“Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”
- Novelist Kate Chopin
It’s been awhile since I really reflected on the nature of a free people — a people determined to remain free, and possessed of the means to do so.
Armament is critical, of course. If your adversary is armed and you aren’t, you’re in the position of a grasshopper trying to face down a lawn mower. We might make admiring note of your courage in our elegies, but we surely won’t be attending your victory parade.
Also, one must be careful not to hand any levers to a potential tyrant. There are a number of things Man requires to survive and flourish: air, food, water, the ability to move about, the ability to communicate with others, heat, fuel, many kinds of knowledge, the cooperation of others with different kinds of knowledge, and so on. Whenever any entity moves to monopolize access to any of these or the other necessities of survival, it’s nominated itself Tyrant-In-Embryo. Abort!
But both the above are resultants of a far more critical, indeed, a fundamental requirement of the free man. No one can remain free, no one can ensure the freedom of his descendants, unless he nurtures and transmits to those around him the essential defiance that animates all the other freedom-conserving behaviors.
We see a lot of bumper stickers that run roughly as follows:
They Can Have My Gun
When They Pry It
From My Cold Dead Hand!
I can only applaud the sentiment… if it’s genuine. How often is it genuine?
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