Secession, Nullification, and Passive Non-Cooperation
Politics or Principle
by Scott Lazarowitz
“Politics or Principle” was the theme of Congressman Ron Paul’s farewell speech in 1984 and of his two presidential campaigns. Advocating the principle of Liberty is the theme of those in the libertarian school of thought, including the American Revolutionaries and Founders, who advocated individual freedom, private property rights, and freedom of association and voluntary contract. Throughout history, the State has been Liberty’s most egregious violator.
As sociologist and economist Franz Oppenheimer noted in his book, The State, there are two forms of sustenance: first, through one’s honest productive activity and voluntary exchange with others, or the economic means; and second, through theft and violence, the force and coercion of the State, or the political means. For that is what politics is: the aggression of the State, which is why the State’s actions can never be principled.
The Founders’ Declaration of Independence is probably one of the most succinct documents declaring that the rights to life, liberty and property are inherent among all individuals. The Constitution, however, assigned to a federal government one monopolistic power after another, and gave to centralized bureaucrats in Washington the power of compulsion over their fellow Americans. Such a restrictive monopoly and that power of compulsion contradicted the very rights recognized by the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration declares the principles of Liberty, but the Constitution is the politics and power of the aggressive, parasitic State.