Friday, February 05, 2010

The Constitution

To most Americans the U.S. Constitution is perceived as a faultless document, that, were in followed, would lead to good governance and a restrained government. However, we must understand the historical context. Howard Zinn does so in his book The People's History of the United States: 1492 to the Present.

"...most of the makers of the Constitution had some direct economic interest in establishing a strong federal government: the manufacturers needed protective tariffs; the moneylenders wanted to stop the use of paper money to pay off debts; the land speculators wanted protection as they invaded Indian lands; slaveowners needed federal security against slave revolts and runaways; bondholders wanted a government able to raise money by nationwide taxation, to pay off those bonds."

The People's History of the United States: 1492 to the Present by Howard Zinn, pages 90-91

He doesn't say they were all influenced by these desires or motivations, but that by far, those that wrote and approved of the Constitution did so with their own personal interests represented in the document. My interest is not in discrediting the Constitution, per se, but to raise doubts about the integrity of human government in general. Let us not place our trust in documents or governments established by men, but in the King of the Nations. This may seem obvious, but conservatives and even many libertarians argue that if the Constitution were followed strictly, "everything would be okay." This is delusional and idolatrous.

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