Little did they realize those sacrifices, no matter how heroic, were not made in defense of this country. They gave no one more freedom or guaranteed those freedoms currently held. What it succeeded in doing was taking away the right of that individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Soldiers die for empire, and to enrich the corporate bottom line of campaign donors; they do not die for freedom.
All this came back to mind a few days ago as I listened to a group of people discussing the recently passed law concerning concealed carry in our state. It would seem that the Department of Public Safety is doing all within its power to gut the provision or make folks jump through so many hoops they will find the entire process too cumbersome and give up on acquiring the permit. Just an all too familiar tactic of the state as it moves to dissolve individual freedom and the only way to guarantee it.
After listening to this discussion for some time, I could not help but ask a question: If you understand the Constitution at all, you know that the Bill of Rights is a set of provisions to protect the citizens from a government operating outside its legal boundaries--Why then would you beg permission from that entity you seek to protect yourself from for the permission to have the means for that protection?
The unanimous response from all involved in the conversations was basically--that is the way things are and we have to go along with the system-in other words lets take what little freedom our master gives us and make the most of it.
Perplexed by this response, I had to ask this question: What do you call a group that is in the majority, has over half of their productive lives stolen on a regular basis by a minority, and those resources are used to enslave those same people and kill their children for profit. They then beg that minority for the individual liberty already provided by our creator? Without waiting for a response I replied: I call them cowards! I received several angry looks and then the group broke up without another word. It was obvious these folks walked away from our discussion, angry; not at the situation we all face in this country, but at me for asking that damning question!
People who are not free are basically an unhappy lot. I could not help but remember the words of Butler Schaffer in his article, A Passion for Life. It is so much easier for us to think of ourselves as victims of the state, than as having suffered the consequences of our own thinking.
We are in our current situation in this country, not because of the faults of our constitution, not because of the vile and evil people who run our governments, not because of an out of control Supreme Court, not because of a gutless congress, but because we allow it to happen!
Schaffer describes the problem:
So many of us live dispirited lives because we have given up on ourselves, and look for direction and meaning in life by attaching ourselves to external agencies or purposes. In the course of doing so, we emasculate our emotions and feelings as hindrances to the sense of "responsibility" we believe we have to such external forces. We repress our inner voices with drugs, alcohol, or programs to help us "adjust" or "adapt" to our servitude. Not wanting our children to be left out of the system, we accede to their being labeled "hyperactive" or suffering from "attention deficit disorder," when their only offense has been to pursue the self-directed exploration that is the essence of life. Like their parents before them, children must learn to become serviceable to their masters and to live according to agendas set by others. Dispositions for autonomous thinking or behavior must be smothered, whether by fear, intimidation, or the on-campus drugs against which school systems are not at war!
The institutional order - particularly the state - requires us to live externalized lives, in which our attentions are drawn to the pursuit of values beyond ourselves: wealth, fame, status, power, or the approval of others. To be an externally-directed person is to give up on ones sense of being; to admit to the unworthiness of ones very soul; to seek meaning in others rather than oneself. Ultimately, it is to embrace the mass-mindedness that inheres in every collectivist system. The contest between collectivism and individualism has always been, at its core, a struggle for the human soul.
If we recognize
what has happened to us as a people and why we allow a distinct minority,
the power-elite cabal, to micro-manage our lives and slowly but surely
remove all liberty from our existence; what are we to do?
Such an awakening must begin with an understanding of how personal liberty is the expression of the human soul in society. But it must go beyond abstract philosophizing. We need to become truly inspired, in the root meaning of that word, i.e., "to breathe in the spirit," or, as I would suggest, to rediscover the spirit that is already within us.
But we must face the fact that the engine that will drive this recovery of liberty is courage. Nothing can be attained if we do not move forward with conviction to claim that which was lost. Unfortunately, this is an action that must be done individually. How often have I heard the comment uttered by one individual or another that they would be glad to join a movement that would seek to reinstall freedom in their lives? We must understand that any movement to retake liberty would indeed become our masters in time. This is an action that can only succeed if we move individually to claim our personal liberty.
There is a reason our rights as defined in our Constitution are of an individual nature. Collective rights do not exist, even though that is what our government seeks to impose on its servants.
No one in government talks of individual rights-we have gay rights and civil rights for minorities, but where is the definition of individual rights?
Thomas Jefferson said what I believe to be the best definition of Liberty.
Simple adherence to the above removes all problems with any activity and more importantly removes the need for government to control the program!
Do YOU have the courage to be free?