By Clark M. Jones
From the U.S. Supreme Court, Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425 (1886)
“Following the decision of the highest court in Tennessee in Pope v. Phifer, 3 Heiskell 691, and other cases, this Court holds that the Board of Commissioners of Shelby County, organized under the Act of March 9, 1867, had no lawful existence; that it was an unauthorized and illegal body; that its members were usurpers of the functions and powers of the justices of the peace of the county; that their action in holding a county court was void, and that their acts in subscribing to the stock of the Mississippi River Railroad Company and issuing bonds in payment therefore were void.
While acts of a de facto incumbent of an office lawfully created by law and existing are often held to be binding from reasons of public policy, the acts of a person assuming to fill and perform the duties of an office which does not exist de jure can have no validity whatever in law.
An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation as though it had never been passed.” (1)
One of the terms I came across studying the sustainability plan we are seeing advocated at every level of government, is “effective governance.”
What do they want to do?
What is their motive?
How do they go about it?
How far are they willing to go to get it?
Those last two questions are at the core of this article on sustainability. The answer is the unlimited capabilities of effective governance. So what is it?
In a “Paper prepared for the conference ‘Earth System Governance: Theories and Strategies for Sustainability’” presented at the “2007 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change,” the authors reference four other documents in the following:
“Among the motives and rationales for public participation, which have traditionally centered around emancipatory and legitimacy aspects, it is now an increased effectiveness of governance that is being discussed – and aimed at (Heinelt 2002; Beierle and Cayford 2002; Newig 2005; Koontz and Thomas 2006).”
The paper also says “Focusing on substantive outcomes rather than on fairness or other aspects, participation thus becomes a means to achieve environmental goals in a more targeted, swift and effective way (Bulkeley and Mol 2003). Symptomatic is the claim of the guidance document on public participation relative to the EC Water framework Directive that “public participation is not an end in itself but a tool to achieve the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive’ (EU 2002: 6).” (2)
The term “effective governance,” as well as the terms “relevant,” “genuine public participation,” and “intractability,” used throughout the sustainability movement, are terms describing a system designed to create a framework for categorizing and managing We the People.
The 2008 version of the National Education for sustainability K-12 Student Learning Standards of the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development gives a definition of governance.
“The exercise of authority in a country. The capacity to formulate, implement and enforce public policies. Good governance involves the collaboration and negotiation of government, the private sector, and the public.” (3)
Another source of information on what constitutes effective governance is the document Effective Rural Governance: What Is It? What Does It Matter?, written by Nancy Stark, Director of the Rural Governance Initiative. It involves a system of regional economic partnerships between public and private entities.
This idea creates government sponsored alliances, and therefore monopolies, for particular regions or interests. Ronald Reagan talked about this idea in his 1974 speech before CPAC. This speech can be found at www.conservative.org. He said:
“Fifty-six rank-and-file, ordinary citizens had founded a nation that grew from sea to shining sea, five million farms, quiet villages, cites that never sleep-all done without an area re-development plan, urban renewal or a rural legal assistance program.”
Much of what is happening in our country looks like the New Economic Plan of Vladimir Lenin. It was a plan to keep control of major industry, transportion, and communication in the hands of the Soviet government (the collective people), while allowing the peasants (individuals with no inalienable rights) to have their small farms and industry, while still being managed through price controls and quotas.
The basic idea of effective governance is that it is designed to create solutions or benefit for a particular interest. It does this by either ignoring or annihilating jurisdictional lines and other limitations on government.
The Rural Governance Initiative has a page on “Regional Competitiveness. It says:
“The Heartland is losing ground in the global economic race. Over the past 25 years, four Heartland states (IA, KS, MO, NE) have lost almost a one percentage point share of the U.S. economy, and over the past decade only 12 counties in these states rank among the fastest growing economies in the nation. Globalization has changed regional development in profound ways, and the new paradigm forsuccess involves regional innovation strategies: The only way to compete globally is to think regionally – across the county lines laid down for a different era.” (4)
This idea is about setting up frameworks of governance that have no authority to exist under the constitution. It is the same kind of thing Norton vs. Shelby County declared unconstitutional. How many times have we heard statements like this?
The constitution is outdated.
The constitution is archaic.
It was made for another time.
This is also patently false. The county system; the constitutional system; was made for a free people with personal responsibility, individual liberties, and free enterprise that I referenced in the article last week.
Our revolution came about because Parliament and the Crown tried to throw off the restrictions of the British constitutional system of Lex Rex, or limited government, under the Common Law. One of the ways they did this was through the enactment of writs of assistance, or general warrants allowing British officials to go on neighborhood searches. This is the basis of our 4th Amendment. James Otis was the Advocate-General of Massachusetts in 1761 when he was ordered to argue for the writs against the Boston merchants. He refused, quit his job, and argued for the other side without pay.
For 5 hours he passionately argued the entire 900 year history of the English Common Law, a system of rights given by God not granted by government. It is a system of equality under the law. It is not a system of the collective common good of Rousseau, Marx and the Soviet Union, where the peasants lose their will, their rights, themselves in the collective proletariat of the “People.”
The State of South Dakota GOP website says:
“I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least.” (5)
I agree with that statement. It is a statement unalterably opposed to the collective view of the people (the collective proletariat, not individuals with God-given rights) advanced by Jean Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who was a Supreme Court Justice, wrote the book The Common Law, that completely violated the concept of the common law with his evolutionary view of the law. He expressed the view of basing law and the role of government on the felt needs of the people:
“The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious, even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men, have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed.” (6)
Other words associated with effective governance include “collaboration,” “consensus” and “cooperation.” None of these words or ideas are harmful in themselves. In a sense they embody the freedom of association laid out in the Bill of Rights. However, when they represent a marriage of special interests and the government, they are destructive of our American constitution and liberties.
Members of Congress and local governments are acting on this model of governance and approved public participation. We the People are being categorized according to our “relevance” and “genuineness,” hence the references to TEA Partiers as “mobs” and “astroturf,” or not real grassroots.
They are trying to manage the People in their interactions with the People. This is an elitist, arrogant paradigm of governance and public participation designed to create the “right” public opinion, spin public opinion, and ensure that only the “relevant” and “genuine” are heard.
The county and city government systems, the Parliament, our Congress: these have always restricted the power of government, making it responsible to the will and rights of the people. They are all based on the old Anglo-Saxon Common Law idea of the right to representation. Those people carried it out in their Elder’s Council, which continues in the idea held in the word “Aeldermann” or “Alderman” still used in city councils around the nation.
There are those who want to throw out the constitution because it did not address the issue of slavery until the 14th amendment. Our founding fathers did not throw out the English Common Law because it allowed slavery, and because it once restricted many things from the peasants. They claimed the principles for themselves, and created an explosion of advancement of enterprise and freedom in this country.
When government participates or collaborates in the economy, just to help for the common good, nothing good can happen. The things that are happening in America right now mirror the New Economic Plan of Vladimir Lenin I mentioned earlier. Lenin emphatically denied that this plan was capitalism, but communism through management of capitalist forces. He also denied it was anything but a temporary state to stabilize things for the next step. It was not designed, and cannot work, as a permanent economic idea.
So what is the next step? Go back after we give government a taste of power, a temporary suspending of the limitations on government? If government participation is the answer then more government is necessary when the NEP fails. It is designed to fail.
The next step is Stalin, which is a true collectivizing of the entire economy, and central planning of everything. It is a process to the subjugation of the people.
Family and Faith are the greatest enemies of communism. This is because a self-ruling, moral people will never willingly submit to the management and mandates of socialism. The next step is the crushing and annihilation of resistance.
Where does effective governance stop? It doesn’t, because it is based on a premise that the goal is absolutely essential. Why would we destroy the platform that keeps this from happening? We have a constitutional representative republican form of government. It is our government as the People. Effective governance is designed to abandon or ignore or annihilate the limitations of that system of government for the principle of pragmatism to achieve a special interest. It is fascism.
(1) U.S. Supreme Court, Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425 (1886), found on http://supreme.justia.com/us/118/425/case.html
(2) Under Which Conditions Does Public Participation Really Advance Sustainability Goals? Findings of a Meta-Analysis of Stakeholder Involvement in Environmental Decision-making, Paper prepared forthe conference “Earth System Governance: Theories and Strategies for Sustainability’, 2007 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 24-26 May 2007, Oliver Fritsch & Dr. Jens Newig, Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabruck / Germany. www.2007amsterdamconference.org/Downloads/AC2007_FritschNewig.pdf
(3) US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, National Education for Sustainability K-12 Student Learning Standards, Version 2 – September 2008, http://uspartnership.org/resources/0000/0062/USPEfSStandards_V2.09.08.pdf
(4) Effective Rural Governance: What Is It? What Does It Matter? written by Nancy Stark, Director of the Rural Governance Initiative. http://www.rupri.org/regionalcomp.php
(5) South Dakota GOP website. http://southdakotagop.com/about/default.aspx?SectionId=618
(6) Holmes jr., Oliver Wendell, The Common Law, introduction by Sheldon M. Novick, Scholar in Residence, Vermont Law School, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, page 1.
Clark M. Jones is a student of history and a member of Citizens for Liberty, the group which organized the Rapid City Tax Day Tea Party and the Rapid City Independence Day Tea Party. To find out more about what Citizens for Liberty is doing in western South Dakota to fight excessive government and restore our land to limited government, go to www.sdcitizens.comor attend their next meeting (details on the website).