Those who expect to reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. – Thomas Paine

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sowing Liberty

I wanted to post this most excellent article written by Ron Paul. It really gives a clear picture of liberty. Sorry about the disorganization. The layout kinda messed up but the words are good. Please read...
Sowing Liberty
by Ron Paul
We live in one of the most difficult times in
history for guarding against an expanding
central government. We are seeing a
steady erosion of our freedoms. We have arrived here
because our ideas, our words—and the actions that
follow—have consequences. Homeschoolers, by-andlarge,
understand that bad ideas have bad consequences,
and even the best of intentions can have unintended
consequences. We need to understand exactly what
ideas brought us to this point. We can then, I hope,
reject the bad ideas and reform our thinking toward a
better set of intellectual parameters. Our goal should
be to identify what ideas are now shaping our culture
and work to sow the seeds of liberty for the generations
who will come after us.

Currently, the mood of our country is dominated
by a powerful word: fear. Fear is not always the product
of irrational thinking. However, once experienced,
fear can lead us away from reason, especially if it is
extreme in duration or intensity. This kind of fear is a
threat to rational liberty. When people are fearful, they
are more willing to irrationally surrender their rights.
The psychology of fear is an essential tool of those who
want us to increasingly rely on “the powers that be” to
manage the apparatus of the central government.

Clearly, people seek out safety and security when
they are in a state of fear, and the result is often the
surrender of liberty. We must remember that liberty is
the ultimate security.

Our love for liberty has been so diminished by
fear—of everything but God—that we tolerate intrusions
into our privacy that most Americans would have
abhorred just a few years ago. American history, at least
in part, is a history of people who refuse to submit to
the will of those who have no rightful authority over
them. Yet we have increasingly empowered the federal
government and its agents to run our lives, far beyond
their jurisdiction to do so. The seeds of
future tyranny are being sown and many
of our basic protections from government
oppression are being undermined.
We tolerate new laws that allow the
government to snoop on us, listen to
our phone calls, track our financial dealings,
make us strip down at airports, and
even limit the rights of habeas corpus
and trial by jury. Like some dysfunctional
episode of the Twilight Zone, we
have allowed the summits of our imaginations
to be linked up with the pit of
our fears, all to serve man.
Paranoia can be treated, but the
loss of liberty resulting from the fear
of man is not easily cured. People who
would have previously battled against
encroachments on civil liberties now
explain the “necessity” of the “temporary
security measures” Franklin would
have railed against. This would not be
happening if we had remained vigilant,
understood the importance of individual
rights, and refused to accept that the
sacrifice of liberty is justified by a “need”
for security—even if it’s just “now and

As Americans, we must confront
our irrational fears if we are to turn the
current tide against the steady erosion
of our freedoms. Fear is the enemy. The
confusing admonition to “fear only fear
itself” does not help. Instead, we must
battle against irrational fear and refuse
to succumb to it.

Fortunately, there is always a
remnant who longs for truly limited
government, maintaining a belief in
the rule of law combined with a deep
conviction that free people and a government
bound by a Constitution are
the most advantageous form of government.
They recognize this idea as
the only practical way for prosperity
to be spread to the maximum number
of people, while promoting peace and
security. Their thoughts are dominated
by a different and more powerful word:

If we intend to use the word “freedom”
in an honest way, we should
have the simple integrity to give it real
meaning: freedom is living without government

If we hope to remain free, we must
cut through the fog of rhetoric and
attach concrete meanings to the words
politicians often use to deceive us. We
must reassert that America is a republic,
not a democracy, and remind ourselves
that the Constitution places limits on
government that no majority can overrule.
We must resist any use of the word
“freedom” to describe state action. We
must also teach these truths to our

Freedom is not defined by safety.
Freedom is defined by the ability of
citizens to live without government
interference. Government cannot create
a world without risks, nor would
we really wish to live in such a fictional
place. Only a totalitarian society would
even claim absolute safety as a worthy
ideal because it would require total state
control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty
has meaning only if we still believe
in it when terrible things happen and
a governmental false security blanket
beckons. Self-reliance and self-defense
are American virtues; trembling reliance
on the illusion of government-provided
security is not.

Many, if not most, homeschoolers
have fought on some level for the freedom
to teach their own children.
Most have had to stand against a
tide of disapproval from friends and
family. Some parents have dealt with
strife in their church over the issue.
Too many have been questioned by
local authorities who don’t understand
the limits of their jurisdiction;
some have withstood the scrutiny of
state and federal laws, courts, and law
enforcement who have overstepped
their constitutional bounds. Still
others have suffered fines, imprisonment,
and separation from their
children at the hands of a government
that claims to be “protecting”
the children. All homeschoolers
have tasted a morsel of freedom that
many others still can’t comprehend.
Homeschooling parents still regularly
face questions such as, “Can
you do that?” “Do they let you do
that?” “Is that legal?” It all comes
down to a proper understanding of
jurisdiction and submission to delegated
authority. Homeschoolers, by
and large, maintain that the authority
for determining the education of
their children rests solely with parents.
This spark of freedom must be
fanned into a flame, not just among
homeschooling fathers and mothers…
but among the generation they
are training up in liberty.

Ironically, the Constitution
which protects our freedoms was
conceived in a time of great crisis.
The founders intended to place
inviolable restrictions on what
the federal government could do
even in times of national distress.
America must stand against calls
for the government to violate the
Constitution—that is, to break the
law—in the name of law enforcement.
America was founded by men who
understood that the threat of domestic
tyranny is as great as, if not greater
than, any threat from abroad. If we
want to be worthy of their legacy,
we must pass it on to our children,
showing them how to resist the rush
toward ever-increasing state control
of our society. Otherwise, our own
government will become a greater
threat to our freedoms than any foreign
terrorist could ever hope to be.
Remember, a citizen’s relationship
with the State is never voluntary.
Every government edict, policy,
regulation, court decision, and law
is ultimately backed up by force, in
the form of police, guns, and jails.
The problem is that politicians are
not supposed to have power over
us—we’re supposed to be free. We
seem to have forgotten that freedom
means the absence of government
coercion. That is why political power
must be fiercely constrained by the
American people. We can’t wait for
“our man” in Congress to do it. We
must accept and take responsibility
to keep government within its welldefined
boundaries, training our
children to do the same.

The desire for power over other
human beings is not something to
celebrate, but something to condemn!

The worst tyrants of the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries
were political figures: men who
fanatically sought power over others
through the apparatus of the State.
They wielded that power absolutely,
without regard for the rule of law.
Our constitutional system, by
contrast, was designed to restrain
political power and place limits on
the size and scope of government. It is
this system—the rule of law—which
we should celebrate, not political
power. In a free society, government
is restrained, and therefore, political
power is less important. As defined
by the Constitution, the proper role
for government in America is to
provide national defense, a court
system for civil disputes, a criminal
justice system to prosecute acts of
force and fraud, and that’s all. In
other words, the State’s role in our
society is as referee, rather than an
active participant.
Those who hold political power
would lose their status in a society
with truly limited government. It
simply would not matter much who
occupied various political posts, since
their ability to tax, spend, and regulate
would be severely curtailed. This
is why champions of political power
promote an activist government that
involves itself in every area of our
lives, from cradle to grave. They gain
popular support by promising voters
that the government will take care
of everyone, while the media shower
them with praise for their bold

Political power is inherently dangerous
in a free society. It threatens the
rule of law and thus threatens our fundamental
freedoms. It is the antithesis
of freedom. Those who understand this
should object whenever political power
is glorified.
Our founding fathers understood
this and endeavored to create the least
coercive government in the history of
the world. The Constitution established
a very limited, decentralized government
to provide national defense and
little else.
It is incumbent on a great nation
to remain confident if it wishes to
remain free. By no means should we be
ignorant to real threats to our safety,
against which we must remain vigilant.
We need only to banish to the ash heap
of history the notion that we ought
to be ruled by our fears and those
who use them to enhance their own
power. Understanding the magnificent
rewards of a free society provides the
incentive to protect the liberties we
enjoy. The greatest chance for peace
and maximum prosperity comes within
a society respectful of individual liberty.

It is important to know how we
got where we are today. But, rather
than focus on where we have failed,
we should concentrate on the ideal of
freedom. The freedom we enjoy today
is the direct result of the commitment
of men and women who refused to
compromise their ideals. Certainly they
failed at times, but they understood that
the goal was liberty. We owe the founding
fathers of our country a tremendous
debt of gratitude. They created a society
based on the radical idea that the
purpose of government was to protect
the rights of the individual—inalienable
rights granted by God, rather than
privileges granted by the State. Whereas
God is “no respecter of persons,” the
same cannot be said of the State, no
matter how well-intentioned it may
purport to be.

We can reclaim our independence,
not with guns, but with our voices.
We can reject creeping statism and
encourage the blessings of liberty for
our land. It will require work and it
will require commitment. It will also
require a willingness to stand firm for
our beliefs. It will not be done in one
election cycle, nor will it necessarily
be achieved in our lifetimes. Indeed,
as others have done before us, it may
require that we give our very lives. But
that is a small price to pay compared
to the sacrifices made by those who
founded the United States of America
and fought to give her birth and defend
her freedoms.
Liberty. Freedom. Self-determination.
These goals are as worthy of our
attention today as they were over two
centuries ago in a hot convention hall in
Philadelphia. Just as devotion to those
goals brought forth this great nation,
a renewed adherence to liberty, which
we teach to our children, can save our
nation today.
Our founding fathers felt it was
worth pledging their “lives, fortunes,
and sacred honor” to secure and defend
liberty. Do we?

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