Identifying an Enemy of the Constitution, Part Four

By Dennis Haugh – 29 April 2022

In 2019, I published an article entitled “Against all Enemies.” I had pondered the clause on “domestic” enemies in the military oath for years, but meaningful conclusions about actions have been elusive. This is the fourth article in a series that revisits the question, focusing on identifying a domestic enemy.

The previous article in this series introduced eight components of the United States as possible “attack points” for a domestic enemy. Since each of these components is itself domestic, each has the potential either to attack or be attacked by one of the others.

Americans have always believed that their government was looking after their best interests. This is because the founders set up a republic where justice and the rule of law were to prevail. It was the purpose of our limiting, written Constitution. But such synergy has not always existed throughout history. Aristotle classified governments that did not protect the best interests of the citizens as “divergent.” Part three of this series demonstrated this divergence in the United States today.

Americans have also believed that their institutions’ goals were aligned overall with their best interests. Society’s cohesion depends upon it. That is what makes them the prime targets for any enemy. Disrupt a society’s institutions, and the society[1] becomes unstable and confused. Government is the ultimate societal institution.

Gramsci was the first socialist to identify what has become known as “the long march through the institutions” as a part of his theory of cultural hegemony.[2] The phrase itself was coined in the 1960s by Rudi Dutschke.[3]

Aristotle identified the education system as crucial for perpetuating society’s norms. It is the most important institution for avoiding Madison’s mortal diseases of instability, injustice, and confusion in the populace. Once the education system is corrupted, it only takes a couple of generation turns to completely conquer the rest of a society’s institutions.

The main weapon to attack any institution is infiltration, and the goal is to take over its leadership. Once the institution has been overwhelmed, it may become an enemy of the people by supporting invasion or inhibiting their rights. In the case of the government, it would also be an enemy of the Constitution. It is important to note that not only the court system, but the education system, are governmental structures. That means that they can be enemies of the Constitution. But does a private institution become an enemy of the Constitution?

Any private institution that inhibits the rights of the American people may be an enemy of the people, but not an enemy of the Constitution. The Constitution only prevents the government(s) of the United States from disrespecting the people’s rights. Private organizations and individual citizens are not constitutionally bound by the Bill of Rights. However, they are bound by laws derived from the Constitution.

Supporting invasion or otherwise levying war on the states is another question. Is an institution that is guilty of treason an enemy of the Constitution? One way an institution can commit treason is to support an invasion of the states (like is happening on the border). As the Chinese enumerated, jamming the courts or trying to harm the economy of any/all state(s) would be an act of war that could be considered treason. In particular, offshoring has the real potential to be judged treasonous. Is depriving any/all states of jobs an act of economic warfare?

Whereas the institutional support for the invasion of the southern border is clearly treason, qualifying the use of the court system or economic maneuvers as either lawfare or economic warfare is difficult to quantify. On the other hand, there are forms of network warfare that are clear – like denial-of-service attacks. There are US institutions today that are guilty of treason but have not been prosecuted for it. One of the things the framers were particularly concerned about was the states warring against each other. Since covid, we have had some skirmishes between the states that could lead to a constitutional crisis.

The institutions of society are constituted by people. As Jerry Pournelle pointed out with his Iron Law, there are two groups within any organization:

  1. Those who promote the goals of the organization
  2. Those who promote the organization[4]

AND the second group (2) will always gain control and make the rules. This makes group two the focus of concern in determining individual domestic enemies of the Constitution.

[1] “little-c” of Eskridge and Ferejohn, Super-Statutes: The New American Constitutionalism by Eskridge & Ferejohn, The Least Examined

Branch by Richard W. Bauman & Tsvi Kahan

“The Least Examined Branch.” Google Books. Accessed March 22, 2019.

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[2] Kiska, Roger. “Antonio Gramsci’s Long March through History.” Acton Institute, April 18, 2022.

[3] Parsons, Nicholas T. “The Long March through the Institutions – Douglas Murray’s Book on Our Civilization and Its Discontents.” Hungarian Review, May 7, 2020.

[4] I would add “and consequently themselves”

Identifying an Enemy of the Constitution, Part Four