John Locke, the Fed, and the Constitution

One might read “The Second Treatise of Government” to see how far we have drifted from the work John Locke authored on government, and the source from which Thomas Jefferson and James Madison drew wisdom.  The skeleton of a fair, representative, and working government must have certain tenets to be effective in its purposes.  When departures from these principles occur, Locke referred to the condition as “roots cut and fountains poisoned.”

Perhaps on the expansion of “executive orders” and “czars” authoring hamstringing regulations, both to the point of law-making, Locke’s quotes are pertinent.  (This could also apply to legislating from the bench.)

“The power of the legislative, being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws and place it in other hands.” Second Treatise of Government, #141

Regarding the Federal Reserve and their promotion of inflation in tandem with zero interest rates and the concept of negative interest rates, both of which are certainly a tax instituted by central bankers, Locke may be referenced.

“For if anyone shall claim a power to lay and collect taxes on the people, by his own authority and without the consent of the people, he thereby invades the fundamental law of property and subverts the end of government; for what property have I in that which another may by right take, when he pleases…?”  Second Treatise of Government, #140

What say you, oh unelected central banker?

And as for the requirement of fair government that the legislators live by the laws they pass, not to be insulated from the effects of the Affordable Care Act, insider trading rules, and many other instances of special exemptions, Locke said:

“They are to govern by promulgated established laws, not to be varied in particular cases, but to have one rule for rich and poor, for the favorite at court and the countryman at plough.”  Second Treatise of Government, #142

Madison noted this in his Federalist #57: “…they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends.”

And finally, Locke spoke of the “breach of trust” and the “arbitrary will” of the supreme executor.  The reader is free to draw his own connections and conclusions to contemporary events.

“What I have said here concerning the legislative in general holds true also concerning the supreme executor, who having double trust put in him- both to have a part in the legislative and the supreme execution of the law- acts against both when he goes about to set up his own arbitrary will as the law of society.” .”  Second Treatise of Government, #222

“Arbitrary will” – an interesting term.  It must include instances that have now been painted as “prosecutorial discretion” in illegal immigration and federal drug law enforcement.  It also must include executive orders that create law or alter its original intent.

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