Two Revolutions

(Steve Bonta, The New American, October 12, 1998.)

One brought liberty, the other despair

In 1776, two pivotal events occurred which set in motion the forces and belief systems that have since defined the major trends in political thought worldwide. The first event, which was unknown at the time and remains largely ignored and unappreciated for its significance, gave birth to what Librarian of Congress James Billington has termed "the revolutionary faith" — that is, "the belief that a perfect secular order will emerge from the forcible overthrow of traditional authority." This event was the founding, on May 1, 1776, of a secret society known as the Illuminati. Its founder and leader, Professor Adam Weishaupt of Bavaria’s University of Ingoldstadt, had conceived this mystical, secularized utopian social order which was to become a global political power. Men were to be initiated by degrees into the secrets of this order, progressing to higher levels according to their aptitude for intrigue.

Weishaupt, who saw man as the source of all knowledge and virtue, formed a circle of elect, "illuminated" individuals within the Illuminati who would guide and direct his utopian project. His philosophy embraced radical egalitarianism, but stressed the need to reeducate men to fit his expectations: "We cannot use people as they are, but begin by making them over."

Weishaupt’s ideals of egalitarianism had already been far more eloquently defended by Rousseau and others. However, Illuminism provided an organizational framework to promote and implement such ideas. Little more than a decade later, the French Revolution was to furnish the first opportunity to put the Illuminist revolutionary model into practice.

On the other side of the Atlantic, a very different revolution was in progress. On July 4th of that same fateful year, the Declaration of Independence was signed. The signatories of that revolutionary document believed that the rights of men came from God, and they sought to set up a new nation where men would be at liberty to fully exercise those God-given rights. They eventually established an independent republic, with a Constitution and Bill of Rights which carefully defined and limited the powers of the federal government they had created.

It is generally taught and believed today that the French Revolution, with its putative goals of liberty from supposedly oppressive monarchy, complete equality, and democracy, was an event similar to America’s own War for Independence, and was animated by a similar philosophy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The French Revolution, far from being a spontaneous uprising of the oppressed masses yearning for freedom, was in fact carefully planned and manipulated by a small number of amoral conspirators whose political beliefs in no way resembled those of the American Founding Fathers.

On August 27, 1789, a document entitled Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was published, and was one of the most important pieces of political writing to emerge from the French Revolution. Hailed as the enlightened product of democratic thought, it has been likened to the American Declaration of Independence for its articulation of fundamental principles of liberty. Its 17 brief articles are the very model of conciseness; yet how do they compare with the writings of our own Founding Fathers?

The brief preamble declares that the document is a "solemn declaration of the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man" and that the declaration shall serve as a "perpetual reminder of their rights and duties" for "all the members of the social class." Note that not only are "rights" mentioned but also "duties." But nowhere are the rights of man attributed to a Creator. In fact, only once is Deity acknowledged: "The National Assembly proclaims, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and citizen."

Article 2 defines the "natural and inalienable rights of man" to be "liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression." This simple list in itself betrays a great philosophical chasm between the French Revolutionary concept of rights and that of the Founding Fathers. America’s founders never sought to give an inclusive list of rights, but repeatedly emphasized that God-given rights were many more than could be enumerated in any political manifesto. This is expressly stated in the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution, and is also implied by the language of the Declaration of Independence: that men "are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." (Emphasis added.) Among the writings of the French revolutionaries there is no attribution of rights to God, nor is there any expression of humble recognition that rights exceed in scope any attempt at inclusive formulation by the hand of man.

As to the four French "rights," we observe that the right to life is conspicuously absent — a curious oversight if we assume, as must have been the case, that the authors of the French "Declaration" were familiar with the American Declaration of Independence.

The right of "security," of course, is familiar to all students of modern socialism. It reflects the abhorrent notion that certain "rights" must be achieved through force — that is, by compelling some members of society to provide for others those goods and services that are deemed necessary. It is in this spirit that modern "rights" such as the right to food, shelter, health care, and the like, are promoted. It is in the Declaration of the Rights of Man that we first encounter this seductive lie that has been the justification for the modern-day nanny state.

Article 3 informs us, "The source of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation; no group, no individual may exercise authority not emanating expressly therefrom." Article 6 affirms, "Law is the expression of the general will." In other words, all rights, law, and government have the people or society as their wellspring. This is the fundamental premise of democracy. In this context, "collective rights" such as the "right of security" are perfectly logical, for if human society is the final source of rights, then the right of collective security would be paramount. This and many other mistaken notions flow from the faulty premise than men, rather than God, are the source of rights.

Several of the rights set forth in our Bill of Rights are mentioned in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, but always while recognizing the state as the supreme arbiter and authority. For instance, Article 10 states: "No one is to be disquieted because of his opinions, even religious, provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law." (Emphasis added.) And Article 11 states: "Free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Consequently, every citizen may speak, write, and print freely, subject to responsibility for the abuse of such liberty in cases determined by law." (Emphasis added.)

As to taxation, another familiar feature of the modern welfare state, the progressive tax, is broached in Article 13: "A common tax is indispensable; it must be assessed equally on all citizens in proportion to their means." (Emphasis added.)

In sum, then, the initial revolutionary view regarded society, not God, as the source for all rights. As a direct consequence of this line of reasoning, the "right" of security was maintained, and the notion of the state as the final arbiter of limits on human rights was the logical outgrowth.

Let us now trace the evolution of these doctrines through the several subsequent Constitutions that were written during the Revolutionary period. The first French Constitution was completed in 1791 and signed by the unhappy King Louis XVI. The Declaration of the Rights of Man in its original form was attached to the preamble. The French Revolutionary hostility to religion, and particularly to Christianity, was already evident: "The law no longer recognizes religious vows or any obligation contrary to natural rights or the Constitution." In other words, the non-attribution of "natural rights" to God was no accident; rather, the revolutionaries viewed God and religion as competing with the will of the "people" — that is, the state.

The Constitution of 1791 also instituted the welfare state: "A general establishment for public relief shall be created and organized to raise foundlings, relieve the infirm poor, and furnish work for the able-bodied poor who have been made unable to procure it for themselves." Moreover, the first modern system of public education was authorized "for all citizens, free of charge in those branches of education which are indispensable to all men."

A very different concept of militias and the bearing of arms from that held by our Founding Fathers was set forth: "The National Guards are neither a military body nor an institution within the State; they are the citizens themselves, summoned to the service of the public force … the public force is essentially obedient; no armed body may deliberate."

It is important to note that, while a second Constitution was drawn up in 1793, before the onset of the Terror of Robespierre, it was never enacted. Thus, France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and its Constitution of 1791 provided the legal context for the horrific September massacres (of which clergymen were the most prominent victims) as well as the apocalyptic slaughter unleashed on France by Citizen Robespierre.

In 1795, after Robespierre had fallen and the Terror had abated, a third Constitution was written and enacted. By this time the Declaration of the Rights of Man had undergone significant modifications. The four fundamental rights had now been changed to read "equality, liberty, security, and property," equality having been substituted for "resistance to oppression." Evidently, the latter was no longer important, Utopian "equality" having been forced on the unfortunate French citizens!

"Law" is defined in Article 6 as "the general will, expressed by the majority of citizens or their representatives." This is, of course, an enunciation of the familiar principle of "majority rule," the cornerstone of democracy.

Appended to the list of "rights" there now appeared a list of "duties," as layed out in Article 3: "The obligations of each individual towards society consist of defending it, serving it, living subject to the laws, and respecting those who are the agents thereof." Additionally, Article 9 declares: "Every citizen owes his services to the Patrie, and to the maintenance of liberty, equality, and property, whenever the law summons him to defend them." Thus, the Almighty State, source of all human rights and welfare, openly and logically made the transition from guarantor of "rights" to enforcer of "duties."

The final Constitution of France’s Revolutionary period, dictated by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799, did away with the Declaration of Rights of Man altogether. It makes no reference to the limitation of state powers. The final section, "General Provisions," even describes in loving detail the protocol for wardens, jailers, and police arrests. This Constitution, therefore, was a mere list of procedural instructions for the Napoleonic police state.

Thus, the French Revolution began by asserting that rights, rather than being God-given, arose from the State. It ended up producing interludes of terror and totalitarian spoliation the likes of which the world had never before witnessed, and finally imposed on the French people a dictator far more severe than any of their recent monarchs. Yet none of these excesses were the result of "idealism gone wrong," as has been so frequently maintained. They were instead the logical outgrowth of a radically secular and egalitarian philosophy that saw Man and the State as god.

To truly understand the French Revolution, however, one must look beyond the facade of "democracy" and "natural, inalienable rights of man" to the calculated design of those shadowy figures whose true revolutionary goals were carefully hidden from public scrutiny. In the words of revolutionist Louis Antoine de St. Just, "The popular revolution was the surface of a volcano of extraneous conspiracies." Lord Acton observed that "the appalling thing in the French Revolution is not the tumult but the design. Through all the fire and smoke we perceive the evidence of calculating organization. The managers remain studiously concealed and masked; but there is no doubt about their presence from the first."

Conventional history informs us of the swirl of conspiracies and subversive factions in Revolutionary France — the Orleanistes, the Jacobins, the Girondistes, the Montagnards, the Thermidorians, the Babeuvists, and others of lesser significance. But it is to Weishaupt’s Illuminati that we must look for the common subversive thread that imparted vitality to these more superficial movements.

Viewed from the outside, these various factions present a confusing panorama of conflicting interests and disparate views. The Orleanistes owed much of their impetus to the lust of one man, the Duc d’Orleans, to be King, and to his implacable hatred for his cousin, Louis XVI, and even greater hatred for Queen Marie Antoinette, who had banished him from the Court. To the Jacobins may be ascribed much of the nattering revolutionary discontent that characteristically afflicts the idle dissolute intelligentsia of every age. The Girondistes and Montagnards present the jealous aspects of rival political blocs, while the Babeuvists (or Society of Equals) might seem to be a last despairing revolutionary backlash against an impending military dictatorship.

Yet through these apparently confused movements, Illuminism shone as a unifying force. It is known that the Illuminati succeeded early on in infiltrating the French Masonic lodges, whose organizational apparatus they then usurped to advance their own subtle agenda. Mirabeau, an influential writer and thinker as well as one of the most important figures in the early Revolutionary period, was an initiate to Illuminism. He became personally acquainted with both Weishaupt and his close associate Baron Knigge, who inducted him into the mysteries of the Order.

Because of the exposure and dispersal of the Bavarian Illuminati in Germany in 1786, several years before the French Revolution, it is impossible to trace with certainty the conspiratorial pedigree of Illuminism in all of the confusion that followed, but we cannot doubt its presence. Dr. John Robison, a discerning contemporary, as well as one of Britain’s most distinguished scientists, wrote in Proofs of a Conspiracy: "I have seen that most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of [the Order of the Illuminati], and conducted their first movements … by means of its instructions and assistance."

In his landmark historical study of modern revolutionary movements, Fire in the Minds of Men, James Billington leaves little doubt as to the pivotal role of Weishaupt’s Illuminism not only in the French Revolution, but in later revolutionary movements as well:

The decisive book in popularizing the Illuminist ideal was Count Mirabeau’s The Prussian Monarchy under Frederick the Great.... Mirabeau took much of his new, totalistic concept of "the revolution" directly from Illuminist models; he almost certainly transmitted something of this ideal to his influential proteges, Camille Desmoulins and Etienne Dumont.... Such borrowings from Illuminism seem substantial enough to challenge the long-accepted judgment … that, after 1790, Illuminism "having disappeared from history … lived only in legend." There seems good reason to believe that Illuminist influence was not so much a "legend" as an imperfectly perceived reality.

The historical evidence establishes beyond question that most of the major figures in the French Revolution, such as Robespierre and St. Just and the core membership of the Jacobins, were Illuminists. We conclude then, with British historian Nesta Webster and others, that the French Revolution was in essence an Illuminist operation, and that most of the so-called excesses of the Revolution, such as the de-Christianization campaign, the September massacres, and the Terror, were part of a deliberate strategy.

In order to fully comprehend the revolutionary designs of the Illuminists and their accomplices, we must first re-examine the core tenet of the revolutionary faith, which has become the very touchstone of modern political discourse: democracy. Far from being consonant with the beliefs of our Founding Fathers, democracy was in direct opposition to them. In the words of James Madison:

Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this form of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would at the same time be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

Alexander Hamilton added:

It has been observed that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.

William Henry Seward noted that "democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them" — thinking, no doubt, of the civil warfare that ravaged France during and after the Revolutionary period, even as her armies waged war abroad in the Low Countries, Germany, and elsewhere. Ralph Waldo Emerson noted that "democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors," while Benjamin Disraeli lamented the prevalence of "statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians."

We see, therefore, that democracy was formerly viewed as unstable, violent, warlike, and favorable to the proliferation of corrupt politicians. These qualities — and much worse — characterized democracy in France. We must enquire why democracy should prove such a chimera, and why it should be so important to the revolutionary tradition initiated by the Illuminati.

To the first query we repeat that the fundamental premise of political (as opposed to social) democracy is that men are accountable to no law but the vagaries of the majority of the people. This premise supposes that even in an orderly cosmos of both physical and moral laws which emanate from Deity, man may become a law unto himself, acknowledging no authority but that of mass consensus.

Such an attitude was reflected in the writings of the French Revolutionaries. What we now term "secular humanism" and "moral relativism" were the guiding theories of the age. Not surprisingly, sexual depravity, occult religion, and every sort of license and debauchery were rampant in those parts of Paris frequented by the Revolutionary cliques. The mobs enlisted by the revolutionaries consisted largely of imported brigands as well as cutthroats and prostitutes from the Parisian underworld. Yet none of this should surprise us if we consider that the notion of man-as-god will tend to attract those who have banished God and morality from their lives.

By contrast, America’s Founding Fathers bequeathed to us a Republic, a government of law under a written constitution. The fundamental responsibility of a republican government is to protect the God-given rights of the individual from infringement, from any force, including the people themselves imposing their collective will through the powers of government. It contemplates a condition wherein men exercise free agency under the auspices of the laws of God and man.

Why should revolutionary subversives, from the French Revolution to the present, look with such favor on democracy? In the first place, majority rule is inherently unstable, and thereby affords the best possible milieu for revolutionary activity. As G. K. Chesterton put it, "You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution."

In the second place, democracy is probably the most appealing rhetorical pretext to persuade men to renounce government by law and to embrace government by men. Once lawful government has been renounced, the progression from unrestrained democracy to totalitarian terror becomes a matter of degree rather than a sundering of tradition.

The stark truth of the matter, clearly recognized by the Illuminists and their revolutionary descendents, is that there are but two kinds of government: government by law and government by men. To the former belong republics and a few constitutional monarchies. To the latter belong all other forms of government — democracies, monarchies, oligarchies, juntas, dictatorships, communes, or empires.

Among the different species of government by men, there is a universal tendency toward totalitarian rule, for "absolute power corrupts absolutely"; and what power is more absolute than the arbitrary authority to make and execute laws, or to change them on the whim of a popular expedient?

Of course, "democracy" was not the final aim of the Illuminists and many of their fellow-travelers in Revolutionary France. The ambitious program of Weishaupt and his associates was nothing less than what we would now recognize as a secular, socialist world government.

The Illuminati was militantly anti-Christian. The anti-religious tendencies which reared their ugly heads early in the French Revolution eventually mushroomed into the wholesale slaughter of clerics in the September Massacres. The period of the Terror produced an appalling de-Christianization campaign that saw cathedrals transformed into citadels of secular depravity and the abolition of the Christian calendar.

More horrifying still is Nesta Webster’s persuasive conclusion that the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of French citizens during the September Massacres and the Terror was a deliberate campaign of depopulation conceived in the twisted minds of Marat, Fouquier, St. Just, Robespierre, and others. They had concluded that France’s population must be reduced if France was to return to the agrarian bliss of previous time. Accordingly, beasts like Jean Baptiste Carrier were dispatched to every corner of France to carry out the monstrous mandate. Techniques such as mass drownings, fusillades, and, of course, the guillotine, were the first applications of modern ingenuity to the problem of mass extermination. Carrier took special delight in massacring children, who were clubbed, sabred, and mowed down by the hundreds in mass fusillades. "They are whelps," the merciless fiend insisted of the poor peasant children pleading for mercy, "they must be destroyed." It was Carrier who inaugurated the infamous noyades, or wholesale drownings. His first experiment was made on 90 old Catholic priests whom he had bound together on a barge that was then sunk in the River Loire. "I have never laughed so much," the demonic revolutionist proclaimed, "as when I saw the faces those [expletive] made as they died." The city of Nantes was almost entirely depopulated, while special drains were installed in the Place de la Revolution in Paris to cope with the torrents of blood from the guillotine.

The diabolical wretches disagreed only as to the extent of the extermination desired. The mad Marat, for whatever reason, had an idee fixe that demanded the massacre of 260,000 victims. But his blood lust was soon surpassed by his depraved "democratic" confreres. Jean Bon St. Andre averred that France’s population of 25 million "must be reduced by more than half." Collot d’Herbois declared it must be reduced to 10 million. Carrier insisted only 6 million should survive. Guffoy said 5 million, whilst Robespierre is reported to have said that a population of 2 million would be more than enough. "Let us make a cemetery of France rather than not regenerate her after our manner," declared Carrier. He and his confederates proceeded to do just that. After their abominable massacres in LaVerdee, the revolutionists proudly reported back to the Convention in Paris, "we have left nothing behind us but ashes and piles of corpses." All of this a century and a half before the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, and other 20th-century genocidal dictators made mass extermination a jaded political cliché.

In any case, the Revolution that began with a proud rejection of Deity, and worship of the State, turned into a hideous, blood-soaked parody of civilization, where technology and reason were applied to mass murder in the name of enlightened social engineering.

Because of its potency as a revolutionary tool, "democracy" has remained enshrined in the revolutionary tradition to this day. Billington writes, "The idea that communism was the fulfillment of democracy excited a new generation of French revolutionary publicists in the early [eighteen] forties." The more authoritarian the early communist writers became in their revolutionary plans, the more insistent they were on the "democratic" nature of these plans. Moreover, "The tactic of cooperation with other democratic parties was spelled out in the fourth and final section of Marx’s Manifesto. Only communists could represent the true class interests of the proletariat, but they needed to ally themselves with radical democratic parties in advanced countries...."

In 1916, Lenin wrote:

Democracy is also a form of state which must disappear when the state disappears, but this will take place only in the process of transition from completely victorious and consolidated socialism to complete communism.... It would be a fundamental mistake to suppose that the struggle for democracy can divert the proletariat from the socialist revolution.... On the contrary, just as socialism cannot be victorious unless it introduces complete democracy, so the proletariat will be unable to prepare for victory over the bourgeoisie unless it wages a many-sided, consistent and revolutionary struggle for democracy.

The great question for us becomes, given that democracy is an abhorrent political system, both in theory and in practice, and is promoted and used by subversives whose agenda is not freedom but enslavement, why has democracy come to be almost universally regarded as the most desirable form of government? Why, for that matter, the near-unanimous delusion among modern-day Americans that their government is a "democracy"? A few minutes’ attention to any newspaper or news channel will suffice to find multiple references to our American "democracy." How have we gone so far astray?

The heresy of American "democracy" is not new. During the French Revolution, Citizen Genet was dispatched to America to set up "Democratic Clubs" which became centers of subversive activity, to the dismay of men like George Washington. He lamented: "I early gave it as my opinion to the confidential characters around me that if these societies were not counteracted … or did not fall into disesteem … they would shake the government to its foundations."

In the 1840s, Alexis de Tocqueville’s well-received writings, Democracy in America, did much to encourage the notion that ours is a democratic form of government. Tocqueville, steeped as he was in the heady philosophy of French egalitarianism, found many defects in the American Constitution. Not clearly perceiving the wisdom of the federal republican form of government developed by the Founding Fathers, he criticized some of the powers allotted to the states as undemocratic. He also expressed serious reservations at the weakness of the Executive branch. At the same time, Tocqueville’s careful and mostly accurate reports of social democracy and local government in America established his reputation as a sociopolitical analyst without peer. Presidents from Wilson to Clinton have sought to "make the world safe for democracy" by military means, in dreary fulfillment of W. H. Seward’s remark on democracies and warfare.

Our once-independent press corps has become an echo chamber for radical liberalism and faddish fix-it-all politics, as Emerson foresaw. Our halls of government, once graced by statesmen and law-abiding public servants, have become the fiefdoms of self-serving, amoral politicians who sway to every zephyr of discontent emanating from fickle constituencies. Perhaps most tellingly, our political discourse has become perfused with the subversive terminology of the democratic/socialist revolutionary tradition: we speak of "majority rule," of "collective rights," of the virtues of "equality" (where equality of outcome is meant), of the evils of "capitalism," of "level playing fields," and every other conceivable hue of economic and political fallacy, without recognizing that the terms as well as the ideas they represent were conceived and are being promoted by the enemies of freedom. The most abominable lie of them all is the myth of "democracy."

The sad truth is that words have consequences, as any propagandist knows. Far from being mere ornaments of thought, they have the power over time to change general opinions, obscure great truths, and in due course so benumb the mind that a skillful propagandist can truly persuade people that "two plus two sometimes equals five." Such is the case with America’s love affair with democracy. The lie has been so often parroted that it is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Even more devastatingly, we see the advance of democracy going hand in hand with the moral erosion of our society. As in revolutionary France, the aims of democracy and the revolutionary faith have a peculiar appeal for those whose tastes incline to depravity, rebellion, and the counterculture of drugs, pagan religion, and outlandish modes of dress and conduct. The Revolution of the ’60s — for it was such — was carried out in the name of freedom and democracy, freedom from all the constraints of "traditional morality" and the "oppression" of the political status quo. Can we not perceive in the words and actions of such people the same brazen rejection of divine law and its replacement by the worship of Man that characterized the French Revolution? For, as with the French revolutionaries, so with us: democracy has become the buzzword of a godless, lawless generation.

If history is any guide, we can expect our fate to be dire indeed if we persist on the tragic path to democracy and the tyranny that must inevitably follow. We are not on this path by accident. Like the French, the Russians, the Cubans, the Chinese, and many others who have been seduced by the democratic, egalitarian rhetoric of cynical and conspiring totalitarians, we are being carefully coaxed to our fate by a relatively small number of cunning con artists.

Unfortunately, even though the French Revolution never was anything like a spontaneous uprising of an indignant majority of the citizenry, it was nonetheless successfully imposed by a small but determined cabal through careful deceit and terroristic assaults on every pillar of social order and decency. In like fashion, the vast majority of Americans are, in various degrees, unwitting accomplices to the subversives in our midst. Most of us would recoil in horror were we to be brought to an understanding of the true nature of democracy and of the devilishly clever wiles of those who seek to bring it to us.

In sum, then, let us indulge no more in careless prattle about democracy, but recognize instead its true subversive, secular, calamitous nature. Let us instead renew our appreciation for our God-given rights and for the brilliant, inspired men who produced our magnificent Constitution and the Republic it brought into existence. Let us acknowledge also that in our time there are but two political camps vying for the hearts of men. One, characterized by democracy and its offspring — mob rule, vice, humanism, and eventual totalitarianism — is the revolutionary tradition, promoted through lies and seductive half-truths by the conspiratorial would-be architects of a socialist "new world order." The other, characterized by liberty, prosperity, virtue, limited constitutional government, and, perhaps most importantly, humble acknowledgment of Providence in the affairs of men, is the constitutional republican tradition. We must therefore expose and utterly reject the subtleties of the former, and pray that God speed its demise. We should remind ourselves of the tragic lessons learned by the democracies of the past, and raise anew the standard of the American Republic and all it represents, so that we may remain forever free, one nation under God.