While I am not enamored of the modern western secular state, it stands to reason there are some changes that could be made to curtail its involvement in the demographic destruction of the United States which was originally intended to be a European, if not primarily Anglophone/British nation. The structure in the modern superstate lends itself readily to bad actors who work against the interests of its own people, and this is in large part due to its over-centralization. A problem that I believe cannot be resolved unless the nation is close to its own polis. (When I use the term nation, I am not referring to the modern use of the word but the truer sense of such. Meaning as in a group of people with a shared language, cultural and hereditary foundation.) Explaining why Rome and the Greek city-states were so successful at maintaining a semblance of their culture for quite some length of time. The City-State according to Aristotle is the finest of the types of governmental systems available.
Nevertheless, I have, out of passing interest engaged in research on the topic and cited the research within this work which I confess is nothing more than a set of musings on my own part. Below, I have pointed out a few changes that I believe could result in a federal system restrained from advocating globalism, multiculturalism, and the imposition of culture destruction on its own people. Is this possible? I am not really sure, however, here are my thoughts.
The United States Constitution was among the first documents, if not the first to define and implement a modern secular government. The US Constitution laid the framework for a secular state with checks and balances and cooperation among the States. While the Constitution has served admirably for more than 240 years, there are flaws within its design. As of late, these flaws have begun to show signs of leading the American Republic to what De Tocqueville once referred to as soft despotism.¹ In particular, De Tocqueville spoke of the magistrate who became ever more severed from the election process, which has become a reality in the United States as one observes technocrats within its bloated and bureaucratic executive branch. This distended bureaucracy is the product of overspending and constitutional reinterpretations, which has allowed for more centralization of the economic institutions and marketplace.²
Four Constitutional reforms will severely inhibit the ability of future politicians and bureaucrats to centralize power, increase corruption, and limit federal growth. The first is to redesign the Constitution in such a way as to discourage its reinterpretation rather than using the amendment process and to allow States a means of escape from such a union should it become tyrannical and despotic. The second reform will be related to the ability of congress to pass laws that contain pork and tight restrictions on money printing, borrowing, and taxing. The third will remove the Federal government’s power to rule upon on its constitutional authority by placing the Supreme Court back into its constitutional role as a civil and criminal appeals court and in its stead creating a new judicial body appointed by the states to rule on the constitutionality of State and Federal laws. The fourth reform is to break the current executive branches into two sub-branches, removing individuals’ ability to have the complete power of domestic and foreign affairs, thereby splitting the executive branch into two parts. The following governmental institutions would be created using the US Constitution as a template. These changes will inhibit federal growth, centralization, and corruption and place the States back into the driver’s seat without completely destabilizing the entire construct. This is, in effect, working off of the principle that more checks and balances are needed to inhibit the centralization of authority under the state. Starving the modern secular state of funds will retard its growth into citizens’ social and cultural lives.
Redesigning the Constitution
What should be viewed as the primary problem with the United States Constitution? The most important aspect of a constitution is that it stays true to its original design. Staying true to its design does not mean that it may not change, but that any changes should not be a subversion of its original intent. If a constitution leaves a means to revise or reform it, only these methods should be used to change its construction. In this matter, the Constitution should be split into two overall portions. The first portion, which the framers would designate as unalterable and may only be proposed by and changed by a constitutional convention and ratification by ¾ of the State legislatures. Should it fail ratification, then the changes will not be adopted, and the unalterable part will continue to stand. The unalterable section will cover the design and function of the Federal government.
The second section will hold the amendments to the Constitution, and these may be proposed by the Federal legislature or 2/3rd of the states. Amendments may not alter the first section. They may only pertain to contracts and relations with and between the States. Amendments may never give the federal government authority to make changes to the unalterable section of the Constitution. Bills of Rights are only placed in the unalterable section of the Constitution and only pertain to rights States must grant to their citizens or rights reserved to the States. Based on Thomas Jefferson’s recommendations that constitutions expire every 19 years, all amendments expire every 25 years and must be renewed in this Constitution. “The Constitution and the laws of their predecessors extinguished then in their natural course with those who gave them being. This could preserve that being till it ceased to be itself, and no longer. Every Constitution then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19.”³
State-appointed judicial legislature
The second institution would the creation of a judicial congress. This congress would not rule on criminal or court cases. It would only rule on the intent of constitutional laws and amendments by those who wrote such laws and amendments. Members of this judicial congress will be appointed by state legislatures only, and this would be a part of the unalterable section of the Constitution. There would be one appointee per state. Second, the Supreme Court justices would be appointed through a vote of this chamber and selected from among the judicial congress. The Supreme Court would decide cases based on the established definitions and interpretations of the judicial congress. The judicial legislature could recall any judge that becomes an activist and reigns in judges who fail to abide by the work of the judicial congress. This would primarily be in line with establishing an independent judicial system discussed in Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England.⁴
Restricting Federal Spending
Another portion to be added to the unalterable section of this new Constitution is the need to restrain Federal spending. Curbs on expenditures cannot be done without several changes being made that will address the problem at its source. The Federal government must not tax individuals, or private business income, small property holdings, or market transactions. All federal funding should be tied to a percentage of tax revenues collected by state governments. A clause within the unalterable section will specify that the Federal government may only receive income as a percentage of the tax revenues of each state. The ratio will be set as an amendment, which a new amendment may only modify.
The second change must be a strict clause in the unalterable section of the Constitution, which prohibits creating a national central bank, contracting with a private bank for such services, and prohibiting the Federal treasury from acting as a central bank. Furthermore, this clause will state that all money must be backed by a physical resource such as precious metals or physical materials. Finally, the Federal government may not borrow money from foreign lenders.
All borrowing must be done against member States of the Union and or private domestically-owned banks. Debt may only be incurred and increased with a 2/3rds agreement of the state legislatures. All state legislatures must hold a vote within thirty days of a constitutional request for Federal debt, or their vote will be entered as approval. All of these portions must be placed in the unalterable section of the Constitution.
The two exceptions to the rule of not directly imposing taxes on are public corporations, which may be taxed directly by the Federal government on land holdings, interest earnings, and income. The second exception is import and export taxes. The federal government will have the authority to tax imports and exports. The desired result is that taxation will be mostly restricted to the states, which are much closer to the people and more easily contained. As of now, the federal government plays a shell game by taxing people and then giving it back to the States, thus making it much harder to understand just exactly how much taxation, borrowing, and currency debasement is occurring at the federal level. Unless restricted constitutionally, it will not stop.⁵
Duopolistic Executive Branch
The last change is regarding the executive branch, which is also the Federal bureaucracy. As De Tocqueville mentioned in Democracy in America, the real danger is the tendency of magistrates to become more and more removed from elections.⁶ The other problem is that these same individuals, which could be called technocrats or even apparatchiks, become entrenched over a long period, and the bureaucracy grows. “But as the functions of modern states become more and more the same, their civil services come to be more and more the same too; and while their various political masters come and go, civil servants maintain the administrative continuity of government and thus confer on the government much of its character.”⁷ So it is necessary to create a new or different executive institution to curtail bureaucratic power.
As a part of a new Constitution’s unalterable section, the bureaucracy will be split into two co-equal executive branches. There will be two presidents: one with domestic authority and one with authority to deal with external or foreign matters. By dividing the authority, there will be a natural check on each other’s attempts to gather more power and help to stifle any ideas of an imperial presidency. The Domestic President will wield a line-item veto to help eliminate pork-barrel spending on domestic projects and budget control and be responsible for managing the treasury and budgeting. This President will also act as the leader of the Senate and the head of the Capital police forces and any national domestic law enforcement. The President in charge of Foreign affairs will be in charge of approving funding for the national guard and homeland defense, diplomacy, immigration, border control, and foreign intelligence and will likewise hold a veto over any legislation impacting those areas. This President will be the supreme commander of all armed forces.
Creating a new Constitution with a section that may not be changed without complete re-ratification of the Constitution limits the ability to remove checks and balances between the branches. For instance, the 17th amendment removed a check on Federal power because the U.S. Senate was originally a check on the powers of the House and the executive branch because State legislatures approved senators. By removing the power of States to control the Senate much damage has been done to State power. As Washington told Jefferson, the Senate’s job was to “cool” legislation, which is why they were not meant to be elected by popular vote.⁸ While we could reverse much of these changes in the Constitution, it is better to make new reforms that further restrict the ability to repeat such errors.
Secondly, the Supreme Court was never granted Constitutional authority to act as the arbiter of Constitutional interpretations. This role is strictly traditional, and it would be Constitutionally legal for a president to ignore Supreme Court rulings leaving congress with the only real check on Presidential power since the ratification of the 17th amendment. As a part of the Federal government, acquiescing to the Supreme Courts’ dictates by the States allows the Federal government to rule on its jurisdiction. This undoubtedly undermines the concept of the polis. Creating an actual branch of government accountable to State legislatures that may decide on the separation of powers, will result in a more restrained Federal government. Then placing the appointment of Supreme Court justices in the jurisdiction of such a body eliminates the tendency to be activist and destroy the State governments’ authority (the authority of the polis) and it creates a truly independent judiciary.
Thirdly, removing the Federal government’s ability to directly tax individuals and tying the vast majority of its income to a portion of State revenues curtails the power of the Federal government to dangle funding over a State government in exchange for some adoption of national policy. When coupled with tight restrictions on borrowing money, and printing money, it removes the ability of Congress to endlessly print, borrow, and tax for massive pork-barrel projects to buy votes. While the Federal government may tax imports and exports and public corporations, there will be limits on how much this may occur.⁹
Finally, splitting the Presidency into two independent but co-equal offices will limit the power of the President to drag the nation into wars and force competition for funding. Funding will be drastically reduced by the elimination of the ability to tax individuals and private businesses. This will create a system in which growth will be contained, and the States will be in firm control of Federal growth, which will fix the single biggest problem with the modern secularized state. By reigning the secular state’s ability to expand its revenue, it will be starved of the funds needed to expand its social and cultural role in the everyday lives of its citizens. With the secular state out of the social and cultural picture, churches, clubs, and social organizations will be needed once again to fill the gaps.
Citation footnotes by number
1 Alexis De Tocqueville, “Chapter XIII: Government Of The Democracy In America—Part I,” in Democracy in America: Volume 1, ed. and trans. Henry Reeve, kindle ed. (Seattle Washington: Amazon, 2012), 164, Kindle.
2 James D. Gwartney et al., “10 Key Elements of Economic Thinking about the Role of Government,” in Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity, third ed. (New York: St Martin’s Press, 2016), 156, Kindle.
3. Thomas Jefferson, “Thomas Jefferson to James Madison: Volume 15: 27 March 1789 to 30 November 1789,” Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 2021, accessed May 13, 2021, http://jeffersonpapers.princeton.edu/selected-documents/thomas-jefferson-james-madison.
4. Wilfrid Prest, ed., “Book 1: The Rights of Persons,” in The Oxford Edition of Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England, ed. William Blackstone, first ed., Typophiles monograph 87 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 34, PDF.
5. Gwartney et al., Common Sense Economics, 132.
6. De Toqueville, Democracy in America, 164.
7. Alasdair Macyntire, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), 85.
8. Paul F. Boller Jr., “George Washington,” in Presidential Anecdotes: Revised Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 18,
9. Gwartney et al., Common Sense Economics, 132.
Boller, Paul F., Jr. “George Washington.” In Presidential Anecdotes: Revised Edition, 1–234. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
De Toqueville, Alexis. “Chapter XIII: Government Of The Democracy In America—Part I.” In Democracy in America: Volume 1, edited and translated by Henry Reeve. Kindle ed., 1–383. Seattle Washington: Amazon, 2012. Kindle.
Gwartney, James D., Richard L. Stroup, Dwight R. Lee, Tawni H. Ferrarini, and Joseph P. Calhoun. “10 Key Elements of Economic Thinking about the Role of Government.” In Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity. Third ed., 1–272. New York: St Martin’s Press, 2016. Kindle.
Gwartney, James D., Richard L. Stroup, Dwight R. Lee, Tawni H. Ferrarini, and Joseph P. Calhoun. Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know about Wealth and Prosperity, 1–272. New York: St Martin’s Press, 2016.
MacIntyre, Alasdair. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, 1–264. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.
Prest, Wilfrid, ed. “Book 1: The Rights of Persons.” In The Oxford Edition of Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England, edited by William Blackstone. First ed. Typophiles monograph 87. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. PDF.