American journalist H.L. Mencken once said: Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. I believe that what Mencken was referring to is the fact that everyone has a breaking point; a point where stress becomes intolerable, and when they reach that point any further stress causes them to snap – often violently.
Have you noticed how TV shows and movies often deal with this subject in their plots? Take for instance, the popular TV show, Criminal Minds; fictional stories about the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. Their job is to solve crimes by getting into the heads of those committing them; finding out what drives them to do the things they do. In nearly every episode they look for a ‘stressor’, a key event that pushed that person over the edge and caused them to snap.
Then, of course, there was the origin film, Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, that shows how a man, Arthur Fleck, descends into madness and eventually snaps when he learns that he’d been adopted AND physically abused by the woman he had believed was his biological mother. While people may have been shocked by the violence, many felt sympathy for Fleck, and some actually cheered him on as he transformed into the Joker character.
When I was a kid, we used to play a game called Straw That Broke the Camel’s back. It was a simple game, involving a plastic camel on wheels with two side pouches. Each player was given different colored plastic straws, and we then took turns putting a straw into one of the pouches. The camel was designed to carry only so much weight in straws before it’s back would ‘break’, spilling the straws all over the table. The person whose straw broke the camel’s back, lost the game.
There is one more example I’d like to provide, and it comes not from a child’s game or a work of fiction on the big screen; it can be found in a study of the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence tells us that governments long established should not be change for light and transient causes, but ‘when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.’
The study of the Revolution, the key figures, the political climate, and the events themselves, is fascinating to me. Three decades after the Revolution ended, John Adams wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson in which he said: As to the history of the revolution, my ideas may be peculiar, perhaps singular. What do we mean by the Revolution? The war? That was no part of the revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected … before a drop of blood was shed.
Every person may feel differently as to when the Revolution began, but I believe it began in 1765 when Parliament passed the Stamp Act; imposing the first direct tax upon the Colonists. There were some who sought relief from, what they viewed as a violation of their rights and liberty, through diplomatic channels; petitioning the King to have the taxes removed. Then there were others who took a more direct approach. Mobs formed, protests were held, and, often fueled by alcohol, tax collection offices and the homes of government officials were ransacked and destroyed. Hell, the townspeople of Boston even threatened the lives of those responsible for enforcing the Stamp Act.
The Stamp Act was repealed, only to be replaced by further insult, further injury to the rights and liberty of the Colonists; yet it was not the diplomatic efforts that led to the repealing of the Stamp Act, it was the anger of the mob that led to it being repealed. Had the mob not been there, the King could very well have ignored the diplomatic cries for relief; telling the Colonies to ‘suck it up’, ‘pay their fair share.’ It was the angry mob that led to the Stamp Act being repealed; yet it was that same angry mob that led to the Townshend Acts.
In my opinion, this was the beginning, or the genesis of the American Revolution. It had been brewing for all this time, and the ‘stressor’ that turned things truly violent came on April 19, 1775 when the King’s men sought to take away the people’s arms at Lexington and Concord; where the first shot of the ‘WAR’ was fired.
I’m going to go off on a side shoot here, but an idea just came to me that I felt needed to be included in my discussion. Every year, on July 4, the people of this country celebrate Independence Day. Although the move to declare their independence was approved on July 2, when the delegates of the Second Continental Congress voted on the Lee Resolution, we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th in homage to the Document written that explains what, and why we were declaring said independence.
Do people actually think that’s all there was to it; that 56 men signed a piece of paper and then it was over; they’d become free and independent? Another question. What is it people think the Declaration of Independence did? Sure, it declared our independence; but from whom or what? When those 56 men signed that document, they were effectively telling their King, their government, to take a hike…to go fuck itself…that they no longer wanted to be subject to its jurisdiction and authority.
Prior to the drafting of our constitution, a group of men in Massachusetts, led by Daniel Shays, led an uprising over the issue of taxes being collected to pay the war debt; although it would take an article in and of itself to explain why that rebellion occurred. The point is, it was the fear the other such rebellions might happen that led some to support the move for a much stronger, more centralized form of government.
Although he was serving in France as our ambassador, Thomas Jefferson had been keeping abreast of events in the States, and when he heard about Shay’s Rebellion, he wrote a letter to Abigail Adams, stating: The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the Atmosphere.
You may not have recognized it, but Jefferson was hinting towards the fear that people would become apathetic, complacent, and even tolerant of abuses of power by their systems of government. He felt that to preserve their rights and liberty the people should always be on guard, or as Patrick Henry said: Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force: Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.
So, in actuality, we are not celebrating independence on July 4th, we are celebrating the courage of those who stood up and resisted the authority of their government to pass laws, and impose taxes, that violated their rights and liberty. Independence was a means to an end, that’s all; the only course left open to them after their government had shown them that it intended to reduce them under absolute despotism.
Before I move on to the real controversial part of this essay, allow me to ask one simple question of people: Where is YOUR spirit of resistance to government? Or, have you become apathetic, complacent, obedient little sheep to be herded around by those holding political office?
As far as loss of life goes, the American Revolution places relatively low on the list of life’s lost; with only 4,435 having lost their life on the battlefield. Of course, that does not take into account the roughly 16,000 who lost their lives to illness during the war; so, there is that to take into consideration as well. Still, in comparison to other wars, the numbers are still relatively minor. For instance, 116,000 died during World War I, 405,000 died during World War II, and well over 600,000 died during the misnamed Civil War; which was actually America’s Second War for Independence.
Except for when George Washington led a force of almost 17,000 into Pennsylvania to put down a tax revolt, I can’t think of one instance that a politician, or elected official, has put their life on the line to enforce the law; and even then, Washington’s life was in no real danger. The simple fact is, government writes laws, they don’t have the spine to go out and enforce them; they make others do that for them.
Now if you think about the American Revolution, and I mean really think about it, England already had control over the Colonies, so she hadn’t technically declared war upon them. Therefore, those British soldiers, or Redcoats were here in the capacity of law enforcers; to make sure the Acts of Parliament were obeyed by the Colonists; that order was upheld. Hmm, law and order; where have I heard that term before?
Some of you may not see it, some of you may not agree with me, but we’re way beyond the few grievances that led the Colonies to go to war against their government in 1776. Our Founders, and those who gave their lives for this country’s independence, must be rolling over in their graves; wondering what the hell are we waiting for; it’s time to shake off the shackles of tyranny and regain our rights and liberty.
Those who fought for this country’s independence did so in the middle of an outbreak of smallpox for crying out loud; which killed 130,000 people while they were fighting for that independence. Yet here we are today, surrendering all the freedom they fought for over a virus that is far less deadly; and not only do people do so willingly, they have the audacity to denigrate those who have the courage to resist these violations upon our liberty.
Like I asked before, where is YOUR spirit of liberty; I certainly do not see it in abundance!
It is a sad fact that whenever there is a conflict of any sorts, there will be casualties. Whether it be a war, an uprising, people usually end up dying. Rarely though do you see those who started these wars, or causing these uprisings, lose their lives; it is those who do the actual fighting that do the dying.
Although it has happened, and I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t happen again, the military is not used that frequently to enforce the law; such as how the Redcoats were used to enforce the laws of the British government. So, if it is not the military that enforce the law, who is it? Ah yes, it is law enforcement; the people we all support when we fly our Thin Blue Line Flags. They are the enforcing arm of government…end of story. So, if those laws be good, they deserve your support, BUT, if those laws are bad, if they deprive you of your rights and liberty, they DO NOT deserve your support; and you certainly shouldn’t spill any tears when they meet with those who are willing to use force to defend their individual rights and liberty!
The reason I bring this up is because of something I read the other night. In the very beginning of the book, Unintended Consequences, by John Ross, (no relation to me), there is a passage that goes: The widows will never understand that their husbands died because the government got a little too-heavy handed…. As I brought up at the very beginning of this essay, we all have our breaking points, and for some of us we are at the end of our rope; we’ve been pushed, and pushed, and pushed some more; until we refuse to be pushed any further. If we snap, there will be bloodshed; you can almost count on it. But if we die, it won’t be just our deaths that you’ll be reading about, it will be those who work for tyrants, those who enforce the very laws that forces us to snap in the first place.
Each of those in the uniform of a law enforcement officer has a choice; they can defend the rights and liberty of the people by refusing to enforce laws that violate their rights, or they can choose to serve their masters; the politicians who pay them. You may not agree with me on this, but the natural state of things is for the people to be at war against their government. It may not be a war of bullets and bombs, but it is a war nonetheless; a war in which it is OUR duty as patriots to resist EVERY SINGLE ENCROACHMENT UPON OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTY!
James Madison said as much in his Memorial and Remonstrance: Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. So, while we the people have been asleep at the wheel, government has been advancing on all fronts; to the point where they can tell us we must shut down our lives, and the people obey.
There are some of us who have had enough. We see this Covid scandemic, and the push to force a vaccination upon us against our will as our line in the sand…and we will not back up any further. You cross that line, and you will have fired the first shot of America’s Third War for Independence.
It does not have to come to that if people would just back off and leave us, and our freedom, alone. If more folks had that spirit of resistance to government, we wouldn’t find ourselves where we are today. Unfortunately, people are more concerned with which brand of tyrants get to run our government, (Republicans or Democrats), rather than the simple fact that they are ALL tyrants. So, here we are, where those who retain that spirit of resistance to government are becoming an endangered species; treated as enemies and second-class citizens by our countrymen.
So, I will ask you one more time, before it is too late: Where is YOUR spirit of resistance to government? You better find it soon, for if we’re not already there, we’re rapidly approaching the point where the mantra of the Borg will become the reality you face – RESISTANCE IS FUTILE…