…Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive…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…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. - from The Declaration of Independence
Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago the majority of Americans decided they had had enough of tyranny, and declared their independence from the government which had by its own actions destroyed any sense of loyalty the people had to it. To be sure, there were many who disagreed; either they were too frightened, or too mindlessly loyal, or too skeptical of the possibility of victory, or too unable to see that the injustices which had been inflicted upon their neighbors would eventually reach them. But a large enough fraction of the populace were ready for revolution, and so it came; a few years of struggle, travail and bloodshed, and a new nation was born. Its primary founding principle, spelled out in the Declaration of Independence, was that some rights are unalienable, that is inherent in all humans, and any government which uses violence to abrogate them without just cause immediately loses its legitimacy; at that time it is not only the right but the duty of free people to resist its dictates, “to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”.
Unfortunately, the Founding Fathers were only men, not demigods; they left too many gaps and loopholes in the Constitution they devised thirteen years after the Declaration, and the new nation came into the world with an ugly birth defect which almost doomed it eighty-five years later. Furthermore, the violent and imperfect resolution of that flaw created a new and equally-vile one which destroyed many of the safeguards laid down by the Founders and engendered the unchecked growth of government which has now led us right back to where we started. As I pointed out in my column for this occasion two years ago, our government now regularly commits the exact same offenses for which Americans rebelled against King George III, as enumerated in the Declaration:
The federal government has in recent decades erected a multitude of new offices, and sent out swarms of officers to harass the people and eat out ever-increasing portions of the GDP.
The police army has been rendered independent of and superior to local, state and federal laws.
They are heavily armed and quartered among us in every neighborhood.
They are protected by mock trial from punishment for any murders or other crimes which they should commit…
Every year, new taxes, fees and unfunded mandates are imposed on us without our consent.
Many federal offenses are tried before a judge…or…hand-picked [juries]…kept ignorant of salient facts of the cases; or citizens are falsely accused of such heinous crimes, with such disproportionate penalties and necessitating such outrageously expensive defenses, that those accused of them simply plead guilty in return for a lesser sentence. Also, property stolen by the state under ever-expanding “asset forfeiture” laws is not returned even if its rightful owner is never charged with a crime. Each of these procedures essentially deprives its victim of the benefit of trial by jury.
Alas, 2013 is not 1776, and Americans have collectively become some of the most submissive, spineless peasants upon the face of the Earth. Most of them are too frightened, or too mindlessly loyal, or too skeptical of the possibility of victory, or too unable to see that the injustices which have been inflicted upon their neighbors will eventually reach them. “Freedom” has become nothing but a “worship word” devoid of real meaning, and politicians and their toadies distort its very essence by pretending that the American promise is about freedom from adult responsibility and self-determination rather than freedom to pursue self-actualization; by that asinine definition, my pets and livestock are freer than any American. Most of my countrymen meekly and silently allow their bodies and homes to be routinely violated by their overlords, and even when the full extent of the undermining of our unalienable rights is made glaringly obvious by those who still have the “Spirit of ‘76”, you can be sure the bootlickers will line up to demonize them, declare that Big Brother only wants what’s best for us, and suspiciously ask “What do you have to hide, anyway?” Though the country which was once the freest in the world has now descended into fascism, there is as yet no sign of revolution. And even when it does come (as it inevitably must), I can’t imagine the current crop of dependent, conformist weeds producing a form of government even half as effective at preserving individual rights as the one which died of neglect and disinterest barely two centuries after it was brought forth with such high hopes.