Sunday Reads: Dissolution is Difficult

Dissolution is difficult to accept….I mean…that is what we are watching before our eyes…The disintegration of democracy? Right?Dissolution…Dissolution.I started to think of the phrase dissolution of government, by the people. Not in a parliamentary way, you know…I’m talking in response to a tyrannical despot.I wrote the word dissolution and it got me thinking. I looked it up on google….Boy the word was used a lot in the end of the 18th Century, and at the beginning of 1800s …uh…that puts it about the time our country was just getting started. (Jefferson turned to Locke when crafting the Declaration of Independence….I think it is just a coincidence the word was popular back then.)I don’t know if the right wing nuts use John Locke a lot in their rantings. Perhaps the libertarians, take his theories and make them something of a cause. All I know, is that all this shit going on made me think of something Locke said ages ago.Yeah, I’m using sparknotes….I have a brain disability, I’m also the only one here without a Ph.D. SparkNotes: Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government: Chapters 18-19: Of Tyranny, and Of the Dissolution of Government

Locke defines tyranny as “the exercise of power beyond right.” A just leader is bound by the laws of the legislative and works for the people, whereas a tyrant breaks the laws and acts on his own behalf. Locke notes that any executive body–not just a m onarchy–that ceases to function for the benefit of the people is a tyranny. He then points out factors that limit the people from hastily opposing the government. These include: sanctity of the executive; faith that laws will prevent necessity of force; and the fear that a small group of individuals will never overthrow powerful leaders with success.

Here is what I wanted to get to:

In Chapter 19, Locke finally arrives at the question of forming a new government. When the state ceases to function for the people, it is dissolved, and may be replaced. This occurs when the legislative is changed or usurped by a tyrannical executive po wer, when the legislative or executive breaches its trust, or when the executive ignores its own duties and renders the law meaningless, reducing society to chaos.

When the government is dissolved, the people are free to reform the legislative in order to re-create a civil state that works in their best interest before they fall under tyrannical rule. Why does this doctrine not lead to excessive unrest and f requent rebellion? For several reasons: people are slow to change their old habits and customs; if the people are miserable, they will rebel under any system; and finally, revolutions occur only in the event of the leadership’s flagrant abuse of p ower or breach of trust. This system, Locke argues, protects against rebellion because it allows the people to change their legislative and laws, rather than resorting to force to overthrow them. Locke also notes that all concerns about revolution are foolish, because they represent a fear of a righteous process: it is rightful and dignified for people to rebel against unjust oppression.

Locke even went so far as to say, his theory also applied to monarchies and Kings….cough. But this:

Who judges when the leader has abused his power to such an extent that he may be overthrown? The people, Locke says. The people are the best judge of whether their protector is protecting them. Locke ends by noting that, as long as society lasts, the p ower that each individual gives it cannot revert back to the individual, and, so long as any government lasts, the power that the society gives the legislative cannot revert back to the society. Either of these institutions may be destroyed by the revers ion of the powers vested in them, people always being free to “erect a new form, or under the old form place it in new hands, as they think good.”

Locke completes his picture of a just civil society by returning to his original impetus for writing the Second Treatise–the dissolution of government in the face of tyranny. Locke has lain his groundwork so soundly that his argument for the dissolution of government requires no new ideas, only a synthesis of everything covered so far. Civil society exists to protect the property and liberty of its members–if something break s down anywhere in its government and it no longer fulfills this function, something has gone awry and the people have a right to rid themselves of that government. Where does this right come from? From the natural rights described by Locke starting as far back as Chapter2. If the government in power is not working for them, it is not a just government, and people would be better off in a state of nature.

You can find the actual copy of Locke’s Chapter 19. Of the Dissolution of Government …Here at the ‘From Revolution to Reconstruction and beyond’ project website.(Chapter 2 on Nature…is here.)Then I had to look it up, and see if anyone had used Locke to argue against tRump. Check it out. It is from November 22, 2016! Before we knew that tRump was under investigation for everyfuckingthing…and before we knew the Russians had a hand in…the election. I mean, this was written when it was (without a doubt {laugh}) a legal and non-foreign interfered election…no conspiracy or any of that shit….cough, hack….Yes, in the U.S., the people can reject a president — if they’re sure he’s a tyrant – The Washington Post

If the thousands of protesters chanting “Not my president!” are any indication, the U.S. president-elect’s legitimacy may be in peril.

This should not be dismissed as mere rhetorical flourish: A recent pollshows that 18 percent of Americans reject Donald Trump’s legitimacy as president.

Hey, most of that 18% was right here at this blog. We all knew something was rotten in Denmark, as the saying goes. However, it turned out it was the Seychelles…am I right?

What these arguments fail to grasp, however, is that, in the United States, authority is never legitimate if it is tyrannical, no matter how unanimous the vote or impeccable the electoral process. (As Sam Goldman recently pointed out, tyranny – a concept so relevant to ancient Athenian politics – suddenly seems poised for a comeback!)

Perhaps no philosopher is more illuminating on this count than John Locke (1632-1704). In his “Second Treatise on Government,” Locke argues that government derives legitimate authority from the consent of the People. This notion — popular sovereignty — was taken up by the American founders, who used it to justify their experimental republic. “Governments are instituted among Men,” Thomas Jefferson writes in the Declaration of Independence, “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Americans make their consent known through elections. Trump won the election. Thus popular sovereignty seems to entail that Americans must accept Trump’s authority as legitimate. Right?

Uh, we all know how that turned out.

Elections do not magically transfer the sovereignty of the American people to their leaders. The People retain their sovereignty. They therefore retain the authority to reject a leader’s legitimacy — even after that leader is freely and fairly elected.

If only tRump had been rejected way back then….

… there is a catch to this “Not my president!” business. Only when government becomes destructive to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness is it “the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,” Jefferson writes in the Declaration of Independence, adding that “when a long train of abuses…evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”

Only a lot of tyranny — a “long train of abuses” — justifies denying legitimacy to a government. This qualification would seem to significantly limit the cases in which the People could justly declare “Not my president!”

However, who has the authority to decide when things have gone from merely bad to flat-out tyrannical? Locke is unequivocal: “The people shall be judge.”

It goes on about who is considered a tyrant or what is tyranny…you can read the possible suggestions at the link. It seems laughable now…now that we have passed the point of tRump committing crimes against humanity. Let’s just reminisce about the good old days:

On the other hand, Trump has said, among other things, that he would lock up his political opponentdeport immigrants and register Muslims. He has endorsed torture and expressed a willingness to kill the families of terrorists, which would be a war crime. We know that undivided government is imminent; therefore, such designs are imminently realizable.

Surely some people will think this to be, as Locke wrote, “manifest evidence, that designs are carrying on against their liberties.” Others will disagree.

Because Americans seem to disagree so much about what constitutes tyranny, is it a recipe for disaster if some people are prepared to refuse legitimacy so promptly? Will cries of “Not my president!” proliferate after every election, leading us to chaos and civil war?

These are valid existential anxieties, and theory is of little help here. Instead, Locke offers the practical, empirical consolation that, “Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty, will be born by the people without mutiny or murmur.”

In other words, resistance is hard. Many people are inured to suffering and will thus bear quite a bit of it without complaint. The fact that the People have the sovereign authority to alter or abolish their government sounds frightening until you realize that, well, they probably won’t.

Have we reached that point, when the people have come to the realization that there is “manifest evidence” …tRump and his merry wrecking crew are fucking things up for ill purposes/ I mean people like Sarah Kendzoir have been screaming it over Twitter for years…yes, for years!

Yet the tendency to tolerate so much tyranny makes it all the more significant when citizens finally do become universally persuaded, with “manifest evidence, that designs are carrying on against their liberties.” If this happens, Locke asks, “who is to be blamed for it?”

[…]

Still, if more and more People become convinced that the government is tyrannical until a majority agrees, then it is probably not the People who are defective. When legitimate authority is imperiled, we would do well to first suspect the government of being insufficiently acceptable rather than impugning citizens’ insufficient acceptance of government.

If the partisans of order are alarmed by the implications of popular sovereignty, they might find consolation in the fact that, from the Lockean perspective, protesting tyranny is more likely to preserve the republic than dissolve it.

Emphasis mine.Oh…and…say that louder for the Republicans in the fucking back!

By retaining their sovereignty, the People are a constant reminder to the government: memento mori! Take away our liberty, and we will deny you legitimacy! As such, popular sovereignty is the ultimate check on government power. Thus it is a bizarre logic that defends democratic institutions by adopting a wait-and-see approach to tyranny.

If democratic institutions are held sacred, it is not just — or even primarily — because they preserve order, but because they preserve freedom.

I had to change, edit a portion of the bottom last paragraph below:

Trump is the legitimate winner of the presidential election. But protesters are not protesting the legitimacy of the election, but rather what they fear are the tyrannical inclinations of the coming current administration. And so long as the People remain the source of sovereignty in the United States, they will always be the only ones with the authority to say: Not my president.

Not my president!I’m still saying it. I have been saying it since November 9th, 2016.Perhaps, we need to revisit the Jefferson Monument….and read what is written in stone there.Quotations – Thomas Jefferson Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)

Thomas Jefferson

Rotunda

“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

I plead with you to go to the link from the US National Park Service and read the rest of the words chiseled into the walls…(before tRump combines the Park Service with the Space Force…and the USNPS website is taken down.)And let me also say…Take that quote and shove it up the ass of all those who slam down Maxine Waters!https://twitter.com/SaysHummingbird/status/1013163473948348416Here are a few news articles and Tweets to update you on the news today:North Korea working to conceal key aspects of its nuclear program, U.S. officials say – The Washington PostDon’t have to say anything more about that, do we?This dude must have watched Zoolander 2? Top French criminal Redoine Faid escapes prison by helicopter | News | Al Jazeera

A well-known French criminal has escaped from prison by helicopter, the country’s prison authority has said.

Local media reported that French-Algerian top gangster Redoine Faid made his second prison break in just over five years at around 11:30am (10:30 GMT) on Sunday.

Faid, 46, was reportedly assisted by at least three armed accomplices who picked him up by helicopter from the Reau prison courtyard, in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

Redoine Faid: Paris helicopter prison break for gangster – BBC News

A head and shoulders picture of Redoine Faid in a white shirt and suit

Faid and his accomplices escaped from the prison courtyard – which was not protected by a net – without injuring anyone, French news website Europe 1 reports.

Gunmen took the prisoner from the visiting room before fleeing by air, according to security sources cited by Reuters.

Reports suggest the helicopter pilot may have been taken hostage.

A police search is now under way across the whole Paris region. “Everything is being done to locate the fugitive,” an interior ministry official said

But where is his non-fat mocha java latte?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXmS3M7DrfkRudy Giuliani calls for Iran regime change at rally linked to extreme group | US news | The GuardianUgh…he has resurfaced, this time at some get together giving by an “extreme Iranian opposition group” hell bent on regime change in Tehran.

Giuliani spoke to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella coalition largely controlled by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), which was once listed as a terrorist organisation in the US and Europe and is still widely viewed as a Marxist-Islamist cult built around the personality of its leader, Maryam Rajavi.

Migrant crisis: Italy minister Salvini closes ports to NGO boats – BBC News

Migrants saved by boats run by non-governmental organisations will not be allowed into Italy, rightwing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini says.

Mr Salvini has often accused the NGOs of encouraging the trafficking of migrants. He told Corriere della Sera these NGOs were no longer “legitimate”.

And the shit continues: Child marriage involving bride of 11 sparks outrage in Malaysia – BBC NewsBut here, back at home…https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1013423088585924608https://twitter.com/peterdaou/status/1013110674728374272https://twitter.com/SenGillibrand/status/1013407242568241152https://twitter.com/albz/status/1012878578407628800https://twitter.com/VABVOX/status/1013227614520201217https://twitter.com/AdamParkhomenko/status/1013188612320620546https://twitter.com/Amy_Siskind/status/1013135079600738305https://twitter.com/ProudResister/status/1013166953119150080https://twitter.com/tommyxtopher/status/1013232541682323456https://twitter.com/riotwomennn/status/1013407581505839105https://twitter.com/riotwomennn/status/1013396028316364801https://twitter.com/ava/status/1013241603471708160https://twitter.com/davidhogg111/status/1013157312247279617https://twitter.com/summerbrennan/status/1013048108329177089That is it. Anyway, this is an open thread. Have at it.Oh, and since we took a trip back in time….I hate Donald tRump.  He can suck my dick!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJBiqxGEp3MFuck Donald Trumphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkZ5e94QnWk

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32 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Dissolution is Difficult”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    i really hoped this made sense. It did last night. Now, I don’t know..lol

  2. dakinikat says:

    • Jane says:

      What I have been saying for years. If they can tell us we cannot have an abortion, then eventually they will be telling some of us we have to have an abortion. Outlaw abortion and someday you may have forced abortion. Especially with these racists!!!!

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    nine stabbed,six immigrant children

  5. Pilgrim says:

    What a remarkable, deeply thoughtful, thought-provoking post.

  6. Sweet Sue says:

    Great work, JJ.

  7. dakinikat says:

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. NW Luna says:

    I always was on Medusa’s side. I remember the idea of wearing a brooch of Medusa’s head as a “keep away, jerk men, or you’ll be sorry” message.

  10. NW Luna says:

  11. NW Luna says:

  12. NW Luna says: