Local Sovereignty: How to Get it Back (Overview)

From American Vision’s Local Sovereignty: How to Get it Back

We have seen now how America was originally settled with nearly all governmental sovereignty vested at the local level. This was the legacy of Christian culture, and the better part of it. Early Americans did not have to worry about their wealth and freedom being voted away by alleged representatives far removed by hundreds of miles and two or three levels of government. We have also seen that this ideal of freedom has been lost gradually over time at many junctures, and always in the name of something like “the common good”; but more importantly, we have seen that these several creeping tyrannies were enabled and empowered by that one main instance of centralizing power, force, and money at the federal level—the Constitution of 1787. Nevertheless, whatever the causes are ultimately, it is easy to see that we today have nowhere near the freedom of our ancestors. The question, now, is how to get back to that level of freedom.


The enemies of freedom have always been those who stand to profit from the public coercive systems. These people—either for the sake of some form of prestige or money (or both)—will consistently scheme and legislate to benefit themselves. These lusts exist at every level of government, but also in the hearts of individuals. So, the remedy for restoring freedom to the local level will mean confronting the many, many ways in which both individuals and government leaders have entrenched themselves in public funding based on taxation.

Breaking these chains will be easier than you’d think – as our expenses are primarily debt-fuelled than tax-fed, the coming Great Default on our debts will cut expenditures radically. Still, if you want things to break your way – as opposed to some revival of collectivism – it’s best to stet laying local foundations now.

Local governments often suffer under corrupt officials, constantly seeking to borrow more money, and constantly seeking grants from State and federal governments. But often the people themselves either agree with taking, taxing, or borrowing more money, or they are oblivious to it and don’t care.

If you don’t care if you are free or not, you will become a slave. That is a elementary fact of life.

Christians are commanded to be free of any and all forms of enslavement to men, as slavery interferes with our obedience to God – first, last, always. Why tolerate anything getting in the way of that?

Especially when it’s some kind of tinsel-town fake god, like “The State – The True Voice of the People.”

So here’s the hard truth: if you agree with the appropriations (but perhaps you say “only at the local level”), then you’re complicit in a corrupt system that stretches all the way to Washington. Don’t talk about freedom and fiscal responsibility when you make multi-million dollar exceptions for yourself, your business, your industry, your union, your police and fire, or your local schools. Obama’s not the problem; you’re the problem. Until you address this problem, you have no moral authority in regard to people doing way over your head. On the other hand, if you are merely oblivious to the problem or don’t care, then you’re still culpable and complicit by your complacency—and you can bet that the liberals and statists just love you for it, for it helps them get their scheme across with less opposition. It’s been said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. I agree, although I would add that anyone who sits there and does nothing can’t be considered a good person to begin with. We need to confront both corruption and complacency, which is to say we need to wake up and take responsibility, take action.

To be free indeed, you must first desire to be truly free in your heart. Without that desire, without that drive for righteousness inside and out, all that hot air about liberty remains just so much hot air.

Even when we achieve the goal locally, however, we cannot rest until surrounding counties, and then the vast majority of counties in the State have reached a similar level of understanding and practice of local sovereignty—for until a majority of counties exist that are willing to assert their freedom simultaneously against higher governments, the few that arrive at near local autonomy will always be exposed to the weaknesses attending their tiny-minority status. In other words, we’ll need a lot of free counties voicing their “nullifications” and independences at the same time, or else the federal government could simply ignore it and squash it with little repercussion. We need mass decentralized (yet legitimate) resistance so that no central authority can easily or effectively answer it. So, until we reach a time in which a growing number of America’s 3000+ counties care more about freedom than State and Federal aid, we must be vigilant in guarding our work and prayers toward that goal—for they are never safe from the threats of violence, force, defamation, and theft from above.

It’s going to be a long, hard road.  Even with the Great Default, even with the decentralizing trend of technology, mull-generational corruption will take hard work to root out. And we’re decades out from the time when one isolated county can routinely defy even a state government, never mind the feds (although that day is coming!), so we will need a majority of counties to work together on this.

Anyone wishing to start a truly grass-roots, bottom-up movement for restoring local sovereignty is going to face multiple levels of opposition—from the higher levels of government, from the vast mainstream media leftist-propaganda machines, from entrenched statism even in local media such as newspapers, corporate forces that use government to stop competition, and also from corrupt local officials. We must be prepared to meet all of this with truth, unwavering commitment to freedom, courage, and yet calmness, confidence, and kindness.

As you may suspect, this will be a lot harder than it looks – especially in desperate and tough times (a.k.a the times when the greatest gains can be made.)

We also need to affirm this new vision of decentralized power. This vision must be deep and we must commit to it thoroughly.

As deeply as any liberal is committed to the expansion of State power – every day, all day, in all things, forever.

The vision is simple. Local governments have to take back sovereignty in every area they can, and local people need to pressure local governments to do so, and to refuse monetary handouts from higher governments, and people have to hold their local officials accountable to these goals. Local government must begin to resist the enticements, entrapments, and encroachments of the higher levels. This will eventually mean 1) local individuals will have only local government with which to interact (state governments will only deal with counties, and the feds only with states, this is true federalism); 2) representation will be much more genuine, as local officials are elected from a much smaller sample of the population; 3) government can be much more transparent; 4) local officials are much more easily held accountable; and 5) if any of these ideals fails miserably and the locality grows intolerable, it won’t be hard to move to another county that upholds your values. These are just a few of the benefits of decentralization.

There are disadvantages as well: 1) individuals can no longer enrich themselves from swollen promises paid for by taxing the national population at large or borrowing trillions of dollars indebting your grandchildren; 2) ideologues, leftists, elites, and other pests can no longer easily impose their values on 300 million people by means of only a few-vote majority in Congress and the President’s celebrity ink pens; or worse, by means of a 5-4 Supreme Court decision. This is the kind of disadvantages I can live with.

Imagine that: a society in which a population of 300 million is not subjugated legally by the mere opinion of a 5 people. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

It looks good to me!



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