local ranchers, with the support of arncounty commissioner, nearly had a gunfightrnwith officials of the Forest Servicernand the Bureau of Land Managementrnwhen the citizens decided to ignore federa!rnregulations on land use and startedrnbuilding their own road where federalrnregs declared they couldn’t. “We werernproving our point that thev don’t havernjurisdiction,” said the county potentate,rnwho habitually carries a copv of the Constitutionrn(the old one) in his pocket, hirnother areas, similar conflicts between localsrnand federals—over environmentalrnregulations and laws, for instance—havernprooked the same kind of confrontationsrnthat are beginning to resemble olderrnfights that took place at Lexington,rnConcord, and Fort Sumter.rnConservative academics can explorernthe theoretical justifications for secessionrnall thc” want, but the real action theserndas is not in talking the talk but in walkingrnthe walk, and in the last couple ofrnvears, plain citizens who have neverrnheard of Alexander Stephens and carernlittle for Jefferson Davis have startedrntheir own secession moement. Unlikerntheir theoretical counterparts, the arernnot inenting reasons to avoid politicalrnacti ism or to start their own countr}-.rnWhat the’ want to secede from is notrnthe country itself but Washington andrnthe leviathan headquartered there, andrnfantasies about throwing the Yankees outrnof Atlanta do nothing to advance therncause thev share with the more seriousrnand principled foes of centralization.rnNevertheless, the Tenth Amendmentrnmovement, if it is a movement, wouldrnnot be hurt by a bit more command ofrntheor’ and principle before it marchesrnup Bunker Hill. In the 1970’s, the NewrnRight was also contemptuous of politicalrntheorv. and when its leaders finallyrngained some measure of political power,rnthey quickly found that they had only arnfogg’ idea of what they wanted to do andrnwhy the’ wanted to do it. The result wasrnthat the successful New Right was quicklyrngobbled up bv neoconservatives, whornpossessed a clearer vision of what to dornwitli the power they craved but couldrnnot win through elections.rnThere seems to be a similar problemrnwith the leaders of Tenth Amendmentrnacti’ism, as illustrated by the remark ofrnone newly converted apostle of states’rnrights, Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, lastrnyear. “I’m not arguing for this [states’rnrights] on the basis of some ideology.rnI’m arguing for more state autonomyrnbased on the fact that what we’ve gotrnisn’t working.” This, of course, is simplyrnthe voice of pragmatism, a principledrnrefusal to invoke principle, and like allrnpragmatism it will eventually be swallowedrnup by someone or something else.rnMr. Leavitt, it must be recalled, is notrnonly a governor but also a Republican.rnThe main danger the Tenth Amendmentrnmovement faces is also its mainrnstrength, namely, that it is not “principled,”rnthat it is a response to practicalrngrievances experienced by those vhornhave come to perceive the federal go-rnernmcnt as the main cause of theirrngrievances. Hence, the danger is that asrnsoon as those specific gricxances are removedrnor massaged (which is exactlyrnwhat much of the Republicans’ Contractrntries to do), the movement will wither.rnMoreover, serious supporters of TenthrnAmendment federalism need to rememberrnthat whatever costs federal aggrandizementrnimposes on the states andrncitizens, there are many who gain from itrnand from the calculated obsolescence ofrnthe amendment. That is one major reasonrnwhy the segregationists’ use of thernamendment never went cr’ far. Haingrnhappily wallowed in federal grease whenrnchecks for farm subsidies were in thernmail, the Southerners could not expectrnto be taken very seriously when theyrnwhined about states’ rights in the face ofrnfederally enforced integration.rnA movement for restoring reality tornthe Tenth Amendment can be takenrnseriously, not just when pragmatists likernGovernor Leavitt learn something aboutrnthe principles they casually and ignorantlyrninvoke, but when social and economicrngroups are willing to support realrnfederalism even against their own interests.rnThe artfulness of the political revolutionrnthat has destroyed authenticrnrepublicanism arid converted state andrnlocal government into Jackson’s “merernstipendiaries and instruments of the centralrnpower” is that the revolution succeededrnin wedding social and economicrngroups to that power. Just as Hamiltonrnand Cla tried to buy up and bind togetherrnlocal interests with their projectsrnfor national banks, tariffs, and internalrnimprovements, so the architects of thernmodern managerial state have constructedrna federal architecture that buys uprnand binds together strategic social andrneconomic elites. The intellectual andrnverbalist classes have been bought bvrnfederal funding of education, the arts,rnand humanities and by federal entrenchmentrnof a radically expanded interpretationrnof the First Amendment that allowsrnthe eggheads to mouth off about anyrnstupidity that pops into their heads withoutrnfear of local sedition and obscenityrnlaws. Labor and racial minorities havernbeen bought by federal legislation thatrncreates special privileges for them. BigrnBusiness (including agribusiness) hasrnbeen bought by direct subsidies andrnmonetary and tax policies that favorrnbigness and concentration over smallerrncompetitors. The new proletariat createdrnby mass immigration is being boughtrnsimpK’ bv the federal leviathan’s refusalrnto enforce its own laws against illegal entryrnand by forcing the states to assumernthe burdens that ensue. The only peoplernwho have not been bought are MiddlernAmericans themselves, who are expectedrnto pay for the bargains they are gettingrnand to endure their consequences in silence.rnThat, of course, is why there is anrnincipient Middle American Revolutionrnat all.rnSimply because so many Americansrnnow depend, directly or indirectly, onrnthe federal leviathan and the other people’srnmoney that it so generously sharesrnwith those who have no right to it,rnrestoration of the Tenth Amendment inrnthe way that Jefferson and Jackson wouldrnhave wanted may not now be possible.rnBut even a partial restoration would riprnmuch of the guts out of the leviathanrnand so disrupt it that it could no longerrnfunction, and there can be no doubt thatrnin recent years there have emerged severalrnconcrete social and economic groupsrnwith real and deep interests in at leastrnsome restriction of federal power. Ifrnenough such groups can crystallize andrninvest their revolt with a serious understandingrnof what federalism means andrnhow it can be advanced, then a realrnrestoration of the Tenth Amendment,rnand not merely Republican manipulationrnof slogans, may become possible asrnAmericans come to perceive the realrncosts of the “boundless field of power, nornlonger susceptible of any definition,” tornwhich the destruction of the Old Republicrnhas delivered us as Jefferson warned itrnwould. crnlULY 1995/9rnrnrn