The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Positioned below the snake is the legend "DONT TREAD ON ME." The flag was designed by and is named after American general and statesman Christopher Gadsden. It was also used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag. It was the first flag ever carried into battle by the United States Marine Corps, during the American Revolution.
The timber rattlesnake and eastern diamondback rattlesnake both populate the geographical areas of the original thirteen colonies. Their use as a symbol of the American colonies can be traced back to the publications of Benjamin Franklin. In 1751, he made the first reference to the rattlesnake in a satirical commentary published in his Pennsylvania Gazette. It had been the policy of Britain to send convicted criminals to America, so Franklin suggested that they thank the British by sending rattlesnakes to England.
In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Franklin published his famous woodcut of a snake cut into eight sections. It represented the colonies, with New England joined together as the head and South Carolina as the tail, following their order along the coast. Under the snake was the message "Join, or Die". This was the first political cartoon published in an American newspaper.
As the American Revolution grew, the snake began to see more use as a symbol of the colonies. In 1774, Paul Revere added it to the title of his paper, the Massachusetts Spy, as a snake joined to fight a British dragon. In December 1775, Benjamin Franklin published an essay in the Pennsylvania Journal under the pseudonym American Guesser in which he suggested that the rattlesnake was a good symbol for the American spirit:"I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.—As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her.—Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?" -- Wikipedia.
Jim O'Neill, writing at Canada Free Press, asks if it is "Time to Break Apart the United States?" He begins by quoting Dave Hunter:
“The truth is that there is no compromise possible between Liberty and Tyranny. We have irreconcilable differences with the Progressives, and every attempt to compromise with them, always results in an incremental loss of our Liberty, not to mention our income. Perhaps it is time for a divorce.”
After mulling over the idea of separating America into conservative and liberal areas, what do I think? To be honest, I don’t know. Although I would not (yet) call myself a proponent of dividing up and remaking the United States, I no longer dismiss the notion out of hand. I’m thinking about it — seriously.
No he's not. At least not seriously. To believe that the united States of America can be somehow peacefully disunited by some combination of persuasion backed by a credible show of force on one side or the other is to mistake the enemy we face -- collectivism.
Collectivism in all its various forms cannot tolerate competition within its chosen sphere. It must conquer, or die.
"You are not of the body."
To this end, collectivist systems go to great lengths to spy out those who are "not of the body," to convert, control, or failing that, to eliminate them. They build secret political police agencies like the NKVD, KGB, Gestapo, Stasi, and yes, FBI and DHS. They also build walls to keep people in, to prevent them from voting with their feet. These used to be made of concrete and steel like the Berlin Wall, but these days we are beginning to look at virtual walls created of surveillance cameras, computer databases, voice prints and facial recognition software, all marketed to us on the false premise of "counter terrorism." Thus rises the "soft tyranny."
Collectivists always espouse the cause of peace, but by peace they mean an absence of opposition -- and whether that is accomplished by enforced obedience or the deaths of their opponents is, ultimately, immaterial to them. It is a matter of not the slightest concern to Nancy Pelosi, for example, that the "health care" individual mandate might be resisted by people who view it as a violation of their natural, God-given and inalienable rights to liberty and property. If someone refuses, there are fines for that in the law. If someone refuses to pay Nancy's fine, there are jail cells to accommodate them. If someone refuses the privilege of federal jail time for their principled resistance to tyranny, there are federal SWAT teams -- and their state and local familiars who are "of the body" -- to come and kill your ass for the temerity of refusing the federal leviathan's insistence upon obedience. Of course you will obey, she believes, for the body has said that you will. Your death, if you insist upon it, is in the the interest of the body. It will be done, after all, to further your own "health care."
For Pelosi to admit even the possibility of the acceptance of the successful defiance of even one individual to her diktat is simply not within her world view. The body has said, therefore you will do. There is a reason they are called the "Democratic" party. Unrestrained democracy is simply another form of collectivist tyranny, in practice subject to the will only of its "people's deputies" and commissars, who direct the mob and create its appetites and its victims, for the body.
And yet there are those -- and they are the many who are not the tyrants themselves -- who suckle at the teat of collectivism and call it good. Landru has many willing, happy followers. How, then, shall free men and women live in harmony with them?
You may indeed, after sufficient provocation and depredation on his part, kill the tyrant. But what to do with his followers who, like the Eloi, know only how to be sheep and will trample anyone who wishes them to change?
This is question at the heart of of a post frequent commenter Bad Cyborg left at an article below:
Warrior Class wrote:
"Nevertheless, we must get the general government back into its constitutional box."
OK, and while you're at it you can unf**k a girl, get toothpaste back into its tube and force a genie back into its bottle.
Go back and watch the entire video on soft despotism - all 39 minutes - and then come back to us and tell us how you are going to get all the nominal adults who LIKE being told what they have to do to grow up and suddenly start acting like adults. Then you can tell us how a nation which has spent generations becoming ever more dependent upon federal handouts suddenly develops the skills to live as they did politically in the late 18th century.
Tell us how all this can happen without a whole shitload of suffering and death. Please. Because I see no way for it to happen without civil war.
Bad Cyborg and I do not agree on everything, but here he has grasped the question in a manner far more realistically than Jim O'Neill. BC does not want civil war, he just doesn't see how we can avoid it given the system's crisis of legitimacy which reflects the uncomfortable fact that we have gradually grown into two nations, and are no longer one. We are divided upon the answer to this question:
Shall the government serve the people or the people serve the government?
There is no finessing this question, no agreeing to disagree, if for no other reason than the collectivist locusts must have the fruits of the individualist producers to redistribute to the Eloi who are "of the body" and who sustain their power. Again, collectivism conquers -- incrementally or rapidly -- or dies. Collectivism is not a system that endures defeats, small or large. Successful resistance, any resistance no matter the size, is an existential threat to the "deputies of the people" lest others take heart by the example. Collectivist systems are thus brittle, and far more vulnerable than they look from the outside. This is the essence of the collectivist's fear. That someone may one day spot the humbug of the man behind behind the curtain and call their bloody bluff.
The Founders crafted a political system that depended upon citizens and citizenship. The federal collectivists who now rule define citizenship as a matter of geography -- a matter of passports and, especially, taxable producers. The Founders recognized that ordered liberty could only be built on the foundation of moral men and women, citizens who took for granted that their own self interest depended upon enduring "the fatigues of supporting it."
Citizenship requires effort, which is why there is a dearth of true citizens these days, for we have grown to be a lazy, pampered people, although not in the sense Barack Obama means it. When he talks about "lazy" he means in how we fail to support the government, and especially the interest of the governing class, meaning him and his cronies. For Obama, independent business exists only as a cow to be milked for the benefit of "the people," which is to say, "the government." When they're really desperate, they say it is for "the children." "Fur kinder und Deutschland. Ein volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer."
We're in the present situation precisely because there are apparently no longer enough of us citizens who are willing to "undergo the fatigues." We have been pushed into this corner exactly and precisely because we have not pushed back like the Founders expected us -- indeed, counted upon us -- to.
So, here we are, as Bad Cyborg observes, on the verge -- hating the choices we face, prisoners of a situation not of our own making, but a situation perfectly predictable if you are anything but a deliberate historical amnesiac.
What then shall we do?
The answer is to found in the link between the rattlesnake's tail and its fangs. Ben Franklin was right. The rattlesnake is, within its world, the most moral of creatures. It never strikes without provocation or, importantly, without warning.
Without the tail, the fangs are mere instruments of unexpected violence and aggression. Without the fangs, the tail would be an impotent joke, eminently ignorable by the snake's enemies.
For collectivists more than anyone understand the efficacy and application of force. Louis XIV of France had "Ultima Ratio Regum" ("last argument of kings") cast upon his cannon. Stalin, when informed that the Pope didn't approve of the Soviet occupation of Trieste, cynically observed, "The Pope? The Pope? How many divisions does HE have?"
And while we are not reptiles but human beings, the same relationship between rattle and fangs applies to us. For our struggle is first and foremost one of moral responsibility, lest we become the evil we say we fight. As we would not permit any more free Wacos or Katrinas, we cannot allow ourselves the bloody, self-discrediting folly of a Fort Sumter or an Oklahoma City bombing. Morally, our tail must be loud and insistent, even as our fangs must be hidden but sharp. History shows that only with both can there be a moral yet credible deterrent to tyranny.
As to the rattle, we must fight the political fight, including, perhaps especially, the Gunwalker scandal, even if we believe that such things are failing rear guard actions doomed to ultimate failure. Such efforts highlight the failure of political legitimacy of the current regime by holding in sharp contrast their corrupt and deadly actions against the backdrop of the law and the constitution that they swore to uphold.
As to the fangs, such campaigns also buy time for the rest of us to prepare for the ghastly conflict that awaits the time if and when "the center does not hold." We must, then, be hopeful but realistic, patient but principled, always willing to argue our case until the last moment but yet prepared to resort to arms when we are compelled to use countervailing force against those who would, out of their so-called "good intentions," punish us for our peaceful resistance with state violence.
Those of us on the rattle end of this business can only hope that those responsible for the fangs -- the armed citizenry -- are doing their part to take advantage of the time bought thereby. In any case, it must be done, if we are to stand later before history and our own Maker and say that we were true to His commands and to Locke's thesis of the proper relationship between the free citizen and his government.
"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence." -John Locke
The "Last argument of Kings" has been tried before in this country and defeated by free armed citizens determined to maintain their liberties but who waited, impatiently perhaps, until the fight was brought to them. And then they finished it.
The question is, can we do it again?
I only know that we must try and that I am commanded by my God to stand for what is right.
I cannot do otherwise. I will do what I can to improve the volume of the moral responsibility of the rattle and the credible deterrence of the fangs of the armed citizenry until God calls me home.
I also know that if enough of my fellow citizens -- those who are indeed citizens and not servants -- did likewise, we wouldn't have to have the "last argument of kings" at all.
I can only hope, and move forward into the storm.