“Drastic change, under certain conditions, creates a proclivity for fanatical attitudes, united action, and spectacular manifestations of flouting and defiance; it creates an atmosphere of revolution”, wrote Eric Hoffer in The Ordeal of Change. Hoffer continues, “we are usually told that revolutions are set in motion to realize radical changes. Actually, it is drastic change which sets the stage for revolution. The revolutionary mood and temper are generated by the irritations, difficulties, hungers, and frustrations inherent in the realization of drastic change.” Whether we like it or not, our country is in the latter stages of this drastic change as an atmosphere of revolution has been deliberately forced upon us just as it was in 1773.
Benjamin Franklin described this atmosphere in his satirical essay Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One. Franklin wrote this essay with the assumption that the minister to whom his twenty rules are addressed wishes to reduce the extensive dominions that he must govern. Written two years before the American Revolution, Franklin presents these “rules” for dismantling an empire by enraging the colonists till they are driven to revolt. This essay represents the grievances espoused by the colonists towards the king and the British government.Franklin articulated the conditions necessary to create drastic change, which if followed, would result in an atmosphere of revolution.
While this was written in 1773, it easily parallels the conditions in which we find ourselves today. By highlighting a few of these “rules” and comparing them to polices and examples under the Obama administration, it becomes evidently clear that the stage is being set for history to repeat itself.
Beginning with rule VI, Franklin writes the following:
“Whenever the Injured come to the Capital with Complaints of Mal-administration, Oppression, or Injustice, punish such Suitors with long Delay, enormous Expence, and a final Judgment in Favour of the Oppressor. This will have an admirable Effect every Way. The Trouble of future Complaints will be prevented, and Governors and Judges will be encouraged to farther Acts of Oppression and Injustice; and thence the People may become more disaffected, and at length desperate.”
Franklin further notes in rule VII and VII:
“When such Governors have crammed their Coffers, and made themselves so odious to the People that they can no longer remain among them with Safety to their Persons, recall and reward them with Pensions. You may make them Baronets too, if that respectable Order should not think fit to resent it. All will contribute to encourage new Governors in the same Practices, and make the supreme Government detestable…. They [the Colonists] will probably complain to your Parliaments that they are taxed by a Body in which they have no Representative, and that this is contrary to common Right. They will petition for Redress. Let the Parliaments flout their Claims, reject their Petitions, refuse even to suffer the reading of them, and treat the Petitioners with the utmost Contempt. Nothing can have a better Effect, in producing the Alienation proposed; for though many can forgive Injuries, none ever forgave Contempt.”
The Internal Revenue Service, working in conjunction with the Department of Justice to target conservatives groups is a reflection of Franklin’s sixth and seventh rule. As Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch explains in recently uncovered internal DOJ documents revealing that “former IRS official Lois Lerner had been in contact with DOJ officials about the possible criminal prosecution of tax-exempt entities two full years before what the IRS conceded was its ‘absolutely inappropriate’ 2012 targeting of the organizations.” According to the newly obtained documents, Lerner met with top Obama DOJ Election Crimes Branch officials as early as October 2010.
“These new documents dramatically show how the Justice Department is up to its neck in the IRS scandal and can’t be trusted to investigate crimes associated with the IRS abuses that targeted Obama’s critics. And it is of particular concern that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses, is now implicated in the IRS crimes. No wonder the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“It is shameful how Establishment Washington has let slide by Obama’s abuse of the IRS and the Justice Department. Only as a result of Judicial Watch’s independent investigations did the American people learn about the IRS-DOJ prosecution discussions of Obama’s political enemies and how the IRS sent, in violation of law, confidential taxpayer information to the FBI and DOJ in 2010. Richard Nixon was impeached for less”, concludes Fitton.
So what happened to Lois Lerner and Eric Holder? Well, following up on Franklin’s sixth and seventh rules, not only were no criminal charges filed against Lerner, but she also got to keep her bonuses and retire with full benefits. Remember this too, she was held in contempt while also receiving over $129,000 in bonuses while she presided over the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups.
As for former Attorney General Eric Holder, he retired with an estimated net worth of over $11.5 million while also leaving behind a legacy of being the only AG in American history to have been held in criminal contempt of Congress for withholding documents over the gun running scandal Fast and Furious. Both Holder and Lerner were rewarded for their acts of oppression and injustice, the effect of which has encouraged new individuals within these agencies to continue their legacy of corruption.
These two agencies have treated their enemies, conservatives, with the utmost contempt, which has had the effect in producing the alienation proposed. As Franklin notes, “for though many can forgive Injuries, none ever forgave Contempt.”
Indeed, some us conservatives might still comfort ourselves and say, “Though we have no Property, we have yet something left that is valuable; we have constitutional Liberty both of Person and of Conscience”, writes Franklin, this comfort is sure to be annihilated. Franklin writes the following in rule X:
“To annihilate this Comfort, begin by Laws to perplex their Commerce with infinite Regulations impossible to be remembered and observed; ordain Seizures of their Property for every Failure; take away the Trial of such Property by Jury, and give it to arbitrary Judges of your own appointing, and of the lowest Characters in the Country, whose Salaries and Emoluments are to arise out of the Duties or Condemnations, and whose Appointments are during Pleasure. Then let there be a formal Declaration of both Houses, that Opposition to your Edicts is Treason.
And lest the People should think you cannot possibly go any farther, pass another solemn declaratory Act, that ‘King, Lords, and Commons had, hath, and of Right ought to have, full Power and Authority to make Statutes of sufficient Force and Validity to bind the unrepresented Provinces in all cases whatsoever.’ This will include Spiritual with temporal; and taken together, must operate wonderfully to your Purpose, by convincing them, that they are at present under a Power something like that spoken of in the Scriptures, which can not only kill their Bodies, but damn their Souls to all Eternity, by compelling them, if it pleases, to worship the Devil.”
Take for example the fact that in 2013 alone, the Code of Federal Regulations numbered over 175,000 pages with only a fraction of those pages involved in regulations based on something spelled out in legislation. Charles Murray in his new book By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission elaborates, “Whether we are trying to raise our children, be good stewards of our property, cooperate with our neighbors to solve local problems or practice our religious faith, the bureaucrats think they know better. And when the targets of the regulatory state say they’ve had enough, that they will fight it in court, the bureaucrats can—and do—say to them, Try that, and we’ll ruin you.”
“That’s the regulatory state as seen from ground level by the individual citizens who run afoul of it”, writes Murray. Government agencies unaccountable to the public now create the rules and regulations that are enforced by bureaucrats un-elected by the American people solely appointed by the President for his own condemnations. Lest we think that Obama cannot possibly go any further and take on the power of all three branches of our government, that’s precisely what he is doing. In late November this point was made by George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, a self described liberal law professor. Turley warned, “No president can take on the power of all three branches and that’s what he seems to be doing. He certainly seems to be taking on legislative authority. He isn’t being particularly coy about this, you know he says ‘this is what I wanted to get out of legislation and I’m going to do it on my own’ and that does become a government of one.”
Climate change regulations, illegal executive amnesty, Obamacare, and secretly negotiated trade deals are just a few of the plethora of examples in which Obama himself has assumed full power and authority to bind unrepresented American’s into following his dictates. Nowhere is this more relevant than with the three mega-treaties that Obama has been working on for the past six years, in complete secrecy, that the House recently approved to cede its power to the president in granting him the authority to “Fast Track” the deals thru congress.
As William Jasper of The New American writes, “America — and the world — are witnessing an extraordinary development. At least three hugely important mega-treaties are being lined up to be voted on soon in the U.S. Congress. They are the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). The texts of these agreements have been drafted in secrecy and remain secret today, except for portions that have been ‘illegally’ leaked to the public”, notes Jasper. “Moreover”, continues Jasper, “they have been designed as ‘living agreements’, which will continue to ‘evolve’ and mutate, in defiance of the most basic principle of the rule of law that its political advocates claim to champion. If passed, these secret, unconstitutional pacts disguised as ‘free trade’ agreements would have a profoundly destructive impact on America — economically, politically, and socially.”
What the president is doing is tearing at the very fabric of the constitution, not only with the soon to come passage of these deals, but with virtually every policy pushed under his administration. We have a separation of powers not created to protect the executive branch or the legislative branch, but to protect each and every individual American’s liberty. It was created to keep any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty. As Turley warned, “The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system, but he’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power in every single branch.”
We as a country have failed to heed this warning, for we have all but forgotten that it is drastic changes such as this that have set the stage for a revolution that is sure to come.