Tag Archives: Republic

Republic Lost

socialist-america

“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. 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

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Well, we lost the Republic.  It’s gone.   And this people lie to themselves and pretend that a Republic still governs us simply because they can cast a ballot, buy food with an EBT card and have funds available to purchase beer and porn.  They embrace nearly all vestiges of Socialism, Marxism and every other ill ISM that those bastard parents created and call it ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’.  We are governed by an elite cadre of Oligarchs that have taken over both major political parties and orchestrated a velvet coup that most Americans to this very moment, are clueless occurred.

We’re done.  The Grand Experiment was surrendered and squandered for the promise of free crap from the pockets of those we are jealous and envious of.

Government has become god.

And this people, slaves.

Willing slaves.  As long as they get their handout.

The following essay from Christopher Taylor.

WHY ITS OVER

I’ve written and said in several places and times that our Republic is dead.  This sounds pretty radical to people and I get looks of sad contempt and dismissal like old Christopher that opinionated jerk has gone too far, the poor dear.  Its the kind of response you give old people when they say something terribly unfashionable and out of date, a sort of kindly dismissal and mockery.

So I thought I’d make my case here and let people decide.

The quote at the top is what Benjamin Franklin gave when he was asked what the revolution and constitutional convention has given the people of America.  Franklin, like all of the founding fathers, knew that this experiment was fragile and prone to destruction.  They knew that without constant vigilance, virtue, and vitalization, the republic was doomed.

We’ve left all that behind.  When, exactly, is a matter of some debate, but for me the last desperate, slim glimmer of a hope was November 2012 when President Obama was reelected.  When doesn’t really matter so much as how and why.

A VIRTUOUS PEOPLE

Over and over, the founders warned future generations and their people that unless the nation clung to certain specific principles, it would lose liberty and everything they’d fought for.  Chief among these was virtue.

“We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” -John Adams

“Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” -Patrick Henry

“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the deigns of ambition.” -Thomas Jefferson

“A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.” -Samuel Adams

“Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles”. -George Washington

In short, a nation which is not guided by strong ethical principles based upon an objective, absolute standard, will be blown about like a rudderless, anchorless ship in a storm.  And a people who have no virtue will not consider the future or greater rewards and concepts, but only their immediate personal gain.

“We have forgotten that he who will not answer to the rudder will answer to the rocks” -Mortimer Adler

SHOW ME THE MONEY

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” -Thomas Jefferson

Such a people will, as the founders warned, stop voting for what is right and good, but for what is handy and valuable to them personally and directly.  As Sir Alex Fraser Tytle noted:

A democracy… can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

To put it simply, people will start voting themselves goodies at the expense of liberty, the future, economics, and personal well being.  As soon as a republic crosses that line, it ends.  And we’ve crossed that line.

The problem too many people develop is a sort of blindness.  They know at some level it isn’t true, but begin to convince themselves that if only the right sort of people get into office, they can fix everything, or at least slow the disaster.  But the United States is a democratic republic, so that means we elect representatives by popular vote to govern in our place.

And in that kind of system, we get the people who reflect and represent the culture and people of the nation at large.  Once a nation loses its virtue and direction, it votes for people just like that.  We get venal, corrupt, selfish leaders without integrity, honor, or virtue because we have become a nation of people with these characteristics.  They represent us in more than simply policy decisions; they represent us as people as well.

VOTE FOR ME!

Even if, by some chance or act of God, some leader is elected who differs from this pattern, they are powerless and shunned.  The politician now who is constitutionally responsible, has integrity, honor, and seeks liberty and future benefit for the nation over immediate comfort and gain is the outcast who will not play by the rules.  They are the trouble maker, the rebel, the crazy guy who won’t shut up.

Imagine, if you will, some miraculous scenario where all three branches of government were somehow filled with your perfect ideal of a conservative servant of the people and the constitution.  That sounds wonderful, right?

Now imagine what happens once they are sworn into office.  That very second, the news media, popular culture, academia, and out-of-power Democrats begin to bombard every conceivable outlet from social media to film, TV, radio, newspaper, books, personal conversation, and more with the same message. Monsters.  Tyrants.  Horrific.  Racist.  Sexist. Homophobic.  Islamophobic.  Theocrats.  Extremist.  Draconian.  They hate the elderly, children, handicapped, transexuals, minorities, women, on and on.  They support rape.  They support slavery.  They’re trying to put you back in chains.  They burn crosses.  They’ll drag you in chains behind their pickup truck.

Every single policy position, every single vote, every single action would be met with carefully orchestrated, filmed, and broadcast rallies and protests.  The pre-printed signs would be handed out, the paper-machet giant heads would be constructed, the streets closed off so that the “people” hired by groups like International A.N.S.W.E.R. can “spontaneously” take to the streets.

Every news broadcast would be filled with sad little faces and woeful stories of how horrific this bill is that hasn’t even taken effect and how its causing their puppy to starve.  Every hit song would be about how horrible things are on the streets filled with starvation, misery, and death.  Simply returning to how things were ten years ago would be depicted as Jim Crow times ten, packed with uninsured people dying on the streets.

And the people of the United States, bombarded with this in overwhelming fashion, would vote these people out in the next possible election, replacing them with radicals who would not only reverse what the Conservative Majority did, but go even further in the name of social justice and righting past wrongs.  They’d use this chance and the momentum to go even further than ever before.

Who wins what office makes no difference.  Until the nation undergoes a tremendous shift at the basic, cultural level, elections will only pour more of the same on this country and every new election makes matters worse.  And that cultural shift takes time, not elections.

BUT THE COURTS!!

“Through the Mercy of Fools all Justice is lost.” -Rabbi Nachmanides

We’re at a point in this nation where the Supreme Court has been stuffed with a near-majority of members for whom the constitution is simply a set of words they can use to lever in anything the latest progressive positions hold.  When a court has even a few judges who are utterly disinterested in constitution, wisdom, reason, justice, or sanity, that court ceases to have any validity whatseover.  It has been corrupted to the point of being useless.

Arguments we have to get the right sort of politician in this position or that for The Judges ignores the utter destruction of the constitution and nation that has already been wrought by a supposed judicially sensible majority.  After the utter abortion that was the Kelo vs New London decision, the court followed up with several horrendously decided trash cases which demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with power no matter who they are or what they claim about law.

Will a supreme court justice picked by a corrupt, horrible hag like Hillary Clinton be much worse than even a lying bozo like Donald Trump?  Yes.  But the bad is not a question of ruining the nation, its a question of how fast and in what direction.  Its going that way anyway, its just a matter of how swiftly.

REMNANTS

Technically, the USA is still around, of course.  We have the framework, sagging and rotted as it is, of what the country means still in place.  There are the habits of a Republic still here.  Technically we still vote.  In name at least we have representatives in office.  All of it still looks more or less the same.  Its just been gutted, like the shell of an insect that has been burrowed out from within by parasites.

The only direction this nation goes from here on out is away from liberty, away from the founders, away from the great experiment, and toward inevitable failure and tyranny.  There’s only one vector, even if it staggers a bit once in a while.

LET IT BURN

There’s a phrase some use to describe this attitude: “let it burn.”  Some misunderstand this as a call to destroy the nation.  But its not.  Its a call to step back and give up the fight because its going down either way.  For years now I’ve been telling everyone to focus locally, on family, neighbors, local politics.  Your home, your area, your town.  Because the federal government is a write-off.  There is no fixing it through any elections.

That’s what Let It Burn means; not “revolution!!!” but rather “its already burning and the firefighters know it won’t be saved.”  Let it Burn recognizes that its already on fire.  We’re past the point of preventing it.  We cannot save this Republic, until we get past the hard times ahead and begin the slow, painful process of rebuilding.

I’m sorry.  I don’t like it either.  but that doesn’t make it any less true.  And recognizing this doesn’t make me a crazy old man.  Just a sad one.

“Posterity–you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” -John Quincy Adams

Sorry, John.  We didn’t.  We gave it a pretty good run for a while, but its over.

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Life Imitating Art: Liberty Dies To Thunderous Applause

Absolutely everything a sane American needs to know about Obama’s State of The Revolution speech on Tuesday is contained in the following 2 minutes:

UPDATE – It is absolutely AMAZING that of the thousands of clips of the Star Wars trilogy that have been on Youtube for YEARS, the video I posted has been blocked worldwide by Youtube based on a supposed complaint by ‘Fox’, which no longer has copyright to those movies save the first one, since they were sold to Disney by Lucasfilm.  I uploaded the edit onto the link provided, and it will be interesting to see how long it will remain before they too block it.

See, the video is a perfect parallel of the transition of the Old Republic in Star Wars Episode III, into a despotic tyranny by a dictator – with nearly identical clips of Obama’s speech on Tuesday night.  As Senator Amidala notes the delegates clapping like trained seals of what will eventually become their doom and slavery; “So this is how liberty dies…. to thunderous applause”.

 

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Decline And Fall: Twilight In America

Decline-and-fall

The historical similarities of Rome’s Decline and Fall with current America are astounding.  You are witness to a collapse of an entire society into ruin.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

So we are repeating the fall of Rome, Greece, Pre-Revolutionary France while giving rise to Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Soviet and Hitler’s Reich, all rolled together into one massive beast.

The following essay by Dr. Clyde Wilson who notes the historical parallels we are living at an exponential level, is truly sobering given the implications.

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Decline and Fall

Clyde Wilson

I am very far from original in noticing similarities in the histories of Rome and America—republics that became empires.  The decline and fall of the former has often been thought to foretell the fate of the latter.  A Frenchman some years ago wrote a fairly convincing book called The Coming Caesars.  Such analogies are interesting and suggestive but should not be put forward too dogmatically.  History does repeat itself because human nature remains the same and because civilized people build institutions that then perpetuate themselves for their own sake rather than for the purpose for which they were established.  Power-seeking, luxury, debauchery, irresponsibility, and sloth are ever present and are held in check only for brief and extraordinary periods by Christianity or patriotism.  Still, the recurrences of past patterns are never exactly the same.  The more intimately one knows a past time, the more cautious one becomes in sweeping generalizations.  All large events, like the fall of Rome or the American war of 1861-65, have multiple “causes”—some deep, and some circumstantial.  Indeed, sweeping generalizations about history by people who don’t know what they are talking about are a major blight on American discourse.

The decline and fall of Rome has been blamed on enervating luxury, moral debauchery, imperial overreach, dilution of the founding stock, multiculturalism, bad economic policy, replacement of citizen soldiers by foreign mercenaries, lead poisoning, and, if you believe Gibbon, Christianity.  Such weaknesses left the empire prey to our “barbaric” ancestors.  Dr. Thomas Fleming is my infallible authority on all things classical, and I defer to and welcome his correction.  But as I read it, one of the observable phenomena in the decline of Rome is that republican institutions were maintained in name when they had been entirely transformed in substance.  The senate continued long after it had lost all power.  It no longer represented the interests of a real society but, like the American Congress today, was an appendage of the emperor.  The fiction was maintained that the emperor was only the first among equals.  And yet, like the American president, he was ranked by many among the gods.

Doesn’t that describe the state that the American government has reached today?  The U.S. Constitution continues to receive lip service, when it has all but ceased to exist.  The Framers and ratifiers of the Constitution would not recognize today’s federal government as having any relation to the instrument they created.  All three branches of the federal government have committed violations of fundamental law that are as bad as Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon.  Obama and his predecessor have ruled essentially as elected emperors who may do anything without any effective opposition.  The Congress has become a rubber stamp of the executive, and the Supreme Court the maker of far-reaching laws.

All that remains is for the emperor to rule for life.  Third World dictators do so, and the widespread adulation of Obama definitely has aspects of Third World leader-worship.  Why can’t Obama be elected again and again?  All it would take is for the Supreme Court to suspend or overrule the constitutional amendment limiting presidents to two terms.  Such a ruling would be no more extreme in reasoning and usurpation than many rulings already made and enforced.  A large majority of Congress would fall down and worship rather than put up an opposition that might make them unpopular or threaten their power and perks.

America today bears many of the characteristics that have been checked off as causes of the decline and fall of Rome.  Bread and circuses (multiple forms of welfare, television, sports), imperial overreach, replacement of the founding population with foreigners, concentration of wealth into fewer and fewer hands.  Surely, one of the observable clues to Roman decline was the proletarianization of the population.  Indeed, the term prole originates with Rome as a description of the propertyless.  The sturdy yeoman class—attached to land and hearth, household gods, and republican virtue—departed or disappeared into the impoverished, multicultural, and dependent urban mob or imperial wars.  At the same time the wealthy and well placed became ever more wealthy and more lacking in civic character.  You can certainly see here analog to present American reality.  The proletarianization of the upper-middle, middle, and working classes is the most important major trend of our time.  For the first time in American history the promise of the “land of opportunity” has become a bad joke.

One thing about this has puzzled and troubled me.  How could the traditionally wealthy and powerful ruling class of Rome so readily exploit and discard the general mass of their fellow citizens, not in the least regretting their disappearance or understanding the social costs?  Wouldn’t the wealthy and powerful naturally have some fellow feeling, some allegiance to their countrymen of the middle classes with whom they long shared a civic, religious, and military tradition?

I was, as usual, too idealistic and too attached to a dead tradition of a responsible Southern aristocracy of Washington, Jefferson, and Lee.  Observing America today has cured me of such foolishness.  I understand how it happened because I see it happening now.  Our wealthy and powerful class is no less ruthless, selfish, and shortsighted than the Roman.  Wealth is becoming more and more concentrated into fewer hands, and the wealthy are becoming ever less responsible and patriotic and attached to their fellow citizens.  This is decline and fall without a doubt, and nobody even notices or gives a damn.

Please take note, Mr. Lincoln.  Government of the people, by the people, and for the people is indeed perishing from the earth.

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How America Becomes A Tyranny

“Justice and happiness in a community rests upon the moral condition of its citizens.. without proper moral conditioning, a nation’s “defining principle” will be the source of its ultimate destruction. “

tyranny

This essay in the American Thinker is a great read, and undoubtedly one the Founder’s themselves had read, studied and which motivated many of their warnings to us, regarding the safeguards of liberty:

The only foundation for… a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. – Founder and Signer, Dr. Benjamin Rush

There is a huge difference between freedom and liberty.

Today in America, we define liberty as being able to do whatever one feels like without regard to consequences or responsibility.  But this is not liberty – it is in fact slavery.  Slavery to ideas anathema to liberty and slavery to the vices of both flesh and tyrants.

Liberty as intended for us in this country, can only be preserved by a state of religious biblical morality.  Without it, we see the results in both the culture and now in our political landscape: chaos, anarchy, corruption, deceit, abomination, violence and debauchery celebrated as goodness, while the righteous are silenced and persecuted by a new morality that will usher in tyranny.

 

How Democracies Become Tyrannies

By Ed Kaitz

Back in 1959 the philosopher Eric Hoffer had this to say about Americans and America:

“For those who want to be left alone to realize their capacities and talents this is an ideal country”. 


That was then. This is now. Flash forward fifty years to the election of Barack Obama and a hard left leaning Democrat Congress. What Americans want today, apparently, is a government that has no intention of leaving any of us alone. 


How could Hoffer have been so wrong about America? Why did America change so quickly? Can a free people willingly choose servitude?  Is it possible for democracies to become tyrannies? How?


The answers to these questions were famously addressed in a few pages tucked within the greatest masterpiece of the classical world: Plato’s Republic.  On the surface, and to most reviewers of Plato’s writings, the Republic is a dialogue on justice and on what constitutes the just society.  But to careful readers the deeper theme of the Republic is the nature of education and the relationship between education and the survival of the state.  In fact, the Republic is essentially the story of how a man (Socrates) condemned to death for “corrupting” the youth of Athens gives to posterity the most precious gift of all: the love of wisdom.


In the Republic, two young men, Glaucon and Adeimantus, accompany the much older Socrates on a journey of discovery into the nature of the individual soul and its connection to the harmony of the state.  During the course of their adventure, as the two disciples demonstrate greater maturity and self-control, they are gradually exposed to deeper and more complex teachings regarding the relationship between virtue, self-sufficiency, and happiness. In short, the boys begin to realize that justice and happiness in a community rests upon the moral condition of its citizens.  This is what Socrates meant when he said: “The state is man writ large.”


Near the end of the Republic Socrates decides to drive this point home by showing Adeimantus what happens to a regime when its parents and educators neglect the proper moral education of its children.  In the course of this chilling illustration Adeimantus comes to discover a dark and ominous secret: without proper moral conditioning a regime’s “defining principle” will be the source of its ultimate destruction.  For democracy, that defining principle is freedom. According to Socrates, freedom makes a democracy but freedom also eventually breaks a democracy.


For Socrates, democracy’s “insatiable desire for freedom and neglect of other things” end up putting it “in need of a dictatorship.”  The short version of his theory is that the combination of freedom and poor education in a democracy render the citizens incapable of mastering their impulses and deferring gratification.  The reckless pursuit of freedom leads the citizens to raze moral barriers, deny traditional authority, and abandon established methods of education.  Eventually, this uninhibited quest for personal freedom forces the public to welcome the tyrant.  Says Socrates: “Extreme freedom can’t be expected to lead to anything but a change to extreme slavery, whether for a private individual or for a city.”


Adeimantus wants Socrates to explain what kind of man resembles the democratic city.  In other words, he wants to know how “democratic man” comes to be and what happens to make this freedom loving man eventually beg for a tyrant.  Socrates clarifies that the democratic man starts out as the son of an “oligarchic” father — a father who is thrifty and self-disciplined.  The father’s generation is more concerned with wealth than freedom. This first generation saves, invests, and rarely goes in for conspicuous consumption.[i]


The father’s pursuit of wealth leaves him unwilling and unable to give attention to his son’s moral development. The father focuses on business and finance and ignores the business of family. The son then begins to associate with “wild and dangerous creatures who can provide every variety of multicolored pleasure in every sort of way.”  These Athenian precursors of the hippies begin to transform the son’s oligarchic nature into a democratic one.  Because the young man has had no moral guidance, his excessive desire for “unnecessary pleasures” undermines “the citadel” of his soul.  Because the “guardians” of the son’s inner citadel — truth, restraint, wisdom — are absent, there is nothing within him to defend against the “false and boastful words and beliefs that rush up and occupy this part of him.”


A 1960s revolution in the son’s soul purges the last remaining guardians of moderation and supplants new meanings to old virtues:  “anarchy” replaces freedom, “extravagance” replaces magnificence, and “shamelessness” replaces courage.  The young man surrenders rule over himself “to whichever desire comes along, as if it were chosen by lot.”  Here Socrates notes the essential problem when a free society becomes detached from any notions of moral virtue or truth: desires are chosen by “lot” instead of by “merit” or “priority.”


For the son the democratic revolution in his soul is complete.  In this stage “there is neither order nor necessity in his life, but he calls it pleasant, free, blessedly happy, and he follows it for as long as he lives.”  Socrates gives a brief illustration of the young man’s new democratic life:


Sometimes he drinks heavily while listening to the flute; at other times he drinks only water and is on a diet; sometimes he goes in for physical training; at other times, he’s idle and neglects everything; and sometimes he even occupies himself with what he takes to be philosophy.  He often engages in politics, leaping up from his seat and saying and doing whatever comes into his mind.  If he happens to admire soldiers, he’s carried in that direction, if money-makers, in that one.


In short, the young man has no anchor, no set of guiding principles or convictions other than his thirst for freedom.  His life is aimless, superficial, and gratuitous. The spoiled lotus-eaters of his generation have defined themselves simply by mocking all forms of propriety and prudence.  What’s worse, as these Athenian baby-boomers exercise their right to vote, they elect “bad cupbearers” as their leaders.  The new cupbearers want to stay in office so they give the voters whatever they desire.  The public, according to Socrates, “gets drunk by drinking more than it should of the unmixed wine of freedom.”  Conservative politicians who attempt to mix the wine of freedom with calls for self-restraint “are punished by the city and accused of being accursed oligarchs.”


As conservative politicians court suspicion so do conservative teachers and academics who stubbornly hold on to objective measurements of performance: “A teacher in such a community is afraid of his students and flatters them, while the students despise their teachers or tutors.”  Conservatism becomes unpopular just about everywhere, to a point at which even the elderly “stoop to the level of the young and are full of play and pleasantry, imitating the young for fear of appearing disagreeable and authoritarian.”


The explosion of boundaries and limits extends even to national identity itself, so that resident aliens and foreigners “are made equal to a citizen.”


The citizens’ souls become so infected with freedom that they become excessively paranoid about any hint of slavery.  But slavery comes to mean being under any kind of master or limit including the law itself.  Says Socrates: “They take no notice of the laws, whether written or unwritten, in order to avoid having any master at all.” That is, any kind of “hierarchy” in a democracy is rejected as “authoritarian.”  But this extreme freedom, according to Socrates, eventually enslaves democracy.


As the progressive politicians and intellectuals come to dominate the democratic city, its “fiercest members do all the talking and acting, while the rest settle near the speakers platform and buzz and refuse to tolerate the opposition of another speaker.”  There are “impeachments, judgments and trials on both sides.”  The politicians heat up the crowds by vilifying business and wealth and by promising to spread the wealth around.  The people then “set up one man as their special champion” and begin “nurturing him and making him great.” 


The people’s “special champion” however transforms from leader to tyrant.  He “drops hints about the cancellation of debts and the redistribution of land” and continues to “stir up civil wars against the rich.”  All who have reached this stage, says Socrates, “soon discover the famous request of a tyrant, namely, that the people give him a bodyguard to keep their defender safe for them.”  The people give him this new security force, “because they are afraid for his safety but aren’t worried at all about their own.”


Socrates describes the early weeks of the new leader’s reign:
“Won’t he smile in welcome at anyone he meets, saying that he’s no tyrant, making all sorts of promises both in public and in private, freeing the people from debt, redistributing land to them, and to his followers, and pretending to be gracious and gentle to all?”

After a series of unpopular actions, including stirring up a war in order to generate popular support, the leader begins to alienate some of his closest and most ardent advisers who begin to voice their misgivings in private.  Following a purge of these advisors the tyrant attracts some of the worst elements of the city to help him rule.  As the citizens grow weary of his tenure the tyrant chooses to attract foreigners to resupply his dwindling national bodyguard.  The citizens finally decide they’ve had enough and begin to discuss rebellion. 
At this point in the dialogue Adeimantus asks Socrates incredulously: “What do you mean?  Will the tyrant dare to use violence against [the people] or to hit [them] if [they] don’t obey?  Socrates answers:
“Yes – once he’s taken away [the people’s] weapons.”

Thus ends Book VIII of Plato’s Republic.  I won’t spoil the marvelous ending (Books IX and X) but I would like to spend a few moments drawing some conclusions about the overall message of this fascinating text and its relevance for 21st century Americans.
First, those of us who are incapable of self-mastery will always shamefully prostrate ourselves before messianic political leaders.  The progressive left in America has spent countless generations destroying the guardians of our inner citadel: religion, family, parents, and tradition – in short, conservatism and limits.  When we exhaust the financial and moral capital of previous generations (and future ones, as with the current stimulus bill) we will dutifully line up at the public trough, on our knees.  Citizens capable of self-mastery will always choose to be left alone.  In other words, they’ll always choose limited government.
Second, freedom without limits paves the way to tyranny by undermining respect for the law.  When politicians play fast and loose with the law it becomes easier for them and for the people to see special champions as alternative sources of rule.  Today in America the objective basis for law is being attacked on campuses and even in law schools as too authoritarian and too insensitive to the subjective experiences and personal narratives of criminals.  The SAT exam has also been under assault for the same reasons.  As Socrates warned: extreme freedom will instill a paranoia about any kind of “master” including objective measurements of right and wrong, and of merit based forms of achievement.  But when the citizens become enslaved to their vices they’ll dutifully cry out for another kind of master.
Third, is the crucial role of education, which is the underlying theme of Plato’s Republic.  The ethos of American education has been for many decades saturated with a simple mantra: choice.  What’s worse, those few remaining educators who chant the old, Socratic mantra of “judgment” are vilified and harassed by the modern day lotus-eaters as hateful conservatives.  Socrates predicted that all of this would happen in a democracy.  But it is judgment not choice that enables a young person to erect a citadel in the soul.  This eliminates the need for tyrants, and for bailouts too.
Finally, there is a question on the minds of many conservatives today:  How does one convince the younger generations of Americans to distrust the growth of the State?  Is it possible for Americans to recover the desire to be left alone in order “to realize our capacities and talents” as Eric Hoffer says? 
I’ve read that in Iran, many young people chafe at the pervasive despotism there, but when the burning desire for freedom threatens to boil over, the government in Tehran eases its restrictions on the use of personal satellite dishes.  Electronic Soma for the digital age.

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Bill of Rights – A Dying Document That Was Always Threatened

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“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.” – Alexander Hamilton

Today’s essay is most excellent and captures the true history of the Amendments securing 10 of our most sacred rights, that if not adopted – we would have lost those rights long ago to the tyranny of government and the courts.

Even now, the efforts to redefine them are before the Supreme Court – and by next Summer, the watering down, redefinition or abolishement of some of them may in fact become a reality, that will seal our coffin as a free republic.

To Secure These Rights…

By Mark Alexander

Patriot Post US

Saturday, 15 December, is the 216th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution, as ratified in 1791.

The Bill of Rights was inspired by three remarkable documents: John Locke’s 1689 thesis, Two Treatises of Government, regarding the protection of “property” (in the Latin context, proprius, or one’s own “life, liberty and estate”); in part from the Virginia Declaration of Rights authored by George Mason in 1776 as part of that state’s Constitution; and, of course, in part from our Declaration of Independenceauthored by Thomas Jefferson.

James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights as amendments to our Constitution in 1789, but many of our Founders objected to listing the Bill of Rights at all, much less as “amendments.” Their rationale was that such rights might then be construed as malleable rather than unalienable, as amendable rather than “endowed by our Creator” as noted in the Constitution’s supreme guidance, the Declaration of Independence.

Alexander Hamilton argued this point in The Federalist Papers, the most comprehensive explication of our Constitution: “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous… For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” (Federalist No. 84)

George Mason was one of 55 who authored the U.S. Constitution, but one of 16 who refused to sign it because it did not adequately address limitations on what the central government had “no power to do.” He worked with Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams against the Constitution’s ratification for that reason.

As a result of Mason’s insistence, ten limitations were put on the Federal Government by the first session of Congress, for the reasons outlined by the Bill of Rights Preamble: “The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution…”

Read in context, the Bill of Rights is both an affirmation of innate individual rights (as noted by Thomas Jefferson: “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time…”), and a clear delineation on constraints upon the central government.

However, as Jefferson warned repeatedly, the greatest threat to such limitations on the central government was an unbridled judiciary: “Over the Judiciary department, the Constitution [has] deprived [the people] of their control… The original error [was in] establishing a judiciary independent of the nation, and which, from the citadel of the law, can turn its guns on those they were meant to defend, and control and fashion their proceedings to its own will… It is a misnomer to call a government republican in which a branch of the supreme power [the judiciary] is independent of the nation… The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”

In Federalist No. 81 Alexander Hamilton wrote, “[T]here is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State.”

That admonition notwithstanding, the federal judiciary has become “a despotic branch.”

Indeed, since the middle of the last century, judicial despots have grossly devitalized the Bill of Rights, asserting errantly that our Founders created a “Living Constitution” amendable by judicial diktat.

For example, the Leftjudiciary has “interpreted” the First Amendment as placing all manner of constraint upon the exercise of religion by way of the so-called “establishment clause” and based on the phony “Wall of Separation” argument. At the same time, the courts have asserted that all manner of expression constitutes “speech.”

The judiciary and legislatures have undermined the strength of the Second Amendment, a right of which James Madison’s appointee, Justice Joseph Story, referred to as “…the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers…”

Equally derelict is the manner in which the Tenth Amendment has been eroded by judicial interpretation.

In Federalist No. 45, Madison outlines the clear limits on central government power established in the Constitution: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Alexander Hamilton added in Federalist No. 81 “…the plan of the [Constitutional] convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, exclusively delegated to the United States.”

There was a very bloody War Between the States fought over offense to the Constitution’s assurance of States’ Rights.

All is not lost, however.

Sunday, 16 December, is the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party (1773). The “radicals” from Marlborough, Massachusetts, who threw 342 chests of tea from a British East India Company ship into the Boston Harbor in protest of tyrannical rule, did so noting, “Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their… liberties.”

Three years later, this rebellion had grown to such extent that our Founders were willing to give up their fortunes and lives, attaching their signatures to a document that declared, “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.”

Judicial and political despots, take note.

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President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

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How far we have fallen spiritually from the kind of people and nation we were – even from our infancy. It would do all American well, to read and meditate on George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation, and recapture the kind of allegience we once had to our God as a People and nation.

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1789
by President George Washington

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, of the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have to acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone know to be best.

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