I’m going to criticize then compliment the ACLU.
CRITICISM – THE SINGULAR IMPORTANCE OF NATURAL LAW (RECIPROCITY)
Unfortunately while the ACLU has defended those who need defending, they have also been instrumental in pursuing a set of cases with the objective of using the courts to circumvent the process by which our constitution was designed to be changed.
And they have been the principle prosecutors of the intentional destruction of the limits to expression that prohibit that behavior that westerners had developed carefully over centuries: the treatment of all common spaces as sacred – as extensions of the interiors of their church.
Now expressed in scientific rather than normative terms, this means that the west has aggressively prosecuted the underclass for at least one thousand years, by enforcing strict limits on “display, word, and deed” that would normalize behavior that would put the young, the foolish, and those of less able families at risk of imitating. The result was the west’s High Trust Society that no civilization has been in any way close to achieving.
Lost to common people’s history was that the founders were conducting an experiment in ‘the third way’ which was rule by the middle class (or at least upper middle class) and business people, in a world run traditionally by church, state, or a competition between the two. They ran this experiment by encoding individual sovereignty (Natural Law) and rule of law (as opposed to rule by human discretion) into the constitution with strict processes to follow – unfortunately they did not yet understand strict construction or their experiment would have been even more successful.
The original Mission of the ACLU was decidedly Communist and Socialist (see their platform changes over time) and this strategy a means by which to undermine Anglo (western) civilization by taking advantage of a very tolerant legal and cultural system – the first system of its kind, in a territory never ruled by the Aristocracy or Church.
So the ACLU’s mission has produced some goods, but equal if not offsetting bads, not the least of which was the destruction of rule of law by the natural law of reciprocity (natural law) by continuing the undermining of that constitution begun during the Civil War, the Reconstruction, under FDR, and under Johnson’s Great Society movement (trying to imitate the Soviets.)
The constitution failed to include such provisions for the defense of high trust norms, in no small part because the discussion at the time assumed that the church would play the civic and familial role and the domain of the government was largely defense and commerce.
In addition, while all of us have universal standing in matters private, we do not have univeresal standing in matters public – we deliver our agency to proxies we call politicians. We do this because at the time of the constitution, (a) the population capable of such activity was limited, and (b) the time delay of communication was prohibitive.
And the constitution did not provide a mechanism for suing the state, the bureaucracy, or members of the state, nor taking up matters of norms at the federal level, in part because such activities were not the purview of the federal government, even the state governments, but the church enforced by polity and local government.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
So, while the ACLU has undermined those high trust norms, and contributed significantly to the present and future conflict:
(a) it is a civic organization not a state organization and therefore property constructed under natural, reciprocal, anglo saxon (meaning sovereign and contractualist), common law. In other words, it is constructed as the founders would have all civic institutions constructed – continuing long standing tradition.
(b) it was able to fulfill some of the functions that the church was unable to post the industrial and second scientific revolutions (post 1870) by providing a civic institution that levied for the underclasses the way the church had done throughout western history.
(c) by centralizing the government during the civil war, developing fiat money and the federal reserve, followed by the income tax, and vastly expanding the federal government influence, money that had (in europe) been in civic organizations and church assets was available for consumption by democratic politics and the court. This increased the power of the federal government and the need for an institutional means by which to limit abuses by a government with a concentration of wealth that was all but limitless – at least after the world wars.
In my reading of history the democratic socialist movement in general can be seen as the slow replacement of the prior theological church with secular (if frequently pseudoscientific) institutions and prose.
WHAT WENT WRONG
The principle problem with their movement was the search for monopoly power and single-house government, by underclass rule, rather than adding a house for the underclass through which their interests could be negotiated with the other classes now that the church no longer existed as a semi-governing body responsible for norm and family.
In other words, MONOPOLY IS ALWAYS BAD and the world communist and socialist movements attempted (as did the church but the church also failed) attempted to achieve authoritarian monopoly, without understanding that the Tripartism of Church, Burger, and State functioned as a balance of power between the classes from the end of the empire to the first world war.
The court is a poor proxy for markets, and had we created additional houses for the classes rather than (i) the anglo enlightenment fantasy of an aristocracy of all, or (ii) the French/Russian/Jewish fantasy of underclass authoritarianism. Or the (iii) German fantasy of an army of civic duty replacing the church with secular rationalist prose (The Germans had the least inaccurate vision of man.)
WE LEARN FROM RETROSPECT
Small things in large numbers have vast consequences and if I am right then we will have another civil war within our lifetimes.
Hopefully our next constitutions will be written in strictly constructed law from the first law of reciprocity, but we will have many small states the normative, formal, economic, and military organizations of which are customized for the reproductive interest of the polities.
The only value of political scale is debt and the war made possible by access to that debt. We are seeing worldwide the slow collapse of nations that used credit not to transform behaviors to those of the high trust middle class, but to subsidize behaviors of the political, laboring, and underclasses.
The continental government has outlived its usefulness as an institution that controls the sale and distribution of a conquered continent to immigrants. The american economy is and always has been housing and the goods to fill those houses. And that’s all there is and ever was. We congratulates ourselves on many aspects of our society. But selling off a continent conquered by advanced weaponry, by using an action system funded by shares in the future is simply the most profitable enterprise humans have ever invented.
But like the Athenian Silver Mine, the veins eventually run dry, resulting in Brazil, India, and the Levant.