Nobody expects the libertarian revolution. And why should they? For the better part of the last century or so, libertarian philosophy has been dismissed, derided, and lied about. Nobody expects the libertarian revolution because a lot has been done to cloud the reality that more than likely a majority of people would go along with it, if they understood what exactly it was. Perhaps we have finally arrived at the moment when we can clearly and convincingly explain that the battle is not between red and blue, nor left and right, but between right and wrong, between liberty and authoritarianism. Not between us, but rather between us and them.
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For those who have been paying attention to Edward Snowden’s NSA disclosures and the reactions that they have generated, the alliances being formed on both sides of the NSA’s citizen tracking history — those fine with it, those outraged by it — are not splitting that tidily along party lines. It has become quite clear that (R) and (D) don’t mean that much right now.
In fact, we are witnessing a situation where we can have, thus far, over 80 civil rights groups, as diverse in their core passions as FreedomWorks and the ACLU, currently aligning themselves against this government overreach. It is time to examine what they see which our rulers apparently do not.
And that is not hyperbole… anyone who believes that they have the power to gather your most personal details… just in case… has lost all respect for your individual rights and self-determination solely because they think that they know better. They rule you. They speak of “modest encroachments” and raise the idol of “security”, as if that is what they have taken an oath to defend and protect. But their oath is to protect and defend the Constitution, from all enemies foreign and domestic, and it is that Constitution that defends and protects us as well as our liberties from them.
James Madison said that “[i]f tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” And apparently these days we aren’t even fighting that enemy, we’re inviting it in, we’re arming it abroad, and yet it remains the basis for the seeds of a potentially terrifying tyranny to be sown here at home.
One who has “nothing to hide” today may have a lot to hide tomorrow when we allow the handover of our liberties and privacy to a fickle and frivolous Fed.
The time of partisan and tribal blinding needs come to an end. The self-identification as members of groups as opposed to individuals has to cease. It’s gang warfare. A right isn’t a right if one person or set of persons has it and another one doesn’t; it’s a privilege, and a sense of privilege can lead very quickly to a sense of disdain for those perceived to be outsiders, lesser than. On large scales this becomes very dangerous for those “lesser-thans,” a reality that has been demonstrated to us time and time again.
And it’s not like the Founding Fathers didn’t warn us, and put in measures to protect us from what history had already shown them to be the inevitability of unchecked power to corrupt. The 20th century has provided us with ample examples of those who strayed from similar principles, with atrocious results, and that this is how things tend to go also didn’t elude some of the century’s best writers, from Orwell and Bradbury to Vonnegut and Huxley. If they could see it then, how can anyone not see it now?
Roger Ailes, FOX News President, recently remarked, “Are we losing America to the inevitable onrushing tides of history? No. But we are in a storm, the mast is broken, the compass is barely functioning, and there is a big damned hole in the boat!”
There is not a bailout that exists that is going to save us here, only our own slow dawning that this is the time to stand up as concerned individuals, cognizant of, and ready to regain, the power that was handed down to each one of us, before it is lost to us all.
Anna Zetchus Smith is an independent filmmaker and fellow at the Moving Picture Institute. Her latest film is “Rebel Evolution,” which will be screened at FreedomFest in July in Las Vegas.
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