Saturday, December 7, 2013

Anti-Federalists Prophesied The End Of Freedom

By Ilana Mercer

On the eve of the federal convention, and following its adjournment in September of 1787, the Anti-Federalists made the case that the Constitution makers in Philadelphia had exceeded the mandate they were given to amend the Articles of Confederation, and nothing more. The Federal Constitution augured ill for freedom, argued the Anti-Federalists. These unsung heroes had warned early Americans of the "ropes and chains of consolidation," in Patrick Henry's magnificent words, inherent in the new dispensation.

After 200 years of just such "consolidation"—in the magisterial “Liberty, Order, And Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government”—constitutional scholar James McClellan distilled the Anti-Federalist argument with the respect it deserves.

As "strong advocates of States' Rights," Anti-Federalists held that "self-government, independence, and individual liberty were best protected at the local level. A distant and powerful central government," the kind cooked up at the Philadelphia convention, was anathema to these "cherished values." To that end, Anti-Federalists fought to preserve the "loose-knit relationship" that had existed between the "Confederation government and the States."

Should the Federal Constitution be ratified, there would be "no checks, no real balances," thundered Patrick Henry. Instead, the country would live under a "powerful and mighty empire." Writing under the assumed name "Agrippa," yet another Anti-Federalist scoffed at the idea of an enormous "uncompounded republic," "containing 6 million white inhabitants," all "reduced to the same standard of morals or habits and of laws." This "in itself is an absurdity," mocked "Agrippa."

The Tower of Babel that is 21st century America is home not to 6 but 317 million alienated, antagonistic individuals, diverse to the point of distrust. These modern-day Americans, some of whose ancestors were brought together by a "profound intellectual and emotional attachment to individual liberty," possess little by way of "social capital" to unify them. Surveys say Americans today avoid one another and hunker down unhappily in front of the TV, instead. This would have hardly surprised "Agrippa."

So, too, did Anti-Federalists predict the problem of representatives who had been imbued with excessive power. "Once elected, representatives would be far from home, comfortable in their jobs, enjoying a big salary ... living in some distant, yet-to-be-built city far removed from the watchful eye of the people they represented."

Sound familiar?

From "Brutus" came perhaps the most "perceptive and far-reaching examinations of congressional power from the Anti-Federalist perspective." Writing in the New York Journal, "Brutus" observed that "the 'most natural and grammatical construction' of the General Welfare Clause in Article I is that it authorizes the Congress 'to do anything which in their judgment will tend to provide for the general welfare, and this amounts to the same thing as general and unlimited power of legislation in all cases."

"If only the high-minded Framers had written the Constitution with crooks in mind," lamented this column in 2008. "Brutus" was not nearly as charitable. Bitterly did he complain about a Constitution that was "written 'in general and indefinite terms, which are either equivocal, ambiguous, or which require definition.'"

The Commerce Clause has given us the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “ACA,” or “Obamacare,” forces 21st century Americans to purchase the federal government's version of health insurance, or risk punishment. The Clause was the focus of scathing Anti-Federalist critique. "What is meant by 'the power to regulate?" they demanded to know. "What, precisely, is 'commerce'"? The new Constitution, argued the prescient Anti-Federalists, is mum on these matters, providing little by way of precision in definition.

Brilliant too was "Brutus" in his prediction that, if instituted, the "new system of government" would see the Federal judiciary "swallow up the State courts." Back then, "Brutus" saw Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution as vesting the judicial branch with the kind of power that would bring about "the entire subversion of the legislative, executive, and judiciary power of the individual states."

As the saying goes, “a prophet is not without honor save in his own country.”

To observe Obama (and predecessor) in action is to realize that Massachusetts delegate Elbridge Gerry and New York Anti-Federalist "Cato" were prophets who deserve a lot more honor in their own country. Both forewarned of an imperial presidency in the making. "'The president,' wrote "Cato," has so much power that his office 'differs very immaterially from the establishment of monarchy in Great Britain.'"

Indeed, President Barack Obama habitually "uses executive orders to circumvent federal legislation." He exempts his "friends or political cronies" from oppressive laws his subjects must obey. And he orders the suspension of "duly enacted [immigration] law"—even "barring enforcement"—because he does not like the law.

A propagandized population has a hard time choosing worthy heroes. It is high time Americans celebrate the Anti-Federalists, for they were correct in predicting the fate of freedom after Philadelphia.

To deny that the Anti-Federalists were right is to deny reality.

Having prophesied that Philadelphia was the beginning of the end of the freedoms won in the American Revolution, our Anti-Federalist philosophical fathers fought to forestall the inevitable. They failed.

ILANA Mercer is a classical liberal writer, based in the United States. She pens WND's longest-standing paleolibertarian column.  ILANA is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. She is the author of "Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa."  ILANA's website is . She blogs at

Copyright 2013 Ilana Mercer


  1. Too bad Jefferson was busy in Paris getting laid and not home tending to business.

  2. Well said, Madam, well said! God bless you!

  3. The end of freedom was foreseen by the prophet Daniel, in Daniel 2:25-45 as well the Apostle John in Revelation 6:1-2, and Revelation 13:1-4.

    Liberalism was both a paradigm and an age of investment choice, that featured the investor; it came to an end through the death of fiat money, that is Aggregate Credit, AGG, and Major World Currencies, DBV, and Emerging Market Currencies, CEW, by the bond vigilantes steepening the 10 30 US Sovereign Debt Yield Curve, $TNX:$TYX, seen in the Steepner ETF, STPP, and calling the Interest Rate on The US Ten Year Note, ^TNX, higher from 2.48% on October 23, which finally translated death to fiat wealth, that is Global Financials, IXG, Nation Investment, EFA, and World Stocks, VT, on December 2, 2013, when the Benchmark Rate, rose from 2.74%; thus fiat wealth died on December 2, 2013, terminating liberalism.

    For centuries, libertarians have desired liberty, specifically freedom from the intervention of the state. In our times Murray Rothbard, followed by Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul have championed free things like free prices; and have called for a sound monetary system, one based upon gold; and have called for a noninterventionist foreign policy. These have decried the pollution of liberalism, that is genuine liberalism, where liberalism is defined as freedom from the state; and weep that liberalism was commandeered by corporatism, globalism, crony capitalism, European socialism, Greek socialism, and communism by the banker regime, specifically the world central banks, as well as by a Dollar Hegemonic Empire, known as the United States of America.

    Genuine liberalism simply was not to be, as Jesus Christ, acting in dispensation, that is in administration of the oversight of God, for the maturing, completion, and perfection of every age, a concept presented by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:10, brought the banker regime to perfection through the combined use of the investment bankers, and the currency traders. Christ’s aim was to reward the investor, via policies of investment choice and schemes of credit and carry trade investing.

    Liberalism’s peak prosperity, was the most moral hazard based prosperity that could have possibly been attained, and was achieved on both the pursuit of yield, Junk Bonds, JNK, Ultra Junk Bonds, UJB, Leveraged Buyouts, PSP, and Distressed Investments, FAGIX, as well as investment in currency carry trade investment, specifically, the Euro Yen Currency Carry Trade, that is EUR/JPY, which closed at 140.99. These toxic debts topped out the week ending December 2, 2013, and will not be providing further seignioage, that is moneyness. The EURJPY topped out at 140.99 and will it also will not be providing further seignioage, to fiat wealth, that is to Global Financials, IXG, World Stocks, VT, and Nation Investment, EFA.

    The failure of sovereignty of the banker regime and the democratic nations states has come via by the bond vigilantes calling the Benchmark rate higher on the US Ten Year Note, ^TNX, from 2.74% on December 2, 2013. The failure of its seignioage is seen in the stock market turning from bull to bear.

  4. For those interested in this subject, here is another book on the topic:

    For a summary, I offer the following:

    1. What about your writings on Merrill Jensen, “The New Nation: A History of the United States During the Confederation 1781 – 1789.”

      I downloaded McClellan's work. And in my first 30 minutes of reading I was presented with the traditional glorious nature of the Constitution and how it saved us from the chaos of Confederation.

      This caused me to stop and find where I was reading the revisionist view on this subject. Searching LRC, I found your November 5, 2013 post, "Who Won The American Revolution" Now I relaxed again.

    2. You see McClellan sent me into a lather, saying to myself, "I knew it, I knew it, It's coming..."

      And sure enough, wait for it...
      Comes the exaltation of, who else but, Alexander Hamilton. As shown in the following excerpt,

      "One delegate to the Federal Convention who argued strenuously for a new constitution, and then later led the fight for ratification of the one that was finally drafted, was Alexander Hamilton of New York. After the Convention completed its work on September 17, 1787, Hamilton, joined by John Jay of New York and James Madison of Virginia, wrote a series of essays called The Federalist. Written for New York newspapers, and later distributed in other States, the essays in The Federalist urged the people to support the new Constitution and attempted to explain why it was preferable to the Articles of Confederation. Seeking to present themselves as neutral observers, the authors of The Federalist concealed their identity and wrote under the name of “Publius.” Most other writers, whether favoring or opposing the Constitution, did the same. In New York, for example, one of the most effective critics of the new Constitution was an anonymous writer named “Brutus.” From New Hampshire to Georgia a great “war of pamphlets” erupted in the struggle over ratification of the Constitution. Those favoring adoption called themselves “Federalists,” and those opposing ratification were dubbed “Anti-Federalists.” From their very inception, the 85 essays in The Federalist, or what are commonly known as The Federalist Papers, were immediately recognized as superior to other writings on the Constitution produced during the ratification struggle. Taken together, they constituted a brilliant exposition of the entire Constitution—profound, insightful, and instructive. To this day, The Federalist is universally acknowledged as an American classic, as an indispensable source for an understanding and appreciation of the original meaning and purpose of almost every provision of the Constitution. To his lasting fame and credit, it was Alexander Hamilton who organized the collective effort to publish The Federalist and wrote most of the essays.

    3. Speaking for most of the delegates who attended the Philadelphia Convention, and certainly for many of his countrymen as well, Hamilton confronted the basic dilemma Americans faced in 1787. The Articles of Confederation, he wrote in Federalist No. 15, were an invitation to disaster. “We may indeed with propriety be said to have reached almost the last stage of national humiliation,” wrote Hamilton. Something must be done, he said, “to rescue us from impending anarchy.” The nation was steeped in debt to foreigners and its own citizens; valuable American territories were still in the possession of Great Britain; there were no troops or funds to repel invaders; access to the Mississippi River was impeded by Spain; commerce had declined to its lowest point. So great was “the imbecility of our government,” he complained, that foreign governments would not even deal with it. “The evils we experience,” Hamilton concluded, “do not proceed from minute or partial imperfections, but from fundamental errors in the structure of the building, which cannot be amended otherwise than by an alteration in the first principles and main pillars of the fabric.”"

      Can you say, repeatedly, with a choking, and phlegm clearing sound, Gollum! Gollum! Gollum!!!

      I have to thank Bionic Mosquito for his posts on Jensen's book at the following address:

    4. “What about your writings on Merrill Jensen, ‘The New Nation: A History of the United States During the Confederation 1781 – 1789.’”

      Thank you for mentioning this. Yes, this is a good book for debunking the myths of the Confederation period and for demonstrating the characteristics and desires of the nationalists (falsely labeled federalists). However, this thread is about the Constitution; hence, I offered this link.

      “I downloaded McClellan's work. And in my first 30 minutes of reading I was presented with the traditional glorious nature of the Constitution and how it saved us from the chaos of Confederation.”

      I have learned that I can learn something even from authors with whom I do not agree on everything. Brion McClanahan (I think this is to whom you are referring), whatever else he does, gives a picture of an interpretation of the Constitution from the eyes of those who supported it. McClanahan is basically saying: if this is what the supporters of the document wrote, then it is safe to assume such an interpretation.

      I find nothing wrong with this approach from a conceptual standpoint, although, obviously on this subject, it can lead to supportive statements about Hamilton and derogatory statements about the Confederation period. However, even with this approach, one can learn that a) the Constitution has been bent and broken far beyond any publicly written interpretation offered by its supporters, and b) its opponents were correct in general, and correct in the specific criticisms.

      For that reason, I found it a worthwhile book.

    5. Good to read your reply. Let me clarify one item. I was referring to the work mentioned above in Ms. Mercer's post, “Liberty, Order, And Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government” by constitutional scholar James McClellan.

      I have not looked at Brion McClanahan's work.

      As for learning from authors with whom I disagree, thank you and yes, it is instructive to spend time there. Although, when I realized that most of my schooling on history and government was particularly mythological and purposed to fix my mind to a certain fashion - elevating and perpetuating the state, it all really ticked me off. Because of that, I've grown quite jealous of my time so I weed through the apologetics to get to the stuff I'm not supposed to know about.

      I think it's about time we call out Hamilton and the mercantilist/nationalists (cult) for the anti-self-governing people that they were and remain to be. Writing about them as glowing examples of American patriotism and paragons of classical liberalism keep my countrymen in the dark. It would further us to know how Hamilton's kind meant to co-opt the gaining of independence away from liberty and toward their special interest and slavery that we continue in today. War, Debt and Death. Seeing it this way, I view his writings in The Federalist Papers as lies and purposeful deception.

      I'm stepping off my soap-box now...

      Amazon just delivered a 1958 hard cover edition of Merrill Jensen's work on the Confederation years 1781-1789. I am looking forward to spending time with it. As for James McClellan's book, I'll have to pick through the chapters and discover the useful bits.

      Thanks again, Merry Christmas.