Jus Soli & 500,000 Dead
Jus Soli, Slavery, and the Bastardization of American Citizenship Part 1
There is a principle that is fundamental to all living groups, whether human or animal, and that is the principle of membership. New members are created naturally by birth to members, -or are outsiders allowed to join by the acquiescence of the leadership. Natural membership, like sex, pregnancy, and birth, is not dependent on anyone’s permission. Membership is automatic when the parents are members. As in the animal realm, location of birth is irrelevant. In civilized societies natural membership is universally understood to be a natural inheritance and is dependent on no person nor regulation or law granting it. This is true in every nation on earth except one, the United States.
Yet Americans are schizophrenic when it comes to citizenship. They want it two ways, and have it two ways to an extent but do not understand the limits nor the principles behind how we have come to view citizenship.
Many Americans have come to think that their citizenship is based on the fortunate fact that they were born in the United States, and that that blessed accident of nature has made them special in this world and privileged to have such precious citizenship. Yet at the same time they also believe that if they had been born just over the border they would still be an American citizen because their parents are Americans. They fail to grasp that these are two separate and irreconcilable principles, because if they are citizens by birth in the U.S., then how could their hypothetical sibling not be a citizen of the foreign nation on which they just happened to be born due to an early delivery? And why does the other nation not consider the off-spring of a foreign mother, born on their soil, to be one of their citizens?
The answer to that question is that no nation follows such a ridiculous principle except the schizophrenic United States, unless, that is, the birth was to a foreign mother who worked in the U.S. for her foreign government. Then her child would not be a U.S. citizen because the mother is not subject to U.S. federal jurisdiction, even though born on U.S. soil. All nations respect that principle which is fundamental to the Law of Nations. But such a birth is essentially no different than if she quit her job just before delivery, or she only came to the U.S. to visit. How are such children not citizens of their and their husband’s own country? Well they are, just as the same is true of children born to Americans abroad, but other nations, unlike the U.S., do not consider such children to be their citizens. Why don’t they, -when the U.S. does? Because of our perspective-distorting history which is unlike other nations, with the exception of Australia.
In normal societies, whether in today’s world, or twenty thousand years ago, membership in the group is the result of the father’s ownership of his children. All who are his off-spring are automatically group members regardless of where the mother might be located at the time of birth. If a man’s pregnant wife visits the territory of another tribe/nation while he is off hunting (on a business trip) and she gives birth prematurely, the other tribe/nation does not consider her off-spring to be a member of their group but of the father’s group. If some renegade tribe members (narco-trafficers) kidnap the mother and child to obtain ransom, and the father, upon receiving the ransom demand, goes all Rambo and attacks the kidnappers and rescues his wife, does he then behold his child and think to himself; “Hmmm, my child was born on the land of the other tribe, therefore it belongs to the other tribe and I have no right to take it with me because that would be political kidnapping.”
No human in human history would think that way but those who champion the principle of “jus soli” [law of the soil] as the American principle that determines citizenship are defending and promoting such an absurd viewpoint. Such a case takes that principle to its ultimate possibility.
What of a case where a man from one tribe fathers a child with a female of another tribe? If the woman doesn’t marry him nor join his group, does the child belong to the group of the mother who gave him birth? What if the wife of a member of tribe A is kidnapped by a man from tribe B and becomes pregnant by him, to which tribe will the child belong? These questions have no universal settled answers because the situations would be unnatural and far out of the norm. The child would be a hybrid, the combination of different, possibly hostile groups. Neither group would happily consider such a child/son to be a natural member of their group. Just as Amer-asian off-spring of American fathers in Vietnam were shunned by Vietnamese society and eventually had to be allowed to come to the U.S. Such unnatural off-spring have a counter-part in the political realm. Children of mixed nationalities are quite unnatural when it comes to citizenship. Which group/nation do they naturally belong to? Neither. They will belong to both nations, though not in a natural sense, but because of laws that allow such conflicts.
Their citizenship is governed by the decisions of the law-makers rather than being automatic via birth to group parents. There is no settled universal principle that applies to all cases in all nations except the principle that such off-spring are universally considered to not be natural members of any group. In the U.S. that means that they are not natural citizens because they were not born to members/citizens (plural) of the nation. Hybrids are never natural off-spring. Not in nature, nor in the view of tribes, nor the view of nations. Hybrid parentage is confused parentage from a jurisdictional standpoint since its origin is not one of uniformity but of duality, and a dual nature is never natural, in the animal realm, tribal realm, nor the political realm of citizenship.
No one with dual citizenship, -the lack of uniform parentage and its resultant uniform citizenship, is born as a natural citizen of any nation. The Constitution of the United States forbids anyone from serving as President if they are not a natural born citizen, -that, by definition, rejects all dual-citizens, as well as naturalized citizens, because they are not born being natural citizens. Yet few Americans realize this fact. How did that come about? To find the answer one must examine history, in particular the history of the American colonies.
But let’s first look at an older civilization. The nation of Rome existed in two forms, the original Republic of Rome which was democratically governed by the Roman Senate rather than a King since they hated Kings because they had been slaves of the Etruscan Empire for a grievously long time. But eventually they allowed themselves to accept the first Roman Emperor [who was a highly successful Roman general]. They had three classes of members in the Empire, -the Roman citizens, the subjects of Rome (conquered peoples), and slaves. Eventually the Roman Empire devolved into individual nation-states that were ruled by Kings and aristocratic nobility. Since they were not allowing the Pope of the former “Holy Roman Empire” to have all authority invested in him, they needed a “Christian philosophy” to justify their authority. The philosophy that emerged was known as “The Divine Right of Kings”.
It held that the authority of the King was divinely ordained by God. It also supported the system of sub-rulers, -the wealthy aristocracy of noble families. They were like senior partners under the King in a model describable as the citizenship-partnership model. The common people and guild members comprised the model/group describable as Subjects. They were under the protection of the nobility that ruled their region and were obligated to serve their regional authority in event of an emergency, just as the regional authority was obligated to serve the King in event of a national emergency. They were like junior partners in the Kings domain.
At the bottom of the social ladder were those in the illiterate, uneducated, indebtedness class who were the serfs and also, eventually, those imported as slaves. They had no privileges or obligations since they were essentially property. Hence they could be said to belong to the Property-Ownership (or serfdom) model. Movement between the three classes was virtually impossible. Serfs were practically trapped for life since they had no financial or educational means to change their situation. Their national political standing gradually devolved into one of being attached to their master for life, which in the course of events, came to include their off-spring. Then they were a part of the system of the Divine Right of Kings (and Aristocrats) that held that anything living that was a part of the estate owner’s property belonged to the owner, whether it be of the soil, the flock or herd, or of serfs and slaves. All life produced on the owner’s estate belonged to him. That became the principle known as “jus soli”, or law of the soil. It extrapolated upward to the King, which meant that anything born on his property belonged to him. He wasn’t considered to own all the property of his realm because most was owned by individual members of the nobility. But one thing the King did own, in a sense, was the American territories claimed by him and settled by subjects of his realm. The aristocracy there only owned what he granted them. The colonies were very divergent in religious backgrounds, and even viewed their fellow colonies as havens of heretics. But they all had the same King and the same allegiance to the English law.
The problem that lay beneath the surface was that there wasn’t an agreed consensus as to what model of jurisdictional relationship they were assigned to. In their own eyes, the Americans saw themselves as citizens, and they were citizens (within their own colony) while the royally appointed Governor of the colony saw them as subjects. But the far away aristocratic Parliament and Crown saw them more as belonging to the Property model, without the rights of subjects and citizens, i.e. “no taxation without representation”. But that conflict arose only after a couple hundred years of peaceful colonial life. Up until then, the Property model of political inheritance prevailed, which meant that anyone born on the King’s property belonged to him, and, by extension, to England. So birth in the King’s colonies meant that one was automatically the property of the King’s stable, whether you were from Britain, or France, or wherever because he had absolute jurisdiction over all.
The loss of the principle of birthright inheritance of ones jurisdictional position, whether it were the loss of inheritance of being a citizen of England with its privileges, or of being a subject, was unrecognized by the Americans throughout the history of the colonies, until England decided unilaterally to raise their taxes. England couldn’t do that to fellow citizens, so the fact that they did anyway showed that they considered the Americans as being no more than an elevated class of serfs, the property of England, property without the right to refuse lawful orders which did not require their consent. That, of course, led to the American Revolution, and the authoring of the Declaration of Independence, and the formation of a new nation in rebellion against the rule of the Divine Right of Kings, the rule of the Aristocracy, and the rule of “citizenship” being assigned by the principle of belonging to the property on which one was born, rather than belonging to ones parents and the national membership inherited from them. The principle of jus soli, which was the basis of human ownership by the Aristocracy, prevailed for over two hundred years and then suddenly came to an end, (except in the South) but many intelligent, educated, and responsible men and authorities didn’t realize it because their thinking from childhood was frozen in the only system they had known. So they continued to defend it as “the American way” not realizing its bastard origins and the implications inherent in it. They didn’t really grasp that the whole American colonial experiment was founded on an unjust model that suddenly blew up in their faces when it was implemented in its ugly full force by Parliament.
Part 2. The Colonies, Slavery, and the Property (Serfdom) Model
The Divine Right of Kings philosophy had a counter-part in colonial life in the southern agricultural colonies. Rather than the unlimited right of property ownership that the King and British aristocracy enjoyed over all that came to life on their land, [plant, animal, and human], it took the form of outright slavery. It was allowed and even justified as being condoned by God because he didn’t forbid it, and therefore passively allowed it in the history of the Hebrew (and Roman) people. But it is one thing to conquer a land and take its warriors and their women as slaves, and another thing to claim ownership of the children they produced during their slavery. Would the “not conquered” new souls not be born as free persons since they were never opponents of the conquerors?
Such a consideration was not to the benefit of the slave owners and not a problem for them because they adhered to the Property Model of human relationship to authority. They had all the authority, the slave had none, and whatever the slave produced belonged to them. That is a form of “jus soli birthright” in negative. With anything grown or born on the plantation owner’s property belonging to him, children born to his slaves were born only with the “right” to be his property, not the right of inheritance of the father’s former freeman status in Africa, just as in Britain where birth on the land of the nobility attached the child of a serf to that land for life. That was the model assigned to the colonies. All souls born on the Kings colonial lands belonged to him and to England though that model was never known by the colonists to be the secret position of the mother country that would one day come into the open and wreck havoc in their previously peaceful lives.
But the colonists did not all have clean hands since some colonies practiced the same model regarding Africans. The plantation owner who purchased slaves on the open market bred them like cattle to increase his wealth and the productivity of his plantation. The justification for their off-spring not being born free was the jus soli principle, just as it applied to the off-spring of serfs in England.
The eventual result of this model of citizenship-or-slavery was the split between the North and the South and the formation of the Confederacy. The overly-confident and self-righteous Southern mentality was grounded in their firm belief in the right of human ownership and racial superiority. The jus soli principle was at the heart of their economy and their lives, and they were willing to die for it, and die they did, along with Northern patriot soldiers, both white and black, who believed in the words of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The final cost to the two nations was the greatest man-made tragedy in the history of the Western World with half a million dead. All based on the principle of attachment to the property on which one was born, be it in the form of human ownership or national citizenship.
Americans to this day still do not grasp the history of the principle that they embrace, while no other nation on earth holds to such an unnatural principle that bases the newly born’s membership in the group not on the fact that the parents are members and they inherit everything of their parents, [traits, race, species, and citizenship], but on the location where they were born, usurping the primary authority and importance of the parents for the primary authority of the State and its borders, while characterizing citizenship-by-birth-location as a privilege when in fact the principle itself is corrupt as is easily grasped when it is hypothetically applied in a place like North Korea. Citizenship-by-birth-location in such a nation is not a blessing but a curse if you are an American woman whose plane has to make an emergency landing in North Korea where you give birth and the child is automatically a North Korean citizen and they will not allow their citizens to leave the country.
For 99.9% of American citizens the original principle behind their citizenship is irrelevant since they are both native born and natural born citizens, but the problem with the jus soli principle is that it is mindlessly applied in the United States to everyone born within U.S. territory even though the 14th Amendment clearly discriminates against those who are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Small minds are unable to distinguish between being born within the sphere of U.S. jurisdiction/authority, and being born to one who is not subject to that jurisdiction (by the rule of the Law of Nations and plain old common sense) because they are only in the U.S. temporarily, or illegally.
Just as transient illegal aliens are not in subjection to U.S. federal jurisdiction, so the father of Barack Obama was also not subject to it either since he was a mere temporary visitor here on a student visa. He was not subject to being drafted and sent to Vietnam, nor to other United States federal claims over its citizens. Hence, the child born to him was not a citizen by the 14th Amendment -which applies constitutionally only to children born to permanently domiciled foreigners who are members of American society.
Therefore his native-birth within U.S. borders does not grant him jus soli citizenship because the 14th Amendment does not apply to him through his father. His mother’s citizenship is therefore primary but such citizenship is by legislation, [finally granted to women in the 1920s], and not the historical natural citizenship that requires no law in order to be imparted to the off-spring of natural citizen parents. Therefore Barack Obama is not a native- born-citizen by birth to his father, nor a natural born citizen by birth to his mother, and thus is ineligible per Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution to serve as the President of the United States. “No person, except a natural born Citizen…shall be eligible to the Office of the President.”
A.R. Nash Sept. 7, 2011