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IPFS News Link • States' Rights

The Use of States' Rights in the Battle Against the Federal Government

• By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

But, as Murray also taught us, we have to decide how to cope with current realities to best advance the cause of liberty. Right now, the big danger comes from brain-dead Biden and his gang of neocon controllers. They want to gain control over the entire world. How do we stop them?

One tactic that can be very useful in doing this is to stress certain parts of the Constitution. In particular, we need to emphasize that the United States, which used to be called "these United States" was founded as a compact between the states. The federal government possessed only limited and carefully enumerated powers.

Some libertarians object to this. They point out that only individuals have rights, not states. That's true, but states' rights aren't in conflict with individual rights. The President of the Mises Institute, the great Tom DiLorenzo, explains why not:

"The idea of states' rights is most closely associated with the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson and his political heirs. Jefferson himself never entertained the idea that "states have rights," as some of the less educated critics of the idea have claimed. Of course "states" don't have rights. The essence of Jefferson's idea is that if the people are to be the masters rather than the servants of their own government, then they must have some vehicle with which to control that government. That vehicle, in the Jeffersonian tradition, is political communities organized at the state and local level. That is how the people were to monitor, control, discipline, and even abolish, if need be, their own government.

It was Jefferson, after all, who wrote in the Declaration of Independence that government's just powers arise only from the consent of the people, and that whenever the government becomes abusive of the peoples' rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness it is the peoples' duty to abolish that government and replace it with another one. And how were the people to achieve this? They were to achieve it just as they did when they adopted the Constitution, through political conventions organized by the states. The states, after all, were considered to be independent nations just as England and France were independent nations. The Declaration of Independence referred to them specifically as "free and independent," independent enough to raise taxes and wage war, just like any other state. See this.