The American colonies were made up of people who could not accept the downward progression in Europe and said, “I’m leaving.” That took great courage, as they were leaving their few known comforts for unknown difficulties.
However, once they had made the move and overcome the difficulties of settlement, they understood that their courage had been rewarded. Such people never look back and say, “Maybe we shouldn’t have left.”
There can be little doubt that they taught their children and grandchildren the values of courage, determination, hard work and self-reliance. And, to their numbers were added more and more immigrants, each of whom was also courageous enough to abandon Europe for freedom and opportunity. They raised generations of people with a “pioneer spirit.”
Not surprisingly, then, that when the American colonists were squeezed by King George for increases in tax, it wasn’t difficult for them to refuse; to choose to go it alone, rather than allow the British king to steal the fruits of their labours.
Although the tax level at that time was a mere 2%, it was the principle that taxation is theft that angered them. Further, they had already proven to themselves that they had all the character qualities necessary to determine their own future.
And, so, in a sense, the American Revolution was Act II of the quest for freedom and, of the two challenges, it may have been the easier one to face.
However, the America of the late eighteenth century is not the America of today and the outcome will not be the same for Americans in the present era.
It’s important to remember that only a very small percentage of people actually left Europe to find freedom. The great majority remained behind, complaining about the ever-increasing loss of freedoms, but doing nothing about it. Although their governments took more and more from them, the great majority simply tolerated it, saying, “What can you do?” They became the eventual victims of that oppression, as has happened throughout history.
Those in America today are, in essence, a subjugated people, just as Europeans were prior to the American Revolution. They’re accustomed to the concept of the nanny state – one which taxes its people heavily and throws back a portion of what they’ve stolen in the form of “bread and circuses,” as in ancient Rome.
Americans today complain continually, either that too much is being taken from them or that the state isn’t providing them with sufficient largesse. Some even complain of both at the same time.
And yet, a very large percentage of Americans holds out “hope” that somehow, the process will reverse itself – that a new political candidate will appear - a “Freedom Fairy,” who will somehow stand in front of the runaway train, stop it and reverse it.
Historically, this never happens. What happens is that a small number decide to set sail and escape. Whether it’s the Roman commercial class, who walked away from their shops and travelled north to live amongst the barbarians, rather than accept Rome’s increasing domination, or the German Jews that locked up their shops and homes and boarded ships to the West, just prior to the lockdown of 1939, every burgeoning new “free” society has been created by the few who took courage and made an exit from a dying society.
In every case, those who exited, did so with fear in their hearts that they would fail. They left their larger possessions behind and travelled light, sewing coins and jewellery into their clothing, not knowing whether they would succeed.
However, when they arrived at the new frontier, they met other like-minded people, each of whom had also shown courage and determination. They then created a new society that was, predictably, based upon the principles described above.
Today, a similar exodus is occurring. It’s made of those who place their liberty and hope for a promising future above the comforts and freedoms that, one by one, are being taken from them by their governments.
Of course, the details are not the same. They no longer travel by ship, but by jet. No one sews valuables into their clothes, as they’d never get through the metal detectors. Instead, they convert their assets to cash and purchase precious metals, to be stored in a country where there is diminished risk of confiscation by governments.
As has happened throughout history, the exodus is being undertaken quietly. Those who emigrate do not wish to call attention to themselves, but then, neither do the governments of the countries they’re leaving, so it’s never seen on the news and the official numbers who leave are far below the number that actually departed.
But the details of the exit are unimportant. What is important is that, when people meet the challenge to exit to find freedom and self-determination, they then build an extremely strong and free society. And there are many locations in the world where this is presently taking place.
But what of those left behind? Surely, the present-day US is at a breaking point and may very well explode into civil disobedience and even revolution.
Yes, this is quite so. And, again, history shows us what happens in countries where the majority feel that they’re entitled to be looked after; that the rich must “pay a little more” to provide them with largesse. Good examples of this are the Russian Revolution and the French Revolution.
Both of these are marked by a predominance of belief that “someone has to pay so that I can benefit.’ In both revolutions, the aristocracy were violently removed and the rebels scrambled to grab as much of the spoils as possible. Disorder became prolonged and the new leaders that rose up were, if anything, more oppressive than those they replaced.
Today, in visiting the US and talking with Americans, it’s palpable that most Americans now have a gut feeling that this will most certainly not end well. Most hope that there might be a peaceful transition of some sort. Some vainly hope that a “Freedom Fairy” will emerge.
But, Americans, more than most people in the world, incorrectly believe that freedom only exists in their country and that, when it dies there, it will die everywhere. This is far from true, but it does mean that those who were born in the former “land of the free” are more fearful and discouraged than those elsewhere. The great majority doubt that it’s possible for them, individually, to choose freedom, rather than to go down with the ship. They, in effect, are exactly the same as the great majority in Europe in the eighteenth century.
The American colonies were built upon the courage of a few who chose to leave the dominance and stagnation in Europe. The same is true today. The USA may be a sinking ship, but the concept of “America” is not. It’s a movable concept and it can exist anywhere where people have chosen future freedom over tentative comforts.
Reprinted with permission.