Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quotes Being Used for an Agenda...

I've seen this quote being posted around to promote the pro-gun "freedom" perspective: *I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery* (literal translation from Latin phrase)...

Here is the context in which that quote was originally written: 

"Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1) Without government, as among our Indians. 2) Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3) Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen; it is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The 2nd state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils, too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. *Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.* Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it, that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical world." - Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, January 30, 1787.

The topic at hand was Societies and the involvement of types of governments.  The phrase has also been translated from its Latin form by some to mean, "I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."  The word "tumult" to mean:  confusion, disorder.  And "servitude" to mean: a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one's course of action or way of life. 

So to me, what this Latin phrase was imparting in the context in which it was given is... "I prefer the chaos that comes from the freedom of a pursuit of liberty and justice for all, over the lack of liberty that would in turn NOT allow me to determine my own way of life" -- I prefer this non-monarchical government that may not be the best or most ideal at all times, over a complete and rigid set of defined rules (absolute control) wherein I would never know what it is like to live my life the way my inner passions would choose to try to bloom... mistakes and all.

Mistakes and all.