“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
~ John Adams to Hezekiah Niles, 1818
I can well remember reading those powerful words as a young Libertarian undergraduate student in 1972, wondering if I would ever see our Revolution come in my lifetime.
Adams’ perceptive quote is found in Bernard Bailyn’s brilliant Pulitzer Prize-winning The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which I eagerly imbibed for my American Political Thought class.
Yet was the American Revolution to remain merely an intellectual exercise one only experienced in history books?
Were not the societal conditions of today ripe for another Revolution?
Why weren’t the American people as outraged as I was?
Would I ever experience the heady rush and tumble tumult of being a part of a massive, nation-wide, spontaneous uprising of the American people from whatever background or class or ethnicity who would rise up and demand freedom and a drastic rollback of the draconian power of the State in all facets.
In the thirty-five years which have passed, through Vietnam, the Watergate Scandal, massive continuous inflation and the collapse of the Keynesian economic paradigm, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the 1980 October Surprise Scandal, disastrous interventions in Central America, Africa, and the Middle East, the Iran-Contra Scandal, the Balkan Wars, the Clinton Impeachment, up to the present conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, what economist and historian Murray Rothbard described as the “objective conditions” for such a Revolution have almost always existed.
What was needed to fall into place were the “subjective conditions” the acceptance and implementation by a widespread segment of the American people of the libertarian ideological belief-structure that radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people of which John Adams wrote.
Over those thirty-five years the Libertarian Movement has unceasingly and relentlessly worked to change that. During its twenty-five years, Lew Rockwell and the Ludwig von Mises Institute have acted as the radical catalyst and focal point to change the hearts and minds of the American people by developing an intellectual leadership cadre dedicated to peace, liberty, and free market capitalism.
That time has finally come. Everything is in place. The Revolution has finally arrived.
One important little-discussed effect the Ron Paul Revolution has evoked is that it has awakened in persons the desire to study their history, particularly that of the American Revolution and the Founders, the Constitution, monetary policy and the Federal Reserve, and American foreign policy.
Dr. Paul, by his profound clarity in speaking truth to power, has provoked people of the Ron Paul Revolution to seek their roots as Americans, searching for an understanding of how we got into so many disastrous crises, and exploring the viable solutions to these problems.
I want to focus upon one aspect of this story the secret history of the CIA.
I have several shelves of books exclusively focusing upon American intelligence, particularly that of the Central Intelligence Agency. I urge everyone to seek out the vast array of published scholarly works on this subject over the past few decades. The CIA, as the principal covert action arm of the U. S. Government since 1947, is a crucial component of the interventionist foreign policy Ron Paul repeatedly addresses in his speeches and TV debates.
The best place to begin this historical exploration of the secret history of the CIA is with the excellent 1987 PBS documentary, The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis, featuring veteran premier investigative journalist Bill Moyers.
Moyers traces the CIA from its Cold War origins within the National Security State of 1947, and catalogs the various covert interventions which it engaged in over the next forty years.
The dramatic highlight of the program is Moyers comparing and contrasting the Watergate Scandal of the early 1970s with that of Iran-Contra, the major issue of that day. One cannot watch it without seeing the parallels of those earlier Scandals with contemporary events of the Bush regime an arrogant, hubristic executive branch out of control, declaring war upon the American people and their rights and liberties.
The next place to explore are the six episodes of The Secrets of the CIA series, which puts a disquieting human face on the everyday men and women engaged in the Agency’s covert activities. The series powerfully describes how their actions had disruptive, unforeseen consequences in their personal lives, and of the people against whom their actions were directed.