under construction

this is presently still under construction, but even with that caution the
reader may find something here that is useful.  comments can be sent to hermit@tiac.net
the author's other writings can be found at Shapes in the Fire

book pictureBook available!  Click on link below to go to lulu.com and buy book giving
historical background to why we need a 2nd American Constitution.  The essay
below goes further in certain directions, as well as repeats material in book.

ncommon Sense*: The Degeneration, and the Redemption, of Political Life in America

read the book for free here.

How to Fight the Good Fight


Prelude to a Second American Constitution*

- Strategies and Tactics in the War the Rich are making upon the Poor -

by Joel A. Wendt

[*Six Necessary Changes to Our Constitution:
an article on Alternet by Larry J. Sabato]

excerpt from the main text below as a preview:

"What we do is assert our true power.

"When the First American Constitution was written, it rooted itself in certain principles, which principles today are all the legal prededent we need to do the same act again - to write a Second American Constituion.

"We are the source from which the power of any sitting government is derived.  This is first elaborated in the Declaration of Independence, wherein it is stated that the only just powers of a government come from the consent of the governed.  This ideal was later embodied in the First American Constitution, in between two secure bookends.  In the Preamble, it is stated that: We the People...do ordain and establish this Constitution.  Then in the last (the 10th) of the Bill of Rights (sometimes called the reserve clause) it is stated that: rights and powers not expressly delegated are reserved to the People.

"No where in the First American Constitution does it speak of the creation of a whole new Constitution, but only of the amendment of the existing one.   This being the case, then clearly the power to completely replace the original with a Second American Constitution, is among those powers and rights which were not delegated and therefore are reserved to the People.

"What this means is that we possess the power (which we must seize and exercise) to change all the rules that have been used and abused by the lords of finance.  We could, for example, change the underlying laws that have been abused to declare that corporations are persons.  We could, for example, insist that all legislation have only one purpose and that the name of that legislation accurately reflect its purpose (no calling an act lessening the air quality standards, a clean air act, for example).  We could require that all government employees, especially all elected officials, can only have the same retirement and medical benefits as ordinary people have.  We could create a third legislative house, whose sole purpose was to undo legislation.  We could require that the public airways be devoted in prime time to keeping an eye on public officials.  We could, we could, and we could....

"Is this a daunting task?  Yes it is.   We stand on almost the same ground as did those who wrote and signed the Declaration, and who ended this document with this pledge: And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

"Their lives were by this act made at risk.  Can we do anything less?

"Our advantage is that we can see that in spite of all the seeming obstacles, they very nearly succeeded.  Now history comes around again, and says to us: Time to make the next step, having learned from the past, the errors made by those who went before.  Honor them in all things, especially by taking up their work and moving it forward - the work of once more seeking to answer the question: How does a free people govern themselves?"

*     *     *

A couple of small comments:  a number of people, with whom I have discussed this idea, have thought that such a process would take too long, which is true in a sense.  It would probably take a couple of decades before we were actually able to write and to ratify a Second Constitution.  People want something that works now, and I don't blame them at all.  However, I am convinced it will work miracles before it is ratified, so if you can wait a minute before I begin the main text, let me explain how this would be so.

The first miracle is for people to realize we have such power.  In the present there is among many a great feeling of powerlessness, and this in itself is not healthy for our public life.  With this idea, if we really recognize its truth, we can come to understand that this is the primal power of governance, and with it we can trump any excesses of corporations or political parties.  We can rewrite the war making power.  We can make corporations no longer able to be considered as having any kind of personhood or civil rights.  There are really no limits, although it would be best if we were to take the time, take a couple of decades and really discuss this before writing it and before ratifying it.  It is something that demands a great deal of careful thought.

That said, what about the present?

Consider the craft of politics today.  I say craft and not art, because it is far too clever and self serving to be art, which latter is at its best when it is wise and selfless.

As a craft a great deal of effort is expended in what are called focus groups to find just those words with the right emotional hooks that the politician can use to manipulated us.  Following the self serving sciences developed for advertising, which are hardly concerned at alll with the truth, the modern political operative seeks to discover uses of language which lets him lie, spin, mis-direct, and otherwise fool the general public into believing what is not true, so that politicians can gain power.  Out of this research into how the general public (or particular sub-groups) use words, the speeches and platforms are, in very calculated ways, constructed in order to make us believe something entirely different from what politicians actually do; and, to drive us apart (divide and conquor) by creating wedge issues (gay rights, abortion etc), whose purpose is to set us one against the other.  We can learn to see through this mirage of words by judging politicians not by their words, but only by their deeds.

When people start to come to terms with the idea of writing a Second American Constitution, all of a sudden the depth of the public conversation will change.  Right now it is illusory, superficial and manipulative.  But once "We the People" start to look at the fundamental questions of the nature of government, and the needs of a free people, then our dialogs will change.

Instead of the politician determining the content of the political dialog, the people determine it.

This itself is an even greater power than the vote, and was assumed by such as Jefferson to be the main way in which citizens participated in the government.  Once we start to consider a Second Constitution, we wrest from the politician the nature of the dialog, for each step we take in appreciating the fundament issues, such as the relationship between our freedoms and centralized federal powers (the more centralized federal power, the less personal liberty), we create a way to measure more accurately the deeds and even the words of the politicians.

Imagine, for example, what will happen when focus groups bring this self determined political intelligence into the conversation.  All of a sudden, it is not how we can be emotionally hooked, but how it is that the politician is going to have to change what he is doing, otherwise his public is going to see through all the smoke and mirrors.

Lincoln said: "you can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time".  The money powers and their servant politicians have gone too far now, and once we take hold of this idea that we are the ultimate political power, they are going to be falling all over themselves to start to do a better job.  We just have to be relentless, and never buy any of the arguments they throw at us, suggesting we can't or shouldn't write a Second American Constitution.  We get to do what we in our best judgment decide.   They work for us, not the other way around.

In this way we now fully enter into a new era in American politics, which I have elsewhere named: Citizen Governance.

begin main text...

Neither the Earth nor the Sky belong to humanity.  Nor does any man, woman or child belong to any other.  Each is free, independent and sacred.

This remains true, whatever contrary opinions or beliefs might be held.  These are, as America's Founders understood, self-evident realities.

Yet, as we all know, seldom in human history have these truths been fully honored.  Our time, for example, is filled with their opposite.  It is almost as if the political and corporate leaders of humanity go out of their way to violate and ignore these obvious realities.  Everything is about them, the political and corporate leaders - about the rightness of their point of view, a view which justifies all their excesses.  Little in modern events seems rooted in such qualities as selflessness, generosity, honor or love.  Those, who most insist upon virtue, seem the most ready to violate it.

For those who need facts:

"·        1/6 to 1/5 of the world is the Golden billion who use 80% of the world’s resources.
·        1/6 of world population is starving – app. 1 billion.
·        2/6 of the world population is between the rich and poor but struggle to join the rich.
·        2/6 of world population lives on app. 3 dollars a day.
So 20 % of the population use 80% of resources

     80% of the population use 20 % of resources.

The 400 richest have as much wealth as 2½ billion people which is almost half the world population. It is important to feel what this means – not just to understand it." (1)

This condition needs to be understood, not just be a matter of concern.  In understanding it - in appreciating this condition's biography (its story or history) - we arrive at a much more healthy way of changing it.

*       *       *

Let's make a long story short (sort of).  The First American Constitution arose out of very particular circumstances.  For many centuries, human beings had been living in social structures mostly characterized by top down hierarchical forms of rule - that is the rule of Kings and Queens, or what can be called: aristocracies of blood.  With the discovery of the Americas, a certain reaching of these powers into the Western Hemisphere was accompanied by another gesture - a fleeing of various kinds of oppression.  While the upper classes (the aristocracy of blood) sought wealth and power in the new lands, many of the lower classes sought, in this same place, freedom from religious and social oppression.

After a time, the English aristocracy, under the leadership of King George III, became more and more repressive of the Colonists, which eventually was to result in the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, and then the First American Constitution - or the first iteration of an effort to answer the question: How does a free people govern itself?

Thus was the American Republic born, although its span of life was short.  Some will think we still have this Republic, but in reality it has passed into myth, albeit, a myth that still yet might have a viable future.

During the Constitutional Convention, a battle was waged between those deeper (more moral?) thinkers who knew what was at stake in the creation of the Republic, and those who sought to make sure that the claimed rights of wealth would not be lost.  The powers of concentrated wealth won significant compromises, such that the Republic, as it was imagined by the wisest, only lasted at most until the Civil War.  By the time of the Civil War, the successor to the aristocracies of blood - an aristocracy of wealth - had begun to dominate through its ability to corrupt human nature.  We will have more to say on this corruption of human nature later.

For example, a battle broke out between Lincoln and the bankers over the financing of the Civil War.  Because of their seeking unjustified levels of interest (about 28%), Lincoln turned away from borrowing from the banks, and issued what were called Lincoln Greebacks, the first Federal currency.  Before this, the only currencies were called species, and were issued by the banks themselves.  While Lincoln won the battle, we lost the war.

The banks did not trust (with some justification) political control over the more arcane matters of finance.  Moreover, the banking alliances and families, being international in scope, shared a common interest in managing political matters so that markets could be kept stable, and the rules of finance and banking kept advantageous for those who were accumulating (concentrating) wealth.  The maintainence and furthering of the powers and privileges of wealth were the highest priority, and behind the scenes of history they have acted primarily for their own benefit.  As the 19th Century moved on into the 20th, an axis of wealth, between the beginning to fail British Empire, and the emerging economic powers in America, was formed.  Most political decisions, in the so-called Western democracies, have from that time forward been made for the benefit of these elites of concentrated wealth, while at the same time the story told to the public has from that same time largely been a series of fabrications - a sequence of intentionally created myths in which the ordinary people are made to live, so that the descent of the yoke of their economic oppresssion would not be seen.

The tyranny of concentrated wealth that took over Western Civilization at the beginning of the 20th Century knew that it had to hide itself as much as possible, although it often was, at the same time, a very open conspiracy. (2)

Let us now look at some events in America in this last (the 20th) Century:

The science of economics, as it developed during the 19th Century, was originally called political economy, recognizing that governments had great (perhaps, in the view of some - too much) influence.  This developing science recognized that governments, due to their natural sovereignty, possessed two primary powers of the political economy.  These are the Taxing and Spending Power (government taxes us and spends the taxes, which amounts of wealth are so large, they are a big influence on the economy), and the Monetary Power (power to issue currency - expand and contract the money supply, and to control interest rates).

Now in the ideal of the American Republic, it was not the government that was sovereign, but rather the people, who made a limited grant of aspects of that primal power to the government via the National and the various State constitutions.  Even so, the corrupting power of the tyranny of concentrated wealth was so strong, that in the second decade of the 20th Century, the banks (and their wealthy family allies) were able to cause the Congress of the United States to create the Federal Reserve Banking system.   When you see through all the myths around this action, what essentially happened was that the sovereign Monetary power of the American People, once exercised through their federal goverment, was stolen by the private banks. 

There is nothing Federal at all about the Federal Reserve Banking system, other than the name.   These are private banks, who were given by the enacting legislation, extra-constitutional powers over the money supply and interest rates.  Charles Lindberg's father, saw the truth here, and wrote a couple of small books attempting to make the America People aware of this usupration of their sovereignty.  He was arrested for sedition, and the plates from which the books were to be printed were destroyed.  In this way the English-American financial establishment gave birth to Central Banking, a process by which many of the economic aspects of national sovereignty all over the world has been subsequently stolen by these same powers.

Since that time, in various meetings often held in the open (Brenton Woods etc.) the financial establishment determined the economic rules under which the rest of us are forced to live, without our knowledge and consent (the truth and its consequences are never honestly stated).  The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the WTO (World Trade Organization), GATT (general agreement on tariff and trade), NAFTA (north american free trade agreement), and the failed (for a time) MAI (multilaterial agreement on investments) are all efforts to take more and more national sovereignty from the Peoples in the Western Democracies, and the Third World, and invest that sovereignty in International Banking and Financial Corporations (and their owners - the lords of finance) through trade agreements. 

Trade agreements, under the U.S. Constitution, are to be reviewed by the Congress (advise and consent), as a check and balance on the power of the executive, which itself is given sole power to make treaties.  Yet, under the modern conditions of the ongoing corruption of Congress (lobbyists and Corporations now write the legislation meant to govern their activities) a law was passed for "fast tracking" trade agreements, which means that the normal process of review is eliminated, and Congress must agree within a very limited time.  Thus, under this succession of trade agreements, more and more of our sovereign power has been given away to private international bodies, such as the World Trade Organization.  Like the theft of our sovereignty, which arose with the Federal Reserve Act, a new economic feudalism is being given birth, and we (the ordinary people) are meant to be its peasant class.

In fact, Americans are the peasant class with the greatest standard of living (for the present, this will soon end) in history.  We have been seduced with comforts and material goods, all the while our economic freedom has been a well sculpted illusion.  The free market is really only free for the wealthy, and even for them, it is a dog eat dog world.  Why peasant class?  Because peasants work for their masters, own nothing and have no choice in the making of the rules.   Don't believe me - wait until you read what comes next.

*       *       *

The tyranny of concentrated wealth has made the rules, and then hidden the true meaning of the rules from us.  They not only have taken into themselves all manner of our sovereign powers, but by the irresponsible corruption of our public life (politics), they have been able to organize our life in ways that we wouldn't accept if the real choices were placed before us.  We need to remember that these social/financial arrangements are not the only possibilities, but are rather the rules of the game that most benefit the financial elites, who have essentially owned our National and State govenments for most all of the 20th Century.

The so-called two party system is an illusion, for on fundamental economic matters, the two parties - the Republicans and the Democrats - are seldom, if ever, in disagreement.

Let's look at the present realities - it took a while to create this situation - the finanacial elites think long term:

The America dollar that we spend no longer is rooted in anything real (Nixon got us off the gold standard - while before him there was a time one could go to a bank with a silver certificate, and actually demand precious metal in exchange for the paper).  When the economy needs more currency, the Federal Reserve Banks tell the Treasury to print more money.  This fake money is given to the seven Central Banks, who then loan it to other banks (at very agreeable rates of interest).  This money is all air - it represents nothing real.

The banks then loan us the fake money via the credit card gambit (a game played on us).  We spend the money on consumer goods and other necessary services (healthcare etc.), and while we often get an object (whose value falls to nothing almost immediately - who buys used electronics for example), what we really acquire is debt.  We consume based upon borrowed money, and the most permanent value is the debt, which the banks buy and sell among each other, and for which they charge huge (usurious - credit card transactions are immune from usury regulation) amounts of interest.  The money we spend goes to Corporations (the creators, supposedly, of the goods - our labor contribution is far under valued in comparison, for example) and to the owers - shareholders - of the Corporations.

At present, in the total world economy, 99% of the wealth is fake, due to the dominance of Central Banking all over the world.  That is the wealth is not based upon the creation of real products and services, but rather on the infusion out of Central Banks of money without a real basis.  It is a great big three shells and a pea game.  The money only represents counters that leads to power (through the acquisition of debt) and control.  For example, the World Bank loans vast sums of fake money to Third World countries only if those countries will give away national sovereignty over their local economic conditions to the World Bank.

To sum up: fake money goes through our hands, as if we were a passive tube for its flow, and ends up in the proft statements of Corporations and their few owners (the 400 richest, for example).  We get goods with little real long term value, and a great deal of debt, which debt forces us to continue to work (just think of the crap that Corporations force their workers to take).  We no longer live in a time when it would have been possible to even grow our own food, and we must have money to buy food for our families.  To get this money to buy food, which is necessary for life, we have to work.  The work we do is done under circumstances in which all the advantage is in favor of our corporate employers (the effort to create a counter-balance in unions has essentially failed).

For example, we believe we have free speech in this country, but we can be fired from work for our words.  We believe we are safe from search and seizure of the State, but the Corporation can invade all our privacies at work.  The bill of rights basically ends at the door to the work place.

What we have is the owning of our soul by the company store on a very large scale.  So large in fact is this company store, that we don't notice it.  We can look at the Third World, and see, in their working for pennies a day to make our sneakers, the same thing on a different scale.  The only difference between us and the Third World is the so-called standard of living, but that is won at a moral cost whose price we will soon be forced to pay (most Americans are among the 20% that consumes 80% of the world's resources).   America's debt is not owned by Americans, but by international financial institutions and families, and under the current economic insanity of the 2nd Bush administration, our First World status is more and more at risk.

For example, as I write this the Bush administration, under the lie that it is going to reform and save Social Security, is getting ready to fund a change in the rules by borrowing a couple trillion dollars (our children will owe this debt).  The main reason the rules are being changed is to permit investment in the stock market (which market is really just a gambling institution), not so that we have a better investment, but so that the financial institutions that run and rule the stock market can have access to these monies in order to siphon off their profits.

For those who say: well, I own my own home, I would suggest you are not paying attention.  The bank owns your home, and as long as you pay the interest and the principle, you get to live in it.  Just remember that during the last serious depression the banks took it all back.  Moreover, if you are presently in a situation where you didn't get a fixed rate mortgage, boy are you in trouble now.  And not only the bank, but more and more local governments, using a really weird interpretation of eminent domain, are now taking houses from people so that Corporations can build on our land their own businesses, thus creating a property that provides greater tax revenue to the local government.  If the bank can take your home, and the State can take your home, you don't own it.

The matter to keep formost in mind is that the truths of economic reality are not stated.  Instead we live in well constructed and calculated myths.  The tyranny of concentrated wealth only serves itself, and it needs us not to notice, or if we notice our troubles, to blame everyone but them.  Remember, they control all major media, and they have for the whole of the 20th Century made certain that their ideas (the myths) dominated the way we think about these situations.  The very language of modern economics obscures the moral questions that lie at its heart.

For example, we are often directed to trust something that is called the free market.  If we just let the market decide, then everything is alright, we are told.  This is a lie.  There is no such thing as a free market.  All so-called markets are based upon rules - that is they are artifical.  It is those who make the rules that win, and the market itself is a fiction.  If you are with the group that makes the rules that control the markets, then you get to make rules to your advantage and the disadvantage of those who don't get to make the rules.  It's that simple.

Ordinary Americans have much more in common with the Third World than we think - and that is the next part of our story.

*       *       *

The 400 richest sit at the peak of hierarchical organizations.  Rule comes from the top down.  Wealth gives power, and power is applied solely to the advantage of wealth.  This is call plutocracy, and even though our newpapers and teachers speak of the Western democracies, that language, along with the language of economics, is illusory. 

The very rich now meet openly, once a year, in Davros, Switzerland.  In America, there is also a more secret meeting annually in the Bohemian Grove in California.  In these places the plutoracy, and its very highly paid servants (those who work for the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, for example) meet and discuss their agendas.  They even lie to themselves (with a wink and a nod) using a language which doesn't really express what they are about.  They gather in small groups, and make mini-conspiracies, for the fact is that they war among themselves to a great degree.  For example, during the 1980's and and early 1990's (the era of leveraged buyouts), Corporations ate other Corporations at a very fast rate.  They still do, by the way, but it is seen in the false language of modern economics as consolidation (fewer and fewer companies control more and more - e.g. the dominance of very few companies with regard to media).

These are the feudal wars of what some call elite globalization.  They all agree that free trade is necessary, but by free they don't mean what we mean by free.  The freedom they desire, and are near to achieving, is freedom from any restraint on their activities applied by a nation state.  By this means, the lords of finanace and their tools the International Corporations hope to avoid the great Wars that characterized the 20th Century.  For example, the real current wars are economic battles, and it is China that is in the best position to dominate economically in the 21st Century.  But China itself is not really a nation state, but is rather still (even after the rise and fall of Chinese communism) a feudal state, divided into fiefdoms ruled by their own plutoracy (army generals, new monied capitalists, and old communist party elites).  As an already functioning plutoracy, China is especially well placed to be able to compete in the economic feudal wars of the 21st Century.

For the rest of us - for those of us who don't sit in places where we get to make the rules - we are the peasant class (serfs) in these feudal wars.  We will till the soil, make the goods, fight the wars (when violence is necessary) and live off the scraps.  In the Third World this is fairly obvious, but in America it is less so.  We need to understand and appreciate this next.

Because of the great commercial debt that has been a consequence of American consumer culture, the local conditions in the World Economy, which we call the American Economy - [there is really only one Economy, a World Economy] (3), this American Economy is very fragile.  As long as the foreign owners of our debt (especially the National Debt which has greatly increased under the 2nd Bush administration) don't call it due, and continue to lend, we can stay hard workers and faithful consumers - true materialists.  But as this is being written, the whole situation is destablizing.  The value of the air-dollar is under attack, by those competitors in world economic feudalism that would like to see their wealth increase at our expense.

The main reason for the Iraq war (remember we are lied to constantly, by both Parties), was a struggle to maintain a long term linkage between oil prices and the air-dollar.  As long as this linkage could be maintained, the air-dollar would not suffer the deflation common to so many currencies in the last (the 20th) Century.  The financial elites in America, still tied to its economic fortunes, tried to keep this linkage in a situation where Saddam Hussein was attempting to link his oil to the euro.  This game, played amist the rules of modern world wide economic feudalism, led us to war, whose purpose was to physically dominate the region by controlling the successor government to Hussein, and by establishing military bases in Iraq.

All the foreign and domestic policies of the 2nd Bush administration (and the Clinton adminstration before them) are driven by the moves required to survive in what is sometimes called the great game - the game played by the elites of wealth for domination.  The reasons given are always lies.  Many domestic policies are designed to keep a particular group in power in Washington, and by this make strong our lords of finance's Corporate tools, while at the same time keeping the American people asleep and distracted.  Because our First American Constitution led to national elections, political power has to be won by determining the outcome of the vote.  This is the real struggle in national elections - not the issues, but the struggle for power.  This is why Gore and Kerry turned out to be such wimps, once the vote was over, in spite of the obvious influence of fraud and deceit.  The Democrats play the power game too, and give only lip service to the ideals upon which our form of government was founded.

As a consequence, a devaluation of the air-dollar is imminent, as is a calling in of at least large portions of the debt owed to foreign financial institutions.  Americans have lived too high on the hog for too long now, and an end to the party has to be set in motion.  The only struggle is how out of control this adjustment will be.  The control over world events held by financial elites is itself not as strong as they would like, and a descent into deeper economic chaos (another great depression) always potential.   Keep in mind that they compete, and only collude out of necessity, if at all.  What they share is the desire and appetite for power and wealth - to be the Kings and Queens of the modern world.  On that basis they agree to the rules that are advantageous to them as a class, but otherwise they make war on each other.

This coming adjustment was anticipated, but there was concern over what would happen in America, given that more and more people are waking up to these realities.  In anticipation then of the need for this adjustment (air-dollar devaluation, and debt reconstruction), it was understood that unemployment in America would make a huge jump, producing very unhappy people, who also were beginning to see the wizard behind the curtain.  The ability of the elites to control the domestic situation in America became then a necessity, and a plan was put in place to foster the so-called War on Terror, as a means to pass legislation granting the central government greater powers over civil rights, so that the dissent that would accompany a serious economic collapse could be managed. (4)

These are very smart people who rule the world, and they have had the whole of the 20th Century to put in place their strings of control and ability to manufacture a coherent web of lies.   They have become very artful in these activities, and are not to be judged incompetent, even though we may find their morality (or better its absence) abhorrent.

Let's look a little more closely at how the War on Terror was introduced to us.

It makes no difference, for example, whether the destruction of the two towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11 was done by these elites, or they just took advantage of it.  Perhaps they just let the door be open, and waited.  Whatever, it is clear that they were ready to act.

The Patriot Act, at over 300 pages, was already written before 9/11.  Plans were already in place to grant to the executive branch extraordinary new powers - all that was needed was an excuse.  Odd, isn't it, that when the Act was introduced, the Congress itself was under direct attack (the so-called anthrax scare).  Driven by fear, the Congress did not even read this bill, whose main problem is still a basically well kept secret.   There were many ways that our civil rights were diminished in the Patriot Act, but the most egregious is yet not fully present to our minds.

To see this we have to take hold of with our thinking the whole tenor of the Act, as well as the subsequent deeds of the 2nd Bush administration.

The Act makes a very loose definition of what a terrorist is:

"Section 802 of the Act, borrowing from the definition of international terrorism contained in 18 USC 2331, creates the federal crime of "domestic terrorism."

Among other things, this section states that acts committed within the United States "dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws" can be considered acts of domestic terrorism if they "appear to be intended" to "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion," or "to intimidate or coerce a civilian population."

This provision applies to United States citizens, as well as aliens." (5)

This definition is so close to what has been for all of our history, a rich tradition of dissent, it has to be clear that the very purpose of this legislation was to make it possible to squash dissent during the coming economic collapse.  Further, the 2nd Bush administration is under this legislation more or less entirely free to determine itself whether someone is a "domestic terrorist", and if so, they have already argued, this means that they can be declared then an enemy combatant, and imprisoned indefinitely and without any recourse to the courts or other civil rights.

The precedent is trying to be established here that allows the executive branch to disappear any America citizens who it chooses.  At present in support of this activity, the Republican Party (the most obvious tool of the financial lords), is seeking more and more to create a conservative judiciary, which tame judges then would support whatever suppression of dissent is needed in the coming years.

We are, through the coming devaluation of the air-dollar, and the calling in of consumer and national debt, coupled with the conscious undermining of our civil liberties, well on our way to being more and more made into a Third World country, as a byproduct of the internal wars among the callus and indifferent international lords of finance.

The full tyranny of concentrated wealth is near complete, so now we face the question: What are we to do?

*       *       *

What we do is assert our true power.

When the First American Constitution was written, it rooted itself in certain principles, which principles today are all the legal prededent we need to do the same act again - to write a Second American Constituion.

We are the source from which the power of any sitting government is derived.  This is first elaborated in the Declaration of Independence, wherein it is stated that the only just powers of a government come from the consent of the governed.  This ideal was later embodied in the First American Constitution, in between two secure bookends.  In the Preamble, it is stated that: We the People...do ordain and establish this Constitution.  Then in the last (the 10th) of the Bill of Rights (sometimes called the reserve clause) it is stated that: rights and powers not expressly delegated are reserved to the People.

No where in the First American Constitution does it speak of the creation of a whole new Constitution, but only of the amendment of the existing one.   This being the case, then clearly the power to completely replace the original with a Second American Constitution, is among those powers and rights which were not delegated and therefore are reserved to the People.

What this means is that we possess the power (which we must seize and exercise) to change all the rules that have been used and abused by the lords of finance.  We could, for example, change the underlying laws that have been abused to declare that corporations are persons.  We could, for example, insist that all legislation have only one purpose and that the name of that legislation accurately reflect its purpose (no calling an act lessening the air quality standards, a clean air act, for example).  We could require that all government employees, especially all elected officials, can only have the same retirement and medical benefits as ordinary people have.  We could create a third legislative house, whose sole purpose was to undo legislation.  We could require that the public airways be devoted in prime time to keeping an eye on public officials.  We could, we could, and we could....

Is this a daunting task?  Yes it is.   We stand on almost the same ground as did those who wrote and signed the Declaration, and who ended this document with this pledge: And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Their lives were by this act made at risk.  Can we do anything less?

Our advantage is that we can see that in spite of all the seeming obstacles, they very nearly succeeded.  Now history comes around again, and says to us: Time to make the next step, having learned from the past, the errors made by those who went before.  Honor them in all things, especially by taking up their work and moving it forward - the work of once more seeking to answer the question: How does a free people govern themselves?

*       *       *

Granted there are many questions.  Many people I have had conversations with over the last couple of years regarding this possibility, react as if the task was too difficult.  Their minds immediately jump to the problems they foresee, or as often as not, to a kind of cynical attitude that the American People are in no way qualified or up to such a responsible work.  My view is quite simple.  The work is being forced upon us, and history has shown that when such circumstances arise, in most cases people rise quite adequately to meet them - even in some cases exceeding all expectations.  Necessity is a harsh mistress, but at the same time the American People are capable of much when it is demanded of them.  Perhaps that is the first aspect of the task: To have faith in ourselves.

Let's look at some of the obvious problems.

Some imagine that there will have to be a constitutional convention (since we did that before).   This is simply a thoughtless reactive assumption.  The point, especially in the beginning, is to first understand the problem we face living under the tyranny of the lords of finance (concentrated wealth).  Since it remains largely hidden behind a whole complex of illusory ideas about the true nature of economics and politics, the very first tasks will require learning to see through the illusions to the fake wizard hidding behind the curtain.

This is a whole level of work by itself, although much has already been done.  All over the world, in fact, people are waking up to this war the Rich are making upon the Poor.  In note (6) below, I provide many links. for those who yet are uncertain.  At the same time there is no reason to repeat that work here.  As part of our faith, we can also count on what many recognize as the principle of synergy.  Think globally, act locally is another version of the same insight.  We only have to solve that portion of the problem that exists right in our own lives and biographies, while recognizing that others are doing the same work, such that the total effort will itself exceed our expectations (the whole is greater than the sum of the parts).

In point of fact, for many years now, opposition to elite globalization (complete world domination by the lords of finance) has been rising.  Here are a couple of stories.

In the years 1998 and 1999, an effort was made under the Clinton Administration to fast track (get congressional approval without any real review) of a treaty called the Multilateral Agreement on Investments.  The major powers of at least the West would have signed this treaty, and the World Bank, with the aid of the International Monetary Fund, would have forced many Third World nations to sign as well.  Its effect would have enabled the large movements of air-capital (remember 99% of the World Economy is based upon fake money created by Central Banks) to enter into a local economy and dominate its stock markets, as well as dominate the currency exchanges.  The treaty would have prevented local nation states from enacting laws protecting them from this economic rape.

This plan came to light, and using the internet various groups, who were waking up to the international shell game of high finance, began to create a loud campaign among the members of Congress in opposition.  This campaign got very boisterous, and bombarded Washington with e-mails, petitions and even paid lobbyists.  It worked!  Shining the light of the truth so harshly on this effort to give away more of our national sovereignty, via the treaty making power of the executive branch, saved us from the acceptance and signing of this agreement.  However, don't think for a moment the winning of that battle meant in any way the war is over.

A couple years ago in Cancun, Mexico, there was a meeting of the World Trade Organization seeking to establish international treaty norms for agriculture.  Its effect would have been to further steal the rights of farmers world-wide to feed their own people, and to compete as equals to international agri-business.  International agri-business is, by the way, the source of about 75% of the polution poured out upon the planet.

Some 40,000 international protesters gathered in Cancun to speak their opposition to this abuse of power by the lords of finance and their political lackies as represented by various governments and other institutional legations attending this conference of the WTO.   The protestors were kept away from the conference by a triple level fence totally surrounding the conference site.

On the second day, a South Korean farmer climbed the outer of the three encircling fences and killed himself with a knife.  His traditional way of life had alread been destroyed by previous acts of the WTO, and the note he left suggested his life was all he had left to give.  This so emboldened Third World legations (once the word got out), that they banded together, and brought the conference to a halt by refusing to cooperate any further with the process.  What was additionally delightful, was that the protesters, using home made ropes, and hardware store bought wire cutters, later dismantelled a section of the three levels fence, pulling them over and out of the way.  What really startled the waiting protective army of riot guards and cops (with the usual helmets, transparent shields and batons), was that once the wall was down, all the protesters did was sit in the gap, hold hands and sing.

The whole world is waking up to this war of the Rich upon the Poor, and we in America never hear about it in the news.  Our news didn't even cover the half million who marched in New York in protest to the Republican Convention in August, 2004.  All the same, an effort in America, to rethink and rewrite the Constitution will be met with glad tidings everywhere.  Our Constitution is the example world-wide, and if we even just start to take up the task of changing the fundamental rules (pulling the rug out) from under the lords of finance, it will be a beacon seen far beyond our own shores - a light of hope in a world weary of the abuse of American military power by the corrupt influence of the lords of finance on American foreign policy.  The world waited for us to throw the 2nd Bush administration out of office, and we tried and failed.  This effort to write a Second American Constitution, while more long term, is an even more profound and powerful act than just changing administrations.

We don't really have to even see how this task of writing a Second American Constitution is to be carried out.  All we really need do is to understand the idea - to realize that we have a power that trumps all the other powers arrayed against us, if we but take hold of it, and exercise it.  Once we embrace the idea, the process of solving all the related problems will begin to sort themselves out.  We are wiser and smarter than we have been lead to believe by our corrupt political leaders, and all we need to do is to choose to act and the rest will follow as naturally as Spring comes and removes all the ravages of a too harsh Winter.

It will occur to many, however, to wonder about the red and blue states, and how it was that the 2nd Bush administration was re-elected.  This is a grave and deep problem - the apparent divisions within our society - between left and right, conservative and liberal and Democrat and Republican.

I have been involved a lot in "after the debacle" discussions of why and how things have come to the state they are in.  I've been trying to see the phenomena as telling us something, which we can't hear well if we assume "our" side was right and the other was wrong.

In the conventional view, there seems to be red and blue States, or States where liberals (blue) dominate and conservatives (red) do not.  A very slightly deeper analysis of this by someone suggested that the real division was between urban and rural, with those States being blue where the urban population was greater than the rural, and those States red where the reverse was true.

As I thought about this, I realized we had quite different life experiences between rural living and urban living.  And, if we assume that most of us are basically good hearted people, then the differences must be more due to experience, than anything else.

A couple of examples:

In rural areas life proceeds more slowly, and change of tradition is glacial.  Further, one meets the same people all the time (more or less), and the world view is more shared.

In urban areas, life is furiously fast, change constant, and new people appear everywhere.  So it is not that the rural are less tolerant than the urban, but the urban are more experienced at meeting and adjusting to the new.

Another supposed bone of contention between red and blue had to do with "intelligence".  There was even some data saying blue States had higher average IQs.  My instinct was that this was a false approach, and in the process I re-thought the IQ test and came up with an interesting intuition.  The IQ test is timed.  It is really not a test of how good a problem solver you are, but rather how fast you problem solve.  Anyone, who has watched some farmers figure out how to fix a broken machine without having to call the mechanic and pay high fees, is aware of how slow the problem is solved.  What is interesting is that it is still solved, and solved quite well for the context in which the problem exists.

This may reflect then that something here is related to the speed of living as well.  In rural areas thinking itself is a process of pondering, of careful reflection, without hurry precisely because hurry is not needed, and experience has shown the thinker that taking the time to think it right and think it through has a high value.  On the contrary for urban areas, fast thinking is necessary.  There is no time to make a careful judgment on meeting someone new, or on evaluating some new social situation.  Too much reflection is sometimes dangerous.

Some claim that the red State people have a poor social conscience, and too much religiosity. But the fact is that there is no need in rurual areas for a social conscience beyond living the values already inculcated in the community.  In rural areas the community tends to be a higher value than individualism (which tends to be a higher value in urban areas).  It is the urban dweller, with his greater access to knowledge of the world, who appreciates the wider social conscience, and then forgets that the social conscience of the rural dweller is directed right at what can be done there.

The urban human being then more easily thinks globally, but has a harder time acting locally, while the rural dweller tends to have insufficient information resources to think well globally, but is much more effective in acting locally.

Let me tell a story to illustrate this:  My brother had been living in San Francisco for almost twenty years, when he decided that the decay of that way of life was too much, and that he needed to move back to Montana where we were all born and raised.  This move was not done easily, and required numerous trips over the period of several years before his family finally appreciated the differences, and could accept his intuition. 

On one of those trips, a most convincing experience was had. The whole family was in the car (a large and old van), with all kinds of family possessions, when it broke down in a rural area in southwestern Montana.  Every single car and truck that drove by stopped to render aid.  Everyone!

In an urban environment (freeway), there is little trust (with some justification) and no one wants to get involved, and no one stops.

Of course, this is somewhat of an oversimplification, and it leaves out suburban areas, but all this can be understood as well.

Suburban areas generally supply workers to urban areas.   So the experience of these folks is of a more intense and speeded up life at work (perhaps more dangerous), coupled with a place of retreat, where one still might be mostly strangers with one's neighbors.

Where one lives then creates differences of life experience of a certain kind.  Economic class will add other influences, with the rural poor being different in certain ways from the urban poor.

In the end, we need to see how it is that it is always the individual's total life experience, and personal and individual temperment (character), that will determine their individual response to political questions and life choices.  The only purpose of the above discussion is to show that the conventional wisdom is false on its face, and misleading.  We really only, when considering the divisions in America, have to appreciate that we are differerent mostly because of life experience, and not because this one or that one is more stupid or immoral.  We only get those ideas from political, corporate and religious leaders who lack the wisdom to understand reality, and lack the intention to heal our divisions.  Instead, they see an advantage to promoting hate and misunderstanding, and most of us are the victims of this abuse of social power.

The raw emotions evoked by those who would make us hate each other are based upon myths and untruths.  Unfortunately, the sad fact is that it will be up to us to heal these divsions.  Our leaders give no evidence of giving more than lip service to this very deep need for social healing, without which Americans will be able to meet the challenges of the near future.  As Lincoln told us: A house divided against itself cannot stand.

We are right to wonder then: Why do our political, corporate and religious leaders seek to lead us astray?

        *       *       *

We all know the cliche: actions speak louder than words.  What happens when we look at the actions of financial and religious leaders and politicians, and ignore their words?

However, in order to do this in a healthy way, we need to first consider the problem more in the abstract (the ideal), in terms of the difference between: public and private virtue. (7)  Public virtue would be how people act and posture, while private virtue would be how they really are, inwardly.  There tends to be a gap in many cases between the two, and this gap was called in the Gospels, especially in the Sermon on the Mount: hypocracy.  I refer to the Gospels here, because so much of the posturing of modern leaders concerns a claimed Christian virtue.  It is the political and religious leaders especially (although many business leaders as well) who put forward an
assertion of Christian virtue, that requires this discussion.  Of course, the hypocracy comes about precisely because, while claiming Christian virtue, so few clearly follow In His Steps (8).

It is because of the strong assertion of Christian virtue in public life in the present that the following is written.  I apologise at once to those of other religious and ethical persuasions, for it certainly is not being asserted here that Christian virtue is of any higher value than the moral and ethical standards of anyone to whom Christ is unimportant.  Yet, since so much voice is being given to the idea that the United States is a Christian nation, and the assertion that only Christians know how to be virtuous, or what the moral is, it becomes necessary to confont directly the flaws in this approach, which flaws are clearly recognized in the Gospels themselves.

The key was given in Matthew 22:21 "So give Caesar's things to Caesar, and God's things to God" (9).  Here is recognized that the realm of the State is not the same as the realm of the Father.  What could be more clear, and supportive of this Gospel derived distinction than the First of the Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...".  Public virtue and private virtue do have a basis in fact, although we are right to wonder how to connect them without hypocracy.

The plain fact is that private virtue, at least as regards the Gospels, is rooted in a very private relationship between the individual and the Father, as Christ describes in the Sermon on the Mount, when He (as a preamble to giving the text of the Our Father) points to hypocracy of public prayer ["And when you pray, don't be like the fakes who love to pray standing in the temples and on streetcorners so as to show off for everybody.", and the virtue of private prayer ["duck into the store room and lock the door and pray to your Father on the sly."]. 

Private virtue, from the point of the view of the Gospels, ought to be centered on the most important command: "You are to love your lord God with all your heart and all your spirit and all your mind."  While public virtue ought to be centered on the second: "You are to love those close to you as you love yourself."

Elsewhere I have written of this problem in this way: "For there is no true self government, in a political sense, if there is not an equal proportion of self governing by the individual, of himself, in a moral sense." (10).  The more we practice private virtue, the better will be our conduct in the realm of public virtue; and, the less will be the dissonance (hypocracy) between the two.

Our measure then of the depth of the problem here is found in the degree of hypocracy between words and actions.  The words of political, religious and business leaders show us their posture - their claim of public virtue, but their actions show us their inner reality - their private virtue.

With this in mind, let us look at some examples.  And, while doing this, keep in the mind the distinction between public and private virtue, while adding one more concept: the intoxication and addiction due to power.  We, after all, dealing with human nature, and in many cases a human nature corrupted by the machinations of the lords of finance.  The cliche is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Behind this idea lies what we have above named: the intoxication and addiction due to power, which itself then manifests in the hypocrachy was have noted with regard to the dissonance between public and private virtue.

Here is a list, put forward in an imaginative way (but rooted in public fact), by the columnist Paul Krugman in the New York Times for January 7th, 2005, in his essay Worse Than Fiction:  we are to imagine...

"a famous moralist who demanded national outrage over an affair and writes best-selling books about virtue will turn out to be hiding an expensive gambling habit";

"A talk radio host who advocates harsh penalties for drug violators will turn out to be hiding his own drug addiction"

"One senator's diatribe against gay marriage will link it to "man on dog" sex"

"the president will choose as head of homeland security a "good man" who turns out to have been the subject of an arrest warrant, who turned an apartment set aside for rescue workers into his personal love nest and who stalked at least one of his ex-lovers"

"a TV personality who claims to stand up for regular Americans against the elite will pay a large settlement in a sexual harassment case, in which he used his position of power to..."

"apologists for the administration will charge foreign policy critics with anti-Semitism.  But they will be silent when a prominent conservative declares that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular "

"the administration will use the slogan "support the troops" to suppress criticism of its war policy. But it will ignore repeated complaints that the troops lack armor"

" The secretary of defense - another "good man," according to the president - won't even bother signing letters to the families of soldiers killed in action."

Hypocracy...doing one thing and saying another.

*       *       *

In this next section I want to ground what I write in something of our traditional terminology, which usually comes to us as liberal and conservative.  We have, over recent decades, gotten very sloppy in our political discourse (especially by the Media) with how such terms are used, such that the real matter of value for us, as citizens, has been lost.  The labels have taken on too much emotional content, which really doesn't belong to them, and which we need to shed if the best thinking is to aid us in our pursuits of a Second American Constitution.

In order to foster some sense to this next discussion, I am going to reference three books, which books I believe any group wishing to think its way deeper into public life should consider it a matter of necessity to encounter and master.  In this I am not so much putting the books forward as having the best answers, but rather as having some of the very best questions.  Two books are by clear conservatives, and one by (oddly enough) a novelist.

These books are: 1) Barry Goldwater's: The Conscience of a Conservative, publised in 1960; 2) George F. Will's Statecraft as Soucraft: What Government Does, published in 1983 (which represents an effort on the author's part to save true conservatism from its misappropriation by self serving ideologues of the political Right); and, 3)  a novel, a work of the imagination, by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed: an ambigious Utopia, published in 1974.  While the former books seems easily allied with modern conservatism, they are not, and the latter book is not only not liberal, it is an effort to imagine a functioning anarchy.  What they really consider from different points of view is the problem of structure (order) and freedom (chaos), which, if we contemplate these approaches, will help us greatly in the future.  We need to learn to think in new ways, and that is the whole point of their inclusion in this book.

By the way, this will not be an academic discussion, or something suitable for students of political science and conservative and liberal ideologies upon which to chew.  At each point I will frame the questions in terms of our shared lives, for that is where the real impact is, and that is the basis upon which we must choose the future course.  For example, what does it mean that we have rules, enforced by State authority, concerning how vehicles are to move on our highways, and how does the principle underlying such order apply to the freedom of the individual to enjoy pleasure, such as various kinds of intoxicants.  It is where such questions intersect our own differentitated ways of life that we must learn to be awake, otherwise we will not be able to see how it is that what we place in any new Constitution has any personal meaning, for us or for our children.

*       *       *

Senator Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) worked out his ideas from some very simple and basic propositions, out of which he unfolded their application in a number of ways his liberal contemporaries found indefensible.  The liberals mostly felt this because their instinct was to fix social problems, while his was to try to hold together what he understood as the true fabric of the Republic in the face of what he saw as undermining attacks from both the Left and the Right.

For example, he was interested in what he called "the whole man", which he believed was something spiritual not just something with physical and economic needs.  Each person he conceived of as unique and with an immortal soul.  From this he concluded that the highest value was individual human freedom.  At the same time he recognized that there is a need for order, which need then leads to government and political power.  The problem then becomes: How do we have social order, yet keep it within bounds?

For him, this solution was found in one of its highest forms in the United States Constitution, which is a limited grant of power from a free people to its government (not a license to do anything, but a very precise set of instructions to do only certain things).  Among the most significant aspects of this Constitution was the Reserve Clause, of which the most important aspect for him was that part which reserved power to the States (above in this book, we have linked the Second American Constitution to the same clause's reservation of powers to the People.  Here is how the full clause reads:  "Amendment X.  The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Now overriding everything in his view was this idea, which in a way is a personal moral characterization of the central issue.  He basically saw as opposed to each other, individual self reliance and State paternalism.  In this way then, the more basic idea of order versus freedom is given a kind of qualitative emphasis, with freedom being also self relianace, and order exhibiting a paternalistic abuse of this human need and impulse.  For the State to do what the individual should do for himself, was to diminish the individual and accrete unjustifiable power to the State.

Recently the cognative scientist George Lakoff, in his Moral Politics, has described the impulse to modern conservatism as being rooted in a strict father metaphor, while modern liberalism was rooted in a nuturing parent metaphor.  Goldwater would have understood this language and argued that both are wrong because both lead to the paternalistic abuse of the free self reliant individual by the State.  Goldwater would find modern conservatism to be a horror, at least as is practiced by contemporary Republicans, a horror even worse than the liberalism of his day.

For Goldwater, States Rights was an essential aspect of the separation of powers ideas in the Constitution.  This would mean that he would support those States where Gay Rights were enacted into law, and oppose amending the Constitution to centralize and override the power of the States to decide these issues.  At the same time, Roe vs. Wade, would have been wrong for the same reason, except in this case it would have the Judicial Branch of the Federal Government, not the Legislative (who initiates Constitutional amendments), that overstepped its Constitutional limits of power.

He was not opposed to helping people through welfare programs, as much as he was opposed to centralizing this activity in the Federal government.

In The Conscience of the Conservative, he makes a very interesting distinction, between what he calls human or natural rights and civil rights.  Civil rights are those rights protected by law, while natural rights might include such things as the right to life.  For him, if the right wasn't clearly in the Constitution, or elsewhere legislatively expressed,  it didn't exist as a civil right, and therefore couldn't be the basis for a decision by a court.

He also championed private property rights, but not as intrinsic in themselves, but more as the natural outgrown of the success of the free and self reliant individual.  While we moderns might in many instances disagree with him, his simple principles were really not so simple, and their application, when carried forward stictly and consistently, lead to results that many found unsupportable.  Yet, in our modern age, where the Federal Government is now intruding into our lives everywhere, we perhaps can see that as long ago as 1960, when he enumerated his basic views, he saw clearly the dangers potential in a system in which the central government drew more and more power to itself.  Every act of liberal social welfare, however well intended, has concentrated more and more power in Washington D.C. at the expense of the States and the People.  The tail wags the dog.

Let us pause here for a moment and step back from this view, and ask some questions about it.  First is the process itself valid, namely to set foward certain basic principles and then reason from them consistently?  How would we determine if the process is valid, and what would it mean that it is?  Is our measure whether it works?  Or is it simply enough, that this is how Goldwater wanted to proceed in his analysis and philosophy?

The point of these questions is to recognize two subtle but distinct problems.  One problem is the method by which political ideas and values are created, and the second is how to evaluate those ideas and values in reference to other competing ideas and values.   We will go more into this later, but just so the reader can have a more concrete concept of what is being referred to here, let me add the following:

Many people today possess what could be called an ideology.  This is some kind of organized and perhaps carefully thought out set of views about politics, which generally contains concepts about how government should be run, power used and what is the relationship between the People and the State.  For example, the current Bush administration seems to think that deficit spending is harmless economically, but anyone following this issue knows that there is much conflict regarding such a view. 

The real problem being pointed to here is not the conflict of opinions, but the fact that approaching social problems with a pre-set conclusion which one is trying to impose on it, ignores any effort toward trying to actually understand the truth in the situation.  In the example used above this means that the better question is what is the truth about the consequences of deficit spending, and not what is our ideological opinion.  To better understand this, let's try an analogy.

Suppose one is a surgeon.  If the surgeon approaches an operation with a pre-set idea ideology that the patient will survive if properly bled (an old medical idea), this loss of blood often had the effect of actually killing the patient.  Deficit spending could kill the patient, for example.  The problem then centers on the differences between and opinion (a weakly thought out view), and ideology (a more carefully thought out view) and the actual truth of the matter.

We live in a time where most of what is in the public dialog is mere opinion or ideology, and the search for the truth is hardly given any value at all.  This means that our conversations never come to ground in a pragmatic way to test their validity, but instead hover above the social reality in the shape of a confusing fog.  In Goldwater's book, The Conscience of a Conservative, we have a mix of opinion, ideology and tested truth, and we need to ask ourselves as we continue to consider matters which belong to a Prelude to a Second American Constitution: Out of which materials do we wish to build our next Constitution: opinion, ideology or pragmatically realized social truth?

under construction

this is presently still under construction, but even with that caution the
reader may have found something here that is useful.  comments can be sent to hermit@tiac.net -
other writings be the author can be found at Shapes in the Fire


(1) Lectures by Jesaiah Ben-Aharon, given in Jarna Sweden, Feb. 2004: http://www.antroposofi.org/benaharon0204.htm

(2) See the early parts of the book: America's Global Responsibility: individuation, initiation and threefolding, by Jesaiah Ben-Aharon, as well as the webpages of Terry Boardman, on the hidden material concerning the New World Order, at: http://www.monju.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/NWOindex.htm

(3) See Rudolf Steiner's World Economy, for the true science of economics, as well as his The Threefold Social Order, for a sense of how to balance the impulses of cultural or spiritual aspirations, economic needs, and the ideals of political rights.

(4) It isn't necessary to have proof of these intentions and processes.  Once we understand the control already discernable that is and has been exerted by the elites of wealth, seeing their hand working behind the scenes is relatively easy.  We really just have to mentally adopt (for a time) their point of view, and their callusness and indifference to human suffering, and what to do and why becomes obvious.

(5) See the article on Truthout, by Jennifer Van Bergen, at: http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.06D.JVB.Patriot.htm

(6) sorry, this is a bit underdone at present
http://www.howestreet.com/story.php?ArticleId=876  - a story about people who strip the equity out of their homes to buy consumer goods and play the stock market
http://money.guardian.co.uk/news_/story/0,1456,1411444,00.html  a story about a 70% interest credit card planned for poor in England
http://www.catcomm.org/  Catalytic Communities - a community resource and database.
http://www.globalideasbank.org/site/home/  a "bank" of global ideas
http://www.culturechange.org/  Good enviromental site

(7) I had a lot more to say about this problem, in its private sense, in my book: the Way of the Fool: Christian Enlightenment (initiation) and the Future* of Christianity - some thoughts on the nature of human becoming (the evolution of consciousness) and the wise relationship of moral grace, freedom and love.

(8) In His Steps, is a remarkable book from the late 19th Century, by Charles M. Sheldon.  It is discussed in detail in the book mentioned in footnote (7).

(9) Translation from the original Greek, without the encrustations of later dogma, as rendered by Andy Gaus in The Unvarnished Gospels.  All other quotes from the Gospels will be from this same translation.

(10) From the essay: The Song of the Grandfathers: real wealth (wisdom), and the redemption of social and political existence (civilization).