The American Revolution Wasn’t Revolutionary

by | Apr 28, 2021 |

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The conventional terminology for 1776 is The American Revolution. But was it?

A political revolution is defined as overthrowing an existing way of doing things. According to, noun: an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed. 

The American colonies had benefitted from the benign neglect of Great Britain. Britain was focused on its wars on the European continent. So, Colonial Americans learned to take care of themselves. They largely defended themselves during the French and Indian Wars. They governed themselves with their own legislatures. They developed their own schools, churches, economy, and businesses.

Then Great Britain turned its attention to the Colonies. “We will now tell you what you can and cannot do. We will now make taxation and other laws in Parliament, thousands of miles away from you.” Americans responded, “No thanks. We are doing quite well on our own. We govern ourselves and tax ourselves through our own elected representatives. We don’t need you telling us what to do. We decide for ourselves. Just leave us alone.”

Great Britain responded with force: sending troops to enforce their edicts and housing soldiers in American homes. “No, we won’t leave you alone. We know best, and we are in charge. Obey us.” Sound familiar? Our own elites are now telling us the same thing. “Shut up and do as you’re told.”

So Colonial Americans started a resistance movement with committees of correspondence to communicate with one another across state lines, which led to the Declaration of Independence and the war for independence. Which we already had. We just wanted to keep our independence. The British wanted to take it away.

The American Revolution was a conservative revolution. The Founding Fathers did not want to change things, they wanted to preserve things. Conserve things. Conserve their way of life and their way of governing themselves. It was the British who were the revolutionaries, coming in and overturning the local representative government. “Leave us alone,” the Colonials said. “We don’t need your help.”

Why is this relevant today?

Because for the past 80 years, the Left (progressives, woke, Marxists, socialists, Social Justice Warriors, and other names) has pushed a slow-motion revolution onto the American people. The people who prided themselves on self-reliance, invention, and taking care of themselves were told, “You can’t take care of yourselves. It’s too difficult. Let us do it for you.” The Left gave us the easy way out, the freebies, stuff delivered to us with no effort on our part. Who can turn down a freebie? We acquiesced. The Left overthrew the traditional American culture of self-reliance. Overthrow = revolution.

The stimulus checks are the latest example. We, the government, closed down your businesses and thereby removed your income. Now we, the government, will generously give you some money to live on. But remember, what the government giveth, the government can taketh away.

The libertarian science fiction writer Robert Heinlein coined the acronym TANSTAAFL. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” There are always strings attached. Need food? We give you food stamps. Hunters buy “deer corn.” Why? To make the deer depend on getting food at a certain location. Come hunting season; the deer are on the menu. Similarly, Venezuela offers ration cards for cheap food. But the government revokes the food ration cards of dissidents. Obey us or starve. Free / cheap food = deer corn.

“Can’t afford rent? We’ll house you free in Section 8 housing.” The siren song of the Left: “Need something? We’ll give it to you free.” The psychologist Martin Seligman wrote a book about a condition he called Learned Helplessness. When your own behavior doesn’t produce results, you learn to be helpless. You don’t think your actions matter. When I’m fed, housed, and clothed by others, functionally, I’m a baby. Helpless. Just where the Left wants you to be. Totally dependent on the government, just as a baby is totally dependent on its parents.

We need a second American Cultural Revolution.

To push back the tide of freebies and other “entitlements” that trap us into dependency on the government. To conserve and preserve the original revolutionary  American idea: Americans don’t ask the government for permission. The government asks us for permission. The Constitution put this into law with the concept of enumerated powers of government. We the people gave you the government permission to make this numbered list of things. Anything not on the list, you ask for our permission via a Constitutional amendment. Our elected representatives in state legislatures vote on Constitutional amendments—no legislation without representation.

The idea for a second American Cultural Revolution is simple: “No thanks, government. We’ll take care of ourselves.”

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a life-long student of liberty, limited government, and free-market economics. As a young man, he taught and crewed at the Flint School aboard the 156’ two-masted schooner Te Vega sailing in Europe. Atlas Shrugged was required reading.

In 2010 he saw the acceleration of big government control in politics, business, and culture. Hoping to reach the next generation through fiction entertainment, he wrote the prophetic novel The Noah Option. Powerful politicians target brilliant black scientist Dr. Grace Washington. Her story continues in the sequel, The Rainbow Option, when powerful elites unleash a deadly virus on unsuspecting Americans, and Grace must develop a cure. In The Timshel Option, ISIS invades and creates The New England Caliphate, making women second-class citizens. One teenage girl fights back.

"The things I predicted in my novels came true in the nightly news. Our country is in trouble. Like Abraham Lincoln, I hope for a new birth of freedom,” says McCarthy.

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