Freedom is never free.....

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."-Samuel Adams

Political Frivolity (maybe)


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Song of the Syren

"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. ... Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not?" --Patrick Henry

siren [sahy-ruhn] syren (alternate spelling)

Classical Mythology, one of several sea nymphs, part woman and part bird, who lure mariners to destruction by their seductive singing.

Throughout history, civilizations have been seduced by the Song of the Syren. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Amin, Saddam, Franco, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Ngirumpatse, on and on and on. What these despots had in common was a song that was very soothing to their population. Typically, these monsters raise their heads at a time of economic collapse or civil unrest, or both.

The song is always the same: a promise to bring their respective country/state/region back from the abyss, a firm commitment to be a leader for the people. The lyrics reflect a sort of hope to these people who have none. The tune always begins with a melodic, yet hypnotic tempo that sets their collective minds at ease. One could imagine a symphonic largess filled with strings and woodwinds. Now that the new “leader” has the attention and support of the crowd, the tempo begins to change.

It speeds up, with more percussion, a marching band in motion. He selects his most ardent supporters to stand firm by his side, the volume of the music increases, the cadence much more distinct, but the theme has morphed into a much darker and sardonic one. Cello and bass overtake the violins and flutes. The Song of the Syren ends abruptly, every time, with a staccato-like finality.

As the director leaves the stage, the scenes unfolds with timeless duplicity; thousands of bloated corpses floating down the Kagera River in Rwanda, mountains of rotting bodies at Auschwitz, fields filled with the skulls of intellectuals in Cambodia, millions starved to death in the Ukraine, countless dead during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. And so it goes.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant -- and free ... it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson

The song is always the same. Those that are in need or in a state of despair hear the seductive notes as a solution that they perhaps did not hear the day before. The messiah has come. Never again will they have to worry about war and famine, disease and pestilence for the savior has arrived and sings the song of salvation up until the point when the realization of oppression and genocide appears. By then it is too late.

We have had the good fortune here in the U.S. to have had a group of men who studied and understood the ramifications of what such regimes had to offer its citizens. After years and years of debate, the U.S. Constitution was born, and has outlived countless dictators and despots. Why? Personal freedom and the right to choose our own individual destinies. It all boils down to choices we are permitted to make on a daily basis. The decisions we make are either right, wrong of indifferent. Some can impact our lives in such a negative fashion that we may never be able to dig out. These choices are being taken away bit by bit.

"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

Today my toilet allows me one gallon per flush. I’m not supposed to fill up my car until after 6:00 PM if the air quality index is in the red zone. I can’t decide whether to smoke or not smoke in the bowling alley because the state has decided I cannot. My guns must be registered or deemed to be illegal. I don’t have choice which assault rifle to purchase, or whether or not I can smoke a Havana. My insurance company chooses for me what doctor to see and where to go for treatment. I can’t make a decision to carry shampoo on an airplane. I’m not allowed to make a choice on whether or not my Federal government spends us into oblivion.

"Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition." --Thomas Jefferson

We, as a country, could fall into that same hypnotic state, like sleepwalkers. Lack of due diligence on the part of the rest of us could be deadly. We must stay focused, keep our eye on history, and to be forever committed to the cause, and that is the restoration of government to its rightful owners; we the people. If we lose sight of that, the U.S. could become the Late, Great United States.

The Ukrainians or Jews or Cambodians or Rwandans didn’t see it coming either. They listened to the song. They were attracted to the lyrics. They loved the beat. It was easy and pleasant to dance to. What separates us from them is a unique document, firm resolve, and commitment to turn our ears from the music. At least I hope we still have enough Americans that believe to maintain the necessary diligence to turn back any attempts to further degrade the freedoms we take for granted, for, after all, the song remains the same.

“There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union

And demanded equal rights.

"The oaks are just too greedy;

We will make them give us light."

Now there's no more oak oppression,

For they passed a noble law,

And the trees are all kept equal

By hatchet, axe, and saw.”-

Neil Peart (Rush)

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