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Friday, November 10, 2023

Federalism 1.0

 By Anna Von Reitz

In all my many years of study of Law, religion, and Government, the best and most succinct explanation of "Federalism" I have ever encountered is that offered by the Cornell Law School online: 

"Federalism is a system of government in which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government. Generally, an overarching national government is responsible for broader governance of larger territorial areas, while the smaller subdivisions, states, and cities govern the issues of local concern.

Both the national government and the smaller political subdivisions have the power to make laws and both have a certain level of autonomy from each other." 

The only corrections or additions I would make to this definition would be to rewrite it thus for application in our country--note the comments in parenthesis: 

Federalism is a system of government in which the same territory (a State of the Union is not a "territory")  is controlled by two (or more) levels of government. 

Generally, an overarching national government (provided by our Counties) is responsible for broader governance of larger territorial areas, while the smaller subdivisions, states, and cities govern the issues of local concern. (This applies in many other countries, but isn't exact for ours, because our "national government" is vested at the County level.) 

Both the national government and the smaller political subdivisions have the power to make laws and both have a certain level of autonomy from each other."

Our country is a little bit different when it comes to "Federalism".  

We do not have a National Government in the same sense that other countries have a National Government --- which protects us and causes consternation for everyone else. 

Please take yourselves back to the situation that prevailed at the time that this country and its government was being organized. 

Our country was populated by a variety of nations. From the beginning, we have had Native Nations, and we have had various European, African, South American, Asian, Australian, and even Pacific Islander nations populating our land and soil.  

How then, to make a single Nation out of this polyglot of separate national (formerly colonial) interests?  It's like a Crazy Quilt.  

Dutch colonists in Pennsylvania still owing allegiance and paying taxes to their European Monarchs, British colonists doing the same with respect to the British Monarch, Africans still owing allegiance to their Sultans and Kings, Natives owing allegiance to their tribal nations, people in Maryland, Delaware, and throughout the Eastern Seaboard owing allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, and Pacific Islanders on the West Coast all owing allegiance to their respective home nations and governments. 

How could we possibly forestall constant interference in our affairs from European and other Governments coming in here and claiming bits and pieces of our States as property belonging to their subjects? 

The answer our Forefathers worked out was to vest our National Interests --- our Soil Jurisdiction --- in the Counties, and separate the Counties off from the hurly-burly of international politics, which was vested at the State level in this country. 

This prevented international interests from coming in and "peeling" away our Counties via referendums of people having prior allegiances to these foreign governments. 

Instead, these foreign governments were restricted to interactions at the State level, and couldn't access the Counties holding our joint National Interests outside of international jurisdiction. 

This was called "American Isolationism" long before this same phrase was applied to trade policies. 

The Dutch, British, French, Italian, German, and other Monarchies were unable to attach to or attack or convert our National level of government, because the National Government vested in our physical Counties and living people was isolated from our International State jurisdiction. 

They couldn't get through the State "door" to reach our Counties. 

By the same token, our Counties couldn't get past the State to interact with all the foreign governments that had a prior interest. 

In this way, and by a process of individual declaration, Americans claimed and inherited all the land and all the soil of this country, no matter what nationality they originally had. 

This is just as true of Dutch settlers as French, as true for British colonists as Algonquin natives. We were all brought together via this "exceptional" investiture of our National soil jurisdiction in the physically defined Counties. 

Here, within the borders of our physically defined Counties, we all have equal standing and control of our daily lives and possession of our property interests. 

The over 3,000 physically defined Counties represent our National Government and they, together, represent the physically defined State's International Government.  

Our Counties share designated portions of the same land with their associated physically-defined State of the Union, which occupies and populates the international jurisdictions belonging to each State. 

Thus, Wisconsinites derive their nationality from their State of the Union in international terms, and derive their sovereignty as a national of their County's soil jurisdiction. 

This is the first level of "Federalism" defining our country's government. 

The National soil jurisdiction of each physically defined County is wedded to the international land and sea jurisdictions of the associated physically-defined State of the Union.

Most countries are organized so that Federalism occurs only between the international jurisdictions of land and sea and the global jurisdiction of the air. 

Picture the air encircling the globe. Then picture the land masses separated from the expanses of the sea. Obviously, you can touch the global air jurisdiction from either the land or the sea, however, when you do so, different laws apply and different authorities as well. 

When you access the global jurisdiction of the air from the sea, you are obliged to operate in the realm of Maritime Commerce.  When you access the global jurisdiction of the air from the land, you are obliged to operate in the venue of Global Commerce. 

Federalism between land and air, and sea and air, results in our States of the Union being able to operate in either Global or Maritime Commerce and all of our living people can likewise operate as either a Lawful Person accessing the Land-Air jurisdiction of Global Commerce, or as a Legal Person accessing the Sea-Air jurisdiction of Maritime Commerce. 

So Americans have three levels of Federalism while most countries have only two:

We have National/International federalism between our physically-defined Counties and States, and International/Global federalism between both Land/Global and Sea/Global jurisdictions. 

This is the result of the brilliant answer our Forefathers implemented as a way to keep foreign interests from interfering in our new country and keep them from continuing to promote colonial interests here.

This dual layer of Federalism continues to protect our people and our country to this day, providing a bulwark to enable local government and self-determination to triumph over the most sophisticated wiles of the old European Monarchies and Papal State executives. 

The Cornell Law definition of Federalism is wonderful and succinct, except that it refers only to "territorial" Federalism, as it is practiced in the rest of the world --- meaning Land-Air or Sea-Air  Federalism, and not the non-territorial or extra-territorial Federalism of our country and its County-State Federalism. 

Ironically, it is precisely this latter and lesser-known form of "federalism" that has enabled our country to withstand decades of violence and impersonation and breach of trust. 

Always remember that many nations may peacefully live on the same land and soil, but at the end of the day, both land and soil are only possessed by the living people of each country--- all of us, together. 

In this way, we find our inheritance intact, our lives secured, and one nation formed out of many: e pluribus unum. 


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