WE put first as a general maxim that factions and parties are dangerous…. They must therefore be prevented wherever possible by wise counsel … and every means should be taken to cure them….Jean Bodin
The sixteenth century political theorist, Jean Bodin, warned that, if factional differences cannot be resolved by a process of law, then the sovereign “ought to resort to force to extinguish them altogether, by punishment of the manifest leaders before they become so strong that there is no prevailing against them.”
As of this writing, the United States of America is beset by factional differences that cannot be resolved by a process of law; for the law itself has been subverted. And presently, however we might hope otherwise, there is no princely sovereign that can “resort to force to extinguish them … by punishment of the manifest leaders” because under our political system “the people” enjoy sovereignty, and the people themselves are divided into two hostile camps, each opposed to the other.
By way of example, President Donald Trump made a July 4 speech at Mount Rushmore. He honored presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt, vowing to defend this and other monuments against vandalism. In response, CNN said, “Trump doubles down on divisive messaging” while CNBC claimed that Trump was stoking “national divisions.”
In America today there are two sovereign powers — two distinct notions of “we the people” — laying claim to words like “justice” and “freedom,” and “good government.” But each of these powers understands words differently; and their differences are not negotiable, neither can there be a compromise between them.
Bodin warned that “it is easier to prevent an invasion than to expel the enemy once he has effected entry” and likewise “it is better to prevent sedition than to try and cure it.” And then he added, as if for our benefit: “This is even more difficult in a popular state than any other.”
The problem of sovereignty in a divided popular state (such as our own) is one which we now confront; for the Constitution of the United States is something alien to most of the persons who occupy the actual government formed under it, even as the government’s interests and ideas are at variance with “the people,” or what remains after various “victim” groups have seceded to form a “new people.”
For several decades a subversive minority has attempted to make itself into an unassailable sovereign majority — more recently by importing millions of non-white illegal aliens, smuggled across a border that is decried as “racist.” This would-be sovereign majority wishes to do away with the country’s national traditions, its national symbols, and even its national ideals.
Here is an attempt to overthrow “the people of the United States” in favor of a piracy and brigandage rooted in “socialism,” or “Marxism,” or “communism,” but for tactical reasons prefers to camouflage itself as “anti-racism.” In attempting to build a new sovereign majority, various Marxist groups have cobbled together a coalition of angry women, brainwashed youth, “disenfranchised” minorities and aliens. Referring to themselves as “progressives,” this faction claims to represent “the people.” Those who were previously signified by the constitutional phrase “we the people,” are now denounced as “racists.” America’s political institutions, the free market and the police are said to be “systemically racist.” Consequently, the statues of America’s heroes and Founders are to be torn down, the national flag burned, and national monuments desecrated.
This campaign to destroy American symbols and slander its Founders should surprise no one. During the past half century a “faction of subversion” began to dominate American universities, government and the media. Barack Obama’s presidency further raised their hopes. In fact, their consolidation of power was nearly complete by 2016. The “faction of subversion” merely needed one more “stealth socialist” president before victory would be final and irreversible. Hillary Clinton was nominated to complete the process, her election being “guaranteed”; yet she failed to defeat a dark horse candidate — Donald J. Trump.
Trump won the election with slogans like “lock her up” and “drain the swamp.” But the “faction of subversion,” now dominant within the Justice Department and FBI, had established an “insurance policy” in the Trump/Russia collusion hoax, which was used to dispute the legitimacy of the new president. Thus began a coordinated campaign of lies, prosecutions and insubordinations, erupting across the government, supported by a media campaign of unprecedented viciousness.
After repeated calls for impeachment, there followed an actual impeachment — with a circus of bureaucratic tattletales, and a narrative of alleged crimes too niggling for serious consideration. Then, in the midst of a Chinese-originated pandemic, an insurrection began, coinciding with an electoral challenge to Trump from an overtly senile, meritless, corrupt, nonentity.
This brief overview of our situation does not lend itself to an optimistic forecast. Too many of our fellow citizens, year after year, have hidden themselves in the “riskless private sphere,” resting on the safe possession of their “private property,” staying out of political controversies, yielding political ground to increasingly pathological narratives and persons. At long last this “riskless private sphere” is no longer safe. The exits have been blocked. A confrontation is now unavoidable.
There is a silver lining to all this, according to Jean Bodin. If an insurrection fails, its poison is purged from the body politic. A deluded mob can be cured once its ringleaders are apprehended. And who are these ringleaders, in truth? At beginning of Bodin’s book, On Sovereignty, there is a listing of principles necessary to a well-ordered commonwealth. The cornerstone of these principles might surprise you. In the first place, wrote Bodin, right ordering involves distinguishing “a commonwealth from a band of thieves or pirates. With them one should have neither intercourse, commerce, nor alliance.”
The dangerous faction which presently divides the country is rooted in an ideology of brigandage and piracy. Make no mistake. Such is also the ideology of Beijing, Havana and other hostile powers. It was the gravest mistake imaginable that we entered into “intercourse” and “commerce” with the Chinese communists. It was also a grave error that their ideology of universal spoliation was allowed to take root in our own schools and universities. From thence the poison has spread, and revolutionary violence now threatens us.
Links and Notes
Bodin : On Sovereignty : Six Books Of The Commonwealth https://www.amazon.com/dp/1438288700/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_oEobFb3GEHK8E
Some people see more clearly than others — https://townhall.com/tipsheet/elliebufkin/2020/06/03/nobody-takes-america-philly-woman-shuts-down-protestors-outside-city-hall-n2570000