As night fell, the sound of the river flowing into the sea accompanied by a chorus of frogs and insects filled the darkness that enveloped the fisherman’s pier. The smugglers waited for the moon to rise in the shack at the end of the pier, passing the time with small talk and playing cards. The sky was clear, so when the near full moon did finally break the horizon, the blackness of night was lifted into an umbral blue, and the men picked up lanterns and headed outside, spreading out along the pier.
Aware that there was always a chance of a patrol approaching, they remained alert for the faintest sound of approaching footsteps or approaching lights. Only when a flash of light came from the sea accompanied by the sound of the knocking of waves on the side of an approaching ship did the smugglers allow themselves to relax a little. The leader of the smugglers went to the end of the pier and signaled the approaching ship that all was clear.
While the sailors furled the sails and dropped anchor in the eddies of the river, the ship’s captain arrived on the first loaded longboat to take payment for the cargo. The sailors quickly unloaded their longboat and headed back to the ship for another load. The smugglers on the pier counted and loaded the crates onto waiting wagons at the far end of the pier. Once the last boat load was unloaded, the ship’s captain returned to his ship with his money.
The American smugglers returned to the fishing shack and put a kettle on to boil. Cracking open one of the crates, they enjoyed the fruits of their illicit labor: a hot cup of smuggled Dutch tea.
“In this manner, popularity may be united with hostility
to the rights of the people, and the secret slave of tyranny
may be the professed lover of freedom.”
-Alexis de Tocqueville-
Now that the rush of the holidays are over and the new year is upon us in earnest, we have a few moments to sift through the highs and lows of a year that many will be glad to see sink to the bottom of the swampy bog of history. While there’s an unhappy amount of things that many will be glad to see go, it’s necessary to take a clear eyed look at the year so we don’t succumb to the lullaby of time and drift back into the dreamy rhythms of our normal politics free lives.
Among many things made painfully clear in 2016, there can be no denying that a vast majority of Americans no longer subscribe to the highest principles of the American Revolution. Most believe they are somehow “free“, while simultaneously living under a government that regulates their food and drugs, their commerce, their banks, their labor, their environment, their fuel, their land, and even their religious convictions. All the while taxing their livelihoods for the courtesy of interfering with what they take into their bodies, how they transact their business, what they believe in, and even the very air they breathe.
This is not to say that there aren’t functional benefits to having some level of government, because there are. It’s to say, when we consider taxes on private incomes weren’t even thought of as Constitutional until the Progressive Era, at a $552 billion budget deficit in 2016, the price tag on all this “freedom” is obviously bankrupting us. Still, precious few Americans stop to even wonder if this is even how things were supposed to be at all?
Being all that they’ve ever known, they cling to it, while pretending this is what it means to be free.
“[I]n violation of that sacred property, which
Heaven, in decreeing man to earn his bread
by the sweat of his brow, kindly reserved to
him, in the small repose that could be spared
from the supply of his necessities.”
The Founding Fathers were not afraid to break laws that they knew to be tyrannical. They preferred Dutch tea, because it was free of British taxes, even when the after tax price of British tea was eventually cheaper than the illegally acquired Dutch tea. It is a point of literal fact that the Founders were not only proponents of tax evasion, they were guilty of it. The evasion of British taxes, as the Founders saw it, was a patriotic duty.
So how have we become a docile society, content to bend a knee to a government that not only fails to protect us from dangerous drugs, infringes on our freedom of trade, causes bank failures, destroys our labor markets, soils our rivers, causes high fuel prices, and in every conceivable way destroy our personal freedoms, while pretending all the while to be free? How ignorant and gullible must we be to so obviously fall for this?
It seems very clear that Americans have forgotten that the men and women who inhabit the offices of government are no less infected with gross ignorance and blind dependence on popular superstition than the rest of us. Meanwhile, politicians makes a great show out of pretending that they aren’t, yet the American people have been conned into giving away their freedoms and the bread earned by the sweat of their brow in exchange for a century of empty promises.
This must end.
“Government is not the solution to our problem;
government is the problem.”
In 2008, when Barack Obama was elected, he won election by promising solutions to all of the pressing problems of the day. The people believed him and gave him the presidency. In 2012, when Barack Obama was reelected, he won election by promising solutions to all of the pressing problems of the day, for many of which he was the architect. The people again believed him and gave him the presidency. In 2016, Donald Trump won election by promising solutions to all of the pressing problems of our day…
In 2017, tyranny will be served a nice hot cup of real freedom. Together, this year, we will break the cycle. Tyranny will fall.
Happy New Year.
Liberty is For The Win!