The Original American Confederation and the Constitutional Counterrevolution

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following excerpt below is the opening of installment 7 in a series by US Army Major Danny Sjursen that provides some revisionist re-contextualization of the American foundational mythos (aka propaganda). Sjursen, BTW, is an active duty Army officer and a former professor of US History at West Point.

Installment 7 covers the period of the Articles of Confederation and the later motivations to transition to the 'federalized' Constitution. In doing so we see some familiar social dynamics to the current situation with Trump's populism, and which is almost always the case throughout known history. Namely that the elites (including The Donald) have always understood this dynamic and have expertly exploited it, perhaps never so 'exceptionally' well as with the USA.

The below from: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-flowering-or-excess-of-democracy-the-1780s/

“The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots.” —Elbridge Gerry, delegate to the Constitutional Convention (1787)

It has become, by now, like American scripture. We all know the prevailing myths, history as written by the winners. Virtuous American patriots, having beaten the tyrannical British, set out to frame the most durable republican government in the history of humankind. The crowning achievement came when our Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft an American gospel: the Constitution. The war had ended, officially, in 1783.

Have you ever asked yourself why popular versions of America’s founding begin with the Declaration of Independence in 1776, or with the defeat of the British at Yorktown, Va., in 1781, skipping past the black hole of the mid-1780s to the Constitutional Convention of 1787? What happened in those critical intervening years? What is it that remains hidden in plain sight? Who does the prevailing narrative serve?

Well, the discomfiting truth is that over the last 40-odd years most serious historians finally began studying marginalized peoples, such as slaves, Indians and women. It is well that this is so. However, the decision to first draft Articles of Confederation and then, later, to move toward a new constitution and a more centralized federal government—the keys events of the 1780s—was an elite action that mostly benefited the elites. A top-down structure was imposed on an only partly willing citizenry. This sort of story no longer appeals to academic historians busy drafting a “new” history from the “bottom up.”

From grade school through university survey courses, we are fed the same tale. The victorious colonists—the first generation of Americans—briefly organized under a weak governing framework: the Articles of Confederation. This unwieldy government quickly floundered in an era of stagnation and chaos, to be replaced, wisely, by our current constitution. There is, of course, some truth to this. The Articles of Confederation, the law of the land and America’s first constitution, from 1781 to 1789, did grant precious few powers to the national government. Power was dispersed to the state governments. In a sense, we should probably think of the early 13 states as separate countries, held together in a loose alliance more similar to today’s European Union than our current U.S. nation. Many states did, indeed, suffer under a period of economic stagnation, and there were several agrarian revolts of one sort or another.

However, it behooves us to consider why the revolutionary generation did this, why they chose a weak central government. When thinking about the past, we must avoid determinism and remember that no one in history woke up on a given day and planned to fail, planned to draft an incompetent governing structure. Perhaps the men of the 1780s had good reasons; maybe there was wisdom in such a loose confederation. Was, in fact, the later constitution actually a superior document? This installment in the American History for Truthdiggers series reconsiders that forgotten era, seeks to redeem aspects of the Articles of Confederation and asks inconvenient questions about just how democratic our later constitution would really be. ...
Sjursen presents that the Constitution can be seen as a form of counterrevolution that ironically betrayed the interests of the common man -- or 'patriot'. This by severely mitigating the impact of raw 'one man, one vote' democracy that can only serve to erase the economic and power perks of the landed, aristocratic elites. These latter were the vast majority of the framers of the Constitution, as was George Washington.

Hence we ended up with the Constitutional republic limiting the right to vote to white men of requisite material substance (no matter the source of the substance), the Electoral College, the Second Amendment (actually designed to protect the armed militia rights of slaveowners to protect themselves from uppity slaves), and such. The new central governing structure also made it easier to tax the common man while enriching the swamp foxes.

Sjursen also concludes that from the institution of the Constitution that the USA effectively began its 'imperial' project, rather than at some later date as other historians claim such as with the Spanish-American War and later. However this seems to be as far as Sjursen will go on such imperialism, as I tend to side with the likes of Saussy in his Rulers of Evil, in that we are in part of a flowing globalist continuum starting with ancient Babylon and Egypt, at least.

This continuum has long been manifest in the contrived and cynical drama of the (Postflavian detailed) Western False Dialectic of the Jews versus the 'Gentiles'. Where George Washington (also discussed in earlier installments) and his 'gentry' class peers were indeed elite (gentil) 'gentiles', such small scale farmers as Daniel Shays were neither gentile nor Jew.

The generational passage of time and institutional (propagandic) censure of the real history has allowed the natural aspirational aspects of all humans, in this case the 'exceptionalized' American 'patriots' to allow themselves unwarranted admittance into the gentil class. Indeed, "All is Vanity", and the Flavians' Jesus was being cynical when he said that "the Truth would set us Free" and "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do". For as Goethe said, 'there are none so enslaved that believe they are free'.

The common colonial (smallholder) farmer typically descended from emancipated European serfs, and, as Sjursen discusses, after fighting the war of independence from King George III they found themselves subject to disproportionately paying for the war debts, the moneyed class in position to leverage themselves better from these plights. The aristocratic elites having another 'freedom' context and agenda, same as it generally is today.

'Good' and loyal slaves (and serfs) are sooner or later manumitted, turned into freedmen, who must, one way or another continue to do the bidding of their respective patrone, hence the term patriot. Betray this loyalty and the freedmen will be returned to the prior state.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Thx CplCam.

It's interesting to realize how the federal structure of the USA is so much like the EU, and yet so many are so concerned about the 'globalism' represented by the latter and ignoring the former.

It's also ironic for me in learning from fundamentalist Xians about the roadmap of the Daniel (7 & 8) prophecy, where it explicitly states (no guessing needed) that the metaphors being employed are such as the crafting of (the European) nation-states. Again, a divine 'prophecy' or a 'script' that insiders are following? Of course, it is understood today that the book of Daniel was written in Hellenistic times, and we know that Alexander's Hellenization project was the globalization of the day.

The Hasmonean (most elite) Jews and the Greeks (later replaced by the Romans) are discussing and implementing their phase of globalization at the very same time. And, as I've pointed out elsewhere, the OT discusses that 'Esau' (the descended tribe) will regain its inheritance (the Blessing of Abraham) that was stolen by Jacob. The Talmud even equates Esau (such as the Herodians) with being the Romans.

And today we still have the same dynamics in place, just on a larger global stage.
 
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