Slavery has been around since the beginning of recorded history. Many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, most notably George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. So when Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, one has to wonder what he was thinking when he wrote that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It makes you wonder how many times throughout human history generations of people have suffered because men in power – even good men – were not willing, for myriad reasons, to step up to the plate and insist on justice for all. In the case of our Founding Fathers, nearly a century of misery for African-Americans could have been avoided had they been willing to do so.

Sadly, today, nearly two and a half centuries later, evil still prevails in America, and good men (presuming they are out there somewhere) seem unwilling to do anything about it. Of course, slavery in 21st century America is quite different from the 18th century variety, but the number of slaves has grown dramatically.

Chains and whips are no longer used – or needed. Today’s rulers are much more subtle and clever than the colonial patriots of the 1700s. Democracy has proven to be a far more effective tool for controlling people than chains and brute force.

Our chains are now called “entitlements,” and they are one of the main reasons we so love our enslavement. And so long as our brains remain dormant, our chains are guaranteed to remain in place.

Unfortunately, the something-for-nothing urge in most people makes them easy prey when it comes to addiction to entitlements. Like McDonalds and its Big Mac ads, the government makes entitlements so enticing that millions of people simply cannot resist them.

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So today, it’s not so much that evil triumphs because good men do nothing. Evil triumphs because evil men and women are in power. And the problem isn’t that they do nothing. The problem is that they do evil things!

But don’t we have a Constitution that protects us? To be sure, the purported purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to protect American citizens by placing limits on the government. Which sounds fine, except for the fact that the Constitution has not protected Americans from government aggression.

On the contrary, such aggression has become worse with each passing year, because politicians choose to ignore the Constitution. Over the past five years, in particular, they have ramped up their zeal to steal our money, spy on us and harass us at every turn.

The sad fact is that in our state of waking dreams we have embraced George Orwell’s “doublethink” from his classic novel “1984”: “War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength.”

We attack countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria in the name of peace. We force people to buy medical insurance, because if they are free to go without it, we are led to believe it’s akin to slavery. Barack Obama urges us not to listen to the details of what’s going on in Washington, because, he says, we have more strength when we are ignorant.

It’s not hard to understand why purist libertarians argue that people don’t need government at all, but, unfortunately, that’s an impossible sell in these declining days of the American Empire. Through gradualism and addiction to living beyond their means, most people believe they do, indeed, need government – not to protect their right to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness, but to act as an enforcer to protect their lifestyle!

Would that Washington, Jefferson and the rest of the white-wigged crowd could return and explain to the populace what they had in mind when they started their unique experiment in representative government. Notwithstanding their inexcusable failure to address the issue of black slavery, they put into place a Constitution that was intended to protect citizens from the evildoers in Washington.

But, again, the problem is that elected officials, government bureaucrats and judges do not support our Constitution. At best, they ignore it; at worst, they pervert its meaning. And, above all, they hate it.

Even worse, in direct violation of the United States Constitution, they have somehow managed to turn everything on its head and given themselves the power to grant rights to us. And if government has the power to grant us rights, we are, by definition, slaves.

If Americans are serious about ending their self-imposed slavery, they need to focus on making the ruling class extinct – perhaps via a constitutional amendment initiated by the states. But to do this, they have to wake up long enough to realize that downing a six-pack of Bud Light while hypnotically watching sports and reality TV shows does not constitute freedom. On the contrary, these are the keys that keep our prison doors tightly locked.

As Russian philosopher P.D. Ouspensky put it in quoting his mentor, G.I. Gurdjieff:

If a man in prison was at any time to have a chance to escape, then he must first of all realize that he is in prison. So long as he fails to realize this, so long as he thinks he is free, he has no chance whatever. No one can help or liberate him by force, against his will, in opposition to his wishes. If liberation is possible, it is possible only as a result of great labor and great efforts, and, above all, of conscious efforts, towards a definite aim.

Until Americans awaken from their entertainment slumber and realize they are in prison – until they begin focusing on destroying the system that manufactures the career politicians, judges and bureaucrats who rule them – there is no chance for them to escape. And only by escaping can they hope to begin the arduous task of rebuilding America from the ground up by fundamentally transforming it from a socialist oligarchy back into a constitutional republic.

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