Bondage or freedom

Recently I had a discussion with someone that was resigned to us losing our freedom. I only weakly protested because I don’t think well on my feet. I need time, sometimes lots of time, to formulate my thoughts and to make my case. My strength is in my attention to detail and in my ability to focus on problems for long periods of time. I play a good game of chess but not a first person shooter computer game. Boomershoot for example is a particularly subtle, long term, and yet I believe effective blow against the freedom haters (see also Why Boomershoot).

He claimed Jefferson was right to say, “God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.” He said that it was too late to save our freedom. Our chance for freedom today was lost without a successful revolution 150 years ago. And he invoked this as an argument:

The average age of the worlds greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

Never mind that it might actually be an urban myth that Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee wrote this (see also this). It could be true or false regardless of who wrote it. And even if were true when it was claimed to be written in the late 1700’s things have changed a bit since then. In the last 200 plus years the most amazing changes in human history have occurred. What is the effect of those changes? How does it affect our fight for freedom?

These questions affect us all. Do we resign ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren to a life of bondage? Is the best we can do just keep our head down so the “tiger eats us last”?

I don’t have definitive answers to those questions but I have some pretty good hints. Please consider these changes from the time when the above was supposedly written:

  • Long range individual owned and deployed weapons
  • Incredibly cheap and rapid transportation
  • Incredibly cheap, rapid, and secure communications

In the long range weapons category I don’t just mean extending the range of a rifle from a couple hundred yards to a thousand or more. And I don’t mean mortars that can extend that range out to well over a mile. With cell phones and/or the Internet people can now give commands to a weapon from anywhere on the planet to any other place on the planet. We can even deploy “smarts” into weapon systems that can take out a tyrant and/or his minions weeks, months, or even years after being put in place and the weapon owner is long gone or even dead.

There are many who would claim these items help the tyrant as much or more than the freedom advocate but I disagree. China, Russia, or even Canada with its oppressive gun control and socialist health care isn’t any bastion of freedom but each of those governments heavily censored communication to protect the oppressors. And in each case communication recently succeeded despite efforts to suppress them and brought about reforms. As a friend said, Computers and the Internet are a far bigger problem for the government than they are for the individual. Just look at the vigorousness of the response by the Islamic extremists to our “corruption” of their society by our communication. Or the impact talk radio has had on U.S. politics. They, the freedom haters, hate it so because it is so powerful. Open communication is the ultimate enabler of freedom in a war against tyrants and communication has never been so cheap or secure as it is right now.

The rapid and cheap transportation allows the freedom advocate to attend a pro-freedom march on Pennsylvania Avenue, or take action against jack booted thugs near Waco or Ruby Ridge on a Saturday afternoon and never miss an hour of work from his or her job in Seattle or Miami. And the communication makes it possible for them to know about the event and coordinate with others in real time rather than days or weeks after it was over and far too late to participate in a meaningful manner.

My conclusion, for all it’s lack of decisiveness, is that should we have the ambition and the courage to utilize the tools available to us we have it within our power to prevent the loss of more of our freedom and even regain many of the freedoms we have lost. I think the real question is, do you have the ambition and the courage to make a difference? Or are you going to give up?

4 thoughts on “Bondage or freedom

  1. “…do you have the ambition and the courage to make a difference? Or are you going to give up?”

    But first; Do you know what freedom is, and do you want it?

    Most of us were raised on some version of socialist ideals or premises. Even today’s “conservatives” embrace a lot of them. It is for that reason that I see public education as a major threat to the American Principles of Liberty. Its not a question of how to best provide a solid education for the kiddies (I don’t think anyone really wants to debate the merits of a free market versus the merits of a Soviet style socialist system) its more about the fact that a socialism-based system is going to automatically gravitate toward promoting socialist ideals and theories, which has of course happened—just talk to your average collage professor today and you’ll get an earful of Marxism.

    We therefore are faced with a “deprogramming” obstacle that should not exist in America—most young adults are strongly indoctrinated with Leftist nonsense, and they must then suffer the arduous process of coming to grips with reality before we can even have the conversation about how best to ensure our freedoms.

  2. Excellent point Lyle. Thank you.

    This is where the availability of cheap communication can play an important role.

  3. “Canada with it’s(sic) oppressive gun control and socialist health care isn’t any bastion of freedom but each of those government(sic) heavily censured communication to protect the oppressors. ”

    Please give examples of how the Canadian government censured communication.

    BTW, did you mean censure or censor?

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