“As this is in the order of nature, the order of Government must necessarily follow it, or Government will, as we see it does, degenerate into ignorance”
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
Isolation, an unwillingness to allow dissent, and a refusal to acknowledge realities that don’t line up with ideologies makes for ignorant governance.
“Where knowledge is a duty, ignorance is a crime”
One crucial component of maintaining a free society and Democratic Republic is the sense of responsibility of the people to maintain their own civil freedom and that of the society at large. The responsibility to participate at some level and remain aware of what their government is doing in their name.
When we become ignorant of the actions of our government and subsequently come to find they have curtailed our freedoms and abused our rights, the crimes of the state become, if we fail to take action against them, crimes of the people as well. Ignorance is no excuse in a truly free society.
Where then, is the outrage?
“Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.”
-Thomas Paine, Common Sense
History is replete with immediacies that made oppression of human rights and dignity convenient. There is little in the best of American history that lends itself much to convenience, but instead from the determined striving of the human spirit.
The only way to preserve and defend the nation is to never forfeit the Constitution and the founding principals of America to the convenience of the day.
The idea of the supremacy of human rights is the key to the survival of a nation and every age would have its excuse to forego the harder road of protecting and advancing that idea.
Making it easy does not make it right.
“Among ridiculous things nothing is more ridiculous than ridiculous rage”
– Thomas Paine
Life is hard enough. In living from one day to the next, much of what comprises our outlook and general mood is entirely up to each one of us.
Every life is filled with, at a minimum, mild irritants, inconveniences, and disappointments.
How we choose to deal with not only the extraordinary circumstances we may encounter in a lifetime, but the daily visisitudes of our lives – the daily grind – that is, in large part, the measure of who we are.
Nobody wants to hang with anyone that’s pissed-off all the time.
“There is a general and striking difference between the genuine effects of truth itself, and the effects of falsehood believed to be truth. Truth is naturally benign; but false-hood believed to be truth is always furious. The former delights in serenity, is mild and persuasive, and seeks not the auxiliary aid of invention. The latter sticks at nothing. It has naturally no morals. Every lie is welcome that suits its purpose. It is the innate character of the thing to act in this manner, and the criterion by which it may be known, whether in politics or religion. When any thing is attempted to be supported by lying, it is presumptive evidence that the thing so supported is a lie also. The stock on which a lie can be grafted must be of the same species as the graft.”
-Thomas Paine, Letter to the People of the United States, FederalCity, Lovett’s Hotel, Nov. 26, 1802
The truth need not be coerced, forced, or threatened. The truth is not supported by manipulation, obfuscation, or deception. And the truth bears no allegiance to anything but itself.
If you have to force truth down too many people’s throats, then maybe it isn’t true.