Despite the erudite proclamations of leftists in academia and government, it is not the mere yearning for “freedom,” even if such sentiments are held be a majority of the populace, which spontaneously generates liberty and justice in a society. The quest for that ability to define one’s own life must be tempered with the moral quality of recognizing when such a desire wrongly encroaches on others, and a comprehension of the importance of abiding by such boundaries out of respect for a fellow human being.
In 1776, the thirteen American colonies declared themselves “free and independent states” and during the decade following emerged victorious against Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. They then proceeded to ratify the Constitution, thereby establishing the fledgling “United States of America.” And although that era was marked by its own series of trials and challenges, the nation overcame them and was thus set on the course to eventually becoming a world power.
Bolstered by the glorious success of the Americans, the revolutionaries of France decided to undertake their own societal makeover, expelling the monarchy and eschewing such mundane and inconvenient traditions as the Church. In their place, these revolutionaries established a government of “citizens,” espousing “liberty, equality, and brotherhood” as their defining ideals. The Judeo-Christian ethic, which had guided America’s founders in their creation of the Constitution, was merely an inconvenient impediment to the philosophically superior French. Surely, in the absence of those stodgy clerics and their dreary “thou shalt not” proscriptions, the freedom and happiness of the common people could be expanded to a degree never imagined, even by the Americans.
To their dismay, these utopian dreams quickly succumbed to the pitfalls of “human nature” about which our race has been forewarned ever since the days of Cain and Abel. By 1793, only four years after their joyous July 14 1789 storming of the Bastille, France had slipped into the “Reign of Terror,” during which more than thirty-five thousand citizens were executed as “Enemies of the Revolution,” amid squalor and depredation. Within the short span of another ten years, “egalitarian” France fell once again back under the oppressive fist of a tyrant, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
The lesson to be learned from those starkly dissimilar situations is that a healthy, prosperous, and truly free society does not spontaneously erupt as a consequence of “democracy.” The liberties enjoyed by the American people had been enshrined by the Founding Fathers who first recognized them as a gift from The Almighty, and then endeavored to put in place a governing system that would stand as a firewall against any encroachments on them. Government did not “bestow” rights. Rather, it protected those rights given by God. Merely emplacing leaders in government by majority rule does not guarantee the “rights” of anyone, except those powerful and influential enough to utilize the power of government to their own advantage.
Amid the nightmarish reports coming daily from Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle-East, this timeless lesson should once again be apparent. Unfortunately for the political left, it is still as inconvenient to their agenda as it was back in the days of Louis XVI. Consequently, the “experts” are once again desperately searching for an explanation of what happened to that celebrated “Arab Spring” which was promising so much hope and change to the region only two years ago.
The answer is simple, but also “politically incorrect,” which virtually guarantees that although the facts glare at us from the streets of Cairo, Tripoli, and Benghazi, liberal politicians and their media parrots will go to any lengths to ignore them or, if needs be, suppress them altogether. In stark contrast to the tenets of Christianity, Islam does not foster a societal climate in which the rights of the weak are enshrined and defended against the abilities of the strong to crush them. Hence, in the aftermath of the 2011 removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power, governing policy became the realm of the “Muslim Brotherhood.” And although Obama Administration Intelligence Chief James Clapper assured us that the “Muslim Brotherhood” was a largely secular organization, its Islamist moorings soon became apparent.
As was the case in revolutionary era France, the oppressive conditions on the street rapidly degenerated to far worse than those that had spawned the unrest in the first place. Once again, the citizenry rose up in massive numbers, voicing its indignation and disapproval. Eventually, with the collaboration of Egypt’s military, the massive uprising resulted in the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Mubarak’s successor.
Still, the violence and bloodshed continues. The latest reports from Cairo tell of a resurgence of Islamist sentiment, leading to escalating clashes between pro-Morsi forces and those who advocated his overthrow. In one instance, a confrontation between the army and a gathering of Islamist protestors ended in more than fifty deaths and four hundred injuries. And no end of this mayhem is in sight.
Despite the erudite proclamations of leftists in academia and government, it is not the mere yearning for “freedom,” even if such sentiments are held be a majority of the populace, which spontaneously generates liberty and justice in a society. The quest for that ability to define one’s own life must be tempered with the moral quality of recognizing when such a desire wrongly encroaches on others, and a comprehension of the importance of abiding by such boundaries out of respect for a fellow human being. Otherwise, the situation quickly degenerates into Darwinian terms, by which the physically strong oppress the weak. And no series of subsequent mob uprisings will magically construct a working system of just laws and mutual respect.
Unfortunately, America is in the process of descending down this very path. Liberal institutions insist that the vaunted premise of “separation of Church and state” demands that all religious (Christian) principle be purged from public presence, public awareness, and even the foundation of any law. Nevertheless, evidence of the abject failure of this approach abounds. It should be painfully obvious to all but the most ideologically blind countercultural leftists that as such guiding precepts have been expunged from American society, the general quality of life has degraded accordingly.
It is neither malicious nor cynical to warn that no prospect of an “Arab Spring” exists amid the current culture of that region. As the Middle-East increasingly rejects Western values, and in particular its Judeo-Christian underpinnings, the region will see a steady decline of any recognition of human rights, which have succeeded in elevating Western Civilization as far back as the thirteenth century Magna Carta, and culminating in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Closer to home, it is imperative that Americans reawaken to their own heritage, lest they likewise lose it. They would not be the first to experience so tragic a fate.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.