First Use the Constitution to Limit Governments, Then Privatize Everything
Use a party constitution to limit at least one party, then use the Constitution to limit all government jurisdictions, then invent around the Constitution to replace government actions. As governments are limited, voluntary cooperation will surge ahead in history’s greatest-ever land rush.
May 6, 2022
Fundamental Rule and Sanctions
The Constitution’s fundamental rule is that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property , except when the Constitution is followed in war , criminal punishment, and recovery of damages.
Life, liberty, and secure property are key unalienable rights . When these are secure, we are free. Freedom, then, just requires that individuals’ unalienable rights not be deprived by other individuals acting either alone, in voluntary organizations, or in coercive organizations.
If men were angels, then rights would be secure with no enforcement . And in fact, although we are selfish and imperfect in many ways, most people don’t deprive others of life, liberty, or property in normal times, particularly when people act alone.
Even so, there are exceptions; and there are all the more exceptions when people act as parts of governments or government-crony organizations . It’s valuable to address all exceptions with suitable mechanisms.
The Constitution’s applicable sanctions provide multiple layers of enforcement . Each overlapping jurisdiction government—city, county, state, and national—has powers to limit the other governments and their cronies . Each branch has powers to limit the other branches. Each individual legislator and officer has powers and the duty to interpret the Constitution himself and to accordingly limit others.
A Limited Party
In all these multiple independent layers of protection , though, these limiting powers have long gone unused under our current parties.
Our current parties help Progressive Democrats and Republicans get nominated and elected, repeatedly sticking us with Progressive-supermajority legislatures and Progressive executives . No Progressive in government ever acts to secure individuals’ unalienable rights by limiting other government people using his constitutional sanction powers.
The parties control the governments. The failure to limit governments in practice despite the Constitution’s rules and sanctions is, at its root, a failure to limit at least one major party.
It is practical to limit a party.
Even large, complex organizations can be limited quite substantially. The American Colonies had taxes of just 1% to 2% of GDP . USA governments through 1913 had total revenues in all jurisdictions of just 4% to 8% of GNP . In comparison, USA governments today have total government spending in all jurisdictions of 38% of GDP .
Past American governments were limited by informal norms, not limited robustly by parties, since parties themselves have never been limited. Even so, even with regard to these informal norms, parties still made the key difference. It was only when there was no longer a major party that supported small government, starting in 1894 , that informal norms no longer limited governments.
Informal norms didn’t keep all actions constitutional. Informal norms didn’t prevent fractional-reserve banking that deprives people of property through government-money inflation and government-money-error cycles . Informal norms didn’t ensure that all wars were constitutional. But, as the overall taxing, revenue, and spending numbers above show, informal norms did substantially limit governments. And informal norms limited governments even as the USA population grew to over 62 million people .
Compared to governments, parties are much-smaller organizations with much-simpler operations. The same constitutional provisions that are designed to limit governments can be reused as party-constitution provisions to limit at least one major party.
Just like a government, a party can be limited by being delegated separated powers, limited enumerated powers, and offsetting powers.
This approach reuses proven components .
Proven components carry with them design knowledge and operating experience. They tend to work right out of the box; they’re less able to surprise us with unanticipated design difficulties or operating failures.
Using proven components considerably reduces uncertainty. What uncertainty remains is limited to the uncertainties with any components that are new and with any new interactions among components that haven’t been used together.
Reuse of proven components is the key to successful, rapid change, and successful, rapid change is the optimum path to freedom.
If limiting governments requires limiting at least one party, and a suitable party design is known, then all that’s left to be done to get started is to take at least one suitable step.
A party with a suitable party design can be built up using at least four feasible paths:
In path 1, activists help people vote smarter .
In path 3, a difficult direct assault on the key current party  is kept up until it succeeds through overwhelming force.
In path 4, a great leader builds on the experiences of Ron Paul and Ronald Reagan. First he uses the Republican Party for ballot access, then he bypasses the Republican Party. In this way, a viable choice who’s an uncompromised constitutionalist becomes an option for general-election voters.
A good party’s executives have strong powers to limit governments. Once laws are enacted, legislative power ends and executive power controls .
Executives control organizational structures, layoffs and hiring, projects, and operations. Executives can limit and prevent future crises. And executives can take the lead in fully separating powers.
Both existing statutes and new bills can be screened for constitutionality using the following simple criteria:
The few statutes and bills that fail this screen but are constitutional will be easy to recognize. Congress’s exceptions and regulations on national courts, for example, read like grabs of judicial power, but Congress is explicitly delegated the power to make these rules ; this offsets the judicial power.
Bills and statutes that are constitutional consist entirely of rules and associated sanctions, with all tradeoffs already made. All that’s left to do after enactment is enforce the law and judge cases.
When statutes are limited in this way from the start, powers are separated simply and fully .
This limits governments.
A good party’s executives, by their oaths of office, are empowered to not execute any statutes they independently interpret as unconstitutional, throughout their terms in office .
A good party’s legislators, for their part, need only repeal all existing statutes that fail the screens above and that are easy to recognize as unconstitutional.
It takes time and energy to build a new organization from the ground up. It’s faster and easier to copy an existing organization. But it’s by far the fastest and easiest to just shut an organization down.
And completely offloading scope from governments also works best. If customers want to pay for actions that governments were performing, these organizations will be built up much faster and smarter under customers’ fast, relentless control , under the strong incentives of profit and loss .
Customers and producers acting freely won’t reconstitute the national government’s inward-facing army , its criminal code  apart from for treason , its agency regulations , its funding and control of state governments , its centralized control of research , and its centralized control of schools .
State governments will also be limited. Their unconstitutional administrative departments and agencies will be eliminated. Also, when state governments are finally remade to be of republican form , state-government powers will finally be limited and enumerated.
Some states will from the outset shed their government schools, professional regulations, and healthcare laws. The remaining states will lose this scope under the pressure of competition from the state governments that lead in these initiatives, because those leading state governments will attract residents, since residents will be able to buy services that are better and more cost-effective.
For the elderly and needy who have been unable to supply for themselves, customers and producers will create voluntarily-supported charities.
Private organizations will care for needs far-more efficiently. Where governments, after tax preparation, tax collection, administration by government people, and administration by cronies, pass through 32% of resources, private organizations pass through 90% of resources .
With government direct actions eliminated and with government-crony privileges eliminated, products will be produced more efficiently, so caring for various needs will become far-more feasible.
Even better, moral hazards will be greatly diminished. Private organizations and volunteers offer not simply cash but chiefly things that are of greater value: targeted interventions that help recipients create their own good habits, incomes, and savings.
Land Rushes to Voluntary Action
The final frontier will be for constitutionally-allowed powers to remain on the books but no longer be used because better options are already in use by all.
Better money , post offices , commerce regularization , resource stewardship , roads, dispute resolution, internal security, external defenses, and more can each be created proactively by customers and producers.
For entrepreneurs, every customer desire is an opportunity to earn profit by delivering more satisfaction and by operating more efficiently.
In 1940, during the runup to the USA entering World War II, United States Secretary of War Henry Stimson, wrote in his diary that “If you are going to try to go to war, or to prepare for war, in a capitalist country, you have got to let business make money out of the process or business won’t work … ”
Likewise, if we are going to get our desires as customers satisfied best, we have got to let people make money doing this. All that takes is for us to get our governments out of our way.
If you don’t build it, they will come.
Imagine the opportunities in developing good money, in taking prudent precautions as insurance to lessen the chances of war, in making natural resources more attractive to more customers, in moving the significant legacy scopes of governments into customer-friendly hands.
Each opening up of such scope of human action to nongovernment actions will be a mini land rush to get there first into virgin territory and develop further. Together, these rushes will constitute a one-time exodus that culminates in settling the promised land of freedom.
Freedom isn’t just moral, freedom also provides immense opportunities .
James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, publishes rConstitution.us, and has written in The Federalist, American Thinker, Foundation for Economic Education, American Greatness, and Mises Institute. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.