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Complexity defeats freedom

By Bruce Walker
web posted May 28, 2007

"Ignorance of the law is no excuse" is a maxim which is supposed to govern our republic.  But of course, ignorance of the law is a perfect excuse if no one actually knows what the law is.  The tax code and environmental laws like the infamous "Wetlands" laws which prevented landowners from making simple modifications to their fields are perfect examples of how complex law can be and how people with an innocent heart can be technically guilty. 

Complexity is the enemy of freedom.  Complexity is the friend of criminals who are not technically or legally criminals but who are morally criminals nonetheless.  Who cheats on their taxes?  People who hire tricky lawyers trained to read the mind-numbing and illogical complexity of the tax code.  Which giant information corporations tell outright lies with impunity?  Monsters like NBC and CBS hide behind the ridiculously complex judicial rulings on slander and defamation to use the brute force of their vast and rich propaganda machine to murder truth.

The immigration bill pending before Congress is a perfect example of how complexity is the enemy of freedom, the foe of democracy, the pal of cronies, the friend of power-mongers.  The bill, which is one thousand pages of minutia, had not even been read by a single senator when it was introduced.  Why, in the name of commonsense, do we need a one thousand page bill to solve the program of securing the borders of our nation?  When, ever, has our nation needed a one thousand page bill in Congress?  What is the purpose of a gigantic bill that no one will read and few will understand? 

The purpose is the same as Hillary's health care schemes:  to create so much complexity and confusion that no one can argue against anything except the idea or against the title of a particular bill.  The Crime Bill which was passed in the days before the 1994 general election was a hodge-podge of programs and policy changes which were unrelated and which not a single legislative staffer (much less a congressman or senator) had actually ever read in its entirety.  Staffers knew bits and pieces, this section and that program, but no one, Clinton included, actually understood the whole bill.

The beauty of American government is (or was) its simplicity.  The Constitution is amazingly short and the Bill of Rights is shorter still.  The Declaration of Independence used to be memorized by civics students and if  the "grievance section" is excluded, it is very short indeed.  Why?  Because the people who wrote the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence wanted to be clear and because they wanted the people to know the law what they were doing.

When the Constitution was submitted to the states for ratification, men like Hamilton and Jay wrote articles for popular consumption about what this section or that section of the proposed new Constitution was supposed to men.  Anti-Federalists likewise wrote in newspapers what they thought might happen if certain clauses were adopted.  The plain fact was that millions of Americans actually read and discussed the Constitution – the whole text – and understood it, which was exactly what everyone intended.

Long ago the United States Code became so large and the Code of Federal Regulations so vast that no one could know more than a tiny fraction of what laws governed his conduct.  When this happens, we cease becoming a people of laws which have been adopted by the people through their elected representatives.  We become, instead, the pawn (or canon fodder) in a chess game in which the greater pieces like lobbyists, lawyers, bureaucrats and elected officials. 

In the case of the immigration bill, the thousand page mystery, the problem is even more serious because we need no "laws" to solve the problem.  Illegal immigrants are here illegally.  Existing law allows for their deportation.  Funding and enforcement are all we require to secure our borders.  We do not need new laws to establish that the boundaries of the United States set the limits of our sovereign nation.

Complex legislation, constant changes in statues and regulations, and other artifices for those who have seized our power of self-government for their selfish interests are destroying America.  The boldness of the latest machinations show just how far we have fallen.  But the response of those yearning to be free and the fright of Congress means America is not dead yet. ESR

Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990.  He is a contributing editor to Enter Stage Right and a regular contributor to Conservative Truth, American Daily, Intellectual Conservative, Web Commentary, NewsByUs and Men's News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.

 

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