Why is it called freedom?
An essay on America
For unhurried minds
by Jon Rappoport
October 27, 2010
The free, powerful, intensely creative, and moral individual is the ideal that flows from the meaning of the American Republic.
When that ideal is abandoned, what replaces it is the individual who has the LICENSE to do anything—to diminish, manipulate, and control the freedom of another.
The difference between freedom and license is the difference between living blood in the veins, versus a synthetic plastic approximation. The android thus created always yearns for the real thing, and in its absence, he drives himself into a state of anarchic frustration, violence, and the desire to enact revenge.
The “man of license,” not freedom, forms a character that is at once servile and self-assertive, meek and bloated, guilt-ridden and criminally aggressive.
And what flows from that? The entirely artificial, enterprising, cheating, skulking, compromising, self-flagellating, miserable, brutal, aggrandizing, masochistic citizen—often found in, among many other places, positions of leadership. In government, business, law, academia.
Do you need a better formula for creating criminals?
A society packed with such persons is going to carry out the vision of a self-sufficient nation and individual at about the same rate of success as a colony of primates is going to give birth to Thomas Paine.
From “the man of license” came a parade of crimes:
The rise of the robber barons, the slave-wage conditions in factories; the continuation of black slavery; Indian conquests; the monopolistic practices that led to secret control over entire industries; the capture of the US financial system; the yellow/tabloid American press; criminal corporate adventurism in foreign lands; the support of foreign dictatorships; so-called nation-building; false-flag operations aimed at casting blame on the wrong parties; endless wars; covert intelligence operations targeting both foreign opponents and American citizens; support of death squads to forward US corporate goals abroad; the surrender of our borders; the rise of massive entitlements; the enshrinement of victimhood; rigged elections; the bankrupting of the nation; the manipulation of markets; engineered recessions and depressions; misplaced tolerance shown toward aggressive religious fundamentalisms; the descent into state corporatism and socialism; shadow governments…
These and other acts all stem from one basic cause: the flight from the notion and reality of the free, powerful, moral, and intensely creative individual. And the substitution of the man of license.
The doors were opened to manipulation on every level. The crimes and the conspiracies to commit crimes have not ended and will never end, so long as the truly free individual is a dead issue in the eyes of walking dead men.
Few historians have grasped the import of George Washington’s final warning, to the American people, to avoid entangling foreign alliances. The ignorance on this point is staggering.
It is clear that America could have found a way to remove itself from foreign affairs to such a degree that it would have constructed, at home, a society the likes of which has never been seen on the face of the Earth:
A moral and ethical society, devoted to the inculcation of as many free and powerful individuals as possible, none of whom would be tempted to cheat, lie, and steal his way “to the top.” Which is to say, a SELF-SUFFICIENT country, in all conceivable ways. Raw materials, manufacturing, industry, agriculture, technology.
And in this society, there would have been swift and strong punishment for any person, company, or corporation that decided to circumvent the law and commit criminal acts by hindering or fraudulently repressing any individual.
A free and powerful and creative individual, contrary to popular myths, has an ethical stature which legislates against perverse actions undertaken at the expense of others.
Let me present a theoretical, fictional example of what George Washington called foreign entanglement—except I’ll cast it in the form of US corporate action. We have a nation, X. In X, for a thousand years, land ownership has been a matter of tribal squabbles, bloody conflicts, and periodic land takeovers by strong-armed government administrations, many of which have fallen as a result of revolutions. We also have a few powerful families who have owned the bulk of the nation’s arable land for several centuries and employ private armies and death squads to maintain control of the land and the virtual slaves who work it. Into this situation steps US corporation Y. It is seeking to purchase and lease land for the production of grain. It has to deal with the present dictator, who is more than happy to make an arrangement, for the right price (bribe). He will also help defend these corporate lands with his sadistic police and repel protestors by killing them. Corporation Y also pays off several tribal leaders to stay away from these leased lands. The tribal leaders will, of course, need better weapons. These are forthcoming. The tribes will kill each other with them, on the side. Then the corporation hires a security group which supplies mercenaries. Then the dictator, who is basically a bloodthirsty lunatic, decides he wants bigger bribe money, and a new highway built from the central airport right to his palace. Eventually, corporation Y, which is receiving intelligence from a local CIA bureau, decides the dictator is too large a headache, so discussions begin about a military coup. However, the new leader would have close ties to a group that wants to nationalize oil fields. In this, he is supported by several terrorist regimes who have already paid him large sums of money…
There was no way to avoid these realities once corporation Y entered the scene, if they wanted to make a handsome profit on their investment. They had come into a society that was brutal and criminal on many levels.
Are we really to believe that Washington, Jefferson, Paine, and Madison would have sanctioned and applauded this kind of dealing as “the expression of free enterprise?”
Through the propaganda mills, we are fed a constant stream of persuasion masked as fact, which assures us that, without each other, globally, we will all go down. The whole world. We are one planet with one need—each other. The idea that one people in one country could achieve an overall self-sufficiency is considered dangerous insanity.
Instead, we must somehow merge with peoples and nations who have a long history of oppression, violence, murder, and a grossly limited or absent concept of individual freedom.
Behind this propaganda operation sits the aim of melting us down into one mass of humanity. No one stands out. We all are reduced down to lowest common denominators. No one has power. No one is truly free, because freedom is ALWAYS taken at the expense of someone else. Freedom means criminality.
This is the myth.
Against all this, let me juxtapose another fictional illustration, an entry written in a journal by an educated American citizen in the year 1880—living in a nation that had rejected ANY business or government dealing with any foreign country, that had remained, yes, completely isolated, and had dedicated itself to the free, powerful, moral, and intensely creative individual, as the ideal of the Republic. In this alternative America, the “man of license” had been squashed and sidelined.
“It was apparent to us, from the beginning of the Republic, that, in order to carry out the mandate of freedom, difficult choices would have to be made.
“Tom Paine eventually carried the banner of George Washington by convincing us that engaging in foreign trade, any foreign trade, would be a mistake that would compound into further, more serious errors. Not through government, but through business, we would inevitably be drawn back into the circle of corruption and old enmities among groups and nations. How could we walk into a decadent swamp without incurring infection?
“The debates on this point were heated. In the end, Paine and Madison gave us a picture of an alternative: We would turn inward and utilize our burgeoning productive capacity to do business within our own borders, thus enriching the lives of our own citizens. It would be a step, Paine said, toward the establishment of the first wholly self-sufficient nation in human history—and this example would shine brightly for the rest of the world.
“An equally difficult problem was the so-called Indian Proposition, because it involved negotiating and signing land and border treaties with a number of tribes. The expansion westward had provoked armed conflicts with several of these tribes. In the aftermath, a group of us was able to influence Congress to declare a cessation of warfare, on the notion that no ethical people should countenance bloodshed when diplomacy might carry the day. In the end, it did, and I firmly believe we are the better for it. Does the new free man on this continent wish to carry on the warring tradition of his European ancestors? Is that what we stand for?
“The abolition of slavery in 1807, again led by Paine, who had spoken out against it years earlier, during the Constitutional debates, provoked a radical alteration in the economy of the South. Cotton plantations were converted into farms, fruit orchards, and cattle ranches, and the South, accepting workers from the North as long-term leaseholders and part-owners of their own acreage, became the Food Basket of the nation, wealthy beyond all expectation.
“Now, we have a new enterprise, and it may bring us all into an unimaginable future. Following experiments conducted by several companies off the Northeast Coast, it has been announced that the flow of powerful currents in ocean narrows can be harnessed to produce immense quantities of electricity, and there is the prospect that this electricity can be transmitted considerable distances over land. Nearly a hundred promising locations on the East Coast and along our Southern shores are candidates for the innovation. There is the vision of thus developing enough energy for the entire Republic.
“I recall some words written by Mr. Paine shortly before his death: ‘There will come a day when we Americans, through our ingenuity, make scientific discoveries that stagger the soul and delight the mind. Our first tendency will be to profit from these inventions by peddling them abroad, in violation of our promise to resist foreign trade of any kind. Instead, this is what I suggest, and I believe it will make a point. Offer the theoretical innovations, the blueprints, in pure unrealized form, to the rest of the world, as our gift, and let them make of it what they will. My calculation is they will further their intentions to benefit the few at the expense of the many, because that is their way, the old way. Let them. To withhold our advances and try to protect them against all outside discovery will only raise the enmity of others toward us, and it will tempt some of us to deliver this knowledge in secrecy—a thing to be avoided at all cost.’
“Mr. Paine concluded: ‘We are a nation of builders and creators, and we have inherited this ability from our own joy in discovering what true freedom is, and enshrining it in the highest ramparts of our imaginations. We are close on the time when the entire territory of these United States will be blooming with abundance of every type. Then, however, we will not stop. We will go on, and in doing so we will continue to give shape to the freedom we earned. The greatness of this present campaign, I note, has come with never a sacrifice of the individual to the mob. In fact, it was and is individual genius that has sustained us all along, and will continue to reflect our devotion to that very principle, against which we may judge the propriety, reason, and common sense of any action. Our nation is alive at the very core, and may it always remain so.’
“In certain respects, Mr. Paine’s prediction was correct. As we have made our brilliant scientific inventions available to foreign nations, in blueprint form, those nations have utilized them to the ends tyrannies always do. But gradually, there has arisen, abroad, a notion that America needs to be understood at a more profound level. It is not so much that the fruits from our tree of liberty should be plucked at random; instead, these foreign peoples are learning that they must undergo a revolution of mind. They must dedicate themselves to the free individual, just as we did. They must engage in a new philosophy, whereby Free, Powerful, Moral, Creative, Individual are all the joining fires of their own liberty. They are heartened. They realize this philosophy is more than mere dreaming and useless speculation, because for the first time in human history, a nation has brought those ideas to life and sustained them, on its own soil. Our isolation was never bound in hatred of the human being, but only constituted an aversion to the age-old practices that brought pain, suffering, and destruction, as men considered they had License to commit any crimes and call those crimes just and proper. This is what we built walls against. And now we are the example, the living proof of a different way.
“We are strong. Our defenses against invasion and subterfuge are unshakable. We entertain no illusions that our very example to the rest of the world is alone sufficient to protect us.
“We go about our lives and our work, knowing how great our freedom is, and we look forward to the day when other peoples and nations will show us that they, too, have crossed their own chasms of despair. On that day, there will be no need for treaties or alliances. Firm friendship will suffice.
“To the rest of the world we say: This is who we are. This is what we have done. Our hopes go out to you. There is no sacrifice we can make to bring you into a new state of mind. That is your own prospect. Your attainments must be your own. There is no other path, because freedom, by its very nature, cannot be a gift. Build your own compass and navigate by it. If we are your North Star, our happiness is thereby increased…”
Could such an America have existed? I believe the answer revolves around the distinction between the free individual and the “individual of license.” That is the philosophical and psychological crux of the American Republic, and it was a debate that never took place in serious terms.
America, indeed, entangled itself in foreign adventures and alliances in many ways. It succumbed to a self-defeating version of free enterprise, and it paid the price.
Dare we even think about trying to restore what American could have been, at this late date? For such a massive and seeming impossible task, we first need to envision and comprehend the Ideal, the North Star, and in this article I have presented a preliminary sketch of it.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.