The American State
“A long Habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of Custom. But the Tumult soon subsides. Time makes more Converts than Reason.” Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
To my fellow Americans:
I grew up in an America that is in many ways not too different from today. Of course the circumstances and situations of the times differ, but what was then is in many ways what is now. Only now the circumstances and situations have become dire.
As a child and young adult, what is known and what is accepted about one’s nation is a matter of course. In the United States, one’s perception regarding the state of all things “America” is embedded and accepted at an early age. Growing up as an American, you believe that America can do no harm. That our way of life, that our system of government is infallible. And by the time the daily responsibilities of adulthood become all consuming, the acceptance of the state of things becomes second nature. Slight changes here and there are of no notice or of no concern.
We are taught and constantly reminded that we are free people, that America is the land of opportunity, and that the American Dream is fruit for the picking. We wave the flag for our military under the belief that they are defending our liberties by fighting enemies around the world who would otherwise seek to destroy them. We purportedly conduct commerce under a free market economy. We view our national advancements as a result of innate American exceptionalism. And when all is said and done, we understand that America is synonymous with freedom, and that freedom is what we experience in our day-to-day living.
It is quite amazing how a population can come to accept a thing as something that it is not. For too long now, the liberties and freedoms that were synonymous with America have been eroded. The encroachment of tyranny that so many before us have warned against has at last reared its ghastly head, having previously managed to persist and lurk beneath the surface. These encroachments have not always been perceptible in the daily lives of Americans, and in many cases, these encroachments have been mistakenly encouraged. We can fault ourselves for not keeping a close eye on those who claim benevolence as a precipice for acting.
For too long now, we have ignored the means by which true wealth is created, instead believing that money alone can create prosperity. We have failed to educate ourselves on how a freely functioning economy operates, instead opting to entrust those who should never be trusted. We have come to believe that economic laws can be suspended and repealed by merely speaking into a microphone or legislating behind a desk and mandating that our economy act as instructed. The rising prices of food and energy, the massive costs for obtaining an education or receiving medical care, and the increasing difficulties to make ends meet despite dual incomes, are mere symptoms of a much greater, systemic problem.
For too long now, we have allowed our government to endanger the lives of our brave military men and women for the purpose of geopolitical bargaining and gamesmanship, not national defense. We have come to believe that our global military presence is a necessary component of a free society, unhesitantly shedding American blood on conflicts that have no discernable relation to our safety. And through all of this meddling, we have imported a national security state that views all American citizens with suspicion, governing us with procedures and threats that are more befitting of a military occupied territory.
Sadly, as generations of Americans went about their lives, our government cleverly empowered itself, at times subtly and at other times brazenly. Any momentary uproars by citizens have been met with dismissive arrogance, political showmanship or sheer patience, knowing that time eventually smothers discontent. Those that open their eyes and look around will notice that our nation has become a shell of its former self.
The time to change course has come. The ongoing shift from liberty to statism is accelerating. We can no longer act as spectators while our political system and economy are commandeered by those serving their interests at our expense. The constitutional check on power has long since perished, and we are at the point where the government knows no bounds. When laws are passed expediently and under the guise of necessity, one can be certain that such laws are not interested in the preservation of liberty. Hence, we have reached the point where our government is serving its interests and disposing of ours.
For many, it will be difficult to acknowledge and accept that the America we have long loved has ceased being a beacon of freedom. For others, unmasking the face of deception will give rise to a startling revelation. Just because something is repeatedly called a thing, doesn’t make it that thing.
There will be those who compare America to other nations around the world and remark about our relative freedom. But since when are Americans willing to accept “being more ‘free’ than…” over being truly free? How far are we willing to let the freedom scale tilt before it becomes too late, if it isn’t already?
We are living during a period that has been a long time coming. Perversion begets perversion, and before many of us truly appreciated what was going on, it arrived at our doorsteps. Now there is not a day that goes by where our liberties aren’t infringed, our property stolen, or our savings devalued. We are being robbed and subjugated right before our very eyes.
It is time to intellectually dispose of the political banter that emanates from Washington D.C. and its media outlets. Our political discourse can no longer revolve around one political party versus another. Neither party has shown a commitment to the cause of liberty. Both parties have failed in their solemn duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Instead, our political parties view and treat us as a collective herd to be plundered and beguiled for political gain.
We must regain control. We need to control the terms of our future and stop those who believe it is their duty to dictate our future to us. We must stop supporting those who campaign on promises, those who are willing to pit groups of Americans against each other, those who view war as virtuous, and those who speak of liberty as if it is malleable. While many leaders have invoked liberty for namesake and deceitfully exploited its mass appeal, and while many will continue to cloak their nefarious intentions with talk of freedom, Americans must summon their revolutionary fervor, expose traitors of liberty, and insist upon nothing less than leaders who have proven themselves committed to a free society.
This will be no easy task. There is a lot of money at stake for those interested in maintaining and preserving the status quo. And there is a lot of power at stake for those that have positioned themselves to be recipients of special treatment. A great deal of deception goes into perpetuating the myth that America continues to be a bastion of liberty.
It’s time to for the truth to be heard.
We live in a country where our banking system, hardly a construct of free markets, pervades every facet of our lives. We rely upon a currency that is regularly manipulated and devalued by people for whom there is no accountability, while those in control of our currency simultaneously reap the benefits. We are forbidden from freely using other, more stable currencies and must entrust our financial wellbeing to a monetary system that is backed by nothing other than unpayable debt.
We live in a country that encourages indebtedness, for private debt restricts freedom and public debt breeds servitude. When you live under a system that promises all things to all people, be prepared to put others’ interests before your own. Our ongoing transformation from a nation where Americans could keep what they earned into a nation that aspires for Americans to instead earn their keep is a transformation that will find completeness in the not too distant future. The financial burden facing the youngest generation of Americans, through no fault of their own, will redefine what it means to paralyze a nation.
Our once civil society has progressed into a system of selective permission. We live in a country where it is necessary to get the government’s consent to start a business. The most fundamental aspect of human life – the ability to support oneself – is forbidden unless you’ve obtained government authorization. And for the few daring individuals who risk their money and manage to find success despite a labyrinth of onerous regulations, it becomes only “fair” to turn over their personal earnings for having succeeded.
A business, which at the heart of it is nothing more than individuals voluntarily choosing to meet the needs and wants of others. How many will continue to risk so much, endure so much harassment, on human actions that are becoming more and more frowned upon? Somewhere along the way, the contemptible notion that economic pursuits do not fall under the purview of liberty took hold. Economic pursuits – those very actions that each one of us engages in every day by merely going to work or providing goods or services to one another so that we may support ourselves and our families.
We live in a country where one’s laboring results in the confiscation of personal earnings. If you believe that your money is taken from you for some greater social cause, for some sort of societal betterment, then how is it that we now find ourselves on the brink of collapse, both morally and financially? Are you finding happiness in contributing five months worth of your salary so that your money can be used to aid foreign governments and dictators, so that it can be distributed to favored constituents in return for votes, so that Congress’ fiscal recklessness can provide an excuse for taking even more of your property? Is this why you spend your life working?
We live in a country where laws are written to protect corporations from competition because free competition is the enemy of political entrenchment. Our political and corporate landscape has become so incestuously intertwined that “We the People of the United States” has been replaced for “Those Most Willing to Fill My Coffers.” If you haven’t received the honorary title of Too Big to Fail, then you haven’t forked over enough money to the right people.
We live in a country where the laws that are written apply only to those not in power. It is criminal behavior for us, but an acceptable form of governance for them. We have reached the point where there are no limitations on what can be done in the name of national security or for the general welfare of the people. Open ended and undefined, we are to do as we are told because it is for our own sake and our own safety. And if you’re courageous enough to stand up against what you believe violates your dignity, your privacy, your inalienable rights, do you feel confident that our legal system will protect you against them?
This is the country in which we now live. In the course of our short, illustrious history, we have managed to replace that which made America great, our dedication to individual liberty, with a system of government that views liberty as a mere nuisance in need of dismantling, as nothing other than a roadblock preventing full reliance upon our superiors. Those who spoke of America’s greatness from times past did not equate our prosperity and our freedom with the greatness of our government, but rather in spite of it. Our exceptionalism arose and took hold because liberty produces exceptionalism. Today, our talking heads and politicians are incapable of speaking about American greatness outside the confines of government-induced activity, riding the coattails and good will built up by our forebears and times past.
For many unfortunate Americans, the thought of life without the omnipresent hand of government has never entered their minds. For many others, an uncertainty about the state of things permeates their hesitancy to act, for fewer and fewer Americans these days can attest to living without the heavy hand of government. As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind.
So it is left to those Americans who still believe in the righteousness of the individual to chart our course back in the direction of liberty. For those who read this and find themselves curious and inquisitive, or for those who doubt its validity, there is now the greatest wealth of information in the history of mankind available at your fingertips. The indoctrination sessions are over. Enlighten yourself. It has never been more incumbent upon enterprising Americans to arm themselves with the principles of liberty and understand why our Founding Fathers instituted a constitutional republic. Imperfect as it may have been, those principles can be the guiding light through the darkening clouds.
To those who believe in liberty and to those just now discovering it, it is time to act. If we wait until things become utterly intolerable, then we will have waited too long and squandered our last opportunity to right the ship. We can find hope in knowing that liberty is contagious, and so exposing the contagion to our fellow Americans should be paramount to our efforts. We must direct our energies towards educating other Americans about these principles. We must strengthen our positions by making our voices heard, stop backing down from those waving a sympathy card, and never comprise with those who are willing to compromise with liberty. The marginalizing and demonizing that will accompany our efforts is a given, for it is frustrating and humiliating to those who assume an unquestioning compliance with their grand plans. As we move forward, our choice in leaders should consist of nothing less than those who fully comprehend and value the principles of liberty, those who are wholly committed to those principles, and who understand that the gravest threat currently facing the American people is our very own government.
“These proceedings may at first seem strange and difficult, but like all other steps which we have already passed over, will in a little time become familiar and agreeable: and until an independence is declared, the Continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity.”
Empires care little for liberty. Do you care enough to restore it?
/J. Brian Gillin/
Dated: September 6, 2011