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Old 12-23-2016, 09:23 PM
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Default Book Review: Mudge's "Social Philosophy of John Taylor of Caroline"

Book Review: Mudge's "Social Philosophy of John Taylor of Caroline"
(Apollonian, 22 Dec 16)

"The Social Philosophy of John Taylor of Caroline: a Study in Jeffersonian Democracy," by Eugene Tenbroeck Mudge; AMS Press, NY, 1968, reprinted fm 1939 edition, 227 pp, xii, 208 text, Index, Bibliography; is outstanding, brilliant work, covering John Taylor of Caroline (county in Virginia), otherwise un-justly little-known collaborator w. Jefferson on subject of US Constitution and states rights. Taylor is extremely interesting predecessor of John C. Calhoun, the S. Carolina statesman for various states-rights concepts, including "concurrent majorities" (whence states must complement the popular voting for proper passage of legislation) and especially for the rising power of bank and consolidationist interest which would later culminate in horrendous war btwn Southern states and federal gov. of the 1860s.

Thus Mudge does great work for so cogently summarizing Taylor, as well as the general school of political thought Taylor led and spoke for fm the south regarding integrity of the states and the agrarian interest which Taylor sought to defend against northern industrialists, manufacturers, and financiers who were steadily constructing a nationalist tyranny by various means, esp. in way of tariff taxation which fell so hard upon the southern states and farmers, southerners paying most, northerners then enjoying most the benefits of consequent gov. spending.

For Taylor looked into the US Constitution most closely and analyzed the serious flaws he found, one of them being the tyrannic Supreme Court acting as super legislator holding a veto over the Congress and the states, destined to enslave and destroy states and union. For the union properly conceived is mere servant and instrument in accord w. compact among states. Don't forget: it was the states which made the union (regardless of Lincoln's pathetic lies).

Surely then one of the greatest lessons of history about the US Constitution is the centralized federal gov., specifically the Supreme Court, must not be allowed to arbitrate in disputes btwn the state(s) and that fed., centralized gov. as the court is obviously an interested party, necessarily prejudiced in favor of the fed. central gov., against the states. And one of the greatest examples and lessons was in that court's decision against the states (and people) regarding the central bank as in McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819) which ratified and entrenched a gross criminal enterprise against public and states (legalized counterfeiting--see Mises.org on topic of "central-banking").

Note the properly legislative power of enacting "common law," "law of nations," and judicial review of legislation was NEVER part of the Constitution or even significantly discussed at the convention (though it was discussed in the irrelevant advocacy given in "Federalist Papers" by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay); rather, such legislation was simply and arbitrarily presumed and declared ("dictum") by the Supreme Court itself.

Thus the Supreme Court arrogates unto itself the power of a super-legislature w. prerogative of veto (through the arbitrary "judicial review") over the duly constituted Congressional legislature--which obviously makes the legislature subservient and inferior to such judiciary, and which too many fools have blithely over-looked. Rather, it must be left to states, much as the parties to a treaty, to determine the proper and appropriate constitutionality of laws and acts, as Jefferson and Madison noted in Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.

Perhaps most of all, and most poignantly, Taylor notes the Judiciary has no rightful, logical, or Constitutional business, place, or function as separate branch of the gov. It's the law, made by legislature, convention, and constitution that gives place and purpose to the judiciary, NOT the other way round--which unfortunately has been the horrific and continuing disaster we've witnessed throughout history. Further, says Taylor, the Congress can only create a court system, not jurisdiction, duly according to Constitution, the Constitution itself determining and defining jurisdiction.

The author, Mr. Mudge, truly does magnificent work for his excellent clarity in writing for summing things up for Taylor who was known as a poor writer, himself much lacking clarity and for quite often tedious formulations and muddled expression of his ideas through four or five works and several pamphlets, and Mudge does well for so well demonstrating Taylor's general philosophy which much paralleled Jefferson's agrarian-orientation.

For Taylor strikes one much as idealist than as a practical sort even though he was devoted farmer who served as soldier in the Revolutionary War and as member of the Virginia legislature and several times as US Senator. Yet Taylor is demonstrated as genius nonetheless for his amazing legal insight, as regarding the Supreme Ct.; further as one who foresaw the sectional rivalry which was growing btwn north, south, and west, and finally as one who analyzed in detail the truly pernicious effects of the central bank and the protective tariff policy by which the northern oligarchs dominated and corrupted the union. leading to southern desperation and "civil" war.

Thus Mudge's work is outstanding for excellent illustration, exegesis, and summary exposition of thematic philosophy as that of the great character and figure of American history, so otherwise little-known, as our estimable John Taylor of Caroline, bridge and link fm founders like Jefferson to later leader and theoretician like John C. Calhoun. Thus by means of Mudge and heroic Taylor together we understand so much better the on-going American horror and tragedy.
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