'Satis est'
0 comment Tuesday, May 27, 2014 |
Here's a very fine piece by Larry L. Beane II which I found over at LewRockwell.com. It's titled ''The Founders Knew Latin'', which indeed they did. Latin, up until perhaps the middle of the 2oth century was considered part of a well-rounded basic education, and the Founding Fathers were steeped in it. As the article points out, many of the concepts of the Constitution are contained in Latin phrases like 'E Pluribus Unum', which we may remember, Al Gore mistranslated as ''Out of one, many.'' His faulty translation, turning the meaning of the phrase on its head, may have been a Freudian slip, as today most of the important principles of the Founders have likewise been inverted.
The Latin motto "e pluribus unum" also captures the plural nature of the Union. It was never meant to be collapsed and rolled into into "one nation." This is even evident in common grammatical usage, for while the architects of the Union were still living, the singular verb "is" was not paired up with the plural subject "United States." But within decades, the federal government became increasingly heavy-handed with the states. The struggle between the forces of centralization and decentralization intensified between 1830 and 1861, when political compromises failed, and the Union fell into disunion. Seven states of the deep south had seceded and formed a new federation, acting on what is often called the "compact theory" of the American union of 1789. This approach to the Constitution holds that the states are sovereign, and that the Union is a "compact" between them. The compact theory holds that unless power is delegated to the federal government, that power remains reserved to the states or to the people � a concept written directly into the Constitution itself as the Tenth Amendment. A clear and concise overview of the compact theory and its historical implications, past and present, can be found in chapters three and four of Thomas Woods's Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. In spite of the Tenth Amendment and the intent of the founders, by the 1860s, those who opposed secession and who ultimately annexed the seceded states by raw military force were denying the compact theory, and offered instead its diametric opposite: the "nationalist theory." Though this theory had been around for decades, it was a minority view without teeth until Lincoln and his associates put it into force by force. This alternative view saw the Union as "one nation" that gave birth to the states and not vice versa � though one will hunt in vain for the words "nation" and "national" used to describe the Union in the Constitution itself.
Please click over and read the whole thing. It's a very good exposition of what is at stake in the renewed call for state sovereignty and the focus on the Tenth Amendment.
And hopefully We The People, Deo vindice, will once more see the Union as a federation in light of the compact written to limit government and defend our God-given rights, instead of continuing in our ignorance to be bullied, tricked, and manipulated into accepting the great lie of the expansive and boundless "one nation, indivisible" that must be worshiped and obeyed as a god. Maybe we are ready to join the founders and say unambiguously, "Satis est!"
Satis est, indeed.

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