Of All The Enemies To Public Liberty War Is, Perhaps, The Most To Be Dreaded
James Madison’s thesis regarding war in “The Most Dreaded Enemy of Liberty” is “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded”. In his eyes, and many others, war takes away the freedom of the people. The people are forced into fighting for a country that isn’t always the good guy. A country in constant warfare leaves the people without choice but to help fund and do what they can to support their family. Helen Keller’s “Strike Against War” validates James Madison’s thesis by stating “The people are not free when they are compelled to work twelve or ten or eight hours a day. They are not free when they are ill paid for their exhausting toil. They are not free when their children must labor in mines, mills and factories or starve”. She proves a point in the children having no choice but to work in the factories taking over the women’s jobs, while the women take over the jobs normally filled by men. Men can’t provide for their families because they are being drafted out to the war, leaving the women to find a way to provide for the family. This leaves no time for families to stay home and bond, the children are forced to get up and go work to be able to pay for food.
Martin Luther King’s “Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence” validates James Madison’s point regarding war by stating “This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love.” This validates James Madison’s thesis in the context of these men are being sent off to fight for a country and coming back locked in their own body. You can’t be mindfully free when you have a head full of regrets. These men leave fully capable, freely moving and living life. When some come back, they are injured physically, mentally, or sometimes both. They watched other human beings suffer because of their actions, being told they are only helping their home by doing so, even though the families at home are only suffering too.
In Kevin Tillman’s “After Pat’s Birthday” he states “how once Kevin and Pat committed, they were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How they could be thrown in a direction not of their volition…leave them without a voice… until they got out.” Their freedom, during the times of war, were limited if not completely gone. They were under contract with the government, saying only what the government abled them to say and what the government abled them to do. Even when they got out, it was and is their job to keep secret what they know, only revealing what the Americans not in the war have already been told.
In Gore Vidal’s “We are the Patriots” Benjamin Franklin is quoted saying “There is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years’ and can only end in Despotism as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.” Benjamin Franklin is saying when the people become so crazed they will need a government of tyranny, which gives absolute power to one person. This action takes away every freedom from a person, and in regards to war, the people have no chance.
In Gore Vidal’s “We are the Patriots” John Quincy Adams is quoted saying “If the United States took up all foreign affairs she might become the dictatress of the world. She would no longer be the ruler of her own spirit, her own soul.” Similar to Benjamin Franklin, he is saying if the United States were to have absolute control over all affairs, it is a possibility to fall under a despotic government with no freedom whatsoever.
In all, James Madison regards to liberty and war are proven to be true. War takes away the freedom of the men forced to join the war. They are limited on what they can say or reveal to the people at home. They are forced to nothings no person would like to do, leaving them physically or mentally impacted. This all takes away their freedom of speech, or the ability to live a normal daily life. The women and children at home are forced to work to provide for the war, and still be able to provide at home. This forces them into long work hours leaving no time for home. War takes away every freedom people have, whether at home or not, and leaves both sides in pain and suffering.