Tag Archives: freedom

“Those who fail to learn from history….”

Spurred by the movie, Lincoln, David Morris has written an excellent article that describes the struggle for freedom and equality subsequent to the Emancipation Proclamation, a struggle that continues even today, not only in the South, and not only for Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities, but for all of us, everywhere in this country.

The article, Lincoln, the Movie, and the Rest of the Story, begins,

“Lincoln is a magnificent movie. But as I left the theatre, to echo Paul Harvey, the late radio commentator, I wanted to know “the rest of the story”, then goes on to describe the multitude of ploys that have been used to constrain the political power of various groups. It then concludes,

“By all means go see the movie Lincoln. You can even go out cheering the January 1865 victory. But realize that the movie’s triumphal ending did not mark the end of the struggle to gain full citizenship for blacks and other minorities, but only the beginning. Today minorities no longer confront poll taxes and the Ku Klux Klan but newly imposed voting restrictions and racially biased drug laws and a Supreme Court that is indifferent or outright hostile to the rights of minorities. Gridlocked Washington will not come to the rescue. But much of the problem lies at the state level. We need a new massive grassroots struggle such as that which arose in the 1950s and the 1960s, this one to overturn draconian and racially biased drug laws and to eliminate the new wave of law that hamper voter participation. The struggle continues.”

Read the full story here.

The drum beat for secession intensifies across the land

Americans cherish personal liberty. Unfortunately, we’ve lost most it to a federal government that has become unresponsive to the needs and wishes of the people. Something is seriously wrong, and it cannot be changed within the present structure of government which has been completely taken over by a small group of oligarchs who use it to advance their own narrow interests. Is it possible, or even desirable for the states to withdraw from the union? Increasing numbers of Americans seem to think so. Read what outgoing Congressman Ron Paul has this to say about it.—t.h.g.

Secession: Are We Free to Go?

By RonPaul.com on November 18, 2012

Is all the recent talk of secession mere sour grapes over the election, or perhaps something deeper?   Currently there are active petitions in support of secession for all 50 states, with Texas taking the lead in number of signatures.  Texas has well over the number of signatures needed to generate a response from the administration, and while I wouldn’t hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.

Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States?  Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War.  On the contrary; the principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding.  Clearly Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit as a last resort. Writing to William Giles in 1825, he concluded that states:

“should separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers.”

Keep in mind that the first and third paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplate the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical.

Do we have a “government without limitation of powers” yet?  The Federal government kept the Union together through violence and force in the Civil War, but did might really make right?

Secession is a deeply American principle.  This country was born through secession.  Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those “traitors” became our country’s greatest patriots.

There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.  That is what our Revolutionary War was all about and today our own federal government is vastly overstepping its constitutional bounds with no signs of reform.  In fact, the recent election only further entrenched the status quo.  If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.

Consider the ballot measures that passed in Colorado and Washington state regarding marijuana laws.  The people in those states have clearly indicated that they are ready to try something different where drug policy is concerned, yet they will still face a tremendous threat from the federal government.  In California, the Feds have been arresting peaceful medical marijuana users and raiding dispensaries that state and local governments have sanctioned. This shouldn’t happen in a free country.

It remains to be seen what will happen in states that are refusing to comply with the deeply unpopular mandates of Obamacare by not setting up healthcare exchanges.  It appears the Federal government will not respect those decisions either.

In a free country, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. When the people have very clearly withdrawn their consent for a law, the discussion should be over.  If the Feds refuse to accept that and continue to run roughshod over the people, at what point do we acknowledge that that is not freedom anymore?  At what point should the people dissolve the political bands which have connected them with an increasingly tyrannical and oppressive federal government?  And if people or states are not free to leave the United States as a last resort, can they really think of themselves as free?

If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free.

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Beware of the Right-Wing Socialists

Here below is another insightful gem from E. C. Riegel. In this essay, Riegel (1) highlights the predominant fallacy which holds that money is based on political authority and should be controlled by the State, and (2) explains why true free enterprise can only exist when private enterprisers control not only the means of production, and the means of distribution, but also the means of exchange.

The present global system of money is far from that. It is the product of collusion between politicians and bankers that has established a dysfunctional, exploitative, and violent despotism. –t.h.g.

The Right-Wing Socialists

THERE ARE three classes of socialists: the left-wing, or Marxist, group, who believe that the government should own and control everything; the middle-of-the ­road socialists, who believe the government should own and operate public utilities; and the right-wing social­ists, who believe that the government should control only the monetary system.

The right-wing socialists are by far the most danger­ous, because they are not known as socialists and call themselves capitalists, individualists, private enterprisers, etc. They even believe themselves to be anti-socialist and profess full faith in private enterprise. They are not only numerically the largest group of socialists but are also individually the most influential. Among them are the leading industrialists and mercantilists and bankers and statesmen.

The right wing socialists believe that with produc­tion and distribution facilities in the ownership and operation of private interests, and with monetary facilities in the hands of government, we can have free enterprise. They might as well believe that if a man owns an auto­mobile, he need not worry about who or what controls the gas.

Private enterprise means the right among men to come to voluntary agreement on the exchange of their goods and services. These agreements, some written, some oral, some implicit, some explicit, run into the millions, and upon their fidelity rests the entire social structure. In a money economy, all these contracts are expressed in terms of the monetary unit, which is itself based upon a contract-the basic contract which is the foundation of the entire pyramid of contracts.

What is the money contract that makes possible or impossible the faithful performance of every other con­tract? Ask any businessman, banker, lawyer, economist or statesman, and you will find that his idea is not only vague, but that it involves legislation. In other words, he believes that money is a political product.

In contrast with this universal belief, the truth is that the state is incompetent to legislate money and power­less to issue it. The substance of money is supplied en­tirely by private enterprise. The state’s intervention in money is at best an impediment to private enterprise, and with the assertion of the issue power, it becomes the active agent of socialization. Thus those who believe in or accept political money power – and their number is legion – are the most dangerous, though innocent, socialists.

While the great mass of people have no ideology, those who think on the issue between private enterprise and socialism are virtually all socialists of the three classes named. This is a startling fact that we must recognize before the final battle lines are formed. The would-be friends of private enterprise must be made real friends, instead of innocent fellow travelers with those who would destroy our liberties.

Private enterprise, to survive, must control its three facilities, namely, the means of exchange, the means of production, and the means of distribution. To control the means of exchange, we must have separation of money and state.

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This essay is contained in the republished version of Riegel’s, New Approach to Freedom. That book, and Riegel’s other major works can be found at http://www.newapproachtofreedom.info/.–t.h.g.

What’s the “Occupy” Movement all about?–Part 5

The following is a message sent by Guy “Josh” Josserand, one of my friends and associates, to the Occupiers in Tucson. It is an eloquent expression of hope and power that I think should be widely shared.–t.h.g.

Dear Occupiers and Occupationists,

Thank you so much from my heart for the power of your presence.

This is a rising tide of public awareness and personal participation for which I have had decades of anticipation.

A tsunami of love and respect for life is forming that can wash clean some centuries of fear-based domination of the many by the few.

Government of the People, for the People, and by the People now faces its last best chance to escape corporate feudalism.

Are we serfs or are we sovereigns?

Toward this end I wish to encourage the Occupation to speak, not about what it needs but WHAT IT GIVES.

As much as the Occupation needs the 99%, we all, the 100%, need what the Occupation offers even more.

It offers us all power and voice.

Let us INVITE each one to take control of the power they have.

Let us encourage them to accept the power they are.

Let us remind them of Marianne Williamson’s message which Nelson Mandela repeated in his Inaugural Address.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Let us incorporate this perspective into every communication and act of Occupiers in every town and city of the world. Success of the Occupation will be measured by the degree to which we can eradicate fear from the hearts of both the 99% and the 1% as well, for the One Percent also suffers from bondage. Though they fortify themselves with wealth, it is only a wealth of power and dominance which is antithetical and incompatible with actual freedom, justice and happiness. Injustice for anyone breeds injustice for all, and as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us many years ago, “None of us is free until all of us are free.”

‘Josh’

Guy Josserand III

guyjosh3@gmail.co

“America is not broke”-Michael Moore

Whatever you might think about Michael Moore, the truth of these words cannot be denied. The inequities of wealth, income, and power in America have become extreme. We have been duped and robbed.

Let us put aside our differences, between liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, religious or not, and  let us take back our country by taking back our power over finance, credit, and exchange. –t.h.g.

VIDEO: America Is NOT Broke

By Michael Moore

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic — and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

New Links and Resources

We have added some new websites to our Recommended Links (in the right hand column). One of these is the Inspired Constitution link which has recently added an html version of Edward Popp’s classic book, The Great Cookie Jar. This version is searchable via google.