Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Fifth Estate

The founding fathers, having just won independence in a civil war against the British crown, understood the importance of revolution as a political tool. Thus, they created a government that, by its nature, can be peacefully overthrown every two years, overseen by a limited administrator who could himself be overthrown every four years.

The beauty of democracy is that it allows people to overthrow a government without having to resort to violence and warfare.

The rulers of a democracy subvert this process at their own peril. A free people denied a fair, equitable system for peaceful revolution will rightfully seek other means. Being elected is meaningless if one rigs the system so that one can not be thrown out during the next election cycle.

The Constitution provides us with a broad spectrum of checks and balances. Government is broken into separate branches, each charged with keeping reign on the others. In addition, the Bill of Rights provides additional checks and balances. The first amendment establishes what is often called the “fourth estate” through protection of speech and the press.

But the system does not end there. In their wisdom, the Fathers empowered a Fifth Estate, a final option for when the system was so corrupt that all other courses of peaceful overthrow have been subverted.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

And should it come to pass that those in power subvert the system of voting, that the checks and balances fail and the Fourth Estate, held in thrall by the power elite, shirks its duty, that all peaceful roads to revolution are closed; Then will the Fifth Estate rise up and show the world the true power of American Democracy.

The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the pistol is mightier still.

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