Will we ever learn?

By Nathan Barton

As technology advances, as we find more and more things that make liberty ever more possible, we should be entering a golden age.  An era in which abundance becomes more and more common and general, in which people have more and more freedom to be and explore and discover and invent and LIVE.

The technology and knowledge to see what can be and needs to be fixed, coupled with courage to go and do just that, would not make the planet a paradise, but it would end tremendous misery and enable people to live under better conditions than at any time in history.


That is not happening.

Instead, history is repeating itself.  Again.

In antediluvian times, we don’t know what the technology was, but the climate was good and people are inventive.  But the corruption and human nature turned it into a horrific mess beyond redemption, literally. We don’t know the details, or even the general outline, but based on history since the Flood, we can guess.  The plug got pulled.

So things stated over.  Once more, the only government was that of the family, and voluntary cooperation.  And resources were plentiful, and the world relatively empty. But within a few decades, led by Nimrod, the state had appeared – enslaving and warring and functioning for the glory of the elite.  (The one-percent has been around a long, long time.) People gave up their liberty for security and glory.

A few centuries later, we saw it happen again.  A free clan living in (at least relative) freedom voluntarily moved to “the settlements” – Egypt. There they submitted to a foreign king for fear of hunger in a time of famine. Big mistake: it didn’t take many generations before, once more, they were slaving away for the state: its god-king and his minions.  And being killed just for being who they were. So, four hundred years later, they voted with their feet and fled back to their old homeland. Again they established a society with relatively high liberty, but which meant they had to fight those would enslave them.  Then another four centuries later, they demanded that they be given a king (“like all of the nations around us” – the same nations that constantly tried to conquer them), giving up that liberty again. For security and prestige. It only took a few decades to learn, again, the lesson they should have learned a dozen times over. Dragged off again into slavery, and again brought back to their land and again given freedom, they submitted once more to foreign tyranny.  And with help from God regained liberty. And then Again allowed some of their own number to again enslave them.

The pattern has continued, through history and in all types of societies and cultures, peoples and lands.

Across the sea, another people thought that they could be free even while they enslaved many of their own people.  Fighting off the tyranny of foreigners, they forged their own empire, conquering and enslaving others.  Across yet more sea, another people got rid of their king and established a republic of laws, but it decayed in just a few centuries to a “democracy,” oligarchic and then one-man rule, and then into despotism.

Free people of desert and steppe allowed themselves to be cozened by cunning and wicked, power-hungry men. They submitted to political and religious tyranny and attempted to conquer the world for their trumped-up leaders. The purpose of the original powermongers (other than their own power) seems to have been to get their people to stop fighting each other and live in peace. (Fourteen hundred years later they still haven’t stopped fighting and killing and tyrannizing each other – and many others.)

A people who fought for six centuries to overthrow the yoke of slavery and colonization by a foreign people and religion, gained their freedom, and promptly used that liberty to go forth and colonize and enslave others, and foolishly use the wealth gained to again enslave themselves. After six hundred years, they built a vast empire that spanned the globe in just a century, and lost all their liberty, rapidly exhausting themselves in horrific wars and internal fights.

Yet another people, a mixed race from centuries of invasions and conquests, finally united by language and culture slowly learned the lessons of liberty and self-government, grew powerful and wealthy, but constantly got itself in a muddle. Through trial and error they learned to be free, but sold their liberty.  They drove their boldest, bravest, and best outward like wild geese, enslaved others and ultimately enslaved themselves.  And are now in the process of being enslaved by too many of those peoples they once enslaved, before their dominion shrank from the globe to a small group of islands.

And from the wild geese scattered and fled to new lands of liberty, there arose another mighty nation of many peoples, warlike and fierce in their desire for freedom, liberty, and (unfortunately) lust for control of others and each other.  More than any people before, they knew the history of the past peoples and nations, and what went wrong.  And ignored it: learned little or nothing from them.  So now, they too, stride like a colossus in their arrogance and pride, and their doom races upon them.

For those who are interested and do not know history well, I am speaking of in turn:

Antediluvian civilization (before the Flood); the early civilization of Mesopotamia, the descendants of Abraham called Hebrews, (and then just Jews) during the Judges, the Kings, and during and after the Babylonian captivity; Hellenic Greece, the Romans, the Arabs, the Spanish, the English (British), and finally the Americans. There are many more.

We just don’t learn.  We repeat the same mistakes over and over again: lording it over one another, seeking wealth and power and fame not through our own achievements but by controlling others, or worse, accepting control of our lives by others.  Even those who have achieved fame, fortune, and influence (power) by their own efforts are so easily seduced into controlling others to gain more.

We just don’t learn.  We are worse than Esau, willing to trade his birthright for a bowl of beans.  We are worse than Samuel Adams’ erstwhile comrades, giving up their liberty for the bogus security and safety which does not exist.  WE KNOW BETTER.  And yet, once again, the peoples of Massachusetts, of Pennsylvania and Colorado, of California and Wyoming, Texas and Alaska, are drifting down the slime-filled canal of statism’s promises and power. And slavery.

Because there IS no security.  No comfort. No safety.  Not that government, not that any of these states, these powerful princes, these rulers of man and land and sea, can provide.  So we give up something: liberty, freedom, for nothing.

We would, it seems, rather have someone controlling us and the minutia of our daily lives.  Rather have the false comfort and security of our blanket and no responsibility except to obey.  I do not understand this.  I cannot stomach this. Why can any of us?

God help us. Will we ever learn?

Mama’s Note: Just a small quibble, Nathan… I am not any part of that “we.” I know quite a few other people, including yourself, who do not identify with that “we.” Those who do wish to be controlled, manipulated, lied to and abused do not need anyone’s permission to allow it. It is their right, as liberty is ours… The problem is the widespread belief that some legitimate authority exists for that control, and the very human desire to control other people. When/if people can come to see that the control of other people – willing or not – is the source of the evil in the world… the world may begin to be a better place for everyone.


About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
This entry was posted in Nathan's Rants and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Will we ever learn?

  1. beau says:

    Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
    George Bernard Shaw


    • MamaLiberty says:

      Liberty is not possible without personal responsibility for all one’s choices and actions. The whole PC pile of BS is nothing but people who want to do whatever they wish without any responsibility for the consequences.


      • beau says:

        very true making the removal of citizen responsibility, for everything, by govt a quite obvious move since liberty of the people is anathema to the controllers and megalomaniacs in govt.


  2. Rocketman says:

    Nathan, this is an excellent article and one that I might have written myself had I been so inclined. However, I do thing things are very, very slowly getting better. For one thing, we now have the internet which allows us to communicate with other people across the globe on a one to one basis. We no longer have the news media to “tell” us what to think. We have labor saving devices that allow us more time for study and contemplation. We have the beginnings on a non-governmental currency that is relatively independent of manipulation by said governments. It should be noted however that governments don’t intend to “go gently into that good night” and will be fighting tooth and nail to keep their privileges that they have accumulated over the centuries. This is the birth of a new world and like all births it is going to be messy. Let’s just hope that wiser minds can find a way to bring this about without resulting in the kinds of horrors that took place in it’s name in the 20th century.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      Might be, but I am quite sure those who want to control the lives and property of others outnumber the wiser minds, by a considerable margin. And all of the controller types are not found in politics and big business/banking, by any means. There are many controllers in every walk of life, and in every part of the world. Most seem to want to be controlled and plundered themselves, as long as they can continue to participate in the control of others. It’s a very vicious cycle.


    • Nathan says:

      Thank you for your kind words. And wise words.
      I (and Mama) are not just going to lay down and die. But the frustration of seeing both the controllers AND those who want to be controlled doing the same thing over and over again, even in our short lifetimes, is strong.
      Technology is virtually always neutral, but as I pointed out at the beginning of the commentary, it increases the potential for greater liberty – and for gaining and retaining that liberty, just as you say. And certainly even today, right this minute, we enjoy more liberty than a Judean shepherd in the time of the judges or a Spanish freeholder under Ferdinand and Isabella, or a London merchant under William and Mary, or even (in many, many ways) a Kaintuck or Missouri settler or newly-independent Texians. Because of those improvements you list, and many more.
      But we (as a people) are still too much like the dog that returns to his own vomit. And that worries and frustrates me. For my future, for that of my sons and daughters, and grandchild(ren).


      • MamaLiberty says:

        Seems to me that at least one of the answers is to separate ourselves from those who enjoy their slavery and want to make sure everyone else is also a slave. It’s one of the reasons I left California and moved to rural Wyoming. California is simply over run with controllers, and Wyoming has very few. I can see, one day, space colonies that mirror the freedom and ethics of Heinlein’s “Harsh Mistress” moon colony. Or Seastead settlements. Humans could accomplish many wonderful things if they’d only accept responsibility for their own lives, and leave everyone else to do the same.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s