The great evil of the modern age is the ability of modern states to destroy or suppress independent social authorities and to concentrate power to the center. The horrors of the 20th century—world wars, totalitarian revolutions, mass killings of millions by the state—could not have happened without a concentration of power unprecedented in history. The mother of modern centralization is the Enlightenment ideology of liberalism. The modern state took shape in the 17th century to protect the natural rights of the individual. The enemies of the individual were the moral and political traditions of Europe. But any state powerful enough to destroy substantial moral communities—leaving only a rootless mass of rights-bearing individuals—is also powerful enough to farm those individuals for whatever purpose the ruling class might choose. The French Revolution created the first liberal regime dedicated to the rights of man and the first totalitarian regime. Napoleon put the vast state machinery created by French liberalism to the purpose of conquest and his own glory. Hitler did the same with the massive state machinery created by Bismarckian and Weimar liberalism.

Americans worked out the first constitution designed explicitly to decentralize power. By 1800, the world had two models of modern politics: the French unitary state and the decentralized American federation. But, in time, the American polity would follow the French model. This revolutionary change was not brought about by the people openly debating and amending their constitution. It occurred—as it has occurred elsewhere—by fraud and violence.

In politics, tell the big lie, Hitler said. The little lie can be uncovered. The big lie has the power to invert and transform the world itself The current regime of the United States is grounded in three big lies. The first is Lincoln’s declaration that the American states were never sovereign; that the union created the states, not the states the union; and that a state is no more than a county in a unitary state. (Had this been put to the Founders, there would have been no union!) The second lie is the 14th Amendment. This “amendment” was never constitutionally passed by Congress, nor was it constitutionally ratified by the states. The third is the “incorporation doctrine,” which says that the 14th Amendment incorporates the Bill of Rights. The inversion is breathtaking. The Bill of Rights, designed to protect the states from the central government, is inverted to protect the ever-expanding rights of the individual—guaranteed by an ever-expanding central government—from the states.

The elimination of state and local sovereignty, over constitutionally reserved powers (the regulation of religion, morals, education, voting rights, law enforcement, citizenship, etc.) by the central government has led to social and moral disintegration. The only remedy is to restore the Constitution. There are signs that the big lie is losing its grip. Revisionist historians and philosophic critics of liberalism have been chipping away at the myths that have covered the big lie. These myths are beginning to emit the stale odor of their 19th-century origins—a period in which the West was obsessed with centralization and imperialism. Americans dismayed at the destruction of their cultural inheritance by their own government are, for the first time, disposed to listen to these critiques. The U.S. Taxpayers Party has renamed itself the Constitution Party and is vigorously teaching Americans what their Constitution is. If Americans ever rediscover their Constitution, they will necessarily discover the big lie. And with that—as in the former Soviet Union—some hitherto treasured icons will be justly headed for the dustbin of history.