Joseph Story, who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845, is best known outside of legal circle for his magisterial treatise of US Constitution, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, which was first published in 1833 and, to this day, is considered one of seminal publications on the highest and most fundamental sets of American law and jurisprudence.
In all truth, Justice Story’s various writings but most especially his Commentaries, should be required reading in schools. Sadly however, I have never even heard about it being on an optional reading list.
Then this oversight might be explained by Story’s own words in Book II (2nd edition and later) of his Commentaries:
If these Commentaries shall but inspire in the rising generation a more ardent love of their country, an unquenchable thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the constitution and the union, then they will have accomplished all that their author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its compartments are beautiful as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defenses are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them.
If the Commentaries accomplished all that their author ought to desire, America would never have reached a point when and where what passes for our educational system did not include the work in the curriculum. Now, our nation having reached the point when and where it is only the profligate who are rewarded, Justice Story’s work is antithetical to ideology that the school system wants to inculcate in the rising generation.
After all, since the 1960s the schools system has been more and more striving to teach the American youth to forget that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors. Indeed, quite the opposite is taught now in what passes for our public schools.
And therein is meat of the problem. America’s domestic enemies know and capitalize upon the fact that America has been reared for immortality, but that it may perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, the People.