Sunday, February 23, 2014

The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction"

After about six months of publication, my book is #87 of the top 100 in the following Amazon Kindle category: Books> Legal Theory & Systems> Judicial Systems.

I almost didn't write the following, because how immodest it may appear But there's too much at stake here, so I have. This is a very important book. There is nothing like it. It can influence contemporary political thinking in the United States.
 
As those of you who know me and/or my legal and other work, I did not write this book to make money. I wrote it for another kind of profit: To make the case about what has been wrong with the American constitutional/legal system from Day One--in the hope that recognition of the disease might lead to a cure, or at least an amelioration of symptoms.

At the risk of repeating myself, here are the Preface and Introduction to The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction." [Notes have been omitted.]

**********

Preface


Like many other Americans, for years I’ve been deeply concerned about our nation’s future. My fears have been exacerbated in the past three years because of the often lawless, anti-American, recklessly incompetent reign of Barack Obama. Worse, his presidency will continue for another year. Even worse, he might be reelected.

In light of that possibility, consider a recent report in The Weekly Standard of a survey commissioned by the American Revolution Center, which found that nearly 83 percent of Americans failed a simple test of knowledge about the founding of the United States of America. 

Many of our fellow citizens believe that the founding principles of this nation are passé, that the Declaration of Independence’s ringing endorsement of republican institutions, individual rights, and limited government is outdated, that the Constitution’s creation of a representative republic belongs to a time gone by, and that the Bill of Rights is not a restraint on government but rather a source of newly found, invented “rights.”

Along with this woeful ignorance, and largely because of it, the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights—rooted in republican institutions, individual rights and limited government—are under an unprecedented attack by Barack Obama and his far left Democratic Party, aided and abetted by the complicit mainstream media, unions, academia, and entertainment industry. To say nothing of many courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States in more than a few cases.
Employing and legitimizing the exercise of statist power, the Supreme Court of the United States has facilitated state legislatures and Congress in their sacrifice of individual rights to the common good, and made a mockery of the Founders’ creation of a limited government.

But with a few notable exceptions there is hardly any knowledgeable, explicit and principled defense of our Constitution and Bill of Rights to be found anywhere.

Not on radio, television, or in Hollywood. Not in the press. Not at the grassroots. Certainly not in academia. Nor, sadly, emanating from many Republicans, Conservatives, and Libertarians. Most of the media’s pontificating so-called constitutional experts, especially those on national television, usually do more harm than good because they spread disinformation that is neither knowledgeable nor principled. And note, for example, the Republican presidential candidates’ pitiful and embarrassing “debates.”

While many Tea Party activists and other patriots have been valiantly fighting for core constitutional values, many of them are disarmed because they’ve been taught little about American constitutional law. In order to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, everyone fighting for America today needs to know much more about these two documents than most of them know.
Those who are committed to fighting for America’s future are obligated to acquire at least a basic understanding of the Constitution’s origins and birth, its written text, the manner in which it has been deliberately violated, and the consequences of how it has been deliberately misinterpreted by its enemies. 

Because of the importance of our struggle, about eighteen months ago I put aside most of my writing and legal work to offer a twenty-hour, ten-lecture Internet course on American constitutional law (Those unfamiliar with my credentials and my commentaries on legal and political issues can peruse my blog, http://www.henrymarkholzer.blogspot.com, and my website, http://www.henrymarkholzer.com.) The Internet course was successful, but some of the listeners expressed disappointment that the lectures weren’t available in a permanent text form.

They are now.

The entire twenty hours of lectures have been transcribed, and I have edited them for a less extemporaneous, more polished presentation, and added new material.

The result of my labors is this book: The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction. Because my goal is to maximize readership—especially during the months before the November 2012 election—The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction is priced at $4.99. It is now available on most digital readers, including Kindle. [Note: it is now $2.99 on Kindle.]

If you find The American Constitution and Ayn Rand's "Inner Contradiction worthwhile, I have two requests. One is that you inform everyone you know about this project, and ask them to do the same. This goes double for all Tea Partiers, because most of them have their own lists containing the names of like-minded folks. Second, please write a positive review on Kindle and as many other places as possible.

Introduction


I’ve written this book for two reasons. First, to provide patriotic Americans with an overview of the Constitution’s most important provisions as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States. At the same time, I want to demonstrate something unknown to virtually all Americans: that foundational to every political, social, economic and legal system are ethical principles, and that from our nation’s earliest days to the present there has been an ethical leitmotif running through the Court’s most important decisions affecting individual rights and limited government. Not all their decisions, but many—and some of the most important ones.

As to that leitmotif, that recurring theme, a short version of my personal journey to its discovery will be useful.

In law school, I studied English common law and its influence on the American legal system. What I learned was a revelation. I came to realize that from the days of the common law to my days in law school in the late 1950s, the principles of individual rights and limited government had consistently been sacrificed to what was perceived as “the common good.” I learned, as we shall see in Chapter 1, that the ink was barely dry on the Bill of Rights when the new federal government began to violate individual rights and renege on the constitutional promise of limited government. (The states had done so even before the Bill of Rights was enacted.)

In almost every law school course (especially Constitutional Law) dealing with the power of the government and its delicate (and usually adverse) relationship to individuals (especially constitutional law, it quickly became apparent to me that much of the blame for violating those rights and repudiating that promise fell on state and federal courts in general and the Supreme Court of the United States in particular—the latter, ironically, the supposed guardian of the Constitution. 

The problem wasn’t with any particular court at any particular time, or even with whether particular judges were “liberals” or “conservatives.” The problem was that the state and federal judiciaries consistently upheld the constitutionality of laws enacted by legislatures and approved by executive branches that violated the principles of individual rights and limited government. 

From the time I graduated in 1959 until 1972 I practiced privately, specializing in constitutional law. I represented, among others: defectors fleeing communism for freedom in the West; physicians choking on government over-regulation, who couldn’t properly serve their patients; young men resisting the draft and the nightmare of Vietnam; “gold bugs” seeking to protect their assets from government-induced inflation and other schemes to destroy wealth; political candidates struggling against First Amendment–strangling campaign finance laws; publishers defying censorship; asylum-seekers battling the then-INS; homeowners trying to preserve their neighborhoods from do-gooder housing-integration federal judges; and students on the wrong end of affirmative action programs.

In general, I represented constitutionalists challenging, and defending themselves against, the explosion of government power that violated the principles of individual rights and limited government.

In 1972, while continuing my full-time law practice, I became a full-time law professor.

For many of those years of practicing, teaching and writing, a recurring question bedeviled me: What subverted America’s founding principles of individual rights and their necessary corollary, limited government?
  
I found the answer to that question—and the leitmotif of this book—in an eight-word sentence written by the late Ayn Rand: “America’s ‘inner contradiction’ was the altruist-collectivist ethics."


**********
 Amazon reviews, even simple blurbs, continue to be welcome--especially in this political climate, where more and more politicians (e.g., Cruz, Paul, Ryan) openly acknowledge some influence from Ayn Rand on their thinking.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014