That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish!
Think of America’s Founders. These were real rebels.
Sam Adams agitated against the imposition of taxes. He penned the petitions which brought forth the rallying cry “No taxation without representation!” While avoiding violence he led the effort to organize resistance to tyranny. He founded the Committee of Correspondence in Massachusetts and inspired its spread to the other colonies. He organized boycotts of British goods and the public trial of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.
In a world of divine right kings where the common man was a pawn to be exploited and demeaned James Madison made these revolutionary statements, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” And, “An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”
Patrick Henry did more than say, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Before the Revolution, as a member of the Assembly in Virginia he led in the formation of a resistance movement against the tyranny of the British crown. During the Revolution he served in the Continental Congress that passed the Deceleration of Independence. After the Revolution he was not afraid to stand up against the desire of many to impose a Constitution without a Bill of Rights leading in the fight to maintain the greatest amount of individual liberty and the strongest limits to the central authority possible under the new Federal Government. As if he could see the convolutions which currently threaten to swallow the Republic Mr. Henry reminded us at the beginning of our national experiment in limited government, “When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object.”
Today the world is turned upside down. The so called radical rebels of the sixties now own or control most things including the government. The anti-establishment has become the establishment and the silent majority is being told to remain silent while this progressive minority transforms our nation into what their collectivist programmers have taught them it should be. And yet they still see themselves as the rebels fighting a faceless bureaucracy for freedom never realizing they have met the enemy, and they are them.
All of this made me think about my old friend the professional revolutionary and something hit me. He has always considered himself a rebel. And considering he has made a living out of being a spokesman for the movements dedicated to destroying the America we have always known that kind of made sense at one time.
But in reality he is now and has consistently in the past loyally spouted the logical progression of the anti-American, anti-capitalist garbage that many of the teachers at our good old public High School tried to shove into our young skulls full of mush. He also sounds exactly like all of our contemporaries who have spent a lifetime drinking at the well of the Corporations Once Called the Mainstream Media. Though they see themselves as deep thinkers it has always been obvious they receive their programming, their news and views from the major networks, and the transcripts in the print media. They spout the same anti-traditional values pro-socialism talking points time after time.
Their representatives have spent decades chipping away at the America we love in the movies, on television, and in songs. They have gained control of one component of society at a time: education, the media, the board room, the Congress, and finally the White House. Through patience and planning they have gained control of the entire federal government and the elites of most areas of society. Therefore I cannot see why we should continue referring to them as rebels merely because they see themselves that way. When you listen to their current spokesmen such as the Daily Show, Bill Maher, or any of the MSNBC line up they come off as so hip and so cutting edge when in fact they agree 100% with the current administration and its collectivist anti-life New Age agenda. What’s rebellious about that? That’s like saying Pravda was a radical spokesman for change when they parroted whatever the leaders of the former USSR had to say.
Today my friend the professional rebel is actively helping recruit and train the brown shirt Occupy troops? They may rail against Wall Street but that same Wall Street promotes and funds the very people these protesters vote for. Someone is being used for something, but they never seem to wake up to ask, “Why should we pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?”
I can no longer consider myself a conservative. What is there left to conserve? I am a radical and a rebel, because I advocate for limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom. These 1960s retreads who continue to advocate for the progressive collectivists who have won their revolution and now occupy the seats of power are faux rebels: organizational apparatchiks spouting the party line.
Look at how revolutionary some of our real rebels still sound today:
Sam Adams said, “The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” And “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.” He also said, “Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.”
Patrick Henry said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” And, “We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature has placed in our power... the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” When thinking of his most famous statement we should keep it in context and recall the whole quote, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
So the next time the nightly faux news shows are filled the antics of the faux rebels demonstrating for more government power, or the next time one of your relatives or old friends wants to fill your ear with their oft repeated mantras for the collectivist establishment tell yourself, “This is the time for real rebels and the counter revolution.”
And if pointing out the transparent hypocrisy of the faux rebels of today should ever be considered too rebellious for the faint of heart let me share one more quote from Patrick Henry, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens