On this day in 1946, the first Yugoslav Constitution came into effect. It was patterned after the Soviet Constitution. It reminds me of something a couple of years back when some idiot like Michele Bachmann stated that Obama only cared about upholding the communist constitution. Something like that. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that a lot of people think that authoritarian regimes had terrible constitutions. They rarely did.
The Soviet constitution was great. As Justice Antonin Scalia said, “The bill of rights of the former evil empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours.” Those that fetishize the Constitution are idiots. It’s just a document. And it means what we collectively say it means.
This also reminds me of the Second Amendment idiots who think that it’s their guns that will stop the government from turning into a tyranny. If it gets to the point of us having to protect ourselves from the government, then we’ve already lost. Think about the people at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. A truly tyrannical government would just fly a drone over and blow it up. Problem solved!
Societies don’t stay free because of old documents and stockpiles of firearms. They stay free because the people stay engaged in the process. Every time someone opens a voter’s pamphlet, they are helping to save this republic. Every time someone listens to a political debate, they are helping to save this republic. The greatest threat to this republic and to every other free country in the world is apathy. By the time a Hitler or a Stalin or a Pol Pot comes to power, the fight has already been lost.
We all need to remember that. If Dick Cheney were dictator of the world, he would have all kinds of pieces of paper telling you how free you are, just like the Yugoslav Constitution. And he’d allow you to have your guns. Because he wouldn’t have to worry about them. His position would be solidified by something far more powerful.