Too Little, Too Late?

“These wretches have no wealth, no kin, nor wife nor children.
not even life itself that they can call their own.”

~Etienne de la Boetie~
(The Politics of Obedience)

Years ago, I read an article about how we take our vision for granted. In the article the author described how difficult it is to describe things to people who had been born blind. As an example, he talked about how hard it would be to describe something as simple as a cloud to someone who had never seen one. Imagine how difficult it would be to explain a cloud to someone who had never experienced color; only darkness.

For some reason, that article stuck in the back of my mind somewhere; until a day or two ago when I began to think about how it correlates with how I feel sometimes when I try to explain rightful liberty to people. It has been my experience that most people cannot grasp the concept of rightful liberty; possibly due to the fact that they’ve never experienced it.

In his book, The Politics of Obedience, Etienne de la Boetie writes: One never pines for what he has never known; longing comes only after enjoyment and constitutes, amidst the experience of sorrow, the memory of past joy. It is truly the nature of man to be free and to wish to be so, yet his character is such that he instinctively follows the tendencies that his training gives him. A few paragraphs later, he writes: There are always a few, better endowed than others, who feel the weight of the yoke and cannot restrain themselves from attempting to shake it off … These are the ones who, having good minds of their own, have further trained them by study and learning. Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them, slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.

How would you react if I were to tell you that the purpose of government is not to create jobs or provide you with anything; the purpose of government is to secure your rights and liberty against attack from others? I think the very thought of a government like that scares the hell out of most people; they cannot conceive of having to accept complete and total responsibility for all their wants and needs. Yet I could prove that statement; if only people would forget about what they’d been taught and open their minds to the truth.

I’ve heard it said that the Independence Day holiday celebrates the birth of America. If that be the case, then an argument could be made that the Declaration of Independence is America’s birth certificate. Yet that document does not establish any system of government; it merely outlines the principles they believed were ‘self-evident’, and the reasons why they felt it necessary to sever the political bands that had tied them to Great Britain. Those beliefs are found in the following passage from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Does that passage say anything at all about creating jobs, stimulating the economy, providing you with benefits or subsidies, or funding any of the other programs people today take for granted as part of the function of government? If so, I’d like for you to explain where exactly it says so.

Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and when he was elected to the presidency in 1800 he delivered an inaugural address in which he said: Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

Would you vote for a candidate for president who made such a comment?

James Madison, also known as the Father of our Constitution, followed Jefferson as president. While serving in the House of Representatives, Madison argued against passage of a subsidy bill for Cod Fisheries, stating: If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress… Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America. (February 3, 1792)

Both those men played significant roles in the drafting of two of our country’s most important documents; the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Therefore, if anyone understood the intent of those documents, it would be them.

So, do what either of them said conform to your beliefs as to the function of government? If not, then may I ask you to kindly reconsider your beliefs, because you’re reciting what you’ve been taught in school, or heard on the news; not what those who established this country believed.

I know this will seem like I’m backtracking somewhat, but I feel it is important that I discuss this so that you’ll get a better understanding of what the Declaration of Independence means. The history of our Declaration of Independence is fascinating; at least it is to me.

First of all, the Declaration of Independence was not the actual resolution presented to the Continental Congress seeking to sever the bands that tied them to England; it was the Lee Resolution, presented by Richard Henry Lee that did that. The Lee Resolution was presented on June 7, 1776, and came in three parts. It was the first of them though that discussed independence: Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

As the delegates to the 2nd Continental Congress were acting on behalf of their respective Colonies, they had not been given the authority to vote in support of such a measure; which is why nearly a month passed before they voted to support it. During that time, it was suggested that a committee be formed to draft a more formal declaration, should the vote upon Lee’s resolution be in the affirmative. That motion was approved, and Thomas Jefferson was tasked with drafting that formal document. When Jefferson asked why him, John Adams replied: Reason first—You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second—I am obnoxious, suspected and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third—You can write ten times better than I can.

I love to write, there’s no denying that. Yet I don’t know if I would want to be shouldered with the responsibility of writing a document of such importance; as Jefferson was when he was asked to write a document that would change the course of his country’s history. Regardless, aside from the speeches of Patrick Henry, I think Jefferson’s prose in the Declaration of Independence rates among the most eloquent things I’ve ever read.

While the wording of the Declaration of Independence was, for the most part, Jefferson’s, the ideas expressed in it came from a multitude of sources. Jefferson was an avid reader, and one of the books that influenced him was Locke’s Second Treatise. I’ve often wondered why Jefferson did not paraphrase Locke when referring to our rights – Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Locke always referred to Life, Liberty and Property; so, it surprised me when Jefferson traded property for the pursuit of Happiness.

I’ve heard it said that Jefferson derived his inspiration from George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights, which states: That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Yet, even Mason included acquiring and possessing property in his Declaration of Rights; so why Jefferson left property out remains a mystery. I have heard that he chose not to include ‘possessing property’ in his wording due to the fact that he opposed slavery, and slaves were treated as property; but that’s something I’ve been unable to disprove or confirm.

Yet four years before Jefferson was tasked with writing our country’s most important document, Samuel Adams wrote: Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.

Therefore, regardless of whether or not Jefferson chose to include property in his list of rights, the fact that it was considered a right is well established by other Founders. Even after the Constitution had been written and ratified, James Madison would state: It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.

So far, none of the passages I’ve presented refer to any kind of benefits or subsidies to aid the people in their ‘pursuit of happiness’; merely that it is the function of government to protect our rights from infringement. The problem is, whenever there is a system that gives men the power to enact law, it will attract those who seek control and dominion over those the system governs; it is a historically proven fact that this is the case. To think that our system was created so perfectly that this could not happen shows how naïve and gullible people can be.

For most of my adult life I have watched as your government, (I no longer claim it as my own), has grown more powerful, and in the process of gaining that power I have watched as my rights have increasingly come under attack. I have watched with both horror and a growing sense of anger as the public has supported measures that deprive me of my unalienable rights and liberty.

I don’t know whether people do not know the meaning of the words inherent and unalienable, or if they don’t care, but nonetheless they mean that my rights are mine, and that nobody; not the public sentiment, not a gaggle of politicians, or nine black robed bandits calling themselves Justices, can infringe upon them!

In 1792 James Madison wrote an essay discussing property; defining it as: that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual. However, it is something else that Madison included among the things a man can call his ‘property’ that I would like to draw your attention to: He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person.

In his Second Treatise, Locke speaks frequently about the state of nature; which is: a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man. That sounds strikingly similar to what Jefferson would write over 100 years later: Liberty then I would say that, in the whole plenitude of it’s extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will: but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.

So, if liberty means that ability of an individual to dispose of their person and their possessions according to their will, without being dependent upon the will of others, then how in God’s name can you justify denying a person the right to hold down a job, allow them entry into a business, or the ability to travel, unless they first submit to having something put into their body against their will?

If we cannot call our bodies our own, then we must accept the fact that we are slaves; for what is slavery but one person owning another in all regards? I do not care that the Supreme Court has held that it is permissible for government to mandate mass vaccination; they are part of the government, and the government is supposed to secure liberty, not annihilate it! I don’t care if a business requires the vaccine because the government says it is necessary; they should be more concerned with defending the liberty of their employees than they are upholding the mandate of some tyrant!

But Neal, Covid is a serious threat. You think Covid is a threat? You ought to start asking yourself what life will be like when the government gains complete and total control over your body. It is your fear, combined with your ignorance regarding the function of government, that allows government to grow, while your rights and liberty diminish; and I, for one, have had about all I can stand of it!

Our Founders spoke often about those who would give up their rights, or liberty, for the promises of comfort and security. Here are a few of their thoughts:

– I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Jan 30, 1787

-Those who would surrender essential liberty for a little temporary comfort and security will deserve neither and lose both. Ben Franklin

-If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

And finally, one of my favorites, from Thomas Paine: When I contemplate the natural dignity of man, when I feel (for Nature has not been kind enough to me to blunt my feelings) for the honour and happiness of its character, I become irritated at the attempt to govern mankind by force and fraud, as if they were all knaves and fools, and can scarcely avoid disgust at those who are thus imposed upon.

I don’t care what you think if you cannot support your opinion with historical fact; and I’m talking about history from the period that saw America become and independent country, not what some ass clown president said two days ago. If you want to live in chains, cower in fear over every real, and imagined crisis, be my guest – just don’t ask me to join you.

As I said, I have watched with growing horror, and anger, as my rights and liberty have come under attack over and over again by the entity created to secure them. I have also grown weary of trying to open the eyes of people who, quite honestly, aren’t fit to call themselves my countrymen.

There are some who are as angry over this whole vaccine mandate thing as I am. The problem is, they see this as an isolated incident, while I see it as another in a long train of abuses designed to reduce us under absolute despotism. Hopefully these people will see government for what it is supposed to be, not what it has become. The question is; will it be too little, too late; is the damage that has been done to our rights and liberty irrevocable, or is there still a chance that we can regain what we have allowed to be taken from us?

Only time will tell. Just know this; as Popeye used to say: I’ve had all that I can stands, and I can’t stands no more.

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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