Today marks the 800th anniversary of what many consider the most important power-limiting document in history—the Magna Carta.
“It is a significant document,” Ron Paul said in his latest Liberty Report. “Some would like to downplay it. I was most fascinated with reviewing its history on exactly why the barons went and confronted the king and said ‘We’ve had it with you, ‘Mr.’ King. And no more.’ Two things: the king himself declared a war—he was fighting and losing a war with France, it was costing a lot of money—and he was taxing the barons. And they finally put their foot down. So this is great. The document that was written has a lot of great stuff in it.”
Paul discussed how this event and its corresponding document planted seeds for the future, influencing our own founders and the development of our constitution. Despite its many great impacts, events of the past 100 years don’t seem to reflect the principles solidified with the Magna Carta. Paul cited the institution of the income tax as a confiscation of wealth, as well as the inflationary system of the Federal Reserve, plus change in foreign policy that has come to allow the president to essentially declare war.
“I would say it’s gotten a lot worse, especially since 9/11 [and] in the last 15 years,” Paul said. He noted the National Defense Authorization Act allowing perpetual detention without due process of law and the confiscation of assets through asset forfeiture as two examples of terrible decisions being made on behalf of our country.
“The most important thing that people remember, and I remember it during the debate, and that was habeas corpus,” Paul explained. “You can’t hold people—and we were holding people with the NDAA—without a hearing [or] a trial by jury.” Under the Magna Carta, parliament was a superior branch of government—not the king, Paul said.
As he admired the action taken to write down the ideas into what became the Magna Carta and actually confront the king about them, Paul wondered if such an event could happen again today.
“The big challenge is, can we raise up a generation of individuals that will look at the history of liberty and say that we can make progress?”
Daniel McAdams, co-host of the Liberty Report, talked about these individuals as the elected representatives of the public and how they aren’t doing their job.
“They’ll say, well, this was just a noble standing up for their own,” McAdams said. “It wasn’t a democratic move. All of these revisionist views of the Magna Carta are so irrelevant because at its core it’s something that you’ve always talked about. It is these legislators—by virtue of them being in the aristocracy, of course—but these legislators standing up to the executive branch and limiting his power. This is something that is absolutely lacking currently in our government.”
Watch the full episode above and check out more episodes of the Ron Paul Liberty Report here at Truth In Media.