Friday, September 19, 2014


Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) isn't a guy I share a lot of theology with (except we're both theists), but his ideas on liberty are difficult to refute.  In particular, this one:
But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
I don't dislike the Constitution.   I wish the Bill of Rights and the enumerated powers were being adhered to, but they aren't. It may be that the Articles of Confederation would have been better than the Constitution, but we may never know.

We have the government that we Americans, collectively, have chosen.  I cannot argue with Mr. Spooner that our federal Constitution has not prevented the tyrannical federal government that now exists from coming into being.   This is perhaps what happens when the people begin to believe that someone or something else can be the guarantor of their liberty.  Even our own Constitution presupposed that the people would be vigilant sentinels of their own liberty.

In fact, Mr. Spooner may be right, but for a reason he did not believe or accept.  Maybe nothing can prevent tyranny except the reign of Jesus Christ in the hearts of men.

UPDATE: The great Francis Porretto commented on the blog, to my surprise and pleasure.  His book, Which Art In Hope (first of a trilogy), posits a future extra-terrestrial non-state civilization based on Spooner's writings.  All of Porretto's books are worth the read, and I have read all of the ones available on Kindle, and a few of the ones on SmashWords.


  1. Then please:
    1. Recommend it to your friends, neighbors, relatives, and anyone who owes you money;
    2. Post a review of it at Amazon, to help my lagging sales;
    3. Consider reading the two sequels!

    And many thinks for your kind words, by the way!

  2. Didn't we wind up with The Constitution because several years of operating under The Articles of Confederation showed them to be sorely lacking?

    1. That is the judgement of people who wanted more power in a central government. The main issue that led to the Constitution, of course, is who pays for the common defense? I may not necessarily agree with the solution the Founders chose, but I get to judge it near the end of history, instead of at the beginning.

      But generations succeeding the Founders did not sign up to their solution, which is Spooner's point. And once something like the Constitution is in force, greedy men will use it to increase power, as the Founders warned, removing even the possibility of approval of what the Constitution became, since the government can enforce whatever they want it become with force of arms. And that is exactly what has happened.