Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it…
John Adams to Abigail Adams – July 7, 1775
I don’t know what it is about me that makes me think so much about what is going on in this country while others are perfectly content to go about their lives oblivious to the obvious slide towards tyranny that we are taking. Whatever it is I simply cannot fathom how anyone could think that anything they do in their daily lives could take precedence over their liberty. To me, that is simply mind boggling.
Not only are people seemingly ready to surrender their God-given rights to anyone in a position of authority, they insult and denigrate those who speak out about the ever increasing police state with its associated loss of individual liberty.
I know that history is a boring subject for most, but if you look back over the various civilizations and empires which have risen and fallen, you will see that those based upon liberty and freedom have all eventually fallen, to be replaced by one in which the people had very little freedom at all. That is why I began this article with that John Adams quote. But to phrase it in a way you might understand, liberty is like virginity, once you lose it you can’t get it back.
People don’t seem to want to look at trends or understand the big picture. The average person has a very short attention span and an even shorter memory. A candidate for political office may make a statement during his/her campaign, then once elected the people forget they ever said it, and if it is brought up later they simply ignore it, never holding these candidates accountable for the things they said whilst campaigning. If they can’t remember, or don’t care, what a candidate said two, three years ago, how can I honestly expect them to care the things someone who has been dead for hundreds of years said?
Yet history unfolds and does, no matter how much we care to admit it, repeat itself. People may think that we are different, that America is immune to the same pitfalls that have plagued other civilizations, but we are not! We can, and will fall, unless people begin to pull their heads out of their asses in record numbers and start truly caring about what is happening in their country.
If people could see through my eyes, the things that I see, they would be frightened beyond words. They would also wonder why others weren’t seeing the same things they did. Just because we have an elective democracy in which we get to go to the polls and vote does not make us immune from the evils of tyranny and oppression. In case you didn’t know, Hitler was elected democratically, and everything that happened under his rule was done according to laws enacted by his government. If it happened once on such a large scale it can happen again…HERE if we aren’t careful.
People in this country are so fragmented and divided along various issues that they refuse to see the trend that is happening. They say it’s okay to ban certain rights of certain groups because these laws do not affect them.
Yet they really need to read something a German pastor, Martin Niemöller, said about the Nazi’s rise to power, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Even though you may not chose to exercise these rights that I so often speak of, they are still yours to exercise should you chose to, and no law passed by government may infringe upon them. I don’t care what they tell you, that it is the interest of national security, or simply in the best interests of the people, the government cannot enact a law which deprives a single individual of their unalienable rights.
In 1967 the Supreme Court heard the case of U.S. v Robel, wherein it was ruled that the government cannot deprive the people of their rights, even in the name of national security. In his ruling, Justice Earl Warren stated, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties…which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.”
Yet how many rights have we seen which have been taken from us, or at least severely diminished because either the government told us it was in our best interests, or the people, in some emotional fervor demanded that certain rights be curtailed or limited?
How many rules and regulations must we abide by, under penalty of prosecution, must we live under before people begin to realize that we are on a steady course which will eventually see ALL our rights and liberty gone…forever?
In his book Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville warned us about when the government creates all these rules and regulations which control every aspect of our lives. De Tocqueville writes, “Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complicated rules, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate. It does not tyrannise but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
People seem to find no problem in our government enacting all these laws which control the smallest aspect of our daily lives. But that is not what true liberty is. True liberty is the freedom to do as we please as long as our actions do not violate the individual rights of others.
In his Second Treatise on Civil Governments, John Locke states “This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one, nor put himself under the absolute, arbitrary power of another, to take away his life, when he pleases. No body can give more power than he has himself; and he that cannot take away his own life, cannot give another power over it.”
Yet today we see entire governmental agencies devoted to enforcing these rules and regulations upon us, with the power to fine, imprison, and kill us should we choose to resist. Even local law enforcement agencies have become almost fully militarized and enforce the law with an iron will, regardless of whether the laws are just or not.
If that is not the perfect example of living in a police state I don’t know what is.
Yet people such as myself are considered by many to be threats to our national security and threats to the American way of life. Yet it is people such as myself who are, in fact, the only ones standing up for the true American way of life. It is those who blindly accept these losses of liberty, those who meekly obey every rule and regulation which controls their lives who are the true threat to the American way of life.
Going back to Locke’s treatise for a moment, he later writes, “…whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”
That is the guiding principle which led our nation’s Founders to fight back against the tyranny of the King of England and seek their own independence. It is that spirit which has, for the most part, long ago died in the hearts and minds of many of my countrymen.
In his Liberty Letters, Samuel Adams wrote, “The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”
The clock is ticking people. With each day that passes our government grows stronger while we lose more of our freedoms. Whether you like it or not, if America falls into tyranny the fault will lie with the people who became so ignorant and so complacent that they allowed their government to deprive them of their freedom.
So please, wake up before it’s too late…if it isn’t too late already.