Viva la Revolution!
by Becky Akers
by Becky Akers: Yay,
Why are you
an anarchist, minarchist, libertarian?
Or, more to
the point, how did you become one?
Some of us
researched the facts, analyzed the data, and voilá.
But most folks donít. They rely on heroes, those legendary characters,
real or imaginary, whom they admire. Heroes often help us become
who we are. If you inhaled the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew as a child,
you probably itched for a mystery to solve.
But kids arenít
the only ones who take their cues from their heroes. At least one
Supreme Courtís clowns approves of torture if a fictional agent
saves civilization with it.
the power of a story. Unfortunately, far too many of them cast the
State in the champís role. Whether itís the police detectives catching
the killer in murder mysteries, the buff fireman in a romance novel,
or the kings, queens, and warriors who star in historical fiction,
Leviathan shines. Between the lines lurks the tacit message that
we need government, the source of all blessings.
But as writers
from Rose Wilder Lane to Robert Heinlein prove, fiction can serve
freedom as ably as it has the State. Especially when the protagonist
is as clever as Lt. Columbo and courageous as Serpico.
Hale, the gorgeous, clever, witty, courageous protagonist of my
first novel, Halestorm.
Yes, like Serpico,
Nathan Hale really existed. Most of us know him as the spy the British
Army hanged during the American Revolution, supposedly after he
regretted having only one life to give for his country. (He
didnít actually say this.)
You might also
remember that he was only 21 when the State executed him. If youíre
especially conversant with the period, you realize that he died
thinking the Revolution a lost cause, that the government would
shortly capture Gen. George Washington and his Continental Army,
that it was only a matter of days before the State triumphed and
killed liberty as surely as it would him. Yet he refused to save
himself by denying freedom.
Such a stark,
exhilarating confrontation of Man against the State, the eternal
and utterly mesmerizing contest between good and evil, makes for
incredible fiction. So I was astonished to discover that no one
had ever written a novel about the luscious Captain Hale. Oh, sure,
there were several childrenís books, but nothing for adults. Why
not? Can you imagine anything more cloak-and-dagger than Nathanís
lonely espionage behind the enemyís lines, more edge-of-your-seat,
hurry-and-turn-the-pages thrilling than his betrayal and capture,
more dramatic than his death? Then, too, something much larger than
his life depended on the success of his mission: his Cause, the
freedom that permeated and drove the Revolution. No novelist could
invent a more spellbinding plot.
I soon learned that Nathan had been as magnificent in life as he
was in death. Heís the ideal hero: stunningly handsome (virtually
everyone who remembered him praised his looks. "So handsome!"
sighed one besotted lady); awesomely athletic (a witness recalled
how Nathan "would jump from the bottom of one hogshead up and
down into a second and from the second up and down into a third
like a cat Ė used to perform this feat often Ė would put his hand
on a fence high as his head, and jump over itÖ"); brilliant
(he was fluent in Greek and Latin by the age of 14, when he matriculated
at Yale College); playful (he signed a page of doodles "Nathan
Hail"); and all-around adorable.
the more I investigated him, the better he grew. Not many people,
even the Founding Fathers, can tolerate such scrutiny, let alone
emerge with their halos intact. Scratch Ben Franklin, and you find
a self-promoting hustler far more interested in advancing himself
than liberty. John Adams is a statist whoís unbearably pompous about
it, Alexander Hamilton a cocksure arriviste. Even George
Washington loses his luster when he gains the presidency.
Granted, he had only 21 years to mess up, versus their 84, 91, 47,
and 67, respectively. But he never did. He always stood firm for
Liberty Ė even when it cost the most.
Nathan will win other peopleís hearts as thoroughly as he did mine.
Folks who will never read Mises or Bastiat, who couldnít care less
about politics and mistake the Austrian School for a European academy,
will race through a novel about a cool, cute guy risking everything.
Closely argued apologetics on liberty wonít move them, but Halestorm
might Ė not because Iím such a great writer, but because Nathan
Hale is so compelling. And just as they imbibe the subtext of a
benevolent, omnipotent State from Mission:
Impossible or Fargo,
so theyíll take a fierce love of liberty from Halestorm.
Better yet, recommend it to your friends, Tweet and Twitter about
it, post a review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, urge folks to
devour the story. Letís continue the Revolution Ė and spread it
to a whole new audience.
Akers [send her mail] is
a free-lance writer and historian. Her novel, Halestorm,
is available in paperback
or for Kindle,
Sony, or for your computer.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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