Working on Hamilton with my Junior Ensemble has, like every play I have worked on and researched during production, got me to thinking. The subjects, contexts, and premises of plays are fascinating to deep-dive during the incubation and creative staging processes. Hamilton of course is a formidable subject: the founding of America by its founding fathers. Of course, America was already found and the “fathers” were often humans subjugating black Africans, native-Americans, and women, among others, to inhumane lives. But as the Witch in another play says, “that’s another story, never mind, anyway . . .” Here I want to explore another topic.
The people who came over to these shores had a problem – a government with large tentacles that kept coming after the ones who left. This government wanted to control these newly migrated people. But governments cannot control anyone without money. Governments do not have money. They start out poor and with nothing and they plunder the people’s assets with the threat of violence; their guns force people into subservience. Just think how many laws you might break if there were no penalty – taxes? A red light at 2am with no one in sight? That inconvenient and costly building permit, etc.? Maybe?
The new people to this land did not have a government; they had voluntary, consensual, mutual aid in small, local settings of persons who were producers, not consumers. And, they had a rich history of common law and the word of a man, a “man of his word”. These carried consequences; but they weren’t the consequences of government intervention and fixings of the problem. People took care of their own problems; they did not seek a government to solve their problems.
The people left their problem behind at the shore, from their own volition, with their consciences in tack, and vowed to make a new and better reality for themselves; these were self-reliant people. But the control freak came after them and wanted their money. The people could see no reason to let the Big State King steal their hard-earned money. But King Man cannot govern, rule, and control a people, without money.
The people debated what to do, wondered which path would be most profitable for their individual lives, and in the end, fought back against the tyrannical old country, and won. The rag-tag army of Washington won against the empire: history shows that Goliath falls sometimes. They went to and addressed the root causes of their problems, attacked them at the root cause, and were forever cured of the problem, at least that problem; for the problem would rear its head numerous times in the coming centuries. But that’s another story.
Cures from root causes are the only way to free one’s self from problems. The republic (not democracy, no matter how often they are spoken as synonymous, they are not) of America was founded as a cure to the root causes of its problems. Early Americans wanted to be free, allowed to live in liberty and justice. They knew, even centralized banking lover Alexander Hamilton knew, that a democracy could end up as tyrannical as the monarch. Fifty-one percent can be very tyrannical rule over the other forty-nine percent. Real freedom must include all people, not just the majority. Socrates was sentenced to death by the majority in the Athenian democracy, all because of his beliefs and his free, voluntary, consensual actions with his students. A republic was the cure, not a democracy.
Further, no matter how a government is formed, the founders knew that money creation can be a draconian evil to be watchful of or else be demolished by, by its holders. Thomas Jefferson said “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.” The colonies regulated themselves and issued their own currency. Ben Franklin, in answering about the prosperity of the colonies stated “That is simple. In the Colonies, we issue our own paper money. It is called ‘Colonial Scrip.’ We issue it in proper proportion to make the goods and pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power and we have no interest to pay to no one.” Harsh words regarding banking were leveled by John Adams and James Madison as well.
Today, the American government is trillions of dollars in debt to a central bank when all along it could have been printing its own money. After the “civil war” (that misnomer is another story) the bankrupt country (wars always drain the resources of a nation) could’ve done what the money-changers (Federal Reserve) eventually did – confiscate the peoples gold (1933) and then took the sound money and made it fiat by terminating the gold standard (1971). Or better yet, America could’ve kept making its own money and used austere policies to begin to rebuild and save and eventually keep “sound” money. America might’ve learned that war is costly, and executed other strategies when conflict arose.
Also, these men also knew the power of governments when a free people are not armed. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country” stated James Madison. George Washington said, “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined…”, and Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
Indeed these men were addressing root causes of losing the natural right of freedom that are inherent in a liberty minded philosophy.
But in the end, Hamilton’s desire for centralized government to solve people’s problems won out. It took till 1913, on the third try, for the Federal Reserve to be born, and with that, the IRS and income tax on the people’s hard earned money. The founders fought and gave their blood and lives to avoid taxes, and hence rule over their lives. While the 1913 Americans allowed the private and foreign rule of their money- and soon after, their lives. Will the right to bear arms be the next founding liberty pin to fall?
The talk of ending the murder of children in our schools is an urgent and necessary conversation today. It is tragic and a sign of our diminishing morality that we have these kinds of murders so often today. If we want to end school murders we must address the root causes. Here are a few questions that could be debated- really debated and investigated, not just with sound bites and clichés.
If we outlaw a certain gun, will another gun be used in its place? If so, do we outlaw all guns, and if so, will that actually prevent school murders? Since cars and trucks are now being used to murder numerous people, do we outlaw cars and trucks as well? What weapons of murder do we outlaw and which ones not? And with what rationale?
Common sense tells us that if we outlaw certain guns, or all guns, evil people will find other weapons to kill. Already cars and trucks have been used effectively to kill others – a very significant question to debate is: what causes people to want to kill others?
If mental illness and depression are epidemic in our country, as experts tell us, then why don’t we find the root cause of that problem when we know it contributes greatly to these school murders? Perhaps the rebirth of the founding principles of this country are needed; would small, local communities not only rule themselves better but also take care of one another better than the humongous, anonymous, bureaucratic institutions big government/big corporations offer?
If we know that the majority of school shooters/murders are on psychiatric medications, and we know that these medications can cause psychotic, violent and suicidal behavior in a small minority of users, should we look further into this problem? If we reduce depression in the people we will shrink the murderer class?
Had the founding fathers not addressed the root problems of their time, and distracted themselves with issues like how to avoid paying the taxes and cheat the system, or how to avoid the king’s rule by disobeying his laws, they would have never given us their legacy of a constitutional republic, a most mature and advanced form of government. They chose the hard road of getting to the root, not covering it up and making do. If we look to their intelligent (although often hypocritical regarding the have-nots) discourses and learn from their enlightenment, we may well be better off than going back to the source of the problems to fix them. These are often after all, government schools, and always governed by federal laws. Do people solve their own problems better than governments?