Thursday, December 13, 2007

The U.S. Constitution Sucks, No Really

Even as a bourgeois-democratic document, it really, really sucks. I'm talking about more than the obvious here: more than about how juridical and political "rights" don't impinge on economic society in the worlds richest country, more than about the institutionalization of only two parties, more than the observation that the commoner's House of Lords (the Senate) has more power than the legislature, more than the meaning of why it takes several more amendments 80 years after the first ten to establish that former slaves count as "humans" too and are candidates for "Human Rights" (and another 100 years to implement even those), and more than the two hundred other details that have become obvious in the last few years, such as the inability to recall a government except by criminal trial or coup.

I am talking about the fact that Bush has exposed the absolute power of the "presidency", a power hidden only because of the collusion of the major political parties for the entire life of the Republic. It appears that in this system, there are no limits whatever on the powers of the presidency save elections every 4 years (which would not have counted as "democracy" even in the 18th century), and the only reason that it even appeared that there were any such limits was exclusively the result of a voluntary super-constitutional etiquette practiced by the political participants but in no way enshrined in law. All it took was one asshole to show it all up.

Let me say it as controversially as possible - The constitution wasn't usurped, wasn't diluted, wasn't undermined; it was always like this.

Which means that the U.S. is governed by among the most primitive of current day political charters and that there is much less democracy here than in most recently established bullshit quasi-democracies, even by bourgeois standards... and this is said by someone who thinks that "democracy" don't mean shit, even when it's real.

The Constitution was a shitty document to start with, except if you're a plutocrat, so dissenting with Empire by using the very constructs of Empire in attempting to "change" the Empire is ludicrous on it's face.

Steve Lendman

"The whole process we call a first-class historical event was, in fact, an entirely routine uninspiring political caucus producing no "prodigies of statecraft, no wonders of political (judgment), no vaulting philosophies, no Promethean vistas." Contradicting everything we've been "indoctrinated from ears to toes" to believe, the notion that the Constitution is "a document of salvation....a magic talisman," or a gift to the common man is pure fantasy.

The central achievement of the convention, and a big one (until the Civil War changed things), was the cobbling together of disparate and squabbling states into a union. It held together, tenuously at best, for over seven decades but not actually until Appomattox "at bayonet point." The convention succeeded in gaining formal approval for what the leading power figures wanted and then got it rammed through the state ratification process to become the law of the land."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lendman's a little loose on the history. He and your readers should go back to the point of the Declaration of Independence and then examine that document first.

From there, Lendman and readers should examine the Articles of Confederation -- a document that most Americans do not even know about, a document that actually reflected the sentiments of the Declaration, a document that was thrown out like GARBAGE by the members of the Constitutional Convention.

The Constitution is a bastardization of the Articles. It expands the powers of the President, weakens the powers of the individual, and basically creates a plutocratic republic with no democratic principles observed or obeyed.

The apoycrypha regarding the Constitution's miraculous achievements are mistaken. The truly miraculous documents are the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

Read them some time. They're illuminating, and after you read them, you wonder how we got to where we are today.

The answer is, the richest men then in America didn't like the democratic impulses of the Declaration and the Articles. They wanted more control over the nascent federal government.