Monday, August 9, 2010

The American World Revolution

What is the meaning of this Republic in history, but an unprecedented fury of human energy, attacking the non-human world, and making this earth more habitable for human beings?

Swiftly, in seventy years, Americans have built defenses against darkness—from pine-knots and candles to kerosene lamps, gas jets, electric bulbs, neon lights, fluorescent tubes.

In my lifetime, Americans have created astounding defenses against weather—from fireplace and stove to furnaces, radiators, automatic oil-burners, insulation, air-conditioning.

Americans make the stupendous attack on Space: steamboats, railroads, subways, automobiles, planes, stratosphere flying, inter-planetary rockets. And on Time: telegraph, transoceanic cables, telephones, radio, television.

In less than one century, human energy—only in these States and on the western rim of Europe—has made such a terrific attack on the enemies of human life that it has created the whole modern world.

Why was such an attack never made before?

For sixty known centuries, multitudes of men have lived on this earth. Their situation has been the everlasting human situation. Their desire to live has been as strong as ours. Their energy has always been enough to make this earth at least habitable for human beings. Their intelligence has been great.

Yet for six thousand years, most men have been hungry.

Famines have always killed multitudes, and still do over most of this earth. Ninety-five years ago, the Irish were starving to death; no one was surprised. Europeans had never expected to get from this earth enough food to keep them all alive.

Why did men die of hunger, for six thousand years?

Why did they walk, and carry goods and other men on their backs, for six thousand years, and suddenly, in one century, only on a sixth of this earth's surface, they make steamships, railroads, motors, airplanes, and now are flying around the earth in its utmost heights of air?

Why did families live six thousand years in floorless hovels, without windows or chimneys, then, in eighty years and only in these United States, they are taking floors, chimneys, glass windows for granted, and regarding electric lights, porcelain toilets, and window screens as minimum necessities?

Why did workers walk barefoot, in rags, with lousy hair and unwashed teeth, and workingmen wear no pants, for six thousand years, and here, in less than a century—silk stockings, lip sticks, permanent waves, sweaters, overcoats, shaving cream, safety razors. It's incredible.

For thousands of years, human beings use their energies in unsuccessful efforts to get wretched shelter and meager food.

Then on one small part of the earth, a few men use their energies so effectively that three generations create a completely new world.

What explains this? (…)

(The American constitutions), while it granted certain limited permissions to men in Government, also definitely prohibited their using force as Governments always had used force.

These prohibitions are called the Bills of Rights.

The name is not a good one, because it is not accurate.

It confuses a careless mind.

The name, "Bill of Rights," is English. It is accurate in

England. The English Bill of Rights is a statement of certain freedoms which British Government permits to its subjects.

An American Bill of Rights is the exact reverse of the

English one. The "Bill of Rights" in American Constitutions is a statement of the uses of force which American citizens do not permit to men in American Government.

This difference is of the utmost importance. It is the essence of this World Revolution. This difference is the whole difference between American revolutionary Government and all other Governments in past history or on earth now.

(Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane)

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