Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Constitution and The Reality

Definitions of constitution:

  • revered founding document that creates and anoints the state
  • miraculous invention that satisfies the popular craving for justice
  • tablets that place the state, legislatures, and laws at the heart of a society
  • a compact that renders politics respectable
  • an illegitimate document of no authority that claims to provide society‚Äôs fundamental rules and principles of government. Lysander Spooner.

A constitution replaces the priests and judges of old, while fertilizing new unheralded forms of tyranny. A constitution legitimizes political conflict within agreed upon boundaries.

Like the blob in the movie The Blob, "an alien lifeform [that] consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows," the constitution makes the growth of the state an inevitable proposition. Eventually, as the political dynamics play out, the constitution fades into the shadow of an impotent shield quite different than the sacred tablets promised; leaving the hapless public only with remnants of words and feelings, their shield having been forged into chains. At this point, the constitution becomes a hope that people dream of going back to, a secular Garden of Eden.