AMENDING THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION

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AMENDING THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION

  1. 1. Pentagon AMENDING THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION TO MAKE IT MORE DEMOCRATIC AND TRADE UNION FRIENDLY Young students at one of America’s premier universities wanted potassium cyanide capsules made available to them in the event of a nuclear holocaust. This is the extent to which American political rallies and the media broadcasts had instilled the fear of Soviet communists. What young Americans had failed to notice was that the anti-communist stand was just another election campaign issue for Presidential candidates. Richard Nixon was elected twice after expressing his intense hatred for communists. It seemed as if Republicans and Democrats were competing with each other in generating a cultural prejudice against communists. It also left many impressionable young Americans with the worries of nuclear war, conscription, and divorce of parents. In some ways, the European politicians were also a part of the conspiracy to instill fear of communists in the minds of American politicians. During the twentieth century, the American and European capitalists created a world where 1 percent of the world’s wealthiest owned 40 percent of the wealth in the world. Furthermore, 10 percent of the wealthiest owned 80 percent of the wealth in the world. In America, the wealthiest 10 percent owned 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. Surely, these statistics do not speak well of American capitalism and democracy. However, Many intellectuals and scholars express the opinion that the White House administration would have launched a pre- emptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union if the Soviets had not stockpiled nuclear weapons. If the Soviets had exhibited militarily weakness, the White House administration might have carried out a pre-emptive strike. Through a fast paced nuclear buildup to match America’s arsenal, the Soviets might have actually prevented a dangerous nuclear holocaust. In the last century, starting wars in Europe was as easy as barbequing chickens on a Sunday afternoon. World War I was started by a Serbian student named Gavrilo Princip, and a 19 year old gentleman named Nedeljko Cabrinovic. According to Austrian investigators, Gavrilo Princip had equipped himself with a pistol while Nedeljko Cabrinovic carried a hand grenade. The young conspirators hatched a plan to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The politically motivated assassination set off an interesting chain of events that lead to World War I. The assassination plot that mobilized military units and started a world war rang alarm bells all over America. Half cooked ideologies carried by young student activists seemed to be tearing Europe apart. The involvement of students in European political culture rattled bureaucrats in America. Thereafter, it was thought desirable to insulate students from state politics. Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. After the world wars, the European economy was in a precarious condition. The European nations exaggerated the Soviet communist threat to have the White House invest in counter-attack nuclear weaponry on behalf of the nations in Europe. In a diametrically complimentary scenario, the White House administrations exaggerated the Soviet communist threat because America needed European nations within her sphere of influence. The communist threat would allow America to set up military bases in Europe. The European politicians had their own agendas. Many European nations wanted to retain a society of capitalism, and curtail military spending. The European politicians wanted their nations to be protected from Soviet intrusion, but were not prepared to invest their tax dollars in stockpiling weapons. A few European politicians wanted the White House to do the job of protecting them from Soviet communists. They wanted to get the White House entangled in their protection system, and have the White House place missiles in Europe. They used every opportunity on hand to exaggerate the Soviet threat and get America’s attention. Even British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tried to exaggerate the communist threat. Instead of investing in nuclear weapons, the Europeans wanted to conserve money and invest in lucrative business enterprises in America. Many companies located in Europe feared that socialism and nationalization could engulf their business enterprises. Therefore, European companies wished to make business investments in America. They were reasonably certain that their operations in America would be safe from communists. While the American capitalists had the White House administration set up military bases in Europe, the European capitalists set up lucrative businesses in America. To deal effectively with the socialist threats, many European drug companies set up manufacturing plants in New Jersey. For a new nation, any democratic system established on the rule of the poor majority could disregard the concerns of the rich minority. This was the inherent flaw in the conventional democratic structure. A democratic system could actually threaten the capitalists and the educated elite who were a minority within any society. Therefore, while framing the U.S. Constitution, James Madison from Virginia conceived an ingenious scheme where the majority of people would have very little control over the government. In the U.S. Constitution, while the votes of the common people mattered, they would have limited influence. In this ingenious system, the American President could be elected to lead the nation while disregarding public opinion. If we examine history carefully, it becomes evident that most Constitutions have been drafted in secrecy by the rich and intelligent ruling classes who wished to continue to have unlimited power over the ordinary citizens. The class in power try to convince ordinary citizens that the Constitution is so sacrosanct that it should not even be touched. Constitutions are always drafted in a deceptive language to make it appear to be for the benefit of the common citizens of a society. It is actually quite easy to change the constitution of a nation and make it less absurd. However, young Americans must understand that changing a constitution is not as easy as changing a flat tire of their automobile. In its original form, the U.S. Constitution was also drafted by wealthy aristocrats who wanted to keep power within their social class. The constitution also preserved the idea of racial inequality and Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. slavery. Historically, the American ideologies of liberty, freedom, and opportunity were only applicable to the upper class white Caucasian race. This ideology was never intended to apply to the poor Caucasians, Africans, or native Indians. It certainly did not seem to apply to the slaves working on American farms. The American constitution allowed the violation of civil rights of African slaves. As the people who drafted the Constitution were intelligent people belonging to the elite class, the aberrations in the constitution were no oversight. They were intentional. Therefore, the U.S. constitution, in its most pristine and original form was fundamentally very undemocratic. At one time in American history, the Supreme Court clarified that African slaves could not be considered citizens. Until slavery was legally abolished, the Supreme Court was not inclined to uphold racial equality. Moreover, those contesting the correctness of the interpretation could be charged with contempt of court. In the current context, a court could be delivering justice based on a constitution that was advocating injustice. Therefore, some nations can frame laws that are unjust to certain sections of society, and then have the courts operate using such laws. Segregation of whites and blacks was supported by law until 1954. Even during World War II, the American military observed segregation of white soldiers and black soldiers in the trenches. Over a period of several decades, as common citizens became more vigilant, the U.S. Constitution had to be amended to fall in line with the more democratic principles. However, it would be naive to believe that merely making an amendment to the constitution would suddenly change the perceptions that were deeply ingrained within a society. It would be reasonable to assume that many undemocratic institutional structures and racist ideologies could continue to persist for many more generations into the future. In 1898, after the Spanish-American war, Puerto Rico was acquired by America. The Puerto Ricans seemed to became second tier American citizens. From a legal perspective, they were looked upon as American citizens. However, from a social perspective, they encountered discrimination. All over the world, laws are written to help those in power exercise control over those not in power. This is one of the first lessons taught to students in political science in American colleges. In a democracy, all citizens have equal rights to unequal justice. In a modern democracy, all people are equal, but some people matter more than others. Laws are usually crafted to falsely convey the impression that all citizens are equal. In general, laws will help the practicing lawyers interpret the law in a way appropriate for the occasion. The Constitution was a hotly debated issue in the American countryside. Many poor Americans were inclined to be Anti-Federalists. The Anti-Federalists had observed that the U.S. Constitution was actually written secretively by an elite group of individuals with wealth and clout. Even the members of the Supreme Court were not elected through a democratic process. They were usually appointed by upper class wealthy citizens. Therefore, members of the Supreme Court, appointed by wealthy capitalists could not he easily held accountable by the common American people. The U.S. Constitution was to establish a Federal system of governance where an array of political Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. and legal powers were carefully distributed between the participating states and a central authority. Only the central authority would have the power to evolve foreign policies, and manage the military forces. Most politicians in America were lawyers by profession, and therefore had to earn a decent livelihood by practicing law. They knew that in a new democracy, very interesting situations could arise by making the Federal and State laws contradict each other. This would lead to lucrative practice. When Federal Laws and State Laws could contradict each other, citizens would get entangled in a complex legal mess. Therefore, seeking justice would become so expensive that only the rich and wealthy could seek it. The Anti-Federalists disapproved the constitution which seemed to covertly give the government too much power over common citizens. World history had demonstrated that laws were never applied equally to citizens. The Anti-Federalists opposed to the Constitution pointed out that the framed U.S. Constitution in its raw form did not explicitly, adequately, and sufficiently clarify the fundamental rights of individual citizens. It did not seem to guarantee them a reasonable degree of protection from oppression. Incidentally, the Federalists who swore by the constitution tended to be wealthy upper class citizens. The Anti-Federalists staged strong protests and distributed propaganda material in the form of pamphlets to enlighten the ordinary citizens. As the protests became too intense to manage, the Federalists bowed down to pressure and agreed to evolve a Bill of Rights for citizens. The Bill of Rights was to define the civil liberties for ordinary citizens. James Madison played a major role in drafting the Bill of Rights. However, because of the complexity of incorporation of the Bill of Rights into the American Constitution, it would generally involve an expensive legal process for ordinary citizens to obtain justice. America’s story of independence has an interesting side to it. To throw out the British, a wealthy man named George Washington came up with an astonishingly simple strategy, When independent factional state territories united to fight a war against the common enemy, the large land area became too unwieldy to manage for the invading British troops. British officers were not trained in effective tactics required for governing large land areas. Therefore, despite his best efforts, British Commander Lord Cornawallis lost battles in the united colonies of America and in India. Both these national territories had large land masses and were too big to handle. Throughout the twentieth century, politicians in America mislead ordinary citizens to believe that no other nation in the world offered as much freedom for free speech as America. As most American citizens and politicians lived insular lives, they were unaware that freedom existed to a far greater degree in most parts of Europe. Many nations in Europe granted communists and radicals the freedom to express their ideas. However, in a bizarre turn of events, many nations in Eastern Europe fell to communists. In fact, they fell rather suddenly, like trees whose trunks were cut off by electric chainsaws. The events in Eastern Europe sent a wave of panic through American political circles. However, such events did not invoke shock or alarm in European circles. European citizenry were more open to socialistic ideologies. In 1905, a labor movement was spearheaded by the Industrial Workers of Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. the World (IWW) in Chicago. These workers had threatened to defeat capitalism, but their threats were never taken seriously by Congressmen. Communists and other political radicals in England were allowed to express their opinions without drawing ire from their governments and politicians. The English politicians and the monarchy were willing to tolerate eccentric views to a far greater degree than American politicians. Interestingly however, the communists themselves did not endorse free speech. The first social component on a communist government’s agenda was the ruthless suppression of free speech. In other words, freedom of speech in Europe allowed communists to come to power and then brutally curtail free speech. It is such things that make state politics absurdly bizarre. Perhaps, modern industrial societies need a pool of sharp intellectuals to communicate with the common citizens and dutifully explain such anomalies. The English bred founding fathers were so big hearted and forgiving that they would have even allowed communists, subversives, anarchists, and lowly thugs the privilege of free expression. However, the new generation of immigrants from Germany and Ireland who arrived in America, saw a need to limit free speech. Thereafter, free speech in America did not allow the free expression of communistic ideologies or anti-war sentiments. In fact, the CIA compiled the names of nearly 10,000 young citizens who had participated in anti-war protests or peace movements. In America, those who opposed warfare were labeled as being unpatriotic. On the other hand, those who supported warfare and nuclear weapons research were called patriots. It was as if warfare and spiteful military aggression were honorable endeavors. This gives a fair idea of how an industrial society in the twentieth century could be completely misguided into holding a doctrine that supported fierce military aggression. Incidentally, during Adolf Hitler’s reign in the last century, the entire nation of Germany was misguided into embracing barbarism. Though the founding fathers of English descent had been in favor of complete freedom, the peril of communists as expressed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants was not completely unfounded. After communists came to power in Russia, they began to see Germany as a prime target. Nations in Europe that had allowed the privilege of free speech to communists eventually fell to communists. In Europe, communists often misused the free speech doctrine to incite violent revolutions. The German immigrants from Europe had first hand wisdom of he dangers of free speech. In fact, East Germany had fallen to communists. At one time in history, American citizens of German ancestry were accorded high social status in society. When Adolf Hitler came to power, and the Nazis began engaging in war crimes, there was a backlash against American citizens of German ancestry. Some German-Americans were Pro-Nazi, while some others were Anti-Nazi. Many German citizens in America decided to change their last names to gently conceal their German ancestry. At present, less than 15 percent of Americans have an English heritage. Nearly 18 percent have a German heritage, while about 15 percent have an Irish heritage. Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. As Germans and Irish Catholics were apprehensive, they were prone to be less liberal with free speech that endorsed communistic ideologies. Tidal waves of immigration were quickly turning America into a nation of factory workers. The labor unions were becoming very powerful in America. Capitalists were also threatened by the labor unions. There was a great danger of American labor unions embracing socialistic ideologies. The Teamsters became the most powerful labor union in America, and helped members successfully negotiate wages and working conditions. It is also alleged that funds from the union were being utilized by Cosa Nostra mobsters and gangsters in Las Vegas. The Teamsters also supported the Republicans. Until disappearing, a man named Jimmy Hoffa had represented the Teamsters union. In law enforcement circles, there is a strong suspicion that Jimmy Hoffa was liquidated by the Mafia. Incidentally, the Mafia seemed to have the know-how for making people disappear. Without a dead body, it would never be possible for a court of justice to confirm death. As German and Irish Catholics together made up 33 percent of the new American society, they formed a single majority to churn up strong anti-communist and anti-socialist sentiments. The American capitalists and politicians had reasons to worry that the peculiarly interesting ideas embedded within the framework of socialism or communism would find an appreciative audience in academic circles where intellectually inclined middle class citizens congregated to exchange ideas. Thomas Hobbes, an eminent English philosopher expressed the view that intellectuals incited revolutions. He also drew attention to the fact that university campuses had become epicenters from where serious political changes were initiated. In industrialized capitalistic societies, college professors who were overtly anti-establishment were generally denied tenure and a secure job. Over the years, academicians who were unconditionally supportive of big businesses, capitalism, imperialism, and the government were honored with tenure. The others were denigrated and dishonorably discharged. Most college professors came from middle class society, and tended to be covertly anti-establishment. Within the broad idea of freedom of speech in a democracy, American college professors were dissuaded from discussing the specifics of Marxism and Leninism. This is quite understandable, as events in history point out that the ideologies of socialism, and communism were very intellectually stimulating. They quickly appealed to the intellectually superior classes. Besides, as over one hundred American universities were involved in military work, professors with communistic value systems and allegiance to the Joseph Stalin way of reasoning would be a distraction to the American way of life. All over the world, there was the danger of communism establishing its roots on college campus coffee bars. This was particularly disturbing to the ruling class of American capitalists because the American government administration frequently recruited young college graduates. Incidentally, some officials in the State Department who worked overseas in Vietnam had studied communistic literature and found it thoroughly fascinating. To the White House administration, this was a red flag. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin began claiming that people with communistic ideas were Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. working in the American government. In America, with a single stroke of the brush, Senator McCarthy proved beyond a shadow of doubt that there was a clear limit to free speech in America. Clearly, America grew up as a nation where communist ideologies were booted out. Communists were denied entry visas by American immigration authorities. Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy also alleged that the Department of State had been infiltrated by communists. If true, the infiltration of communists into the American government machinery could seriously undermine or sabotage its efforts to curb the spread of communism in other regions of the world. During his Presidency at the White House, Woodrow Wilson desired to limit the freedom of speech. He was the principal endorser and enforcer of the Sedition Act of 1918. This act actually challenged the rights bestowed by the First Amendment in the American constitution. The First Amendment stated that Congress would have no power to pass laws that obstructed free speech. Woodrow Wilson was of the opinion that there were certain exceptions, and that the conditions did not apply when the country was at war. But the American Constitution, in its most pristine form, seemed to allow no exceptions whatsoever. In America, an effective mechanism had to be established where college professors in political science, sociology, and economics would be discouraged from writing books that could make their provocative views available to mainstream society. Therefore, professors were encouraged to write papers for publishing in elitist journals that were read only by intellectual recluses. Under these circumstances, most college professors of political science or sociology were dissuaded from discussing controversial issues in the classroom. Similarly, most college professors of economics would be reluctant to discuss unfair trade practices and invite the wrath of big businesses or special interest groups intent on influencing government policies. Apart from college campuses, the motion picture industry was a place where intellectuals such as story writers, artistes, scriptwriters, songwriters, vagrants, and authors congregated to exchange views. The motion picture industry was, therefore, another space threatened by the invasion of communistic ideologies. In fact, some Congressmen claimed that communists had infiltrated the motion picture industry in Hollywood. In 1950, an investigation spearheaded by Martin Dies tried to find out the extent of infiltration. However, there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegations. Copyright © 2009 by Shivaprasad Srikantia. All Rights Reserved.

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