Chuck Baldwin | March 17, 2016
March 6 marked the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo outside of San Antonio, Texas, back in 1836. This event was so significant in my mind that I always try to devote a column that honors the heroism of these men on or around the anniversary of the occasion.
For 13 days, 189 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna’s seasoned army of over 4,000 troops. To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew they would never leave those ramparts alive. They had several opportunities to leave and live. Yet, they chose to fight and die. How foolish they must look to this generation of spoiled Americans.
It is difficult to recall that stouthearted men such as Davy Crockett (a nationally-known frontiersman and former congressman), Will Travis (only 26 years old with two little children at home), and Jim Bowie (a wealthy landowner with properties on both sides of the Rio Grande) really existed. These were real men with real dreams and real desires. Real blood flowed through their veins. They loved their families and enjoyed life as much as any of us do. However, there was something different about them. They possessed a commitment to liberty that transcended personal safety and comfort.
Liberty is an easy word to say, but it is a hard word to live up to. Freedom involves much more than financial gain or personal pleasure. Accompanying Freedom is her constant and unattractive companion, Responsibility. Neither is she an only child. Courage and Honesty are her sisters. They are inseparable: destroy one and all will die.
Early in the siege, Travis wrote these words to the people of Texas: “Fellow Citizens & Compatriots: I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna…The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword…I have answered the demand with a cannon shot & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat…VICTORY OR DEATH! P.S. The Lord is on our side…”
As you read those words, remember that Travis and the others did not have the National Education Association (NEA) telling them how intolerant and narrow-minded their notions of honor and patriotism were. They didn’t have the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) telling them they were a hate group. A hostile media did not constantly castigate them as a bunch of wild-eyed extremists. As schoolchildren, they were not taught that their forefathers were nothing more than racist jerks. The TSA didn’t have them on a terrorist watch list. Neither did they have 501c3 pastors constantly filling their hearts and minds with this imbecilic “Obey-the-government-no-matter-what” misinterpretation of Romans chapter 13.
The brave men at the Alamo labored under the belief that America (and Texas) really was “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” They believed in God and that their cause was just. They also believed that the freedom of future generations depended on their courage and resolve. They further believed their posterity would remember their sacrifice as an act of love and devotion. It all looks pale now.
By today’s standards, the gallant men of the Alamo appear rather foolish. After all, they had no chance of winning–none. Yet, the call for pragmatism and compromise was never sounded. Instead, they answered the clarion call, “Victory or death!”
Please try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch our spineless political, corporate, and religious leaders surrender to globalism, corporatism, socialism, and political correctness. Try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch the Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., create a more draconian Police State than Santa Anna would have ever dared to create.
One thing is certain: those courageous champions at the Alamo did not fight and die for a political party or for some “lesser of two evils” mantra. They fought and died for a principle–and that principle was liberty and independence.
On March 6, 1836, those 189 defenders of the Alamo joined the ranks of the world’s greatest freedom fighters. Patriots such as the 70+ Christian men from the Church of Lexington who stood against 800 British troops on April 19, 1775, at Lexington Green and the hundreds more who joined them at the Concord Bridge; men such as the great Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, and his band of 2,000 men who stood against an English force of over 13,000 men at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on September 11, 1297, and again on July 22, 1298, when Wallace and 5,000 Scots went up against an English force of over 15,000 men at the Battle of Falkirk; and let’s not forget the single greatest example of men who chose to fight for liberty against the greatest of odds: the 300 Spartans who squared off against more than 100,000 Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in August or September of 480 B.C. These stories–and hundreds like them–are the heritage of free men everywhere. And the willingness to stand against overwhelming odds for the cause of liberty is certainly America’s heritage.
At the same time, it is extremely important to note that the Alamo defenders (and the rest of the honorable men mentioned in the above paragraph) did NOT act as a mob. Their resistance was just and righteous under the Natural laws of God. Men do not have the right to take the law into their own hands; they do not have the right to act as a mob; and they do not have the right to violate Natural Law.
Natural and divine law must be the ultimate authority regarding men’s conduct, up to and including the right of resistance–and even the right of revolution. A man’s individual, personal opinion is NOT the final authority of one’s actions–and men who behave as if it is are truly lawless men. Such men have no right to lead anyone, and only a fool would follow such men.
The heroes of the Alamo, as well as the heroes of America’s fight for independence, acted bravely and in good conscience under the moral law of God and the just laws of Nature. They did not act on their own authority but on the Natural authority of the Body Politic.
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” (Declaration of Independence)
Human experience shows wrong judgments are rendered in individual cases, but such errors in judgment do not give the right of individuals to judge their own cause and manipulate recompense by force. This is why we form government, so that individuals are mutually bound by the same laws as everyone else and that all individuals agree not to live in a state of war, but of society, which necessitates a common authority with common laws.
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.” (Declaration of Independence)
John Locke (The Father of America’s Founding Fathers) said, “If a long train of abuses, prevarications and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going; it is not to be wondered, that they should then rouze themselves, and endeavour to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the ends for which government was at first erected.”
Of course, even if the right to forcefully resist may technically exist, the right itself is a right of the Body Politic or “We the People”–not necessarily of one individual or of a group of individuals acting as a mob.
Since the right to oppose tyranny rests in the People–as the Body Politic–individuals have a responsibility to persuade a critical mass of society to make a finding that the government is tyrannous and to take as many procedural steps as possible to redress the specifics of what makes the government tyrannous.
“If a controversy arise betwixt a prince and some of the people, in a matter where the law is silent, or doubtful, and the thing be of great consequence, I should think the proper umpire in such a case should be the body of the people.” (John Locke)
Factions, by themselves and without the support of the People, can never put the power of government into different hands, because it takes the will and consent of the People to put sovereignty into a government created by the People.
When factions, on their own, begin using offensive force against persons in government, the People must view their actions as an attempt to put them and the rest of the world in a state of war with each other. Thus, in that case, the factions have no civil law on which to use to protect their actions. That is, just as they use force against others, they permit others to use force against them. A state of war, by its nature, has no common authority, and all disputes under that state are settled only by force.
“Whosoever uses force without right, as every one does in society, who does it without law, puts himself into a state of war with those against whom he so uses it; and in that state all former ties are cancelled, all other rights cease, and every one has a right to defend himself, and to resist the aggressor.” (John Locke)
On this score alone, factions must have the moral approbation of the People–or at minimum a sufficient part of them–from among the community that would judge them in a trial, so that their peers can give their actions moral justification.
Without such support from the rest of the community that suffers or is familiar with the same evils that presumably gave rise to the factions’ resistance, the faction cannot pretend to do the rest of that community a favor by simply “taking the law into their own hands,” because the rest of the community has not given them the authority to break the laws that the People have consented to and have agreed should govern the Body Politic for the sake of the peace, unity and protection of that society.
Put it this way, society is formed for the protection and progress of the individuals in that society. When society sees the actions of a few as an attack on the purpose of that society’s formation, that society can take whatever means necessary to defend themselves against factions that threaten that society’s peace and existence.
In line with the law of conscience, for those who advance that civil society’s rules must be abandoned and resistance taken (thus putting that society in a state of war with each other), there is a standard of proof that must be met, so as to convince the “jury” (i.e., “the People”) that their actions taken outside the rules of law–that all have agreed to follow in the constitutional form enacted by the People–are justified. If factions have not met that burden of proof, their actions cannot be justified by that society, and thus, the faction’s actions will have no positive or legitimate end.
This is why it is absolutely obligatory that:
1. The American citizenry is thoroughly informed and educated regarding the Natural laws of government–including the divine principles of lawful resistance to government.
2. Clergymen immediately familiarize themselves with the Natural laws of God and quickly begin teaching these principles to their congregations.
3. Pro-liberty men and women themselves become educated regarding the Natural laws of God and begin educating everyone in their sphere of influence regarding these sacred principles of liberty.
4. State legislators, governors, attorney generals, judges, sheriffs, etc., not only become familiar with the Natural Law principles of liberty, but also come to a comprehension and conviction of their responsibility and authority to use their office within State government to galvanize the Body Politic in the defense of liberty.
On one hand, every instance of government overreach and usurpation of power moves more people toward the liberty movement. On the other hand, every instance of an aggressive, armed-mob reaction by those claiming to be part of the liberty movement (even if they are well-intentioned) only serves to move the Body Politic against us.
The Alamo defenders, America’s Founding Fathers, William Wallace and his band of Scots, and King Leonidas and his fellow Spartans all acted in accordance with the Natural Law principles stated above. They did NOT engage in armed resistance as individuals or as a mob but under the Natural Law authority of a Body Politic.
P.S. A few weeks ago, I delivered a comprehensive message on the subject, “The Right Of Revolution As Justified in Natural and Revealed Law.” Please help me distribute this message to as many freedom-minded people as you can. We simply MUST educate men and women as to these fundamental liberty principles quickly if we are to have any chance of obtaining the approbation of Heaven upon our liberty fight. And without the approbation of Heaven, there can be NO VICTORY.
Furthermore, if we continue to go forward in a manner that does NOT comprehend and incorporate these immutable Natural Law principles, all we will do is turn the Body Politic (not to mention government itself) against us and hasten our own demise.