One issue that the Battle of Bunkerville brought to the conscious mind of thinking Americans is the right of individual and state sovereignty.
What is sovereignty? Let’s start with individual sovereignty…your sovereignty. In the simplest terms, I can’t punch you in the face. You are the sole property owner of your body. It is yours and no one is allowed to violate the boundaries of it. It means you have the right to protect and defend yourself and your life. For a state in the union, it means the same thing. For example, Utah is not allowed to take any part of Nevada’s land just because it feels like it. California can’t decide that due to the drought, it’s going to re-route a river in Nevada across the border for its own use. By the definition of freedom, contracts and voluntarily engaged upon legal agreements can be created to these ends, but otherwise speaking, boundaries are sacrosanct, whether that be your skin or the border of a state (or a nation), none may be violated except by mutual consent.
Any Government is simply an extension of sovereign men, where numerous like-minded individuals establish a central authority under their direct control that represents and maintains their individual sovereignty to address subjects we would consider of “public interest” (a term to be argued in some other post). These borders of individuals are then expanded to that of the area that represents them such as a small town, a county, or a state. Small towns may form a county, and multiple counties may form a state. In this fashion, numerous like-minded states may extend their borders to that of a nation.
However, at no time does the border of a nation remove the sovereignty of its composite states, and at no time does the border of a state remove the sovereignty of its composite counties or their towns or their individuals. In fact, sovereign individuals create a state for the sole purpose of protecting their individual sovereignty, and sovereign states create a nation for the sole purpose of protecting their individual state sovereignty. It is when a nation violates this purpose that we have tyranny, and individuals begin to blow the dust off topics such as secession and state and jury nullification…all being means to an end of restoring state and individual sovereignty over a rogue nation that believes the people were born from it and not that it was born from the people.
The issue at hand today is if Cliven Bundy was right in saying that BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) is unconstitutional and that he has the right to stop paying grazing fees to their federal authority because the land belongs to the state of Nevada, not them, and that he wants to pay his local government instead. As a Libertarian I agree with him because he is morally correct. If the state does not own the land within its boundaries, then the state itself is a fiction. The state of Nevada should be more accurately redrawn as I have drawn it in this post. Mr. Bundy is a sovereign individual in the sovereign state of Nevada, so the BLM has no business collecting grazing fees from him.
The Constitution, not surprisingly, provides very strict controls on what can be considered Federal Government land…
U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8:
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings…”
Let us turn as well to Karl Marx on the issue of sovereignty. If we can agree that Marxism is the antithesis to freedom, then it should follow that any of the tenants of Marxism are to be avoided if freedom is to be maintained. The very first tenant of Marxism is…
Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose
So there you have it. Karl Marx would be a proud father of our Washington D.C. elite as 1/3rd of America is squarely subject to the first tenant of communist Marxism.
Now some Liberals are arguing that this treaty or that one, granted some of these lands, particularly in the west, to the Federal Government, but is that in keeping with the constitution or the principles of a Republic where the Government is supposed to be asphyxiatingly constrained in its power and scope? Is that in keeping with how the Declaration of Independence was supposed to start with, “We the States” instead of “We the People?”
One argument methodology that Liberals like to use is to point to a law or a court ruling in history that made something that is immoral, legal – and then defend the immorality based on its legality as if making rape legal makes it moral. If a law or treaty exists that hands sovereign state land over to Washington D.C., we need to question the morality of that law and we need to question whether that goes against the grain of the constitution and a Republic by granting more control to a Federal Government. There is nothing ever that can be done that can make something immoral suddenly moral, so making the immoral usurpation of state land by the Federal Government moral can never happen, but such usurpation can be made illegal to match its immorality because changing a law…well, that’s easy.
There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would argue with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust…is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law ~Martin Luther King Jr.
What I am asking Americans to do, is look beyond the laws of men, laws that are easily written and passed by corrupted men seeking power and wealth, and decide what is the moral answer. What is the constitutional answer? What is the answer that supports freedom and not tyranny? What is the answer that protects the sovereignty of the individual and the state versus expanding, empowering and enriching an overbearing and corrupted Federal authority? I’m asking you to think.
Liberals have been trying to re-write the constitutional law of the second amendment for 221 years, but when we point out the immorality of a law that bequeaths 80% of a state’s land mass to Washington D.C., we are told to shut up because it’s “the law.” If anything is certain beyond death and taxes, it is Liberal hypocrisy and the extents they pursue to avoid rational thought.
We have so many examples of immoral laws that while legal, were eventually overturned precisely due to their blatant immorality. Liberals like to fall back on “the law” when it’s convenient. Despite 70 years of Democrat spin, the Jim Crow laws of the south that segregated blacks from whites were enacted into law by Democrats which were only reversed by the Civil Rights acts passed by….wait for…the Republicans. I find the bitter metallic irony of Democrats calling Republicans racist quite compelling when the real racists in the 1900’s were Democrats. The Democrats were the party of the southern Confederacy. I find the black infatuation with Democrats, in light of this, even more baffling. I can only assume it is a testament to what dumbed-down education, a state controlled media and relentless soundbites of Democrat revisionist history are capable of. So here we have in the Jim Crow laws an example of immoral laws, put in place by corrupted men of the Liberal persuasion, which were overturned due to their immorality, an immorality that modern yet amnesic Liberals would agree with, and yet when we have another immoral law, related to the sovereignty of the state, Liberals are suddenly a dedicated and dutiful law abiding lot. Historically deficient hypocrites, every last one of them.
So we must return again to the conversation of Nevada. If 80% of the land inside Nevada belongs to the Federal Government, can we really say that Nevada, as a proper state, actually exists? I don’t think we can. What we can say is that the sovereign cities of Reno and Las Vegas and a handful of other small towns exist, but all within the borders of Washington D.C., and that’s about it.
This holds true for all the other states of the Union, where Washington D.C. is the majority land holder. Roughly half of almost every state west of Texas is Washington D.C. This is land the Federal Government never bought, that it can sell unilaterally to whoever it wants and keep the money. This is land the Federal Government never bought, but it can collect rent on for leasing the mineral rights to oil and natural gas companies, the timber industry, farmers, ranchers, etc… and keep the money. This is land the Federal Government never bought, but it can unleash all of its bureaucratic agencies upon anyone using it and regulate, fine, threaten, charge and intimidate them for whatever self-serving purposes they seek.
Try walking over to your neighbors yard and putting a FOR SALE sign on it with your phone number, or see his reaction when an oil drill shows up in his backyard because you sold the mineral rights, or charge him a fee for visiting his own backyard fire pit, or declare the gophers that eat his lettuce a protected species and fine him for trapping them to protect his garden. This is the equivalent of what the Federal Government is doing to the States. Sounds absurd, and yet we let it happen.
You don’t have the right to sell a piece of land you don’t own, so why should the Federal Government have that right? Why should the Federal Government, 2,000 miles away, be able to sell land in your sovereign state to serve its own interests, and not the interests of you or your neighbors that live in your state? Why should the Federal Government be able to hide the debts and obligations it accrues in your name when it expands social service programs in exchange for votes to retain power, by selling the land in your sovereign state to whoever it wants, even communist nations, to pay those bills?
Can we still say this is a nation of The People, by The People, for The People, and subscribe to the freedoms guaranteed to The People by individual and state sovereignty when a third of America’s land mass in the states The People live has a Washington D.C. zip code?