ANONYMOUS - A Proud American Tradition

Who wins when individuals challenge the ruling class. When they exercise their natural rights to free speech. When they ask questions and get ridiculed, mocked and threatened. When they are retaliated against by having their livelihood taken from them. Shouldn't "Common Sense" prevail as it did in Thomas Paine's vivid defense of liberty through the use of pamphleteering.

What conditions compelled so many of America's founding fathers and ordinary citizens to write thousands upon thousands of pamphlets that were sold and distributed throughout the colonies. "It was in this form - as pamphlets - that much of the most important and characteristic writing of the American Revolution appeared," writes Harvard University historian Bernard Bailyn. American patriots opposed attempts to require anonymous authors to reveal their identities. They needed the freedom to express themselves without fear of retaliation from King George III of England.

Many of the essays in the Federalist Papers were published under the name "Publius". Who shared this pen name? John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton is also known to have written several newspaper essays under the veil of anonymity using a variety of names taken from characters from ancient Rome. "Candidus" a name used by Baptist minister Benjamin Austin, also authored some of the Federalist Papers. Ever hear these names from your American history classes: "Silence Dogood," "the Busy-Body," "Obadiah Plainman," "Robin Good-fellow," "Richard Saunders," and of course, "Poor Richard" as in "Poor Richard's Almanack." These were pseudonyms of American patriot Benjamin Franklin. Our second President of the United States, John Adams, often used the pseudonym (just another name for anonymous) "Novanglus" and "Clarendan.

Early American patriots were fearful of arrest and punishment as severe as death. Today's American patriots who choose to speak out anonymously, are doing so out of fear of a darker more contemptuous punishment, being starved to death by the modern King George III's, who are often times their employer or union.

And what of the Anonymous today? They fear for their family, their jobs, their homes, their friends and co-workers. That's a lot to put at risk as our founding fathers fully recognized.

Comment on your King George, on this blog. And if you choose, do it in the American tradition of our founding fathers, anonymously.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

its a shame after all these years things have not changed !!!!!

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