I’ll Take Liberty for $800 Alex

Who controls the past controls the future. Who
controls the present controls the past.

~George Orwell~
(1984)

I wonder how many of you reading this grasp the significance of the quote at the top of the page from Orwell’s book 1984. I could probably try to explain that, but I’d more than likely mangle it, or make you even more confused. Instead I’ll just offer up another quote, this time from the New Liberty dvd, Warriors of Honor, “A nation that is ignorant of its past is a nation that is ripe for deception and manipulation. Therefore, it is not what happened, but what people believe happened that determines the present actions of a nation.”

So, is Orwell’s quote beginning to make sense now? If you don’t know the past, or if all you know is what you have been taught/told, then every decision you make, every belief you hold, may be based upon incomplete or factually inaccurate teachings. The reason that is important is because the decisions you make today affect tomorrow; or in other words, the future. And who decides what you are taught/told about the past if it isn’t those living in the present? Hence, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

History is supposed to be the record of past events; those who participated in certain events; the reason those events transpired; and the consequences of the final outcome of those events. Therefore, historians, as journalists recording events for future study, should attempt to be as unbiased as they possibly can. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen – in fact, it is rare that you find a fact based history of any event unless you go directly to the source documents from the time frame that event occurred. But the moment you open a book written by someone other than the participants of an event you are opening yourself up to the personal biases and prejudices of the author; and I’m no exception as far as that goes.

I have never asked, in fact I earnestly hope that people will not trust me at my word; that they will verify that the information I provide them with is accurate and truthful. It is only through a careful study of the source documents from whence I derive my quotes that one can hope to truly understand the context and meaning of them.

If you’ll permit me to provide an example of how historians can, and do, manipulate the truth to fit their own personal biases, I think you’ll more fully understand why a study of history is so vitally important.

The years between around 1765 to 1783 were known as the Revolutionary War period; the time when the Colonists began resisting the authority of the British Government, and culminating in their achieving independence. For the most part, people today view those who participated in those events as patriots and American heroes. Yet I’d be willing to bet that if I asked you to name 5 of the men who were on the side of the patriot cause, you probably could not do it. If I upped that number up to 10 the number of people who could provide me with a list of names would drop dramatically. Yet were I to ask you to name 10 actors, or the quarterbacks of 10 professional football teams you would probably be able to do so without having to give it much thought at all.

Why is that? Why is the remembering of people whose actions are of little to no consequence in the grand scheme of things so much easier than the learning of the names of those who established America as an independent nation? I can almost hear your thoughts now, “But Neal, those guys died a long time ago, why should I bother remembering their names?” True, they have been dead for a very long time, but the things they fought for, the principles they believed in are what this country was founded upon, and if you don’t know what those principles are then how are you to be effective in carrying on their legacy?

That being said, I am guessing that most people in this country view the Patriots who fought for independence in a favorable light. Events such as the Boston Tea Party and the standoff at Lexington and Concord are discussed with an almost awed sense of reverence and respect for those who participated in them. Yet how many would be able to tell me WHY the patriots of that era did what they did? Why did they resist the authority of their government and risk being jailed, or killed?

Oh but Neal, that’s easy; they did it for independence. Did they? So you’re telling me that, on December 16, 1773, those who rowed out to the ships containing all that tea were thinking, “If we dump all those crates of tea into the water we’re helping America gain her independence.” Funny, the Colonies weren’t yet united on the idea of severing all ties to Great Britain, and wouldn’t unite on that for another 3 years. In fact, even after the Declaration of Independence was voted upon and signed there were those who actively opposed the rebels and fought alongside the British so that the Crown could maintain its control over the Colonies. So to say that the Colonies were united in their opposition to the authority of King George and Parliament is a huge leap; a stretch of the imagination, a distortion of the truth.

So again, getting back to my question, why would those who participated in those events risk their necks, both literally and figuratively, to resist the authority of their government? The answer should come to you quite readily, and if it doesn’t it speaks volumes about your understanding of the entire period known as the American Revolution – they did so to preserve their liberty.

Those who participated in those events; those who wrote all those pamphlets and flyers, knew that if do not resist the first instance of your governments attempt to restrict or limit the exercise of any of your rights, you open the doorway for government to enact laws that restrict ALL OF YOUR RIGHTS.

Maybe now the following words will make a bit more sense, “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties–we hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.” (Source: A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, James Madison, 1785)

That is why they did what they did; they knew that if they just sat back and hoped that their government would come to its senses and restore their liberty, then they would only suffer more violations of it. Sure, they petitioned their government, begging the King to respect their rights; but they also took matters into their own hands by acts of civil disobedience; acts we would condemn as crimes against society and authority in 2019. Yet they are heroes and those who commit the same type acts today are called criminals. Explain that to me if you can.

My thoughts and beliefs regarding the American Revolution may differ from yours, but I believe the American Revolution can be summed up as follows: The American Revolution took place because a segment of the people, who both knew what liberty was, and who cherished it above all else, realized that they would obtain no justice from their government; therefore they rose up and shook off the shackles of a government that had proven it had no respect for their rights as freemen.

It wasn’t about taxation, at least not per se; it was about the idea that they could be taxed without their consent. It was about the unjust exercise of power and authority to limit and restrict their ability to govern themselves as they saw fit. Hell, they would have fought equally hard for independence had King George issued a decree that they paint the entire city of Boston pink; it was the principle that mattered, not the substance of the laws which restricted their liberty.

Now fast forward almost a century later and we find the exact same situation in which a government is enacting laws and taxes which restrict the liberty and plunder the wealth of one segment of a country to benefit the needs and beliefs of another. Once again it was not the laws or the taxes which upset the imposed upon segment of America; it was the idea that government was an agent that sought to oppress and subjugate them that mattered.

For years, nearly 30 to be exact, they had worked within the system to put an end to this oppression, only to see their efforts fail to provide relief from this oppression. Therefore, as political entities who had given their consent to the document which created their system of government, they felt, (and rightfully so), that it was their right to revoke their consent to being governed by tyrants and resume their status as free and independent States. And once again, those who sought dominion over them, as did King George, used force to compel their obedience and loyalty to its authority.

And yes, I’m talking about the misnamed Civil War; misnamed because it was, in fact, America’s Second War for Independence. However, this time the tyrants won the conflict, and history is almost always written by the victors.

In 1864 Major General Patrick Cleburne, of the Confederate Army, wrote on that very subject, “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.”

If you even mention the Civil War, BOOM, the first thing that pops into people’s minds is slavery. Yes, slavery was an issue, but it was not the cause of the war anymore than the taxes on sugar or tea were the cause of the American Revolution. The cause of the Civil War was the same cause the patriots of 1776 fought for, to free themselves from a government that sought to limit their liberty and oppress them. On the one side you had those fighting for liberty and on the other side you had those fighting to preserve a government’s control over them. That’s all the Civil War was about; not slavery, not tariffs, not anything else – it was about liberty versus bondage and servitude to a system of government.

Liberty was born in America during the period leading up to the American Revolution; it was mortally wounded when those who had obtained that liberty chose to adopt the proposed Constitution, and if breathed its last dying gasp when Lee surrendered at Appomattox in 1865. America may still exist as a nation, but as a nation based upon the principle of liberty for all it is but an empty shell; a ghost of its former self.

People today don’t know what liberty is, they don’t care what it is, and they damned sure don’t have the courage or inclination to fight a government that has destroyed it. I hear people all the time talk about how the Bill of Rights protects this right or that right. How exactly does a piece of parchment with words written upon it protect anything; let alone your most sacred rights?

What protects those rights is your willingness to resist any efforts to limit or restrict them; and I haven’t seen a whole lot of resistance on the part of the American people. In fact, I often see people applauding and supporting measures that do the opposite, further deprive them of their liberty.

In 1944 Judge Billings Learned Hand delivered a speech in which he said, “What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.”

Does liberty lie in your heart, or does obedience to authority, no matter how unjust it is, rest there? If you love liberty as much as I do, why the hell do you support candidates who actively seek to restrict it? If you love liberty as much as I do why do you continue to support a system of government whose sole purpose appears to be the complete and utter destruction of that liberty?

Do you honestly believe that voting is going to restore the liberty you have lost? If that were true, then why haven’t those you have voted for abolished the NSA, the DEA, the BATF, the Bureau of Land Management, the EPA, and all the other agencies who serve to enforce laws that restrict that liberty?

The government we have today serves but three purposes. First it seeks to take from one segment of society and give to others; the only difference being who is on the receiving end of the goods stolen from the oppressed. The next purpose is power and control over the populace with the only difference being who gets to wield that power play god over us peasants. The final purpose of government is to preserve its own existence. As Lysander Spooner said, “A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.” Or, as von Goethe said, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

We tell ourselves that our brave soldiers are off in foreign lands fighting for our freedoms, when at home the government they serve enacts law after law that deny us the freedom they are supposedly fighting to defend. Honestly, if our soldiers were truly defending freedom they would be taking the battle to the halls of Congress, the Oval Office, and all the alphabet soup agencies that impose this tyranny upon us.

The first step in restoring liberty in America must be recognizing that it no longer exists. It is not hoping that we can return to a constitutional form of government, for it is my sincere belief that the constitution was intentionally written in such a manner as to ensure that we would end up with the very government we have today; a elective aristocracy which rules over the peasant class who work to support them.

Those who truly love liberty pose a threat to those who seek to maintain the charade that liberty is alive in well in America. They will use any tactic to prevent the light from being shined upon their lies, their deception, their corruption. Those who speak the loudest about liberty are called radicals and extremists; often going so far as to call their words treason or sedition. Yet, as Patrick Henry said, “If this be treason…make the most of it.” He was not afraid of what others thought of him, his only concern was for securing and maintaining liberty in America.

Writing as the Anti-Federalist Centinel, Samuel Bryan states, “All who are friends to liberty are friends to reason, the champion of liberty, and none are foes to liberty but those who have truth and reason for their foes. He who has dark purposes to serve, must use dark means: light would discover him, and reason expose him: he must endeavor to shut out both, and make them look frightful by giving them ill names.

Liberty only flourishes where reason and knowledge are encouraged; and wherever the latter are stifled, the former is extinguished.”

That is why open and honest political debate is stifled in America; instead political arguments are the norm; based upon whatever emotionally based positions the participants hold. A person with a truckload of facts supporting their position will be ineffective in swaying the minds of people who are unwilling to deal solely in facts and evidence. A person trying to convince people such as that may as well be bringing water balloons to a gunfight for the effectiveness they will have.

And where will you find these facts, this evidence if not through a careful study of the past. You damned sure aren’t going to get the truth from those who seek to keep you enslaved; nor from their lackeys in the news media whose job is to keep us fighting or partisan issues rather than providing us with the truth.

If you want the truth then you’re going to have to start researching it on your own, just as I did. I can help guide you, but YOU have to take the first step; to use the analogy of the Matrix, you must choose either the red or the blue pill.

I can almost forgive those whose beliefs are based upon the lies and deception they were subjected to in the public indoctrination centers known as public schools…ALMOST. What I cannot forgive is a people who care more about being entertained than they do the things their government is doing to make slaves of them. How anyone can think that being entertained is more important than being free is beyond my ability to comprehend.

But then again the Romans were given bread and circuses to keep their minds focused on entertainment rather than the pitiful state of their existence; so nothing is new in that regard. It is just that people fall for it time and time again that upsets me.

Knowledge and truth are the cornerstones of liberty, and since most of the people I encounter on a daily basis seem to have no desire for either, I have decided that I am going to take a hiatus from writing these commentaries to further my own pursuit for knowledge. I have a ton of bookmarked websites with tons of source documents that are just waiting for me to download them and save them as Word files. So, for the time being, I intend to focus my attention to where it is most productive, after all, it would take a fleet of bulldozers to pull most people’s heads out of the sand; and I have lost both the will and desire to fight that battle at this point in time.

So without further ado, I bid thee farewell…at least until someone says or does something so utterly stupid that I am forced to respond….

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