A Nation Of Villeins

Thoughts on our current state from Michael Auslin:

…in relations with the federal government, we are increasingly seen and treated as serfs, with no protections save what the lord at the time deigns to give us. The courts have long acted as a type of lord, arbitrarily decreeing what our freedoms should be; now they are joined by an activist president and his minions. The apparatus of the state towers over the representatives of the people, half of whom currently support the ever-encompassing grasp of government, the other half being too fractured and outmaneuvered to champion the rights of individuals (and usually reversed when a president of a different party is in power). Rather than legally passed legislation, it is executive order that more and more determines the nature of the interaction between villein citizens and the government. Let us be clear (to use a phrase currently in vogue), when the state gets to determine what counts as a religious organization, and when it determines what that organization must do, then we are not free men, but serfs to an increasingly confident master. That is the nub of the HHS-mandate ruling.

As he says, it may be time for a new Magna Carta.

17 thoughts on “A Nation Of Villeins”

  1. OK, so I finally feel like a serf. I just didn’t know the ‘definition’ all that well until now.

  2. If the drones reelect the Junior Commissar the Tea Partiers would make an excellent Americanized version of Mao’s Red Guards, which the he wanted to use to “bombard the headquarters”-get rid of the bureaucrats. But our Tea Partiers would just be a lot more polite than the Red Guards.

      1. Well said Rickl, well said.

        But MGG, the Red Guards were about Mao’s dissolution of anything traditionally Chinese, and finishing putting the icing on Mao’s RED China. Their goal was a (quicker) Chinese Workers Paradise, then a (eventual) Worldwide Workers Paradise, then a Universal Workers Paradise.

        (I guess they didn’t even consider an attempt to get all the little GREEN aliens into a RED Solar System)

        So, I’m fairly sure that Obama and his Idiot Minions ARE the Americanized version.

  3. I forgot to mention one thing in my previous post. To get King John to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede(?), the barons had to hold him at multiple sword points. Can modern Americans really to the same thing? Not with swords, of course.

    1. Do you mean hold ??? at gun point literally? I think so.

      Or do you mean, do the Americans have the stomach for threatening some person with ultimate bodily harm, if that person threatens their homes, families, livelihood or because that person threatens the country? I know so.

      If not, our military wouldn’t be turning people away. And there wouldn’t be a huge increase in gun and ammo sales since Obama took office.

  4. Yep…all the hard realities of life and freedom that were learned at great cost, from Homer’s Troy through the Age of Enlightenment are being totally forgotten as we regress back to a feudal state.

    And I believe it will accelerate….each layer of government will see what the layer above gets away with, and they do the same.

    Great work….

    1. In large part, multiculturalism has vaporized this, the ‘path of the West’, from its place as a core of the history curriculum.

      My daughters, (at ‘top’ schools in Seattle), did -not- cover Greece in depth. Nor did Rome receive enough attention. And I think there was essentially zero European/British history prior to WWI. Other than ‘Herebe Bloody Religious Wars’.

      There’s no need to -glorify- these stepping stones, but each step on the path has taught us important things:
      -Why- is pure Democracy a problem?
      -Why- are checks and balances important?
      -Why- is paying more than lip-service to a uniform written law useful?
      -Why- do we have responsibilities as Citizens?

  5. Mark Steyn – The Perversion of Rights Manages to encapsulate all this, quite entertaininly.


    “On the one hand, we have the plain language of the First Amendment as stated in the U.S. Constitution since 1791: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    On the other, we have a regulation invented by executive order under the vast powers given to Kathleen Sebelius under a 2,500-page catalogue of statist enforcement passed into law by a government party that didn’t even bother to read it.”

    “…..the clash between Obama and American Catholics — is, in fact, a perfect distillation of the broader struggle in the West today. When it comes to human rights, I go back to 1215 and Magna Carta — or, to give it its full name, Magna Carta Libertatum…..But they understood that “libertatum” is the word that matters. Back then, “human rights” were rights of humans, of individuals — and restraints upon the king: They’re the rights that matter: limitations upon kingly power. Eight centuries later, we have entirely inverted the principle: “Rights” are now gifts that a benign king graciously showers upon his subjects — the right to “free” health care, to affordable housing, the “right of access to a free placement service” (to quote the European Constitution’s “rights” for workers). ”

    “The transformation of “human rights” from restraints upon state power into a pretext for state power is nicely encapsulated in the language of Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that everyone has the right “to receive free compulsory education.” Got that? You have the human right to be forced to do something by the government.”

    “That’s the point about all this “free” stuff: Ultimately, it’s not about your rights, but about his.”

    Me again:

    Around 50% of the people of the US have forgotten WHY we have the Constitution that we have. They keep thinking it’s some 200 year old thinking with 200 year old situations that no longer apply.

    But in fact they do – that’s one reason our Constitution is so brief.

    The Founders understood people.

    They understood that when in power, human nature is to want to take more.

    They understood that rights are limitations on the government and NOT a shopping list of what the government ought to give you. This point is really key.

    They understood, for example, that government power meant that when you are arrested you can disappear into a dark hole and be forgotten until your bones are swept from the cell. That, in the past, the state had all the power and you – the accused – had zip. ESPECIALLY if you are poor and could not afford a Big Lawyer. So the Founders placed restraints on the State because you, intrinsically, had rights.

    I had, in a much earlier thread, wished for a reasonably succinct but useful definition of rights because we hear people saying we have a right to this or that in a most cavalier fashion.

    I found one:

    What Is a Right? by Andrew P. Napolitano

    “What is a right? …. Thinkers from St. Thomas Aquinas, to Thomas Jefferson, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pope John Paul II have all argued that our rights are a natural part of our humanity. We own our bodies, thus we own the gifts that emanate from our bodies. So, our right to life, our right to develop our personalities, our right to think as we wish, to say what we think, to publish what we say, our right to worship or not worship, our right to travel, to defend ourselves, to use our own property as we see fit, our right to due process — fairness — from the government, and our right to be left alone, are all rights that stem from our humanity. These are natural rights that we are born with. The government doesn’t give them to us and the government doesn’t pay for them and the government can’t take them away, unless a jury finds that we have violated someone else’s rights. ”

    “What is a good? A good is something we want or need. In a sense, it is the opposite of a right. We have our rights from birth, but we need our parents when we are children and we need ourselves as adults to purchase the goods we require for existence. So, food is a good, shelter is a good, clothing is a good, education is a good, a car is a good, legal representation is a good, working out at a gym is a good, and access to health care is a good. Does the government give us goods? Well, sometimes it takes money from some of us and gives that money to others. You can call that taxation or you can call it theft; but you cannot call it a right.

    If you like this site, please help keep it going and growing.

    A right stems from our humanity. A good is something you buy or someone else buys for you. “

  6. Actually serfs did have rights. Not equal to those of free men, and often honored in the breach, but they existed and were sometimes enforced; look up “Manorial court”.

    The word for a man with no rights, who can only hope for his master’s favorable consideration, is “slave”.

    1. I think this is an important distinction. Feudal society was built around a concept of reciprocity. The liege lord provided protection for his tenants. His tenants enjoyed freedom of movement, speech, whatever rights they could enforce on their own. The only thing tenants couldn’t do was hunt large game on the lord’s land.

      US citizens don’t even enjoy the rights of tenants in the modern states. We are more akin to slaves than serfs.

  7. As he says, it may be time for a new Magna Carta.

    What’s the point of getting a new Magna Carta, if the prince is no more likely to respect that than the old?

  8. Yup. And there’s a politician who understand this and has pledged that together we’re going to break up the Establishment CARTEL of corruption, political patronage, tax-payer financed “punishing our enemies and rewarding our friends.”

    Is there a man with soul so dead who never to himself has said, “I think the United States can be the biggest producer of energy in the world by the end of the decade”? yeah, if we’re smart we can. Find out how.

    Strong America, strong economy, money in your pocket: AMERICAN ENERGY 28:59 http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/02/28-minutes-to-energy-independence/#comments

    or if you like Mark Levin, brilliant author of Ameritopia, and have only about 15 minutes to devote to saving your own future and our economy —


    The Founding fathers thought that a wise people would keep their Republic, but that a foolish people would end up in a tyranny. How about some smart and wise reax from us.

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