The Third Edition

Third Edition

Well knowing, from the lessons of history, the innate and insatiable greed of governmental power, and its unsleeping purpose to break through the most solemnly-imposed limitations; and understanding the political truism, that as governmental power increases the liberty of the citizen must correspondingly diminish; seeing government clearly, as mere groups of men, like other men, who will violate the rights of other men, when there is a strong incentive, our forefathers founded this government as a constitutional one, of limited and enumerated powers, to insure the blessings of liberty to themselves, and to us, their posterity, and to those who shall come after us.

— Sterling E. Edmunds, 1933

When the first edition of this volume appeared, in the spring of 1932, its author hoped that it might arouse his fellow-citizens to arrest the usurpations of power by their political servants in Washington, before these servants became masters over their lives, their liberty and their property.

That hope has been disappointed.

The march to federal autocracy has not only not been halted, it has been greatly accelerated, under the pretext of an “economic emergency“; and, within three months, from March 9 to June 12, 1933, we find that the 73rd Congress, in special session, has confounded the three co-ordinate and co-equal branches of our government, with their historic checks and balances, and has assumed to confer upon the Executive vast and irresponsible powers which it did not possess and which it was constitutionally incompetent to bestow.

Let none be deceived by the plea that the exercise of these despotic powers is limited to two or three years. All governments reach out to seize power; no government ever voluntarily relinquished it.

Economic recovery will come, not because of, but in spite of, federal dictatorship; such is the patience and industry of man, even under oppression; and when it comes, our rulers will know how to employ it in an effort to make permanent this autocratic rule set up in contempt of the limitations of the Constitution of the United States.

Sterling E. Edmunds
Baldwin, Mich.
October 15, 1933

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