By Nathan Barton
Yes, I know the month is half-over, but I’ve been mulling this over a while. Humans are weird (as if you didn’t know that) and we get all hyper over dates and anniversaries and seasons and feasts and the like. Virtually every government on the planet, from those idiots on the bank of the East River in NYC to the local weed and pest control district, delight in declaring the “month of this” and the “week of that” and more days than their are days in the year. That is just the way we are: dates and anniversaries and commemorations are important to us. They can remind us of good and bad things and encourage us to do things – to prepare for trouble and to deal with disaster and victory and defeat.
We are where we are today, good AND bad, because of past events and how people responded to them. We can (and should) learn from history: just as important, we should be encouraged from history while we are fighting for liberty today.
Over the next couple of weeks, we are entering the “Liberty Days” or “Patriot’s Days” period. There are many things to remember, including these:
13 April: 1743 Thomas Jefferson is born.
19 April: 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord begin American War of Independence.
1861 Baltimore riots against Union troops passing through city to invade the Confederate State of Virginia.
1892 Charles Duryea makes the first automobile drive in the US (liberty! in transportation).
1943 Beginning of the (unsuccessful) Warsaw Uprising by Polish Jews against the Third Reich. Like the folks in Baltimore, at least they tried.
1985 FBI/ATF raid on the Farm and The Covenant, Sword, and Arm of the Lord (CSA) in Arkansas (little-known and mostly non-violent prequel to the Waco Massacre).
1993 End of the Branch Davidian Siege with FBI et al. assault on the Waco compound and deaths of many in compound. (And of course, the 1995 bombing of the federal office building in Oklahoma City, supposedly in retribution for Waco).
20 April: 1655 Oliver Cromwell dissolved the insanely corrupt “Rump Parliament” in England, thus ending the mockery of “republican” government and cleaning house for future reforms. Oh that the next king of England would study and emulate Cromwell more than his namesakes.
1657 The Jews of New Amsterdam (New York) win religious freedom. In the long run, it couldn’t compete with Jerusalem but was whole lot better for Jews than Berlin or Moscow or Old Amsterdam – or even Hollywood.
1914 The Ludlow Massacre of Colorado: 19 men, women and children die when troops and private detectives end the miners’ strike. Like the Baltimore riots and the Warsaw Ghetto, this isn’t a good thing to remember, but a lesson to be learned: government and crony capitalists are not lovers of liberty OR life.
1961 The US-supported attempt to overthrow the Castro Communist regime fails at the Bay of Pigs, leading to 53 years of Communism and evil in Cuba. Again, not something to celebrate, but important to remember that Camelot was not really all that great.
And ironically, this was Adolf Hitler’s birthday in 1889. Even evil people can be cute babies. And some of the most evil people of history were likable, loved by the masses, and were great at kissing babies, hugging cats and dogs, and making women swoon and men stand tall.
21 April: 753 BC The traditional date of the founding of Rome. We want to remember that Rome was not always an evil empire, but was in fact one of the better ancient republics, and solved many problems and sustained considerably more liberty for much longer than most all other ancient societies – or for that matter, this one.
1836 Texas wins its independence by defeating Mexican Army at San Jacinto, just a few short weeks after the bloody fracases at the Alamo and Goliad: sometimes it IS darkest before the dawn. (And a reminder both that sometimes an afternoon siesta is a bad thing, and that the best route to victory, especially against long odds, is to know and exploit the weaknesses of your enemy.)
1989 The Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing, China. Again, not something good to remember, but important to recall that even after 40 years of bloody suppression, a desire for liberty still existed even in that most ancient and bureaucratic/tyrannical of cultures. As it does even today. It has been twenty-five years, but even in China liberty is possible in the future.
Obviously, not all of these events were GOOD (successful) outcomes for liberty, but enough to make us aware of what people have done and suffered for their freedom and those of others. Each of these could justify a column; please let me know your thoughts.
With events now in Nevada, in Syria, in Ukraine, and elsewhere, we need to ask what new events related to liberty and the fight against tyranny can we expect to add to the calender in April, Anno Domini 2014 and Anno Libertatus 238?
Mama’s Note: Seems to me that the most important lesson to be learned from history is that no non-voluntary government or ruling class has any legitimate authority to control (own) the people or their property. And this is true no matter how benevolent they claim to be, how “good” their intentions are, or how well it seems to function in the beginning. When some people are given power over other people, against their will, tyranny, slavery, death is the inevitable result.
Each individual owns his/her life and is individually responsible for that life and their actions. They can rationally delegate some of that, but retain the responsibility unless, like infants and the senile, they are incapable of such responsibility. Rational self owners can form all sorts of voluntary associations and cooperatives, but they retain responsibility for their individual actions and choices. If people cannot opt out, under pain of capture or death, they remain slaves no matter what the system is called.