Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Lindsay Perigo: Eternal Insolence

There was some discussion yesterday about the origin of the statement, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." I mused that, though Jefferson said it, he wasn't the first, & that I thought it had originally been stated by an Irishman. Quick as a flash, a couple of callers phoned in with John Curran's "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, & the punishment of his guilt." That was in 1790, which left open the possibility that Jefferson might have beaten him to it. Looking through my library at home, though, I found Mr Jefferson saying it in a letter to a correspondent in 1814. The exact form in which he did so was, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." The rest of the letter is instructive as well. It says, in part:

"Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it ...

"That government is best which governs least.

"All eyes are opened or opening to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already opened to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind have not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favoured few booted & spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of God."

Jefferson had already served his two terms as President of the United States when he wrote these words. Reading them, I couldn't help but wonder, why don't we hear them today? George Bush's weasel-words don't begin to compare, & his Democratic opponents, of course, have no comprehension of what the Founding Fathers were on about. Such backsliding over a mere two & a quarter centuries is difficult to fathom. Well, not so difficult perhaps when you consider that many of the Founding Fathers repaired to Christianity to validate their beliefs - the same Christianity that furnished an ethical underpinning for the opposite beliefs.

Here, it has long been accepted that most of us are born with saddles on our backs, that the spurred & booted Clarks & Andertons have an unassailable right - indeed, duty - to ride us, not so much in the name of God as in the name of society. It's time we did some serious bucking! Perhaps we could best extrapolate Mr Jefferson's dictum to the New Zealand context by saying, the price of liberty is infernal insolence!

===========================================================
For Lindsay Perigo's daily "Politically Incorrect Show" editorials, visit: http://www.freeradical.co.nz or listen to Radio Pacific from noon to 2pm weekdays.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Richard S. Ehrlich: U.S. Sees "Threat" In The Golden Triangle

In Southeast Asia's crime-infested Golden
Triangle, Chinese entrepreneur Zhao Wei is constructing a sprawling
casino resort and airstrip despite being sanctioned by the U.S.
Treasury Department as a "threat to the United States" because of his
"horrendous illicit activities"... More>>



Peter Dunne: The Steadily Eroding Sands Of Credibility

The ever-shifting sands of the Covid19 vaccination programme are increasingly eroding the credibility of this government.
In January the Prime Minister proclaimed that 2021 would be the “Year of the vaccine” – much the same way as she had promised 2019 would be the “Year of Delivery... More>>


The Conversation: Aggressive Marketing Has Driven The Rise Of The Double-cab Ute On New Zealand Streets — Time To Hit The Brakes?

Explore your inner beast.” That was the slogan used last year to sell the Ford Ranger. At 2.4 tonnes, that’s a lot of “light” truck, but the stakes are rising. This year, the 3.5 tonne Ram 1500 “eats utes for breakfast”... More>>




Podcast: Buchanan + Manning On Cyber-Attacks And The Evolution Of Hybrid Warfare

Paul G. Buchanan and Selwyn Manning present this week’s podcast, A View from Afar with a deep-dive into cyber-attacks and hybrid warfare – Especially how 2021 has witnessed a Cold War II styled stand-off between global powers... More>>


Climate Explained: Is New Zealand Losing Or Gaining Native Forests?

Apart from wetlands, land above the treeline, coastal dunes and a few other exceptions, New Zealand was once covered in forests from Cape Reinga to Bluff. So was Europe, which basically consisted of a single forest from Sicily in southern Italy to the North Cape in Norway, before human intervention... More>>




Sydney Mockdown: The Delta Variant Strikes

It is proving to be an unfolding nightmare. For a government that had been beaming with pride at their COVID contract tracing for months, insisting that people could live, consume and move about with freedom as health professionals wrapped themselves round the virus, the tune has changed... More>>