Why the American Revolution was a mistake

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I love America. That statement says nothing about America the political entity. The America I know is a network of good people who through hard work and sacrifice changed a lawless wilderness into a first-rate nation. Very few of them thought about politics much.

They fled instability in Europe where troubled regimes enforced ideological loyalty upon their populations. Americans took a different course: government would not control citizens but would instead provide a stable place for them to live while culture and individual moral choices ensured social order.

With the rise of America as a political entity, this process reversed itself. In 1781 the colonies won independence from England. But without a level of leadership above that of the colonies themselves, the confederacy of states rapidly fell into chaos. In 1789 the US Constitution went into effect and created a new nation-state to organize the unruly colonies

The new government quickly turned toward political control. During an undeclared naval war with France, the new nation-state passed the Alien and Sedition Acts which allowed imprisonment of people for speech critical of the Federal Government. The new government gained increasing powers with the Civil War and later the Great Depression, where it used crises to justify an ideological agenda and new powers.

As I write this, the news overflows with the beginnings of what will become the next American Revolution or Civil War. Much like the English colonial government taxed its people to death for purposes of political control, the new American regime rewards only those who follow its ideology and taxes the majority to pay for it. People are tired of this experiment.

This makes it clear to history, even if people now do not yet recognize it, that the American Revolution was a mistake. I can identify three major areas in which it has failed.

First, we have re-created what our original people were fleeing from. In the process, we have converted a prosperous superpower into a third world nation funded by an overtaxed majority ridden with guilt thanks to the ideological agenda of government. We are every bit as under the thumb of control as the citizens of Europe who first got into tiny boats and made the dangerous journey here.

Most of American law since the Revolution focuses on how to restrain government from becoming abusive. The unstated truth behind these attempts is that government has been trying to expand its power for two centuries. Expanding the vote has only accelerated the process because humans in groups make faddish decisions while as individuals they can make clearer decisions.

Second, the American Revolution caused the loss of our identity as a group. Before the Revolution, we were people from Western Europe who came to live together as British subjects in the New World. Now we are only people who make our residence in a place, obey its ideological agenda, buy its products and work as fodder in its jobs.

With the loss of identity came a refusal to have any social standards. We are no longer all from the same group, so we do not share values. Thus to impose standards on all is to favor one group over another. As a result, people became selfish. From this came both crass consumerism and the welfare state, culminating in a form of socialism which increases government power further.

Third, we have committed ourselves to controlling a beast that cannot be controlled. Elections do not work; in groups people follow social pressures and elect salesmen like Obama to the highest office in the land. No number of laws can stop government power, nor can rules make foolish people into good leaders.

We need quality leadership instead. While the English aristocracy provided an imperfect model at the time, it derived its power from a clear principle: put the most capable people in charge instead of the most popular ones. We, the people, are our own worst enemy. As the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said:

The only solution…is the despotism of the wise and noble members of a genuine aristocracy, a genuine nobility, achieved by mating the most magnanimous men with the cleverest and most gifted women. This proposal constitutes my Utopia and my Platonic Republic.

When we rebelled against the King, we thought we would set ourselves free. However, in doing so we threw out the principles of leadership established over centuries and the notion of group identity. This sent us down the path to an ideological agenda. As history now shows us, our liberation made us servants instead.

16 Comments

  1. Wes says:

    I would prefer the term ‘failure” than “mistake”. Other than that……..spot on!

    1. chris says:

      Democracy and equality are always mistakes.

      1. Wes says:

        Democracy and equality among well bred, well educated, homogeneous peoples is always a high and attainable ideal and that is what the Union of States was conceived to achieve. What you left out was the modern lie of racial and cultural diversity within this society created by and for uber white men, which screws the noble pooch.

        1. chris says:

          Except that democracy always mutates into oligarchy, and some people are more well bred and better educated than others leading to a hierarchy and a division of castes.

          Equality opened the gate for the modern lies.

  2. MeToo says:

    The American Revolution was not a mistake because poor decisions were somehow made and then the whole project eventually went south; it was a mistake because America was founded by people who were running away from their problems. Why would running away to the New World bring about a successful society forever if we couldn’t get it right in Europe.

    We have to recognize that humans are imperfect and even when things can be quite beautiful at the beginning, it is destined that they will degenerate (slowly and in stages). This is the way of the world, there are no exceptions.

    Of course, now that we are up our ears in schitt, that doesn’t mean we have to hold still and sink even deeper. First, though, we have to look at our flaws that cause us to always think that the solution is “over there”.

  3. Tony says:

    Good work Brett.
    “Of course, now that we are up our ears in schitt, that doesn’t mean we have to hold still and sink even deeper. First, though, we have to look at our flaws that cause us to always think that the solution is “over there”.
    Our flaws. Our flaws are creating a different set of rules for people of different backgrounds. Excuses are being made and rules are being bent in order to account for our personal differences, race, gender and sexual orientation. Rather than admit the obvious, we have consistently redefined success downward.
    The problem is the “we”. The majority is pleased with the current environment.

  4. Repair_Man_Jack says:

    I read this and I’m callous enough to think “Yaknowhat? This is done already and in a sense, it’s where the dog sh!t us. If this be stupid, let’s make the most of it.”

    If America’s 238th Birthday wasn’t as happy as you may have hoped it to be, then our viable option is to help fix it or leave.

    1. MeToo says:

      Leave for where? Sorry, but our ancestral homelands ain’t what they used to be. Who’s going to welcome us?

      1. Repair_Man_Jack says:

        Nobody. Why do you assume anyone should welcome you just on principal. In life, you have something to offer, or you do not. The extent to which you are welcomed here or anywhere is based upon that.

  5. […] to the truth, and let it flow in naturally. Provide a few links to some articles from Radix or Amerika that you say impacted you or made you […]

  6. Bo Sears says:

    It would be fun and educational to have an extended discussion about all this, but I would like to comment on just this portion today: ” In 1781 the colonies won independence from England. But without a level of leadership above that of the colonies themselves, the confederacy of states rapidly fell into chaos.”

    The government of the colonies during the rebellion begun in 1776 gradually morphed into the Articles of Confederation in an open and public way. That was the first constitution of the USA, and it gave the name USA to these states.

    The Articles provide a legitimate and well-rounded basis for a less federal and more state-centric polity, and it worked well. The theme that the Articles led to “chaos” is widely seen and frequently repeated, but a close look shows that it incorporated the highest principles outlined in the Declaration.

    The Articles were shaped by the government that won the war against the largest imperial force in world history, and then won the peace at the Paris peace talks, surveyed the northwest territory, and opened up for settlement and development vast new lands west of the mountains that had penned English-Americans into a fairly narrow strip of land near the ocean.

    Note that under the Articles, the USA was not attacked by any foreign power and did not lose an inch of its territory. A new war didn’t come until 1812 when the new constitution had been in place since 1789, or 23 years, and that war saw battles in many places and a big fire in Washington, DC. The Articles had a much steadier hand than that provided by the document drafted in secret in Philadelphia. With modern communication technology, this would have been a much sounder polity under the Articles.

    It was the congress of the Articles which created the committee that met in Philadelphia, not to draft a new constitution, but to suggest to congress amendments that might make it better. But that committee went rogue and secretly drafted an entirely new constitution and built into the draft a way to adopt it as the superior law of the land. That is, the Philadelphia crown kicked the first constitution in the teeth and followed its own heart and literally usurped the legal government. A second revolution often follows a first revolution, so in some ways this was no surprise.

    But we need to be careful when adopting the standard theme of denouncing the Articles without laying out reasons. And in fact the congress under the Articles never adjourned sine die, and never by resolution or in any other way approved the procedure of the Philadelphia panel or its work product.

    It is highly questionable to consider the Articles as leading to chaos. Something got lost there in the late 1790’s that has remained somewhat of a mystery. The fun part about this issue is to note who comes out in a hysterical way to denounce any part of the Articles…somehow someone’s ox got gored, and the owners of the goring ox really don’t want us to talk about it. But any deep look at American has to include a deep look at the shenanigans that led people to conduct a second revolution in Philadelphia in secret.

  7. Bo Sears says:

    Oops, the words “Philadelphia crown” were supposed to be “Philadelphia crowd.”

  8. Hans says:

    The claim of other models of government offering stability in a nationalistic and moral sense comes across as odd if not inaccurate. Royal European families across the continent intermarried frequently, meaning the children born of British Prince to French Princess leaves the crown to a different stock than the people under them. That’s not to mention the tolerably common phenomenon of a head of state arbitrarily adopting an official religious denomination when coming to power contrary to the makeup of the population. I’m not here to argue with any sort of indignation or moral judgement on the actions noted, but there are inaccuracies in your contrast of social organization.

    1. MeToo says:

      Things are too far gone, now. We can’t pretend that the past 200 years did not happen. There’ll be no sitting around and deciding on a proper form of government. There must be serious collapse, rebellion, social chaos and war. This might happen over a long period of time, but then whatever arises will do so organically, from the ground up, and whatever it is, it will be right at that time.

  9. […] the American Revolution was a mistake. The result was not a free nation, but a random collection of rootless, powerless, deracinated […]

  10. […] the American Revolution was a mistake. The result was not a free nation, but a random collection of rootless, powerless, deracinated […]

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