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What is Treason today?? ? by Robert Henderson

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What is Treason today?? ? by Robert Henderson
« on: October 03, 2012, 10:40:46 PM »

As relevant now as when it was first written
====================================


?What is Treason today?? ? by Robert Henderson

Posted on 16 September, 2008 by David Davis

This article has already made several appearances on newsgroups, some in the last couple of days. It appeared again this morning on http://www.yahoogroups.com/eurorealist . It deserves wider circulation.
 
Libertarians often argue about this matter of treason. Whereas the definition could one have been cut-and-dried, as in the 1340s, in which you could be ?being adherent to the King?s enemies, within the realm and elsewhere?, or ?offering aid and comfort to the King?s enemies?.  Now in today?s increasingly-all-powerful Big State Environment, treason could merely be what the party-in-power, or even the County Police Chief-Superintendent, thinks it is at that time. We need opinions on this matter. Here?s RH:-
 
WHAT IS TREASON TODAY?
 
Robert Henderson
 
Treason is a famously slippery word, not least for the reason
 enshrined in the oft-quoted but, because it contains a
 savage truth, eternally potent rhyme:
 
Treason never prospers,
 What?s the reason?
 For if it does
 None dare call it treason.
 
Yet elusive as it is, treason clearly has an objective
 reality, a reality, moreover, whose essence is changeless.
 That quality is betrayal which goes beyond the personal.
 If a friend betrays you to another friend that is not
 treason. If a fellow countryman betrays you to an occupying
 power that is.
 
As a legal concept, treason has been redrawn during the
 past millennium. In a dynastic context, where the king is
 king in executive fact as well as name, treason is the
 betrayal of the sovereign by a person who owes him
 allegiance. That betrayal may be through disloyalty or an
 attempt to harm the person of the monarch (and generally his
 family). By extension, the same applies to those to whom the
 monarch?s executive power is delegated. Kill the King?s man
 and you attack the King.
 
But treason in dynastic circumstances was not a
 straightforward matter of simply plotting against the king
 or attempting harm to the king?s person or doing the same to
 his representatives. A great noble or courtier close to
 the king might well lose his head through being deemed to
 have given ?evil counsel? to the monarch, even though that
 counsel had been accepted and acted upon by the king. The
 ?evil counsellor? would be blamed (and probably executed)
 to ensure that the monarch was not held to account.
 
The idea of ?evil counsel? had an important effect in English
 constitutional development and a consequent broadening of
 the idea of treason. Evil counsellors were generally
 identified not by the king but by others, most notably
 Parliament. Thus the practical application of the idea of the
 evil counsellor both reinforced the idea that the monarch
 was not a completely independent agent and created the idea
 that any man involved in politics owed not merely his formal
 loyalty to the king (and later the people), but also should
 take care to act and speak in a way which would not be to the
 disadvantage of the king and his subjects.
 
The notion of treason evolved in Europe because monarchs
 have rarely if ever been able to act indiscriminately in
 their own interests. Indeed, European monarchs have been
 remarkably unsuccessful in creating efficient and lasting
 despotisms. Because of that, their subjects never truly
 succumbed to politically debilitating ideas such as the
 divine right of kings. Rather they expected of a king duty
 as well self-promotion and satisfaction. The concept of the
 unjust prince was well developed by 1100 and culminated in
 the doctrine of tyranicide developed by John of Salisbury in
 the 12th Century. Here is Manegold of Lautenbach writing
 in the 11th Century:
 No man can make himself emperor or king; a people
 sets a man over it to the end that he may rule
 justly, giving to every man his own, aiding good
 men and coercing bad, in short, that he may give
 justice to all men. If then he violates the
 agreement according to which he was chosen,
 disturbing and confounding the very things which be
 was meant to put in order, reason dictates that he
 absolves the people from their obedience,
 especially when he has himself first broken the
 faith which bound him and the people together.*
 
* Quoted by A.J. and R.W. Carlyle in A history of Medieval Political
 Theory in the West , Vol. III, p. 164, n. 1.
 
For Manegold a people?s allegiance to its ruler is a promise
 to support him in his lawful undertakings and is consequently
 void in the case of a tyrant. In a sense, a tyrant committed
 treason by dishonouring the office of monarch and its implied
 and inherent obligations.
 
Restraints on the monarch were given formal status by their
 coronation oaths. In England, Magna Carta (1215) moved
 matters on to another stage where a monarch was forced to
 agree to direct constraints on his power. The example of
 Magna Carta in turn led to the development of the English
 Parliament, which moved from a petitioning and tax granting
 body in the 14th century to the point where it practically,
 if not in theory, usurped the power of the king.
 
As the power of monarchs waned, the emphasis of who was
 betrayed gradually moved to the idea that the entire
 population of a country was an entity in itself and betrayal
 of that entity amounted to treason. The shift from monarch
 to people was completed with the advent of the formally
 democratic state, where, in theory at least, the general
 population became the sovereign.
 
Of what does treason consist in the formally democratic
 nation state? Generally it must be the conscious decision to
 act in a way which will weaken the integrity of the nation
 state. Betrayal in the old manner of spying or acting for an
 enemy in war is still part of that. But the primary treason
 in the modern formally democratic state is more insidious.
 It is the abrogation of the sovereignty of the nation state
 by immersement in larger political entities and through the
 signing of treaties which restrict the opportunity for
 national self-determination.
 
This raises an interesting question, namely can an elected
 politician commit treason if the treasonable activity is
 part of an election manifesto or it is put to a referendum?
 The textbook answer would be that ultimate sovereignty in a
 formal democracy lies practically and morally, if not always
 legally, with the electorate. An electorate which elects a
 party or individual on a manifesto or votes yes in a
 referendum is considered to be tacitly granting the policy
 legitimacy. However, there are strong objections to this
 interpretation.
 
The first is that the treasonable activity may be
 misrepresented by the party or politician. A classic example
 of this is Britain?s entry into what is now the European
 Union (EU). The British electorate were undeniably
 deliberately misled by the 1970 Tory manifesto into
 believing that they were merely joining a free trade area.
 They were deliberately misled again during the 1975
 referendum on Britain?s continued membership. They have been
 deliberately misled consistently in the 25 years since the
 referendum, being told by every government that British
 sovereignty is not being lost, when massive amounts have been
 ceded. That is treason by any meaningful definition that has
 ever been used in the past.
 
But what if all the sovereignty which had been ceded to the
 EU had been done after it was presently honestly to the
 electorate? Suppose every change had been the subject of a
 referendum. Suppose those referendums had been conducted
 with absolutely fairness. What then? Here the old idea of
 ?evil counsellors? has utility. In the modern formal
 democracy, politicians play the role of counsellors. Where
 their counsel is bad and the results of it disadvantages the
 people to which they owe their good sense and loyalty, then
 that might be said to be treasonable. Our representatives
 owe us their best judgement and courage. If they act in a way
 which is compromised by considerations other than their
 honest judgement and that action has results which are
 treasonable, they are guilty of treason. Not only that, but
 the representative must be honest about the foreseeable
 consequences of what they propose. In the representative?s
 special position, treason may be committed though acts of
 omission as well as commission, through not pointing out
 consequences.
 
What are the great particular treasons of our time? They can
 be defined in terms of what causes damage to the viability of
 the nation state. In the case of Britain, the most dramatic
 formal act of damaging the nation state has been our
 membership of the EU. But that is only one of a number of
 serious attacks on the British state and people. The
 permitting of mass immigration is a profound form of treason,
 for mass immigration is a form of conquest. North America is
 now dominated by the white man because of a slow accretion of
 settlement not through sudden and violent conquest. To that
 treason is linked its sister act, the attempted cultural
 cleansing of the native population of Britain in general and
 the English in particular, through the wilful denigration of
 the native population of this country, the deliberate denial
 to them of their history in our schools and the suppression
 of dissent through the power of the state, willingly assisted
 by the mass media.
 
To those may be added these others which are patently
 against our interests. Entering into treaties which remove
 freedom of action from the country, for example those
 governing membership of the World Trade Organisation. The
 failure to maintain the country?s military capacity and the
 use of what military we have in foreign adventures in which
 Britain has no natural interest. The deliberate refusal to
 ensure that the country?s economic capacity can supply all
 essential items in time of emergency, in particular the
 securing of the food supplies. The spending of taxpayers?
 money on foreign peoples. All these treasons, and those of
 the preceding paragraphs, apply to a lesser or greater degree
 throughout the First World.
 
Our own time has brought a new problem of definition to
 treason. The elite ideology of the moment is Liberal
 Internationalism. This might seem to be a direct challenge
 to the very idea of treason, for where neither the primacy of
 the nation nor the authority of a sovereign is recognised,
 against whom is treason committed? The answer is that for
 the Liberal Internationalist, treason is any dissent from his
 ideology. Treason has put on totalitarian clothes.
 
Unfortunately, the Liberal Internationalist propaganda has
 been so successful that treason has an old fashioned ring to
 the modern Briton. It is mocked along with the very idea of
 patriotism. So long have the British been at peace, so safe
 does everyday life seem, so ruthlessly have the liberal elite
 and their educational and media nomenclatura promoted the
 idea that the time of the nation state is passed, that even
 naturally patriotic Britons find the idea of treason an
 uncomfortable one.
 
That is a mortally dangerous because a belief that treason
 may be committed is vitally important if we wish to maintain
 our independence. It is so because the nation state requires
 a concept of treason as a foundation of its integrity. We
 desperately need to understand the nature of treason and act
 upon it for our own protection.
 www.anywhere.demon.co.uk
 
?
 Robert Henderson
 Blair Scandal website: http://www.geocities.com/ blairscandal/
 Personal website: http://www.anywhere.demon.co.uk
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 07:30:31 PM by the leveller »


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