In Iowa, Republican state Senate candidate Randi Shannon has dropped out of the race to become a US Senator in the Republic of the United States. Seems our government has illegally been pretending to be the "official government,' which clearly it is not!" she says. (TPM)

200 Responses to “GOP state Senate candidate drops out to join rebellion”

  1. DAvoyager says:

    Time for the crazies to go back to the shadows where they belong.

  2. Ashley Yakeley says:

    “By serving as your Senator in The Republic Congress, I am restrained to voting in line with Our Republic for The United States Constitution, which by the way does not contain the 14th Amendment or any thereafter as these are the product of “The De facto” UNITED STATES CORPORATION, and have no basis in Our Constitution.”

    Surely without the 19th amendment, she’s restrained from voting entirely?

    • Eric Rucker says:

      Not necessarily. In the bizarro-world Iowa she’s in, they may have willingly enacted women’s suffrage without the federal government mandating it.

      (Actually, back in the real world, looks like Iowa was on the way to granting full suffrage, and had granted partial suffrage (voting on issues, but not candidates) in 1894.)

      • loki_monster says:

        Iowa is far more progressive than people give it credit for. These nut jobs are the same vocal, idiotic minority that is present in all state’s politics these days and is successful there for the same reasons it’s successful elsewhere: old people who buy into this crap vote at a much higher margin than other age groups

    • jerwin says:

      14th amendment: 1868
      UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT supposedly formed: 1871

      It would appear that the enactment of the 14th amendment was a legal act of the previously constituted legitimate government. So what gives?

      • mindysan33 says:

         It’s one of the reconstruction amendments (13, 14, 15), generally interpreted to allow for birthright citizenship, meaning former slaves were now citizens.  People who think that only white protestants should be citizens tend to dislike this amendment, as they see it as watering down their sovereignty and rights.  If I’m not mistaken, it was the Civil Rights act of 1871 that actually gave this amendment teeth, specifically targeting the KKK (along with the force act of 1870)…  that might explain the 1871 date they are giving.

        • StarryGordon says:

           It’s hard to say.  If you look at their web site you’ll observe that they are not too strong on historical dates.  (Or spelling.)

          • mindysan33 says:

             Well, see that’s cause history is written by people like me, white tower academics, with no real conception of what “real people” are going through… we read Marx afterall, so we must be commies who only want to control the world.  We don’t know “the people’s history” (despite the fact I use “the people’s history” in my classes).  But, that’s just my guess for dates.  Seems to make some sort of sense…  But as you’ll see below, I’m just seeing racists where they don’t really exist… cause America has never had issues with race.  it’s all in my lib-tard-communists brain  (and holy crap, there was a spell correct for my portmanteau!!!).

          • StarryGordon says:

            Note, for instance, the following quotation from the republicoftheunitedstate.org web site: ‘The year 1776 marked America’s victory in the war for independence.   The lawful right to re-inhabit is inherent in The Declaration of Independence circa 1776….’  The U.S. officially began the war in 1776; it was not won at least until Yorktown (1781) or the Treaty of Paris (1783).  The Declaration of Independence has no constitutional or legal force other than asserting the (already-existing) fact of national independence.  This isn’t hidden stuff; it’s in grade-school textbooks.

      • Avram Grumer says:

        Except these people don’t consider themselves citizens! If you check out their History page, you’ll see a list of “basic terms”. They call themselves “sovereigns” (which they claim means “a real person”), and say that a “US citizen” or “subject” is a fictitious entity representing a real person, and that if you sign a document that calls you a US citizen, you sign away your sovereign status. They’re trying to construct whole bizarro-world parallel legal system by changing the definitions of common words. 

        Anyway, since they hold citizenship to be a form of oppression, they obviously wouldn’t be happy with the 14th Amendment, which declares all people born or naturalized in the US to be citizens. 

  3. BDiamond says:

    When does the Republic’s armed militia start marching on Washington?

  4. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Does this mean that we can send troops to Iowa?

  5. Scott Elyard says:

    The Cold Civil War, begun has.

  6. EH says:

    We’re screwed now.

  7. A Viescas says:

    I hesitate to encourage these people. But I have to ask: What, exactly, are they talking about when they said the “United States Corporation” was “unlawfully established?”

    • Editer says:

       I looked around and found a blog post somewhere. They claim that the “Act of 1871″ disbanded the Constitution and installed a private corporation in place of the government. You can tell because after that the “government” always referred to THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES in all caps, which is something private companies do. The best part is that the law that somehow did that was one that incorporated Washington DC as a city.

      • Jim Saul says:

        These Glenn Beck followers are just nihilists, Donny. They’re nothing to be concerned about. 

      • Eric Rucker says:

        The funny part is that this crazy’s timeline isn’t even right – the 14th and 15th amendments were enacted before this alleged United States Corporation was formed.

        And, this “Act of 1871″ (full name, the “District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871) was merely an updated municipal charter for DC.

        In any case, due to the US government’s structure ever since the 17th Amendment, a corporate takeover of government is easy without passing such a law. Simply spam the public with campaign ads, via media control, and you can stuff the House, Senate, and presidency with your own puppets. No “United States Corporation” law needed. Without the 17th Amendment, it’d be a bit harder, but you can spam the public with campaign ads within a state to install your own puppets in state legislatures, then they’ll install more puppets in the federal government.

      • robuluz says:

        IRON. FUCKING. CLAD.

      • Mordicai says:

         1871 is when the Civil Rights Act past?  I’m guessing that falls as one of the “illegal” laws? 

        I’m just guessing based on contextual evidence, though; reading that website is giving me a headache.  Correction: “reading” that website, since I can’t in earnest say I am “reading” that gibberish.

      • elix says:

        RationalWiki has a good write-up about these idiots and what kinds of brain damage they attempt to use with authorities, although the names change (they may not necessarily call themselves “Freemen”).

        It comes down to “I want all the benefits of a civilized, 21st-century society, but I don’t want to contribute to it or obey its laws WHATSOEVER unless I want to.” It’s like Ayn Rand followers smoked a lot of pot and convinced themselves that they had unique legal knowledge of a mass conspiracy to subvert the rights you’re supposed to have (read: selfishly wish you had).

  8. jaduncan says:

    It’s like political Darwinism. Ironically enough.

  9. mat says:

    Funny. Seems to be a new trend amongst right-wing conspiration nutters. Here in Germany, we have those guys too, who claim that post-war Germany was a corporation, not a country run by a legal government, blablabla. They also created their own sub-governments, passports etc.

    • ffabian says:

      The difference is that in Germany not one of these crazies has a public office.

      In the US it seems insanity is a prerequisite for running for public office. (Michelle Bachmann was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election for fucks sake!)

      In a democracy everyone gets the government they deserve.

    • TWX says:

       Maybe one could interpret the country as a corporation- the citizens are the voting stockholders as they have an interest in the strength of the Dollar, and they elect a board of directors (Congress) and a CEO who hires everyone (Executive Branch) and maintains internal auditors (Supreme Court) to keep everything running…

      Honestly while I don’t want that system codified, I could stand it more than this bizarro-right-wing-facist thing that seems to rear its ugly head from time to time.

  10. rob_cornelius says:

    has some one been putting psychoactive drugs in the water supply or something over there in the states? That would explain a lot about these people

  11. Jardine says:

    Her last name is normally a first name. One more example for my hypothesis: don’t trust anyone with a first name for a last name until they prove otherwise. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Randi Shannon, Benedict Arnold, Kirk Cameron, Andy Dick, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pete Rose, and Martha Stewart. Need I go on? And even though that’s quite a nutty hypothesis, it still makes me sound saner than her.

    • Marc Mielke says:

      Merge this with the trend (mainly New England WASP) of using last names as first names, and it becomes “Don’t trust ANYONE until they prove otherwise.” 

      Which oddly enough sounds perfectly okay with me. 

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        That’s a recent trend in New England, except for the uber-rich. When I was growing up, there were about two dozen given names to choose from, and that was that. People mostly still seem to choose traditional names for boys, but trendy names for girls. You end up with these families with boys named Michael and David and girls named Britni and Aschleigh.

        • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

          Speaking of trendy names, you can almost determine someone’s age based on their first name.  Jason, Noah?  Prob early 90′s.  Jennifer?  80′s.  Dylan?  Late 90′s.

        • Jim Saul says:

          It also used to be a way to reference the mother’s family name, in the society ball/debutante circles.

    • Eric Rucker says:

      What’s the saying, “never trust a guy with three first names”?

    • Petzl says:

      James Timothy Turner…  Turner Timothy James… Turner James Timothy…  James Turner Timothy… Timothy Turner James… Timothy James Turner…

      What happens when all three names are interchangeable?  (Instant appointment to president of the Republic of the united States of America.)

      • Steve Miller says:

        Used to work for a guy named Peter Paul John. Not surprisingly, he also headed something called the “Christian Businessmen’s Coalition.” Surprisingly, he was pretty harmless.

      • Jim Saul says:

        You wouldn’t believe how often I have to have people check for “Saul James” if they can’t find my records in a database.

        Doesn’t help that it brings up several famous musicians, including the film composer Saul James, and Saul Davies in the band “James.”

    • Marc Tompkins says:

      “Are you pondering what I’m pondering, Pinky?”
      “Errr… I think so, Brain, but: Pete Rose, can we trust him?  NARF!”

  12. Frank Diekman says:

    So she says the “Republic of Iowa” is in the “Republic of America”. A republic inside a republic? It’s a republic turducken!

    Wait:

    Republic + Turducken = Republican!

  13. ponzicar says:

    These people seem to believe that the US legal system is made up of magic words, and that if they invoke the right combination of them in a courtroom, the  existing government will just suddenly disappear, and everyone will come to their sense and recognize them as the rightful rulers of the USA.

    • snagglepuss says:

      You’re close. The tea baggers DO believe in magic, in the mystical certainty of their own moral correctness – And their inbred (sic) moral absolutism causes them to confuse a new idea (The first one that many of them have ever had) with a good one – Because, y’know, good people don’t HAVE bad ideas. It’s just so, like, OBVIOUS.

      Like most political or religious fanatics who have dove into the mythology of the “moral crusader”, the Tea Party followers really do not possess the necessary temperament to objectively mull the inherent coontradictions of their fervent belief – or beliefs. They just KNOW they’re right, because unlike the unbelievers’ beliefs, THEIR particular brand of “right” can’t be disproved – Especially when they choose to conveniently ignore established facts, as all people who are right believe themselves entitled to do.

      There’s nothing really new about the teabaggers’ ethics or standards & practices, other than the modern innovation of the internet as a rapid-disbursement tool for propaganda. Taking the long view, I’m pretty sure that they’ll eventually wind up like the Whigs or the Know-Nothings, just another goofy, puzzling blip in America’s political history.

      • Jim Saul says:

        Birchers.

        They’ve even got the “gold bug” thing.

        Can you imagine how much these gun-hoarding fruitcakes are going freak when the current gold bubble pops?

        • mindysan33 says:

           Birchers are/were nuts!  Eisenhower was a commie, they think!!!  How more nuts can you get than that.  Domino theory.  that was him.  And they think the guy who got us deeply involved in a war in little south east asian because of communism was a commie.

          • robotnik says:

            Well, clearly, he got us involved in that war so that we would lose to the commies, thus proving the superiority of communism!

        • I’m sure some will be yelling for the government to bail them out of the gold slump.

          • Jim Saul says:

            They’ll accuse the Obama administration of colluding with George Soros to manipulate the gold prices to underpin fiat currency policy.

      • ponzicar says:

        This isn’t a Tea Party thing. Although both share a dislike of taxes, the Sovereign Citizen movement and other tax protestors are a much smaller distinct group who believe that income tax is secretly voluntary, among other crazy things.

        • mindysan33 says:

           I wonder how much cross over there is.  The “tea party” rallies use to just happen on tax day, with some folks protesting their taxes.  Then a black guy was elected, and now it’s mainstream. 

      • loki_monster says:

        I’m a lawyer, and I’d like to use magic words such as cruciatus when I hear this shit. If only it really worked on my opponents. :/

    • bbonyx says:

      Tooblecane

      /Joe Garelli

    • AND THE PRESIDENTIAL FLAG IS AN ADMIRALTY FLAG BECAUSE OF THE GOLD FRINGE AND THEREFORE THE PRESIDENCY IS INVALID

  14. It’s a very American way to respond to taxes and political disagreements, to say the old government is illegitimate, make a new one with your friends, and just start writing laws like someone gave you the right. I always knew the Founding Fathers were kind of crazy; I never realized they were this kind of crazy.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      Ironically she thanks the “Pro-Lifers”.  That should work well, lots of unwanted kids (I assume they’d be against easy access to birth control too) combined with a libertarian rejection of public assistance for when they are no longer precious babies.

      • mindysan33 says:

         Because they want wommins to take off their shoes, be permanently pregnant (because the foreigners are “outbreeding” us and other such eugenic nonsense), and bake them some pies.  Really, they just want pie.  It’s all about pie.  Afterall, if people can’t make it with their hoard of kids, it has nothing to do with the system – it’s a personal failing, duh.

  15. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    One gets the sense that she may have been hanging out with members of the “Sovereign Citizen” movement of late…

  16. blogblob says:

    This podcast also talks about the issues with the illegitimate  US Government
     http://www.gnosticmedia.com/clint-richardson-interview-pt-4-cafr-welcome-to-the-machine-145/

  17. Cormacolinde says:

    This is all part of the “Sovereign citizen” movement, or as it is known in the commonwealth countries “freeman on the land”. All a bunch of wacky pseudo-law theories that revolve around specific words (or even typography) having different meaning than the commonly accepted meaning given to them.

    More info on these than you ever wanted on Rational Wiki: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Sovereign_citizens_movement

  18. Øyvind says:

    This sounds like the prequel to Brian Wood’s DMZ.

  19. mothernatureseven says:

    another repug tripe-head who knew she was going to lose anyway so to keep feeding her tumor of an ego she takes the loonie plunge.

  20. weldeng says:

    I work with a guy who is an initiate into the Sovereign Citizen movement. He just got out of the Navy and came to work with us. I’ve had a long running argument with him regarding the purpose of gold fringe on US flags indoors (specifically in courtrooms). The SC movement claims that this makes it a battle flag, marking the courtroom as an Admiralty court and subjects you to martial law or some BS. This is all based on some Executive Order and what appears to be a citation from a handbook from an armed forces division.

    Now I’m not a lawyer, but I am a QA Engineer trained in reading and understanding codes and laws. The Executive Order did nothing but add stars to the flag for Hawaii and Alaska (or just one, I’m too lazy to look again) and the armed forces manual just applied to the armed force’s flag (making it a battle standard, this was an old book). After pointing that out, he said it was a lie, and there exists a footnote in the executive order linking the two. I showed him the EO from the Federal Registrar and how it has no footnote. He just said it was fake and stormed off.

    These people are crazy.

    Also, the basis for a lot of this stuff they claim is that Lincoln declared martial law at one point, and then forced the South to buy into one of the Amendments so it was signed under duress and under a military government, so none of it is real.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      It’s… um… totally surprising, how often American political pathologies have a dense core of Southern butt-hurt about a strange doublethink combination of (1)not succeeding at succeeding and (2)not being given adequate pandering-to by the victorious union forces.

      • mindysan33 says:

         But of course, it’s not about racism – it’s about states rights! 

        Seriously, I don’t think it’s all about the south being butt-hurt over the war.  I think now they (I live here, soooo yeah) are more butt-hurt over the end of segregation, frankly.  Maybe that has it’s roots in the CW, but it’s a much more recent vintage.  And Orange County is tied up with this conservative movement as well (Birchers were big out there, as was the whole Tax revolt stuff – there is a reason hardcore emerged out of there).  And places like Arizona, and the like (Goldwater was from there).  The sun belt or whatever, home to the defense industry, and a good bit of the early computing industry. 

        • chgoliz says:

          Goldwater would pull down his trousers and piss on the current crop of Arizona crazies.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Maybe.  He might not have seen it as a race thing like people like Strom Thurmond did, but he was publicly against the various civil rights acts of the 60s. 

            Plenty of people used “states rights” as a rally cry against intergration, and politicians like Nixon certainly played on that in the 68 election, even as he dropped the more overt racist rhetoric.

    • Jim Saul says:

      Look at the number of people who think the Civil War wasn’t about slavery.

      I was fortunate to have that argument while I happened to be working in the rare books section of a law library, and could bring into it the original session laws, the contemporaneously published minutes of the Mississippi state legislature that contained the complete text of the speech Jefferson Davis gave supporting secession.

      • retepslluerb says:

        And did he speak in favor of slavery?

      • Ipo says:

         Imprecise. 
        Do you mean to say: “Look at the number of people who think the Civil War wasn’t ‘exclusively’ about slavery?” 

        One would hope that large numbers of people would agree with the vast majority of historians. 

        One man’s speech about secession can’t possibly tell you what civil war was about. 
        Secession doesn’t equal Civil War. 

  21. Matt Popke says:

    So… she’s Mormon now?

  22. s2redux says:

    P’bly better off starting small and working up…first get a Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong franchise, accumulate a few Rat Things, then march on Des Moines.

    Also, As someone who home schooled her own children, Shannon supports abolishing the Department of Education. I’m guessing she’s one of those home-schoolers whose curriculum consists of parking the kids in front of Inspiration Camp Meeting and Law & Order reruns.

    • BDiamond says:

       And Veggie Tales for their cartoon fix, and then Fox News for their cartoon fi…I mean, civics class.

      • TWX says:

         A couple of Veggie Tales actually amuse me (the cucumber singing about his missing hairbrush, for example) but the bulk of them are kind of repulsive.

  23. JudeJackson says:

    I often get approached by men around 40-60 years old describing the Sovereign Citizen movement and they’re basically the exact same type of crazies as all of you are describing. I usually just dismissively tell them it’s very cute and change the topic. How do you all deal with the  crazies without disrupting your life to argue with certifiably childish men?

    • Funk Daddy says:

      On two occasions I have listened, looked at them with a particularly critical crook to my eyebrow, and continued to do so until they stop mid-sentence and walk away. 

      The only other time I’ve encountered them it was a tire salesman at a Sears in the South, I cut him off and advised if he bothered me again with fairy tales I’d bother him with management, and he got my tires in an appropriate silence. 

      Suffer them not, give them nothing.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Am I the only one who responds to these situations by saying, “You’re an idiot”?

        • TWX says:

           I’ve learned to not criticize the mental faculties and/or willful ignorance of someone that is in a position to do harm to me.  Someone working on one of my automobiles qualifies as someone who could indeed do harm.

  24. kent williams says:

    This is actually good news for Iowa.  She pulls out very late in the race, and the Republican Party has to come up with a substitute candidate.  Shannon was running against Liz Mathis, a Democrat who was elected for the first time in a special election a year ago.   Her election preserved a 1 vote Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate, which is (like the current US Senate) is the last defense against all manner of GOP craziness.

  25. eggsyntax says:

    Great article on this movement from the Southern Poverty Law Center: http://www.redcrayons.net/splc_kane.pdf
    The RationalWiki article on “Freeman on the Land” is more extensive than the “Sovereign Citizens” one linked above: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Freeman_on_the_land
    This is one of the most interesting rabbit holes I’ve been down in a long time.

    • Two crazy guys murder somebody in a totally isolated incident, and the event is used for years over and over to portray a whole movement as homicidal.

      Meanwhile, police shoot people all the time and the SPLC says ‘meh.’

      For instance, compare the case cited in that PDF to the case of Donald Scott. A totally innocent man who the local sheriff’s decided was sitting on land they wanted, so they set him up for bogus crimes and in the process murdered him in his own home. It involved the complicity of the whole department and the LA county sheriff’s department, and nobody was punished in any way. The Sheriff’s Department investigated itself and, surprise, cleared itself of all wrongdoing. The murders are still drawing salary and carrying guns.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Donald_P._Scott

      Which disturbs you more?

      Go find me the SPLC report on THAT or any similar case and maybe they will have an ounce of credibility. As it is, they are just a two bit smear outfit.

      • wysinwyg says:

         I’m probably completely sympathetic to your position, but your argument isn’t very effective.  The SPLC may or may not be a “two bit smear outfit”.  The fact that they don’t report on police malfeasance, however, wouldn’t demonstrate that any more than the fact that the ACLU doesn’t routinely report on corporate lobbying expenditures would demonstrate that the ACLU is not committed to the principles of democracy.  It’s just not their stated goal and they can plausibly claim that widening their scope to that point would render their advocacy less effective within the domain they’ve decided to report on.

        I’ve read some other stuff about SPLC that makes me suspicious, but on the other hand any organization dedicated to some social justice issue (including the ACLU) is going to take a beating from someone somewhere.  So I’m not really decided.  Your argument doesn’t help me, though.

      • mindysan33 says:

         Both disturb me, actually, but it’s beside the point.  All too often when right wing violence is directed at people/government institutions it is seen as a “lone wolf” violence and terrorism (Tim McVeigh is often situated as completely disconnected from the white identity movement, despite his grounding in such organizations – his inspiration was reportedly the Turner Diaries written by William Pierce) rather than being connected to larger organizational structures (World Church of the Creator, the Neo-Nazi movement, the Klan, etc – however, we’d never ignore al-Qaeda or other “Islamist” organizations, or even Islam itself, when talking about Muslims who use terrorism as a tool, even when there are much deeper issues that need to be addressed, vis-a-vis American involvement in the Mid-East, etc).  The KKK especially had a long history of connections to local and state power bases, which needed to be completely severed in order for black citizens to exercise their federally mandated rights.  For YEARS the lynching epidemic, which contrary to popular belief, continued into the 1960s!!!, was thought to be “good old boys, out having a good time, and the victims probably deserved it anyway…” rather than being connected to the KKK and their connections to localized power bases. 

        The SPLC has a specific focus, related to that historical reality. They exist as a watchdog on the hard right, not a governmental watch dog.  For that you have the ACLU and the Sunlight Foundation amongst other many fine organizations.  Bitch at them if you are unhappy about it. 

  26. waetherman says:

    I don’t really understand why, if she is so respectful of the constitution, she believes that it is constitutional to appoint herself to the Senate. But trying to explain her logic is clearly a fool’s errand – her disregard for the (unconstitutional?) rules of capitalization suggest she is crazy like an evil Dr. Bronner.

    • dragonfrog says:

       An evil Dr. Bronner would make a wonderful 1967-vintage Batman villain.  I’m going to be thinking about that all morning now.

    • Gyrofrog says:

      Presumably they are OK with this, as popular election of Senators came about with the 17th Amendment.  Sovereign citizens != tea partiers but I am guessing there is some overlap on this one.

      See also: 2010 NYT editorial

      • waetherman says:

        Good point on the timeline – I had forgotten that. That said, senators were originally still elected, just not directly. So to claim legitimacy she would have to have been elected by Iowa state legislature - do they have a shadow one of those too? Don’t tell me, I don’t really want to know – I’ll just end up wasting the rest of the day researching these nutcases.

  27. Mister44 says:

    This Republic of the United States sounds about as legit as what we have now.

  28. tré says:

    Just yesterday I was talking with a friend about the inevitability of another civil war. Here we come.

    • Mister44 says:

       Nah. Won’t happen. Too many people are placated with their iPhones and Starbucks. Things would have to be a lot worse for a lot more people for there to be an actual armed uprising. Even then – what are we fighting for? The South at least had a common goal and reason to revolt. What would ours be?

      • tré says:

         The more I read about the Civil War, the less I’m convinced it was so coherently thought of. Looking back, we can say it was about slavery and state’s rights, but deeper analysis shows that it was just as much that the southern states feeling they had no say in anything (Lincoln wasn’t on a single southern ballot, yet was able to win the election, so they were right) and moreover that there was a massive political divide overall within the country.

        Also, the US is a big enough country to where most people would never have to worry about the violence of the uprising and could still stay placated. It only takes a few.

        • mindysan33 says:

           I don’t agree here about the Civil War not being about slavery.  Here is is how I see it: The massive political divide was over economics, and at it’s root, it was about slavery and the spread of that economic system into the west.  The founding documents of the CSA mention the superiority of whites over blacks and the “noble truth” of slavery.  Slavery was the core economic reality of the south (and by extention, the American economy at the time), hence racial segregation and the economic subordination of African-Americans was at the core of the southern way of life.  With the exception of the abolitionists (who wanted to abolish slavery, though some were deeply racist themselves), northerners and republicans were pushing for a fundamental shift from the use of slave labor (which they saw as unfair competition for wage laborers) to wage labor and an industrialized economic system based on steel, not cotton, especially in the territories.  It was about 2 competing economic systems and the spread of the American empire west. If we buy into the idea that the base is economic in nature, and we understand the fundamental role that slavery played in the American economy (world economy – the south was dominant in the world cotton trade before the war) then, yes, the American civil war is about slavery.  If you think economics are just part of the superstructure, then slavery is just tangential to the real deal.  But do you really think that economics is only in service to political struggles?  If so, why?

        • wysinwyg says:

           mindysan is right, you really can’t extricate slavery from the causes of the Civil War.  It’s not exactly accurate to say it was all about slavery but trying to deny slavery had anything to do with it is ridiculous. 

          The specific impetus seemed to be the slave/free status of new territories.  When a new territory was accepted as a state it could swing the balance of power between the two blocs in Congress, a bloc representing wealthy slave plantation owners (mostly southern) and a bloc representing wealthy industrial concerns (mostly northern).  These two blocs wanted radically different policies — industrialists wanted high tariffs to protect US industries while the agriculturalists wanted access to cheap foreign manufactured goods and to keep their own products cheap overseas so they favored free trade (just as one example). 

          In order to implement the policies favoring their own interests, each bloc would have to establish a lasting advantage over the other and one venue to attempt this was to ensure that new states would be either all free or all slave (either policy would ensure one bloc winning over the other).  The Civil War occurred essentially because the industrialists won this little detente.  The south seceded in order to maintain trade policies that would preserve the slave plantation system.

          As far as how it was thought of, I’m sure the vast majority of Confederate soldiers were poor whites with little to no stake in the plantation economy.  I’m sure they joined the Confederate army for the same reasons idiots everywhere in every time join the military: they were told they would be protecting home and family and winning glory on the battlefield by overthrowing the Evil Enemy.  Wars are not fought for they same reasons they are started.

          • mindysan33 says:

            And the class split between poor southern whites and the plantation owners became pretty apparent as the war dragged on, to boot.  Bread riots much?  Then again, there were also draft riots in the north.  So there is that too.  The north ignored slavery until they saw a tactical advantage in invoking it, pretty late in the war, with the emancipation proclamation, which only freed slaves in rebellious states. 

            Detangling the race/class dialectical in US history is pretty hard to do…  Glad I look at popular culture in the 20th century instead.

            wysinwyg- replying to your below up here, since reply button… you know. I try to write quality stuff. I am partly kidding, cause yeah, I mean, adorno, Barthes, Foucault, Gramsci, etc and so on. And that’s just “the classics” as it were – ignoring critical race theory, stuart hall, and whoever else has come along since. I don’t know if I know a lot, I just need to know enough to take my comps and write a dissertation… Other wise, I’m like every other academic blow hard you’ve ever met! :-)

          • wysinwyg says:

            Detangling the race/class dialectical in US history is pretty hard to do…  Glad I look at popular culture in the 20th century instead.

            I can’t tell if you’re being funny…I can’t even imagine making heads or tails of 20th century pop culture without understanding quite a bit about race and class in the US.  On the other hand, you do seem to know quite a bit about race and class in the US despite your humility so I’d guess your cultural criticism is quality stuff too.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       But this time Red States vs. Blue States?  Blue States would hand them their ass. 

      • PaulDavisTheFirst says:

        Personally, I’d hope that the blue states would just walk away.

        • Finnagain says:

           I’d rather cut the red states loose. They hate it here so much? Leave. Go be crazy in some other country.

          • PaulDavisTheFirst says:

            that’s pretty much what i meant. lets see the red states do their thing, without the subsidies from the blue states.

          • TWX says:

             It’s funny, this idea of red vs blue…

            Most of ‘em are shades of purple.  Here we currently have two republican senators, but the mayor of our biggest city is a Democrat and for some time we had a Democrat governor.

      • Mister44 says:

        Though there are a few exceptions,  there really isn’t such a thing as a red state or blue state. Most of them are purple.

        • Felton / Moderator says:

          True. If states were strictly red or blue I sure as hell wouldn’t be in Georgia.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

             Unfortunately Atlanta and Athens aren’t running things:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_Georgia_%28U.S._state%29

          • Felton / Moderator says:

            Too true.

          • mindysan33 says:

            Howdy neighbor!  Hot’lanta is a pond of blue in a sea of red….

            In reply to your comment below… Athens rules! It’s a truly beautiful city, with an awesome culture. I’m sort of out in that direction (closer to Atlanta, though). GA ain’t all bad, right?

          • Felton / Moderator says:

            Howdy! I’m in Athens now, but I’ve lived most of my life in and around Atlanta.

            In reply to your comment above (hehe!), nah, definitely not all bad.

          • Jim Saul says:

            Agreed, from here in Kentucky.

            Though I’m in the “red state” I grew up in Cincinnati, and still live so close that with a good trebuchet on the roof I could toss out the first pitch at a reds game.

            My closest neighbors in this little enclave of Kentucky are far more liberal on average than those I grew up with in Cincinnati suburbs or worked with at one of Cincinnati’s biggest employers.

        • Funk Daddy says:

          Nothing a mass migration can’t correct.

          Let’s take the total number of acres, divide by the total inhabitants, and tell them the line in the sand is to be determined by how many residents each side can draw.

          This movement would end up with south west Texas as an independent nation, and promptly die of thirst while negotiating water rights with Mexico.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Why do you think Atlanta is a sea of blue, especially considering how many African-Americans have been displaced by a couple of decades of gentrification?  You’d be surprised how few people around here are native Atlantans.  My husband is one of the few that I know.

  29. Bob Brinkman says:

    People like this scare the crap out of me. They SEEM funny, until you see how many other nutjobs line up behind them to support what they are saying. In this case they are forming their own GOVERNMENT? Oh, and they want to home school all their children? You can imagine what future generations are going to grow up like….

    Nice to see that she is just appointed to her new job too, nobody gets a say.

  30. When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

    ____________________

    Progressives (and, to be fair, conservatives) like to talk about rising up against the power structures of society, until anyone actually does anything to rise up more forceful than street theater or writing angry blog posts. Then, they pile on and ridicule them. Way more sexy to just sit around talking about it.

    • tré says:

       This woman is hardly rising up against the power structures of society. She thinks she is, and wants you to think she is, but in reality she’s rising up as much as a kid who won’t eat broccoli is rising up against hir parents.

      • And what do you base that on?

        • mindysan33 says:

           I doubt she made this fuss under Bush 2.  I doubt any right wing republicans made this fuss under Bush 2.  They don’t like that it’s a black guy in charge, and making her eat her broccoli, as Tre says.  What else can it be, given the fact that many of Obama’s policies (and the democrats since Clinton) are very much to the right of older Democratic policies… 

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            This quote on her site made me lol/cry, notice the scare quotes around ‘racism’, and the bit about “rampant” (irl non-existent) problems with dead people voting…

            This will alleviate any false claims of “racism” or discrimination against the poor and still be able to stop the rampant problem of people voting who are not actually alive.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Navin- sorry I’m replying here, but the reply button below your comment is cut off… :-(

            I don’t disagree that there are serious problems with the voting system (tied to farming it out to private corps), but far too often, the laws aimed to “fix the problem” are aimed at the already disenfranchised… 

    • Two side points: 

      1) America is a fascist country. We have much more freedom than previous fascist countries, we have modified and improved fascism to best facilitate the militarism, control of society, and wealth transfer at its core, but ‘fascist’ or is still an appropriate description of our corporatist political system.

      An academic studied the fascisms of the 20th century, and came up with 14 traits they all shared. By the most conservative count, America exhibits 10 of these 14, and strongly. Google ’14 points of fascism’ and check for yourself.

      So America in 2012 (and long before of course) has largely inherited the mantle of fascism.

      2) Our voting machines are rigged. Their hackability has been proven by Princeton computer scientists and the fact that massive, undetectable vote tampering has occurred  can be proven by simple statistics. Bradblog.org has done a good job documenting this.

      Even if they are not rigged, most elections are really decided by the parties, not the people.

      And yet, most people reading this will probably agree with these statements: 1) Every citizen is obligated to follow all the rules and laws of the government. 2) The government is inherently legitimate. 3) It is important to have a strong central federal government for the well being of America. 4) The best recourse for positive change is the political process, through the ballot box.

      I’m sure that you all are objectively intelligent people. Surely you can see there is some problem here. Surely you can see that there are major conflicts between the reality as it exists in 2012 and the tenets you base your political worldview on.

      I don’t know anything about this lady, she is probably a far right fundie. But anyone doing ANYTHING to shake up the status quo should be applauded. It’s much safer and easier to sit back and laugh at them, but you do so at your own peril, and you do a great disservice to all the humanity suffering under the yoke of the America Empire when you do so.

      • mindysan33 says:

        I don’t think anyone here thinks things are hunky-dorey. This blog is full of stories pointing this out. Do you really think, however, that all opposition is equal?

        I think the problem (or maybe a problem) lots of us have is that they always want to harken back to a time before women and racial minorities had rights (and fewer of us were considered properly “white” – forget anyone who is catholic or Jewish being included there). I’m sure many of these folks probably think George Fitzhugh was correct in his interpretation of capitalism – that is was a universal evil, and feudalism, where the right people were paternally in charge, was right on the money, as opposed to the red menance that was haunting Europe at the time – socialism.

        Do you think it’s a quirk of history that 1871 is a target year for these people, right around the time that the reconstruction amendments were passed and codified by the Civil Rights Acts. There tends to be a fair degree of deep seated social conservativism in the Sovereign citizen/whatever this woman is joining movement, one that uses a coded language for white male power.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that much of this is happening NOW, when a black guy is president? Really?  I mean, if you look, politically and economically speaking, there is a straight line from Clinton… hell, maybe from the Reagan/Thatcher complex right on down to Obama.  But, all of this “we’re taking our country back” only emerges into the light popularly with Obama. And mainstream politicians are harnessing that for their own gain, in the same way they appropriate the language of libertarians.

        So, no, I don’t think all railing against the status quo should be defended.  Not by a long shot.  If the white identity movement staged an uprising, I would sure as hell want to see them quashed, because I’ll be damned if I want to live under that sort of government.  When I see a sane, rational, rigorous interpretation of events from some of these people, maybe I’ll applaud them.  The black guy did it is not it.  I personally dont’ want to see an ethnic cleansing in this country, which seems to be what many of these people support.

        • 1) I’ve been in libertarian circles for a long time, I’ve never heard the year 1871. What I have heard many times was the year 1912, before the IRS, the Fed, and our disastrous (in retrospect) entry into WWI.

          2) “coded language for white power” Care to give me any examples, Don Quixote?

          3) This movement has existed at least since the ’70s. If there is a difference, it is that the media is focusing on them more now. In fact, I think many of their actions are a backlash to the lingering Bush years. I think many libertarians had a shred of hope for Obama (just as they had a shred of hope for Bush in his first few months); as we suffer through an administration that has continued and amplified 95% of his worst policies, and the Paul insurgency candidacy suffered from undeniable fraud and manipulation by the GOP, hope in the political process has evaporated. 

          4) “An ethnic cleansing in this country, which seems to be what many of these people support.”That’s an incredibly ugly slur, which I’ll cut my balls off and send them to you in the post if you can support in any meaningful manner.

          You might think that there are links between the sovereign movement and white supremacists, but I sure haven’t seen them. I’m sure there are some white supremacists who are sovereigns, but a tiny minority; I will venture that this is coming mostly from your prejudice rather than any actual information you have.

          Obama isn’t an asshole because he’s black; he’s an asshole because he’s a corporate/banker controlled anti-freedom hack who has sold the American people up the river in, again, continuing and expanding the worst of the Bush era policies with a healthy dollop of democratic bad ideas.
          It has absolutely nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with the very fundamental human desire to not be hassled by assholes.

          • Shane Simmons says:

            ‘ I’ve been in libertarian circles for a long time, I’ve never heard the year 1871.’

            You might want to check the link again, chief. Looks to me like we’re talking about a follower of the Sovereign Citizen movement, where the Civil Rights Act of 1871 constituted the dismantling of the Republic.

            Maybe she’s also a libertarian. I don’t know.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Well, first I wasn’t really talking about libertarians, but the folks who are on the fringe of libertarianism and those who have appropriated libertarianism. But don’t forget that Goldwater, a libertarian hero, was against the civil rights movement – not the fringe black nationalist stuff that came in the late 60s, but the mainstream, middle class black Americans wanting to be counted as full citizens stuff.  The fact that the sovereign citizen movement (and whatever this woman is) uses that 1871 date as opposed to the 1912, indicates to me that this all rest of what they see as a fundamental shift in the white position within the social hierarchy – you no longer had the racial split that put the lowest of whites above blacks because at least they were citizens.  Personally, I’m not a libertarian fan.  ayn Rand just doesn’t do it for me, and I see no value in dismantling an already ailing system to put in it’s place one that allows corporations to have even more control over our lives. Just look at Ron Paul’s recent screed against net neutrality.  How does that make any sense – letting AT&T and whoever control the internet, ignoring the role DARPA played in building it.  It’s public resource, but libertarianism, at it’s root, is about dismantling all public resources.  Don’t get me wrong – I feel that Libertarianism has a role in public debates, but the sovereign citizens movement has no leg to stand on here.  If you believe that no goverment would be an effective means of organizing a society, explain to me how this would work in a world of mega corps that we all live in right now.  What is to protect us from economic exploitation with a minimal government and all of us hanging out in our own little corners of the world? As much as I think institutions can be a blight, you sometimes have to fight fire with fire.  I’d much rather find ways of getting corporate interests out of government (dismantling the currrent poltical parties maybe one route), and bringing things to a much more democratic place. 

            I think you misunderstand the nature of white supremacy. It’s not just identifying as a racist, or hating people of other “races”, it’s the whole notion of race as an ingrained as opposed to a constructed thing.   I do not doubt that many of the sovereign citizens do not see a person of color and think, “oh, I hate that guy cause he’s black” or whatever. Racism is much more insidious than that.  No, but they buy into the notion that the laws passed to correct civil injustices against American citizens for hundreds of years was somehow demeaning of their rights somehow.

            “taking our country back” for a start?  From who?    I like tilting, thanks.  :-)

            There is a big difference between this movement existing, and supposedly mainstream politicians dipping into that movement to drum up support, which is my concern.  No reputable mainstream politician prior to the election of Obama would have given sovereign citizens a second glance, because so much of their rhetoric is based on… just plain weirdness.  As Mr. Peterson said below me, they engage in pseudo-legal-mumbo-jumbo.

            As for Obama… I totally agree about him being a corporate puppet – but so was every other president from Reagan on (hell, probably from way on back), but the whole mainstreaming of “taking my country back” just smacks of butt-hurt white people who can’t stand the fact that a well spoken black dude is in the white house.  I think there is plenty to be critical of Obama about – ongoing privitization of public trusts, drone wars across the world, etc — but he’s certainly no socialist, as anyone with a halfway decent dictionary could figure out.  And the screams to “get Obummer out of my social security/stop Obummer socialism” is only undergirded by racism.  I think that at least some of these folks see the “correct” social order having been up ended with the election of Obama… oh, also, he’s a secret muslim member of the Muslim brotherhood and an anti-colonialist.  And pictures of him with a bone through his nose… 

            So… yeah.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Also, you never addressed my core question: is all opposition equal?

      • Shane Simmons says:

        ‘An academic studied the fascisms of the 20th century, and came up with 14 traits they all shared. By the most conservative count, America exhibits 10 of these 14, and strongly. Google ’14 points of fascism’ and check for yourself.’

        I was first clued into this during the Bush years.  I was ridiculed for bringing it up.  I can’t help but notice that the people who support fascism tend to be the same sorts of people wringing their hands about socialism.

        Now, I agree, but this is absurd.  Yeah…ok…go form your own government.  To pass laws.  Sure.  That’s effective.

        • mindysan33 says:

           Also, which academic?  Isn’t Hannah Arendt’s work on fascism/totalitarianism considered the master work?  Is this who Sasha is invoking? 

          Also, you are right.  But of course, those of us who spoke out against Bush were commies.  These are good right thinking Americans.  Duh. 

      • Gyrofrog says:

        (EDIT: I’m referring to your last 4 statements, not the first 2)

         I think (hope) no one would agree with point (1) (see also: “I was just following orders”).  The M.O. of the Civil Rights Movement, for example, was to *not* follow all the rules and laws of the government.  (Although maybe this is your point?)  And I think this applies to (4) as well; sit-ins and boycotts aren’t ballot boxes.

    • Oh please.  The pseudo-legal mumbo-jumbo of the sovereignty movement exists as an excuse for individuals to try to duck out on paying taxes and/or mortgage payments.  Anyone claiming otherwise is a dupe or fraud.

      • And tell me what the Iraq War would have looked like if every American who opposed it had simply refused to pay taxes until it stopped.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          Ah, I keep forgetting that this is a principled anti-war movement…….

        • mindysan33 says:

           Yes, but do you extend that to the left-wing anti-war movement that railed against Bush (which was constantly ignored by the media, BTW)?  Or are they just a bunch of commies? 

          • mindysan33 says:

            Sasha-  Good for you. I’m glad your ideas are consist (as much as any human beings can be). My problem is with people who are praising bush, then damning Obama for the same privatized regime,  which the politician in question seems to be.

            Now, I’m going to go back to being an arm chair pundit and ivory tower theorist…  ;-)

            If you don’t pay your taxes there are real world consequences that many people can’t afford to pay. While I admire that some have to freedom to spend their live protesting and putting themselves on the line, many of us have families to feed and take care of. Explain how I don’t pay for military spending without not paying income taxes, which has serious legal ramifications? I’m not using this as an excuse, but it’s a fact that needs to be addressed. It’s not just people distracted by their i-gee-gaws or whatever.

            And the notion that somehow local governments are purer and closer to the people is nonsensical – local governments can be just as corrupt as the federal level – the good old boy network that rested on racial violence across the south springs to mind. It’s not supposed to be an either/or, but more of a check and a balance. Theoretically, the states provide a check on the fed, but the opposite is true as well. The Federal goverment should check the state and local as well.

            Navin- I think even if most weren’t communist or socialist, some were, and some more were probably even fellow travelers. I think we need to dispense with the notion that the communism or socialism as a theory is inherently evil and maybe just understand it’s a political view of the world that many people (like in Europe, for example) still thinks legitimately belongs in our political discourse.

            So, I’m editing this to reply to below, cause the reply is cut off (I keep saying that). I agree that most people aren’t necessasrily fellow travelers, but there is reality that tries to paint marxist theory as inherently evil, no? And I agree.

            Who were you replying to? Sasha (I think it’s a dude, btw) or… I’m confused. Why are we arguing? I thought we were fellow travelers? Let’s be friends!

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            @twitter-129816277:disqus

            Most of the people marching against the wars weren’t “communists” or even “socialists”.  What are you talking about?

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            I think we need to dispense with the notion that the communism or socialism as a theory is inherently evil and maybe just understand it’s a political view of the world that many people (like in Europe, for example) still thinks legitimately belongs in our political discourse.

            Describing anti-war activists, or the occupy movement (for example) as comprising largely of “communists”, or even “socialists” is just flat out wrong. I’m not saying that people with those beliefs aren’t there, they always are, but they are a minority.  It’s kind of a Libertarian/neoliberal cliche to shut down discussion by describing critics (and anybody to the left of them) as “communists”.  I don’t consider either theory to be “evil”, and they have legitimate places in political discourse, I’m not sure how that could be inferred from my post.

             But now my comment seems just completely random, because his/her post seems to have disappeared.

    • wysinwyg says:

       Some nice poetry from a man who saw no contradiction between writing this and owning human chattel.

      I’ll never understand why anyone thinks Thomas Jefferson is such a great spokesman for liberty.

      I’m pretty sympathetic to a lot of libertarian ideas but as far as “piling on and ridiculing” goes, you guys do that yourself.  Take yourselves less seriously and be less dogmatic about libertarianism (i.e. address counterarguments instead of dismissing them self-righteously) and your ideas might find better reception.

      • mindysan33 says:

         Good point.  But lots of people saw worth in his ideas, even if the man was full of contradictions and was deeply hypocritical.   There are arguments about the radicalism of the founding fathers that brings this point up.  The argument that they were inherently conservative (in the traditional sense, not in the fox news sense) is underscored by the fact that they were all landowners (many were slave owners, too), and they were not for things that we associate with democratic principles (like universal suffrage and true democracy). However, maybe it can be argued that the founding documents opened up a can worms that these inherently conservative men could not have predicted or would have desired – think about what came after, and the language that was used – the French and Haitian revolutions, Mary Wollsteincraft’s works, the springtime of nations (1848), Marx himself, and much later, people like Ho chi mihn appealed to the US using the words of Jefferson.  I’m all for being a realist about historical figures, but I’m also all for understanding how ideas have worked historically. And historically speaking Jefferson proves to be a mixed bag, I think.  Even if he did not mean to be a great spokesman for liberty, many people saw value in what he wrote in regards to liberty. 

        • wysinwyg says:

          mindysan, that’s a very confusing use of the word “conservative.”  In the time of the founding fathers, “conservative” would have described those who believed the old ways — Feudalism and Monarchy — were superior to the crazy new political ideas being dreamed up by philosophers.  The ideas of those philosophers like Locke and Montesquieu were called…wait for it…liberalism.  In some ways, the founding fathers were some of the first liberals.  In fact, the whole idea that a nation of free men with no notion of nobility or ruling class could manage their own affairs was considered a libertarian experiment.

          All of American politics is liberal in a classical sense, and none moreso than the politics of Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin.  These men were non-conformists all around.  TJ wrote an anti-supernaturalist version of the gospels and Franklin was very outspoken about his deism, which was the closest one could admit to being an atheist at the time. 

          I don’t think it’s fair to impose our modern notions of “liberalism” and “conservatism” on people of a different age whose values don’t map neatly onto ours.  But I do think it’s fair to say that someone who owns slaves but writes a bunch about how all men are created free and equal is a hypocrite in any bloody age he lives.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Hm.  Point taken.  And I do realize that they were classical liberal (locke, montesquieu, and smith).

            Maybe it needs to be thought of in terms of how they are defining themselves and what interests they are trying to protect.  True enough, they are using pretty aggressive language, in regards to the British, but I think it’s safe to say that their rights would not trickle down to the rights of non-landholding males, and certainly not slaves and women. If it was “libertarian” it was within very strict limits, I’d argue.  Further, I’d argue that they were very much in favor of a ruling class, it was just defined by land holding and not royalty.

            But historians do argue about how radical the revolution was, I fall down on the “not nearly as radical as we think” side of things.

  31. Sean Breakey says:

    All governments are corporations; that’s how they started.  They were originally created for the public good.

    • mindysan33 says:

      I kind of agree.  The nation state emerges with the rise of corporations.  I think the enlightenment thinkers were trying to codify what was already happening when they started talking about freedom, democracy, and political economy. 

      I don’t known that they were created for the public good, though. First, corporations were created to compete with the rising merchant class coming out of places like Italy. Kings would issue corporate charters (and monopolies) in order to exploit the new world resources that were being found, in part because they could not longer get their goods from the old silk road, which collapsed with the black plague and was permanently cut off (so they thought) by the Ottomans.  By the mid-1600s, kingdoms with brains had made treaties with the sublime porte, thus renewing the trade coming out of the east.  Hence the coffee ad that Corey posted yesterday… which I believe was from 1650s or so?  So if the nation-state, what we know as a government, is coterminous (is that the right word? I don’t think that is the right word… sorry) with that, then governments as we think of it – national governments, based on theories of the nation-state (state/civil society split, or around a created or imagined national identity, Peasants into Frenchmen, in Weber’s famous book title) were often in service to corporate interests.  Over all, the merchant class won out, and we now live in the Bourgeoisie world.

  32. their argument is pointless, possession is 9/10s of the law.

  33. Winski says:

    This represents a whole new level of our population that is serious need of a three-day getaway for a regimented, program of therapeutic electro-shock therapy. The treatment is this case may be on-going.

  34. jerwin says:

    17th amendment?

    Please allow to introduce a certain William Lorrimer who bribed his way into a Senate seat.

    The states can be just as inimical to liberty as any government, and to believe that they somehow naturally have the interests of the people at heart is exceedingly naive.

  35. soylent_plaid says:

    So… they’re seceding  from the United States, I take it?  Worked out great the last time.

  36. CLamb says:

    What silliness.  Its obvious that we are still colonies of England.  The Treaty of Paris, which some claim granted us independence from our legitimate sovereign,  was not recognized by the legitimate sovereign of England.  William of Orange unlawfully took over the thrones of England and Scotland from the legitimate king James the VII and II in 1688.  All actions of the English government since then have been illegitimate.

    • weldeng says:

       Actually, the guy I work with believes this. He also believes that all lawyers are English nobles because the BAR is a British association and the title “Esquire” is his proof.

      • mindysan33 says:

        Weird…  I mean, you can go far back into English history and find all sorts of points where you can claim from here on out, it was illegitimate.  I think maybe the people who were around before the Anglo-Saxons probably thought that their invasion of their homeland was “illegitmate” and that the Norman invasion was considered by some Anglo-saxons illegitimate.  I think Legitimacy is made, especially when you start to get into the modern era, where a constructed law dominates.

        When you start to think about this stuff, it just makes your head spin.

        • Finnagain says:

           I reject your comment, and replace it with my own.

        • Libertarians love the example of pre-english invasion ireland, which had a beautiful libertarian society and legal code for almost 500 years.

          If you really are curious about modern libertarianism, forget ayn rand’s wordy slogs and pick up Murray Rothbard’s ‘For a New Liberty,’ available for free MP3 or PDF if you google it.

          Although it loses focus in the last 1/3rd, it’s a fascinating and thought provoking read for anyone, and is the heart and soul of the modern libertarian movement.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Well, let’s not fall into the trap of idealizing pre-modern cultures, though. Nor should we apply modern ideas about government and society to historical societies.  There was no libertarianism in pre-English invasion Ireland, because it was not an idea of the day. Ireland was probably much like other parts of Europe at the time – a paternalistic sort of feudalism, which brings with it it’s own problems and neurosis. Let’s not forget the possibility that the pre-Christian Celtic societies might have practiced human sacrifice. This is not to condemn these pagan societies, just to point out that they had different morals and practices which need to be understood on their own terms, not by our political moral compass.

            The fact is that all societies have been based on some form of force and coercion and social stratification – even hunter-gatherers are not free from some sort of social stratification.  I’d say looking forward is the way to go, not looking back to some idealized past.  And this from the mouth of an historian.

            I’ll look up the works of that guy.  thanks…

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Libertarians love the example of pre-english invasion ireland, which had a beautiful libertarian society and legal code for almost 500 years.

            It only did if you’re like Rothbard and are completely ahistorical and believe that an ancient tribal, but hierarchical society was “Libertarian”, and that would somehow mean something in the year 2012 (or his 1970′s for that matter). He even had the big brass balls to say similar things about the Spanish conquest of The Americas. As a person with a slight interest in history, this just makes you shake your head in pure astonishment.  The leaps of logic he made were just simplistic, comical, and extraordinary.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      The city of Angers is currently trying to sue the UK for the Crown Jewels because Henry VII executed Edward Plantagenet, the last Angevin pretender.

      • mindysan33 says:

         Seriously?  Time to let it go maybe… I thought our own neo-confederates were bad?  Actually, now I wonder what the modern underlying political reality of this law suit actually is?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Actually, it’s a petition, not a lawsuit. If you google Angers Crown Jewels, you’ll find the story in any number of disreputable news sources.

          • mindysan33 says:

            Wow… well, either way, maybe it’s time to let it go.  I’m all for factually history, but you can’t really go back and change stuff like this, can you.

  37. Petzl says:

    She and the “republic” want to go back to 1871. Women’s suffrage was passed in 1920. So it’s:

    Welcome to the Republic!
    Sorry, but you do not have permission to participate in this republic.

  38. There are many constitutions in the Americas.  The one you seem to be referring to is titled  The Constitution of the United States of America.  The key is the United States. No union no constitution and no rights.  

    As Charles in Seattle says of  George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware,  We are Americans we will kill you in your sleep on Christmas morning.

    God save the Queen.

  39. eggsyntax says:

    I’ve spent an embarrassingly large portion of the last couple of days learning about the Sovereign Citizen (or Freeman on the Land) movement. There are some really fascinating aspects of it, like the way some of it (particularly the British version) borders on legal-language-as-magical-incantation. But what’s most amazing (and entertaining) to me is watching what happens when these folks try to apply these theories to interactions with courts, police, and the IRS. There are some incredible videos out there, in some of which a discussion goes on at length with both parties having radically different interpretations of what’s happening in the conversation. Here’s a collection of videos of this sort (I’ve tried to put the most remarkable and/or amusing ones first):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU7G6XIMt2Q

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jUxupkD57g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02sJAePKuT8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtkdDMSXMmc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9j03q1_-YQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CeqFjxGzks

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzjv20sC5CY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faYw8my9RqI

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