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Stars in Relation to Stars

Stars in Relation to Stars

Aliite Sovereignty in Politics and Law

(p.46) 02 Stars in Relation to Stars
The Aliites
Spencer Dew
University of Chicago Press

Turning to the constellation of stars on the Great Seal of the US, this chapter argues that sovereignty is a matter of tense, ever-shifting relations between multiple levels of sovereignty, a fact played out in Aliite theory and practice as well. Examining Aliite theories of and claims to sovereignty, focusing first on the sovereignty that is manifest through law by collective political negotiation as citizens, then turning to Aliite imagination of and appeal to international law, this chapter shows how Aliites identify "true law" as the ultimate level of sovereignty within a lived reality of layered and negotiated sovereignties. Such an understanding of ideal law as always above the legal (as enforced by the state) helps Aliites negotiate not only the multiple, contradictory, claims about sovereignty made in American law and politics but also to balance faith in “rule of law” with an often unjust and oppressive rule of the legal.

Keywords:   sovereignty, politics, law, political theology, Noble Drew Ali, constituency, international law, natural law

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