The Price of Security in 1798Submitted by sarx on Sat, 10/06/2012 - 09:42
I've been reading the book Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian Toll recently. The book follows the beginning of the US Navy with all the political debate that went with it. I find it quite illuminating and interesting because the political discussion then is basically the same one going on today. Arguments are made for and against having a Navy. And at one point James Madison says this:
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.
The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad." (from a letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 13, 1798)
This quote sounds like something Dr. Paul would say today. To think that the founders of our country were so aware of the dangers that they faced is astounding.
I bring this up for two reasons:
First, read the book if you have time, it's very well written and interesting.
Second, we as a nation have faced politicians using war (or even a perceived threat) to drum up the military industrial complex, raise taxes, and reduce our liberties since the very beginning of our country and yet we are still around. That brings me some hope. Yes things are different now. But at the same time they are not all that different. Perhaps the scale is different with how large our country is and how far reaching our technology is, but war-mongering is nothing new. As the old Hebrew scriptures say "there is nothing new under the Sun". What do you think?