Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'Sweet Land of Liberty'

"Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their own will. Thus their spirit is gradually broken and their character enervated; whereas that obedience which is exacted on a few important but rare occasions only exhibits servitude at certain intervals and throws the burden of it upon a small number of men. It is in vain to summon a people who have been rendered so dependent on the central power to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity." ~~ Alexis de Tocqueville, French thinker and philosopher who lived from 1805-1859, author of Democracy in America, from which this excerpt is taken

This line - "...will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity" - always gets me. My stomach turns, my brain recognizes the described condition in my fellow man and myself, my heart fills with fear for I must acknowledge Tocqueville's warning has indeed unfolded in my beloved homeland.

"...will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves,..." FDR's juggernaut legacy.

"...gradually falling below the level of humanity." Below.

Tragedy. All the way around.

Freedom in this last best hope on earth requires our grip to tighten and pull it back from the hands of those who hypnotize us into loosening our fingers as the rope of liberty slides effortlessly through them, while the enemies of freedom smirk and sneer.

'We are tired. We are weary. But we aren't worn out.'

Fight, countrymen, with whatever you have left inside of you, fight. Before the end of the rope bounces, dangles, and drops out of reach and this great experiment - the United States of America - sinks into slimy, altered textbooks as a failure.

1 comment:

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