Sunday, October 26, 2014
Sunday Reading - Ben Franklin on Loyalist and Promises
In 1782 while negotiating the Treaty of Paris Ben Franklin wrote a parable expressing his views on Loyalist. Mr. Franklin by all accounts was a very moderate and forgiving negotiator with the English after the war. He was over joyed to renew old friendships that had been interrupted by the war and eager to abandon practices he found unseemly for a Nation even in a time of war like, Privateers. However Mr. Franklin thought very little of American Loyalist, including his own son, and refused any terms for reparations the English government attempted to add to the treaties of peace.
I find this particular tale interesting because in many ways it applies to our current circumstances of wide spread government largess, public service unions and welfare state. While we no longer have a King making promises we do in fact have a ruling body that is doing so and promises are being made that not only divide us along gender and racial terms but obviously these promises cannot be honored no matter what the outcome.
Lion, King of a certain forest had among his subjects a body of faithful dogs, in principal and affection strongly attached to his person and government, but through whose assistance he had extended his dominions, and had become the terror of his enemies.
Lion, however, influenced by evil counselors, took an aversion to the dogs, condemned them unheard, and ordered his tigers, leopards, and panthers to attack and destroy them.
The dogs petitioned humbly, but their petitions were rejected haughtily; and they were forced to defend themselves, which they did with bravery.
A few among them, of a mongrel race, derived from a mixture with wolves and foxes, corrupted by royal promises of great rewards, deserted the honest dogs and joined their enemies.
The dogs were finally victorious: a treaty of peace was made, in which Lion acknowledged them to be free, and disclaimed all future authority over them.
The mongrels not being permitted to return among them, claimed of the royalists the reward that had been promised.
A council of the beasts was held to consider their demand.
The wolves and foxes agreed unanimously that the demand was just, that royal promises ought to be kept, and that every loyal subject should contribute freely to enable his majesty to fulfill them.
The Horse alone, with a boldness and freedom that became the nobleness of his nature, delivered a contrary opinion.
"The King," Said he, "has been mislead, by bad ministers, to war unjustly upon his faithful subjects. Royal promises, when made to encourage us to act for the public good, should indeed be honorably acquitted; but if to encourage us to betray and destroy each other, they are wicked and void from the beginning. The advisers of such promises, and those who murder in consequence of them, instead of being recompensed, should be severely punished. Consider how greatly our common strength is already diminished by our loss of the dogs, If you enable the King to reward those fratricides, you will establish a precedent that may justify a future tyrant to make like promises; and every example of such an unnatural brute rewarded will give them additional weight. Horses and bulls, as well as dogs, may thus be divided against their own kind, and civil wars produced at pleasure, till we are so weakened that neither remains but abject submission to the will of a despot, who may devour us as he pleases."
The council had sense enough to resolve: that the demand be rejected.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!