Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day, July 4, 1776

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;   and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.  (italics are mine)

There is always talk about the need for a revolution in this country.  Some people are always unhappy and griping about conditions, trends, policies, etc. The American public is referred to as sheep without the will to fight for change.   From time to time I have been among those who felt that way.
But when weren't governments run by greedy despots, or foolish dolts, or evil murderers?  And for centuries the people have borne their crimes and sins and that appears to be the way of life.
Still there is great variety in the herd, and many ordinary people do lead full lives.  I do not have the power to know what every individual thinks nor the right to tell them what to think.  I do not have the right to decide what makes others happy.  I have no reason to interfere with their freedom to live their lives their own way.
Most people do not want to be in charge of the lives of others.  It is an onerous and thankless task.  And I have learned that revolution, even worthy ones, will kill its dissenters as easily and cheaply as any established despotism.
In the end, it seems, all systems will resort to the gun, the whip or the prison cell.

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