative markets, etc. Then it was injected with a euthanasia death-drug, in the form of toxic derivatives. And when the planned collapse occurred, rather than industrial capitalism being bailed out, the elite bankers were bailed out. It's not that the banks were too big to fail, rather the bankers were too politically powerful to fail. They made governments an offer they couldn't refuse.

The outcome of the trillion-dollar bailouts was easily predictable, although you wouldn't know that from reading the financial pages. National budgets were already stretched, and they certainly did not have reserves available to service the bailouts. Thus the bailouts amounted to nothing more than the taking on of immense new debts by governments. In order to fulfill the bailout commitments, the money would need to be borrowed from the same financial institutions that were being bailed out.

With the bailouts, Western governments delivered their nations in hock to the bankers. The governments are now in perpetual debt bondage to the bankers. Rather than the banks going into receivership, governments are now in receivership. Obama's cabinet and advisors are nearly all from Wall Street; they are in the White House so they can keep close watch over their new acquisition, the once sovereign USA. Perhaps they will soon be presiding over its liquidation.

The bankers are now in control of national budgets. They say what can be funded and what can't. When it comes to financing their wars and weapons production, no limits are set. When it comes to public services, then we are told deficits must be held in check. The situation was expressed very well by Brian Cowan, Ireland's government chief. In the very same week that Ireland pledged 200 billion Euro to bailout the banks, he was being asked why he was cutting a few million Euro off of critical service budgets. He replied, "I'm sorry, but the funds just aren't there". Of course they're not there! The treasury was given away. The cupboard is bare.

As we might expect, the highest priority for budgets is servicing the debt to the banks. Just as most of the third world is in debt slavery to the IMF, so the whole West is now in debt slavery to its own central banks. Greece is the harbinger of what is to happen everywhere.

The carbon economy – controlling consumption

In a non-growth economy, the mechanisms of production will become relatively static. Instead of corporations competing to innovate, we'll have production bureaucracies. They'll be semi-state, semi-private bureaucracies, concerned about budgets and quotas rather than growth, somewhat along the lines of the Soviet model. Such an environment is not driven by a need for growth capital, and it does not enable a profitable game of Monopoly.

We can already see steps being taken to shift the corporate model towards the bureaucratic model, through increased government intervention in economic affairs. With the Wall Street bailouts, the forced restructuring of General Motors, the call for centralized micromanagement of banking and industry, and the mandating of health insurance coverage, the government is saying that the market is to be superseded by government directives. Not that we should bemoan the demise of exploitive capitalism, but before celebrating we need to understand what it is being replaced with.

In an era of capitalism and growth, the focus of the game has been on the production side of the economy. The game was aimed at controlling the means of growth: access to capital. The growth-engine of capitalism created the demand for capital; the bankers controlled the supply. Taxes were mostly based on income, again related to the production side of the economy.

In an era of non-growth, the focus of the game will be on the consumption side of the economy. The game will be aimed at controlling the necessities of life: access to food and energy. Population creates the demand for the necessities of life; the bankers intend to control the supply. Taxes will be mostly based on consumption, particularly of energy. That's what the global warming scare is all about, with its carbon taxes and carbon credits.

Already in Britain there is talk of carbon quotas, like gasoline rationing in wartime. It's not just that you'll pay taxes on energy, but the amount of energy you can consume will be determined by government directive. Carbon credits will be issued to you, which you can use for driving, for heating, or on rare occasions for air travel. Also in Britain, the highways are being wired so that they can track how many miles you drive, tax you accordingly, and penalize you if you travel over your limit. We can expect these kinds of things to spread throughout the West, as it's the same international bankers who are in charge everywhere.

In terms of propaganda, this control over consumption is being sold as a solution to global warming and peak oil. The propaganda campaign has been very successful, and the whole environmental movement has been captured by it. In Copenhagen, demonstrators confronted the police, carrying signs in support of carbon taxes and carbon credits. But in fact the carbon regime has nothing to do with climate or with sustainability. It is all about micromanaging every aspect of our lives, as well as every aspect of the economy.

If the folks who are running things actually cared about sustainability, they'd be investing in efficient mass transit, and they'd be shifting agriculture from petroleum-intensive, water-intensive methods to sustainable methods. Instead they are mandating biofuels and selling us electric cars, which are no more sustainable or carbon-efficient than standard cars. Indeed, the real purpose behind biofuels is genocide. With food prices linked to energy prices, and agriculture land being converted from food production to fuel production, the result can only be a massive increase in third-world starvation. Depopulation has long been a stated goal in elite circles, and the Rockefeller dynasty has frequently been involved in eugenics projects of various kinds.

'The War on Terrorism' – preparing the way for the transition

The so-called War on Terrorism has two parts. The first part is a pretext for arbitrary abuse of citizen's rights, whenever Homeland Security claims the action is necessary for security reasons. The second part is a pretext for US military aggression anywhere in the world, whenever the White House claims that Al Qaeda is active there.

I emphasized the word 'claims' above, because the terrorism pretext is being used to justify arbitrary powers, both domestically and globally. No hard evidence need be presented to Congress, the UN, or anyone else, before some nation is invaded, someone is kidnapped and tortured as a 'terrorist suspect', or some new invasive security measure is implemented. When powers are arbitrary, then we are no longer living under the rule of law, neither domestically nor internationally. We are living under the rule of men, as you would expect in a dictatorship, or in an old-fashioned kingdom or empire.

Part 1: Preparing the way for a new social order

In a very real sense, the terrorism pretext is being used to undo everything that The Enlightenment and the republication revolutions achieved two centuries ago. The very heart of the Bill of Rights – due process – has been abandoned. The gulag, the concentration camp, and the secret arrest in the night – these we have always associated with fascist and communist dictatorships – and now they are not only functioning under US jurisdiction, but being justified publicly by the President himself.

Is there really a terrorist threat to the homeland, and would these measures be a sensible response to such a threat? People sre strongly divided in their answers to these questions. Quite a bit of hard forensic evidence has come to light, including links to intelligence agencies, and my own view is that most of the dramatic 'terrorist' events in the US, UK, and Europe have been covert false-flag operations.

From an historical perspective this would not be at all surprising. Such operations have been standard practice – modus operandi – in many nations, though we usually don't get proof until years later. For example, every war the US has been involved in has had its own phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident, or its Weapons of Mass Destruction scam, in one form or another. It's a formula that works. Instant mobilization of public opinion, prompt passage without debate of enabling resolutions and legislation. Why would the War on Terrorism be any different?

As regards motive: while Muslims have only suffered as a result of these dramatic events, our elite bankers have been able to create a police-state infrastructure that can be used to deal with any foreseeable popular resistance or civic chaos that might emerge as they prepare the way for their post-capitalist future.

With the collapse, the bailouts, and the total failure to pursue any kind of effective recovery strategy, the signals are very clear: the system will be allowed to collapse totally, thus clearing the ground for a pre-architected 'solution'. Ground Zero can be seen as a metaphor, with the capitalist economy as the Twin Towers. And the toxic derivatives illustrate the fact that the collapse is actually a controlled demolition.

It seems to me inevitable, given the many signals, that martial law will be part of the transition process, allegedly to deal with the problems of economic collapse. Perhaps a collapse in the food-supply chain, due to a collapse in the energy-supply chain. The US emergency responses in New Orleans and again in Haiti give us more signals, actual test trials, of what kind of 'emergency response' we can expect.

First and foremost comes the security of the occupation forces. Those suffering in the emergency are treated more like insurgents than victims in need of help. In the case of Haiti, the US response can only be described as an intentional genocide project. When people are pinned under rubble in an earthquake, the first 48 hours, and 72 hours, are absolutely critical points, as regards survival rates. When the US military systematically blocked incoming aid for those critical hours, turning back doctors and emergency teams, they sealed the fate of many thousands who could have been saved.

One can imagine many nightmare scenarios, given these various signals, these ominous signs. World Wars 1 and 2 were nightmares that really happened, with millions dying, and these same banking dynasties orchestrated those scenarios and then covered their tracks. We must also keep in mind the Shock Doctrine, where catastrophe is seen as opportunity – when 'things can be done that otherwise could not be accomplished'. We are still being impacted by the shock waves that were sent out on 9/11, and again when the financial system collapsed. And the the really big shock, the general collapse of society, is yet to come. The ultimate version of the Shock Doctrine: 'If the collapse is total, we can accomplish any damned thing we want to accomplish'.

I won't venture a guess about how this transition process will play out, but I do expect that it will be a nightmare of one description or another. Already the growing homeless population is suffering a nightmare, by any civilized standards. One day you're living in a home whose value is going up, commuting to a good job, and the next thing you know your family is out on the streets. That's a nightmare. The transition time will be a difficult time, but it will be a transition, it will be temporary, like a war. And like a war, it will enable social and economic reconstruction in the aftermath.

Consider how Japan and Germany were socially and politically transformed by the postwar reconstruction process. Those were exercises in social engineering, as were the preceding transformations under Mussolini and Hitler. Although the outcomes were quite different, in each case a total collapse / defeat was the preamble to reconstruction. A total collapse of the capitalist economy is simply the application of a proven formula. The second part of the formula will be some new social order, or perhaps some old social order, or some mixture. Something appropriate to a non-growth, command economy.

That's part 1 of the War on Terrorism: it has enabled the creation of the police-state infrastructures required to to deal with the collapse of society, and to provide security for the reconstruction process.

Part 2: Preparing the way for global domination

Part 2 of the War on Terrorism is about the geopolitical dimensions of a non-growth-based global economy. Earlier I suggested that geopolitics was different under capitalism, than it was under sovereign monarchs. The whole dynamic was different, and outcomes were weighed on a different scale. Similarly, many things will change in a shift from chaotic, growth-oriented capitalism, to a centralized, micromanaged, economic regime.

Consider, for example, the significance of control over oil reserves. In a growth economy, profits were the prize, and controlling the markets and the distribution channels amounted to holding a winning hand in the game. The local dictators could manage things as they pleased, and take their cut of oil revenues, as long as they honored their contracts with the oil majors, who were happy to sell to the highest bidders.

In a non-growth economy, where the focus is on direct control over the supply and distributions of resources, it becomes necessary to secure, in the military sense, the sources of petroleum, and the routes for its distribution. It is no longer sufficient to merely profit from unbridled operations. Securing of the sources, and directly allocating the distribution, is the foundation for micromanaging the non-growth economy. This applies to other critical resources as well, such as uranium, and the rare minerals needed by the 'defense' and electronics industries.

In fact we are in the midst of a resource-grab war, with China and Russia making long-term energy deals with Iran and Venezuela, China buying up agricultural land in Africa, Washington making long-term deals for Brazilian biofuels, and there are many other examples. In many ways imperialism is reverting to colonial days, when direct administration was the model, rather than the capitalist model: profiting from corporate investments under dictators who suppress their populations.

There is a natural reversion to the dynamics of the 'good old days of empire' when the Great Powers of Europe focused their economic activity within their individual spheres of influence. Everyone knows that global resource limits are being reached, partly from population pressures, and partly from resource-exploitation practices. For this reason alone, we have the peaceful part of the resource-grab war.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and now in Pakistan and Yemen, the US, with NATO support, is playing a very non-peaceful hand in the resource-grab game. It's the hand of a bully, 'I have the biggest gun, so I'll take what I want'. These aggressive actions are very provocative to Russia and China, and threatening to their vital economic interests. An attack on Iran would be more than a provocation, it would be a direct slap in the face, a challenge: 'Fight now or resign yourself to being subdued piecemeal'.

In addition to all this petroleum grabbing, the US has been surrounding Russia and China with military bases, and has recently accelerated the installations of anti-missile systems on their borders, over the strong objections of Russia and China. The US is being intentionally provocative, and it is threatening vital interests of these potential adversaries.

Alliances are being formed in response, on a bilateral basis, and in the form of the SCO. China and Russia are very close in their military cooperation, and technology sharing. Their strategic planning is based on the expectation of a US attack, and their strategic response is based on the principle of asymmetric warfare. For example, a million dollar missile capable of taking out a multi-billion dollar aircraft carrier. Or perhaps a handful of missiles capable of disabling the Pentagon's command-and-control satellite systems.

Meanwhile the US is spending astronomical sums developing a first-strike capability, with space-based weapons systems, control-of-theater capability, forward-based 'tactical' nukes, etc. The new anti-missile systems are an important part of a first-strike strategy, reducing the ability of Russia or China to retaliate. These systems are more than just provocative. They are the modern equivalent of marching your armies up to your adversary's border.

If there is a nuclear exchange between the major powers, historians will cite all of these things I've mentioned as 'obvious signs' that war was coming. Parallels would be drawn to the pre-World War 1 scenario, when Germany was eclipsing Britain economically, as China is eclipsing the US now. In both cases a 'desperate attempt to maintain hegemony' would be seen as the cause of the war.

There may or may not be a World War 3, but all of these preparations make it clear that our banking elite intend to preside over a global system, by hook or by crook. If they wanted a peaceful arrangement, a splitting of the third-world pie, so to speak, it could be easily arranged at any time, along with substantial nuclear disarmament. China and Russia would like to see a stable, multi-polar world; it is only our elite bankers who are obsessed with world domination.

It is possible that nuclear war is a 'desired outcome', accomplishing depopulation, and making the collapse even more total. Or perhaps China and Russia will be given an offer they can't refuse: 'Surrender your economic sovereignty to our global system, or face the consequences'.

One way or another, the elite bankers, the masters of the universe, intend to preside over a micromanaged global system. The collapse project is now well underway, and the 'surround your enemy' project seems to be more or less completed. From a strategic perspective, there will be some trigger point, some stage in the economic collapse scenario, when geopolitical confrontation is judged to be most advantageous. It's a multi-dimensional chess board, and with the stakes so high, you can rest assured that the timing of the various moves will be carefully coordinated. And from the overall shape of the board, we seem to be nearing the endgame.

Prognosis 2012 – a Neo Dark Age

2012 might not be the exact year, but it's difficult to see the endgame lasting much beyond that, and the masters of the universe love symbolism, as with 911 (both in Chile and in Manhattan), KLA 007, and others. 2012 is loaded with symbolism, eg. the Mayan Calendar, and the Internet is buzzing with various 2012-related prophecies, survival strategies, anticipated alien interventions, alignments with galactic radiation fields, etc. And then there is the Hollywood film, 2012, which explicitly portrays the demise of most of humanity, and the pre-planned salvation of a select few. One never knows with Hollywood productions, what is escapist fantasy, and what is aimed at preparing the public mind symbolically for what is to come.

Whatever the exact date, all the threads will come together, geopolitically and domestically, and the world will change. It will be a new era, just as capitalism was a new era after aristocracy, and the Dark Ages followed the era of the Roman Empire. Each era has its own structure, its own economics, its own social forms, and its own mythology. These things must relate to one another coherently, and their nature follows from the fundamental power relationships and economic circumstances of the system.

In our post-2012 world, we have for the first time one centralized global government, and one ruling elite clique, a kind of extended royal family, the lords of finance. As we can see with the IMF, WHO, and the WTO, and the other pieces of the embryonic world government, the institutions of governance will make no pretensions about popular representation or democratic responsiveness. Rule will be by means of autocratic global bureaucracies, who take their marching orders from the royal family. This model has already been operating for some time, within its various spheres of influence, as with the restructuring programs forced on the third world, as a condition for getting financing.

Whenever there is a change of era, the previous era is always demonized in mythology. In the Garden of Eden story the serpent is demonized – a revered symbol in paganism, the predecessor to Christianity. When republics came along, the demonization of monarchs was an important part of the process. In the post-2012 world, democracy and national sovereignty will be demonized. This will be very important, in getting people to accept totalitarian rule, and the mythology will contain much that is true...

In those terrible dark days, before the blessed unification of humanity, anarchy reigned in the world. One nation would attack another, no better than predators in the wild. Nations had no coherent policies; voters would swing from one party to another, keeping governments always in transition and confusion. How did they ever think that masses of semi-educated people could govern themselves, and run a complex society? Democracy was an ill-conceived experiment that led only to corruption and chaotic governance. How lucky we are to be in this well-ordered world, where humanity has finally grown up, and those with the best expertise make the decisions.

The economics of non-growth are radically different than capitalist economics. The unit of exchange is likely to be a carbon credit, entitling you to consume the equivalent of one kilogram of fuel. Everything will have a carbon value, allegedly based on how much energy it took to produce it and transport it to market. 'Green consciousness' will be a primary ethic, conditioned early into children. Getting by with less is a virtue; using energy is anti-social; austerity is a responsible and necessary condition.

As with every currency, the bankers will want to manage the scarcity of carbon credits, and that's where global warming alarmism becomes important. Regardless of the availability of resources, carbon credits can be kept arbitrarily scarce simply by setting carbon budgets, based on directives from the IPCC, another of our emerging units of global bureaucratic governance. Such IPCC directives will be the equivalent of the Federal Reserve announcing a change in interest rates. Those budgets set the scale of economic activity.

Presumably nations will continue to exist, as official units of governance. However security and policing will be largely centralized and privatized. Like the Roman Legions, the security apparatus will be loyal to the center of empire, not to the place where someone happens to be stationed. We have seen this trend already in the US, as mercenaries have become big business, and police forces are increasingly federalized, militarized, and alienated from the general public.

Just as airports have now been federalized, all transport systems will be under the jurisdiction of the security apparatus. Terrorism will continue as an ongoing bogey-man, justifying whatever security procedures are deemed desirable for social-control purposes. The whole security apparatus will have a monolithic quality to it, a similarity of character regardless of the specific security tasks or location. Everyone dressed in the same Evil Empire black outfits, with big florescent letters on the back of their flack jackets. In essence, the security apparatus will be an occupying army, the emperor's garrison in the provinces.

On a daily basis, you will need to go through checkpoints of various kinds, with varying levels of security requirements. This is where biometrics becomes important. If people can be implanted with chips, then much of the security can be automated, and everyone can be tracked at at all times, and their past activity retrieved. The chip links into your credit balance, so you've got all your currency always with you, along with your medical records and lots else that you don't know about.

There is very little left as regards national sovereignty. Nothing much in the way of foreign policy will have any meaning. With security marching to its own law and its distant drummer, the main role of so-called 'government' will be to allocate and administer the carbon-credit budget that it receives from the IPCC. The IPCC decides how much wealth a nation will receive in a given year, and the government then decides how to distribute that wealth in the form of public services and entitlements. Wealth being measured by the entitlement to expend energy.

In a fundamental sense, this is how things already are, following the collapse and the bailouts. Because governments are so deeply in debt, the bankers are able to dictate the terms of national budgets, as a condition of keeping credit lines open. The carbon economy, with its centrally determined budgets, provides a much simpler and more direct way of micromanaging economic activity and resource distribution throughout the globe.

In order to clear the way for the carbon-credit economy, it will be necessary for Western currencies to collapse, to become worthless, as nations become increasingly insolvent, and the global financial system continues to be systematically dismantled. The carbon currency will be introduced as an enlightened, progressive 'solution' to the crisis, a currency linked to something real, and to sustainability. The old monetary system will be demonized, and again the mythology will contain much that is true...

The pursuit of money is the root of all evil, and the capitalist system was inherently evil. It encouraged greed, and consumption, and it cared nothing about wasting resources. People thought the more money they had, the better off they were. How much wiser we are now, to live within our means, and to understand that a credit is a token of stewardship.

Culturally, the post-capitalist era will be a bit like the medieval era, with aristocrats and lords on top, and the rest peasants and serfs. A definite upper class and lower class. Just as only the old upper class had horses and carriages, only the new upper class will be entitled to access substantial carbon credits. Wealth will be measured by entitlements, more than by acquisitions or earnings. Those outside the bureaucratic hierarchies are the serfs, with subsistence entitlements. Within the bureaucracies, entitlements are related to rank in the hierarchy. Those who operate in the central global institutions are lords of empire, with unlimited access to credits.

But there is no sequestering of wealth, or building of economic empires, outside the structures of the designated bureaucracies. Entitlements are about access to resources and facilities, to be used or not used, but not to be saved and used as capital. The flow of entitlements comes downward, micromanaged from the top. It's a dole economy, at all levels, for people and governments alike – the global regimentation of consumption. As regards regimentation, the post-capitalist culture will also be a bit like the Soviet system. Here's your entitlement card, here's your job assignment, and here's where you'll be living.

With the pervasive security apparatus, and the micromanagement of economic activity, the scenario is clearly about fine-grained social control, according to centralized guidelines and directives. Presumably media will be carefully programmed, with escapist trivia, and a sophisticated version of 1984-style groupthink propaganda pseudo-news, which is pretty much what we already have today. The non-commercial Internet, if there is one, will be limited to monitored, officially-designated chat sites, and other kinds of sanitized forums.

With such a focus on social micromanagement, I do not expect the family unit to survive in the new era, and I expect child-abuse alarmism will be the lever used to destabilize the family. The stage has been set with all the revelations about church and institutional child sexual abuse. Such revelations could have been uncovered any time in the past century, but they came out at a certain time, just as all these other transitional things have been happening. People are now aware that widespread child abuse happens, and they have been conditioned to support strong measures to prevent it.

Whenever I turn on the TV, I see at least one public-service ad, with shocking images, about children who are physically or sexually abused, or criminally neglected, in their homes, and there's a hotline phone number that children can call. It is easy to see how the category of abuse can be expanded, to include parents who don't follow vaccination schedules, whose purchase records don't indicate healthy diets, who have dubious psychological profiles, etc. The state of poverty could be deemed abusive neglect.

With the right media presentation, abuse alarmism would be easy to stir up. Ultimately, a 'child rights' movement becomes an anti-family movement. The state must directly protect the child from birth. The family is demonized...

How scary were the old days, when unlicensed, untrained couples had total control over vulnerable children, behind closed doors, with whatever neuroses, addictions, or perversions the parents happened to possess. How did this vestige of patriarchal slavery, this safe-house den of abuse, continue so long to exist, and not be recognized for what it was? How much better off we are now, with children being raised scientifically, by trained staff, where they are taught healthy values.

Ever since public education was introduced, the state and the family have competed to control childhood conditioning. In religious families, the church has made its own contribution to conditioning. In the micromanaged post-capitalist future, with its Shock Doctrine birth scenario, it would make good sense to take that opportunity to implement the 'final solution' of social control, which is for the state to monopolize child raising. This would eliminate from society the parent-child bond, and hence family-related bonds in general. No longer is there a concept of relatives. There's just worker bees, security bees, and queen bees, who dole out the honey.


This has been an extensive and somewhat detailed prognosis, regarding the architecture of the post-capitalist regime, and the transition process required to bring it about. The term 'new world order' is too weak a term to characterize the radical nature of the social transformation anticipated in the prognosis. A more apt characterization would be a 'quantum leap in the domestication of the human species'. Micromanaged lives and microprogrammed beliefs and thoughts. A once wild primate species transformed into something resembling more a bee or ant culture. Needless to say, regular use of psychotropic drugs would be mandated, so that people could cope emotionally with such a sterile, inhuman environment.

For such a profound transformation to be possible, it is easy to see that a very great shock is required, on the scale of collapse and social chaos, and possibly on the scale of a nuclear exchange. There needs to be an implicit mandate to 'do whatever is necessary to get society running again'. The shock needs to leave people in a condition of total helplessness comparable to the survivors in the bombed-out rubble of Germany and Japan after World War 2. Nothing less will do.

The accuracy of the prognosis, as prediction, is of course impossible to know in advance. However each part of the prognosis has been based on precedents that have been set, modus operandi that has been observed, trends that have been initiated, sentiments that have been expressed, signals that have been given, and actions that have been taken whose consequences can be confidently predicted.

In addition, in looking at all of these indicators together, one sees a certain mindset, an absolutist determination to implement the 'ideal solution', without compromise, using extreme means, and with unbridled audacity. World wars have been rehearsals for this historic moment. The police state infrastructure is in place and has been tested. The economy is in the process of collapse. The enemy is surrounded with missiles. Arbitrary powers have been assumed. If not now, the ultimate prize, then when will there be a better opportunity?

Our elite planners are backed up by competent think tanks, and they know that the new society must have coherence of various kinds. They've had quite a bit of experience with social engineering, nurturing the rise of fascism, and then engineering the postwar regimes. They understand the importance of mythology.

For example there is the mythology of the holocaust, where the story is all about extermination per se, and the story is not told of the primary mission of the concentration camps, which was to provide slave labor for war production. And some of the companies using the slave labor were American owned, and were supplying the German war machine. Thus does mythology, though containing truth, succeed in hiding the tracks and the crimes of elite perps, leaving others to carry the whole burden of historical demonization.

So I think there is a sound basis for anticipating the kinds of mythology that would be designed for leaving behind and rejecting the old ways, and seeing the new as a salvation. There is a long historical precedent of era changes linked with mythology changes, often expressed in religious terms. There will be a familiar ring to the new mythology, a remixing and re-prioritizing of familiar values and assumptions, so as to resonate with the dynamics of the new regime.

The nature of the carbon economy has been somewhat clearly signaled. Carbon budgets, and carbon credits, are clearly destined to become primary components of the economy. As we've seen with the elite and grassroots supported global warming movement, the arbitrary scarcity of carbon credits can be easily regulated on the pretext of environmentalism. And peak oil alarmism is always available as a backup. As elite spokespeople have often expressed, when the time comes, the masses will demand the new world order.

The focus on control over consumption, resources, and distribution is implicit in the emphasis on energy limits, is latent in the geopolitical situation, as regards depletion of global resources, and is indicated by the need for a new unifying paradigm, as the growth paradigm is no longer viable.

The nature of the security apparatus has been clearly signaled by the responses to demonstrations ever since 1998 in Seattle, by the increased use of hardened-killer mercenaries at home and abroad, by excessive and abusive police behavior, by airport security procedures, by Guantanamo and renditions, by the creation of a domestic branch of the army, dedicated to responding to civil emergencies, and by the way Katrina and Haiti have been handled.

It would be a major mistake to think of those last two as bungled operations. They were exercises in collapse management of a certain kind, to be applied to certain populations, where the training and equipment appropriate for combat in Afghanistan is seen as being appropriate for administering aid to civilian disaster victims. These selected disaster victims will be seen primarily as threats to civil order, or perhaps undesirables to be incarcerated or eliminated.

They will be demonized as rioters and looters. Assistance will comes later, if at all. And it can all be broadcast on TV, and somehow be seen as the way things have to be. These two exercises were not bungled at all. They were alarmingly successful, most notably in the case of the realtime PR mythology.

The limited role of national governments, being primarily allocators of mandated budgets, has been clearly signaled by long-standing IMF policies in the third world, and by the way the bankers have been dictating to governments, in the wake of the over-extended bailout commitments. The carbon entitlement budgeting paradigm accomplishes the same micromanagement in a much more direct way, and is the natural outcome of the push toward hard carbon limits.

© Copyright Richard K. Moore, Global Research, 2010

Richard K. Moore is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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