Proteus, when I was 12 or 13, as best I can recall now, I was given my grandfather’s old wooden case, tube-type shortwave radio. I quickly learned enough about antennas to fashion a significant one outdoors, complete with lightning arrester, and ran it down through a basement window where I had placed the radio in a corner of a finished portion of that basement. There I spent many hours listening to international stations, ham operators, etc. Eventually, I discovered the English language service of Radio Moscow. I was fascinated, and hooked! Not because I bought into what I was hearing, but because of the absurd descriptions I was hearing about what life was like in the country in which I lived (the U.S.). I listened frequently and for long periods, fascinated at how their radio personalities sounded so much like Americans, not Russians. But what was so very amazing to me after a while, was the fact that the people in the USSR weren’t rising up in rebellion against their own lying dictators. Without yet knowing what the word really meant, I was already learning the concept of propaganda. It spurred a life-long interest in international politics, among other things.
Then when the Soviet Union allegedly broke up, I was further fascinated by the fact that so many in those newly “freed” nations were willing to continue voting for communist candidates. Initially, that made no sense to me. I was still quite naive, despite slightly more than a full four decades of life behind me. I “knew,” yet I hadn’t put it all together yet. But it the learning curve ramped up rapidly around that time, because I still had kids at home, and I was becoming more and more shocked at what they were (and particularly were NOT) learning in school. Remember, the internet was in its infancy then, and forerunners of search engines such as LexisNexis just weren’t available to the common man, so much information was able to be effectively hidden from public view until the 1990s. By then the damage had been done.
The concepts of liberty, the fundamental reasons for the inclusion of each element of the Constitution, etc., were all being slowly but systematically stripped out of the American education system. If it wasn’t taught at home, kids grew up only spouting off the words, but having no clue about the concepts. Now days, I’m willing to bet that not one in several hundred Americans (probably even a wider spread than that actually) are even aware that U.S. senators haven’t always been elected by the people of each state. Worse, they have no idea how those senators WERE originally selected to office. And even worse than that, the vast majority of them could still not – even when presented with those two facts – formulate the reason WHY senators were originally appointed by their respective state legislators.
There is no systematic teaching about the Bill of Rights, and what each means, and now days it would be virtually impossible anyway, since the origins of those 10 amendments would be in absurdly sharp contrast to how the amendments are interpreted today. The 10th Amendment in particular, and now in possibly a close 2nd place the 4th Amendment, are so warped as to be meaningless today. And our news media simply doesn’t do anything except spout meaningless phrases and stories about how “constitutional rights” apply in various circumstances, to the point where people have become numb at least in part because they can’t possibly understand. They can’t understand because (circling back now) they were never taught that those things were truly important to know by individual citizens, let alone why they’re important. We’ve been fed a load of moral relativism and socialist doctrine now for enough generations that how it is today, is simply “the way it is,” which is “normal.” It’s much like a girl that is brought up in an abusive household who then marries an abusive husband, and society can’t understand why she bails him out of jail and doesn’t want to press charges against him after he’s put here in the the hospital with multiple facial fractures and a ruptured spleen. She says she still loves him, and she makes excuses for him.
It’s called programming, propaganda, multi-generational shaping, and a whole lot of things. But it all goes back 167 years to the final chapter – a mere 3/4 of one page – of the Communist Manifesto, and particularly its very last sentences:
In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements, they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time.
Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries.
The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.
Note the obvious – over the past 50+ years (especially beginning in the 60s) “the social and political order of things” have been systematically corrupted. A half century is enough to raise 2+ generations to adulthood. It doesn’t matter whether the “communist” label is attached to that philosophy or not. Labels are just words. And that particular label has become one that has no meaning to anyone much younger than maybe 55 years of age in the United States. Almost no one remembers the deep fear that we’d be waking up to atomic bombs coming at us from the Soviet Union if Khrushchev hadn’t blinked first during the Cuban missile crisis. Almost no one today remembers the absolute certainty in his voice when he pounded his show at the U.N., or separately declared, “We will bury you!” And Mao and his little Red Book have no meaning to anyone but a few of us “old guys” now. So we can’t talk about communist philosophy – yet the outline contained in those final few sentences of that 167 year old book continues to roll on, very much alive and functioning.
In other words, we have become what the inhabitants of the former USSR states became – willing to vote for people that were further subjugating them. I couldn’t understand when I was a young budding teenager how thinking adults could become so insanely stupid. And then I grew up.
Just days before the 2012 election in the U.S., a man whose writings I enjoy reading was being interviewed on a talk radio program that I normally would not listen to. But I just happened to turn on the radio while I was driving somewhere that night, and the station that came on was playing that particular program. I started to reach for the radio to find another program when the host said that after they break, he would bring on Dr. Thomas Sowell. I kept the station where it was! Sowell was asked point blank whether he believed the United States could survive as a constitutional republic if Obama was elected to a 2nd term. He paused briefly before answering, and then resolutely stated, simply, “No.” I was stunned at the directness of his statement, which he then went on to merely justify, not water down or modify in any way. For a man of his intellect and stature to be that direct, seemed to solidify all of my own fears that we’ve been conditioned to label as “fanaticism” and “right-wing craziness,” etc. And Sowell was a Marxist in his 20s (he’s now well into his 80s, and long past Marxism) – he knows what he’s talking about.
As L Tecolote eloquently explained it earlier, we’ve moved beyond being a constitutional government. Oh, it’s still called that, and the Supreme Court still claims to be weighing laws against that original document, and the news media still talks as if we really are governed by constitutional principles, so almost everyone believes it. But then the believe the official government unemployment figures, too, despite overwhelming evidence that the economy is NOT in robust recovery, that inflation is far above near-0%, and that almost everyone that wants a job can get one, yada yada. One quick trip to shadowstats.com COULD dispel all that in minutes, but no one cares (at least not enough to make any difference).
So to close, I’d say “that Liberty is [NOT] imperiled in America.” That already happened over the years, to an increasing extent each year. No, Liberty is indeed dead, and the body is merely being kept on artificial life support so that no one understands it’s dead. The chest rises and falls, the blood flows, the heart beats, so it MUST be alive…. And we end up with these weird situations whereby people are arrested for withdrawing over $10,000 from the bank and transporting it in their vehicles to pay cash for a used car; have their assets confiscated for NO legal violation and then have to pay huge legal fees to go to court and HOPE they can recover even some of their assets when they’re never charged with anything; have wheat that they’ve grown on their own property destroyed despite the fact that it was grown for personal family use, not for sale; lose their jobs and make national headlines for saying a word that only SOUNDS like a politically incorrect word because TPTB (and the press) are too stupid to understand the difference between “niggardly” and a racial slur. And the list goes on. Cognitive dissonance – an intensely powerful principle of human thinking and behavior – kicks in and minimizes such events because, after all, we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave, and we’re protected by our Constitution, don’tchaknow.
That’s how it’s been done.