By Jim Beers
July 09, 2007
This is not an article about Democrats and Republicans. It is an examination of the struggle in the United States to change a Republic with accountable, defined government and inviolate individual rights into a Democracy, wherein the central government grows continuously by fulfilling the wishes of every faction desiring to impose itself or its ideas on everyone else and everything.
A similar struggle is more advanced in Europe. Whether characterized as a shift from democracy to socialism or as a "necessary" unification of European states for economic or social purposes, the struggle is the same. Private property and guaranteed individual rights, while never having existed as powerfully in Europe as in the United States - are dwindling, along with individual States - in a blizzard of laws and regulations from a central government. No facet of life or society is safe from the regulation and reach of central government politicians and bureaucrats unchecked by courts.
Values, families, communities, lifestyles, traditions, and future are sucked into this whirlwind.
A major facet and engine of the production of precedents and propaganda for this march to replace the American Republic with a Democracy, and then presumably, with the socialism and oligarchy rising on Europe's horizon, is the environmental/animal rights movement. A few of literally thousands of such examples from the past 35 years suffice to make this point:
1. Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Congress authorized and the courts approved:
- (A.) Government power to declare any private property "Critical Habitat" and to thus, without "compensation" nor for a "public purpose", (as required in the Constitution) to take control of any use of that property from the owner.
(B.) Government power to introduce and protect deadly predators like wolves and bears without being responsible for the loss of livestock, loss of game, loss of domestic animals, like pets, or human deaths resulting from such introductions.
(C.) Government power to ignore or crush any State government or local government objections to federal "endangered species" actions.
2. Under the Animal Welfare Act, Congress seized authority over an ever-growing list of animals, owned as private property, from their owners and from state and local governments.
3. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Congress seized authority over all marine mammals in state waters or jurisdiction and, like the ESA, assumed the ownership of such animals from private owners.
4. Under the Wilderness Act, Congress destroyed all the legal and sensible obligations of the past to manage certain federal lands for "multiple uses" and to support local communities and local economies while providing food and fiber for the nation. Henceforth, a politically advantageous moment to close such lands to any use or access, regardless of previous commitments, would be condoned.
5. While urban agendas and constituencies from Oklahoma City to New Orleans, and Presidential aspirations of a Governor of New Mexico (Richardson) are fuel for eliminating the ancient tradition of cockfighting, federal legislation is passed to eradicate interstate aspects of such activity. The birds are private property, and their regulation should remain a state, or even preferably, a local matter.
6. Horse slaughter, an emotional issue with the affluent and certain urban constituencies, is banned by federal legislation. Horses are private property and, like fighting cocks, the recent spate of federal authority declarations over these animals and their disposition by owners would have been unimaginable, just 50 years ago.
One thing all six examples have in common is the lack of outcry other than from those directly affected. Horse owners felt no connection to the elimination of cockfighting. Marine Mammal owners and users showed no interest in the passage of the Animal Welfare Act. Dog owners, like private property owners and public property users, felt little need to be concerned about passage of a law to "protect" "endangered species". Hunters, campers, fishermen, travelers, and rural communities felt no need to concern themselves with the impacts of the Wilderness Act on timber production or ranching.
Indeed, even organizations founded to advance elk hunting or trout fishing supported the wolf program - eliminating elk hunting; and the Wilderness Act closing access to and management of trout fishing - and the replacement of robust trout fisheries with anemic fisheries or even lost trout fisheries.
State agencies, like fish and wildlife and parks agencies increasingly have come to depend on federal largesse, as federal power and funding availability grows. Universities, likewise, have adapted completely to the new paradigm as grants and other emoluments build University careers and reputations.
"So what?" you say. Many of us feel cockfighting is "cruel". Many of us believe that the horse is a "noble" animal and no one should be "allowed" to slaughter one, for any reason. No price is "too great to pay" to "save" a "species". Marine Mammals are "cute" and "intelligent" and "necessary to the environment". A "wilderness" has "supernatural" qualities that transcend and trump any and all "other" "ecosystems". It would be impossible to "save" all the "endangered species" if we had to pay for every cow claimed by some farmer, or dog claimed by some hunter, or even some kid, when he "didn't belong there" or had failed to behave properly or pick up all of his garbage. State governments and local governments are relics of the past, and if we are to be able to "compete" and "advance" more government power and more rule by the informed "experts" is the only way we will "survive".
In a Republic with guaranteed rights, NONE of this would happen. Species in peril would be addressed by voluntary federal incentives to property owners in line with state laws and regulations in which the property lies. If federally-managed animals killed stock, pets, and people, then compensation would be due, and state ability to eliminate or reduce such animals on all land under state authority (including all federal lands not held under Exclusive Authority or necessary for national defense.) Queasiness on the part of any citizen over the disposition of privately owned horses slaughtered for food, or of gamecocks (remember, a great Revolutionary War Hero was named after such animals) used as families have done for eons; would be grounds for no more than avoiding the eating of horseflesh, or feeding horsemeat to your pet or other animals, or attendance at a cockfight. Animal experiments would remain the prerogative of a University or company.
Marine Mammals would remain under state authority in state waters, except where a ratified Treaty intervened. Marine Mammals would be managed for numbers and distributions to maximize "watching" and commercial fishery stocks. Federal commitments to retain or purchase land for multiple uses,rural economic development, and national uses would not be little more than royal decrees, that could be changed with tomorrow's winds.
In a "democracy" ruled by elite "experts" centrally (this is called an oligarchy) anything is possible. We say the world is "warming" so from now on, "we" control this and that. We say only "native" species belong, so we will now control all those and those, and that. We say this harmful species "belongs here" so you must either stay inside, have no pets or children, stay out of the woods, or move to a city where "you" belong. No one "belongs" "here" so here is a payment for your property, and you must be gone by next week.
If you think some of this sounds "OK" or if you don't think it is worth fighting to reverse this slide into oligarchy, allow me to use these precedents in another area of national life. I could speak at length about sexual license or family authority, or our disappearing attitude toward Life as areas that are experiencing these same phenomena; but I choose instead, the demographic changes we are experiencing.
Many Americans and Europeans profess to abhor government processes in Moslem nations. Non-Muslims are discriminated against with impunity. Death and violence quickly emerge, and go unpunished, when other religions are practiced or even discussed, in many instances. Immams function as judges, and can declare almost any punishment. Private property is tenuous at best, and central governments are often arms of religious law. In border nations, when Muslim numbers reach significant levels, friction with non-Muslims over the supremacy or untouchability of religious court rules causes riots and deaths. In all honesty, there appears to be little interest in immigrating to these lands, or to live under their ideas of law.
When Muslims move to Europe or the United States, they may express interest in ruling their communities similarly to where they came from. They may feel that there is only their view of the world, or that everyone else should live as they decree (like many environmental/animal rights organizations.)
So, how should we (theoretically) answer such desires of some of these newest members of our society?
If there were demands to stop all display of any religious symbolism both publicly and privately, what could we do but comply? You say we have "freedom of religion"? Well we also "HAD" a "right to private property" that Congress eliminated with a snap of its fingers, because some influential folks wanted it.
If there were demands to forbid any "unclean" animals, what could we do but comply? If Congress can simply take away your right to use your own gamecock or horse as you want, simply because a powerful coalition demands it, why not take away your right to own or possess "unclean" animals too?
If certain public lands were requested for Moslem-only purposes, what could we do but comply? If Congress can increasingly make millions of acres of "public" land inaccessible for "wilderness" advocates' peace of mind, why couldn't it do so for the peace of mind of other powerful groups?
If different tax rates and more stringent building requirements for non-Muslims in Muslim communities were demanded, what could we do but comply? If Congress can make rural people, ranchers, hunters,dog owners and loggers bear disproportionate burdens of Endangered Species and Wilderness legislation, why not grant similar demands of other powerful groups?
If threats and demands for certain cartoon censorship or restrictions of public remarks are made, what can we do but comply? If Congress can claim authority at the expense of state governments and local control over some animals, because of their "cuteness" or "intelligence", why not simply eliminate the "freedom of the press" and "freedom of speech" when any powerful group demands it? We already practice such censorship in the schools anyway.
Consider how much more achievable the elimination of freedoms and rights may be under ONE government (as opposed to 50) or thousands of empowered local governments, as we once had. Consider the lack of appeal on YOUR part when YOUR rights are eliminated by an all-powerful, far-away, and unresponsive central government, as opposed to YOUR state government, or YOUR local government that are vulnerable to your wrath.
I could go on, but it is time for supper. I hope you get the point. If you do, welcome to the fight to save the Republic. If you don't, OUR future will only grow increasingly darker.
Copyright Â© 2007 Freedom.org. All