A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
Is it possible to give someone freedom?
Think about it. This is profound -- especially at this critical time in America.
Is freedom something you can bestow upon another human being? Or, must freedom be taken, and secured, by those who would be free?
There is hardly a race of people on the planet who have not, at one time or another, been slaves. Most have seized any opportunity to end their enslavement by taking their freedom, often through revolt and the shedding of blood. Their freedom was bought, and paid for, in the currency most often bartered for liberty… blood.
The shedding of blood gave them an investment in their freedom and a reason to cherish it precisely because of it’s cost. These people understand freedom and the cost. They know, all too well, that freedom is not free. If one desires freedom, one must pay for it.
It seems, to me, that when you bestow freedom upon a people, you simply substitute one slave master for another. That is, the person upon whom, you bestow that freedom, is forever tied to you. That is the very definition of enslavement -- slavery! Voluntary servitude, maybe, but there is most certainly a tie that forever binds between the “bestowed” and the “bestower”.
Sooner or later -- the “bestowed” begins to resent the “eternal hold” his emancipator has over him. And a slow burning rage begins deep inside his inner most being. That rage is handed down from generation to generation. We see evidence of that rage here, in America, everyday.
Much is being said today about the continent of Africa. A hopeless morass of enslavement, if ever there has been one, stares the entire world in the face. There is little we can do for Africa. I have said it before and I will say it again… Africa must heal itself.
The question arises… if the western world steps in and cleans the mess up and “bestows” the people of the various countries of Africa their freedom, will they be able to maintain it? Will they value it enough to strive to protect and defend that freedom, or will that place less value in the "gift" of freedom than they would it that freedom was "earned". I tend to think they will value it less as a "gift."
There are all sorts of enslavement, but the simple truth is… the resentment of the emancipated for the emancipator is ever present.
I have come to believe we do enslaved peoples no favor when we free them. For proof of this we have only to look within America itself. I fear we will face even stronger resentment in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other middle eastern countries, as we withdraw and leave them to their own devices.
The evidence is already becoming clear. Even before the dust had cleared from the exiting US forces Iraq was already conniving to return to its old ways of dictatorial government. Freedom? Nah! They obviously prefer a strongman form of government. Very soon Iraq will be run by the mullahs of Iran as they seek to enlarge and secure their hegemony over the region.
This is a hard truth to digest. But, I believe that if, and when, we get past all the politically correct facades we have constructed to shield ourselves from this truth we will come face to face with the hard cold fact: The bestowal of Freedom can’t be done. It is impossible to accomplish.
Freedom must be taken, seized, at whatever cost, to have any value. A human being cannot accept freedom as a gift without accepting the inevitable bonds that will always, and forever, tie the emancipated to the emancipator.
Eventually, we will have to accept this truth and deal with it.
If I may be so bold, America must, I repeat -- MUST -- come to understand that democracy is not necessarily the form of government that will best serve ALL peoples of the earth.
Democracy is DANGEROUS -- extremely dangerous -- and unpredictable. To hand a people, just freed from enslavement, democracy is akin to placing a loaded gun in the hands of a two-year old. Often the urge for revenge on their previous overlords -- and those who supported them -- is overwhelming and violence occurs. Even in America upon the occasion of the colonists winning their freedom from Great Britain, there was a near mass exodus of Tories (Those were the "loyalists" who supported the British Crown before and during the American Revolution) at the close of hostilities. Yes, there WERE some reprisals. NO people are immune from vengeful emotions.
Democracy does not guarantee a people will not deliberately vote themselves right back into slavery. And -- as we are learning right here in America -- a limited democracy, such as our own constitutional representative republic, did not guarantee that the American people would not vote their freedom away and adopt
socialism/Marxism, incrementally, as we have done.
America's government was designed and intended for a learned, educated, people. It served us well when America's people were well educated and actually cared about their government. As of today, the greatest threat to the freedom of the American people is their very own government -- a government created by the people and allowed to grow in power and reach until it has smothered most of the people's hard won liberty.
Today there are fifty separate countries/states controlled by one single entity, created, originally, by those separate, sovereign, countries to act as their agent. The whole concept has been turned on its head. The last time a government had just a smidgen of the power over the American people that the current government has, those colonists went to war to win their freedom. America is in deep trouble today.
While we Americans are straining to keep an eye on the trouble spots around the globe, especially in the Middle East, we are ignoring, perhaps, the most volatile of all the smoldering powder kegs on the planet -- America itself.
Millions of Americans remember a free America -- and they want it restored. They also know that freedom is not free and they know the price
re-acquiring it will demand. They know, too, it is a job only they, the American people, can do. For those Americans, voluntary servitude is not even an option.
So, we have come full circle. As in the old expression: "Physician heal thyself," many Americans think it is past time to put our own house in order and stop, or at the very least "suspend," our attempts at exporting the American brand of democracy to the entire world, especially to those tribal nations of the Middle East and the continent of Africa.
Iraq has demonstrated the fallacy of THAT pipe dream.
The struggle to restore a free America is in its infancy. When America awakens on the morning of November 7th, 2012, and faces the horror that I believe awaits us as a nation, then I expect a growth spurt. It will then be impossible to deny that freedom and liberty in America has very little value to those who view the state as "the great benefactor," indeed, as their god.
The election results of November 6th, will be the clarion call for those who would be free -- AGAIN.
I'll repeat the question I raised above: "Is freedom something you can bestow upon another human being? Or, must freedom be taken, and secured, by those who would be
free?" It is a question Americans would do well to ponder between now and the election in November. Our colonist forefathers knew the answer.
J. D. Longstreet