The View From 1776

Freedom - What It Meant

Marine Corps veteran Warren Bonesteel gives us a timely reminder.

by Warren Bonesteel
23 July, 2007

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ?~William Faulkner

We stand at a crucial point in mankind’s history. The world’s governments are no longer in control of the political and social memes and narratives in the same fashion as they were even a mere five years ago. We, The People, are better informed than ever before. We are more aware, than ever before, of the deceitfulness of our political, social and cultural leaders. Their corruption and deceit can no longer be hidden or disguised. We must hold them accountable. Through holding our leaders accountable, by replacing them with better men if they are not, by working together as sovereign and rational individuals, we become the example for millions of others in living as free and sovereign people. By doing what we now do, this day and every day, we are setting the stage for the future course of this struggle. We are even now laying the foundations of the memes and narratives by which we, our families, friends and those yet unborn, might live as free and sovereign men without fear and at peace. We, The People, control the future.

After enduring generations of tyranny and of limited freedoms, even if the citizens of the world defeat the purposes of each and every one of the present elitist tyrannies they confront, the world’‘s populations will have to re-learn almost everything they think they know about freedom and liberty. Most of us have never experienced or known the personal empowerment, or had the corresponding responsibility, of living as sovereign and free individuals. Even if we achieve uncompromising victory in our present struggle, individual and local conflicts will arise from this factor, alone. Such conflicts as these can be faced with relative equanimity. To allow ourselves or any other sovereign and free individual to be controlled or constrained by any present government among men, however, is to declare and to hold a position that cannot be honestly or rationally defended. World-wide, government corruption is systemic. They present contemptuous hatred for and against those whom they claim to serve, and they display such behavior openly and proudly, each and every day.

Our struggle is not only about the injustices or sacrifices that we and our friends and families have endured. Our struggle is not against finding meaning in those sacrifices made by ourselves and others in the cause for freedom. Our struggle is one wherein we, as sovereign and free individuals, are leading every man, woman and child on earth to live full and peaceful lives as free and sovereign people. Through our individual sacrifices and by our personal involvement, we help to create a world were no man will ever enslave another for the purpose of ideology, of religion, of ambition, or of greed. What we choose to do or choose not do, today, will determine the course of history for all time to come.

Can the people of the world achieve freedom and peace without enduring major outbreaks of violence? Will the governments of the world become ever more controlling and tyrannical in response to the peoples’ openly declared desires and yearnings for freedom, liberty, and security from fear? Will the People break free of the constraints imposed upon them? Will they break free of the disdain, the lies, the corruption and the tyranny which is daily poured out upon them? This is that point in time which we now face. The ultimate victory could now go to tyranny…or to freedom. The decision is ours to make or to avoid. As free men, it is our responsibility. It is a decision for which we will be held accountable.

As the world’s population begins its spontaneous and leaderless push towards freedom, the governments of the world will attempt to counter this amorphous, global movement by implementing even greater control over their citizens. Now is not the time for us to doubt. Now is not the time to quit. Now is not the time to say that the sacrifice has been too much. If we quit, now? If we lose courage, now? If we succumb to despair, now, at this time in history? We will give way to tyranny for all time to come. The battlefield surrounds us. The thoughts, the fears, the facts, the lies, the rhetoric, the shear terror and horror of the violence perpetrated upon us and upon our loved ones is all a part of a whole. We are at war against those who use fear, greed and ambition to divide and control us. The present danger has not at all passed us by…but we are winning.

Our personal and individual sacrifices in this fight for freedom have not been without import or lacking in impact. Our individual struggles and sacrifices pale in comparison to what the world might have already experienced had we not endured and sacrificed as we have. Had our ancestors not endured and sacrificed as they did in their turn, we would not have achieved the freedoms and the liberties we presently enjoy. These sacrifices are not yet finished. They are only begun. They are, however, necessary. If we do not endure this struggle today, tomorrow will not allow us to struggle at all. This is our responsibility. We are accountable to ourselves as free and sovereign men. We stand accountable before all of human history. We are accountable to one another. We are accountable to the future. We must not fail those who came before. We must not fail ourselves. We must not fail those who will come after. For Freedom’s sake. For Freedom’s cause. For the future of mankind. These are the reasons we sacrifice. These are the reasons we endure.

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Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. ~George Bernard Shaw

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine


Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville

From the time when the exercise of the intellect became a source of strength and of wealth, we see that every addition to science, every fresh truth, and every new idea became a germ of power placed within the reach of the people. Poetry, eloquence, and memory, the graces of the mind, the fire of imagination, depth of thought, and all the gifts which Heaven scatters at a venture turned to the advantage of democracy; and even when they were in the possession of its adversaries, they still served its cause by throwing into bold relief the natural greatness of man. Its conquests spread, therefore, with those of civilization and knowledge; and literature became an arsenal open to all, where the poor and the weak daily resorted for arms.


The Constitution, Article II, Section 1, plus modifications.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.


Congressional Oath of Office

“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”


Preamble to the Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Bill of Rights:  First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Constitution: Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.


One of those debts is to those who have served, fought, bled and died to give you freedom. Don’t spit on their graves, their sacrifice, or their service, by ignoring The Constitution.


(Article. VI. cont.)

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


Federalist Papers No. 1:

To the People of the State of New York:

AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.


Common Sense by Thomas Paine:

Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution

SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.


Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.



Warren “Bones” Bonesteel
Author and Researcher
Sgt USMC 1976-1983
55 Crestview Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 348-2830
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