…and what he would prescribe

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." ~ H.L. Mencken

America is a majority being ruled by a corrupt venal minority. We may have been taught that we are under a government "of the people, by the people, for the people." But our original Republican principles and laws are straining to keep us from careening toward the precipice of Absolute Democracy.

What happens when the Common Man meets Sam Adams?

If you were to Google "Sam Adams" you might get the impression that America is a little more interested in beer than liberty — at least by one level in the search results. The original Sam Adams was not a tea teetotaler. George Washington was a purveyor of fine rye whiskey. Yet, one came to be recognized as the Father of the American Revolution and the other the Father of his country. Neither was a common man per se. But both believed with every fiber of their being that the common man should live in freedom — enough to risk being hung by George III.

Sam Adams was the kind of person feared most by tyrants. He was the one, who, like the prophet Nathan, would speak the truth to power regardless of the consequences. He incessantly agitated for Revolution. Adams was also smart enough to avoid being murdered by the British before he could foment his Revolution — quite a feat when one considers that the enemy was everywhere around him [just like today] and looked almost exactly like him. Mainly, he was the type of writer and orator who could make the common man understand the "real deal." Obviously he was prone to self-replicate. George III may have been crazy but he had the prescience to know what one man like Adams might accomplish.

How does the Common Man get to know Sam?

Since my days in the Navy I have had scant experience with alcoholic beverages. I wouldn't know one beer from another. Wine is still a mystery to me. I prefer grape juice so far. But I do know something about bottled water. There is an annual International Water Tasting in West Virginia, and I have been there to experience it and learn the differences between all kinds of water; bottled, foreign, natural spring water, municipal, sparkling, etc.

A water tasting is not unlike a wine tasting. Trained participants take a bite of a soda cracker between samples to reestablish a baseline taste in their mouths. Then they evaluate each one in a double-blind taste test, writing down their impressions. This is all quite serious and training is provided by Arthur von Wiesenberger, who is, perhaps, to the world of water, what Julia Child was to that of fine cuisine. A jury of 12 tasters is typical.

The differences between a heavily chlorinated municipal water and Perrier are not so subtle. But with a little training from Arthur, tasters quickly become adept at differentiating between very similar entries in each category. The soda crackers help immensely.

Any ordinary citizen can get to know Sam Adams in a hurry if he has a frame of reference that can be trusted — and he is given the necessary Media and Education. Right now he is getting a taste of tyranny and government corruption. He is being told that "the rules" he was playing by, are not only changed, they are now permanently in flux without Any accountability. The MSM and Academe are locking ranks to woo all of us back into complacency. But what have they to offer us now? The more they try to pretend and prop up this regime and its corrupt paradigm, the more ridiculous they make themselves. Send in the Clowns.

In times such as these, with the incestuous relationship between the Federal Reserve and the "government" hanging out all over the place, it would be far better for all of us to read Sam Adams and company than to listen to the Siren Song of Obama or his bankster handlers. To Sam, English Monarchy was the focus of tyranny, to Rothbard, it was the State: "…nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large."

Our soda cracker, our baseline, can be almost anything but the establishment media or government-controlled or funded education. In short, any medium that is entirely uncritical of corrupt government is of little use to anyone who loves liberty. So we all need exposure to Quality Alternative Information — Alternative Media — Alternative Education.

A few sites I suggest: LEXREX.com, Antiwar.com, WarIsARacket.com, Mises.org, JamTheCulture.com, LewRockwell.com.

At LEXREX.com I have posted a compendium entitled "The American Ideal of 1776," where we can go for free and get his liberty baseline reactivated from time to time. We can bite off a piece; ruminate a while, and go back for more whenever we are ready. Spaced repetition is the key. In addition I have recently made an Audio CD of "The Law" by Bastiat — so the usually busy American family can listen while they work, drive or play. By the way, if you don't think you've been brainwashed — it worked. The key is to take over the task of auto-brainwashing. If you don't know the power of Bastiat you are in for a refreshing drink indeed. Read it free here.

"The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude" by Étienne de La Boétie is also of great value as we continue to transform the common man into the not-so-common man. The edition linked above includes an excellent preface by Murray Rothbard.

We should get enough of a foundation in some of the previously mentioned sources so that you can refute any argument coming from Left, Right or Center. Then sample what's out there and compare it to our own well-digested compendium of liberty. At first we will probably need to spend more time with the primary source documents of our original American political philosophy. But after we really get to know "Sam" — we become more and more dangerous to tyrants and sycophants of any kind — in any place or time. Remember, if what you are reading is not critical of the status quo you should be reading more of something else.

As I have said before, watch Ron Paul. He takes the argument away from his opponent and tries to direct the discourse to sound political doctrine — and especially sound economics and the Constitution. Obviously you can't do this within the controlled Media. You must become as Guerilla-like as Ron Paul or Sam Adams. It's quite interesting and entertaining. For instance, go into the grocery store, and, when you are ready to pay, ask the clerk if she takes "coupons." She will usually say, "Sure!" and ask you, "What kind do you have?" Then pull out some Federal Reserve Notes [commonly but erroneously called "dollars"] and offer them to her. Many times she will be too tired or bored to engage you. Occasionally you will stumble across a budding libertarian. "It only takes a spark to get a fire going." Think back to the seemingly insignificant events that added up to your own Epiphany.

We are not so used to gleaning from what we read as they were back in the 18th century. But consider well [chew thoroughly] the words of Sam Adams below in one of his most famous quotes:

If men, through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave. ~ Samuel Adams

The King, on realizing just how dangerous Sam Adams had become, assigned him the appellation: "The Grand Incendiary."

Sam also said:

It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

Ron Paul relates so well to ordinary citizens because he honors and respects the common man as did the best and brightest among the Founders and Framers. He is disposed to explain and teach, and provide a consistent example. He is worthy of emulation. Join him in the Campaign for Liberty.

Historically, Liberty is The Road Less Taken:

The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of [their] war [for independence, a nation begins] going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of [that] war will remain on [them] long, will be made heavier and heavier, till [their] rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion. ~ Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782. (*) ME 2:225

According to Jefferson and others, and consistent with his words above, it is clear that we have no choice but to learn how to educate the common man and equip his mind for liberty. He is becoming more aware of the abuse of power right now. It's up to those of us who know something about liberty to offer him a timely taste of it.


Jefferson and Madison introduced a resolution at a meeting of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia, to recommend a short list of works every American should study as "embodying" the core American principles:

Whereas it is the duty of this board to the government [of the United States] under which it lives, and especially to that [of Virginia] of which this University is the immediate creation, to pay especial attention to the principles of government which shall be inculcated therein, and to provide that none shall be inculcated which are incompatible with those on which the Constitutions of this State, and of the U.S. were genuinely based in the common opinion: and for this purpose it may be necessary to point out specifically where these principles are to be found legitimately developed . . .

The list:

  1. "George Washington's Farewell Address [which, alone, could have prevented most of the dialogue/diatribe about our present obsession with Iraq and delusions of empire];"
  2. "The Federalist Papers [considered to be written at a reading level that surpasses our present-day ‘erudite' PhDs];"
  3. "The Declaration of Independence;"
  4. "The Virginia Resolutions of 1799 [one of two important documents protesting the first encroachments by the federal government on States' and citizens' rights];"
  5. "Essay Concerning the True and Original Intent of Civil Government" by John Locke, and
  6. "Discourses Concerning Civil Government" by Algernon Sydney [this writing was used as evidence against him for which he was ultimately beheaded].

November 19, 2008

Bill Huff [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">send him mail] is a Classical Libertarian and proprietor of LEXREX.com and JamTheCulture.com; a former public school music teacher turned home schooling advocate; a US Navy veteran, and host of WarIsARacket.com. He is available as a guest lecturer or for interviews on talk radio.