By most accounts, Homo sapiens first appeared 300,000 years ago. According to science we have as of this writing, the first empire, Mesopotamia, appeared around 2330 B.C.E., and while it has been said that earlier kings had existed, because Mesopotamia is considered the first Empire, King Sargon of Akkad holds the official title of “first king” in history because Mesopotamia rose to power and became an Empire under his rule.
As you let that sink in for a moment, consider the incredibly larger point, which suggests that Homo sapiens were doing just fine without kings for upwards of 295,000 years before Sargon of Akkad came along. The story of Sargon’s rise is well enough explained in many places, but even a quick skim through his story brings to light a simple truth; once power and control are established and maintained over a population, it is nearly impossible to be free of it and inevitably requires bloodshed and war to do so.
The story of kings, pharaohs, emperors, tyrants, dictators, and even presidents and prime ministers has a consistent theme that runs through it, in all of human history wherever there has been slavery and subjugation it is the inevitable collapse under the weight of ruling class vanities and self-indulgences that empires are brought to their knees and the people that do the heavy lifting of sustaining the Empire always become collateral damage and suffer the greatest losses of human life.
There have been subjects and slaves since there have been Kings and Emperors but, before that, there were only free, self-determinant human beings. Take a moment to think about that, trying to visualize what it must have been like for free and self-determinant people at that moment when they had these things taken from them by force. It is worth the time to conduct such a thought experiment because, after thousands of years of slavery and subjugation, hard-working and humble people rose up and took back their freedom by force from a despotic and tyrannical King.
While certainly not the only time in history that a rebellion led to the overthrow of a king, what separates the American Revolution from most of the others is what happened after the victory in the war against her King. Instead of a new king ascending to the throne, a new nation – of, by, and for her people – was founded on the principled notion that our rights come from higher powers than kings and governments, and was built on the promise that every citizen had equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Intentionally waiting until this point in the essay, I think it is a good time to discuss the elephant in the room as it relates to the piles of mistakes our young nation made in her first three generations. In order to get to the ultimate point of this essay, it is incumbent upon me to bring readers through the confrontation between uncomfortable truths and irrefutable facts. To start things off let’s consider the so-called “Progressive” bludgeons being employed to shame essential American wisdom into a full retreat from everything the nation stands for today and erode the will of her people to stand up against those intending to overthrow the nation and cast it into a Socialist / Marxist abyss.
The fundamental premise in which the protest movement(s) of the 2010s and 2020s is couched relies heavily on the flawed assertion that, because the Founding Fathers and constitutional constructionists, in many cases, owned slaves, today’s new age generations of “seditionists” believe that the nation which arose from the Revolution is illegitimate and must be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. And the reason I suggest this assumption is flawed is based on those pesky little “uncomfortable truths” which inform us that – in the 1700s- slavery was a long-held and worldwide practice, the beginnings of which date back to the earliest days of civilization and society. As well, most of the arguments supporting the call to punish the actions of people, dead for over 250 years, is that they lived long enough to use the power of a newly-formed Nation to begin eliminating the scourge of slavery and oppression from the world.
It is worth sharing here a passage from our first book, “Unwashed Philosophy: A User’s Guide To Our Imperfect Union”, because it points out several of these uncomfortable truths so easily ignored in today’s broken National discourse: “Consider the historical events of the infant American Nation in the early years after the Constitution and Bill of Rights had been codified on paper and emblazoned in the hearts and minds of her people. 12 years after George Washington was sworn in, we bought the Louisiana territories from the French, and 5 years later, we abolished the Atlantic slave trade. Four years after that, we were at war with Britain again, and this conflict would last three years. Over the next 40 years, we fought the resistance of the indigenous peoples, expanded our presence across the territories, bought a huge swath of Mexican land, added stars to the National flag, and brought in waves of immigrants from other countries, all of whom wanted nothing more than a better life in a land of promise that guaranteed individual freedom and liberty and the opportunity to pursue their own flavors of happiness.”
One need look no further than the first three generations, give or take, of America’s own National evolution and her campaigns of siege, conquest, and subjugation. Nor will I attempt to twist myself into knots over any effort to inject any sort of “American Nation apologia” here regarding the obvious parallels between Joshua’s re-taking of the Promised Land and America’s taking of its own “Promised Land”; inasmuch as our modern-day history, revisionists strive to weaponize the actions of our founders and the first several generations that proceeded from theirs. Fundamentally, Homo Sapiens continue to exist today singly because of our continued submission to the Darwinian primal imperatives of survival and reproduction. A perfect example of an “irrefutable fact”, as mentioned above, suggests that underneath the bluster of soldiers and uniforms and War is the underlying instinct to consider those who might be in competition with us over acquiring the means necessary to survive.
Serving as both “uncomfortable truth” and “irrefutable fact,” the human race can be separated into one of two necessarily- opposing groups; the “conqueror” and the “conquered.” As we set about settling and expanding our territories, dating all the way back to 1620, we undertook our campaign of Siege and Conquest because that is what humans do. We conquered and took control over the lands and the people that inhabited them as part of building one nation, all of which every person would be a part of, each having equal access to the same rights and privileges associated with being an American. But it is obvious to any honest person that our early Generations did not live up to the initial American promise which suggested that ” all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” To be sure, terrible things were done to slaves and the indigenous peoples in the early years of settling this Nation, as it has been with every other Rising nation in the history of humankind.
Were there problems? Yes. Were there flaws and imperfections? Yes. Did we make mistakes back then, and a whole bunch more ever since? Absolutely. And, even after a civil war, was there ever a time – before 1960 at least – that the American people wanted to burn the whole thing to the ground, proclaiming that everything about it was evil, and always had been, demanding that all record and reference of our very existence in history be wiped clean and disavowed? I’m pretty sure the answer here is an emphatic no. What we did about our mistakes, as a nation, was use the power of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, exercising the free will of the self-determinant citizenry (through their duly elected representatives) to make right as many of our wrongs as humanly possible. And until recently we had a great deal to celebrate and be proud of. But all of that changed with the election of Joe Biden.
There were plenty of warning signs if we had wanted to see them for what they were when they started to appear with the death of George Floyd. And, if I’m being honest, it really started even before that with the death of Trayvon Martin and the general rise of Barack Obama-inspired angst against much of our long-held American governing systems. Whichever of these events are the true trigger for our current state of the nation, what really matters now is where Joe Biden’s presidency is going to take America next.
It is fair to suggest that the beginning stages of the Biden Administration were nothing more than a continuation of the Obama years, interrupted by that pesky little “orange man” that got in the way of all the progress they had made. With Trump out of the way, Joe Biden told us in his inauguration speech that the greatest threat to our democracy was “white supremacists”. The biggest problem with that claim is that, with the end of the Jim Crow era, “white supremacy” as it was originally conceived effectively extincted itself with the rise of interracial relationships and reproduction as the sixties generation came to the fore.
White supremacy was always about racial purity. That proponents were anti-black racists is clear enough but, offering another uncomfortable truth, there is an element of racism within every other racial group as well; racism exists within the black, brown, yellow, red, AND white communities. Racial purity long ago disappeared in the Caucasian community while the pursuit of it remains fairly high in the Asian and Middle Eastern communities and, to a lesser extent, in some of the Hispanic and indigenous communities. You rarely hear about that, however, because it doesn’t fit the current equity and inclusion narratives regarding racial supremacy and its threat to democracy.
With no basis in statistical fact regarding the size and scope of “white supremacy” in America, it is one of the great lies this President and his Progressive Marxist cohorts continue bundling together with racism – an altogether different and much more pernicious and widespread stain on our society and culture – for the single and deeply cynical purpose of driving a wedge between us hoping to peel off enough votes from the fearful and most vulnerable in order to remain in power.
It is often said that we are products of our environment, but the truth of this extends beyond the sky above our heads, the Earth beneath our feet, the air we breathe, or the plants and animals with whom we coexist. We are also the product of the communities in which we live and the systems of governance with which we have to contend in order to survive and thrive. What effect can we fairly say our communities and systems of governance have had on the people we have become?
As it has been since the dawn of humankind, our families and our communities provide our first glimpses of what life is and how it should be lived. As we grow and mature, these early sets of instruction form our personal understanding of right and wrong, human decency, personal responsibility, self-respect, and understanding of the notions of reward and punishment. These are the irrefutable facts of our species and are not meted out on any sort of sliding scale depending on the color of our skin or the nation in which we were born.
Once we leave our family home and engage our governing systems we are confronted with demands of us that, all too often, contradict or countermand everything we came to understand during our developmental years. There is an abundance of reasons why this might be, not the least of which is the influences of society and popular culture in which we become immersed according to the larger communities we move into and attempt to engage as we settle into our chosen adult lives. Over time, influenced by local members of the community, media influences (print, social, or broadcast), social interactions, and the rules and guidelines of the particular community of which we become a part, we eventually become products of that environment.
It is at this point in our socio-political development that the weakest and most fearful among us become the most susceptible to the louder and more powerful voices of rebellion, anarchy, and violence and offers the greatest opportunity for many of us to be led astray by ideas we were raised to resist but nonetheless become enamored with because of the allure of the romantic notions of being part of something bigger than ourselves. This is an inherent trait within all of us, just as it was with the generation of our founders, but- left unchecked – giving in to the temptation to pursue self-destructive ideas inevitably leads to self-destruction.
Frank Herbert suggested, in an essay published in 1983, that he came to believe “evolution, or deevolution[sic], never ends short of death, that no society has ever achieved an absolute pinnacle, that all humans are not created equal. In fact, I believe attempts to create some abstract equalization create a morass of injustices that rebound on the equalizers. Equal justice and equal opportunity are ideals we should seek, but we should recognize that humans administer the ideals and that humans do not have equal ability.”
What Herbert is describing here is precisely the nature of America’s current dysfunction. The first generation of our founders, and the ten generations or so that followed, did increasingly better jobs at defending and protecting justice and equality and they did so with a mostly shared understanding and respect for the rule of law. The strength and wisdom of the big shoulders upon which this nation rests carried us through the best and the worst times a nation can subject itself to, each time learning from, and improving itself, because of the mistakes it has made over time. The challenge in front of us today, with so much angst and hatred pointed at elements of the population has ginned up an insidious malevolence and directed it toward the very systems of governance that brought them to power, to begin with.
I don’t label these forces as “seditious” lightly or without great consideration; it is a painful thing for me to watch a generation of well-educated American citizens, elected to public office according to our long-held systems of governance, only to see them pursue the collapse of our representative Republic – of, by, and for the people- with the stated objective of establishing the equivalent of a Marxist, or Democratic Socialist, state under a rewritten Constitution that returns power to the state which will determine the scope and types of freedoms to which the citizenry will be entitled. This system of governance is precisely what we fought a revolution to rid ourselves of, and it is not one the vast majority of America will allow itself to return to without an incredibly costly, bloody, and devastating fight.
Before our very eyes, our governing systems effectively embarked on a campaign of siege and conquest over its own people. The scope and magnitude of this selective revocation of our rights and freedoms have been unfolding, in slow motion, certainly, since the Federal power grab inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic, and absolutely includes significant influencers recycled from the Obama Administration. Policies and actions, enabled by declarations of “emergency powers” over the people, unleashed a whirlwind of power grabs at the federal and state level and incrementally crushed the self-determinant rights of “we, the people”. With the stroke of a pen, and not a single drop of blood spilled, the government we stood up to began in earnest to turn against us and set about the overthrow of every facet of our lives.
In the Darwinian context, humankind’s unquenchable thirst for siege and conquest can never be sufficiently slaked because it is innate in the human species, and we have an inherently limitless capacity for it. The only difference between those who lived at the dawn of man, and those of us living today, is our so-called “culturally -refined “and “socially-enlightened” ability to rationalize the death, destruction, and elimination of those perceived to be weaker and inferior and therefore worthy of subjugation and enslavement. This is the nature of the people we elected who now consider the American people to be incapable of deciding for themselves how to live our lives without their oversight and intervention and therefore worthy of subjugation and enslavement. With their self-assigned universal powers now firmly in place within our governing systems, their scorched-earth battle strategy is making its final push to overthrow the people.
While Joe Biden proclaims he is fighting for the soul of the American Nation, he fails to mention that the fate of the soul of a nation rests singly in the hands of the Creator, not the state or Central ruling Authority. As well, he and his administration completely ignore what our founding fathers acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence which asserted that each of us has certain inalienable rights and these rights come from that creator, not from Men.
The fate of the soul of the American Nation is not yet known by we mere mortals, the nature of the current fight is what it is, what we do know is that, once the smoke is cleared and the bodies removed from the battlefield, there will be a Victor and there will be a vanquished. Ancient Roman poet Quintus Ennius once said “The victor is not victorious if the vanquished does not consider himself so.” we will know soon enough which one is which in the battle for our national soul, but given what we’ve been through since 1776, betting on “we, the people” offers the better odds.