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Dying for Freedom in Panama

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Many brave people died as a result of the recent invasion of Panama. The United States government claimed that these lives were lost in the defense of freedom. Unfortunately, this is untrue. It is important first to observe that just as there have been two types of economic systems in the United States (free enterprise of the 1800s vs. the welfare state of the 1900s), there also have been two types of patriotism. The 20th-century variety of patriotism is drilled into every American school child as soon as he reaches the age of six. This type of patriotism requires that every American support, and pledge his allegiance to, the national government regardless of whether the government is right or wrong. The idea is that since the government supports the citizenry with housing, parks, grants, jobs, highways, subsidies, and so forth, the government is entitled to the support of the citizenry regardless ...

The Conquest of the United States by Spain (1898)

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Spain was the first, for a long time the greatest, of the modern imperialist states. The United States, by its historical origin, its traditions, and its principles, is the chief representative of the revolt and reaction against that kind of state. I intend to show that, by the line of action now proposed to us, which we call expansion and imperialism, we are throwing away some of the most important elements of the American symbol and are adopting some of the most important elements of the Spanish symbol. We have beaten Spain in a military conflict, but we are submitting to be conquered by her on the field of ideas and policies. Expansionism and imperialism are nothing but the old philosophies of national prosperity which have brought Spain to where she now is. Those philosophies appeal to national vanity and national cupidity. They are seductive, especially upon the first view and the most superficial judgment, and therefore it cannot be ...

How Bad Do You Want to Be Free?

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Ever since I was a small child, I have been intrigued by the Battle of the Alamo. For a time, the defenders of the Alamo were expecting reinforcements to arrive. But once word came that Fannin and his troops had been massacred, it was clear that help would not come. Travis, Bowie, Crockett and their men faced certain death and yet there was still an opportunity to escape. Why did they stay? Some of them had wives and children. Some undoubtedly had prosperous businesses. Why didn't they simply cut and run to fight another day? Why did they choose death above all else? The same was true with those who signed the American Declaration of Independence. It is easy today to view their action as patriotic. But we must remember that the ...