Restore Our American Republic

News and Views June 6, 2018

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As part of ROAR’s mission to “restore the foundation of rights and individualism in the U.S.,” we celebrate the achievements, values, and virtues of individuals. As it happens, this is among the most effective ways to “change the conversation” concerning cultural/political issues of our day. The use of “stories” rendered via film and literature about noteworthy individuals is a proven method to circulate ideas in our society. The epic heroes of Ayn Rands’ novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged still resonate with millions, and before Rand there was Mark Twain challenging racial stereotypes in Huckleberry Finn, Victor Hugo and his critique of French society in Les Miserables, and more.

In this issue, we will be reviewing Clint Eastwood’s westernThe Outlaw Josey Wales to examine more closely his ways of challenging stereotypes and political correctness through the actions of ex-Confederate soldier, Josey Wales. We will also review the work of one of my favorite author’s, Stephen Hunter, and his great hero Bob Lee Swagger in The 47th Samurai.

We’ll close this issue with the wise words of economist Milton Friedman in a short video contrasting government organizations with private sector organizations where he explains why one type of organization usually works and the other usually doesn’t.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this newsletter or ROAR’s operations, please contact us.

Sincerely,

Mike Gemmell
Founder and President, Restore Our American Republic, LLC

 

 

Solving America’s Greatest Conflict is now available for purchase on Kindle for $4.99 or paperback for $9.99

 

The term “public interest” or any of its variants is a thorny and persistent problem because it serves no public interest at all. It is used as an excuse to fund projects that this or that person or group or agency wishes to pursue by violating the rights of individual citizens who involuntarily pay for them through their tax dollars. Unfortunately, our Founding Fathers did not define the “General Welfare” clause in the Constitution, so those two words have been twisted and tweaked to serve special interests ever since. In his first short but pithy book, Mike Gemmell exposes both past and present damage caused by misuse and disabuse of this concept. Individual rights must always reign supreme in a constitutional republic, and this truth is well supported as he addresses the subject straight on.

Alexandra York
Author of LYING AS A WAY OF LIFE: Corruption and Collectivism Come of Age in America

 

 

Painting credit: Tom Carlton

“Seeing” the Spirit of the Person Within

 

Much of the conflict in our culture occurs because people don’t truly “see” one another. They see color, or gender, or class, and then rely on generalizations and stereotypes that may not correspond to the character of the person they are interacting with. This is an outgrowth of political correctness and multi-culturalism, doctrines that have severely undermined the principles of individualism. These destructive doctrinesmust be challenged and few have done so more effectively and with more style than Clint Eastwood, both as a director and an actor.

In The Outlaw Josey Wales,  Eastwood takes on the double role of director and actor. The story is set during and immediately after the Civil War when ex-Confederate soldierJosey Wales is wrongly accused of being a renegade. A manhunt for him begins led by a corrupt civil war soldier from the union ranks. As Wales flees and continues to elude the group of former soldiers hunting him down, he slowly picks up a “family” in scenes that vary from poignant to highly amusing.

As the movie moves toward its climax, Wales and his new “family” find the land parcel they have been looking for only to simultaneously discover it is claimed by the local Commanche tribe led by Chief Ten Bears. Wales knows he must ride out to meet the Commanche leader and if unable to come to an agreement with him will almost certainly face death at his hands.

The exchange below occurs as Wales rides out to meet Ten Bears (Note: to view the 3-minute movie trailer of the movie’s climactic scene, click here

o   Wales: You’ll be Ten Bears?

o   Ten Bears: I am Ten Bears.

o   Wales: I’m Josey Wales.

o   Ten Bears: I have heard of you. You are the “Gray Rider.” You would not make peace with the blue coats. You may go in peace.

o   Wales: Got nowhere to go.

o   Ten Bears: Then you will die.

o   Wales: I came here to die with you. . . or live with you. Dying ain’t so hard for men like you and me; it’s living that’s hard when all you’ve ever cared about’s been butchered or raped. Government’s don’t live together, people live together. With governments you don’t always get a fair word or a fair fight. Well, I’ve come here to give ya either one. . . or get either one from ya.

I came here like this so you’ll know my word of death is true, and my word of life is then true. The bear live here, the wolf, the Commanche, and so will we. We’ll only hunt what we need to live on; same as the Commanche does. And every spring when the grass turns green and the Commanche moves north, you can rest here in peace, butcher some of our cattle, jerk beef for the journey. . .

o   Ten Bears: These things you say we will have; we already have.

o   Wales: That’s true. I ain’t promising ya nothing extra. I’m just giving you life and you’re giving me life, and I’m saying that men can live together without butchering one another.

o   Ten Bears: It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the “double-tongues.” There is iron in your words of death for all Commanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men.

The word of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life or death. . . . It shall be life.

This movie left an indelible mark on my mind and emotions, and I suspect that the thousands of others who have enjoyed this film over the years feel similarly. The most important “takeaway” from this movie for me was the ability of Wales and Ten Bears to look past the surficial differences between themselves and look for the spirit within the man facing the other. This is what we need in today’s balkanized culture. It is the first step in curing, hopefully permanently, the curse of political correctness and multi-culturalism, and their ongoing assault on the individual.  The great power of film and literature, as well as other forms of art, is their ability to leave indelible “marks” on our minds and emotions that encourage us to return time and again to think about and study their full meaning. And that is a very good thing.

(Note: for another example of two individuals “seeing” beneath the surface to the spirit within, see the Facebook post: “Overcoming Racism with Genuine Brotherhood in the Armed Forces . . . and Elsewhere”

Photo Credit: Pintrest.com

Review: The 47th Samurai by Stephen Hunter

Postmodernism and its doctrine of political correctness runs rampant today across universities and colleges in the U.S., and challenging it is of the utmost importance for the resuscitation of U.S. culture. One effective way of doing this is by presenting heroic archetypes within compelling stories that directly challenge postmodernism’s worldview that truth is relative and morality is subjective.

Stephen Hunter has being has been doing exactly that for many years by creating heroes and challenging political  correctness in his action novels. In The 47th Samurai he takes us on a journey of honor regarding two men that fought on opposite sides of WW II, Earl Swagger for the United States and Hideki Yano on the side of the Japanese. Honoring the death of Hideki Yano by returning his sword to his son Philip Yano is the task falling to Bob Lee Swagger who like his father Earl Swagger  is also a Marine and war hero in his own right.

The book begins with Philip Yano visiting Bob Lee Swagger in Idaho where they discuss the final battle on Iwo Jima where Yano’s father was killed and his sword lost. Swagger understands and is deeply moved by the visit and remembers his own father who fought at Iwo Jima, a man he deeply reveres.  After a long search, Swagger is able to find the sword but tragedy ensues in the story to once again engage Swagger in the pursuit of justice. Stephen Hunter through the character of Bob Lee Swagger conveys the  understanding that the pursuit of revenge is a trip to nowhere, but justice is another matter and Swagger will have justice or die in the attempt to get it. His wife and daughter love Swagger deeply, but are terrifically upset with him over this quest knowing that he is well beyond his prime and completely out of his element as a “gaijin” (foreigner) in Japan.

This book is steeped more deeply in the principle of “honor” than anything I have ever read. It moved me beyond what I can express in words, and I believe that others who allow themselves to be swept up in the story will feel similarly while also learning important moral lessons about loyalty, justice, courage, and integrity. Hunter, the master storyteller, shows the reader about the code of the samurai warrior in fascinating detail that serves as backdrop for the story.

If you believe that America, and the world in general, needs more celebration of heroic archetypes as well as compelling stories showing the importance of honor, justice, and other important virtues, then read Stephen Hunter’s masterpiece, The 47th Samurai.

 

Photo Credit: 

Government vs. Private sector

Few people were more effective at promoting capitalism and the free enterprise system than economist Milton Friedman. His book Free to Choose is a classic in addition to being instrumental in turning me away from the anti-capitalistic perspective that I absorbed during my college years. In this short video, (click here) he persuasively conveys why free enterprise organizations work and why government bureaucracies almost invariably do not.

As Friedman puts it with his inimitable simplicity:

“Government initiative may be just as good as private initiatives. The problem with government is not in the things it tries, but in the absence of any mechanism for recognizing error.”

So why is it that government cannot develop a: “mechanism for recognizing error?” ROAR’s and my answer to this question is this: “Because what drives the vast majority of government policy is a belief in the “public interest.” Unfortunately, they are chasing a ghost because there is no such thing as a “public interest” in the sense that it is typically used in today’s world. There is only one area where there can legitimately be ascribed a public interest—the defense of individual rights. For a full explanation of this truth, please see ROAR’s first publication:Solving America’s Greatest Conflict: The Public Interest vs. Private Rights available at Amazon.com.

Photo Credit: Joseph Tunney (CBC News)

Summary

We hope our review of The Outlaw Josey Wales and The 47th Samurai has shown readers the importance of fictional characters in literature and film as a means of stirring the emotions of those reading and viewing them and spurring them to actions that will help us begin restoring our American republic. When it comes to understanding and explaining the principles of capitalism and the free enterprise system, few have done it better than Milton Friedman. The video link presented here is an excellent introduction to his work, and for those wishing a more in-depth review of his work, his book Free to Choose provides further breadth and depth concerning how  the free enterprise system works.

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