Robert Ringer is a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and host of the highly acclaimed "Liberty Education Interview Series," which features interviews with top political, economic and social leaders. His latest book is "The Entrepreneur." To sign up for a free subscription to his pro-liberty, pro-free-market e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, CLICK HERE.More ↓Less ↑
Recently, a friend and I were discussing the expansion of criminality in the ranks of Washington’s power elite, which prompted him to ask, “With the dramatic increase in the purchase of firearms and ammunition by private citizens since Obama took office, when will the general populace say ‘Enough!’ and resort to violence to overthrow the oligarchy in Washington?”
The answer, I told him, is never. Forget about it. It’s not going happen. There will be no violent revolution in the United States, for a number of reasons.
If you look at the three great Western revolutions of the past two and half centuries – the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in the early part of the 20th century, the French Revolution in the last decade of the 18th century and the American Revolution in the latter part of the 18th century, conditions were totally different than those in 21st century America.
People in all three countries were living under dictatorships, but there was one big difference between America on the one hand and France and Russia on the other. While the average American had a hard life compared to today’s Americans, most people were able to provide the basic necessities of life for their families. But in France and Russia, the masses lived in unimaginable squalor and poverty.
Another difference was that the landowners and wealthy gentry in America were not part of the ruling class and resented their British masters arbitrarily taking part of what they earned through the threat of force. Their counterparts in France and Russia, however, were arm in arm with the ruling class, so they had no interest in change.
The Declaration of Independence was not a politically correct document. It stated, in a straightforward manner, that it not only was the people’s right, but their duty, to throw out their rulers and set up a new government. This was unheard of in the annals of recorded history. Again, one of the unique factors was that wealthy Americans had something to fight for, and they made up their minds that they were willing to die rather than remain under British rule.
But what about the proletariat in early America? Why were they willing to risk their lives? Perhaps it was for the opposite reason: While most were not living in abject poverty, they still had very little to lose and a great deal to gain: freedom.
Now, here we are today, with the opposite kind of country the Founding Fathers envisioned and fought for. Yet, neither the wealthy nor the working class will lift a finger to overthrow the power elite in Washington, an elite that answers to no one and disavows the Constitution itself.
The ruling class can spy on American citizens at will, funnel illegals (future voters) across our borders and employ its monopoly on the use of force not only to extract what it wants from each citizen’s earnings, but have its thugs make life miserable for anyone who so much as hints at wanting to revert to a society based on liberty.
But revolution? No, as I said, it’s not going to happen, for at least two reasons. The first is that today’s average American – even most so-called poor Americans – owns an automobile, a home with heating and air conditioning, running water and other amenities, a computer, a smartphone, an iPod, a flat-screen TV and an endless array of other luxuries-turned-necessities the colonists could not have fathomed. He’s also gotten used to those once-a-week golf outings, two-week vacations in the Caribbean and eating out two or three nights a week.
Friends, we are not living in colonial America. This is the United States of Socialism, and most Americans like things just the way they are, thank you. Sure, we have a couple hundred million guns stashed away, but who’s going to use them to overthrow the government? Who wants to become another Ruby Ridge or Waco victim?
Anyone caught engaging in violence against a government official is kidding himself if he believes his actions will inspire the anti-government crowd to bear arms and take to the streets. The British didn’t have tanks, planes, rocket launchers, drones and poisonous gas when the colonists rebelled. The power elite that now rules America has all of these weapons – and more – at its disposal.
Oh, sure, people love to shout slogans and talk about revolution – but when push comes to shove, they will not do anything so extreme that it might upset their comfortable lifestyle. This is especially true of those who depend primarily on the government for their subsistence. If you can live well without working, why in the world would you revolt?
But there’s an even more important reason why a violent overthrow of America’s ruling class will never happen. The power elite have been clever enough to long ago make an alliance with big business and thereby be able to count on them as allies in helping to maintain the status quo. Had King George been smart enough to lock in the support of the wealthiest Founding Fathers, there never would have been a revolution.
And when I refer to big business, I’m including the film industry, television and professional sports, all of which are crucial when it comes to keeping people happy and sedated. The LeBron Jameses are nothing more than highly paid, useful idiots. It’s important to the oligarchy that members of the proletariat continue to idolize tattoo-covered athletes and showbiz decadents, because they help distract them from thinking about unpleasant nuisances like revolution.
So, dear reader, sorry to disappoint you, but there will be no violent revolution in America – at least not in the next 50 years. But take heart. People who use their wits and are not taken in by the lies they hear from the media and the ruling class will always find a way not only to make money, but (to borrow from the title of Harry Browne’s classic book) to find freedom in an unfree world.