Article Tools

Thoughts on the state of government.

To Whom It May Concern: Thoughts on Modern Government in the United States

15 April 2009

To Whom It May Concern,

While watching the Tea Party demonstrations on Fox News, I heard someone in San Antonio say, “We would rather cut off our right arm than live under tyranny.” Being a college student studying Western Civilization, I have to ask the question: Do the names Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Voltaire mean anything to anyone anymore?

These men had ideas that we all hold dear, as did the founding fathers of our country. In fact, they based our government on the philosophies of Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Voltaire. They were the radical thinkers of their day. Who, through common sense and reason, were able to bring about change to the people of Europe that was desperately needed, then and now (In the U.S.), in my opinion.

They put forth a radical idea: Everyone is equal and everyone has natural rights: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of all the property they could acquire by their own means.[1]” (It was changed to the pursuit of happiness in our Declaration of Independence). Most importantly, no government should be allowed to infringe upon these rights, and if it does, then the people have the right and obligation to rise up and throw off the oppression.

Furthermore, they all agree that the government should do the work of the people whom they represent. I fail to see how the federal government of the United States is governing this country for the greater good of the populace. There are many events that are transpiring, which parallel events from the fall of the Roman Empire and the age of absolutism that led to the French Revolution. The old adage that says those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to re-live it seems to be holding true.

The events that led to the fall of great empires that survived and thrived for centuries, are forgotten. We are going to relive the chaos that always ensues when a great civilization fails and I truly believe it is imminent. The government is spending money as though they have a secret stash of trees that bare golden apples.

I don’t even know where to start pointing out the similarities to the past in this way of destructive thinking, but I will give some food for thought. Let us list a few of those similarities. High unemployment, an economy that is in the gutter, food prices that are rising, the government spending money that it does not have, non-equality in taxation, non-equality in application of the law, and people who believe they are nobility and above the middle and lower classes. Do any of these facts sound familiar to anyone? They are from two thousand years in the past and they were repeated in the mid/late eighteen hundreds.

During the time immediately preceding the French Revolution and the fall of Rome, all these events transpired. The people rose up and made a change because they were fed up and decided not to let it continue and in the case of Rome, it left them open to outside forces.

Citizens today are not remembering the past either. They think and rightly so, they cannot make a difference. With the laws the way they are, a revolution could never occur in this day and age. The government would never allow it to happen. Any group that tried to organize would be labeled as domestic terrorists and arrested. I would love to continue this examination; however, I have work to do. I am trying to make my life better, if that is possible living in this country.

Cordially,

Jerry Proulx

A Worried Citizen

John Locke Two Treatises on Government, You should read the whole thing to get the big picture. The other men named in this paper are worth reading also.