I Learn Something New Every Day (But at least I’m learning)

I know that sometimes when I write I come across as sounding arrogant, obnoxious, and downright insulting, however, all I am trying to do is what Jefferson admonished Madison to do in a letter written in 1787, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” To me, right beneath my eternal salvation, the preservation of my liberty is at the very top of my list of things of great importance.

That is why I spend so much time researching and writing about the subject, because I see my rights being stripped away from me by a tyrannical government, with the vast majority of the people in this country not even understanding what their rights are.

The reason people don’t know their rights is because they have not been taught about them. Noah Webster once wrote, “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.”

That has not happened. In my senior year in high school I was required to take a civics course which covered our nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights. Thirty three years later my son also took a high school civics course with less than half the time being devoted to our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, with the rest being spent on microeconomics.

Over the course of the past that last 15 or so years I have come to realize that, even back in 1976, what I was taught regarding our system of government, and the origins of our rights was severely lacking. Now, over three decades later what our children are learning about those same subjects has been cut almost in half. Is it any wonder we have so many people in this country who find absolutely nothing wrong with a government that blatantly disregards the Constitution and tramples all over our rights?

I remember in the Sixth Grade I had to memorize Patrick Henry’s Give Me Liberty speech and stand in front of the class and recite it. Now I would bet money on it that a good many high school graduates couldn’t even tell you who Patrick Henry was.

Yet still, with the education I received I was never taught about the origins of our rights, or the great political thinkers who influenced men like Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. It is ONLY because I took the time to educate myself that I am even aware of the writings of men like John Locke and Frederic Bastiat.

I don’t claim to be ANY smarter than the average person out there who may be reading this. I do claim to care more than they do though. As Alexander Hamilton once said, “Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it… the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.” What I have learned is that our public education system is guilty of depriving our youth of an education which would provide them with a solid understanding of the origin of their rights and the true nature and purpose for which their government was created. The result is that a vast majority of the kids graduating high school today do not realize that “It is sufficiently obvious, that persons now 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.” (James Madison in a speech before the Virginia Ratification Convention)

Instead they have been brainwashed into believing that government’s sole purpose is to provide for them, to take care of them, and to do so at the expense of others. Anyone who attempts to tell them otherwise is considered cold and uncaring. Yet the writings of our founders and those of the men who influenced them clearly show that it was not the purpose of government to take from one to benefit another. As Dr. Benjamin Rush once said, “Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights.” Unfortunately the vast majority of people in this country are ignorant regarding the origin of their rights, and therefore they are subsequently unaware that they are losing them.

There is a quote from the book Atlas Shrugged that I find quite appropriate, “You see, Dr. Stadler, people don’t want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty, not thinking. Anyone who makes a virtue—a highly intellectual virtue—out of what they know to be their sin, their weakness and their guilt.” That is why people so readily fall in step with groups and movements that make them FEEL like they are doing something, or thinking for themselves. Yet all that is happening is that they are doing is being used and manipulated like so many puppets.

I do not know of a single individual who claims to be unpatriotic. Yet Edward Abbey once said that “A patriot must always be to defend his country against his government.” Yet nowadays, talking like that will land you on some sort of government watch list as a potential domestic terrorist.

Yet if people were willing to pull their heads out of their asses and take some time to read something worthwhile instead of gluing themselves to a TV screen, they may just learn something. If they did, they might just realize that people who they now feel threatened by are not their enemies, instead they are standing up for their rights against an oppressive government.

In his short book the Law, Frederic Bastiat wrote, “Life, faculties, production—in other words, individuality, liberty, property—this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.”

He goes on to say, “What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two…If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.”

If you can understand that, then maybe you can understand what Jefferson meant when he said, “and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. . .”

Or maybe you can understand what John Locke meant when he wrote “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…”

In discussing government based upon the respect for individual rights, Bastiat wrote, “Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost.”

That right there explains why so many people fear absolute freedom as it entails assuming complete responsibility for your ability to succeed and the consequences for your failures. People would much rather have that safety net provided by government programs and subsidies, even when it comes at a substantial loss of their individual liberty.

There is a quote that is often attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler which says, “Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

Whether or not Tytler actually said it is irrelevant as the message is accurate. If you have the courage to look at the course our nation has taken you will be forced to come to the conclusion that America is in the very last stage of that progression…dependency back into bondage.

Call me radical, call me paranoid, call me whatever you like, but I am not your enemy, your government is. If you would just read the Federalist Papers, John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Governments, or Frederic Bastiat’s the Law, you will see that I am only echoing the sentiments of the men who created our system of government, and the men who influenced them.

The reason you have not heard those names is because you have been deprived a proper education. I was lucky in that I had this urge to seek out knowledge, even when it came at the cost of realizing that my government no longer serves the purpose for which it was created, the safeguarding of my rights; and if a government IS NOT working to safeguard your rights, then it can only be doing one other thing, working to take those same rights from you.

If that be the case, then you have a decision to make. You can choose to keep the wool pulled over your eyes and become a slave, or you can open your eyes to the truth and educate yourself before it’s too late. Believe me though when I tell you, make up your mind quick, as time is running out.

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One Response to I Learn Something New Every Day (But at least I’m learning)

  1. kdzu says:

    God Bless you Sir.
    While not having put quite the effort into studying as yourself, I have read many of the same writings and agree with you most whole heartedly.
    Rest assured that there are many who agree with you.

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