THE BUNDY STANDOFF—A CENTURY OF ABUSE
By Michael S. Coffman, Ph.D
May 17, 2014
May 17, 2014
For days following April 8, hundreds of well-armed Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and even hundreds more partially-armed Bundy supporters stood toe-to-toe. Any spark could have caused another Waco. Finally, the BLM backed off, allegedly for safety reasons. Don’t believe it. There is a much bigger story here and the media is wrong on most counts.
Most Americans have no idea that over 50 percent of the Western U.S. is owned or controlled by the federal or state governments. This creates a feudal relationship between an all-powerful government and the local landowners who must use the adjacent federal land to make a living. As with the feudal governments in Europe during the middle-ages, the land is managed for the benefit of the government, not the landowner, using a dangerous ideology called sustainable development. Produced by Environmental Perspectives, Inc., Bangor, ME 04401
MOST AMERICAN’S WHO LIVE EAST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, or those who live in large urban/suburban areas in the West, are surprised to learn that the federal government owns or controls over 30 percent of the land area in the United States. Most of that land is in the Western States where over 50 percent of the state is federal “public land.” Rural residents that make their living from federal lands are finding that Washington is enacting regulations that seem more intent on bankrupting them than helping them. An uninformedpopula¬tion in the East is complicit by default.
The closest form of governmentwhere the federal government dominatesthe lives of those people using federal land is feudalism/manorialism. This is a form of government whereby an all-powerful land owner, usually royalty, rents his land with restrictions and with the condition of receiving a portion of the crops or other services from the renter. Today the federal government replaces the king as the landlord. This new king serves Washington special inter¬ests, usu¬ally environ¬mentalist and inter¬national dictates, which are con¬trary to the interests of the local rancher or land user. Too often they are also contrary to actual environ¬mental health.
To understand what has happened and is happening with the Bundy Ranch it is mandatory to understand the history of American expansion westward. It may be boring for some, but unless the history is understood, numerous false assumptions and conclusions will be made. The media and bloggers have done far more harm than good in their analyses.
As with almost everything else that has been twisted from original intent, the Founders never intended there should be large federal landownership. When they wrote the U.S. Constitution, feudalism and manorialism still existed in France. Our Founders were eye-witnesses to the brutal treatment of the peasants under such a system. In 1783 Thomas Jefferson even went so far as to insist that all federal land should be sold as quickly as possible and, “shall never after, in any case, revert to the United States.”
To ensure that the federal govern¬ment never amassed large land holdings, our Founders allow¬ed only three forms of federal land own¬ership and jurisdic¬tion in Article I Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution: "To establish Post Offices and post Roads;" "To exercise exclusive Legislation…, over such District [of Columbia](not to exceed ten Miles square);"… " and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State…for the Erec¬tion of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dock Yards, and other needful buildings." (Italics added)
With these constitutional constraints, how did the federal government wind up with more than 50 percent of the land in every state west of the Rocky Mountains? Why not the East as well? Most important, what does it have to do with the Bundy ranch?Everything.
Map of the states and territories of the United States as it was from August 1780 to 1790. On August 7 1789 the Northwest Territory was organized. On May 26 1790, the Territory South of the Ohio River was organized.Made by Golbez. Used under the GNU Free Documentation License
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