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Guest Article by Catherine Graf

On July 4th, 1776, a new nation was born, free from the English powerhouse that had once dominated and controlled the newly discovered land. However, this declaration of independence was not obtained without a long and perilous fight. A majority of American colonialists had made a unified decision to break away from their only economically supportive nation; their primary provider of essential resources. These colonialists took it upon themselves to analyze the situation they were in, educate themselves so they may understand what was really going on both politically and socially, and unify themselves as a new nation so they may successfully fight against the dominating nation of England.

Some have said that the American Revolution was a success for the colonialists because they knew the land much better than English soldiers. Others have said that the American victory was a result of strong desire and desperation. Though these two claims along with hundreds of others may hold some truth, it is most definitely not the main reason behind the great American success. The American colonialists won the American Revolution because they educated and unified themselves with intent to create a strong, informed, well governed militia that could withstand the British forces that were inevitable to come. However, through the journey of their incredible achievement, the founding fathers we now greatly admire became aware of a fact that would lead to the very foundation of a new government that we still have today:

Ignorance and lack of unity is a successful government’s

most powerful tool to hold control over its people.

This idea is what allowed the American colonialists to fight and succeed in the first place. However, while fighting, this notion became a hazy memory. Once freedom and separation were declared, the new government’s leaders remembered this notion and realized something very vital. If they were to allow the American population to receive unbiased, perfect education along with a concept that equality was necessary, they would put their authoritative positions in great risk. These founding leaders understood that their unification — their declaration of American equality- and their strong desire to learn and no longer remain ignorant, was the very reason they managed to eradicate England’s presence in, the now called, United States of America. It was this realization that led to the policies and reforms we currently hold here in the U.S.

We are a nation that preaches on our vast amounts of freedom; our ongoing ability to hold opinions and speak our mind. This is, after all, what this great country is all about. But, what if I told you that your opinions you hold so dear, are not your own. What if I told you, that what you protest for was not a personal decision. You have a personality and that personality is what makes you who you are. However, we’re human nonetheless; animals in the expansive animal kingdom and a tier in the natural food chain. Though we are the most sophisticated beings in the known world, that doesn’t make us indestructible. We are manipulative and easily manipulated. This is why, for thousands of years, we have aloud ourselves a leader in our society. It’s seen all throughout history; a leader that governs and provides for his people. That leader could be selected by a religious system, by being the strongest, or by just simply being loved the most. The point is, we allow ourselves a leader.

Now, we also allow ourselves a class structure. Once again, we see this all throughout history. There was always at least an upper and lower class. In many, and most cases, there were multiple tiers that defined who a person was and their individual worth. This shows us, that by nature itself, we are destined to governed and led by another person that is, biologically, an equal. We also see, in history, when people fight against that power. They may not agree with their policies, there’s been a change in religion, or the general public just plainly dislikes them.

Regardless of the reasons, something is very plain and clear; Humans want to be governed fairly, humans want their needs met, humans want to survive, and humans will fight if they feel obliged. However, recall what I said earlier — “We are manipulative and easily manipulated”. Therefore, when we understand the basic desires and mentality of all humans around the world and in the past, we have a little bit more control.

Looking back to our great founding fathers of this nation, it is clear, whether they knew it or not, they understood the basic desires and mentalities of your average human. They realized that they were being manipulated to do someone else’s bidding. Then, they fought against the manipulating power because they felt they were being treated unfairly, their needs weren’t met, and they weren’t surviving the way they wanted. Finally, they came to the conclusion that manipulation is the key to power. Power isn’t always a bad thing. We give that word such a bad reputation when it is power that drives us, that fuels our every move. Power becomes a problem when we allow it to infringe on basic human rights.

Which, leads us to a much more complex debate; what are basic human rights? This varies from culture to culture, person to person, age to age, gender to gender. But, we can probably all agree that a basic right would be the right to food, water, and shelter; the right to live. Where gray areas come into the picture is when we ask, do they have the right to choose life? Do they have rights to harm themselves knowingly? Because, you can have access to both toxic water and purified water, but do you have the choice of which water to drink? Or, should I step in and only provide you purified water because you and I both know you’ll die otherwise. Some would argue that it is the right of the individual to choose life or death. Others would dispute and say that we have to help each other and help maintain survival. It’s a debate that has been argued for centuries and we may never have an answer.

Our newly declared government leaders were aware of the basic right to live. Now, I wasn’t there, and I never met the men, but it seems to me that they believed we only have the right to live. And, they knew if their people were educated with pure, untarnished, and expansive information along with an idea that every person was an equal who deserved to be treated the same, they would face another Revolution. They knew this. They weren’t trying to hurt us, or to mimic the nation we fought so hard to disassociate ourselves with. No, they thought they were protecting us. If they keep us from knowing the truths of the world, if they could prevent ultimate unity, it would be near impossible for us fight against the government that is trying to keep us to safe. A parent will often tell a child they may not leave at night because it’s dangerous. This parent is only trying to protect their child, so when they disobey the rule, the child is punished. Though, seemingly unfair, the parent feels they have to do what is necessary to keep her child alive without scaring their child and telling them the true, gruesome details of what could really happen if they disobeyed the rules.

Our government thinks they are helping. They think that if they keep us in the dark, the unknowing, that we will remain under control so that they may continue functioning as smoothly and safely as possible. Our education system is mandated by the government. They ensure that we only learn what is beneficial to their success as leaders. Now, unlike that parent mentioned before, the government doesn’t always give us strict, solid rules and we do have freedom to a point. That’s what America is, the land of the free. The thing about this freedom, though, is that it’s not what it seems. Our laws are created in way that leaves room for doubt. This wasn’t a mistake. This wasn’t a lack of knowledge or understanding. This is done purely on purpose. Laws in this country are made so that we believe we have an abundance of rights, and we are proud of that! But, we don’t have rights, per se. If you are to compare us to other countries around the world, we definitely have one of the most free systems there are. Yet, is it really free?

Our freedom is intentionally designed so that we don’t feel the need to fight for basic human rights. The freedom we have is a right to live and that is it. We don’t have the right to own things, the right to say what we want, to go where we want, or even the right to a full and accurate education. Go ahead and look in every American law there is and ever was, and you will see a system created to invoke doubt. Almost every law in this nation can be manipulated to the benefit of the government. And it is not an accident.

Even our education is designed to make sure that we never learn enough to see the reality of the world’s history. Of course, we’re not the only nation doing this. Many countries establish an education system that will teach what the nation feels should be taught and what the students need to know. The issue with this, is that they are leaving the other sides of the story and for that reason we can’t conduct our own educated conclusions on anything. Education in this country is very important and many Americans have strived to receive the best education possible. But, this education is skewed and not a whole picture of what needs to be known. Because, if we all knew everything, if we all knew the truth, we would be half way to becoming the American government’s biggest threat. The only thing we’d be missing, is pure unification.

When we, as a nation, started showing signs of ultimate unification, something very important came into the picture; altered media. Unlike your average newspaper that would simply let you know what was going on in your town or even the world, altered media is any form of media that is controlled by the government so that they may continue to manipulate the people. There are endless websites, news channels, and newspapers that tell you everything you need to know about the world around you and almost all of them are forms of altered media. There are opposing media channels that give you different opinions, or even supposed facts, that are given to them by a more powerful superior. News stories unravel about violence towards a certain social group so that those two different social groups will develop a hate for each other. Publications about tragic events around the world and possibilities of war are purposely announced to instill fear and raise your support of the military and armed forces. None of this news gets released without approval from the government. If something is published that could be deemed a threat to the government, suddenly, you won’t find evidence of that publication.

Now, with all of this said, it is important to note that we are not to be afraid. In fact, we shouldn’t even be angry. They want to help us, to protect us. However, shouldn’t we be prepared if that were to change? It starts with ultimate unity. We must come together, as a nation, as a society, put aside our differences, and fight together, not against each other. It comes to completion when we fully educate ourselves; when, we learn about historical context so that we may not interpret history to meet our desires, but to read and understand history as it was. We must pull away the golden curtain in front of us so we may embrace what’s real. But, this is all only if we all believe that there is more to life than right to live. So, really, I must ask you, do you believe in the right to live? Or, do you believe in the right to choose?

Written by

Writer for ten years, lover of education, and degrees in business, history, and English. Striving to become a Renassiance woman.

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