That’s the fate Patrick Henry would meet today if he pursued his legendary call, “Give me liberty or give me death!” His rousing speech convinced American colonists to revolt against the British regime.

Today he’d be a poster boy for domestic terrorism.

Patrick Henry is a Founding Father of the political entity known as the United States of America. Unfortunately, Patrick was confused about liberty from the get-go. “Give me liberty or give me death” is a logical contradiction. Liberty can’t be given. It is the birthright of every human being. Political regimes can only assault liberty – meaning, hurt you or take your stuff – and then attempt to explain it away with finely crafted propaganda.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

How can anyone not be awed by the Declaration of Independence? It’s punchy, rebellious, and full of romantic idealism.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This singular statement is the lodestar of American political philosophy. The Founding Fathers didn’t like to be bossed around. And they were hardcore tax haters. They wanted a regime they could control – one that wouldn’t meddle in their affairs and would benefit their demographic tribe – namely educated, landed, white men.

They got the party started by firing off the finest piece of political marksmanship in history. The Declaration of Independence. Even the title is majestic. And yet, as soaring as the Declaration’s language is, there’s a fly in the freedom ointment: The Declaration of Independence is a political document written with the express purpose to replace one regime with another.

The Modus Operandi of Politicians

Back to our freedom fighter, Patrick Henry. While Patrick was demanding that liberty be given to him, he was busy tearing it away from others. He’s on record having purchased 78 slaves.

“But times were different!” Dear situational slavery apologists, please face the pain of reality. These were extraordinarily smart, observant men. Since antiquity people have recognized that slavery is a moral abomination. The earliest American colonists did, too.

And of course, Patrick Henry knew it. His own words:

Would any one believe that I am master of slaves by my own purchase? I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them. I will not – I cannot justify it, however culpable my conduct.

Reluctantly oppressing people for personal gain? Ah, there it is. The modus operandi of politicians. Believe what I masterfully preach; pay no mind to what I ruthlessly do.


Let’s take an axe to the tree of hypocrisy planted by George Washington. Said the wealthy overseer of 317 slaves on his estate, “I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.”

A plan? Hey George, how about starting by releasing the slaves you own?

When a slave named Oney Judge managed to escape, Washington actively pursued her and even advertised a reward for her capture. Somehow her freedom wasn’t in his “plan.”

This guy was absolutely perfect for heading a new political regime. Washington bought and sold hundreds of people from his childhood onward, and he owned them till the day he died. All while passionately lamenting the inhumanity of it.

Modus operandi.

At least George wrote in his will that his slaves should be freed after his and his wife’s death, something the other Founding Fathers didn’t bother doing.

Jefferson’s Declaration of Hypocrisy

Is it any surprise that the primary author of the Declaration of Independence owned hundreds of slaves throughout his life?

Like George Washington and Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson fiercely denounced slavery while continuing to buy, sell, and claim literal ownership over other human beings. “Unalienable Rights” to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”? There’s so much here to learn for those who aspire to govern others.

And like Washington, Jefferson desperately wanted slavery gone for good – just not enough to actually free any slaves.

From the official web site of Jefferson’s plantation, Monticello: “He thought that white Americans and enslaved blacks constituted two ‘separate nations’ who could not live together peacefully in the same country. Jefferson’s belief that blacks were racially inferior and ‘as incapable as children,’ [emphasis mine] coupled with slaves’ presumed resentment of their former owners, made their removal from the United States an integral part of Jefferson’s emancipation scheme.”

Makes you wonder how he dreamed up the “All men are created equal” line.

If the slaves were ever freed, Jefferson wanted them forcibly deported to Africa or the West Indies. “Unalienable Rights” to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”? These words would have more credibility in a fortune cookie.

Jefferson bought and sold people with a keen eye for profit. He wrote to a friend who had fallen on hard times that he “should have been invested in negroes,” and that any remaining savings should be invested “in land and negroes, which besides a present support bring a silent profit of from 5. to 10. per cent in this country by the increase in their value.” Somehow that bit was never covered in school.

He was also quite the disciplinarian. Jefferson ordered young boys he owned to be whipped when they were not productive enough in his nail factory. This ugly truth was censored by regime historians, literally deleted from a 500 page account of the operations of his plantation.

There’s also written and DNA evidence that Jefferson had sex with a slave he acquired when she was 14. How can it not be rape if you exercise unbounded control over someone by claiming to literally own her? It seems he impregnated her and apparently didn’t stop there. His grandson wrote that there were children “which resembled Mr. Jefferson so closely that it was plain that they had his blood in their veins.”


I’m asking in earnest: Do you love liberty? More than just as a slogan?

Let’s shed the mythology and recognize reality. The Founding Fathers hatched a government they could control for their benefit. And all the soaring freedom language? Shakespeare captured the essence of political speech in eight words: “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” Politicians are grandmasters of persuasion. They entrance us with “liberty scripture” and once in power do whatever serves their interests. Modus operandi. That makes them phony hypocrites to any honest observer.

Think of every politician throughout history who has waged wars while decrying the horrors of war. Yet most people believe their words – even cling to them – and ignore their actions. This is likely due to politicians’ rhetorical mastery, relentless propaganda, people pledging loyalty to the regime every day in school, and being taught whitewashed government mythology.

But more fundamentally, it may be that people simply don’t want to confront the awful truth that they’re being ruled by moral frauds who will say and do anything to advance their agendas.

Always and everywhere, the government and the governed are two separate classes. What is criminal for you is legal for them. They claim a monopoly on the creation of law and its enforcement, and in return you’re permitted to elect less than 0.001% of the regime. That’s democracy.

Declare Your Independence

Independence Day is a day the American regime but not the American people should celebrate. There are about 200 other governments in the world, and they can only dream of wielding such unbounded financial, regulatory, military, and propaganda power.

The true declaration of independence is not a political document at all. It’s the inward realization that the flag lapel-pinned strangers who seek to rule you have no legitimate claim to your person or property.

What should we do once we realize that whatever they take from some and give to others is the product of extortion and meant to grow their power?

Start by training yourself (if you haven’t already) to separate your identity from the government. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Remember Shakespeare’s quote every time the mainstream media trains its cameras on a politician. Never forget the bottomless chasm between the words and the actions of the regime’s Founding Fathers.

Stop pledging allegiance to a cabal of politicians. Pledge allegiance to your loved ones, your friends, your principles.

Be a model of kindness and make liberty attractive to those who haven’t thought through these ideas. Since everyone concedes that humans are at times untrustworthy and aggressive, see if you can influence others to conclude that monopolizing untold power in the hands of the few who most seek it is a terrible idea.

The flash and flare of government flags and fireworks pale in comparison to freedom understood. Own the truth in your heart and act accordingly.

Happy Independence Day.

Check out my free book on politics, decentralization and living a freer life. This article is published under the CC0 public domain license. Use it for any purpose you wish. Thanks for reading.