There seems to be an awful lot of noise lately, attempting to silence dissent, about how we must reconcile ourselves to legitimate government. “So-n-so won the election and that’s that!” No, it isn’t. Merely raising the issue brings along whole ship-loads of baggage.
If you want to suggest “might makes right,” then be prepared for a great amount of bloodshed, including your own blood. There is none so awesome in battle there isn’t someone out there who will beat him, sooner or later. If we rely merely on the acquiescence of the majority, we can at least point out very blunt statements from our founding fathers, not to mention a huge bunch of folks pushing “hate crimes” legislation, who would suggest the will of the majority alone does not confer legitimacy. To appeal to some body of work proposing to enunciate the moral rights and responsibilities of modern humanity will quickly bring us back to the issue of a dissenting minority — including folks like me — who reject such arrogant nonsense. We weren’t consulted — we were excluded — in the formation of these presumptive landmark declarations. You can’t have it both ways.
Western governments did not rise to their current place from a vacuum. There are precedents which conferred legitimacy. There is a steady drift from those precedents, at least culturally and intellectually, and people discussing politics today assume such a drift does not, or should not, exist. It does. Take it into account or you have no right to debate at any table where I sit. Ignoring history in general seems a virtue in these modern times, so obviously I am ignoring a lot of loud-mouthed idiots. What follows are some of the most fundamental issues which must be addressed when you want to demand I grant Bush or Obama any legitimacy.
Aside from questions of legitimacy of current processes (a huge and important question in its own right), we have to remember the current USA is not a nation, by definition. A “nation” is a single people, held together by cultural bonds, if not plain of racial-ethnic identity. We do not have a culture, and we have not been united as a country for at least a century. The loudest voices in our world today have intentionally prevented any peaceful unity. Instead, we have a massive lie about vague threats to force us to unify on a wartime footing. Well, the war is not against some outside enemy, but against us, for your information. Whether anyone likes it or not, we cannot use the term “nation” to refer to the USA; we are an empire of many disparate nations within our borders. Most are subject nations, tributaries forced to support the conquering imperial government against their will and against their best interests.
We are a State. This modern State arose as result of a revolt against some prior imperial government elsewhere. While there are claims of violations on both sides, it seems those on this side were relatively minor, and mostly a reaction to far more egregious violations by the ruling regime we fought. That revolt was recognized by other States as legitimate because it ostensibly followed established principles for such things. Those principles arise from the Treaty of Westphalia. That event gave birth to the Modern State.
Prior to the Peace of Westphalia, feudalism was the order of the day. Legitimacy was based wholly upon claims of inherited title. Feudalism operated under a rather fluid philosophy of chivalry, and generally depended on the ancient Roman Catholic Church to interpret legitimacy, at least in part. That the Church had a direct interest in the outcome of such questions served to raise the question her own legitimacy, and that was what led to Westphalia. However, much of what passed for a guiding set of principles arose in part from the ancient Roman Church, mixed with Teutonic cultural foundations.
A strong element in these antecedents requires a ruling family or class perform due diligence in protecting life, property and prosperity. Lacking the power to execute such a duty brings into question the legitimacy of their rule. At the heart of the matter, feudal powers accrued by voluntary surrender of freeholders to any warlord capable of maintaining stability of life and social order against external threats and internal predators.
The US government built upon the principle of the Modern State, but pulled in some philosophical elements of Classical Civilization, mostly Greece and Rome. The Roman Church brought forward an awful lot of that, too, so it was not entirely new, but at the time of our Founding Fathers, it was quite fashionable as “new” to claim some adherence to the Classics. By all rights, our US Constitution, more honored by abuse than by obedience, was not legitimate. You see, not a single member of the Constitutional Committee was authorized to replace the Articles of Confederation. That the states adopted it is still subject to questions of legitimacy, since more than one withdrew after passing it. Further, most of Lincoln’s rhetoric was a blatant violation of even that Constitution, not to mention plain logic. Frankly, there is a good solid foundation for questioning the legitimacy of the current ruling regime of the USA by its own internal documents.
Again, that citizens of this empire acquiesce does not settle the issue. Frankly, the whole mess fails the most fundamental question of legitimacy of all: The Bible. According to that book, there are two kinds of people in the world — servants of Christ and others. Notice I didn’t use the term “born-again.” We cannot possibly know whether another person is born-again; we can only observe whether we see the Fruits of the Spirit. There’s plenty of debate what that means, but I’ll set that aside for the moment to continue the academic thread. The point is, we have a whole world of humans who don’t follow Jesus. The Bible says they fall under the Covenant of Noah. In case it’s not too obvious what that means, we have a singular application of that covenant in history, commonly referred to as the Kingdom of Israel. Whatever else you might want to say about that kingdom, it was an example of what Noah looked like when applied in those specific circumstances. We can abstract some basic principles from that example by which we can safely assume all governments are held accountable to God.
First of all, not a single Modern State is safe. The principles of Noah assume feudalism. Further, they assume tribal living, and a clear and distinct division of power between social government and civil government. The latter has one primary function: defense. There attaches a limited function of maintaining internal order, but that is highly limited. Your clan and tribe are the only government with any real legitimate interest in your daily affairs.
Not a single Modern State is legitimate in God’s eyes.