Tag: oppression

The Right to Rebel

By Benjamin Olsen | United States

The right to revolution is a concept that seems to have its roots at the beginning of time. The first widespread idea of the right to rebel and the overthrow of rulers was started in ancient China. The philosophy was known as the “Mandate of Heaven.” The Mandate can be summed up as: “If a monarch is behaving poorly, then bad things will happen. If bad things happen, then heaven has withdrawn its support and the people may rise up to overthrow the ruler.” This sentiment is mirrored in a more secular way with the idea of the social contract, the idea that we continue to allow ourselves to be ruled as long as the ruler protects our rights. This idea has been promulgated by John Calvin, John Locke and the Founding Fathers of America. The idea of the right to rebellion has been seen all throughout history, but the most successful execution was seen in 1776.

The philosophy of the American Revolution was rooted in the ideals of the age of enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson and other revolutionaries saw the power these ideas had to change not only their country, but the world. Most of the founders were hesitant at the fact of starting their own country and rather sought to reconcile their grievances with the magistrates of Great Britain. It was John Adams, a founder with an ideology leaning towards monarchism, that lead the charge towards a full separation from the island of Great Britain. This idea was deemed radical and the Congress debated the idea for over a year before finally ratifying the Declaration of Independence. Even after ratification, the general populace was against the idea of revolution. Only 25% of the population was active in the fight against Great Britain. The idea of splitting from a government that the majority of people had familial and other ties to was beyond belief. Revolutions can start small but can grow to be an unstoppable juggernaut. The American Revolution was truly started by a small organization known as the Sons of Liberty. This small fraternity was responsible for the Boston Tea party and the opening shots at Lexington and Concord. What the American Revolution exemplifies the best is how successful a small revolution can be. Starting with a small fraternity and ending with an independent nation and a modern day powerhouse.

Another example of revolution is the Easter Rising in 1916 that took place in Ireland. This revolution is different from the American one as it takes place in what is considered the modern day and it is a failed revolution that sparked something bigger than itself. The Easter Rising is rooted in an ancient rivalry between England and Ireland. Dating back to 1169, England tried to exert its dominance over the British Isles, and in particular Ireland. Irish history, as a result of such occupation and colonization, has a history rife with tragedy and turmoil. Irish rebellions stretch back to the first occupation and extend all the way to the 1990s. The true turning point in the same story of a failed rebellion came in 1916.

In the midst of the great war, a small organization of Irish patriots, ranging in ideologies from socialism and monarchists to classical liberals and fascists, planned to rebel against the English crown while it was occupied in the trenches of northern France. The rebellion gathered its strength in secret and trained with what arms it could manage to procure. On Easter Monday, 1916 the small band of revolutionaries struck. They first seized the General Post Office and rose the Irish Tricolor, that continues to be the flag of Ireland to this day. By the end of the week, the rebellion was defeated. All of the signers of the proclamation of the provisional government were executed. The Easter Rising had failed to free Ireland from the British. However, within the next two decades the Irish people would rise up, their eyes opened to the British atrocities. Ireland would become independent in 1937. Throughout the rest of the century beginning in the early 50s and continuing until the late 90s, Irish freedom fighters fought for the freedom of the North and the ability for it to join the Republic of Ireland. The Easter Rising shows how even a failed revolution can lead to an independent nation.

All people that are governed have a right to overthrow their governor if their rights are not protected. In today’s world, we are taxed at a rate unimaginable by the Founding Fathers. We have atrocity after atrocity perpetrated against us. Rebellion does not always have to be with fire and bullets like the Easter Rising and American Revolution, but we cannot continue to allow our rights to be curbed in the name of security and safety. As Thomas Jefferson put it “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” We should all seek such freedom and the ability to decide our own destiny free from intrusion by a government, that may as well be foreign. Revolution can come through the ballot box such as the Civil Rights Movement. Revolution can be peaceful such as Gandhi’s liberation of India. Only if necessary must a revolution be violent. Let us not suffer to be ruled, but to be rulers of our own lives. A revolution is needed to be freed from the bureaucratic quagmire and corrupt governance that plagues this nation.


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What The Alfie Evans Case Taught Us About the Second Amendment

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

The controversy around the case of Alfie Evans has been well reported on and many have come out against the government’s near detainment of the child. Prayers and messages of support have poured in from around the world, with many openly wondering how a government could grow to a place where they are the sole arbiter of what a child’s “best interest” is, and what the parents are able to do to with their child. Private possession of firearms would have prevented the government from ever coming to a point where they could control a child’s life.

Alfie Evans was a twenty three month old boy who suffered from an undiagnosed neurodegenerative disease. Alder Hey, the hospital he was being treated at, removed him from life support, against the parents will, because they believed that further keeping him alive was inhumane and causing him suffering. The parents had sought second and third opinions from Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome and another hospital in Munich, Germany. Both offered alternative treatment plans. However, the hospital, backed by British Courts, argued that transporting him to receive alternative treatments was not in his best interest. Instead, letting him die was better for him.

One of the great differences between the United States and the UK is that it is much easier to own firearms here in the US than in the UK. A citizen in the UK wishing to own a firearm must  complete a multi step process. First, they must join a shooting club or document that they hunt. Second, they must receive a character reference (sort of like a letter of recommendation) from a trusted source. They must then arrange proper firearm storage that satisfies local police upon inspection. The final step is to pass a background check, which includes a police interview at the candidate’s residence. Only then may they purchase a firearm- but their options are limited as many are banned, including most handguns and semi automatics.

These steps are designed to limit the amount of firearms in the hands of the public, and have succeeded in doing so. According to data compiled by GunPolicy.org, the UK has a firearms per capita rate of 6.2 guns per 100 people, while the US, with its comparatively fewer restrictions, has a rate of 101 guns per 100 people.

In the absence of an armed populace, the government in the UK was free to grow enormously without threat of revolt by displeased people. British citizens stood by and watched the erosion of their personal liberties and allowed themselves to come to a place where the government is able to dictate what parents are allowed to do when seeking to better the well being of their child.

Barring Alfie’s parents from removing him from the hospital to seek alternative treatments shows that the government feels that they have a more legitimate claim over the child’s well being than the parents, which is obviously not true. Bureaucrats, which is what hospital staff are in socialized healthcare, will never have the same bond with Alfie that his parents had. Parents should always be allowed the full range of options with how to handle a case where their child has little chance of survival and they seek to improve the child’s chances. The parents of Alfie Evans were not seeking to harm their child, but rather, to give him a better chance of survival and eventually regaining health. The bureaucrats of Britain’s socialized healthcare system essentially held Alfie hostage and condemned him to die, punishing the parents for seeking to help their baby.

The citizens of the US must fight to have their right to bear arms remain intact, otherwise the state will grow in size to a level similar to the UK, where bureaucrats get to choose if a baby is allowed to be given a fighting chance or not. An armed populace is the only deterrent of massive government overreach. Once the government is able to decide whether a patient should be allowed to continue to fight against their horrible affliction or to force them to give up and die, we very quickly move towards a state where the government  is able to determine what lives are worth living and which are not. Does this sound crazy to you? Maybe because it is/ Bureaucrats deciding the value of a person’s life is eugenics in its natural form.

Americans should view this as a wake up call as to why the second amendment is so crucial to protecting us from an unimaginably dystopian government structure.


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