Once America made the crossover to a post-racial era, I never thought I’d still be hearing the constant drumbeat of racism being systemic in our country, but here we are again. LeBron James says that the NFL is run by “old white men” with a “slave mentality” toward players. Joe Biden warns black audiences that Republicans “want to put ya’ll back in chains.” And, on a daily basis, the mainstream media hammers home the notion that racism is still institutionalized in America.
Now for a little perspective: The reality is that slavery has been around since the beginning of recorded history. Do you think the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by union labor? Later, the Greeks, then the Romans, saw slaveholding as a perfectly natural way of life. And today there are probably more slaves worldwide than at any other time in human history.
That said, there has been no black slavery in the United States for more than 150 years, at least not the manual kind of slavery that existed in antebellum America. All people, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity, are free to pursue their dreams so long as they do so without violating the rights of others.
Nevertheless, many people today want to erase America’s founding, which they insist was illegitimate because of Native American subjugation and black slavery. After all, many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, most notably George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. So, when Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, what was he thinking when he wrote that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?”
It makes one wonder how many times throughout human history generations of people have suffered because men in power — even good men — were not willing, for myriad reasons, to step up to the plate and insist on justice for all. In the case of the Founding Fathers, nearly a century of suffering for African-Americans could have been avoided had they been willing to do so. But, alas, the Founders were imperfect.
I said that manual slavery no longer exists in America, but another kind of slavery, insidious in nature, has taken its place. Slavery in 21st century America is quite different from the 18th century variety in that actual chains and whips are no longer used — or needed. Today’s rulers are much more subtle and infinitely more clever.
Democracy has proven to be a far more effective tool for controlling people — of all colors — than iron chains and brute force. The chains that now bind us are referred to as “entitlements,” and they’re one of the main reasons we so love our enslavement. And so long as our brains remain in hibernation mode, our entitlement chains are guaranteed to remain in place.
Unfortunately, the something-for-nothing urge in most people makes them easy prey when it comes to an addiction to entitlements. The government makes entitlements so enticing that a majority of Americans simply cannot resist them. Thus, today it’s not so much that evil triumphs because good men do nothing; rather, evil triumphs because evil or misguided men and women do too much.
The purported purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to protect American citizens by placing limits on the government. Which sounds fine, but for the fact that the government keeps growing, becoming more intrusive, and committing evermore aggression against its citizens.
The reason such aggression gets worse with each passing year is primarily because politicians refuse to abide by the Constitution. In recent years, they have ramped up their zeal to steal our wealth, spy on us, and harass us at every turn. And in our state of waking dreams, we make it easy for them to get away with it, because we have fully embraced George Orwell’s doublethink: “War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength.”
From time to time, I hear purist civil libertarians argue that people don’t need government at all, and while I may agree with their viewpoint in theory, the reality is that it’s a near- impossible sell in today’s victimhood environment. After all, victims are not strong enough to make it on their own, so they need help from the government — not to protect their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but to act as an enforcer to redistribute OPM to them.
Would that Washington, Jefferson, and the rest of the white-wigged crowd could return and explain to the populace what they had in mind when they started their unique experiment in representative government. Notwithstanding their failure to address the issue of black slavery, they put into place a Constitution that was intended to protect citizens from the evildoers in Washington.
Clearly, they were concerned that elected officials, government bureaucrats, and judges would not protect and defend our Constitution. Today, at a minimum, all three branches of government simply ignore the Constitution; at worst, they pervert its meaning. And many, particularly on the left, resent the constraints it places on their desires and want to get rid of it entirely.
Even worse, in direct violation of the United States Constitution, they have somehow managed to turn everything on its head and given themselves the power to grant rights to citizens — and noncitizens! — of their choosing. Enter slavery: If government has the power to grant rights to individuals and groups, we are, by definition, slaves.
So, yes, today we are enslaved not by iron chains, but entitlement chains. The latter are chains by choice. If Americans are serious about ending their self-imposed slavery, their focus must be on fighting the ruling class — Democrats and Republicans — and demanding an end to government aggression. The key that keeps our prison doors tightly locked is our reliance on government interference to correct what each of us subjectively perceives to be wrongs.
As Russian philosopher P.D. Ouspensky put it in quoting his mentor, G.I. Gurdjieff:
If a man in prison was at any time to have a chance to escape, then he must first of all realize that he is in prison. So long as he fails to realize this, so long as he thinks he is free, he has no chance whatever. No one can help or liberate him by force, against his will, in opposition to his wishes. If liberation is possible, it is possible only as a result of great labor and great efforts, and, above all, of conscious efforts, towards a definite aim.
Until Americans become fully woke to the reality that they are in prison — until they begin focusing on destroying the system that manufactures the elected officials, government bureaucrats, and judges who rule them — there is no chance for them to escape. And only by escaping can they hope to begin the arduous task of rebuilding America from the ground up by fundamentally transforming it from the soft-socialist oligarchy it has become to a constitutional republic once again.