BrianM wrote:I guess I'll chime in on this topic.
BrianM wrote:I don't agree with all of the amendments to the Constitution but the original Constitution with the Bill of Rights I believe is inspired and accepted by the Lord.
I believe so too.
BrianM wrote:In D&C 101 (77-80) the Lord stated the "constitution ... should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles.."
and that He "established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose". That purpose being protection of our rights, and that we might have our moral agency preserved and not be in bondage one to another.
Would you then agree that the amendment that explicitly forbade slavery was in harmony with that purpose, and improved the original Constitution, which was specifically crafted to allow slavery (with its 3/5th compromise and the founders being slave-holders before and after the adoption of the Constitution)?
BrianM wrote:This part about the Constitution preserving our moral agency is actually very important and sometimes not well understood. The way it does that it was supposed to keep the Federal government out of everyone's business and allowing individual states, cities and communities the freedom to enforce their own standard. If followed, the result would be like 50 'mini-nations' all experimenting on Freedom and learning from each other by their successes and failures. Allowing men their agency to fail or succeed and to associate with communities that upheld their own moral beliefs.
That is a good point and I agree with it.
BrianM wrote:The flaw is in men - they don't actually follow the Constitution or the proper role of government.
Would you agree that better laws help people to be better, and that bad laws encourage them to be bad?
BrianM wrote:Joseph Smith said
it's only flaw is basically that it wasn't broad enough in enforcing its provisions in regards to those who neglect it.
Still a flaw though, isn't it? And if a flaw then improvement is possible.
Have we not seen the need for that in the last 200 years? Why should it be a surprise that as the understanding of people increases, their laws become better? (I do wish the understanding of the founders was perfect from the beginning, (and I don't blame them for doing the best they knew how), then the Constitution would have been perfect from the beginning, but it wasn't. And even if it was, if more justice can be put into it, seeing there is a desperate need for it, why not do it, to make it a stronger instrument in the fight for Justice and Liberty?)
BrianM wrote:But the thing is, and I think Joseph knew this, it's not a flaw in the Constitution but in men.
It is both. It is a flaw in the Constitution AND in men. One helps and amplifies the other.
BrianM wrote:If the elected officials don't follow the Constitution and the people don't hold them accountable there is no law or amendment that is going to change that.
But would you agree that it would be easier for the people to keep the officials accountable if the Constitution explicitly forbade certain key perversions of the government which now it almost allows? (For example: it did not say "there will be slavery" but it allowed it. It did not also say "the government shall plunder private property" but it left the door thrown wide open for it, with overly broad taxation clauses like "The Congress shall have power to ... lay and collect taxes...").
I don't think the founders themselves understood the proper place of taxation, that one can only rightly tax the things he owns, (like charging rent for use of them etc), and nothing else. That the public government can only rightly tax the things it owns, i.e. public property and nothing else. To tax private property of someone is to violate it, by definition. You don't own it, you cannot tax it, -- it is not yours.
Neither did the founders fully understand the absolute nature of the prohibition against violation of private property, such violation being the very definition of evil itself, and thus is always wrong in all circumstances, no matter what majority voted for it.
This very important and key weakness in the Constitution must be fix, if the Country is to survive, because this legalized plunder, that is public taxation of private property is the root of all evil in the government, that empowered all the vices and predations of the state including war-state, welfare-state, police-state, and corruption of the monetary system (because interestingly, corruption of the monetary system by government is impossible without using taxation to discourage alternative currencies, which, if allowed to flourish, would kill fiat monetary system with its legalized counterfeiting via free competition in currencies).
In all cases, it is the false premise that private property may be violated by the majority, that is the root of all evil in government, from which all other government evils are derived.
I say it again: violation of private property is the very definition of evil itself
, and good is nothing more or less than private property. (Hence the name "goods," and Hans Hoppe's joke that the plundering government produces only "bads"
because it violates private property.)
BrianM wrote:If they are already not following the established law it would do no good to enact another law requiring them to obey the law they are already ignoring.
That is actually not true. You are ignoring the educational and convincing power of the law, (because in the final analysis persuasion is everything). You are missing a key point of the fact that the ONLY way for a tiny minority to plunder an overwhelming majority (like 300 million people) is to deceive them into compliance "for the greater good" so that they would consent to be plundered.
Disabuse them of the lie, and the consent of the many evaporates, and with it the ability of the very few to plunder the many.
The Constitution can and should be such banner, blazing and exposing to the sky the lie, forbidding legalized plunder, i.e. violation of private property in all of its forms, including and especially public taxation and public regulation of private property.
The only thing the public has the right to regulate is public property, taking care of nuisances, because they own the public property, but they have no right to regulate private property, because they do not own it.
The only just public law that governs private property is this one: "Private Property shall not be violated." All other public laws governing private property are unjust, because no one, and no group no matter the size, have the right to govern what they do not own.
Can you imagine what this country would be like if language like this was a part of the Constitution? Would it then have been possible for so few to deceive and to plunder so many?
I say it again, the only way for the few to plunder the many is to deceive them into compliance "for their own good," so that they would believe that somehow, on some level, the plunder is justified. Expose the lie, and the plunder stops. Remove such believe, and the consent evaporates, and with it the ability of the very few to plunder the very many.
Truth has infinite power. And if understood, it does make people free.
The Constitution MUST contain the truth, or it will become worthless in the fight for Liberty. Hence the wisdom of God in making sure the Constitution could be amended and improved, and then revealing a more perfect understanding of the laws of Justice and Liberty so they could be eventually incorporated into the Constitution, thus fulfilling the mandate that God gave that the "constitution ... should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles..." (D&C 101:77-80), while the original Constitution allowed slavery. Hence was the need to improve it, and it was partially improved with the 13th amendment, which explicitly forbade slavery, in perfect harmony, in that point, with the word of God.
And so it must be improved further to forbid any and all violations of private property by the government, especially public taxation and regulation of private property, which is a violation of private property by definition, and therefore is unjust, and must not be allowed if Liberty is to exist and the country to survive and prosper.
BrianM wrote:(That's why it's so ridiculous that people are calling for a balanced budget amendment - that won't solve the problem).
It would actually help. It would be a positive step. It would be much harder to lie that "deficits don't matter." And it would make easier to sue government officials for putting the public into debt, and remove them from the office. The more clear the law is, the better it could be used to enforce it. Remember, persuasion is everything. That's what rules the world.
Joseph prayed that the Constitution would be established forever ( http://www.latterdayconservative.com/quote/dc-10954/
) and said that he is "the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth."
I was trying to find a source for what I recall reading about Joseph Smith attempting to re-write the Constitution.. Found this on a blog (there's a more official source somewhere, but for now):
Did you know that Joseph Smith attempted to rewrite the US Constitution? Yes, he did. And he also attempted to have some of the apostles do so as well. They struggled with it. Joseph Smith struggled with it. As such he went to the Lord and asked, “what shall I change?” As a result of his query we have the 98th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. “…whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.” D&C 98:7
"Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn."
More or less than what? Than the law supporting "principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges." It does not mean the Constitution is perfect and cannot or should not be improved. Indeed it has been improved by the 13th amendment: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." This is in perfect accord with the word of the Lord "it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another." (D&C 101:79)
Joseph struggled with improving the Constitution because he did not understand perfectly the principle that private property is the definition of justice and liberty
, and that violation of private property is the very definition of evil
. This is why D&C 134 is only a declaration of belief, instead of a declaration of finalized and immutable doctrine.