Over two centuries ago, what would become our fledgling nation stood at a crossroads – poised to either submit to continued tyranny by an oppressive and unresponsive government or else bravely rise up and declare their freedom and refusal to continue to live under the thumbs of such a government. Today, a growing number of people believe we have arrived at a similar juncture and that the past provides both a valuable lesson and example for the future:
Then a fellow named Thomas Paine published a pamphlet titled "Common Sense" with clear concise reasons why such tyranny should not be tolerated and why an uprising was inevitable. The first 50,000 copies sold out in a day. So did the second printing. An estimated 500,000 copies would be printed over the next few months and the vast majority of the 3 million people then residing in the 13 colonies read the pamphlet. The rest, as they say, was history as the groundswell reached a boiling point on July 2, when the Constitutional Congress unanimously voted for independence (with New York notably abstaining). On July 4th, the formal document was signed by 56 very courageous individuals.
Today, we need more Thomas Paines and a few other good men like him as our freedoms and wealth have been stripped away at an ever increasing pace by a government which has long ago become unresponsive to serving the citizens and serves the monied elite with unconstitutional policy, laws, codes and decrees. As we see our freedoms sacrificed in the name of security and our wealth sacrificed to bail out those who created the financial crisis it should be abundantly clear that our government has become unresponsive to the citizens and long ago lost sight of the vision and intent of our founders.
Our forefathers knew what to do – indeed they declared that it was both our right and our duty as patriotic citizens to oppose such tyranny:
"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 . . ."
Many people now believe that the time has come once again to alter or abolish that which rules us to a government that once again serves us. We simply need a few good men (and women) to fan the fires of freedom like those courageous patriots and right thinkers of long ago and our own courage to match that of Patrick Henry when he said "Give me liberty, or give me death".
Here are but a few of the examples of the thinking and courage of our founding patriots and free minded men from the past:
"Man knows no master save Heaven, or those whom choice and common good ordain." – Thomas Paine from the cover of Common Sense.
"Life, liberty and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." – Bastiat
"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." – George Washington
"Whenever the legislators endeavor 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 further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence." – Locke
"A claim for equality of material position can be met only be a government with totalitarian powers . . .'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded." – Frederich August von Hayek
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority . . . There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." – Noah Webster
"God has given to all men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations! And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgement of faith in God and His works." – Bastiat, The Law
And for those of us who cherish health freedom, a noted freedom lover of today gives us his words of wisdom about what should be our inherent right to address our personal health issues however we see fit:
"Millions of Americans take dietary supplements every day, and the numbers are growing as the Baby Boom generation ages. More and more Americans understandably are frustrated with our government-controlled health care system. They have concluded that vitamins, minerals, and other supplements might help them stay healthy and less dependent on the system. They use supplements because they can buy them freely at stores and research them freely on the Internet, without government interference in the form of doctors, prescriptions, HMOs, and licenses. In other words, they use supplements because they are largely free to make their own choices, in stark contrast to the conventional medical system.
But we live in an era of unbridled government regulation of both our personal lives and the economy, and Food and Drug Administration bureaucrats burn to regulate supplements in the same manner as prescription drugs.
The health nannies insist that many dietary supplements are untested and unproven, and therefore dangerous. But the track record for FDA-approved drugs hardly inspires confidence. In fact, far more Americans have died using approved pharmaceuticals than supplements. Not every dietary supplement performs as claimed, but neither does every FDA drug." – Ron Paul
As a new administration takes office promising "change" but demanding more and more sacrifice and planning more and bigger government programs and government control, wealth redistribution, continuing to bail out the rich at the expense of the rest of the citizens, attempting to spend our way out of the problem that excess spending created in the first place, and promising to continue military interventionism and continued favoritism in the Mid-east that puts our country and citizens at risk of retaliation by zealots, these words echo from the past to remind us of the change we really need:
"A government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have . . . The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." – Thomas Jefferson
"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." – Thomas Jefferson
"The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. But how is legal plunder to be indentified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay . . . If such law is not abolished immediately, it will spread: multiply and develop into a system." – Bastiat
To be sure, the task at hand is not an easy one and it has been made more difficult by generations of brainwashing, anesthetizing and dumbing down the population with filtered news, televised diversions by government agencies and a controlled media who has created indifference, ignorance and a false sense of duty to obey government decree no matter whether right or wrong. However, those who think the task is too daunting should take heart in the words of another of our forefathers:
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people's minds." – Samuel Adams
And, as a noted positive thinker of more recent vintage once said:
"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I still can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." – Helen Keller
Though unable to hear herself, she gave us a message that should be heard and heeded by one and all.
Note: A great deal of the material used above came from the a pamphlet titled "Common Sense Revisited" which can be downloaded in .pdf form at:
I urge each and every one of your to get your own copy. You may not agree with everything it has to say, but I daresay that most of you will agree with most of what it says, and be quite moved in the process.