Everything administered as remedy to the public complaint, if it did not produce, was at least followed by, an heightening of the distemper; until, by a variety of experiments, that important country has been brought into her present situation–a situation which I will not miscall, which I dare not name, which I scarcely know how to comprehend in the terms of any description.
In light of recent events and long standing policies, I could forgive someone for thinking the above comment came from the lips of some perspective 2012 Tea Party Candidate. Of course this isn’t one of the many 2012 hopefuls, this is Sir Edmund Burke in his Speech on Conciliation with America. This speech was given in 1775 in the House of Commons, prior to our Declaration of Independence.
Having witnessed the many changes in sentiment and conduct of Parliament, the ever changing ground put beneath America’s feet, and the continued failure to produce results, it is no wonder that Burke concluded that ‘under them the state of America has been kept in continual agitation.’
Although I don’t believe we are on the verge of a revolution, I do believe the agitation of our freedoms in commerce has grown to an unstable level, which is effecting our ability to be prosperous as a people and live within our means as a nation. The rise of the Tea Parties, the resurgence in conservative and libertarian material available online and in bookstores, this very blog; all of these are themselves evidence of this state of affairs.
The source of this agitation is found in the fundamental misunderstanding of where and how a nation achieves prosperity for its people and generates revenues for its government, as well as the effects government action has on these objects.
Freedom begets prosperity begets revenue. Even though this is a simple concept, it is nonetheless often difficult for the career politician, or Monarch, to grasp. As we continue with Burke’s words as our guide we see him challenging the idea that government can create prosperity by some act of force that would provide returns in revenue greater than that which would spring forth from freedom.
And what is the soil or climate where experience has not uniformly proved that the voluntary flow of heaped-up plenty, bursting from the weight of its own rich luxuriance, has ever run with a more copious stream of revenue than could be squeezed from the dry husks of oppressed indigence by the straining of all the politic machinery in the world?
Do not entertain so weak an imagination as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, your cockets and your clearances, are what form the great securities of your commerce. Do not dream that your letters of office, and your instructions, and your suspending clauses, are the things that hold together the great contexture of the mysterious whole.
These things do not make your government. Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English Constitution which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivifies every part of the Empire, even down to the minutest member.
We also see what little has changed for leaders who value a consolidated power rather than a broad prosperity as a desirable end.
Our President, the Democrats, and even some within our own party, are still slaves to the idea that they can bring forth equality if only they could wield these dead instruments or be allowed to wield them with just a little more force, all the while ignoring what effects their remedies have on the ability of the individual to become prosperous, which is itself a greater force for equality.
Despite the insistence of far away elites to maintain or increase the regulatory burdens in our system, 55% of voters, as Erick highlighted back in May, are now more concerned with over regulation than with having too few regulations. The people are wising up and realizing that those who intend to continue our agitation have no business being near the purse strings of Congress.
As we move forward in our search for the candidates who will represent us in the 2012 elections at both the Congressional and Presidential levels, we must remember this spirit. Unprincipled men who do not understand the relationship between freedom and prosperity need not apply.
All this, I know well enough, will sound wild and chimerical to the profane herd of those vulgar and mechanical politicians who have no place among us; a sort of people who think that nothing exists but what is gross and material, and who, therefore, far from being qualified to be directors of the great movement of empire, are not fit to turn a wheel in the machine.
But to men truly initiated and rightly taught, these ruling and master principles which, in the opinion of such men as I have mentioned, have no substantial existence, are in truth everything, and all in all.
Now is the time that we look for those who exemplify the spirit of our founders, that, as Burke notes, “turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire, and have made the most extensive and the only honorable conquests–not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the happiness, of the human race.”
Aaron B. Gardner
P.S. Regarding the subtitle, I am leaning greatly towards Gov. Perry as my candidate. I believe he fits the mold. This isn’t to say he alone fits the mold, just that he is the one with the longest track record of fitting the mold. If you feel as I do, make sure you let him know by donating. If you don’t, wait until Sept. 3rd and see if another option appears that is more appealing to you.