Editor’s Note: We have often published D.M. Green’s articles on TGP as he is a seasoned political thinker and a man of steady progressive instinct. But this piece presents a dilemma: While many of his arguments about the Constitution’s anachronistic dead weight are well advised, at least for the real left we must ask: is it smart to contribute to its premature unraveling in the public mind? Couldn’t that be a foolish tactic, especially for radicals to follow at this juncture? And there’s some confusion.
First of all, while inevitably linked, the US Supreme Court and the Constitution are separate entities in the American mindscape. It’s quite possible for the SCOTUS—ever more clearly acting as a political instrument for a privileged minority— to become an object of derision and hatred by the people, while the Constitution, an abstract, Godlike entity open to various interpretations by the faithful, can remain pure and immune from criticism well above the fray. Let’s not forget that while the plutocratic ruling class can and will try to dispense entirely with the rule of law if it suits its plans—and that includes the Constitution itself—the shadow of America’s fundamental law stands in the way of open fascist coups and stabs at dictatorship precisely by reason of its traditional position in the masses’ mind, as guarantor of our bill of rights, the machinery of representative government, and so on. Thus, if the Constitution as currently idealized in America is part of the brainwash most Americans receive and swallow from the cradle on up (the military are still sworn to protect it), then the Constitution may prove a big propaganda headache, a major obstacle for the ruling class should it try to rashly dismiss its provisions. After all, given the balance of forces in America today, the left has much more to risk by a dismantlement of the Constitution than the enemy at this point. Caution is therefore indicated. And this doesn’t prevent us from denouncing and attacking the Supremes for the plutocratic shills they are.—P. Greanville
By David Michael Green
Last week America engaged in one of its perennial paroxysms of constitutional cogitation – this time over the Obama health care bill – with (mostly) predictable results.