Monday, December 8, 2008

The Revolution

The American Revolution can be summed up in the argument of Patrick Henry on why Virginia should send troops to aid George Washington:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

A great slogan for a war of revolution- but not so great an axiom to build a culture on.  And yet, that's what we in America tried to do; we tried to build a culture off of this campaign slogan.  Oh, changes got made over the years- give me liberty became give me profit (for only the independently wealthy can truly have liberty- all else are slaves to the owners of their debt) and give me death became let no human life stand in my way (from abortion of babies so that their teen mothers will stay in school, to the incredible rape of Iraq for profit, to the terminally ill commiting suicide in Oregon so that the next generation won't be burdened with the high cost of the last 6 months of life).  But this slogan is the basis of American Culture- and the precursor to the Culture of Death.  

For what else is at the center of the culture of death, if not the willingness to put short term ideals and short term profit right smack up against Human Life?

So in belated response to Patrick Henry, yes, Human Life is so dear that it should not be sacrificed so lightly for the short term profit of Liberty.  Especially if it is not your own, but rather your neighbor's life that you are sacrificing.

That said, I'm not totally against war, nor would I have been against the Revolution.  I just think liberty alone, profit alone, is poor trade for human life.

2 comments:

mercedo said...

Non violence is the basis of democracy.

Ted Seeber said...

I believe Thomas Jefferson would disagree with you on that score- for in his day, only with violence could you get a democracy to begin with. Then again, he was against Democracy, as most of the Federalists were- "tyranny of the majority" frightened them. And so the United States is not today a democracy in any sense of the term.

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