e-Article No. 1

Empire of Reasone-Article No. 1

July 4, 2020

From: Connecticut Committee of Correspondence(1)

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Article of FaithBy Mark Albertson

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The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure. . Thomas Jefferson.[2]

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Known popularly as the Declaration of Independence, in lieu of its actual title, The unanimousDeclaration of the thirteen united States of America,[3] is considered this Nation’s founding document . . . it’s Article of Faith. Penned in a literary style that is imaginative in a most captivating fashion (a seemingly lost art when one takes in account the mucilage which passes for the contemporary use of the English language, as is painfully evident when one reads his or her emails); while at the same time, denoting a catechism of ideals which formed the basis of American Exceptionalism—as opposed to that empty credo of crass consumerism and non-intellectual pursuits which seems to pervade the modern American culture; therefore, blinding the citizenry to their obligations required to maintain a vibrant system of representative government, which at this stage of the American saga, no longer exists; but is expressed ad nauseum with lip service paid to such fictions as God Bless America, America the Beautiful and Mom’s Apple Pie, all of which died decades ago, suborned by a Corporate State which, since the Lewis Powell Memo at least, has—for all intents and purposes—consigned to the cusp of irrelevance the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

From coast to coast, family gatherings, outings, picnics and other forms of assembly will rarely acknowledge the words in a document that forged this Nation. We hold these Truthsto be self-evident. . . will instead be subsumed in beer, beans and baseball, as opposed to celebrating the fact that these words are cornerstones of our Grand Republic, an idea of nationhood based upon a form of government known as a Republic, the blueprint of which is the aforementioned Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America boasts a roster of oppressive grievances, pinned as if to the proverbial church door for all to see in 1776, damning the world’s ranking imperialist power, . . . the British Empire; while at the same time, setting the stage for a form of representative government, uniformly secular and free of allegiance to such outmoded concepts as control of the masses by religion or royalty, both of which were and still are the bane of freedom of thought, expression, liberty, rights and equality.
The American Manifesto of Dissent proved to be that impulse to action, spurring the revolutionaries of Europe to rise up in 1820-1821, 1829-1834 and, the 1848 Springtime of Nations. Glorious upheavals against decadent monarchs long in the tooth and short of any form of justification for their continued existence; backlashes to which the Grand Republic sent neither money nor men; just ideas endemic in an Article of Faith that is the true virtue of American Exceptionalism. As recently as 1945, the relevance of the Founding Document could be found in the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence, read publicly by Ho Chi Minh to a half million people in Hanoi, on September 2, 1945. The long arm of Jefferson’s effort must be accorded the appreciation required to engender an understanding of that message emblematic of the revolutionary change announced by recalcitrant upstarts conveying their displeasure and expectations of no longer wishing to express fealty to and remain subjects of the British crown.

Yet almost any July 4, 1776 commemoration is generally deficient in according the proper attention to the document that supplied much of the roster of grievances Thomas Jefferson listed in The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America. The document in question appeared the year before, is of greater length and more direct in its messaging towards revolt. And the title: The Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms.[4]

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An oppressed class, if not making efforts to learn to wield arms and to obtain them, only deserves to be treated as slaves. . . Vladimir Lenin.[5]

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For by 1775, the bridge of understanding between George III and the malcontents on the North American continent was becoming more and more like a rope of sand. For civil war had already started, patriotic colonists versus Tories/Loyalists. In addition to owing to the expense of stationing Red Coats in the outlying districts of the colonies, the British Government consolidated the occupation forces in the few cities available—Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston. . .

Yet throughout the colonies, in some places more than others, people rose up, pushing out crown-appointed administrators and forming Committees of Safety or Committees of Public Safety, forming their own militias to protect same. In 1917, in Petrograd, workers and soldiers, removed Czarist-administrators to take political control of city blocks or portions of the city, forming militias for security. As the Russian Revolution spread, so did change in political power from the bottom up. In the countryside, peasants, too, joined the upheaval, taking local control. Only in Russia, mechanisms of local political controlwere not called Committees of Public Safety, rather Soviets or councils. But the basic premise was the same, when comparing the American and Russian Revolutions.

In France, in 1790, as the National Assembly, which became the Constituent Assembly, gained more power, Crown-appointed administrators wereforced out of office in towns and cities across France, replaced by district assembles, backed by Lafayette’s National Guard, as power was being assumed from the bottom up. Indeed, this commonality in the American, French and Russian Revolutions must be appreciated for the historical and political significance. For in all three cases, the revolutionaries were threatening convention, the accepted mode of rule and society. The American revolutionary class was threatening the established governmental posture, royalty; as were the French. Only in the case of the French, where America was at odds with a single monarch and 3,000 miles from Europe, the French, in the belly of the beast, eventually came into conflict with the network of monarchs in Europe who were seeking to kill the ideas of the Age of Reason/Enlightenment in the French womb.

The Russians, led by Lenin’s Bolsheviks, also ran against the established convention, that of the industrialized, Capitalist states which saw in the tottering Romanovs, and later with the short-lived Provisional Government, a hope of crushing the Workers’ Revolution and keeping Russia in the war against Germany, no matter the expectations of the Russian people.
The aforementioned Revolutions went through periods of disorganization. Lenin organized the Russian Revolution when he took control of the Diet in January 1918 and proclaimed the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. France, really would not become unified until the Napoleonic dictatorship. In the American colonies, the spontaneous uprisings to effect local control could not, in the end, win a revolution. Organization was required. And the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America proved that method of cohesion. The fifty-six signatures from 13 colonies showed common purpose. A unity of effort that would, in the end, prove the measure of success.

There is more to this remarkable effort in political literature that goes beyond an understanding of it as a unifier for revolution. For with this Will to Freedom the Founders bequeathed to the future generations their Revolutionary Right. Found within such exquisite language as:

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty andthe pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes too destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not bechanged for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shown, thatMankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves byabolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when the long Train of Abuses andUsurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them underabsolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and toprovide new Guards for their future security.[6]

This Revolutionary Right or legacy from this Nation’s most Dynamic Generation, was fortified eighty-five years later, March 4, 1861:

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. . . First inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln.[7]
 

The American people, then, have that Revolutionary Right to effect a change in their government, by whatever means necessary to ensure their rights. It is there, in their Article of Faith. Their birth certificate of Nationalism. A legacy of birth of such regard as to supersede any other certificate of birth obtained from a city hall, hospital or house of worship.And all theAmerican public has to do is to read it!

Endnotes

[1] Committees of Correspondence were early revolutionary cells, specifically organized for revolutionary reeducation, for the manipulation of opinion, so as to lay the groundwork of resistance to the globe’s greatest imperialist power, the British Empire. “Sam Adams was the promoter of the first local committees on November 12, 1772, and within three months, Governor Hutchinson reported that there were more than eighty such committees in Massachusetts.” Committees of Correspondence formed the basis for the soon to follow Committees of Public Safety, as the road to revolution unfolded. See page 217, “Committees of Correspondence,” Concise Dictionary of American History, Editor, Wayne Andrews.

[2] Seepage 8, “Thomas Jefferson,” Wit and Wisdom of the American Presidents: A Book of Quotations, edited by Joslyn Pine.

[3] Thomas Jefferson, from Virginia, is known to history as the author of The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America. Yet he was one of a Committee of Five charged by the Continental Congress to write the document. The others being: John Adams, Massachusetts; Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania; Roger Sherman, Connecticut and Robert Livingston, New York.

[4] Thomas Jefferson co-authored this document with John Dickenson of Pennsylvania. The inflammatory nature of this work can be understood from the following passage:

We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation of even suspicion of offense. They boast of their privileges and civilization, and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.

In our own native land, in defense of the freedom that is our birth-right, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our forefathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.

[5] See page 98, Chapter III, “Our Party Has Successfully Led the Building of the People’s Revolutionary Armed Forces,” People’s War, People’s Army, by Vo Nguyen Giap.

[6] See page 27, In Congress, July 4, 1776: “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,” Founding Character: The Words & Documents That Forged a Nation, by Kirk Ward Robinson and Christopher Eaton.

[7] See page 222, First Inaugural Address,” Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, 1859-1865, The Library of America.

Bibliography

Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, 1859-1865, The Library of America, Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., New York, NY., 1989.

Andrews, Wayne, Concise Dictionary of American History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1962.

Giap, Vo Nguyen, People’s War, People’s Army, Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., New York, NY., 1962.

Pine, Joslyn, Editor, Wit and Wisdom of the American Presidents: A Book of Quotations, Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, NY., 2001.

Robinson, Kirk Ward and Eaton, Christopher, Founding Character: The Words & Documents That Forged a Nation, Roan Adler Publishers, Nashville, Tenn., 2003.

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