That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish!
This weekly column, which I have been privileged to submit for your consideration for the past three years, elicits many comments and questions. The most common of which can be summed up as, “I agree with your analysis, appreciate the Historical context, but how about some practical suggestions.”
If you are one of the many who have sent me those emails, posted those replies, made those phone calls, or asked me in person this column is for you.
To fully address these questions we have to look at two levels: the macro and the micro. We need practical suggestions for the very large and the very small. We need practical suggestions for the societal and cultural level and the personal level.
First of all we need some historical context for our current situation. In some ways we are unique, we are America after all. And in some ways what is happening to us has happened many times before. As I have often said in these columns if History doesn’t actually repeat itself it does rhyme.
The French Revolution occurred between 1787 and 1799. It was the first to try to replicate the phenomenon of the American Revolution which overthrew the age old tyranny of divine right kings and landed aristocracy replacing it with a federal republic operating on democratic principles based upon limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.
The American Revolution inspired the French to believe they too could break free of the chains and breathe the fresh air of freedom. However, it lost something in the translation. Perhaps because the French didn’t have the centuries long tradition of limited self-government and human rights which had grown up in England since the Magna Carta had been forced on a reluctant King John in 1215. Perhaps it was because the French had endured centuries of the cruelest servitude under the most absolute of absolute monarchs.
Whatever the reason once the French broke free of the cultural, societal, and personal restraint of the Old Regime which had persecuted and exploited them for so long the French people sought to exact revenge. They sought to cut the former ruling class out of society and while they were at it establish a completely new regime in its place. The French, always famous for philosophers, had produced one who had a tremendous influence on the thinking of the Founders of our country and the Framers of the Constitution: Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
However, Rousseau had two sides. On one he eloquently expressed the idea that government was established upon a social contract between the rulers and the ruled and that to have any legitimacy government must base itself upon the consent of the governed. Thus empowering the governed to decide when that contract has been violated and giving them a philosophical basis for change. Our forefathers based their work upon this side.
On the other side, Rousseau argued against private property. And that it is the role of the state to impose freedom, equality, and justice for all within the state regardless of the view of the majority. Thus empowering a minority to decide what constitutes freedom, equality, justice, and justifying the use of state power to mold society to fit the vision of the few. On this side Rousseau is considered the father of modern socialism and communism. This is the side that the leaders of the French Revolution chose to follow.
Another difference is that by 1787 France had been a highly centralized nation for centuries. The local governments served at the pleasure of the central authority and they could be established or overthrown upon the whim of the ruler. In America we had the experience of thirteen separate colonies each with their own particular history and each with their own particular traditions. In America this led to the establishment of a Federal republic with sovereignty resting in the states and only delegated to the central government.
These differences led to the corruption of the French Revolution into The Terror. This was a period between 1793 and 1794 when France was surrounded by enemies and pressed on every side. The Leaders of the Revolution felt as if there were agents and sympathizers of their enemies everywhere and they proceeded to execute thousands of their own people in order to secure freedom. The Terror eventually led to a military dictatorship which evolved into an Empire with a monarch at least as absolute as the one they had overthrown in 1787.
Unfortunately for humanity suffering under the yoke of absolute rulers and their crony elites, subsequent revolutions have tended to follow the French model instead of the America. The Mexican Revolution (1810-1821) was part of a wide ranging revolt against the once great Spanish Empire (1808-1826). From the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego revolutions cast aside the foreign rule of Spain and established homegrown republics. All of these republics modeled their initial declarations of independence on America’s but the successor regimes all came to model some variation of the French. The people rose up in righteous indignation against an oppressive system and in the end found themselves under one military dictator after another. They fought to gain their liberty and merely traded one elite for another as the iron heel of tyranny maintained its stand on the throat of liberty.
Other revolutions, the Russian (1917) and the Cuban (1952-1959) are further examples of the trend. What begins as an attempt to bring the blessing of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom to people ends up bringing instead a tyranny usually more cruel than what the people originally rebelled against.
As can be seen by this litany of subverted revolutions it is usually violence that brings the fall of the former tyranny and facilitates the rise of the latter. One example of a revolution that came about through an election would be the Nazi revolution in 1932. Another would be the current regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. A revolution by way of the ballot box, but a revolution none the less.
Today America is in the midst of a revolution. America has elected a President who has vowed to fundamentally transform America. He promised this to his adoring supporters before his election, and he has worked tirelessly to bring it about. He is an Alinsky style community organizer who is working to organize our community by occupying the center of power and the streets at the same time. He follows the Cloward/Piven Strategy spending us into oblivion in the name of saving the economy. He has seized major portions of the economy and shoved national health insurance, a financial sector take-over, and undeclared war down the throats of a passive American public. Polls show that vast majorities do not want what he is selling but he is closing the deal anyway.
Right now Mr. Obama is campaigning day and night for another term, and a term that would be without restraint for a President who has already said he can rule without Congress. He would undoubtedly appoint at least one more Supreme Court Justice and solidify America’s passage from a federal republic to a European style social democracy.
That is the context, so what should patriotic Americans do now? As I said at the beginning to fully address these questions we have to look at two levels: the macro and the micro. We need practical suggestions for the very large and the very small. We need practical suggestions for the societal and cultural level and the personal level.
On the macro level we need to do everything in our power to make sure Barack Obama does not win a second term. We need to contribute our time, our talent, and our treasure to making sure he is defeated and defeated decisively in the November of 2012. Whom should we support? My advice is study the opposition candidates, and support the one who stands for limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom. Choose the one that most credibly supports a return to constitutional government.
If after the primaries that candidate does not win the nomination of the Republican side of the government party, patriots will be faced with a dilemma. If we are forced to choose between Obama and the sure, sudden and, complete destruction of constitutionally limited government or a big government Republican who is in favor of more foreign interventions and a continuation of our role as policeman of the world what’s a patriot to do?
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you are still choosing evil. However in this instance with code blue on one side and a slow fall off a high cliff on the other we may want to choose the one who will drive us to the poor house a little slower. At least that way we will have more time to prepare and perhaps another opportunity to make the logical choice and vote for a return to constitutional government.
On the Micro level I am reminded of the many people I have met over the years who have escaped from any one of the hell-holes socialist revolutions have produced in the last hundred years. Whether it is Poland, or Russia, or Cuba they have told me over and over that they see the same things happening here that once swallowed their homelands. They have told me how they cry at night as they see central planning and social engineering consuming America. They have tearfully asked me, “Where can we go now? We escaped tyranny looking for freedom and now we see the same thing coming here?”
In answer to their questions I have asked one of my own, “How can we survive the coming darkness?” One by one they have all given me the same advice, “Get out of the cities, get yourself some land where you can grow your own food, and do all you can to protect your family and preserve the traditions of liberty.”
In other words, head for the hills and hunker down. Personally my wife and I have made this choice. We have decided to sacrifice whatever portions of our modern life styles and lucrative careers must be jettisoned to maintain what is truly important: our family, our lives, and our liberty. We saw this coming and made a five year plan which is now coming to fruition. Myself and many others have been sounding the alarm from the watchtowers for years.
Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of our nation. We must stand up for our heritage. We must do battle in the marketplace of ideas, and we must engage in the struggle at the ballot box, but we must also prepare to save some seed corn in case the winter does descend. We must preserve what we can so we can begin again. So “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Keep the faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.
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