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The Confederate Lawyer
August 24, 2009

Keeping Alive the Memory of American Freedom
by Charles G. Mills

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 returns.

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.

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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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