Inspired by something I read this morning, I took a 20 minute study of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Who wrote it? What inspired them?
It turns out that a socialist, Francis Bellamy wrote the Pledge. And he was inspired by his cousin Edward who in 1888, wrote a novel called “Looking Backward” which described a future utopian society based on the brotherhood of man, but where government and business were one and the same.
A utopian future is a popular idea, and as such, this novel was the second highest selling book of the 19th century.
Francis Bellamy was a Christian Socialist who was pushed out of his post as a Baptist minister for delivering sermons on topics like “Jesus the Socialist.”
For all of the positive tenets of his beliefs, such as brotherhood of man and equal rights for women and African Americans, which truly were ahead of his time, he was really, very wrong about one thing. In 1892 when the Pledge was written, few aside from Mazzini, Pike and their employers could foresee Hitler’s Germany in the 1930’s. Few of them could see the United States, who years later would be the megapower that sticks their 1984 jackboots into the face of freedom for humanity all over the globe, repeatedly, over and over again.
The marriage of business and government creates fascism. Out of that came the military industrial complex. The concept of equitable “public” ownership of industry through government is an illusion that has led societies to their enslavement and/or death repeatedly throughout history:
- 61 Million died under under Communist USSR from 1917-1987
- 35 Million died under Communist PRC (China) from 1949-1987
- 21 Million died under Nazi Socialism/Fascism in the few short years between 1939-1945
Clearly, marrying government and business and calling it public ownership is not a good thing.
Over the years the Pledge of Allegiance was modified a number of times. But oneself must ask the question, what are we pledging allegiance to? And why? If we are pledging allegiance to a State, a government, then how do we reconcile that allegiance against the injustices perpetuated by said government?
If anything, our allegiance should be to ourselves. To be honest. To seek objective truth. To seek fairness in opportunity, not distribution. To have voluntary compassion for our fellow man. To seek freedom in society, not oppression or captivity. To seek liberty in our own actions and personal responsibility for our errors.
And finally: To seek justice for all who do NOT.