Today, there has been more written, shared, read, and thought about liberty and free-market economics and the history of same, accessible to the broadest number of people by a factor of possibly hundreds, than at any other time in history.
Yet, regardless this widespread, unprecedented availability of common sense and factual proof-points supporting the case of our founding principles, liberty is more threatened today in America — the bastion of liberty and justice for all — than at any other time in Her history.
This simply demonstrates the fact that regardless the availability of truth, a people must also have the capacity to receive and understand it, or it will fall on deaf ears. Those destined for slavery will simply allow themselves to be enslaved. Those who will not accept anything but liberty will simply not allow themselves to be enslaved.
I believe this defines macro-America today. One group is made up of those looking to achieve tyrannical power or willing to be subsumed by it– not so much as raising an eyebrow as they are led into the virtual trains of collectivism (collectivists and willing serfs). And a second group are those unwilling to give an inch of their American birthright away, who understand what awaits future generations if we fail to maintain this birthright, and who are digging in their heels, saying, “Don’t Tread on Me!” (anti-collectivists).
As I was reading a bit of history today, a statement by Polybius, the Greek historian (203 – 120 BC) regarding the Roman constitution, stood out. I thought I would share his wisdom with you. It is important to keep in mind that our founders were great students of history. And, as such, they were aware of both the strengths and weaknesses of forms of government that preceded the colonies and the American revolution. They more than likely had studied Polybius and his historical analysis of Rome and other experiments in liberty.
Polybius wrote, “Now the first of these to come into being is monarchy, its growth being natural and unaided; and next arises kingship derived from monarchy by the aid of art and by the collection of defects. Monarchy first changes into its vicious allied form, tyranny; and next, the abolishment of both gives birth to aristocracy. Aristocracy by its very nature degenerates into oligarchy; and when the commons inflamed by anger take vengeance on this government for its unjust rule, democracy comes into being; and in due course the license and lawlessness of this form of government produces mob-rule to complete the series.”
This is what befell Rome, starting with Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, and ending with Julius Caesar and the emperors. It is through the study of history and the natural evolution of kingships to tyranny to democracy and fall, that our founders were able to innovate and develop the genius that is the U.S. Constitution and its inherent “balance of powers”.
In “The Path to Tyranny”, my reading for the day, Michael Newton notes that the “key, therefore, to maintaining peace, prosperity, freedom, and stable government is to create a system balancing monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, each with checks of the other two.” Hence, our checks and balances.
And, where we stand today, however, is on the precipice of mob rule and of the ushering in as a result, a new tyranny. Exactly what our founders predicted would someday befall America, “A Republic, if you can keep it”, said Dr. Benjamin Franklin.
Polybius sounded this warning nearly 2,000 years ago, as follows, and yet it has gone unheeded, “And hence when by their foolish thirst for reputation they have created among the masses an appetite for gifts and the habit of receiving them, democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence. For the people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others, as soon as they find a leader who is enterprising but is excluded from the houses of office by his penury, institute the rule of violence; and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch.”
This cycle Polybius spoke of is here today. Our founders designed a government to yield the blessing of prosperity only as long as the American people were so deserving. They foresaw its limitation, as did Alexis de Tocqueville in “Democracy in America”, as that of the American people’s own mores and standards. Should they be consumed by approbation lust and allow theft from others to achieve their ends, they will inherit the whirlwind of tyranny.
I pray the strength of the second group — of those digging in their heels noted earlier — is such that mob rule does not lead America to the junk heap of history. I pray there is a strong enough remnant of those willing to take individual responsibility and to hold our leaders to the fire of their oaths to uphold our Constitution.
To which group do you belong? Those willing to be led into tyranny, or those willing to risk all to maintain our birthright of American liberty and freedom? I will ride with he latter.
D.M. Chaney (C) 2013 “Notes on Liberty”