You only give me your funny paper
Did the Beatles know something about Government Bailouts? Liberty? The Fed?
Is Helicopter Ben Bernanke "Fixing a Hole Where the Rain gets in…" or maybe feverishly drilling holes in the bottom of the boat to let the water out — more like the Three Stooges? Perhaps he should be "…taking [his] time for a number of things that weren’t important yesterday…" e.g. the Constitution.
We really don’t know what will happen when the American People comprehend the differences between "funny paper" and lawful money; between fiat currency with fractional reserve banking through the non-governmental [now almost supra-governmental] private banking cartel called the Federal Reserve and the Gold and Silver required by the Constitution. We don’t know how it will affect them to know they were drawn into a huge scam to swindle their own children and grandchildren. They still seem to respond to the "it’s for the children" mantra — but only in a visceral and sort of anti-cerebral way. This can be quite easily verified in any man-on-the-street interview scenario. The American People have been a benighted people. But there are signs; encouraging signs, that they are beginning to awaken. The Ron Paul Revolution is one tremendous and surprising example. We don’t have any idea how far it will go. But we must keep making every effort to rebuild the Republic and the restore the Rule of Law — wherever and whenever we can. Many of us have been looking for an opening for decades.
The evils of this deluge of paper money are not to be removed until our citizens are generally and radically instructed in their cause and consequences, and silence by their authority the interested clamors and sophistry of speculating, shaving, and banking institutions. Till then, we must be content to return quoad hoc to the savage state, to recur to barter in the exchange of our property for want of a stable common measure of value, that now in use being less fixed than the beads and wampum of the Indian, and to deliver up our citizens, their property and their labor, passive victims to the swindling tricks of bankers and mountebankers [apparently a Jefferson-coined composite of "mountebank" and "bankers" — it works for me].
~ Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1819. ME 15:185
What did the Beatles know about Liberty?
Many of my readers will remember and appreciate their hit Taxman. It seemed they were being plagued by a ridiculous level of taxation in Great Britain at the time: "Should 5% appear too small… be thankful I don’t take it all." That lyric portrays an aristocratic attitude not unlike what is being shoved down our throats here in the States under the current reign of a duopoly posing as a two-party system. Later they penned "Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl — but she doesn’t have a lot to say." The current Bailout Reaction is a good sign. As I have been asking folks what they think of the Bailout, I have been getting some encouraging feedback. They don’t seem to appreciate wealth redistribution on this scale — especially since most of them know the Congress has disregarded the voice of the People and the Rule of Law. They also seem to know this is a gross Constitutional violation — and part of "a long train of abuses and usurpations."
The Beatles’ words and music have changed the world. I hope that most of us who were influenced by it; who are still singing and humming it, will take the most positive elements from it and mix them with our highest aspirations. Of course they haven’t led perfect lives — and I am not here to Canonize them. I just want point out how some of their instincts about liberty might be valuable to any generation. I’d like to think all of my readers would be grinding their own prism for seeing the potential to interpret any situation in terms of how it relates to human liberty. After all, the Beatles came up at a time when authoritarian government was seeking to impose its arbitrary will on an unwitting people. Has that changed? When Jefferson spoke of a revolution every twenty years he wasn’t talking about exchanging pleasantries with receptive representatives who cherish the Rule of Law and the Constitution. Fighting for liberty is an all the time everywhere vocation.
As far as I can tell Arizona Libertarian Ernest Hancock was the person responsible for donating the popular Ron Paul Revolution Logo which has a backward "L" in superimposed word "Love." I discovered the backward "L" is also used the Cirque du Soleil Beatles Revolution Lounge housed in the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. A lasting Revolution must have a heart, a soul and a mind, and, of course, we also need some slogans or maxims, jingles, songs and lasting symbolism. But all must have the goal of pointing the Revolution toward a solid foundation. The RP Revolution has been remarkable in this respect. Like Ron Paul, we strive to point fellow citizens back to Rule of Law and the Constitution.
We move through symbolism toward substance while the two major parties and the MSM move in the opposite direction. While there is some truth in the Braveheart line, "History is written by those who have hanged heroes," it is also true that tyrants don’t always carry the day — and conscientious historical inquiry often unravels their grandest conspiratorial artifices. The works of Professor Thomas DiLorenzo, exposing the truth about Lincoln, and now Hamilton, are most important recent examples.
The Beatles’ music is full of references and innuendos that could be considered libertarian or liberty-minded. Some of the messages are clearly related to personal and human liberty, and some of course, are related to all sorts of other concepts and often quite in the abstract. I am not merely trying to make sense from nonsense. I never could really figure out "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." But, as Lawrence Welk would say, "it was real-a toe tapper-a!" So many of the melodies are almost addictive — and harmonic structure often surprisingly advanced — especially for the pop genre. The number of recordings of Beatles’ tunes by other artists the world over is proof enough that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
They were "pro-love," "pro-peace" and "anti-war" before it was popular. One central theme of the generation they helped shape is the notion that the element of "coercion" needs to be avoided at all cost. At the extreme swing of the pendulum there may sometimes be a lack of self-discipline — call it anarchy if you like — but without a socialist safety net it will quickly correct to free market solutions. In any case anarchy is preferable to totalitarianism. A Classical Libertarian view must always rule out the use of force in the coercion of citizens under any form of collectivism or totalitarianism. Liberty is freedom from all unjust uses of force or coercion — and that necessarily means almost all uses of force and coercion. The only righteous use of force is for self-defense or exclusively defensive war. Know your Spooner. Know your Bastiat. All associations must be natural and voluntary.
Primum non nocere [first do no harm].
This reminds me of another lyric [out of context] that could be adapted as a maxim of lawful government: "Oh Darling, Believe Me! I’ll never do you no harm!" Historically speaking, only a truly free government could make such a claim. And this claim would be made a mockery in any government that would steal from one citizen to benefit another citizen or entity who has not earned it. The Latin above is a maxim of the medical profession [or used to be]. But it would serve Any profession well. Remember, governments often kill even more people than doctors do.
We have just received a Trillion Dollar Wake-up Call: the "Government" is quite willing to harm or destroy all of us for its own agenda — and Notwithstanding the Constitution.
Further along in the "You Never Give Me Your Money" lyrics we read, "Out of college, money spent, See no future, pay no rent, All the money’s gone, nowhere to go," which makes me think of the millions of young people in America who are now strapped with paying back oversold college loans. Now we find that many of the trades are going to be where it’s at for the foreseeable future. Perhaps they could have been trained in less than half the time to provide something the market was ready to buy. Funny paper yields fake results. Ethnomusicology is really quite interesting — but a Ph.D. in that field may more likely find himself saying "Do you want fries with that?" than working in his esoteric specialty.
I recently met a New Yawk attorney who tows cars and does plumbing instead of practicing law. Those who want to succeed in hard times must have something, or be able to do something, for someone who has items of true value to trade — and who elects to do so in a free market. Even the Soviet Union was not able to eliminate the black market — which is sometimes the only real market. I am told you will be laughed out of the room in Israel if you are naïve enough to believe you can survive without using the "gray" market. If you want to have some fun right now, try to buy some American Silver Eagle Troy Ounces at the artificially suppressed "fixed" price. The shelves are bare — unless you want to pay a significant premium. Check the silver prices on eBay for deals that are actually closing — not in places that have zero inventory. The gold situation is the same. I called about American Gold Eagle Troy ounces and I got a quote for $1550.00 each — with the so-called spot price ranging around $725.00 per troy ounce. Private dealers are saying "this is the price if you want them now." Larger public dealers are saying, "If you want to give us your u2018money’ we will hold it until sometime in November against a spot price plus commission deal. Then if we can’t fill the order we will return your funds."
Let’s look at the gorgeous "Golden Slumbers" medley and see what we can glean:
"Once there was a way to get back homeward…" There still is!
Without an understanding of our Foundation, the Constitution and the written laws made in pursuance thereof, we are like a ship adrift, and without a rudder, "tossed about by every wind of doctrine…" We lack direction and could easily end in tyranny or chaos. There was tremendous organization and peripatetic pedagogy of the philosophy of liberty in the period leading up to our Revolution. Liberty was well understood and well taught. It was Constantly and Comprehensively taught. Literacy was extremely high. Consider that the "Federalist Papers" were written to be understood by the majority of newspaper readers of the day. There is no way back without improved education in the principles of Liberty. There is a way back to liberty. It is a simple matter of reverse engineering — and it is well under way!
"If it’s to be it’s up to me," is more than just a positive affirmation by Robert Schuller. If you are not willing to carry you own weight You will be the big ultimate loser. Throwing your needs and desires off on someone else — especially on a big Nanny-State Government will have its consequences. Every child wants to run back to their parents and say, "Look, Mom and Dad, I did it all by myself." But the government is not qualified to be a surrogate parent any more than the Army is a humanitarian organization. Just look at the child support services nightmare — or any State MVA if you like. The cause of liberty needs the best efforts and perseverance of every last precious one of you!
Love, Liberty, and True Charity are all analogous. When they are practiced with perfection the resulting outcomes are righteous. They are always opposed to Hate, Tyranny and Greed. So, each of us is free to build a very lovely place in our own minds, something like a garden [not, perhaps, an "Octopus's Garden"]. But even in the Octopus’s Garden the Beatles sound libertarian: "We will be so happy you and me… no one there to tell us what to do…"
Let’s talk about the Ron Paul Revolution and the Campaign for Liberty and how the Beatles "Revolution" lyrics resonate together.
"You say you want a revolution…Well, you know…We all want to change the world."
In a natural law universe everyone wants freedom and liberty for themselves. This is axiomatic. But if you don’t understand the Golden Rule or Cause and Effect, you may have been brainwashed into an unnatural paradigm. It may take a while in some instances, but what goes around will come around. The quicker you grasp the Golden Rule’s universality the better use you will be able to make of it. Applied to foreign relations it is the doctrine of Washington and Jefferson. Too bad the Bushies have never been disposed to "Give Peace a Chance." In Revolution we learn that the Beatles are anti-violence and also anti-communist: "If you’re talkin’ about destruction don’t you know that you can count me out….If you are carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow!" Later, there may be an anti-socialism allusion in the words, "You ask me for a contribution, well, you know, we’re all doin’ what we can." This is followed by "But when you want money for people with minds that hate, All I can tell is brother you have to wait…" — an anti-hate message?
John loses many of us later on in "Imagine" where he says, "Imagine… nothing to kill or die for…" But perhaps he is trying to say the State is a shabby cause — and that we should have higher causes and principals. Obviously the central theme of "Imagine" is universal peace, love and non-coercion. Where many of us go astray is to be lured into the illusion that the State can be trusted to fix all [or any] of our problems. When it tries, it always exacts a price too heavy for anyone to pay. The song has been offensive to many because it says, "Imagine there’s no heaven… no religion… no Hell," etc. — which I take as John’s way of saying, "while we’re all here together, we need to do whatever it takes to get along." While many have taken umbrage at some of their statements that could be best considered to be excoriating organized religion, I think perhaps some of the reactions over the years have been out of proportion. According to market information some of the same people that burned their albums must have purchased replacements or upgraded to CDs and mp3s by now. Which is too bad, since it’s harder to play them backwards. Remember… this is not a treatise on Beatle Metaphysics or recreational drug use.
With many thanks and apologies to John, Paul, George and Ringo,
Bill Huff [send him mail] is a Classical Libertarian and proprietor of LEXREX.com and JamTheCulture.com; a former public school music teacher turned home schooling advocate; a US Navy veteran, and host of WarIsARacket.com. He is available as a guest lecturer or for interviews on talk radio.