While the Union did not literally storm an army in and declare war, the still-Union states began amassing their respective militias on the southern border and basically created an army in what was still technically peacetime, a standing army, which forced the southern states to do the same... and the escalation continued.
...Until the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. You can't deny that it was the Confederates that crossed the Rubicon and turned it into a shooting war. I mean, the U.S. and the Soviets built up troops and arms for decades, but it wasn't really a war because nobody started shooting.
"Congress shall raise no tax against the people..." or some such. I'm at work so I can't look it up right now,
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
*To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
*To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
*To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
*To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
*To establish post offices and post roads;
*To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
*To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
*To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
*To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
*To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
*To provide and maintain a navy;
*To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
*To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
*To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
*To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And
*To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
It's a loophole, but the intent of those who drafted the constitution is fairly clear IMO.
Yes it is. Of course, those who drafted the Constitution also didn't intend to abolish slavery, give women the right to vote, or prohibit the sale of alcohol. But they did intend to have an amendment process of which the drafters of the sixteenth amendment took full advantage.
I like a lot of the services a centralized government can provide, I just don't like them being "government" services - it carries the same connotation as "monopoly" to me.
For the most part it is a monopoly. But a monopoly managed indirectly by the people, and directly by their representatives. The idea of competitive business is to keep prices down so consumers don't get gouged. In general this is avoided naturally when representatives who have constituents to please manage the business.
Again I agree in the sense that I recognize it's usefulness, it's the implementation that bothers me. I much prefer the Swiss model (in short for those not familiar, everybody IS the army, and they're sole purpose isn't just to destoy things that need destroying), and think that integrating it with a fractal/federal model like I described at the end of my last message would result in a much more pleasant, much more elegant, and just as (if not more) effective military structure.
I'm not saying that the Swiss model can't work, but it's really rather untested. The Swiss, after all, adhere to a strict policy of neutrality in every conflict. This sounds great, until you realize that that neutrality extended to the Nazi expansion through Europe, the ensuing genocide, and the harboring of stolen gold.
Basically, the armed forces should be the accumulation of all the local police forces, and the higher-level government you are a police officer of (city, county, state, national, though I'd break the levels down differently), the higher your military rank. And of course, the police's duties are not / should not be just "constructive violence", but also other nonviolent methods of peacekeeping and civil service.
I myself have considered the benefits that would accompany the integration of municipal and state police forces into a greater military structure. It's a concept that is currently in successful practice in several industrialized nations. The problems arise when you consider what your average American's reaction to a nation-wide military police force is likely to be. Generally I'm the type to trust the government, but I can't blame most Americans for being wary. Historically the government has done some shady things from time to time, and moreover, the country was founded on a natural distrust of authority, so it's almost instinctual. Most citizens would shudder to think about a military police force as the image of little government storm troopers break down their door at night and haul them away. Whether this would be a reality or not doesn't really remove the foul smell of "martial law" from most American's minds. And with the current administration who can blame them? What role would John Ashcroft play in national police force? High Marshal? Supreme Commander? Grand Moff?
At the prompting of a friend I was discussing this with, I actually sat down and contemplated what the real differences of a society operating under my form of government would be from say, the United States today, and it's really not all that big. About as big as the difference between the US, Canada, Britain, and Oz
You're probably right insofar as that the operation of your system and our system would probably be quite similar. Most people probably wouldn't notice much difference between the two or experience much grief during the transition. However, the underpinnings are, on many levels, significantly different. Much of the Constitution would have to be scrapped and rebuilt from the ground up. And when you consider how difficult it is to amend the Constitution the whole transition begins to look like a logistical nightmare, even if there are a few long-term benefits.
I'm not saying that your system wouldn't work, or that it is a bad system. I'm just saying that it would nearly impossible to implement.