John Taylor of Caroline Explained: Federal Leviathan is Not Sovereign, We Are

todayJanuary 15, 2014 1

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The Federal Leviathan is Not Sovereign, We The People Are

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “It’s your body, your life.  It is your

The greatest argument ever made against Congress's sweeping power to tax. Edited by Mike Church
The greatest argument ever made against Congress’s sweeping power to tax. Edited by Mike Church

property.  You own your own intellectual property.  You own the fruits of your own labor.  You are sovereign, in other words.  An entity, like the federal government, can’t be sovereign, not in the same sense that an individual can.”  Check out today’s transcript for the rest…

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Caller Aaron:  What if the states added that — they say these Southern and Southeastern states frequently are the benefactor of all this extra federal funding where they pay in a dollar and get $1.05, $1.10, whatever more than they pay.  To what degree are these unfunded federal mandates forced upon the states where they have to pay them?  What if the states simply said: We’re not going to fund you anymore and we’re not sending your tax dollars.  We’re not going to be your tax collector.  We’re not going to fund you.  We don’t agree with what you’re doing.  Pretty much go pound sand.

Mike:  Then you would not be a state in the federal union any longer.

Caller Aaron:  That would be a terrible thing now, wouldn’t it?

Mike:  Well, that is fully within the power of any state or any sovereign people.  Remember that the way I understand it and the way the founding generation, most of them understood it, although there was a feud between John Adams and John Taylor.  It was mostly Taylor’s misunderstanding Adams, because Adams said: No, we can have two sovereignties and the national sovereignty is superior to the local sovereignty.  Taylor told him no.  Taylor was so animated… (Transcript continues for Founders Pass members, not a member? Sign up now for .17 cents per day!)

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Taylor was so animated and so committed to the idea, he wrote a 1,453-page response to Adams and demolished the argument, just obliterated it.  If the people are sovereign, you driving around in Georgia, you’re sovereign.  If you choose, using the definition of sovereignty that I understand and we talked about on Thursday’s program, in exercising your own sovereignty, meaning your ownership — you’re sovereign because you own.  It’s your body, your life.  It is your property.  You own your own intellectual property.  You own the fruits of your own labor.  You are sovereign, in other words.  An entity can’t be sovereign, not in the same sense that an individual can.

This is Taylor’s genius here.  Individuals are sovereigns.  Individuals gather and decide: Look, we’re all sovereign and we would like to exercise some governing power here to secure our own liberties and to make the exercise of our own sovereignty more safe and more productive and more likely to last for the next generation.  We’re going to form this thing called a government.  They don’t have to if they don’t want to but almost all choose to.  Then when you form a government, what you say to the government basically is, the best way I can explain this is that you’re telling, when you form a government, because only people can form government, you then are delegating some of your sovereignty to that individual.  You are saying then: Okay, State of South Carolina, we the citizens are going to allow you to do X on our behalf because we think government ought to execute this particular power or function.   You can’t do anything else.  You can only do A, B, C, D, E, F, and G that we told you you can do.  Everything else we’ll do here in our hamlets or neighborhoods or amongst ourselves individually.  That’s all you can do.

When you think of government in the manner in which I’ve described it, all it is is an agent.  It’s our agent.  The State of South Carolina’s government for the people of South Carolina is their agent.  If the people, through their elected representatives, tell their agent, “Look, this is what we want you to do,” and they do it, then they have exercised the prerogative of the sovereign people.  The same thing cannot be true of the federal leviathan.  Federal leviathan can only exercise an enumerated power on behalf of the sovereign states.  In other words, you just take it another level.  You say: Look, the people have granted government and government power to their states.  They want to be in a union of states so they can enjoy certain benefits.  They’re going to form this other agency called the federal government.  The sovereign states are going to delegate some of their authority to this entity.  That does not make that entity sovereign.  In other words, it cannot exercise power unless it is authorized to do so.

In 2014, does it exercise power it is not authorized to?  Yes, it does, with impunity.  That is the problem.  That’s the simplest way I can explain to people of how the train jumped the tracks.  That is the most simple, concise way that I can explain it.  That is also the most simple and concise way to propose a resolution or a solution to the problem.  That ought to make sense.  So what you said about people saying: I’m not going to take up arms against those people, against my own country.  That’s what Robert E. Lee told Lincoln, or that’s what Robert E. Lee told Seward when Seward said: Look, we want you to command the Union forces against Virginia.  Lee goes: The hell you say?  What!?  Lee said: No, I’m not going to.  I’m not going to pick a sword up against my own country.  Lee referred to Virginia as his country.  He didn’t refer to the Union as his country; he referred to Virginia as his country.

We have definitions of things that are vastly different and vastly misunderstood or understood in erroneous manners that we did not have 150 years ago.  That’s just a product of collective ignorance and collective urban mythology that has not been corrected.  It seems today we have basically refabricated, or through our inaction have erected what could not have been or should not have been erected under the system of government that the Constitution was brought into existence to administer.  That ought to explain almost every question you have about what you asked me.  Are we all good?

Caller Aaron:  I agree with your definition of sovereignty as an individual.  Also, I think you’re right, and I’m afraid it is going to come to a head.  I hope it comes to a head in a positive way, but my fear is that it’s going to come to a head in a combative way.  I hope that that’s not the case.

Mike:  A lot of people fear that, Aaron.

Caller Aaron:  It would be tragic because I’ve seen it in other places that at one time were very civilized and they’re no longer that way.  It’s scary to see how easy that that descent into hell happens.

Mike:  Indeed.  Thanks for the phone call, I appreciate it.  You ought to all now be totally up to speed and understanding — that’s the second time I’ve explained sovereignty in the year that has been 2014 so far.  If you want to read this definition — don’t take my word for it.  [mocking] “You’re a quack.  You’re a kook.  Levin’s right about you.”  Okay, fine.  Taylor of Caroline explained this.  His book was called New Views of the Constitution of the United States.  Good luck trying to read it, though.  As John Randolph quipped about it: John Taylor is great and his points are all correct; now if we could just get them translated into English so everyone else could understand it.  It is a very difficult work to read.  You’d have to read it, some pages five or six times I had to read, and I still didn’t — I got the basic gist.

That work, Taylor’s work is sufficient to explain — there are others that explained it, too.  William Rawle explained it in his New Views of the Constitution.  That one is easier to read.  Who else?  Abel Upshur.  Tom Woods unearthed this pamphlet that Judge Upshur had written about the same subject and put it in his book Nullification. [/private]

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As a matter of fact, there’s one of those pamphlets that I’m going to try to resurrect and get into the digital age and reprint.  Judge Upshur explained it.  Bledsoe explains it in Is Davis a Traitor?  It just doesn’t seem to me, after I’ve read a bit about it, that it’s that hard to understand.

When we simplify it like this, it ought to make it easier to explain to more people.   If you can explain this, then I think you can get people thinking: Well, why do they get away with doing X?  Those are all good questions.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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