Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"a great mistake?" or a calling............

"We are anxious to force free government on all; and I see that it has been urged in a very respectable quarter, that is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the world, and especially over this continent.  It is a great mistake.  None but people advanced to a very high state of moral and intellectual improvement are capable, in a civilized state, of maintaining free government; and amongst those who are so purified, very few, indeed, have had the good fortune of forming a constitution capable of endurance."

John C. Calhoun, address to Congress, 1848.   The speech was about Mexico.  Does it apply to Mexico today?  To the Middle East?   I found it fascinating and wondered what you think.



Brooke said...

Does Calhoun's statement still apply to Mexico. Yes. To the Middle East absolutely.

I think the real question is, does it now apply to US?

Always On Watch said...

Competent self-governing has to come from the bottom up and not the top down.

Calhoun's statement was astute -- and important. It speaks to us today.

His statement definitely applies to the Middle East.

As for Latin America, they will tell you, "We are one helluva people to government." Military coups are a Latin American tradition.

sue hanes said...

Z - 'we are anxious to spread free government on all...


Why don't we make our great free country into the very best country we can and then if other countries like what they see and want to be like us let them come to us and say:

'We like your great free country and will you help us to make our country free and great also.'

Then they can pay us to help them to also be free and great.

If it requires the use of our troops - then they can pay us for the troops.

But why do we insist on going to them and saying, 'We are going to make your country free and great like ours - while we let our free and great country go under - and it will no longer be free and great.'

Silverfiddle said...

To Mexico? No.

To the Middle East? Yes.

I've been to both places and I can say that with confidence. Calhoun's words are very true and just the short run of history between when he said those words and right now bears them out.

Those who urge us to stay in Afghanistan should ponder those words.

Ducky's here said...

Let's pick up the white man's burden.

Let's blame Mexico because we smoke so much dope and stuff so much coke up our noses that that part of the country is controlled by drug gangs.

But here is one thing the right will never do ... accept responsibility for our many, many failures.

Ducky's here said...

Silverfiddle, do you believe evangelicals are capable of promoting religious freedom?

Calhoun was speaking in a time when America tolerated nothing but Protestantism.

Remember, we indoctrinate our school age children to believe the Pilgrims were seeking "religious freedom" and fail to mention that they only wanted it for themselves.

Z said...

Brooke...yes, FROM us, to the ME, etc. definitely how it applies to how we look at other countries, no?

AOW...I thought it was astute, too.

Sue, you make some very good points.

SF: Afghanistan was one of the reasons I found this important to post.

Ducky, so Mexico's gangs and corruption way before gangs even started is all our fault AGAIN? It's ALWAYS our fault?

I know you'd prefer to teach very young children that all AMerica's been to date is a country which pushed Protestantism on everyone else (!) and shoved coke up their noses, but.......it's a little more than that.
By the way, I don't know a Protestant who wouldn't like all others to know Christ, but I know none who tolerate no other religion. Sorry to burst your bubble. Your broad strokes always seem a little ..almost nutty.

Ducky's here said...

z, I notice you picked the foremost proponent of slavery as a spokesman for freedom.

Comes a time when you have to admit that the founding fathers aphrisms just don't square with the nations history.

I do think Calhoun's slavery stance is indicative of what the right wing means when they talk of freedom.

You don't think our national drug addiction is responsible in great measure for the drug wars in Mexico?

Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
soapster said...

"Competent self-governing has to come from the bottom up and not the top down."

+1 for that!

Z said...

soapster, you been to many OWT events?

nicrap said...

@ Mrs. Z

How so? how's slavery got anything to do with freedom?

Really intrigued by it ... can you please elaborate, ma'am?

soapster said...

"soapster, you been to many OWT events?"


soapster said...

Did someone say more bottom up or more top down?


Z said...


You asked a question re a comment I made above which left a lot of words out...I'm glad you called that to my attention!

Obviously, Slavery has EVERYTHING to do with FREEDOM..the LACK THEREOF, obviously.

Here's my original comment from above, which I deleted, and I have reworded what you rightly call me on:

Ducky, this is why you fall short in commenting;
Calhoun's comments are extremely interesting fodder for discussion but you have such a need to tear down that you can't seem to concentrate on what HE SAID.
You're picturing ME choosing a pro slavery person because he's pro slavery? Is that what you're suggesting when you've read my blog long enough to know how I feel about racism?
Still, I'm glad you get busy and Google to protest my posts because it's a way foryou to learn, isn't it :-)

you write:
"I do think Calhoun's slavery stance is indicative of what the right wing means when they talk of freedom."

How so? How's the right wing talk of freedom have anything to do with slavery? The right wing approves of lack of freedom, when that's practically all we ARE ABOUT? Freedom from big government, freedom to fly a flag, freedom to eat what we choose to eat, freedom to demand transparency in the White House...etc etc?

"You don't think our national drug addiction is responsible in great measure for the drug wars in Mexico?"

"in some measure?" yes. DO I blame all Americans when I know no one anymore who partakes? of course not.
I suppose you believe it's only some americans with drug problems, right? No Mexicans, no others? :-)

October 25, 2011 6:40 AM

Z said...

Soapster: OWT= Occupy Wall Street?
I thought you'd said you'd hung out at one?

I'll be gone much of the day and will email Elmer's Brother now to delete anything he feels I'd delete.

Have a great conversation! I hope to be back around noon LA time and then much later. And have a great day.

soapster said...

Didn't catch what you meant since you asked about OWT instead of OWS.

I have been to the OccupyMN event half a dozen times or so meeting with and talking to people and handing out literature on the Federal Reserve and looking for other Ron Paul supporters that weren't plugged into our network.

Z said...

OWT= isn't that T for Street? :-)
sorry about that......it's a good thing I've going to be gone most of the day...I'm not doing too well with the typing this morning!

How many at your events are Conservatives at all let alone Ron Paul fans?

soapster said...

Not sure what you mean by "my events". I haven't organized or put on an OWS event. We merely go wherever there are people and try to locate like minded people.

We are mostly libertarians/anarcho-capitalists. We believe in liberty and we believe in free-markets.

Since 2007 our MN4Liberty network has grown tremendously. Ron Paul is merely the conduit. Obviously everyone in the network is supporting him and we're working politically to win the state for him. But, our movement is really about liberty and expanding liberty and freedom.

We can do this be getting more people to exercise it which is exactly what we've done.

We've got more people who now have their firearms permits, more people growing their own organic food, more people setting up homeschool networks, more people hiving bees, more people canning, more people collecting and filtering rainwater, more people learning about history and Austrian economics, more people setting up meetup groups about these and other subjects, etc.

It's basically about more people coming together and working with one another voluntarily to become more self-sufficient/ more self-reliant.

Growing this network of liberty minded individuals is truly the root of what self governance is all about. And, when the SHTF it is this network that is going to prove to be the most important thing.

soapster said...

I should state that we have put on some of our own events that have have proven successful and have brought new people into the fold.

Such events we've done are:

Pub Crawls (handing out RP tax free tip cards), Twins and Vikings games (all attendees wearing RP or similar shirts), Fire Arms and Self Defense classes, Canning classes, Presentations on Bees and Beekeeping, Know your Rights video presentation series (what to do if you are stopped by police etc.), Free movie nights where the first movie might be something educational like a history of the Fed, Austrian Econ Meetups, et al.

We all stay connected through Facebook groups, Twitter, Google+, and Google Groups.

I love my liberty brethren. They are some of the smartest, most reliable and fun loving people I've ever known.

soapster said...

On the point of this post though, I've always had a problem with and always challenged people and the idea that we have a moral obligation to help other countries or help our fellow man.

Not the act itself mind you but the means.

It ceases to be a moral act when you use force to achieve your ends.

And so, I would say that the best way we can achieve a mission of liberty and prosperity is to lead by example.

As a country and as individuals many of us have lost our moral compass. We can't impose morality and virtue upon others if we ourselves don't understand it enough to practice it.

Opus #6 said...

I sure hope we can keep our Republic.

nicrap said...

...You are welcome, Mrs. Z. However, my intention wasn't to call you on your comment ... i was just intrigued for some reason. :)

soapster said...

Also Mrs. Z, many in our network have themselves ran for political office (yours truly on a state House campaign) and will continue to do so.

Speedy G said...

I think what Calhoun was alluding to was the crises of liberalism. As Nietzsche stated in his TotI 38...
My conception of freedom. — The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it — what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic — every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization.

These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free — and how much more the spirit who has become free — spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior.

How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong — otherwise one will never become strong.
Those large hothouses for the strong — for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known — the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has or does not have, something one wants, something one conquers.

FrogBurger said...

Great quote. It also applies in many places including Europe.

I recently had conversations with French socialist friends of my brother. And they literally said "who cares about individual liberty." All they care about is forced equality and material security.

I see that as the direct result of demise of the religious sentiment in Europe. Or at least some spirituality away from materialistic and hedonistic concerns.

And I partly blame the Catholic church for having helped the statist in countries like France, or even supported the socialist and communist parties.

And it keep doing it when the Vatican worries about a global authority over the economy.

FrogBurger said...

Calhoun was speaking in a time when America tolerated nothing but Protestantism.

Well they got killed by Catholics in Europe who also left us antisemitism.

As far as I'm concerned the people who came to the US didn't kill people who didn't have the same religion.

So Ducky you're an idiot on this one.

FrogBurger said...

Here you go Ducky, a nice reminder of what religious tolerance looked like in Europe. Did it happen in America?

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

Did it happen here, Froggy?

Why not read up on the history of the Irish in America. Maybe start with the draft riots.

The Know-Nothings.

I live a few miles from the site where convents were burnt to the ground during our days of religious freedom.

Only the heavy immigration from Europe dislodged the anti-Catholicism in America.

Our openness to Muslims is well known

Z said...

nicrap "i was just intrigued for some reason. :)"
thanks, I was intrigued, too!
I even told a black girlfriend this morning what I'd originally said! She cracked UP!

I hope you and many others like you run!

Speedy, thanks..I have to run but will read your longer comment when I'm back.

FB...your points about the Catholic church are good ones and more could be said, but as much as Ducky constantly disparages and maligns Protestantism, it's just not something I can do.
I don't believe in what he does, especially when it's so unthinkingly small minded and not informed........
but, I believe you're right.

I'm reading Bonhoeffer's bio right now; it is magnificent on so many levels. ... so much of which involves the early days of NAZISM. SO much on that subject and Catholics and "german christians"...which was sort of a buzz word like our 'social justice'..

Z said...

Ducky, you're just so damned WRONG.
God, because SOME morons killed people for their faith here is NOTHING compared to most other countries.
Armenians were chased through the streets and knifed by Irish Catholics, too, does that bother you or are you only SO protective of Catholics because that's YOUR religion? My GOD>

Our OPENNESS to Muslims might improve with their OPENNESS to us; while we're repairing their mosques$$$ they're forbidding killing CHristians and burning churches.
Your stance on this is utterly laughable.

FrogBurger said...

Ducky, send me more info on this. I'd love to learn.

But would those riots compare to the centuries of anti semitism and anti protestantism from the Catholic church?

Do we kill Muslims in the United States? Do we prevent them from taking jobs?

Not really.

I don't think you realize the difference in the way religious minorities have been treated in America vs in Europe. It's comparing apples and oranges.

Ducky's here said...

z, I was only replying to Froggy implying that religious tolerance was a given. It wasn't.

You have to be aware that Calhoun was a foul individual who believed in white supremacy and also believed that is was just that people labor for the benefit of an elite.

He was quite happy to invade an occupy and had a lot to do with our putrid treatment of native Americans.

The guy was hardly an advocate for any type of tolerance and unfortunately his ideas are operating today.

FrogBurger said...

I never implied religious tolerance was a given. I was comparing degree of tolerance.

Calhoun may have been a bad guy regarding slavery and other things, the quote itself has some truth to it. Individual freedom is not granted. It takes ethics and responsibility, as well as courage, to maintain it.

Z said...

Ducky, as putrid as he might have been, I found some truth in his statement and wanted some conversation on it.
I don't rule out everything a person says or does because I don't agree with some of what they've believed; not usually.

FB, I agree with you about the statement. thanks.

soapster said...

Thank you Z. I can't speak for all the Paulistas but the ones that I associate with are a spirited bunch strongly dedicated to individual liberty, freedom, and self governance. That certainly ought to count for something.

MK said...

Explains why much of the world is a dark and dangerous place, devoid of liberty and true freedom.

Z said...

MK, right!

Soapster, I was just listening to radio and heard some guy say he'd vote for ANY Republican but Ron Paul....the guy seemed very bright but he said that it was like voting for the end of this country.

Man, and he's living in OBAMALAND??? HOw much worse could things GET?

Ticker said...

This was a period of "Manifest Destiny" and Polk (a democrat) was expressing the views of those who believed in expansionism. His views brought on the War with Mexico and while the call was for expansion into Mexico it did not occur. The future brought the Spanish American War and a call for annexation of Cuba which failed.

President Woodrow Wilson continued the policy of interventionism in the Americas, and attempted to redefine both Manifest Destiny and America's "mission" on a broader, worldwide scale. Wilson led the United States into World War I with the argument that "The world must be made safe for democracy." In his 1920 message to Congress after the war, Wilson stated:

...I think we all realize that the day has come when Democracy is being put upon its final test. The Old World is just now suffering from a wanton rejection of the principle of democracy and a substitution of the principle of autocracy as asserted in the name, but without the authority and sanction, of the multitude. This is the time of all others when Democracy should prove its purity and its spiritual power to prevail. It is surely the manifest destiny of the United States to lead in the attempt to make this spirit prevail.

Surprisingly or not so in that it was a creation of the Democrats (aka the Left) they now use it as a negative term in regards to the ME and call it American Imperialism.
Guess they just forgot history or never learned of it in the first place.

Z said...

Ticker, never learned it or change it to suit their agenda.

Boy, you are a FOUNT of information. thanks so much.xx

soapster said...

"Soapster, I was just listening to radio and heard some guy say he'd vote for ANY Republican but Ron Paul....the guy seemed very bright but he said that it was like voting for the end of this country."

One is likely to take that position if they believe that our greatest threat comes from abroad as a great many do.

The founders cautioned us on this and we certainly have many historical references that show that to be the far less likely scenario.