Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Narrative of the "Free Republic" (Stefan Molyneux)

Stefan Molyneux doesn't think much of the "ideals" of the overrated Founding Fathers:

Separating facts from myths is always one of the greatest challenges when examining the past. In particular, narratives that benefit those in power are particularly resistant to rational examination, since they tend to be propagated among the impressionable and credible – particularly children, in the form of state “education.”

The history of the United States in particular has gone through an enormous amount of propagandistic revisionism, so that now the standard view of early American history tends to resemble more the slavishly pro-state “Pravda” palimpsests of the Stalinist era than a clear-eyed and rational assessment of past circumstances and events.

There remains at present a large constituency of Americans – often regarding themselves as libertarian – who look back with nostalgia to the founding of the Republic. In their mind’s eye, the late 18th century was a noble era when the steely genius of the Founding Fathers forged in the fires of liberty precious documents designed to limit the power of the state over its citizens. These preternaturally wise philosopher-kings wafted above all human temptations for the exercise of power, remaining farseeing moral visionaries steeped in the humanism and rationality of the Enlightenment, keenly aware of the dangers of the state. These noble heroes led a people yearning for freedom to the revolution of 1776, overthrew an increasingly despotic foreign rule, and put in place a system designed to guarantee the liberty of individuals far into the future.

Read the rest, or watch the YouTube.

2 comments:

Stefan Molyneux, MA said...

Tahnks for posting this Chris!

Minnesota Chris said...

You're welcome Stefan; I've recently become a fan of your work, and will continue to check it out!