From:   gail zawacki <>
Sent time:   Wednesday, November 02, 2011 12:43:52 PM
Subject:   SPAM-MED: Re: [september17discuss] Constitutional Rights and their importance to OWS

Judge tells Tennessee to stop arresting Occupy protesters

on the other hand:

"Democratic self-government does not work, according to Plato, because ordinary people have not learned how to run the ship of state. They are not familiar enough with such things as economics, military strategy, conditions in other countries, or the confusing intricacies of law and ethics. They are also not inclined to acquire such knowledge. The effort and self-discipline required for serious study is not something most people enjoy. In their ignorance they tend to vote for politicians who beguile them with appearances and nebulous talk, and they inevitably find themselves at the mercy of administrations and conditions over which they have no control because they do not understand what is happening around them. They are guided by unreliable emotions more than by careful analysis, and they are lured into adventurous wars and victimized by costly defeats that could have been entirely avoided."

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 1:12 PM, shaista husain <> wrote:
Just like in the French Revolution--the workers backlash during
Thermidor-- and the rise of the Jacobins and persecution---
During the American Independence there was a Shay's Rebellion an armed
revolt by peasants whose lands had been foreclosed--and many of the
writers of the Constitution, for eg Samual Adams, changed their
"progressive" earlier stance to protect the interests of the rich. We
are having a Shay's rebellion here now but it is unarmed. To quote
Howard Zinn: "The American colonists, having fought and won the war
for independence from England, faced the question of what kind of
government to establish. In 1786, three years after the treaty of
peace was signed, there was a rebellion of farmers in western
Massachusetts, led by Captain Daniel Shays, a veteran of the
Revolutionary war. The uprising was crushed, but it put a scare into
those leaders who were to become our Founding Fathers."
After Shays Rebellion, General Henry Knox warned his former commander,
George Washington, about the rebels: "They see the weakness of
government; they feel at once their own poverty, compared to the
opulent, and their own force, and they are determined to make use of
the latter in order to remedy the former. Their creed is that the
property of the U.S. has been protected from the confiscations of
Britain by the joint exertions of all, and therefore should be the
common property of all."
The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia for 1787 was called to
deal with this problem, to set up "big government," to protect the
interests of merchants, slave-holders, and landowners

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:16 AM, Charlie Grapski <> wrote:
> Unfortunately the Guarantee Clause has never been considered by the Supreme
> Court to be something they viewed as enforceable - to them its all just
> "political" questions as to what constitutes a "republican form" of
> government.
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:12 AM, gail zawacki <> wrote:
>> Excerpt follows, the entire article is here.
>> The Constitution says that "The United States shall guarantee to every
>> State in this Union, a Republican Form of Government."
>> A "Republican Form of Government" is not a government controlled by
>> Republicans.
>> Rather, a Republican Form of Government" is a representative government.
>> It is a responsive government. It is a government, to use Abraham Lincoln's
>> famous words, "of the people, by the people, and for the people." A
>> republican form of government is a government that pays attention to the
>> welfare of the vast majority of its citizens, or in the words of OWS, it is
>> a government that cares about and is responsive to the 99 percent, rather
>> than a government that is captured by the 1 percent and made to do that 1
>> percent's bidding.
>> The guarantee of a republican form of government, which I have just
>> quoted, is called the Guarantee Clause of Article IV. The Guarantee Clause,
>> as my colleague Akhil Amar has pointed out, was designed to prevent
>> temporary majorities or even minorities from using the levers of government
>> to entrench themselves in power. It was designed to ensure that a small
>> group of powerful and wealthy individuals could not hijack the government
>> and make it do their bidding to the exclusion of the vast majority of the
>> public-- the public for which democratic governments were created to serve.
>> The Guarantee Clause was designed to prevent a small determined faction from
>> seizing the reins of government, and making it a ventriloquist's dummy, a
>> mere puppet of the powerful.
>> The second half of the Guarantee Clause speaks of invasion and "domestic
>> violence." The framers understood that republics are not lost only to
>> conquering armies. They are destroyed by corruption which leads to feckless,
>> unresponsive government, and causes government to lose legitimacy in the
>> eyes of the broad mass of its citizens. The riots and insurrections come
>> later on to deliver the final blow. That is why the Guarantee Clause
>> concerns both the destruction of majority rule and domestic upheaval. The
>> two are opposite sides of the same coin. Caesar seized Rome after the Roman
>> Senate had become deeply corrupt and the Republic could no longer defend
>> itself. When the Senate is for sale, a coup is unnecessary to destroy
>> republican government. The coup has already occurred from within.