Thinking about the direction the country is being taken by the ever bolder agenda of the progressives in both parties, the similarities in attitude and behavior of 21st century progressives and the defenders of slavery of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries are striking.
In 1680, Virginia passed ordinances forbidding blacks and slaves from congregating in large numbers. In 1702, New York went even further declaring any meeting of more than three slaves to be illegal. The only exception to this was a church service if, and only if, a white clergyman was in attendance. The slave masters didn’t want ideas being put into the heads of their slaves which might create resistance to their plight.
Today that same mindset and goal is evidenced in the “Fairness Doctrine” and “Net Neutrality.” Progressives don’t want the soon-to-be-completely-subservient citizen to entertain any non-progressive thoughts. Public meetings within a school setting (at least at the collegiate level) are frequently, and sometimes violently, interrupted to prevent the dissemination of views that are anathema to the progressive script. Voters have been intimidated and in the past year, so-called town hall meetings have been disrupted by supporters of elected officials to deny citizens the opportunity to voice grievances. In the past year, those opposed to the direction that the progressives in government have taken us, have been verbally assaulted as “tea baggers”, a particularly vile sexual reference, or accused of being racist and even physically assaulted in efforts to discourage their protests.
In the antebellum South, slaves were forbidden by law from being given any education, even reading or writing. Following the Nat Turner Rebellion of 1831, several states passed laws that not only forbade teaching blacks to read and write, but banned slaves from attending public meetings of any kind.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Progressives have been running the nation’s school systems for nearly 100 years, and there are constant complaints that our children are not learning. They are being indoctrinated as to what to think, rather than being taught how to think.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, slave holders defended their efforts to maintain slavery by insisting that black slaves were not capable of caring for themselves. They were too dumb, too uneducated, too naïve to chart their own course in life. They needed to be civilized before they could survive as free people.
Those, like Bill Maher, who speak for 21st century progressives (see Stuart Schwartz’s article at AmericanThinker.com) have repeatedly told us that the American people are dumb.
Progressives say that Americans are too dumb to understand that Obamacare is really good for them.
Progressives point to the “fact” that Americans are too stupid to appreciate the onrushing danger posed by climate change.
Progressives tell us that Americans are too idiotic to understand that Congress, by spending enormous amounts of money that we don’t have, and that will have to repaid by our children and grandchildren, is somehow really doing it to help us.
In fact, they say that Americans are so feebleminded that progressives need to make these decisions for us. They tell their less intellectually gifted fellow citizens that they, and only they, the “educated class,” or the “elite” have the acumen to make such decisions. One can only wonder why, since progressives control America’s public schools, how they can possible act surprised by the public being “dumb”. Wouldn’t that lack of intelligence be an indictment of their superior decision making ability vis-à-vis education?
In the 17th, 18th centuries and the first half of the 19th century, slave owners were fearful of the outcome of arming black slaves for any reason. In fact, as early as 1662, Massachusetts passed a law outlawing the training of black slaves in the use of arms. New York, Connecticut and New Hampshire followed suit. In 1680, Virginia outlawed any bearing of arms by blacks and slaves. The lack of arms always prevents resistance to oppression.
Today, 21st century progressives are completely dedicated to the eradication of the 2nd Amendment, citing case after case of the dangers posed by the private ownership of firearms. Of course they won’t admit that the real danger is their inability to control the masses if the masses are armed. Of course the inability of Progressives to repeal the 2nd Amendment, and the string of Supreme Court decisions that affirm the citizen’s right to bear arms may have led directly to President Obama’s call for “…a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded, [as the military].” While I’m sure that our Progressive President is only trying to protect us, like his healthcare initiative, he fails to tell us a key component or two of this plan. The questions that immediately spring to mind, of course, are “Just who are we being protected from?” and “If we are not being protected, who will be protected, and from what?”
During the colonial period and in the antebellum south, slaves were literally property. They didn’t even own their own bodies. They could be used, abused and sold. Slave marriages, religious beliefs, age, infirmity, or children meant nothing to the slave owners. Slaves were not free beings who had any control over their futures. They were property, like a table or a chair. They owned the slave. They could do whatever they wished. Slaves were never consulted, obviously, or asked to express a preference.
In the 21st century, there is a now move afoot in the Illinois legislature to treat your body as the property of the state, at least when you’ve reached the point of not being of any further use as a source of tax revenue. The Canada Free Press reports that Illinois State Senator Dale Risinger (R, Peoria) has offered a bill, SB 3613, the Presumed Donor Bill, which would amend the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act to define all Illinois patients as “presumed donors” unless they specifically avail themselves of the opt out clause. In other words, unless you specifically tell the government that, in the case of your presumed brain death, you don’t want your body parts cut out and donated to other patients, they will be removed and given to others. And thank you for your (forced) donation. As the synopsis of the bill states: “This bill, ‘Provides that, on and after July 1, 2012, each resident of Illinois who is of sound mind and who has attained the age of 18 years is presumed, by operation of law, to have given all of his or her body for any organ donation purposes.’ ”
At least the last bit excludes anyone who dies while just passing through Illinois. Of course if the law had included everyone, and that little fact became widely known, tax revenues from tourism would have taken quite a hit.
A similar statute has been introduced in New York State by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, citing that 24 other nations use the system. Both New York and Illinois are states which are controlled by liberal Democrats.
There are really only two forms of government that have ever functioned effectively, even if only briefly. A republic, rooted in individual freedom, and depending on educated citizens who carefully watch, monitor, and if need be, rein in the government that they themselves created. The other is dictatorial tyranny. Naturally no one advertises that they are tyrants or tyrannical wannabes. They create a fresh, new “brand” identity. And the result has been the many labels for this dictatorial tyranny – statism, Nazism, theocracy, fascism, communism, socialism, absolute monarchy and the divine right of kings and so on. But in final analysis, they are all simply a form of dictatorial tyranny.
It should be kept in mind that tyrannies do not always revolve around a single individual. The French Revolution was not aimed at the King alone, but at all the nobility of France. Collectively they were the tyrants. There were hundreds who went to the guillotine, and they paid the price for the long simmering resentment of the aristocracy for their belief that the peasants of France were simply property, not people, and only the aristocracy was able to make decisions for them. The French peasantry and bourgeoisie also suffered from the excessive taxation of the nobles which they saw as supporting the extravagant lifestyles of the elite. Keeping the peasants and bourgeoisie in what amounted to perpetual poverty also benefited the nobility in that the lower classes could never amass sufficient wealth to acquire weapons, eliminating the chance of an effective rebellion. The fact that the French people had to storm the Bastille in 1789 to arm themselves offers some support for that view.
All tyrannies treat those human beings who are not part of the self-proclaimed ruling class with contempt, and yet live with the fear that they will rise up to throw off their “masters.”
It would appear that contemporary political tyrants, and tyrannical wannabes, function with exactly the same mindset as slave owners and historical tyrants who held slaves and the peasantry in contempt, but were, at the same time, constantly afraid of violent uprisings against what they saw as the “natural order of things.”
These parallels are extremely disturbing. While it is unlikely that anyone will jump up and say “Aha, Watson! We have a smoking gun,” they do engender a strong sense of disquiet. If you have a single pair of events that appears to be similar, that could be just an accident. Two, well, OK, maybe that’s just a coincidence. But with eroding education, continuing attempts to eliminate the ownership of firearms, limiting freedom of assembly and speech, propaganda aided and abetted by the left-leaning media to convince citizens that they are incapable of making decisions for themselves and even claiming ownership rights to the bodies of American citizens, and the historical precedents that one doesn’t really have to look very far to find, the question must be asked: Is the word “coincidence” really accurate?