What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 4, 2011

That is Liberty



"Liberty is not built on the doctrine that a few nobles have a right to inherit the earth. No! No! It stands on this principle: that the meanest and lowest of the people are, by the unalterable, indefeasible laws of God and Nature, as well entitled the benefit of the air to breathe, light to see, food to eat, and clothes to wear, as the nobles or the king. That is Liberty! And Liberty will reign in America!" - John Adams
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4 comments:

Bram Reichbaum said...

Loved this miniseries. Overlooked this scene. Thanks.

Maria said...

HBO has been replaying it on the 4th the last few years. I ended up watching the whole thing again yesterday.

The scene is from the first episode when Adams agress to be a member of the Continental Congress.

If you replace "nobles" with "corporations"...

EdHeath said...

With a few (different) altered words, this might sound like a sermon from Christ. Which is less to attribute something divine to John Adams and more to note that in the process of creating a democratic form of government, I think the founders sought inspiration from the gospels. That they tried to apply Christianity in a practical sense to government. By which I mean that I believe John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and other founders would understand the reasoning for and perhaps approved of Roosevelt's New Deal and Johnson's War on Poverty. Probably not so much the Citizens United decision.

Bram Reichbaum said...

There was a smile, or a grin, on Paul Giamatti's face as he completed the Christian allusions -- I think to subtly signify that his character John Adams realized he was engaging in some brilliant PR, by lassoing the prevailing religion into his radical political arguments.