- The republic is dead. Not sick, not dying, not failing,
or in a gradual decline, not waiting to be resuscitated, but already stone
- This death probably occurred as we began to win the Cold
War, but long before we realized we had prevailed. The professionalization
of politics, of military and bureaucratic service to the state, of foreign
policy making, and of business seems to have completely done in the old
ideas. Simply federated, decentralized, self-depreciating government that
once feared the people has self-actualized into a contemptuous, rapacious
and iron-fisted murderer of freedom, and murderer of men.
- Perhaps the 1989 movie Weekend at Bernie's was really
the American political saga, and we never knew.
- The founders worried that subsequent elites and factions
would take over the republic they had birthed with every aspect of their
power, as the gifted political elites of their time. Yet, as the 19th century
dawned, even the most pro-state among them loved freedom and hated tyranny.
- They were right about government power and human nature,
and their predictions true. New elites and government-dependent factions
have ascended. Unfortunately, these political elites hate freedom and love
the tyranny of government solutions.
- One of many truths Ron Paul's campaign is revealing is
how hated real liberty is among the powers that be, how despised the individual,
and how all-encompassing the contempt with which modern power brokers in
Washington and New York hold the principles of the founders.
- Americans who care about the existence of an American
republic are many, and those who love freedom are many more. Again, the
fantastic and political wisdom-slashing adventure of the Ron Paul campaign
stands witness to the fact that sheer passion for liberty remains a vibrant
force in American life. But this passion, this life, is nowhere to be found
in American government, nowhere to be found in the state, or in the empire.
- There seems to be no effective way to save or restore
the republic, no way for any individual to even begin to solve the problem
of our late 20th and early 21st century imperialism. I tend to agree, and
the wisest observers in these pages warn, as Chris Floyd does, "It
is pointless and counterproductive to simply throw yourself
under the wheels of such a monstrous machine in futile spasms of rage and
despair. The machine doesn't care. It will gladly chew up your life and
- All this presumes that an American republic is still
viable not really dead, just severely weakened and in need of strong
salts and a booster shot.
- A book I read a few years ago, entitled Deep Survival,
by Laurence Gonzales, offers a helpful perspective on our current condition.
In studying the question of who lives and who dies in extreme survival
conditions, Gonzales found that survivors shared a sense that, in fact,
they were not going to live. While they wanted to live, to go home again,
and to be secure they recognized that they were so royally and absolutely
FUBAR'ed that they would die, probably quickly and perhaps horribly.
- Now, obviously those who actually died in these disasters
could not be interviewed, but the behaviors and actions of those who lived
and those who died were measurably different. The survivors recognized
the ugly truth of their own imminent death quickly and this early
recognition of reality however harsh and frightful and depressing
it may have been was also at once incredibly liberating, in some
- The survivors tended to reach this point of reality sooner
than did the victims. They grieved for themselves, their hoped-for futures,
their now impossible dreams. Then they rolled up their sleeves and got
started on the hard, and very likely pointless, work of survival.
- Rules were abandoned what could be eaten, what
could learned, what could be done, and what could be considered. Old ideas
of personal capabilities and limitations were gradually discarded. Prayer
became real and palpable rather than formalized and pious.
- The idea of "living each day as if it were the last"
is sometimes suggested to remind us to be loving and kind, yet it also
hints at the value of self-indulgence, impulsivity and risk-taking. But
when each day really might be your last the behavior of survivors
seems to be far more practical, far more thoughtful for the future, far
more truthful about what one really needs, and quietly courageous without
- Recognition of reality is liberating. When Jesus said,
"the Truth will set you free," I'm not sure he was directly speaking
of the governments of men. But recognizing the unreality of a once treasured
concept in our American case, a vibrant past and future republic,
may in fact free us to do what we need to do.
- "And what is that, exactly?" you ask.
- Recognize that the republic is dead, and that we owe
its rotting bloated corpse no loyalty whatsoever.
- This done, act accordingly. Publicly and privately, we
should observe the corpse as a public nuisance, a pollutant both aesthetically
and materially. When the yellow brick road leads us to the grand doors
of government services, we should not avert our gaze but instead pull back
the curtain, grandly, loudly, with the contagious laughter of a child,
or the righteous anger of a soldier back in pieces from a war, like most
wars, that was from the beginning a brutal political lie.
- Will we insult a federal or state employee, a law enforcer
or judge? Will we anger a politician, a lobbyist, a corporatist employer,
or a government news organ for stealing our lives, our freedom of movement
and thought, our productivity? We should certainly aspire to do so, with
the zeal of missionaries.
- To live in an imperial world, we must first, as survivors,
recognize that it is an imperial world. History is filled with imperial/totalitarian
states, as global graveyards are filled with those who were too late in
recognizing what had already happened.
- It's over. The faithful and the hopeful may carry the
corpse of the American republic, hoping that it can be brought back into
normality, into life, and into power. I am afraid these nurturers will
not survive the present reality of imperialism.
- But some of us will look directly at the ugly, dangerous
and very real empire. We will stare with little hope but also with
little fear into the face of the FUBAR nation, and then roll up our
sleeves and get started on the only life we may honestly live, as internal
dissidents. We will no longer pledge allegiance, we will not obey old rules,
we will make do and make it up as we go along. Our minds focused on surviving
the empire, our talents and creativity unleashed against the state and
its fantasist faithful, we will live as if we are free.
- This simple prescription will not only make us survivors,
but it will gradually cultivate a political landscape for a future of free
republics where today we see nascent totalitarianism and bankrupt empire.
This prescription was written for us in 1809 by revolutionary war general
John Stark. He advised, "Live free or die. Death is not the worst
- We face a modern American state more overweening and
dictatorial than even King George III could imagine, yet we have no declaration
of independence, no privileged elite to demand it, no interested population
to read and debate it. This time, our declaration will be made individually,
every day, in calm desperate fearlessness, as we simply live free.
- Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. a retired USAF lieutenant colonel,
has written on defense issues for MilitaryWeek.com. While her military
reputation is tarnished by involvement in the Iraq occupation, her genuine
service to her country since then ranks along side that of Gen. Sanchez,
as the equal of any American soldier you can name short of Washington