Rebels They Were Not!

William Pitt (Lord Chatham), one of several British Statesmen that assessed the American Revolution for what it really was, an attempt to uphold the law, not revolt against it.


Aldolf Hitler taught: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

Maybe you’ve heard this pungent and prodigious prevarication time and again: The Founding Fathers were parochial, self-serving rebels against the existing order — not unlike today’s Progressives, Communists, and Globalists, or so they say, who, by way of contrast to the American Founders rebel for something far more progressive, unselfish, and universal than did the Founders, even to inspire us all to hitch a ride on that high and holy Third Wave to Utopia!

Lies don’t come any bigger nor more nefarious than that one. Pull the liberty loving Founders down into the gutter as common, narrow-minded, self-centered thugs who hate the law; lift the tyranny loving socialists up out of the gutter and place them on the most undeserved of pedestals as lovers and saviors of mankind. But when the Marxist dialectic is your code of ethics it makes plenty of sense, and is unquestionably honest and moral. Thus today: as it was with America’s Founders, as to any group (or individual) which reaches backs to the principles of the American Founding in order to step forward into a future where liberty will once again be enjoyed more fully, and have greater hopes for enduring every trial, it is all about selfishness and sedition; and well, the Administration and or political Establishment? – Inspired change.

So let us begin by setting the record straight as to America’s Founders: These noble and courageous men took up arms to uphold the existing order – namely, natural law, inalienable rights and self-government – because their mother country refused to – and because without representation they were denied redress. That made the British, so far as the Founders were concerned, the rebels – and listen here: a few top Brits admitted it.

Adam Smith, of “Wealth of Nations” fame, pronounced the prohibitory laws of England toward the colonies “a manifest violation of the most sacred rights,” “impertinent badges of slavery imposed upon them without any sufficient reason by the groundless jealousy of … [England’s] merchants and manufacturers. …”

The war with the colonists, wrote Edmund Burke, is “fruitless, hopeless, and unnatural.”

“The colonies,” said Dunning, “are not in a state of rebellion, but resisting the attempt to establish despotism in America, as a prelude to the same system in the mother country. Opposition to arbitrary measures is warranted by the constitution, and established by precedent.”

Fox, displaying for the first time the full extent of his abilities, which made him for more than a quarter of a century the leading debater on the side of the liberal party in England, in a speech of an hour and twenty minutes, entered into the history of the dispute with great force and temper, and stated truly, that ‘the reason why the colonies objected to taxes for revenue was, that such revenue in the hands of government took out of the hands of the people that were to be governed, that control which every Englishman thinks he ought to have over the government to which his rights and interests are intrusted.’

“A fit and proper resistance,” said Wilkes, “is a revolution, not a rebellion. Who can tell whether, in consequence of this day’s violent and mad address, the scabbard may not be thrown away by the Americans as well as by us; and, should success attend them, whether, in a few years, the Americans may not celebrate the glorious era of the revolution of 1775 as we do that of 1688? Success crowned the generous effort of our forefathers for freedom; else they had died on the scaffold as traitors and rebels, and the period of our history which does us the most honor would have been deemed a rebellion against lawful authority, not the expulsion of a tyrant.”

“We are the aggressors,” said Chatham. “[I]nstead of exacting unconditional submission from the colonies, we ought to grant them unconditional redress.”

“I am not surprised,” he noted a few months later, “that men who hate liberty should detest those that prize it; or that those who want [lack] virtue themselves should persecute those who possess it. The whole of your political conduct has been one continued series of weakness and temerity, despotism and the most notorious servility, incapacity and corruption. …

Later, the senior statesman Chatham, rising from his sick bed, put out his final inspired warning:

“The spirit which now resists your taxation in America is the same which formerly opposed loans, benevolences, and ship-money in England; the same which, by the bill of rights, vindicated the English constitution; the same which established the essential maxim of your liberties, that no subject of England shall be taxed but by his own consent. This glorious spirit … animates three millions in America. …

“Let this distinction then remain forever ascertained: taxation is theirs, commercial regulation is ours. They say you have no right to tax them without their consent; they say truly. I recognize to the Americans their supreme, unalienable right in their property, a right which they are justified in the defense of to the last extremity. To maintain this principle is the great common cause. … ‘Tis liberty to liberty engaged’; the alliance of God and nature, immutable and eternal. …

“When your lordships look at the papers transmitted us from America, when you consider their decency, firmness, and wisdom, you cannot but respect their cause, and wish to make it your own.

“For myself, I must avow that in all my reading – and I have read Thucydides and have studied and admired the master-states of the world – for solidity of reason, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion under a complication of difficult circumstances, no body of men can stand in preference to the general congress at Philadelphia. The histories of Greece and Rome give us nothing equal to it, and all attempts to impose servitude upon such a mighty continental nation must be vain.

“We shall be forced ultimately to retract; let us retract while we can, not when we must. These violent acts must be repealed; you will repeal them; I stake my reputation on it, that you will in the end repeal them. Avoid, then, this humiliating necessity. …

“… [T]hrow down the weapons in your hand. …

“Every motive of justice and policy, of dignity and of prudence, urges you to allay the ferment in America. …

“If the ministers persevere in thus misadvising and misleading the king, I will not say that the king is betrayed, but I will pronounce that the kingdom is undone; I will not say that they can alienate the affections of his subjects from his crown, but I will affirm that, the American jewel out of it, they will make the crown not worth his wearing.”

Chatham, Smith, Burke, Dunning, Fox, and Wilkes – true statesmen from the ‘enemy’ camp – were right. The War for Independence was a just war, fought on the American side by those who upheld and defended established law, eternal principles and inalienable rights as no men in the world’s history before them had.

And so, the truth: The American Founders were not rebels, but principled patriots and political prophets who bravely battled for liberty and law. The same will be said one day of those who here and now, with vision and wisdom, conviction and courage, stand up and step forward, on the state and national level, to declare boldly, ‘Not on My Watch!’ to the mighty storm which now blows its fury against established law (under the Constitution), and the eternal principles and inalienable rights it was intended to uphold for an enduring liberty. ‘Not on My Watch!’ to the thrusting of the final dagger into the existing heaven-inspired order of limited government and free enterprise under the U.S. Constitution and the Judeo-Christian ethic. ‘No, not on my watch and hopefully not on yours!’

And so we ask who are the real rebels? Is it the men and women who seek to “change” the established laws of God and country to finally bring about enough centralization of power that their great socialist experiment will finally be, with a little effortless tweaking and resistance-free fine-tuning, in their grasp? Or is it those men and women who courageously dare to uphold and preserve the existing order — the one God inspired — against such unwise and revolutionary change?

I think we all know the answer — but then again, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” Yet, perhaps, just perhaps, there will be enough of us who will not.

Steve Far­rell is one of the orig­i­nal pun­dits at (1999–2008), the author of the highly praised inspi­ra­tional novel Dark Rose, and Founder and Editor In Chief of The Moral Liberal.