Thursday, August 11, 2011

John Adams, On How To End The British Riots

When in doubt, call upon a Founding Father. Would it be they could arise once more and save us from the current bunch in Washington (alas, I know, Ben Franklin warned us about this little eventuality).

As the fires burn and the barbarians loot London while the authorities watch stupefied and slack-jawed on the sidelines, wondering how their well-meaning policies could have gone so astray, the great John Adams speaks to us with simple solutions to end the madness. From his defense of the British soldiers during the Boston Massacre:

I must in treat you, to consider the words of this authority, the injured person may repell force by force against any who endeavours to commit any kind of felony on him or his, here the rule is, I have a right to stand on my own defence, if you intend to commit felony; if any of the persons made an attack on these soldiers, with an intention to rob them, if it was but to take their hats feloniously, they had a right to kill them on the spot, and had no business to retreat; if a robber meets me in the street, and commands me to surrender my purse, I have a right to kill him without asking questions; if a person8 commits a bare assault on me, this will not justify killing, but if he assaults me in such a manner, as to discover an intention, to kill me, I have a right to destroy him, that I may put it out of his power to kill me.

Lest you think Adams to be an unenlightened simpleton, a dead white male of privilege, it appears as if he foresaw and warned us against the dangers of 21st century liberalism as well:

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
-Notes for an oration at Braintree (Spring 1772)

A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
-Letter to Abigail Adams (17 July 1775)

I agree with you that in politics the middle way is none at all
-Letter to Horatio Gates (23 March 1776)

Hat tip: Ricochet

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