by Gary D. Barnett
After reading my title, I suppose many will automatically think I am some sort of anarchist or revolutionary. If so, then thank you for the compliment. If only I could be thought of in such an honorable way?
The very intrusive and invasive U.S. Census can be used to make a case for secession. Not that a case for secession can’t be made using a myriad of other criteria, but due to the original reasoning for the census, I think one can show that any country with more than 300,000,000 people cannot possibly remain a free republic. It simply is not possible. Our nation was intended to be several states, with a federal system to oversee the protection of individual rights. It has become a single nation-state with all control coming from a central-planning leviathan. This is an untenable situation and was bound to lead to tyranny. This in and of itself is reason enough to pursue secession.
First, let’s look at the Census issue. Stated in Article 1, Section 2 of our constitution:
Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years; and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years of the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative.
There are a couple of things that stand out in this passage. First, an actual enumeration (simple head count) shall be made every ten years. This count of heads is all that is authorized by the constitution, and is to be done so that a proper ratio between the representatives and the people can be determined, and to also determine the proper apportionment of direct taxes among the several states. As an aside, the number of representatives has been fixed at 435 since 1911. The total population of the United States in 1911 was 93,863,000. Obviously, our population has increased almost three and one half times since then without any change in representation. Secondly, the writers of our current constitution said that there should not be more than one representative for every thirty thousand people, and going forward from the original 65 members, the rule of one representative for every thirty thousand people was generally accepted. As I will discuss later, there were no fixed upper limits on the number of representatives, but the Founders did caution against too large a number; but why?
The ratio of representatives to people was not exact as heavily populated centers would have fewer representatives per capita, but the end result was to be full and fair representation of all the people. Since the number of representatives has been fixed for almost one hundred years, what is the point of the current Census? Since no additional representation is even being discussed and no talk or legislation exists to change this number, is the Census now valid and/or constitutional? I do realize that specific district changes do occur and that apportionment of some taxes (actually very little) is still constitutional, but I think a very good argument could be made that not only is the modern Census completely unnecessary, but that it might now be unconstitutional as well due to the fact that the primary reasoning for this count has been thrown aside by the federal government. If no count will result in a change of representation, then the costly and invasive U.S. Census should be stopped immediately. Obviously, the modern census count is used not to determine representation as originally intended anyway, but is used as a tool to determine the improper and unconstitutional amounts of wealth redistribution, and to gain personal and private information about the citizenry. The coming census also includes a precise mapping by GPS of every address. What in the world does locking in my home position in a government database have to do with representation or apportionment? This information, by the way, is none of their damn business! This in and of itself is reason enough to scrap this invasion of privacy because the entire census count is nothing more than a farce to help expand government interference into private matters.
What does all this mean? A breakdown of the numbers is useful here. Initially, there was one representative for every 30,000 people. In 1911 when the representative number became fixed at 435, there was one representative for every 216,000 people. Currently, there is one representative for approximately every 760,000 Americans. If we were to go back to the original plan, we would now have to have about 11,000 representatives. Is anybody up to 11,000 campaigns and elections every two years? Before you answer, think about the unseen consequences.
Karen DeCoster pointed out to me that having thousands of representatives, as ridiculous as it sounds, might prove to be beneficial. Can you imagine the bottleneck if 11,000 politicians were trying to agree on a particular piece of legislation? Nothing would ever get done, rendering the political process mute. This might not be a bad idea after all, as gridlock is a desired end. Gridlock stifles political aggression and is certainly a friend of freedom.
Times have certainly changed over the past 200 years or so. James Madison once thought that the number of representatives, as long as not too small or too large, was not a big issue. He thought this because he had faith in the American people; in that they would not continue to vote for those who would advance tyranny, and considering the times, he was most likely correct in his assumption. What in the world would Madison think if he were alive today? His trust in the American people would be shaken beyond repair. How could anyone today believe that our liberty is safe in the hands of the imbecilic and unenlightened American voter?
His foreknowledge was evident when he said:
What change of circumstance, time, and a fuller population of our country may produce, requires a prophetic spirit to declare, which makes no part of my pretensions.
Judging from his words, he understood that times would bring change and that larger and larger populations would cause problems in representation. Given the times of our Founders, one representative for every 30,000 people seemed proper, but today, one for every 760,000 is absurd. Let’s face it; this country has become too large for freedom to survive under its present form of government. Instead of freedom, we now have socialism, fascism and tyranny. So what can be done about it? I think there is only one logical answer: Secession!
Secession should not be feared but embraced. Our country was borne by secession and in my opinion can only be saved by secession. Secession in my mind is an inherent, God-given right. If one is bound by or to the state by force, freedom has no validity and cannot exist. Secession is the virtual unbinding of the chains of tyranny. It is the emancipation if you will, from the servitude of the state and awakens the spirit of liberty. What better solution is there when extreme conditions exist?
Many will balk at the idea of secession but there is no need. Our country would not be torn apart, but restored, by separating ourselves from a tyrannical government. Secession is not a breakup of the country because the country will remain intact. The spirit of America would not be lost but regained. The oppressive power of the federal government would be curtailed, and in many cases eliminated. Just think of the benefits if the federal government’s power was eradicated. Massive taxation and inflation would all but disappear. Unjust and unholy foreign aggression would not be possible. Spying, wiretapping and unwarranted searches would be a thing of the past. The growing police state and standing armies could not be funded at current levels and would have to be pared back. U.S. military bases in other countries would have to be closed and all military personnel could come home where they belong. The insane war on drugs and its accompanying prison-state apparatus would shut down. With these changes, torture would no longer be the rule of the day, and civil and just law could return. In other words, a return to freedom would be evident and real prosperity would once again be available for all to seek. Does this sound euphoric? Of course it does, because freedom and free markets are euphoric in a real way, unlike the so-called socialistic euphoria based on theft and oppression.
This is serious business! It is important, it is imperative, and time is of the essence! Any secession from this tyrannical government, whether by states, portions of states, or regions, will require gargantuan efforts by individuals. This government will never be receptive of any plan to limit its power, and secession is a virtual elimination and negation of centralized government. No break from this behemoth can or will be achieved through government action or government process. That would be an exercise in futility and would fuel even more oppression. It will require that those involved, whether individuals, groups of individuals or entire states, not obey any unconstitutional or unjust federal law. As should be evident, this will be no easy task, but the rewards of victorious secession are freedom, liberty and prosperity.
June 8, 2009
Gary D. Barnett is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana. He is a regular contributing writer at http://www.LewRockwell.com.