Classic EssaysWilliam Pierce

The Law of the Land

John McNaughton's "Wake Up America"

by Dr. William L. Pierce

A NAUSEATINGLY FAMILIAR spectacle of our times is one of our elected “leaders,” whether President Gerald Ford or Boston Mayor Kevin White, appearing on television and solemnly announcing that he is as opposed to the forced racial busing of school children as anyone, but that it is “the law of the land.” The implication, of course, is that “the law of the land” is something sacred, which every right thinking citizen must meekly accept and quietly obey.

(ILLUSTRATION: John McNaughton’s painting “Wake Up America”)

Now, it is true that the orders issued by any old man in a black robe who has been appointed to a Federal court by the politicians in Washington have the force of law, regardless of how outrageous or immoral or socially disruptive those orders may be — provided only that some other old man appointed to a higher Federal court by the politicians in Washington doesn’t overrule him. Under the present American system of government, Federal judges are the wielders of awesome power.

It is also true that Americans have a long and deeply rooted tradition of respect for law. All the peoples of northern Europe, from whom most White Americans are descended, have similar traditions of obedience to the legally constituted authorities. It is this tradition which is being invoked when the politicians urge us to do as the old men in the black robes order us, like it or not. Either we are law-abiding citizens, and we obey, or we are lawbreakers — criminals.

At least, that’s the way it used to be. But, alas, life is no longer so simple these days. Thirty years ago, in Nuremberg, Germany, we and our wartime allies donned black robes and ruled that there is a higher law than the laws written by Congresses, Parliaments, and Reichstags.

Every man, we ruled, is bound by this higher law. When it conflicts with written laws, then we must disobey those written laws. On the basis of our ruling at Nuremberg we then proceeded to hang by the neck until dead more than 5,000 law-abiding German soldiers and civilians. Their “crime” had been to faithfully obey the laws of their land.

More recently the precedents established at Nuremberg have been applied in this country — selectively, to be sure. For example, the members of our armed forces have been instructed that they must not obey “immoral” orders from their commanding officers, and they are subject to punishment if they do. On the other hand, if they guess wrong and refuse to obey a “moral” order, they will also be punished.

The situation is at least as confusing for civilians. They are taught in school that, as American citizens, they have certain inalienable rights and that those rights are set forth in the U.S. Constitution, the highest law of the land. When a citizen, who has noted that the Constitution assures him that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” is confronted with a myriad of Federal, state, and local laws which do, indeed, infringe that right, what is he to do? Many of those who reasoned that the Constitution has precedence and then acted accordingly are now reflecting on their error behind prison bars.

The same is true of those who reasoned, on Constitutional grounds, that the Federal government cannot legally compel them to rent a house they own to someone not of their own choosing, or to admit someone not of their own choosing into their lodge or craft guild or place of business, or to fill out a Form 1040 each April.

Actually, it shouldn’t be confusing at all. There is a very simple common denominator which resolves all these apparent contradictions. It is this: the concept of “a rule of laws, not of men” is a myth, a fiction maintained by America’s rulers to deceive those who are ruled.

The politicians and the media masters understand this. That is why they raised such a fuss a few years back when Mr. Nixon tried to put a couple of “conservative” judges on the Supreme Court, and it is why they were so disappointed when the secret wheelings and dealings of Mr. Johnson’s appointee to be Chief Justice, Abe Fortas, came to light and forced his resignation. They understand that it is not what the Constitution says that is important, but what the political appointees in black robes say it says.

Thus, the victorious democrats and communists did not hang Germans for obeying German laws or for disobeying the ex post facto laws passed at Nuremberg. We hanged them because they lost the war and were no longer capable of protecting themselves from our hatred and thirst for vengeance. We hanged them for the same reason we raped their women and gave half their country away, namely, because after the war we had guns and they didn’t.

It is for the same reason that the Internal Revenue Service never has to lose a moment’s sleep worrying about the involved Constitutional arguments of various tax protestors, so long as the IRS is on good terms with the various political appointees in black robes who sit in the tax courts. Simply stated, the Internal Revenue Service and its friends in the courts have more muscle than all the “tax strike” groups put together, and so it really doesn’t matter what the Constitution says.

That is why J. Stanley Pottinger, the smirking little Jew who heads the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, can strut arrogantly around Boston, ordering White children into Black schools and arresting any parents who raise a fuss about it.

He has an army of gunmen — armed Federal marshals — to protect him and to enforce his orders for him, and Boston’s White parents do not.

And that is why the politicians in Washington can calmly go ahead with their plans to send American “technicians” to the Middle East and to empty our treasury and strip our arsenals for the sake of the Israelis, despite the overwhelming opposition of the American people to these things. The people may not like it, but the politicians and the media masters, not the people, are the ones with the muscle.

And is it ever otherwise? Is it possible to govern a people by their informed consent, to have a legal system based on something other than superior force? The answer is “yes” — when certain conditions are met: when the written law — the acts passed by Congress and the rulings issued by judges — corresponds with the moral sense of the people, with their traditions, with their deepest feelings of what is right and proper; when it corresponds with the people’s common law, which is the set of unwritten rules which has evolved organically along with a people over the millennia, so that it is an integral part of that people’s cultural and spiritual heritage. Then — and only then — can it rightly be called “the law of the land,” to which every man owes obedience.

But these conditions do not prevail in America today, and so we do not have a “rule of law,” but a tyranny. Under the present System, whoever is in a position to give the orders to the largest number of hired gunmen is the man whose view of what is “legal” prevails. So long as no one with more hired gunmen opposes him, he can order children bused and private property confiscated and the right to bear arms infringed and the patrimony of the people turned over to an alien power.

But let us also remember this: to defy a tyrant, to refuse to obey his edicts, to kill him or his enforcement agents, while it may be “illegal,” is not contrary to the law of our land, in the truest sense of that phrase. Indeed, it is in harmony with that higher law to which we are all subject, the higher law under which obedience to tyrants and collaboration with their agents are themselves crimes.

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From Attack! No. 40, 1975

transcribed by Vanessa Neubauer from the book The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard, edited by Kevin Alfred Strom

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OUR NEW, remastered audio book edition of The Turner Diaries read by the author, Dr. William Pierce, is now available. You can get your copy now — the CDs are are shipping as soon as orders come in.

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