Just below, I commented on the ballot box - one of the four "boxes of liberty" - and made the case that it is no longer of use. It's high time Americans stop to reflect on the other three "boxes of liberty" and which of these boxes - if any - have remaining utility at this late hour.
The soap box (the First Amendment) is not one to be dismissed under any circumstance, but it's usefulness pales when, as now, the government simply doesn't listen.
The jury box might still be reclaimed, if Americans would just wake to their power to judge not only the guilt of the accused but the validity of the law itself. Jury Nullification is really just another arrow in our voting quiver, enabling us to vote against any law we don't like even if our representatives have acted against our own best interests in passing it. Clearly, the Founders intended this as another safeguard against the breakdown of representation over time - a most prescient concern. Nullification would be useful, if we knew it was there.
The box of last resort is the cartridge box. This looks more and more like the only box that might be useful to fix things, if we have the will left to fix them.
Our right to revolution is expressed in the Declaration of Independence itself. The Declaration notes the self evident truth that man is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life itself and liberty. (In the legal sense, alienable means salable or transferable, so unalienable literally means not transferable. An unalienable right is one that cannot be taken away. Under the doctrine of self defense, we're justified in fighting whenever someone tries to taker these rights!)
After establishing that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are fundamental rights, the Founders state "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." (Then we shot all the slow learners and threw rest of the bastards out at gunpoint. The Revolutionary War was so named for a good reason...)
Shortly after the war came the drafting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. While flawed (another subject entirely!) it remains the most radical blueprint for the government of a nation in history, in that (if followed) it severely limits the scope and powers of government while guaranteeing widespread rights for the people. The Founders deliberately inserted several means of essentially perpetual revolution: Free speech. Unhindered assembly. A free press. Petition. Elections. Jury nullification. (The only peril they could not guard against was our own apathy, which is precisely where the train went off the tracks. More on that in a bit.)
The cartridge box - the guarantee of our right to revolution - was enshrined in law as the Second Amendment. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." These words, taken with their meanings at the time (original intent) establish (no surprise here) a philosophy of complete rebelliousness. A militia is the people, well regulated meant well trained and a free State was just that - a State that was not under the thumb of the newly created Federal government and could potentially go to war against other states or the Feds. The right itself was expressed after the philosophy was stated - the right of the people (a phrase used repeatedly in the bill of rights, totally clear in meaning) to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms (guns) shall not be infringed.
Only the profoundly dishonest could "miss" the clarity of these words.
Although Acton's warning wasn't penned until a century later, the Founders understood all too well the tendency of even a small amount of power to corrupt men. They weren't shy about using guns against their oppressors, either. They wanted us armed because they believed we'd be smart enough to shoot 'em all before things got this bad!
Of course, human nature prevailed. Softened by the blessings of Liberty, we the people became apathetic - if not altogether blind - to the usurpation of our natural rights, and to the ever growing (and illegal) Federal power assumed through deception and lies.
Too many of us came to feed at the resulting government trough, and I'm not just talking about welfare/entitlement recipients. We have millions and millions of government workers at the Federal, state, county, city and special district levels. Then there are the contractors, and the mercenaries. The grant recipients. The schools. Many businesses and all professions are likewise beneficiaries of government power, shaping and using regulations to maximize revenue and/or to minimize competition. Also, too many good people looked the other way as we were colonized with a new kind of immigrant that came, often illegally, intending only to feed at that trough.
Now, when matters come to a vote, it is quite likely that these various groups of feeders form the majority. Obviously, such an "election" is an exercise in foregone conclusion, and the rights of the minority (us) have been handily eliminated. Our votes, and our rights, are meaningless.
de Juvenal observed that "a nation of sheep must, in time, beget a government of wolves" and that, deservedly, is what we have today. The miserable burden of socialism weighs on every aspect of American life today, and the weight will only grow till we're crushed.
We've come nearly full circle in the Fatal Sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to courage;
From courage to freedom;
From freedom to abundance;
From abundance to selfishness;
From selfishness to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to fear;
From fear to dependency;
From dependency back into bondage.
Courage has all but disappeared, but we see the apathetic, the fearful and the dependent everywhere. People are waking up, but it's too little, too late. All that's left to us is the descent from dependency back into bondage, and I don't think it can be a controlled landing. It's just too late.
I doubt that the Repubs would repeal anything Obama enacted, and even if they did it would be a pyrrhic victory. The interest on our trillions of free lunches has finally come due. That interest cannot be paid with what we have left to offer, which is more free lunches. The rest of the world is in no better shape. Our only path out of this mess is forward through a collapse. We fiddled while Rome burned, and now the last resort has become our only option.
If we have the courage, this next fight will be a rude combination of the two major domestic wars we've already fought - a revolution and a parallel civil war. If we fight, we will fight not just FOR liberty but also AGAINST slavery - that second fight being as much against our own countrymen as against the king.
It's high time time you ask yourself - which side are you really on? Do you just talk a good show, or do you walk the talk? Are you a senior citizen unwilling to acknowledge the unconstitutionality of Social Security and Medicare? (The fact that these programs are mathematically doomed is irrelevant. They're morally wrong, and that's all you should need!) Are you an accountant, doctor or lawyer who owes his nice income to government regulation/government created monopolies? Are you a government bureaucrat, or do you owe your job to government even though you work in private industry? Are you on welfare? Are you a high tech/internet player, an investor, stockbroker, Realtor, contractor or mortgage broker who took their cut of the fiat money bubbles? Did you use your house as an ATM, or did you buy one you couldn't afford with an interest only mortgage? Do you vote for your own gain or do you hold out for the good of the nation? Or, are you a leftist who simply votes against the nation, irrationally seeking to burn down the house you live in?
The answers to these questions matter, and even many so called conservatives have some real soul searching to do. And quickly. That soul searching, no matter the outcome, still beats the predicament of today's liberals, who have nothing left to claim but shame.
Insanity. Our sheeplike apathy has produced dependence on a government of wolves, whose only interest in us is as a source of labor and revenue. Now it's harvest time, and we're the crop.
So, back to into the bondage we clamored for. We've become the Eloi, and we've begged the Morelocks to take "care" of us. Are we so diminished a people that we will settle for this bloody slavery? Or, deep down, do we yet have the will for the slightly less bloody fight to retake that precious gift we let slip with so little thought?
I wish I knew the answer...