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Friday, November 11, 2011

James Madison’s Warning: The Enemies to Public Liberty

It’s Veteran’s Day once again. A time to reflect on the fact that if I’d known years ago what I know now I wouldn’t have joined the US Army. Back then I too thought I was doing my part for freedom. “We’ve got to stop the communists,” they said. Now Jihadists supposedly threaten us.  These poor people living so far away aren’t the threat to our liberties. The real threat, the US government, resides here among us. Despite the fact that many in our military think they’re defending freedom by fighting they are in fact doing the opposite. Let’s look at Madison’s words on this subject.
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
The fighting may be overseas but the many effects of the war are felt at home too.  It brings out the worst in the government and the people.
War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.
It’s bad enough that the economy is in shambles under the crushing weight of the government’s spending, taxes, and debt. The fact that these three things give the government control of the economy and, therefore, blunt the people’s ability to oppose their evil is even worse. Liberty is lost as the government grows and it grows most during war.
 In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people.
Wartime propaganda whipping people into a state of fear leaves them often unable to see the truth behind the government’s power grabs. The meek acceptance of income tax withholding, the Transportation Security Administration’s groping, the Orwellian USA PATRIOT Act’s destruction of the Constitution’s protections, and the turning of the press into the government’s propaganda arm all occurred during war.
…the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war...and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
During the twenty-first century the US has been at war virtually one hundred percent of the time. The cold hearted morality of war becomes ever more entrenched in the people. “Solutions” imposed by force are the norm while voluntary ones are shunned. Civil society shrinks.

All veterans and active duty military I ask you to take another look at what you’re doing or have done. Fighting the wars that enable the government’s repression is not serving the cause of liberty. You serve or served an empire, the antithesis of it. Stop being an enemy of public liberty. Put down your weapons and take up the cause of peace, this is the only way to start to resurrect our long lost liberties.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. Let me summarize: