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Author Topic: [2009-09-13] Why I think the Covenant is more important than the Constitution  (Read 5699 times)
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« on: 2009-September-13 04:28:43 PM »

[2009-09-13] Why I think the Covenant is more important than the Constitution

Why I think the Covenant is more important than the Constitution
A call for articles from other Signatories.
by Dennis Lee Wilson

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise*

The excerpt from "Question Authority" (attached below) summarizes why I think it important to explore the virtues and possible applications of the Covenant of Unanimous Consent and why I no longer spend creative energy dreaming up ways to improve or enforce the unenforceable and defunct U.S. Constitution.

As I have written before about other issues, the problems with the Constitution "are—because of their very nature—... absolutely impossible for you to solve on a personal level. Furthermore, there are more public bureaucrats in the various levels of governments than members of any private freedom organization you might join. Those bureaucrats are funded by virtually unlimited tax revenues and they can and do create rules and regulations faster than any one person or group could possibly expect to challenge and repeal them."[1]

After spending three intense years creating and working the Judge Narragansett's New Constitution Project, I concluded[2] that, without nullification by secession, the Constitution is unenforceable and that the best way to remove the contradictions in the Constitution is to abandon it, restart with the Declaration of Independence and fulfill the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness found therein[3] by understanding and adopting—on a personal level— L. Neil Smith's very best work of non-fiction: the Covenant of Unanimous Consent.

If you read my articles[1][2][3] and reflect on the nature of Ayn Rand's Galt’s Gulch, you may also come to the same conclusion.

The article excerpted below was obviously NOT written with the Covenant in mind--BUT IT AND MANY MORE LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN!

The U.S. Constitution, and the government it was intended to control, are both dead issues. The USA is bankrupt and the FED has sped up the creation of money (paper & electronic) in a futile attempt to delay Judgement Day. In My Not-So-Humble Opinion, the inevitable collapse should--at this time and certainly since October 2008--be extremely obvious to all thinking people. The Federal government currently exists on a day to day basis, waiting for the final fatal event.

Exactly like the day before the Berlin wall came down, the collapse of the USA Federal Government is currently looming over our daily lives.

The future begins the day after.

An important part of that future SHOULD BE the emergence of some communities, somewhere, based on the Covenant.

Could these Covenant communities ALREADY exist in a cluster of houses in a small neighborhood? An exclusive apartment building or complex? A gated community? A cluster of motor homes, houseboats or sea going yachts? A village, a town, a small county? Where and how they could be formed, who could populate them and how they might expect to interact with the surrounding culture(s) and what an individual Signatory could do to free him/her self from our bankrupt culture are only some of the many questions that I think should be addressed NOW rather than after the collapse described in the excerpt below. My web forum containing copies of my articles is open and available as well as the pages of TLE.

I close my comments by paraphrasing Patrick Henry:

    "They tell us, Sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be next week? Will it be next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed and a guard stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?

    Sir, we are not weak if we make proper use of those means which (the Covenant) has placed in our power."

Dennis Lee Wilson
Signatory: Covenant of Unanimous Consent

[1] See the second part of my TLE article “Superstate North America vs. Individual Sovereignty” and the lengthy discussion thread following it on the forum at  

[2] See the second part of my TLE article A personal journey from Objectivist morality to political "anarchy"

[3] See my TLE article “…to Institute new Government, laying its foundation…”

Note: This is an EXCERPT from the original. Bold has been added for emphasis. Click on link for the entire article, including links that are present in the original but not in this excerpt.

Question Authority: Always and Forever Hereafter

by William Buppert

Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.
~ H.L. Mencken


The state is a violent actor by necessity to preserve its power and expand it, so inevitably the promises dissolve into a nightmarish brew of incompetence, lethality and baleful societal consequences and we are stuck with the myriad Frankenstein monsters shambling about with the vague promises of eternal goodness and heaven on earth.

One may say that the horse is out of the barn and we are truly stuck with the state of affairs and no amount of reform will fix DC and its loyal minions at this stage of their maturation and dominance and you would be correct. The rub is this: the FEDGOD will fall and it will be in the next 12–24 months and much like the USSR, it will perish of its own internal Marxoid contradictions. Foreign wars, self-induced economic calamity and sheer naked arrogance will force it to fold and dissolve as a ruling elite.

This is a window that rarely opens and the opportunities will be tremendous – for both sides. The furloughed politicos will spread their contagion when they flee the ruins of the DC power structure and seek to encourage the usual suspects among government workers and gullible subjects to help resurrect this monstrosity that has been astride our necks like a decomposing albatross. Truth serum will be necessary and that all starts with the kind of skepticism and incredulity that seems to characterize most everything we do except our attitude toward our rulers. Cross-examination is the engine of truth. Question every bit of alleged government authority which emerges from the ashes. This is one reason Thomas Jefferson was agitating for constant revolt for the tree of liberty. Government is a fungal growth that cannot be checked without constantly striking the root and taking whatever measures are necessary to curb its growth.

You won’t find this kind of critical thinking taught in the universities or any facet of the school systems because skepticism and clear thinking will be the end of them and the whole rotting mold growth choking American civilization called government. When was the last time you saw a government sponsored university study which called for the reduction and/or elimination of a statist rule or department? You don’t have to be a philosophy major or graduate to realize that Socratic drilling works. This is simply the process where you repeatedly ask why to a set of explanations until either you are satisfied the meritorious answer has been given or the shoddy intellectual construction is bared for all to see. It bears repeating: the entire artifice of the state is based on the threat or employment of violence to meet its ends, so it is morally illegitimate and reprehensible from the starting blocks. You have the moral high ground because all government for the most part is an elaborate shell game to develop proxy relationships with servant classes who obey at the urging of a lash or worse for the material and power benefit of the ruling class. Wake up, helots!

This is the chance we have. A dozen, fifty or hundreds of resistance and secessionist entities are going to move into the vacuum left by the great sucking abyss of the FEDGOD collapse. Hundreds of laboratories will emerge to test every variant of political collective and ordered enterprise imaginable. I have little hope for the subjects and somnambulant mental zombies that stumble around the cities of the Left Coast and the Northeast (Vermont and New Hampshire excepted) will do anymore other than instantly resurrect facsimiles of DC patterns of rule and other processes of national socialism but between the Marxist coastlines; the life and times of ordinary Americans will take extraordinary turns to develop from scratch freedom-oriented communities and spasms of spontaneous order.  People may finally awaken and look at their neighbors and try to do the right thing. They may seek a system that asks, persuades and cooperates instead of bullies, collectivizes and forces through violent means the shape and texture of human relationships. They will be the vanguard of the men and women who finally awaken from the five millennia fever-dream of enabling various strangers the power of life and death over thousands and millions simply because they have surrendered the most basic right of all; leave us the hell alone.

Turn off the television, grab a book(s) and have conversations with family and like-minded friends. Go out and do things. Start a garden, fix your fencing, move to the country and reach out to the community you live in. Open your mind to the possibilities before us. Most of all, question every aspect of your relationship with authority. Does it derive from fear or respect? Does it emanate from first-hand experience or second-hand knowledge? How many times have you truly asked why a certain bureaucratic edict must be followed? More importantly, what is your line in the sand where your servitude stops and your resistance begins? Just say no to big government. Once a man establishes his limitations for tolerance of interference in his life and adopts a resolute stand against the forces buffeting him against his will, the world will change.

If you are still reading this, you are the Resistance.

June 23, 2009

William Buppert and his homeschooled family live in the high desert in the American Southwest.

Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

William Buppert Archives

*Originally posted at Mr. Wilson's blog/discussion board at
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« Last Edit: 2012-March-11 06:01:36 PM by DennisLeeWilson » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 2010-January-02 01:36:11 PM »

Articles that "call" for the Covenant of Unanimous Consent

In my TLE article "Why I think the Covenant is more important than the Constitution" ( ) I quote from an article by William Buppert titled "Question Authority: Always and Forever Hereafter" that summarizes why I think it important to explore the virtues of and possible applications for the Covenant of Unanimous Consent. I also note that Buppert's article was obviously NOT written with the Covenant in mind--BUT IT AND MANY MORE LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN!

The same points that I made in my article also apply to the excellent TLE article "Smashing: Fail; Withdrawing: Epic Win" ( ) by Jim Davidson. (attached below)

L. Neil Smith's 1985 Covenant of Unanimous Consent ( ) is a timely method, tactic or tool that people can utilize to withdraw support from tyranny as described by Etienne de la Boetie and to attempt to achieve the Agorism that Jim describes.

Dennis Lee Wilson
Signatory: Covenant of Unanimous Consent

Dear Editor,

Dennis makes a compelling point.  The covenant of unanimous consent
is an excellent document, thoughtfully written, and composed to
generate many opportunities for the first time reader to actually
think about what it means to consent to be governed.

I have often been remiss in mentioning it in my various essays,
though I've done my best in several cases.  In some ways, I simply
assume that people who are really determined to be free are going
to find the covenant's terms agreeable.

Making any assumption about people is usually a poor choice. Or,
as several people have pointed out, no one has ever gone broke by
underestimating the intelligence of the American people.


« Last Edit: 2010-March-31 03:32:26 PM by DennisLeeWilson » Logged

Objectivist & Sovereign Individual
Creator of Atlas Shrugged Celebration Day & Artemis Zuna Trading Post
Signatory: Covenant of Unanimous Consent
Creator of this site
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Posts: 1331

Existence exists & Man's mind can know it.

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« Reply #2 on: 2010-January-02 01:41:48 PM »

Number 549, December 20, 2009

Smashing: Fail; Withdrawing: Epic Win
by Jim Davidson

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Smashing the state sounds elegant, but is wrong. Etienne de la Boetie was right in advocating that we let the tyranny fall by withdrawing our support.

Some people think they want the order the state provides. When they see attacks on the state, efforts to smash it, they see those as reasons to strengthen the state. So smashing at the state often makes things worse.

Efforts to smash the state don't often succeed—the number of failed rebellions in history far outnumbers the number of successful revolutions. But suppose you do succeed? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Whatever you build that is strong enough to destroy the state that oppresses you is going to be stronger than that state. And therefore it is going to be desirable to those who seek to oppress others, either the old crowd using new phrases to hide their views, or a new crowd. Time and again through history we see people building up something strong enough to resist tyranny and finding it perverted, sooner or later, into something even worse.

The Greeks formed leagues to resist Xerxes and tore their society apart a few decades later in the Peloponnesian wars. The same leagues they formed mutated into tyranny over their city states.

The Americans formed a continental government to overthrow Britain. It was mutated into the constitution which has authorised all the tyranny we now suffer, or was powerless to prevent any of it. (I think it is the former, and by design.)

If we are going to avoid the same mistakes, over and over and over and over, it is important to understand what has gone before. That's why it is so important to read works of literature, philosophy, and practical politics in their original. You can't understand things by reading some other person's interpretation of ideas—what was interpreted ten minutes ago for someone else isn't going to match your situation right now.

Raise up free markets. Raise up the spontaneous order of the market. Raise up the agora. Not to smash the state, but to obviate it. Not to make it the victim, and encourage its supporters to give it more power, but to make it the bully. Show the surplus order of the state for what it is, so that people choose to abandon it.

What do I mean by surplus order? I mean exactly what Alvin and Heidi Toffler meant in 1990's Powershift: Wealth, Knowledge, and Violence on the edge of the 21st Century. They meant to distinguish between the order that ordinary people want—to be able to walk down the street without being attacked by riot police, to cross a border without being beaten and arrested, to enter a shop without being raped, to operate a shop without endless shop lifting. That sort of basic order is the order of the free market, and widely available.

Surplus order imposes riot police wherever there are protesters, border police at every border crossing, a security camera in every bathroom, a surveillance net for every phone call. Surplus order is when the state revokes passports, sets up a barricade at every airport and train station, kicks in doors at 3 a.m., and drags parents away from their screaming children. Such surplus order does nothing for the people living in communities. It serves only those who control the state.

Withdrawing: Epic Win
In 1999, the IRS was called on the carpet by Congress. During Congressional hearings on brutality and abuses of power, the IRS was asked to justify their vicious attacks on individuals and private property.

One of the answers they gave was that, in their view, about sixty million Americans who "ought" to be filing tax papers every year do not. At the time, I think there were about 280 million Americans as far as the government was concerned, and perhaps 220 million of those were adults. Figure that 20 million were not expected to file for various reasons, like being elderly or in hospitals or in prisons or such. That leaves 200 million expected tax filers, of whom 30% were not filing.

The figures these days are, if anything, more weighted toward non-compliance. The last figure I saw from the IRS suggested something like 130 million individual income tax filers. The latest figure I have on population (doubtful, since it is a gov't figure) is 307.5 million. If we take out about 87.5 million for being under age or such, that leaves us 220 million population today. So over 40% are now non-compliant. Of course, these figures are guesses and estimates, and I don't believe the government can count that high, nor that it knows anything about the real population numbers, nor that they would tell us if only 100 million were filing.

Here's an interesting factoid. About 131 million people voted for any candidate in the 2008 presidential election. See [this link] and gross up the figures on McCain and Obama by a bit more than 1.6 million other votes. Which compares very closely to the number bothering to file taxes.

In other words, non-participation in government, by choice, seems to be the American way.

If we just look at the raw population figures, and determine that we won't make children under 18 "unpersons" or "second class citizens" as I think they ought to be counted as whole, real humans, we get about 43% compliance with taxes or participation in voting. (By this way of thinking, Obama was elected by less than 23% of the people he claims to rule.)

So, in other words, about 57% of the population is either denied the opportunity to vote based on various criterion (formerly felon, currently under age, currently in mental hospital, etc.) or chooses not to vote (and often not to register). About that same percentage of the population doesn't comply with tax filing.

I think this non-participation and non-compliance is likely to get larger as time goes on. The advantages of complying seem to be very few, and the punishment for making even trivial mistakes on tax forms is hell itself. As more people conclude that they would rather be private contractors than employees, and as more businesses agree to reduce their paperwork by engaging contractors rather than hiring (and also reduce their payroll tax obligations and many other costs) there is going to be a dwindling minority involved in "the system" as compliant individuals.

True, the vast majority of these people don't really care what Voltairine de Cleyre wrote, nor ever read a single word by her. But, so what?

If you want to have a civilisation, you ought to start building one, now. Or, as Gandhi said, when asked what he thought of Western civilisation, "It would be a good idea."

I've been thinking over something that I saw recently, attributed to Benjamin Tucker, as I recall. It said that the wealth stolen out of the mouth of labor has mostly been stolen by usurers. And I've been thinking about how that's basically true, though considerable wealth has also been stolen out of the mouth of capital, that way, too. Labor and capital are restricted to certain markets, certain sources of financing.

Why is there a New York Stock Exchange and not an Atlanta Stock Exchange? Why isn't there a stock exchange in every town and village? Why isn't there a proliferation of free market monetary systems and free market banking services?

The answer is that the monopolists use the power of the state to attack and destroy anyone like Dr. Doug Jackson, MD, or Bernard von NotHaus, or many others I could name, for daring to challenge the state's monopoly on the issue power of money, or dare to challenge the state's licensing of certain corrupt banking enterprises.

The way to reduce the toll of usury is not to attack it and ban it—that never works. The answer is to eliminate the privileges for it, make it prevalent, and have competition reduce the value of financial services to a market clearing price. Given how many people can do arithmetic, that should be a very low price.

There are many ways to withdraw support. One is to stop supporting the very businesses and industries, such as banking, such as the airlines, that have corrupted the government to monopolise their line of work. Take your money out of the banks, buy gold and silver instead. Stop using credit cards and checkbook money, and operate on cash, or barter for commodity money whenever possible. Stop traveling by airline—if you have time to spare, go by air. You can still fly, but use a private plane, or hire a private pilot, privately.

Entrepreneurs, bless them, keep developing new alternatives to the government's issue power over money. Many of these are available, today. Some work with very effective encryption software—and if you are going to avoid answering difficult questions, you really ought to learn to keep your financial affairs private.

Don't like the choices on offer? Come up with your own. Ithaca hours, Berk-shares, and other local currencies have been invented by various people to serve different needs.

The last thing you want is to find one answer to fit everyone, because that creates a centralisation problem. If you don't think centralising is a bad idea, look at how much gold and silver were stolen from e-gold and Liberty Dollar in 2007 and get back to me about that.

Where else can you withdraw? Incandescent light bulbs have been made with many different materials since 1804. The technologies involved include glass blowing and soldering. Not exactly complex stuff. Maybe someone in your neighborhood can help you with light bulbs that don't benefit General Electric, one of the biggest and nastiest of the defense contractors (aka death merchants).

Electricity can be made many ways. Why are you on the grid? You are on the grid because it is cheap and easy to be on the grid, for now. But consider supplementing with other sources—diesel generator, solar cells, windmill, a wood burning steam engine. Being dependent on a government granted monopoly with a bureaucracy and a few big power plants might not be the best way to survive. You probably already have emergency supplies for lighting and heating if the system falters during an ice storm or some other disaster. Keep going that way toward having independence from the monopolists.

Everyone has choices to take. You don't have to get off the power grid, and you may have excellent reasons not to. You don't have to get out of the banking system, and you might have great ideas about what to do with it. But the more you work at withdrawing your support for the licensees and the people who get the benefit of corruptly allocated government contracts and special laws to raise up barriers to entering certain markets, the better.

Agorism is a market based philosophy—from the Greek word "agora" meaning market. Some weeks back, I came up with a backronym to emphasise certain parts of the philosophy: Avoiding Government and Operating Realistic Individualistic Sensible Markets. AGORISM.

Consider an encrypted root laptop for your business records. Consider a virtual privacy network for your web surfing. Consider encrypting e-mails, especially about business decisions. Consider being your own boss. Think about ways to get off the grid, avoid using your identity papers, work with people who know you and trust you and don't need to have you fill out a W4 or make a copy of your identity papers.

The life you save may be your own. The civilisation you help build may be worth living in.

Jim Davidson is an anti-war activist involved in the divestment project detailed at He is also an author and entrepreneur. His latest book is anticipated in December 2009.
« Last Edit: 2013-November-22 07:16:40 PM by DennisLeeWilson » Logged

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