GLEN COVE, NY — There are many signs that the United
States is about to enter the darkest period of the revolution started
by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. President Obama is trying to get the
majority of all economic activity in the country under tight government
control, one of the key signs of totalitarianism. With each new 1,000-page
law, our personal liberty shrinks. Such tyranny depends on massive
ignorance of what liberty was like.
Most Americans alive today do not remember a time when most people
thought a metal detector was something used to find lost coins on a
beach. They would be amazed to learn that in the twentieth century
there was a time when anyone could get gold or silver as money, the
private banks could make paper money, and anyone could contract to
be paid in money adjusted for the value of gold.
In recent years, America’s young people have been bombarded
with historical lies. They are taught that the War Between the States
was simply a noble crusade by the North to end slavery. They are taught
that the radical Congressional phase of Reconstruction was a reasonable
attempt to protect the right of blacks to vote rather than one of the
worst cases of political corruption in our history. They are not taught
that states are sovereign bodies and that tariffs transfer wealth from
one part of the country to another. They are not taught that there
was a time when store or restaurant owners could choose their customers
without limits, citizens could carry their guns wherever they wanted,
and most people did not have identification cards or have to file tax
A replacement of history by politically correct propaganda is facilitated
by our dismal system of education. Ignorance is no longer a bar to
a college degree; few college graduates know anything about the separation
of powers among the branches of the government, or even what these
branches are; even fewer know about the separation of power between
states and the federal government. Almost none of our young people
can list the wars America has fought or put these wars in chronological
order. Virtually none is familiar with free market theories or economic
facts. Most confuse ending discrimination with civil rights.
If we enter an age in which the federal government dominates the
economy in general and key sectors — banking, real estate, health
care, the automobile industry — in particular, and can track
the majority of its citizens’ activities, it will not be easy
to keep the memory of a free America alive. Certainly the public schools
will be no help. However difficult it will be, we must tell
the story to future generations.
We must tell the whole story. We must explain every major expansion
and contraction of liberty in our history. We must explain the attitudes
toward liberty of all the important political movements and presidential
candidates. We must tell the military history of our country and explain
the role of promoting rather than stifling initiative in the lower
ranks of our armed forces in creating our military superiority. We
must explain the extraordinary role of voluntary organizations in our
traditional society and compare it to the largely forgotten role of
such organizations in medieval Europe. We must explain in a positive
way that the unfettered free economy produces more food, clothes, houses,
and real education than a managed or socialist economy. Above all,
we must find a way to make sure this knowledge survives the hostility
of a corrupt educational system.
The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2009
by Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com.
All rights reserved.
Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the
New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in
many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles
about the law.
See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.
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