Viewpoint: State Constitution is all that protects us from industrial greed
Montana’s Constitution, written in 1972, extols unique environmental protective measures. For over 50 years those aspirational constraints have received praise from outdoor enthusiasts and the working class.
On the other hand, powerful ruling-class families, their indentured servants and extractive industries complain incessantly about “burdensome regulation” and obstructions to unfettered mercantilism.
The old (19th Century) ways of mining rock, mining grass (overgrazing livestock) and mining old growth forest (clearcutting and bulldozing roads into the last fragments) have desecrated the most productive, lower-elevation habitat for wildlife and fish.
While the flattering words that describe Montana’s Constitutional ‘rights’ and shared cultural values and beliefs have produced successes, the broader hopes of an effective regulatory mechanism against commercial encroachment have proved disappointing.
State and federal constitutional rights promise enduring legal protection, but the moral and legal indeterminacy of man-made legal doctrine means that rights are easily manipulated to extend benefits to the powerful and diminish protections from commoners and Nature.
The biennial legislature has failed to close the many gaps and legal loopholes in state laws purporting to defend public lands, wildlife and public waters from the devastating cumulative ecological impacts of Montana’s long colonial history of resource-extractive development.
Living on this global, colonial plantation stresses wildlife and native fish the same way Empire’s proxy wars displace indigenous refugees into unknown and often hostile territory. The struggle to survive is intensified; for many the journey to safety is cut short.
Let’s be clear, “the law,” including Montana’s Constitution, is a bunch of words written on paper (imagined understandings of alleged “divine” direction), by mostly deceased men of old, whom in their own imaginary flattering titles act in the legal persona as “lawmakers” (gods) in some fictional government (corporation) they created for their own benefit.
The scene in Helena today is no different.
The State of Montana is a tool of global anarchy and licensure, which means that the unelected elite are lawless, acting above the law they create for lesser citizen-slaves. Through these legal machinations of illegitimate law and permissions, appointed hirelings, mercenaries, and sycophants of government act in anarchy to all established, written and unwritten law. And for the children of the wealthy elite, preaching virtue – for you, not for them – has become a favored pass-time.
This results paradoxically in a multi-generational system of double-standards and organized anarchy. Laws can be ignored or redefined at the signature of any judge, governor, or legislative consensus. The higher they climb the corporate ladder, the closer to gods they become. Receiving greater exemptions and licenses from the gods of legal law, the more morally depraved and impressed by fiction (simulacra) they become. Unfortunately, far too many of us still fall for this nonsense.
This arbitrary, legalistic law written by self-delusional “god-men” has no soul, no actual spirit – no Life. Nature is not made of words. The written, legal “law” we have been conditioned to believe (love) is not the unwritten self-evident Nature of no man.
Many free individuals remember instinctively that this global feudal system is nuts. I sense a growing number of people expressing their disappointment and dissatisfaction publicly. Others refuse to participate in the soulless, meaningless games neo-feudal hierarchies impose.
I invite others to step away from the clutches of Western imperialism, plunder, further subjugation and colonialism -- out of this path to the abyss. Consider joining the growing chorus of free individuals who imagine their own new paradigm, singing a new tune they created, with conviction.
My lyrics for liberation begin like this: “These are not my values, I do not consent.” What will your beautiful new composition sound like?
Steve Kelly is an artist, gardener and environmental activist who lives in Bozeman, Montana.