The People's Pottage and Ron Paul
by Bart Fuller
A few weeks
ago I had my first taste of Garet Garrett as I read his "Rise
of Empire" essay in The
People’s Pottage for a class assignment. At the time I thought,
"this guy is very insightful," but didn’t give much further
thought to it as I checked it off my reading list and moved on to
my next assignment. This week though, I read it again as I prepared
for a final exam and as I read I was utterly astounded at his insight.
Even though he was writing in 1952 about the events of his day,
he was also absolutely prophetic.
is familiar with the story analogizing the difference between sudden
change and gradual change to that of cooking a frog by either dropping
it in boiling water or placing it in water slowly brought to a boil.
It’s said that the frog that’s dropped in the pot of boiling water
will immediately jump out while the frog in the warm water that’s
gradually heated will be boiled alive. Consider now, a pot full
of frogs with one of the frogs trying to warn the others that the
water was getting dangerously hot and they all needed to jump out?
This is what you have in the essay "Rise of Empire."
In this case,
the gradually warming water is the loss of our constitutional republic
to an empire, the frogs are us and Garrett is sounding the warning.
Written just two years before his death, Garrett describes how empires
come to be; what the marks of an empire are, while at the same time
relating each mark to events during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations;
then finally, outlining what steps are necessary to reclaim our
how easily his description of an empire fits our current political
and economic environment in the United States. Just as he described,
we live in a nation where the executive branch has come to be the
dominant power in the government. He marks the introduction of the
income tax and our involvement in WWI as the beginning of this dominance
Just as he
described, we live in a nation where the domestic policy has become
"subordinate to foreign policy." This is true even to
the point that "there is no domestic policy that may not have
to be sacrificed to the necessities of foreign policy – even freedom."
The government trumpets that if "our foreign policy fails"
our very survival as a nation is at risk.
as he described, we live in a nation where the military influence
over policy has become so dominant as to intimidate our civilian
leaders, especially the Congress. Quoting General MacArthur, he
notes that "…our country is now geared to an arms economy which
was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and
nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear."
Just as he
described, we live in a nation with an orbit of satellite nations
acting as a ring of protection. These nations are dependent on the
empire for their survival in case of war with their enemies and
the empire is dependent on the satellites as an outer ring of defense.
just as he described, we live in a nation full of vaunting and fear.
On the one hand the national mindset is one of nationalistic pride
with scorn for those who question governmental policies and intentions,
yet on the other hand it’s one of fear. Fear of the barbarians at
the door, the satellite nations and the allies. Will the barbarians
attack, will the satellite nations continue to remain as an outpost,
and will allies remain allies in the heat of battle?
says, an empire becomes a "prisoner of history." It takes
on the responsibility of "moral leadership" and doing
battle against the "forces of evil everywhere." The empire
presumes to keep peace, maintain law and order ’round the world
and, dare I say, spread democracy.
as these insights were though, it was the last section of the essay,
"The Lost Terrain," which left me stunned. It was truly
amazing. After pointing out that a republic and an empire
are in mortal conflict, with the only possible outcome being that
one will vanquish the other, Garrett outlines what must be done
to save the Republic.
people must relearn to think for themselves. They must rise above
the propaganda of dependence and fear fomented by the Empire. Once
they have regained thought for themselves they will see that there
is an alternative to the path of Empire and that the Republic can
be saved. Secondly, foreign policy must be submitted to public debate.
If the citizens must die for the foreign policy then the citizens
should debate it. Third, the electorate must regain control of the
public coffers. The power of the purse must be wrestled from the
executive and returned to the people. Next, the evil of inflation
must be slain without compromise. Only sound money can restore economic
health. And finally, the people must be prepared to do battle and
willing to endure the costs of battle.
with this observation, "No doubt the people know they can have their
Republic back if they want it enough to fight for it and to pay
the price. The only point is that no leader has yet appeared
with the courage to make them choose."
Well, a leader
with courage has now appeared. One who has dared to show the courage
to speak the truth and to lay out the choice before us. That man
is Ron Paul. He, and he alone, has engaged the people and challenged
them to rethink the role of our government in light of the Constitution.
He, and he alone, has questioned and debated the wisdom of our current
foreign policy in the face of ridicule by his colleagues and peers.
He, and he alone, has called for the end to unrestrained federal
spending over the course of his service in Congress. He, and he
alone, has recognized inflation for the evil it is and called for
an end to our suicidal monetary policy. He, and he alone, has taken
up the standard for Liberty and the Republic without flinching in
the face of public scorn and contempt from the Empire’s elites.
So, dear reader,
you can see, the leader portion of Garrett’s prescription is being
fulfilled right now, today, before our very eyes. The question we
must answer is, ‘Do the people "…want [the Republic] enough
to fight for it and pay the price"?’
I hope and
pray it is so.
[send him mail] is a business
systems application developer from Michigan.
© 2007 LewRockwell.com