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A Letter to Grover Cleveland On His False Inaugural Address, The Usurpations and Crimes of Lawmakers and Judges, and the Consequent Poverty, Ignorance, and Servitude Of The People   By: (1808-1887)

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A LETTER

TO

GROVER CLEVELAND,

ON

HIS FALSE INAUGURAL ADDRESS, THE USURPATIONS AND CRIMES OF LAWMAKERS AND JUDGES, AND THE CONSEQUENT POVERTY, IGNORANCE, AND SERVITUDE OF THE PEOPLE.

BY LYSANDER SPOONER.

BOSTON: BENJ. R. TUCKER, PUBLISHER. 1886.

The author reserves his copyright in this letter. First pamphlet edition published in July, 1886.[1]

[1] Under a somewhat different title, to wit, " A Letter to Grover Cleveland, on his False, Absurd, If contradictory, and Ridiculous Inaugural Address ," this letter was first published, in instalments, "LIBERTY" (a paper published in Boston); the instalments commencing June 20, 1885, and continuing to May 22, 1886: notice being given, in each paper, of the reservation of copyright.

A LETTER TO GROVER CLEVELAND.

SECTION I.

To Grover Cleveland :

SIR, Your inaugural address is probably as honest, sensible, and consistent a one as that of any president within the last fifty years, or, perhaps, as any since the foundation of the government. If, therefore, it is false, absurd, self contradictory, and ridiculous, it is not (as I think) because you are personally less honest, sensible, or consistent than your predecessors, but because the government itself according to your own description of it, and according to the practical administration of it for nearly a hundred years is an utterly and palpably false, absurd, and criminal one. Such praises as you bestow upon it are, therefore, necessarily false, absurd, and ridiculous.

Thus you describe it as "a government pledged to do equal and exact justice to all men."

Did you stop to think what that means? Evidently you did not; for nearly, or quite, all the rest of your address is in direct contradiction to it.

Let me then remind you that justice is an immutable, natural principle; and not anything that can be made, unmade, or altered by any human power.

It is also a subject of science, and is to be learned, like mathematics, or any other science. It does not derive its authority from the commands, will, pleasure, or discretion of any possible combination of men, whether calling themselves a government, or by any other name.

It is also, at all times, and in all places, the supreme law. And being everywhere and always the supreme law, it is necessarily everywhere and always the only law.

Lawmakers, as they call themselves, can add nothing to it, nor take anything from it. Therefore all their laws, as they call them, that is, all the laws of their own making, have no color of authority or obligation. It is a falsehood to call them laws; for there is nothing in them that either creates men's duties or rights, or enlightens them as to their duties or rights. There is consequently nothing binding or obligatory about them. And nobody is bound to take the least notice of them, unless it be to trample them under foot, as usurpations. If they command men to do justice, they add nothing to men's obligation to do it, or to any man's right to enforce it. They are therefore mere idle wind, such as would be commands to consider the day as day, and the night as night. If they command or license any man to do injustice, they are criminal on their face. If they command any man to do anything which justice does not require him to do, they are simple, naked usurpations and tyrannies. If they forbid any man to do anything, which justice would permit him to do, they are criminal invasions of his natural and rightful liberty. In whatever light, therefore, they are viewed, they are utterly destitute of everything like authority or obligation... Continue reading book >>




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