The Colonel #94 The Spirit of ‘76
“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.”
Adopting Rousseau’s dark complaint that freedom is everywhere thwarted by the enslaving effects of human society and culture seems to me to lead only to more of the same chains. Ample proof is evident in the daily lives of many of my fellow countrymen.
Despite their freedom, they see chains and oppression tightly woven into the fabric of their existence without plausible remedy. They are forever in chains, held back by the insidious tendrils of those natural-born oppressors who refuse to share their opinions, philosophy, and lifestyle. Helplessly bound, they await deliverance at the hands of rewritten history, and the rise of a government of the victims, for the victims, and by the victims.
Even with the advent of a government insanely steeped in the adoration of victimhood and dedicated to the proposition that equality of opportunity is not enough, man is, predictably, everywhere still in chains.
Building a future in which one is not responsible for his own failure, and has at hand a readymade scapegoat, rather than producing a go-for-broke struggle to succeed, robs people of incentive, and gives way to the “why bother” attitude common in today’s wards of the State.
This is not the spirit of freedom upon which America was built—it is the road back to the tyranny from which we sprang. In juxtaposition to Monsieur Rousseau, I offer his American contemporary, Samuel Adams, “all might be free if they valued freedom and defended it as they ought.”
Freedom is valued at a personal level and, though men are born with it, attainable only to those willing to defend their right to it. Freedom and the exercise of personal liberty are not the gifts of governments—they are gifts from God.
In 1776, the rag-tag group of armed citizens who rallied to the call for freedom had no realistic expectation that they could defend the freedom they proclaimed. The king had at his disposal the mightiest army and navy in the world. He had loyal subjects within the country who were willing by force of arms to defend his sovereignty.
Nevertheless, men like Adams, believed that their fetters could be thrown off. They expected no one to ride to the rescue and do their duty for them. If freedom was to be won, they must win it themselves. How very different that is from those, on the one hand, who expect the government to hand them freedom and those on the other side who expect the government to guard it for them.
Sic Semper Tyrannis