Untrue Things People Believe
This is the seventeenth article addressing those things most people believe that are not true introduced in the article, "Most Of What You Believe Is Not True." To see all the articles, or any other one, please see the Index.
I am only concerned with the American Constitution, but many other constitutions around the world are modeled on the American one and this will apply to them to some extent as well.
The American Constitution begins with a lie: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Technically those words are only the preamble to the Constitution and not part of the body of the constitution itself. No law is to be based on the preamble, and no aspect of the government is described by it. It states, however, that the Constitution is something, "we the people," have ordained and established. In fact, "we the people," had very little to do with it and most of the people living at the time were not consulted about it at all. The only one's involved with writing and ratifying the constitution were the writers themsevles and the politicians of various states.
Though the Constitution began being described as, "the law of the land," almost as soon as it was ratified, it was never meant to be a law pertaining to the citizens, but a law pertaining to the government. The constitution was the law the government was bound by, it specified how the government was to be organized, what it could and must do, what it could not and must not do. The constitution was not meant to be the law of the land regulating what the citizens did, it was meant to be the law of the government regulating what the government did.
Nevertheless, "law of the land," is what it became, and the new Constitutional government began fleecing the citizen's within the first year with a series of tariffs in 1789, 1790, and 1792. (The Constitution was ratified on July 21, 1788.)
In 1791 the first tax on a domestic product was imposed on whiskey. It was then that some of, "we the people," realized they had been had, which led to the "Whisky Rebellion."
The Social Contract
The United States Constitution has been sold as a "social contract," an idea originated by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke. (Other philosophers also contributed to social contract theory, but did not have so much, or any, influence on the founders.) Of the two, Rousseau and Locke, Locke was the most influential, and the originator of the idea of a government deriving its "just powers from the consent of the governed."
This is generally explained as the means of eliminating the use of force from a society. Individuals have a right to use force only in defence, but to prevent vigilantism and everyone taking the law into their own hands so to speak, the "people" agree to surrender their right of forceful defense to the government which argrees to become the defenders of every one from all threats of force both domestic and foreign. A constitution is supposed to be the formal contract to that agreement, spelling out exactly how the government must do that.
As a form of contract, the constitution has all the faults of any contract, as well as some others of its own.
The essential fault as a contract is that, "no piece of paper has ever made anyone do, or not do, anything," which anyone who is aware of what U.S. government is doing these days already knows.
There are two other things about the Constitution as a contract that are even worse than that.
The first is that the force of a contract is supposed to be in the fact the government will enforce it. Since one of the parties to a supposed constitutional contract is the government, who or what agency is supposed to enforce it? It is very unlikely the government is going to enforce a constitutional contract against itself.
The second is that the constitution is the only kind of contract that is supposedly binding on individuals who never agreed to it or had an opportunity to agree to it. When a contract is written, it is only binding on those who sign the contract. Have you ever signed the Constitution? Do you know anyone who has? Nevertheless, the constitution is binding on you and everyone else.
The government may claim the constitution is binding on everyone, but it cannot make that claim and also claim it is a contract, when those bound by it never had an opportunity to agree or disagree with it. The constitution is simply a document of deception and oppression, but a lot of people believe in it.