e-Article No. 5

Empire of Reason

e-Article No. 5

February 15, 2021

From:  Connecticut Committee of Correspondence

(Committees of Correspondence were early revolutionary cells, specifically organized for revolutionary reeducation, for the manipulation of opinion, so as to lay the groundwork of resistance to the globe’s greatest imperialist power, the British Empire.  “Sam Adams was the promoter of the first local committees on November 12, 1772, and within three months Governor Hutchinson reported that there were more than eighty such committees in Massachusetts.”  Committees of Correspondence formed the basis for the soon to follow Committees of Public Safety, as the road to revolution unfolded.  See page 217, “Committees of Correspondence,” Concise Dictionary of American History, Editor, Wayne Andrews.)

* * * * *

Three Boxes of the Republic

By Mark Albertson

* * * * *

The three boxes of the Republic, the Ballot Box, the Jury Box and the Cartridge Box, were those basic roles of active participation by the citizenry, in order to insure a functioning system of Representative Government that was required to maintain the Republic. . .   Mark Albertson

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good. . .    H.L. Mencken

* * * * *

Land and the Ballot Box

For the masses, the American Republic was akin to a stool with three legs:  The Ballot Box, the Jury Box and the Cartridge Box.  The first leg was emblematic of voting; the second leg representing the citizens’ participation in the justice system with the final leg denoting the citizens’ obligation to preserve their active participation in an Elective Republic with the right to bear arms and answer the call to protect and defend the Republic from all enemies foreign and domestic.  For it should not require an overburdening amount of intelligence to grasp the concept that the average American would be willing to risk life and limb in order to kill his fellow man in defense of his home, farm or town as opposed to going thousands of miles from home to take oil from Iraqis for Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and Halliburton; the latter is especially true when these citizens understand they will not receive an annual dividend check from these members of corporate gangsterdom for services rendered, so as to insure the profits for those whose overall agenda is Making Society Work for the Few . . .

          This literary effort will seek to explain the Three Box System of the Republic and why it no longer applies; which in turn, signifies the demise of the Republic.  Leaving only the Corporate State.  The Corporate Fascist State.  For years before the ascendency of that arrogant, self-absorbed Constitutional illiterate who had set up shop in the White House in November 2016, America had already fulfilled the basic criteria of a Corporate Fascist State.  This is based, of course, on the model afforded nearly a century ago by Benito Mussolini.  To wit:

1.  “The corporation is . . . an organ of the State Administration.”  Article 43, Decree on Corporations, July 1, 1926.[1]

2.  “VI.  Legally recognized professional associations ensure legal equality between employers and workers, control the discipline of production and labor, and promote the improvement of both.

          “Corporations constitute the unitary organizations of all the forces of production and integrally represent their interests . . . In virtue of this integral representation, since the interests of production are the interests of the nation, the corporations are recognized by law as State organs.

          “As representing the unitary interests of production, corporations may enforce binding regulations for the discipline of labor relations as well for the co-ordination of production. . .

      “VII.  The Corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and useful instrument in the interest of the nation.

           “In view of the fact that private organization of production is a function of national concern, the organizer of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production.  Collaboration between the forces of production gives rise to reciprocal rights and duties.  The worker, whether technician, employee or laborer, is an active collaborator in the economic enterprise, the direction of which rests with the employer who is responsible for it. . . .”[2]

          The Fascist State is anti-Individualistic, as noted by Mussolini with his, “Fascist Doctrine,” June 1932:  “Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interest coincide with those of the State . . . And if liberty is to be the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State . . . The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value.  Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people . . . In rejecting democracy, Fascism rejects the absurd conventional lie of political equalitarianism, the habit of collective irresponsibility, the myth of felicity and definite progress . . . Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere. . . . “[3]

          Mussolini’s Corporate Fascist State was the antithesis to the Republic forged by America’s Founding Fathers; this despite the fact that the Founders were enlightened authoritarians.  Where they were willing to share, with the Common Herd, aspects of government, despite their distrust of the masses controlling government through Democracy.

          The Founders organized a governmental structure based on Economic Liberty, based on the ownership of Land.  Only land owners could vote, resulting in limited suffrage at the Nation’s founding.  But as John Adams observed:

          Power always follows property.  Men in general, in every society, who are wholly destitute of property, are too little acquainted with public affairs for a right judgment, and too dependent upon other men to have a will of their own.  They talk and they vote as they are directed by some man of property, who has attached their minds to his interest.  A balance of power on the side of equal liberty and public virtue is to make the acquisition of land easy to every member of society, to make a division of land into small quantities. . .   If the multitude is possessed of landed estates, the multitude will have the balance of power, and in that case the multitude will take care of liberty, virtue and interest of the multitude in all acts of government.[4]

          Unlike Mussolini and his reliance on a Corporate Aristocracy to maintain a grip of control on the multitude by deciding their working conditions, organization, pay scale and other related aspects in maintaining the economy, Founders such as John Adams saw that the entry of the masses into the ruling class was through property, whether in large amounts or small.  This willingness to share power through the ownership of Land would create, if you will, a Dictatorship of the Landed Class.  As opposed to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as envisioned by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, opposed as this was to Private Property; or, in the Corporate Fascist State as envisioned by Il Duce.  But in the American system, those owning Land, whether rich or otherwise, could participate with the Vote to choose candidates in a Republican system of Representative Government.  Participating in a system of Checks and Balances, which would be dominated by the Rich and the Well Born, but with participation by the Common Herd.  Indeed the vote was one aspect of keeping the privileged class in line and, no longer does.

* * * * *

The Jury Box

Amendment VI:  In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right of a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusations; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.[5]

Amendment VIII:  Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.[6]

What is a Plea Bargain:  A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and a defendant to plead guilty or nolo contender (no contest) in exchange for the prosecution reducing the number or type of charges involved (more commonly known as “charge bargaining”) or agreeing to recommend a specific sentence to the court (more commonly known as sentence bargaining).[7]

          The structure the Founders put together to foster the Rule of Law for the citizenry no longer exists.  The nation at its founding had some 3,000,000 to 4,000,000 people, not 335,000,000.  The explosion in population growth has to be a factor to be taken into account.  More people, more criminals, more trials. . .   Has the country become too large to function?  Unmanageable?  Too unwieldy?  Or have Americans today, unlike the most Dynamic Generation, become too sedentary in thought; lack the critical thinking skills required to organize and maintain a system of jurisprudence that will see to the proper implementation of justice for all.  Or, are there just too many Americans who just do not care . . . ?

          “Before the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 was enacted, 15 percent of federal defendants elected to stand trial.  By 2010, the percentage dropped to 3 percent. . .   In 2013, Human Rights Watch reported that federal prosecutors ‘routinely threaten’ drug defendants with ‘extraordinarily severe prison sentence’ if they do not relinquish their right to a jury trial and plead guilty.”[8]

          “According to Prison Policy Initiative,” 630,000 people are in jail on any given day, and 443,000 of them –70 percent—are in pretrial detention.  Many of these defendants are facing minor charges that would not mandate further incarceration, but they lack the resources to make bail and secure their freedom.  Some therefore feel compelled to take whatever deal the prosecutor offers, even if they are innocent.”[9]

          Obviously here the trend away from the cornerstone of the citizens’ access to the Rule of Law has been on the road to decline for decades, offering a window into another cornerstone of the Republic hastening to its tragic demise.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 2005, that in 2003, there were 75,573 cases heard in Federal District courts; of which 95 percent were concluded by plea bargaining.  In the same report, the system waxed critical of prosecutors enjoying excessive latitude, more even than judges, in resorting to coercion and threats against defendants in order to garner another conviction.[10]

          Within the American prison system are some 2,300,000 inmates, in 1,833 state prisons, 110 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,134 local jails, 218 immigration detention centers, 80 Indian Country jails, in addition to the military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories.[11]  This includes some 746,000 in the nation’s jails; to which 74 percent of those being held have not been convicted.  Every year, some 600,000 people pass through prison gates, at the same time, people in the United States, annually, go to jail 10.6 million times.  This in turn feeds the number of people behind bars.  Making the situation worse is that many who are arrested cannot afford bail or other fees attached to incarceration, remaining confined until their trials.  About 160,000 on an average day are convicted and, for the most part, are serving misdemeanor sentences of a year or less.  But this certainly adds to the 10.6 million people going to jail yearly.  Aggravated, too, by the fact that 1 of every 4 who go to jail will be arrested again, and within the same year.  And this is inflamed by those who engage in substance abuse, dealing with poverty, mental and emotional issues.[12]

          Some researchers have criticized the system for enabling prosecutors a great degree of freedom in manipulating the system, so as to not only roster many notches on their belts, but gain undue power within the justice system itself, as opposed to judges who are restricted to a set of guidelines pursuant to their duties.

          The system, as envisioned by the Founders and briefly outlined in the Constitution is not working, leading one to speculate that the constitutionally ordained system to which Americans are guaranteed with a trial by jury of their peers . . . no longer exists in a manner necessary to insure the citizenry that it lives in a nation that truly practices Rule of Law.

* * * * *

The Cartridge Box

Amendment II:  A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.[13]

          In today’s America, there is much debate as to the validity of the notion of an armed citizenry.  Some who are opposed believe that the nation today is far removed from colonial America, an era when the armed citizen was bearing the musket and not an AR-15; that America is no longer threatened by colonial powers such as England, France and Spain.  Yet proponents offer that the right to bear arms is not only conditioned to foreign threats, but domestic as well; that Consent of the Governed, in the end, is conditioned on preservation by an armed citizenry.  America, today, though, is a Corporate State, no longer the Republic . . . been so for decades.  And since this is so, one must give credence to the notion that the American gun owner has proven to be little better than a paper tiger.

          Fact is, the 2nd Amendment was bolstered by the 1792 Militia Act.  This fascinating piece of legislation saw to the governors controlling the militias and not the federal government or the Army.  Officers were applied by the states, not the federal government or the Army.  All white males, 18-45, were in the state militias.  And they bought their own gun, powder, ball, shirts, pants, footwear. . .   True, the militias could be federalized to bolster the miniscule Regular Army, as stated in the Constitution.  The President, as Commander in Chief, according to Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, could command the Militias when federalized.  But according to the 1792 Militia Act, the president could federalize the militias for three months.[14] 

          The basic rules and regulations for calling forth the Militia belonged to Congress.[15]  But make no mistake, the governors controlled the bulk of the American military effort, not the Army or the federal government.  This was a sop to States Rights.  In addition to many of the Founders holding to the premise that a large standing army was a threat to Republican Government, limited representative government.

          The militia system was fashioned for defense, on the premise that Americans would be motivated to fight to protect their towns, farms and homes.  In other words, this armed force was not going to be invading other countries so as to abscond with their resources.  And this form of defense served the majority of the 19th century.  But the Civil War, America’s first real Industrialized War, Total War, produced a United States Army of 2,213,000 men by April 9, 1865, the largest Regular Army in the history of North America, up to that point.

          Congress reduced the Regular Army to some 27,442 men by 1876.[16]  The progression of industrialization and the completion of linking Chesapeake Bay with the Golden Gate induced America to sever its founding roots and take to the world stage.  With the grabbing of the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico and Cuba, America joined the club of White Christian colonial powers.  Such would require a world class military.  First a Navy, the New Steel Navy, construction of which began in the 1880s.  Yet in 1901, the Root Reforms were started, led by Elihu Root, Secretary of War.  The 1792 Militia Act was superseded by the 1903 National Guard Act.  No longer were citizen-soldiers buying their own weapons, the Army now did so.  Guardsmen were no longer to be federalized for three months but nine.  Guardsmen were now to be paid by the federal government when training with the Regular Army.  And soon Guardsmen could be deployed overseas.[17]  In other words, the National Guard Act transformed “all state militia units into the organized regiments and companies of the National Guard.  In simplest terms, Guard units received increased funding and equipment, and in return, they were to conform to federal standards for training and organization.”[18]

          The National Guard was no longer the citizen-soldier concept as envisioned by the Founders, but becoming a bona fide reserve of the United States Army.  Of course, no changes  were made to the Second Amendment, despite the fact the militia system, as originally intended, no longer exists.  The continuation of Industrialized War through the first half of the 20th century, concluded what was started in the Civil War, having gained steam with the Spanish-American War and the immediate aftermath and the growth of Big Government and the development of Big Business/Finance in America, which by 1945, had become a superpower.  The citizen was being removed from the decision making process on affairs of a military variety, as well as foreign policy.  For the citizen-soldier concept was gone; replaced by a professional regular armed force.  A development which helped to foster the demise of the Republic.  Indeed, the warning inherent in George Washington’s Farewell Address, September 19, 1796, needs to be heeded:

          While then every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionally greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their Peace by foreign Nations; and what is of inestimable value! they must derive from Union an exemption from those broils and Wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries, not tied together by the same government; which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and imbitter.  Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown Military establishments, which under any form of Government are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty:  In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.[19]   

Endnotes

[1]  See page 122, Document No. 12, “Decree on Corporations, July 1, 1926,” Mussolini and Italian Fascism, by S. William Halperin.

[2]  See pages 130 and 131, Document No. 14, “Charter of Labor, April 21, 1927,” Mussolini and Italian Fascism, by S. William Halperin.

[3]  See pages 146 and 147, Document No. 18, “Fascist Doctrine as Presented Officially by Mussolini, June 1932,” Mussolini and Italian Fascism, by S. William Halperin.

[4]  See pages 52 and 53, “Three,” Inventing a Nation, by Gore Vidal.

[5]  See page 87, “Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791,” Founding Character, by Kirk Ward Robinson and Christopher Eaton.

[6]  See page 87, Robinson and Eaton.

[7]  See pages 2 and 3, “Most Federal Drug Charges End in Plea Bargains,” Staff Writer, John T. Floyd Law Firm.

[8]  See page 2, “Most Federal Drug Charges End in Plea Bargains,” by Staff Writer, John T. Floyd Law Firm blog   www.johntfloyd.co/federal-drug-charges-end-plea. . .

[9]  See page 7, “Innocence is Irrelevant,” The Atlantic, by Emily Yoffe.

[10]  See pages 1 and 2, “Plea and Charge Bargaining,” Research Summary, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, by Lindsey Devers, Ph.D.

[11]  See page 1, “Mass Incarceration:  The Whole Pie 2020,” Prison Policy Initiative, by Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner.

[12]  See pages 2 and 4, Sawyer and Wagner.

[13]  See page 86, Robinson and Eaton.

[14]  According to Article XI, Section 4, of the 1792 Militia Act, May 8, 1792, “providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia,” to which:  “And that no officer, non-commissioned officer or private of the militia shall be compelled to serve more than three months in any one year, nor more than in due rotation with every other able-bodied man of the same rank in the battalion to which he belongs.”

[15]  Within Article I, Section 8, of the United States Constitution, the responsibility of Congress extended thus:

          Paragraph 14:  To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.

          Paragraph 15:  To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.

          Paragraph 16:  To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

          See page 72, Robinson and Eaton.

[16]  See page 282, Chapter 13, “Darkness and Light:  The Interwar Years, 1865-1898,” American Military History, Maurice Matloff, General Editor.

[17]  Refer to Public Law No. 33, January 21, 1903, Fifty-Seventh Congress, Session II, Chapter 196, pages 775-780.  Section 1, “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That the militia shall consist of every able-bodied male citizen of the respective States, Territories, and District of Columbia, and every able-bodied male of foreign birth who has declared his intention to become a citizen, who is more than eighteen and less than forty-five years of age, and shall be divided into two classes—the organized militia, to be known as the National Guard of the State, Territory, of District of Columbia, or by such other designations as may be given by the laws of the respective States or Territories, and the remainder to be known as the Reserve Militia.” 

[18]  See page 2, “Century of Change, Century of Contribution,” The Guard Century Series:  1900-1920, by Lieutenant Colonel Michael D. Doubler.

[19]  See pages 97 and 98, Robinson and Eaton.

Bibliography

Andrews, Wayne, Editor, Concise Dictionary of American History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1962.  Originally published 1940.

Devers, Lindsey, Ph.D, “Plea and Charge Bargaining,” Research Summary, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, CSR Incorporated, Arlington, Virginia, January 24, 2011.  www.csrincorporated.com

Doubler, Lieutenant Colonel, Part I, The Guard Century Series, 1900-1920, The National Guard Association of the United States, www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=2488

Fifty-Seventh Congress, Session II, Public Law No. 33, Chapter 196, pages 775-780, January 21, 1903.

Halperin, S. William, Mussolini and Italian Fascism, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., Princeton, NJ., 1964.

Matloff, Maurice, General Editor, American Military History, Army Historical Series, Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1969.

Militia Act of 1792, Second Congress, Session I, Chapter XXVIII, Passed May 2, 1792, providing for the authority of the President to call out the Militia.  Constitution.org/1-Activism/mil/mil_act_1792.htm

Robinson, Kirk War and Eaton, Christopher, Founding Character:  The Words & Documents That Forged a Nation, Roan Adler Publishers, Nashville, Tenn., 2003.

Sawyer, Wendy and Wagner, Peter, “Mass Incarceration:  The Whole Pie 2020,” Prison Policy Initiative, March 24, 2020.

Staff Writer, “Most Federal Drug Charges End in Plea Bargain,” John T. Floyd Law Firm, www.johntfloyd.com/federal-drug-charges-end-plea. . .

United States Statutes at large/Volume 1/2nd Congress/1st Session/Chapter 33, Chapter XXXIII—An Act more effectually to provide for the national Defense by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States, May 8, 1792.

Vidal, Gore, Inventing a Nation:  Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2003.

Yoffee, Emily, “Innocence is Irrelevant,” The Atlantic, September 2017 issue.  Article was part of The Atlantic’s “The Presence of Justice,” supported through a grant provided by the John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.

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