- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Paul Craig Roberts' brilliant mind is a unique repository for the knowledge and comprehension of legal history. That alone would make his and Larry Stratton's detailed survey of the mortal wounds from which our system of government is bleeding an important publication under any circumstances. The opportunity to consider his message as the nation grapples with its presidential election gone sour is providential.

Many Americans do not realize how different this country is from all others. Most of those who do, still fail to appreciate that our legal foundations account for the difference. The book appropriately calls them "the Rights of Englishmen." Alas, at the dawn of the 21st century, few of our countrymen remember them as the foundation upon which the American miracle (for it ceased to be an "experiment" long ago) was built.

Europe has made incomparable contributions in the realm of arts and sciences, food and wine, fashions and graceful conduct. But the countries of the continent have utterly failed to create a governmental structure that produces freedom, prosperity, and peace.

Only societies based on the Rights of Englishmen have succeeded where Europe has failed. America's worldwide significance is that those rights have been made accessible and available to all men, women and children who make their way over here and commit to living under that umbrella, as well as the English language which alone provides the key.

Nevertheless, "The Tyranny of Good Intentions" highlights the major areas in which our rights have been systematically eroded. Case after case attests to the inescapable corruption of lawyers, prosecutors and officials of the Department of Justice who have long ceased to think of themselves as officers of the court.

The title of the final chapter, "What is to be done?" alludes to V.I. Lenin, of course. But it does not offer much in the way of a blueprint beyond the suggestion that we restore the constitutional order. The absence of a more tangible course of action stems, in my view, from the initial assumption that Jeremy Bentham, a precocious youngster turned legal philosopher, himself an Englishman, has been primarily responsible for two centuries of assaults on the Rights of Englishmen.

Bentham may have been the primary force inside the British legal establishment to combat William Blackstone's immortal tenets with regard to the law as a guarantor of liberty. Yet his influence might have remained severely limited, had not French and German thinkers discovered that the Rights of Englishmen produced a nation that constantly stood in the way of their military and intellectual expansion. How highly the French prized the anti-English nature of Bentham's stance was expressed by granting the young scholar French citizenship in 1792.

Socialism, taken by many for dead, and mistaken by most as an economic alternative to capitalism, has been the primary tool of French and German thinkers to combat the growing hegemony of the English-speaking world.

Not until we realize that our economic success is a function of our legal system, and not until we understand that socialism in all its forms aims to eradicate that legal system, will we fully comprehend the agenda and the behavior of socialists from Pierre Proudhon to Karl Marx, from Lenin to Adolf Hitler, from Martin Heidegger to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And this brings us to the timeliness of this excellent book. It is customary for members of Congress to take the oath of office first, and legislate after. History will record the first instance when a representative declared her yet-to-be-taken oath of office null and void before taking it. Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton informed the people of the United States, "we are a very different country than we were 200 years ago … it's time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president."

Before the promise to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, the oath of office imposes the duty to preserve the same. Mrs. Clinton's determination to change the way we elect our president serves unequivocal notice of her intention to take the oath in vain. That, as well as the current turmoil about the fate of the presidency, clearly points to the determination of some, perhaps many, to do away altogether with the Constitution of the United States.

Yes, we have the most urgent need of restoring the constitutional order. To do so, we must be aware of the extent and the motivation of the forces marshaled against it, and what their ultimate agenda requires. Then, instead of trying to deal with the nine-headed hydra of socialism one head at a time, we will attack the central head which currently sprouts two replacements for every head slain.

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