"Because we fear the responsibility for our actions,
we have allowed ourselves to develop the mentality of slaves.
Contrary to the stirring sentiments of the Declaration of Independence,
we now pledge "our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor"
not to one another for our mutual protection, but to the state,
whose actions continue to exploit, despoil, and destroy us."
by:
Butler D. Shaffer
Professor, Southwestern University School of Law
Date:
June 9, 2003
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
What Americans today need more than anything else is the courage to be independent and personally responsible for taking care of ourselves instead of expecting the State to provide for us.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I've read this quote over a couple more times and I would love to give it 5 more stars at least. WOW, what an accurate depiction, absolutely defining the difference between the noble Representative Republic (the Declaration as well as Art. 4 Sec. 4, etc.) as was written and intended and the democracy, socialism, and/or fascism of today.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I agree NYC but we also need to be pro-active in the running of the state as Shaffer infers – perhaps now with a new house and senate things may change for the better (they definitively couldn’t get any worse).
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    Yeah right Robert. How might that happen? We traded big government, power-hungry, neocons for big government, power-hungry socialists. I'm sure things are gonna get better ... NOT.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
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     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    Well said quote. Sad and true.
     -- Me Again     
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    "Because we fear the responsibility for our actions, we have allowed ourselves to develop the mentality of slaves." When we foment revolution, we had better be sure that revolution is what is needed, because otherwise we engage in vain mental acrobatics, while possibly bringing about the results for which we would not choose to be responsible, if we had thought better of it. Have your revolution, if you must, but you will be responsible for the results.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    David, I am with you on that. The revolution we need is that of non-violence, education, and a free press. Namely stop the propoganda sound bites, lavished as news, and the dummying down of America; teach: personal responsibility is far superior to slavery, what individual sovereignty means, what the principles are that the founders relied on to write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, history so we're not doomed to relive the degradation, all political forms of collectivism are destructive, integrity, morality, religion, math, science (all philosophies of creation), etc. What is your suggestion to reverse the absolutism of the quote?
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I would not want to reverse the quote. I would prefer to reinvent humanity.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    Mike: I was training to infiltrate Cuba to assasinate certain figures and hopefully to start a general uprising. No kidding. I live in South Florida and have been associated with a number of like-minded fellows. But then I stumbled over the inconvenience of the word of God, which threw a monkey wrench into those plans. That happened just recently. Although I am still struggling to make sense of various points and issues, it seems more clear than not that one may either be a follower of Christ or one may be a political assassin. Or maybe I am just being picky. Anyway, just living in modern society makes Christianity a precarious endeavor, in various ways, and not simple. What I am driving at is that the psychology of Christ is not entirely compatible with political ideology, even of the better sort. So, what am I supposed to tell anyone about whether they should have a revolution? Should many of our political figures be hung, drawn and quartered, tarred and feathered, and impaled? Probably. But it aint my job.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    David, the Constitution and the principles it was founded on were drawn from a spiritual history relayed in the Bible. Few non Christians and fewer self proclaimed Christians understand or want such knowledge or the blessings related to liberty. Just as a man standing in his garage screaming 'honk' doesn't make him a Chevy; a man going to church, declaring his acceptance doesn't make him a Christian. It's a spiritual knowledge beyond the physical and intellectual. My personal belief is that as many, if not more, non Christians have that spiritual burning of liberty and later, when confronted by Christ will say: "hmmm, oh". It is for we who know Christ (or not) and liberty to be tireless advocates for individual freedom (in all its many applications).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Ok. Tar and feathers it is.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
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    David and Mike, I have gone through the same struggles in trying to mesh my faith with my love of and strong beliefs in liberty. There are very few people in modern Christianity who you can ask these questions to. Much of the modern church was changed by communist influences in the first half of the 20th century, so much of the spirit of our Christian founders has been lost. A good source of information on this topic is David Barton's Wallbuilders organization (http://www.wallbuilders.com/). PS: Tar and feathering is a tradition which needs to be revived. Although some in politics deserve hanging, I would be OK with tar and feathers as long as they are run out of Washington forever.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
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    My undying thanks to Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Paine,and the other great Deists who founded our country.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Absolutely a very eloquent and defining statement! We need to work vigorously to unbind the chains of our servitude to Big Brother Government and restore our unalienable rights of personal responsibility, free will and personal choice.
     -- Mary - MI     
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    jim, my thanks go our to all those that work vigorously to unbind the chains of our servitude, no matter their religious persuasion.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Dennis Kolb, Warrenton,NC.      
     
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