In 1776 a minuscule portion of the North American inhabitants opted to separate from England and become independent. Estimates are that the population of the colonies was around 800,000. Perhaps as many as 1000 inhabitants had an interest in independence.
A unique set of individuals occupied the country. Rugged individualism was necessary in order to survive. In many rural areas law was completely informal. Government was not all that relevant. Fighting for many was a way of life. Signing up for the army and being paid to fight was a lot more reasonable then than it is today. Very few Americans had any interest in the agendas of the leaders in the states in which they lived. By the end of the war for independence, the number grew but may have never been as high as half.
Freedom was what the founding fathers wanted and they imposed freedom on everyone else. Freedom is best for everyone. Rights are good for everyone. But, ordinary people don’t seek freedom. As I have written many times before, it is human nature to bargain freedom away in return for comfort. That is natural behavior.
The evolutionary psychologists tell us that human behavior comes down do doing those things that cause our genes to get passed to the next generation. The brain is not a freedom seeking organ. The brain finds the best way to survive. The evolutionary psychologists are right about this.
At any time other than a crisis period, seeing ourselves as better than we are and explaining our behavior in the loftiest terms does little harm. When long standing political agendas mature and a reckoning is in order, seeing the world as different than it is is very harmful. That is in the situation we are in today.
In schools today we teach children a different and highly comforting version of history. Teaching children the truth is a completely uncomfortable task. A highly palatable alternative history is taught instead. That puts us all in a difficult place when a crisis hits.
I talk as if a crisis as if it is already here. When it hits full force, how much freedom we keep as individuals will depend on how much freedom a few will be willing to impose on the majority who will opt for a different path. History has never known a situation where an overall population has insisted on being free.
People are hardwired to do the opposite.
Here is a brand new Curbside Jimmy tune. It is timely and yes Washington D.C. is mentioned.