The Wise Use movement, as well as the Property Rights movement,
emerged to oppose excessive intrusion by the federal government.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of groups have organized to oppose
restrictions on logging, grazing, mining. Other groups oppose
excessive restrictions on the use of private property imposed by the
Endangered Species Act, federal wetland policy, and the Ecosystem
Management policy. Groups have been formed to oppose the expansion of
Biosphere Reserves and so-called Heritage Areas. Thousands of groups
are opposing a myriad of government regulations that are transforming
America from the "land of the free" to the home of the enslaved.
A wise and wonderful old grey-haired philosopher once said, "you
never get ahead by always being against." It is time that Americans
who love "the land of the free" get ahead. To do so, we need to not
only be "against" those policies which infringe freedom; we must also
advance those principles which ensure our freedom. Freedom 21 is an
effort to identify, celebrate, and reinstate those principles into
public policy at every level of governance.
Why freedom is at risk
The explosion of federal, state, and local regulations in recent
years is not the result of elected officials responding to the
expressed desires of their electors. It is, instead, the manifestation
of the reappearance and emerging ascendancy of a system of governance
that America knocked off track nearly a century ago. Our little
victories, such as the defeat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity, and the defeat of the last three nominations for Biosphere
Reserves, are but temporary annoyances for those who no longer embrace
the principles of government on which America was founded.
To get ahead, and ultimately to prevail, it is essential that we
understand who and what the enemy actually is. The enemy is not the
"liberals," or the UN, or the federal government, or the "green" NGOs.
They are simply the instruments through which the real enemy
facilitates its system of governance.
The real enemy is much more elusive; the real enemy is an idea.
Throughout the 20th century, this idea, or concept of a
system of governance, has struggled to gain ascendancy in the world.
Throughout this century, this system of governance has appeared, with
varying degrees of success, in different places, at different times,
and described by a variety of names.
American freedom is at risk because this concept of
governance is now emerging around the world, called by a new set of
names, but constructed on the same principles that America has so
emphatically rejected in the past. The proponents of this system of
governance are committed, dedicated, smart, and rich. They are
succeeding in America, and around the world, where their predecessors
American freedom is at greater risk than at any time in its
short history. To get ahead, and to ultimately prevail, we must
understand who and what the enemy is, and how the enemy operates.
Then we must develop a new strategy so strong that even the "gates of
hell shall not prevail against it."
Understanding the enemy
The idea in conflict with American freedom is a concept of
governance in which there is no war, no suffering, no struggle for
survival. It envisions a world of "equity" in which all people share
equally in the earth's bounty - and in the toil required to produce
it. It is a compelling idea for many people, especially for those who
must constantly struggle for survival, who see it as "unfair" that
some people prosper while others suffer in poverty. It is a concept
that is particularly appealing to people who have been the innocent
victims of war.
To achieve this utopian system of governance, there must be a
central regulating authority to decide the quantity of natural
resources that may be used without endangering biodiversity. A
central authority must decide how much greenhouse gas may be emitted
without endangering the global climate. A central authority must have
the power to prevent war by disarming all nations, and all people. A
central authority must decide how many people the earth can support,
and have the power to keep population within safe limits. A central
authority must have the financial resources to enforce the "right" of
all people to "a full stomach," health care, and decent housing. A
central authority must have the power to take "from each according to
his ability," and redistribute to "each according to his need."
There is nothing new about this system of governance - except the
modern names used to describe it. It is the system of governance
enjoyed by kings and dictators throughout history. It is the system
of governance championed by Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner, who
modified the concept to transfer authority and power from a single
sovereign, to a sovereign institution christened by Colonel Mendell
House as The League of Nations. Reflecting the views and values of
their electors, the United States Senate knocked the concept off track
when it refused to ratify the League's Charter. The League withered,
but the concept of governance did not. Marx, Lenin, and Stalin
rekindled the concept with more modifications and a new name. For 70
years, central authority and power was held in a Politbureau that
regulated every aspect of every human life throughout eastern Europe.
The Rhodes-Milner-House version of the concept differed slightly
from the Marx-Lenin-Stalin version. The latter group believed the use
of force was necessary to coerce cooperation; the former group
believed that education was the source of cooperation, with force
available to be used for the uneducable. The United Nations was
created by the remnants of the Rhodes-Milner-House group in 1945.
Convinced that education was a more effective tool than military
might, the reincarnation of the old League set out to educate the
world about the benefits of its concept of governance. When the
Marx-Lenin-Stalin version of the concept collapsed, the United Nations
was well-positioned to move in and fill the vacuum. The world has now
been sufficiently "educated" to embrace the benefits offered by the
concept of governance which promises no wars, no suffering, and no
struggling for survival.
How the enemy operates
Identify a problem - real or perceived - and offer a reasonably
credible solution. This is the underlying operating principle used to
"educate" people about the benefits of the old concept of governance
all dressed up in new names. "Communism," and "socialism" are both
tainted terms in much of the world. The new all-encompassing name for
the old concept is "Global Governance." Proponents of the old concept
are quick to declare that global governance is not world government.
And here is revealed another important operating principle: "a rose
called by any other name..." A pile of cow manure can be described
as a "biodiversity enhancer," but it still smells like, and is, a pile
of cow manure. Global governance smells like, and is, world
government. The United Nations is consolidating authority and power
to regulate every aspect of every life by "educating" people about the
benefits of "sustainable development" and the dangers of global
warming, over-population, economic disparity, and international
The education campaign has been incredibly successful. In hardly a
generation, the values of "sustainability" have permeated public
schools and pushed aside the principles of personal responsibility and
individual freedom. The idea of national sovereignty is described as
obsolete, promoted only by right-wing radicals. The idea of free
markets is described as corporate greed that ignores the "rights" of
workers and rapes mother earth and ravages her resources to produce
products for the rich while ignoring the needs of the poor. Land, and
the resources it contains, are assets held in common by all people, to
be administered on the basis of need as determined by a central
authority. These ideas are now accepted as the norm among many, if
not most, Americans. These are the ideas that drive public policies
such as the Endangered Species Act, the Ecosystem Management policy,
the School to Work Act, and national and personal disarmament. These
ideas are the enemy. Our strategies must not only rail against the
institutions of government that implement these ideas. Our strategies
must fight fire with fire; ideas with ideas.
The ideas of governance on which America is founded represent,
perhaps, man's greatest achievement. The idea that government must be
empowered only by the consent of the governed, is the most powerful
idea about governance ever conceived. At the end of the day, it is
the idea, and the system of governance, that will guide all people to
healthy, happy, and prosperous lives. But there is little to prevent
the world from suffering through another century, or millennium for
that matter, of the inevitable oppression that results from
self-empowered government that grants, or denies, freedom and wealth
to its citizens.
New strategies - Freedom 21
Without reducing our resistance to every manifestation of global
governance advanced through federal policy, we must also develop a
strategic offense. We must not only be "against," we must be "for."
We must be for those principles of self-governance which inspired the
Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. We can no
longer be content to fly a flag and light fireworks on the Fourth of
July. We must do more - a lot more.
Freedom 21 is conceived to be an on-going celebration of the
principles of self-governance that empowers America. Its purpose is
to focus public attention on just how wonderful it is to be an
American, and more important, exactly what makes it so wonderful. It
is conceived to be an on-going national "teach-in" through which
communities around the country participate in a range of activities
which educate and appreciate the fundamental principles of American
Composition contests in writing, music, and electronic
communications, can inspire thousands of students and church goers to
think about, and perhaps rediscover, the values and principles that
define America. Parades, concerts, study-groups, town hall meetings,
all focusing on the values and principles of American self-governance,
conducted in every community in America, sponsored by grassroots
organizations can have a profound effect on whether or not our nation
is consumed by global governance.
The United Nations Millennium Assembly and Summit has authorized
the U.N.'s vision of global governance. The pace of implementaton
will now accelerate. With the approval of the heads of state from more
than 150 nations, and the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. has a
mandate from the highest political powers on earth.
The Freedom 21 Campaign was launched at the Freedom 21 National
Conference in St. Louis, July 9-12, 2000. The Conference adopted
"Principles of Freedom" Resolution.
The Freedom 21 Campaign is continuing with the development of a
Freedom 21 Agenda. Participating organizations are encouraged to
undertake a variety of initiatives to advance the principles of