On Saturday December 22, 1787, The Independent Journal in New York published an article written by Alexander Hamilton under the pseudonym of Publius. This would be the twenty-sixth out of eighty five such articles which we now know as the Federalist Papers. Hamilton begins his article by saying, “It was a thing hardly to be expected that in a popular revolution the minds of men should stop at that happy mean which marks the salutary boundary between POWER and PRIVILEGE, and combines the energy of government with the security of private rights. A failure in this delicate and important point is the great source of the inconveniences we experience, and if we are not cautious to avoid a repetition of the error, in our future attempts to rectify and ameliorate our system, we may travel from one chimerical project to another; we may try change after change; but we shall never be likely to make any material change for the better.”
Why do I begin my article with a quote from an article written over 200 years ago? Well it is because a good many people in this country realize that there is something wrong, that things aren’t going the way they should be, but they don’t know what exactly is to blame. Every two years we go to the polls and cast our votes for people to represent us in government, with every fourth year we go to vote for who will be our next president. We do so, then sit back hoping that these newly elected representatives will fix whatever it is that is wrong with this country. The problem is that they are what’s wrong with this country.
You see, we have an instruction manual, a rulebook, a guide, as to how our system of government is supposed to function, but most of us have never read it; it is called the Constitution. By our going to the polls every couple of years and voting for a new batch of lawmakers to fix our country, we are, as Hamilton said, travelling from one chimerical project to another. For those of you who have never heard the word chimerical, it means tending to indulge in unrealistic fantasies. That is exactly what we are doing; we are voting for people to fix our country, basing our votes upon the promises they make, without our having the faintest idea of how our system of government is actually supposed to operate, and for what purpose it was established.
The men who gathered together over the summer of 1787 to produce our Constitution were, (although some have called them a bunch of moneyed aristocrats), some of the greatest political minds our country has ever produced, Thomas Jefferson went so far as to call them an assembly of demigods. Most of these men had spent years studying political philosophy and were well versed in the benefits, and the problems associated with, all forms which government may take. If you have never read the Federalist Papers you can attest to the fact that they are chalked full of references to the governments of ancient societies. On top of all that many of them had John Locke’s Treatise for Civil Government as their inspiration for much of their beliefs as to the nature of rights, the reasons for which government may be established, and the nature of tyranny and oppression.
Out of a country which now has a population of over 300 million people, how many do you think have actually read our nation’s Constitution? How many have read the Federalist Papers in their entirety? How many have read Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution? How many have read Locke’s treatise on civil government? How many have bothered to read Frederic Bastiat’s brilliant book entitled The Law? I can assure you, the number of people who have read all these works combined is probably less than 10%, and that is being very generous with my assumption.
In a letter to Bushrod Washington, (Supreme Court Associate Justice and nephew to George Washington), George Washington wrote, “The power under the constitution will always be in the people.” That is true, under our system of government the people we vote for are our servants, our employees, and they are accountable to us for their actions. One of the lesser known Founders, Noah Webster, whose name is synonymous with Webster’s Dictionary, once said, “…if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.”
In his first Inaugural Address, George Washington declared, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” Yet how could we be expected to live up to Washington’s expectations if we became ignorant in regards to our own system of government and the limits imposed upon it by us by our very act of ‘constituting’ a government?
In a document to W. T. Barry, (1822), James Madison wrote, “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
While I was at work today a thought kept repeating itself in my head; that thought being that if someone really wanted to gain control over a people without their realizing that they were being reduced to slavery, then all one would have to do is assume control of the education system, and the medium from which people obtain the news. If you could control what they are taught, and what they are told is news, then they would be putty in your hands for whatever schemes you might have for controlling an entire nation.
I graduated from high school almost 4 decades ago in 1976. Over the course of my senior year I was required to take a civics class which was supposed to cover government. This was way before the Common Core garbage that they are teaching kids today. Hell, it was WAY before No Child Left Behind. Still, I was taught the bare essentials when it came to our system of government.
Since I began studying on my own, and writing about what I have learned, I have easily quadrupled the amount of information I have learned about our Founders and our system of government, and that is probably being very modest in my claim. It almost seems as though they didn’t WANT the kids graduating from school to know how their system of government was supposed to work, and the limits that were imposed upon it. And this was nearly 40 years ago…things have gotten much worse now.
Sometimes I think George Carlin was right. Hell, I KNOW he was right when he said, “They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. … … They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.”
If you had truly studied the events leading up to our American Revolution you would see that the colonists at that time revolted over far fewer intrusions upon their rights, far fewer taxes, than we currently live under today. George Washington once said something that applies just as much today as it did back when he said it over 200 years ago, “The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”
But how can we know what is going on, I mean really going on, unless we take the time to learn, to study, to question what we are being told? Can people be so naive to believe that the news they are being told is the truth? Even if they report factually on a story they can, and routinely use inflammatory words to incite a desired response.
Case in point, the other day there was a shooting in the L.A. area. The local newspaper reported on it and led with the headline: Weapons cache at shooter’s home. It told of how ‘assault weapons’ and a ‘large amount of ammunition’ were found in the persons home. They also mentioned that an AK-47 was found in his vehicle. Those are facts, but they could be construed many ways. What do they consider an assault rifle? My Ruger 10/22 may be considered an assault rifle because it is all black, has a scope and a removable magazine. And what is a large amount of ammunition; 100 rounds, 200 rounds, or thousands of rounds. And with the fear today of public shootings, the mere mention of an AK-47 is enough to instill fear in the public.
So even though you may read a story in the news, the bias may be slanted, or worse, the story might be absolute rubbish and propaganda. The truth is that the media, including the beloved Fair and Balanced FOX news are all puppets to those who actually control this country. It is a rare event when a United States Congressman stands up and tells us like it really is, but in 1917 one such Congressman did exactly that. Standing before Congress, Oscar Calloway stated, “In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interests, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States, and a sufficient number of them, to control generally the policy of the daily press….They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers.
An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper, to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature, considered vital to the interests of the purchasers.”
These people, the ones who sit behind the scenes and donate massive amounts of money into the two political parties, who control the media, keep you deaf, dumb, and blind to the truth. You are being fed just enough information to shape your opinions in the direction they want you to think. You are sheep and they are the shepherds.
I am man enough to admit when I’m wrong, and I have been wrong more times than I like to admit. But that’s what separates, distinguishes me from so many others, I don’t blindly follow anyone, any belief system, simply because it is comfortable, or accepted to do so. I question EVERYTHING and it is ONLY when I have sought the truth in all matters that I accept it.
Ages ago Samuel Adams said, in a letter to Samuel Cooper, “Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.” As long as you are kept in fear, as long as you believe that the things that the government is doing is in your best interests, you continue to allow them to bring this country to ruin and trample upon your rights.
United States Senator Daniel Webster once said, “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.” Webster also said, “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
I am so weary, weary to the bone, of trying to get people to wake up, to stop believing everything they are being told and to start thinking for themselves. But it seems that people are far more interested in being entertained, whether it be watching whatever is on TV, or by whatever other means people spend their free time. Very few want to spend hour after hour reading dry old books about political philosophy. Unfortunately, as long as the masses remain ignorant and entertained, the walls could come crumbling down around them before they’d realize anything was amiss. It’s like the old saying that Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
In 1788 James Madison wrote, “It is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good; and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than promoted, by those occasions which require an unusual exercise of it.” That is just as true today as it was when he said it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll continue to write, fully knowing that only a few people read these articles I spit out, that the ones who truly need to read them will never bother to do so. If this be my purpose in life, so be it. But don’t think for a minute that I won’t relish the time when I draw my last breath and leave the mess we’ve created to the people who deserve it most.