The following is a guest post by Dr. Spurven Ten Sing, Professor of History and Guest Lecturer at the University of Vestfold, Sandefjord. Dr. Ten Sing has recently appeared before the Society of Libertarian Anarchism, a think tank located in Washington, D.C. and gave the following address before a gathering of fellows.

For the longest time, our republic has existed in a unique space in history. Where other nations have been based on a shared history, a common ethnicity, or other distinguishing characteristics, ours is based on a shared principle. The principle, that of freedom and liberty, is one that has seen our nation through tough times, has enabled us to be an example to other countries, and helped us to become very rich.

Now I know that we have yet to gain that elusive state of freedom and through much of our history we have perverted the notion of liberty as we enslaved one race and annihilated another. We have visited unspeakable cruelty on the weakest among us, time and again. We have hurt and plundered peoples inside our borders and overseas for centuries, up until this very day. The sole redeeming quality of our imperfect quest for freedom is our insistence on improving, and at times we have caught sight of that elusive progress.

Sometime ago, I don’t know when, we stopped trying. Somewhere, we traded the real bedrock concept of liberty and self ownership for ephemeral rhetoric. We ceased moving forward in the cause. We have rejected basic protections, often elucidated in the Bill of Right, but other more ancient ones such as habeus corpus, due process, and even separation of powers. We may be tempted to blame this on recent legislation, but in reality the problems are much deeper.

I find this turn of history to be troubling.

To trade the pursuit of freedom for the deception of security leads to totalitarianism, and indeed we find ourselves entrenched quite hopelessly in the same. Rather than blame voters, or politicians (who possess a fair share of the blame) we should recognize the true cause of the problem: the initiation of the use of force.

Government rests solidly on the gun, the club, and the cage. Its authority derives solely on violence and on a one sided pact of slavery. It claims literal ownership upon our bodies, our properties, and our labor. We cannot control it, except by rejecting it. Once this irrefutable reality is internalized, we see why the quest for freedom has been set back in this country as of late. In a system built upon this use of force, freedom is only useful as a tool, a bait to manipulate the consent of the slaves. Freedom has became a liability to the rulers (who are so tragically ourselves!) and is now fully castrated to platitudes.

Freedom is found through knowledge, through education, through the full embrace of reality. To know you are enslaved is the first step towards liberty. Know that, and share that with all who seek it. Thank you for your time.