Home > Political Resolutions > American Revolution > Consent of the Governed


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Henry David Thoreau

In the politically UNRAVELLING years leading up to the American Civil War, Henry David Thoreau wrote a short pamphlet that has come to be known as “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.” He makes various arguments whether an individual should support a government when that citizen believes the government is acting immorally. His political musings focused on the then recent Mexican War, the treatment of the American Indians, and the continuing turmoil that slavery presented to the nation.

He relates how his failure to pay a poll tax leads to his internment in the local jail. While his night in the pokey comes within the context of larger questions of a citizen’s reaction to just laws, it is quite entertaining. Thoreau presents a varied arsenal of arguments for the type of civil disobedience that he finds consistent with his conscience. For the purpose of this article I want to focus on this quote,

“The authority of government, even such as I am willing to submit to– to be strictly just, it must have the sanction and consent of the governed. It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.”

The consent of the governed is not a new concept. Thoreau was asking the question of personal responsibility from the individual’s point of view. Of course Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence was talking about the relationship between a people and the mother country.

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Signing of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull

Jefferson argues in the Declaration of Independence that since governments are instituted by the people, they must necessarily gain their legitimacy from the consent of those governed. But more importantly for my purposes, those same institutions can be altered or abolished if they become destructive of the ends for which they were created, namely, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

He then conditions this right to change our political institutions suggesting that a government should not be overthrown for “light or transient causes” because to do so would create more harm than it would correct. The trigger mechanism for change is met only when those wrongs have risen to the level where the abuses form a long running pattern that places the people into a state of “absolute Despotism”.

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What is absolute Despotism? The rest of the Declaration of Independence lists what the founding fathers considered acts of despotism which are nothing more than conduct which is tyrannical, authoritarian, autocratic, repressive, etc. Sound familiar? Has our federal government become destructive of those ends? Have we consented to what our federal government has become?

It is my intention in forthcoming articles to compare the essence of those acts listed in the Declaration of Independence to modern actions taken by our government. But for now I wish to Declare my own Independence by withdrawing my consent to be governed by the U.S. Government.

I, Darren Bond, as a citizen of the United States of America, in as good standing as any, declare my intention to withdraw my consent from the illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral acts of commission and omission of that government from this day henceforth until such time as the government of the people, by the people, and for the people has been reclaimed for the common good of all Americans. The American government is corrupt, unresponsive to the will of the people, controlled by an elite alliance of corporations and individuals who’s effective goal is to undermine our constitutional freedoms and basic human rights while enriching themselves not by effort, ingenuity, and sound civic principles but through access, privilege, and money. This Declaration of Personal Independence proudly refuses to recognize the legitimacy of an institution whose authority is only derived by compulsion and not the consent of the governed.

Signed, Darren Bond, November 5, 2015

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ACT ONE: My first official action to further the above stated declaration is to assert my intention to refuse to vote in any Federal Election

ACT TWO: I will turn all my stamps upside down on the envelopes I mail since they are generally the version depicting the American flag. This will denote the distress of the nation by the inversion of the flag.

ACT THREE: I will wear a pin, sticker, shirt, or some other display during the next Presidential Election saying I DID NOT VOTE, I DO NOT CONSENT

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Bold proclamation don’t you agree? I am currently patting myself on the back. I just pledged not to vote so that the corrupt U.S. Government will be denied my stamp of approval. I bet that has them shaking in their boots. While my vote probably won’t be missed, like the millions that already never vote, the U.S. government will not have my consent. But now the hard part as stated by Jefferson. Those last few words from the Declaration of Independence state:

“And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Wait a minute, can I go back on that pledge, those are kinda harsh pledges. My signature wasn’t properly notarized, right? There can’t be a contract unless it is written, and there was no offer or acceptance, right? Will I have to give up my mortgage interest deduction, or my agriculture sales tax exemption? Will Granny get her cost of living adjustment? Can our country survive with one or two less carrier battle groups? Will this impact my golf t-time? Will I miss Game of Thrones?

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Character from the television series Game of Thrones

So it goes in this land we call America. We the people, who live in a country that is the last great hope of humanity, have become only interested in our personal subsidies and distractions while our freedoms are systematically eroded. But don’t despair, because the CRISIS (see Core Principle #8) is soon upon us and the stakes will be raised as high, if not higher than those pledges of our Founding Fathers, because we not only need the revolution of the system (the Bunker) we also need the revolution of the heart (the Esoteric). The change begins with your refusal to give your consent. But be reminded, the only easy day was yesterday.

P.S.- Golf is a fine game, Game of Thrones is a pretty good show loved by the members of my family, I love Granny, and the Navy is awesome, especially those Budweiser guys with the three forks.

4 Responses

  1. michael

    It will most certainly be a sorrowful election day when “we the people” have a choice between Hillary and The Donald

    1. Michael, you may very well be right. Only time will tell. But, before we got Lincoln, we got a Buchanan and before a Washington a King George III. So we either hope someone surprises for the better, or we wait for a transformative figure, and live with a transitory one. Thanks for the comments.

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