Guest Post: The Case For A Constitutional Convention In 2016

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Case For A Constitutional Convention In 2016

That which is unsustainable will go away, and the Status Quo is unsustainable on multiple levels.

Now that the billion-dollar theatrics between various vested interests have finally concluded, it's time to ask if there is an end-game to Imperial over-reach and corporatocracy.

The Status Quo won--no surprise there, as there was no other choice offered.

The Imperial Presidency won, too, of course; anyone anywhere can still be assassinated by order of the Imperial President, regardless of their citizenship. Anyone can be labeled "an enemy of the State" and either liquidated (high fives all around!) or crushed by the Espionage Act (transparency is a crime), Patriot Act (dissent is also criminal), the NDAA, or maybe another Executive Order.

The neofeudal Aristocracy also won, as vested interests were free to buy "free speech" in unlimited quantities.

Everyone at the trough of the Central State won, as the welfare state--personal transfers and corporate welfare, there's something for everyone--has created its own Id Monster, the tyranny of the majority: Tyranny of the Majority, Corporate Welfare and Complicity (April 9, 2010).

This pursuit of self-interest guarantees that the Savior State will lurch off the fiscal cliff at some point, much to the dismay of everyone feeding off it; it was supposed to be permanent, right? Alas, as the Buddha taught, permanence is illusory, even for global Empires.

Unfortunately for the Status Quo, this is the apogee of "extend and pretend." When the wheels finally come off the global economy in 2013, the Status Quo will not be able to "save the day" by lowering interest rates to zero--interest rates have already been zero for four years.

The Powers That Be will not be able to "save the day" by borrowing and blowing $1.3 trillion a year in "free money," because we've already been borrowing and blowing $1+ trillion every year for four years.

The Federal Reserve won't be able to "save the day" by buying $80 billion in Treasuries and mortgages every month--the infamous QE--it's already buying $80 billion a month, and has been doing so for four years.

That means the bag of tricks to "save us from recession" is finally empty. The next recession will sink its teeth into the Savior State and all the protected fiefdoms and cartels with a vengeance built up by four years of "extend and pretend."

The failure of "extend and pretend" and the Status Quo that sold it as the "fix" opens up the possibility that crisis will lead to real reform, the kind that requires a Constitutional Convention.

The Constitution allows for Constitutional Conventions, though one has never been called. In effect, every major 80-year crisis (the Civil War and World War II) was resolved with borrowed money, abundant cheap energy and an expansion of presidential powers.

Now that we're in a debt hole that deepens every day, and the Imperial Presidency already has virtually unlimited power, these are no longer solutions, they have become the problem.

A Constitutional Convention might focus on the four primary threats to democracy:

1. The corruption of elections. Perhaps corporations should not be considered people, regardless of what our intellectually bankrupt Supreme Court thinks. Perhaps publicly funded elections that cannot be corrupted with unlimited cash are an essential feature of authentic democracy.

2. The unlimited ability to borrow and monetize. No doubt the nation needs the flexibility to borrow money in times of crisis and war, but it is wise to enable unlimited borrowing and monetization via the Federal Reserve? The ability to borrow is a form of self-destruction which we will experience soon enough. Perhaps the Federal Reserve and the State's ability to borrow should be eliminated and we should start over with a system that isn't based on artifice and perception management.

3. The Imperial Presidency was not what the Founding Fathers had in mind--it was precisely what they feared. Perhaps it is time to revisit limitations on Presidential powers.

4. Post-Imperial America. Empire is affordable as long as the Empire can scoop up enough wealth via expansion to fund its ever-higher overhead. Once the inflow of wealth falls behind the rising costs of Empire, the Empire collapses. The Constitution doesn't preclude global Empire, but perhaps it should. Is Empire and the Imperial Presidency what America is about, or should be about?

2015 sounds like a decent year for crisis that cannot be wished away with perception management and "extend and pretend" financial slight-of-hand. That which is unsustainable will go away, and the Status Quo is unsustainable on multiple levels.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Mercury's picture

Never going to happen.  We're extraconstitutional at this point.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"Never going to happen without blood and civil war"  -  fixed.


Sorry, all I see is lazy sheep, so you are correct.  Long sharecropping, black markets, and all things physical.

Mercury's picture

50 separate constitutional we're talkin' :)


pods's picture

To be honest we would need 10+ years of open discussion of liberty, and who actually owns your body before any of this would work.

I do think that people will learn exactly who is responsible for their own life in a few short years.

Might have to see if johngaltfla still has that series on his website?  That might be a good start.


Mercury's picture

The pro-government expansionists have won at least three national elections in a row (I’m being generous about Bush 2’s first term) and they don’t seem to have been constrained much by the constitution we already have so I don’t know where this groundswell of support for a stricter constitution is going to come from.

redpill's picture

Which begs the question, why in the world would you want the current band of statist motherfuckers to be in charge of rewriting what's left of our Constitution?


mjcOH1's picture

If it were either treason or could make a difference it would already be illegal.

pods's picture

I think that Lysander Spooner is looking more and more correct as time goes by:

But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.-Lysander Spooner 

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Yes, the very fact that we are in the position we are in with our current Constitution tells us that we never should have abandoned the Articles of Confederation.

kralizec's picture

Had a buddy getting his graduate degree in early american history try to make that same point, of course we didn't so I cannot prove it, but I believe it highly likely the north american continent would be the vassals of various european powers had that happened.  But whatever, like that would have sucked any more or less than this end?

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

the US is a vassal of various european powers-that-be.

pods's picture

I think we can narrow that down to the City of London.


Raymond K Hessel's picture

The Articles are soft porn version of the Constitution.  The AoC is the lube that allowed federal government to slowly glide into our collective arse-hole.

Mercury's picture

Well...exactly.  It will be like making a big to-do about bringing democracy to the Mid-East and then being shocked by what they vote for.

The (original) Bill of Rights would be reduced to sex and shopping.  And the president has had a "second bill of rights" in mind for a long time now.

The "Imperial Presidency" will decline anyway though...but it will be replaced with more international authority over Americans' lives.

XitSam's picture

A Constitutional Convention is the worst idea ever. Better read Article 5. Note the "or by conventions in three fourths thereof" for ratification.  Nothing about how those state ratificaton conventions are convened. It doesn't have to be state legislatures!

Urban Redneck's picture

That is 38 states, drop the 6 most radical at each end of the spectrum, and find an acceptable compromise amongst the remainder.

For Example, if a neutral outcome was desired, the "wishes" of the following 12 States could be entirely ignored, and it list could be shifted L/R but the difficulty is finding common ground (which is a lost skill in America)

Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arkansas,

Vermont, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, California

When enough people finally wake up and realize that the current system is unsalvageable, compromise will be necessary.

It's a long way off, but probably a good idea to have a road-map just in case the country does finally get its head out of its ass...

gckings19's picture

3 things i would want

1.  take away the power of the congress to levy special targeted taxes or to give targeted tax breaks.  this will reduce the power of the congress as they will not be able to dole out favors or punish industries that they do not like.  taxes should apply to everyone or no one.

2.  Agencies need to have their rules approved by congress.  the red tape must stop.  it is choking the life out of our economy.  Also states should be able to opt out of these agency rules thru referendum....if 7/10 majority votes for it then the state can opt out of EPA, energy, education rules......give the states back their power.

3.  Congress must pass a budget.......if they dont then it stays flat. for the next year.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Spot on redpill.  But liberty dies to thunderous applause, and I saw plenty of applause last night.  Sheep with smiles from ear to ear.  Ra, Ra, Ra more Gubbamint!!!

slickrock's picture

I thought it was 56, isn't that how many states Bam-Bam visted in his last term?

Karlus's picture

Civil war is exactly what Russia is hoping for. Let the two sides fight it out and then move in on the winner.


Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Exactly. Secession and political crisis are inevitable, and we have played into the Soviet's hands. Empirically, Obama has proven to have been the most effective Soviet agent ever employed.

kralizec's picture

Now like then, we only need to encourage sloth, laziness, and all manner of unproductive endeavor designed to collapse the system.

LawsofPhysics's picture

I still do business in Russia and they have numerous problems of their own.  What part of the earth is drowning in fiat don't you understand?

lolmao500's picture

Yep. History teaches us that no problem of this magnitude is fixed with voting or protests. Only blood will solve it... and the blood of the innocent will be shed much more than the blood of the guilty.

marathonman's picture

The tree of liberty needs fertilizing.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Just like the Commander in Chief is never going to get arrested by his subordinates in the military... until he is.

HappyCamper's picture

A Constitutional Convention could happen, but it would be a convention run by despots. 

seek's picture

Exactly. a Constitutional convention is the last thing anyone wanting freedom or to fix the system should want.

A CC is like the root password to hacking government, any change you want -- including very negative ones -- becomes trvial.

A far better approach would be a package of amendments agreed upon by the states for ratificiation.

However, the reality is we're operating extraconsitutionally already, and the supreme court is a branch of federal government that simply doesn't recognize state's rights anymore --the 10th amendment is pretty clear on state's rights, that those are a distant memory; so any new changes could be just as easily overridden by the supremes as the current document is.

We won't have real change until power reverts back to the states and the people, which most likely means not until the union is disolved (and possibly reformed.)

cougar_w's picture

Corporations will be all over a CC like white on rice. They'll throw money around and buy themselves an entirely new form of government. Who needs consumers? All they want is slave labor. You'll get a Middle Ages Feudal slave-State so fast it will make your head spin.

Flakmeister's picture

Again you demonstrate that you are one of the more lucid observers here....

Abiotic Oil's picture

I'd be afraid a ConCon would go more like the fictional one does in the Enemies trilogy by Matt Bracken.

Really if they would just follow the first one as written and elminate the federal USC, we'd be good to go.  The founders wrote it taking into account their vast knowledge of human history and human nature and, if actually followed, put in place a great set of checks and balances.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

+1 for Matt Bracken reference.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Lulz.  What's the over/under on the number of pages of the next Constitution?

Urban Redneck's picture

75 pages (with footnotes and lots of white space)

While the US congress critters were busy shredding Glass-Steagall and passing the CFMA in the 90's- a bunch of bankers, bible beaters, tree huggers, and welfare queens got together in the Swiss Alps actually managed to agree on a new Federal Constitution, which was largely based upon their 1874 Constitution. So it is possible, the problem is that neither the People, nor the Politicians, in the United States are ready for it (yet). It's a little bit wordy and politically correct, but then it was written by Europeans-

Ghordius's picture

+1 best Constitution ever written, best balance between Confederation, Sovereign States and Individuals, best everything.

btw the Swiss cheat:

1) they picked the best out of the US Constitution.

2) they had a successful 1848 liberal revolution first, and then a civil war that settled the question of centralization of power - even though the decentralizers lost they got most of what they wanted

3) They start the paper with "In the Name of the Almighty God!" (including exclamation mark)

4) They have the draft: yes, every able male is armed, there, is in the militia (this is that part of the US 2nd that they took very seriously), and it's the federal government that supplies the assault rifle and the ammo that he takes home and keeps there.

5) That paper is a living document in earnest: it's constantly changed through referenda.

6) Several key sovereign powers were never granted to the Confederation. Example: there is no federal police

7) The bottom level of their social security net is based on the community. If you are on the street, your "community-of-citizenship/origin" has to take care of you. But it might be a small village in the mountains instead of the city where you'd like to be a welfare queen.

Flakmeister's picture

 Don't confuse people with details...

hidingfromhelis's picture

The Constitution I worry about is the one that's 3,000+ pages long, not completed yet, that has to be approved before knowing what's in it, and that we're not allowed to view even after it's ratified.

FWM's picture

Unfortunately, "the people" in the USA will never be ready for that nifty, politically correct Constitution, since they are no longer Europeans.  I mean where were the busloads of Somalis to go along with their "bankers, bible beaters, tree huggers, and welfare queens?"

Urban Redneck's picture

the busloads of Somalis are in Geneva

JPM Hater001's picture

I think they will get together but nothing useful will be achieved.  At best they make plastic silverware unconstitutional.

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ Mercury,

No, we're Fascist at this point.

thedrickster's picture

A constitutional convention in an epoch where the average Amerkian mushhead has been transformed into a state worshipping partisan? No thanks.

The FedGov no longer even pays lips service to the existing constitution, what the hell would it matter?

spastic_colon's picture

exactly....welcome back to office, obama, soros, buffett and bernanke

Bastiat's picture

You forgot Jarret and Holder.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Indeed as you say,

« no longer even pays lips service to the existing constitution »

A million lawyers in America and yet no legal force of any significance opposing the gangster US bribed judges who regularly invent excuses as to why the older US Constitution does not apply

The lawyers like heroic Richard Fine in L.A., get instantly disbarred, even jailed, if they oppose the bribed judges

It's gonna be the same gangster US judges and lawyers with any new paper 'Constitution'

Soviet Union had many pretty words in its 'Constitution' too ... did not mean shite

pods's picture

Lawyers are just another captured class to fight within the system. 

The BAR system is the gatekeeper, tossing out those who would ask the tough questions.

Not to be confused with the BAR, which would be a great piece to have and will more than likely be useful in the coming years.