December 21, 2022

Fundamental concepts pertaining to constitutional order stem from Enlightenment thinkers, like John Locke, who stated that the entire purpose for establishing government in the first place is so that people can live peaceably among one another and free from external invasion.  This can be summed up as justice and security.

People come together and enter into civil society, as well as political bodies, to promote their mutual security and prosperity, as founding father Samuel Adams wrote in 1772.  A big part of creating prosperity is leveraging the division of labor.  It is quite natural, and a logical consequence of individual self-interest, that people specialize in tasks that they are suited for and in which they find how to make a positive contribution in society that other people value.

In other words, social cooperation is enhanced when some people specialize in security and justice services so that others can focus on different productive endeavors.  For this, of course, security and justice providers are due adequate compensation.

Yet also, amid this logical delegation of security and justice functions sits the proclivity for those entrusted with the reins of government to abuse their authority.

Samuel Adams posited that, just as individuals have the right to determine the price they are willing to pay for services in their private affairs, so has a community the right to stipulate the price of public administration.  Holding the Power of the Purse is one pillar of popular self-government that prevents those holding government office from indulging in greed or using their positions as a vehicle of pillage.

Yet that is precisely what has happened.  The civil authority, established to provide security for a community of people and their property has perverted the instruments of justice into an instrument of plunder.

The American founding fathers understood the potential for, and the proclivity of, unscrupulous characters to use the power of government to satisfy their own greed.  They understood a great deal about human nature, stating that “if men were angels no
government would be necessary at all”.

They also understood that governments were composed of mere mortals that were fallible to the same degree as all other humans.  At their level of understanding, though, the founding fathers could not avoid creating offices that would engender the very threats to life, liberty, and property, they sought to protect against.

It is for this reason that the second fundamental pillar of self-government, the Power of the Sword, was enshrined in the United States Constitution.

While enjoying increased productivity, through the division of labor, allows for increased prosperity and The Wealth of Nations, as Adam Smith’s seminal work concludes, the production of security can never be fully relinquished to any exclusive group if liberty is to endure.  Doing so is a sure recipe for engendering tyranny and despotism, the very antithesis of security.

The security of a Free State requires active participation from the whole body of the people.  It is for this reason that every able-bodied citizen must be trained to arms and organized to execute the laws, repel invasions, and suppress insurrections.  Constitutional order, indeed, depends upon it.  This is why the Second Amendment declares it “necessary”.

Pay special attention to the first constitutionally specified task: to execute the laws.

In a Free State, law enforcement is not reserved to an elite class of anointed Praetorian Guards. Upholding and enforcing law is a civic responsibility for individuals to contribute to social order and their mutual security.

By having the citizenry at the action end of law enforcement, the Constitution allows for the people to ensure that all legislation that gets passed by their, supposed, representatives first comports with the Supreme Law of the Land before it gets carried into execution.

The people must perform the final connection point in the circuit of self-government in order to maintain security and a Free State.  This cannot be left to the wiles of politicians and tax-funded bureaucrats.

The constitutional system of citizen-based law enforcement, if only it were functioning as designed, affords no opportunity for self-aggrandizing politicians and bureaucrats, nor wealthy individuals or politically connected corporations who may try to influence them, to use the powers of the state for nefarious purposes.

Since the people at the local level are implementing the legislation passed into execution, they are able to ensure that it abides with the authorities delegated to those legislative bodies, before allowing it to impact them.  Absurd regulations and unlawful legislation, such as make up the bulk of what currently passes through Congress, will be dead letters under strict adherence to constitutional order.  Onerous regulatory agencies will be neutered and largely irrelevant.

This is especially important with regard to the collection of taxes.

Since taxes to support the execution of limited, delegated powers, are established through legislation, having the people at the local level execute the laws means neighbors will be looking each other in the eye while doing the collecting.  One can imagine that due diligence, conducted by each self-governing political unit to ensure the taxes are ‘necessary and proper’ and directly tied to an enumerated constitutional authority, will occur before any expropriation takes place.

This imposes fiscal discipline on the layers of government that depend on tax collections to operate.  If the federal system is viewed as a pyramid, as depicted on the backside of a dollar bill, having the citizens organized to execute the laws of the union restores the strength of the pyramid to where it geometrically resides, in the base.

This was how the federal republic was designed to function but, over time and through numerous iterations of political churn, has been completely reversed.  Rather than a federation of free and independent states cooperating for mutual security and prosperous free trade, the term ‘federal’ has come to signify a top-down command structure.

Ending gun control and restoring true federalism, through local self-governing civic institutions, returns the republic to an organic, bottom up political union, a subsidiary federation of cooperating polities.

Further, since the general government is tasked with arming, organizing, and disciplining the local self-governing civic organizations to provide the primary element in every conceivable form of homeland security, the taxes collected are akin to membership dues that will predominantly be employed in support of community security and justice initiatives.

Most importantly, having the people organized, trained, equipped, and fully involved in the execution of all legislation and regulations passed through their representative bodies allows for local adaption to ensure implementation suits the customs, culture, and necessities of each diverse community.

While there are some laws that are universally applicable regardless of time and place, like murder, rape, robbery, theft, or fraud, other legislation calling for enforcement requires a more nuanced approach.  The scope of such legislation is extremely limited and, ideally, would be handled under the most local administration.

The majority of legislation currently being pushed down from the general government is outside the scope of constitutionally delegated authorities and, by right, should not exist.

So, it is no use trying to wrap your head around how the locals would be able to keep up with the volumes of legislation and mountains of regulation in existence today.  The best policy is to take a blowtorch to it, both mentally and physically.

Still, participation in a federal union may require executing legitimate legislation, such as training according to the discipline prescribed by Congress or preparing to repel invasions.  This might involve constructing defensive fortifications or conducting a field exercise that will look different depending on the terrain or environment.

Implementing these policies will need to be adapted according to the needs of the local community. There may be an obligation to fulfill the intent of federal legislation, yet there always remains the latitude to vary the manner in which these actions are carried out.

Military organizations consider this a “mission type” order.  Commanders determine the “what” that needs to be done while the actual maneuver units figure out “how” to get it done.  This allows for innovation, initiative, and improvisation.  It is also much more effective than a “directive type” order that stifles all ingenuity.

A federated approach to law enforcement and policy implementation means it will not be tax-salaried bureaucrats imposing ‘one size fits all’ regulations, dictated from on high, according to the discretion of a ‘federal’ executive agency headquartered in a distant capital.  The people that are most impacted by the law or policy will determine how to enact the measures in a way that aligns with their values and in a manner most likely support their “safety and happiness”.