If you try to break a single pencil, you probably can. Group a bundle together and the task compounds exponentially. This simple lesson, taught to Benjamin Franklin by an American Indian chief, revealed how the Founders could defeat the most powerful nation on earth.
"He took an arrow, and he handed it to Ben Franklin," Glenn said Wednesday on his radio program.
Unknowingly, the chief demonstrated an ancient Roman concept.
"Imagine just rods and you have two bands . . . a band at the top and a band at the bottom. Have you ever seen that symbol before?" Glenn asked. "It's the fasces symbol. It's where we get fascism. You gather enough people together, you can't break them."
Fascism requires everyone to be the same. The motto of the United States --- E pluribus unum --- is the exact opposite of fascism: one from many. Individualism and personal responsibility are defining principles of the American ideal.
"The idea of America is self-reliance and self-governance," Glenn said. "So my question to you is, Do you even know what that idea is anymore, and are you really willing to live that idea?
Read below or watch the clip for answers to these singular questions:
• How is fascism related to the Tower of Babel?
• Do you prefer building with identical bricks or one-of-a-kind stones?
• Have we been talking about the Constitution and Founding Fathers too much?
• How is the Constitution like a security system?
• Are you willing to fight for the idea of America?
Enjoy this complimentary clip from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: Benjamin Franklin was trying to figure out, how do we pull this off? How do we beat England, the most powerful nation on the earth?
Remember, this is a country that the -- the sun never set on. Its empire was so spread out, its empire was always in the daylight. How are we going to beat that? We are a bunch of farmers.
And an Indian chief was there with him, and he took an arrow. And he handed it to Ben Franklin. Let me hand this pencil to Stu. Break the pencil.
He said, "They're easy to break one by one, but if we gather them all together -- yeah, no, you shouldn't be able to do it. I don't have enough in there if you can -- yeah, you can't break them. Right? Yeah, can't break them.
STU: No. I wish I was -- I was hoping for like a really powerful moment to show my muscles off. But no, cannot do it.
GLENN: Yeah, right. So no, you can't break them, and this is just with 12 pencils. You can't break 12 pencils.
Okay. If you imagine as just rods and you have two bands at the top -- this group of pencils, and you have a band at the top and a band at the bottom -- have you ever seen that symbol before? What is it called? Fasces. Fasces symbol. It's where we get fascism. You gather enough people together, you can't break them.
So this was a Roman idea. But the Native American chief didn't know that. But here's -- here's the difference between fasces and e pluribus unum. E pluribus unum: From many, one.
Fascism requires you all to be the same. It goes back to the Tower of Babel. "Let us make bricks, and we'll build a tower to the sky."
What politician tells his people, "Hey, everybody, you're going to be so excited about my new plan: We're all going to make bricks?" You don't start that way.
You start with, "Let me tell you what we're going to do. We're going to build a tower that's going to reach the sky." Not, "Let's make bricks."
This -- he was not speaking of bricks. The Scripture talks about bricks and stones. Stones are individual. When you are forced to make bricks -- what happened with the pharaoh? He was taking people and all making them slaves. Making them all uniform, making them exactly the same. You made a brick in that mold, and that's who you were. Nothing else. We're not going to make anything out of stones anymore.
The Lord builds things out of stones. We are all unique. We are all different. And it may take some extra time. But when you cobble that together, there's nothing more beautiful than a stone fence. Much more beautiful than a brick fence. A brick house. A stone -- a natural field stone house is beautiful because it's a work of art. It took time to put it all together.
Fascists, they make everybody the same. The Indian chief knew is, you guys are rallying around a principle. And if you can get everybody around that principle -- and what is that principle? What is the idea of America?
Because right now, we're not fighting for the idea of America. I don't know anybody who is even talking about it. We're even talking about the Constitution. But the Constitution is not the idea of America. We've been too technical. We've gotten bogged down in the -- the Founders and the Constitution and everything else. And I know that sounds crazy, coming from me. Bogged down in the Constitution? Yes.
Because what is the Constitution? The Constitution is only a fence around the idea. How do we -- we have this idea. How do we build a government around that idea, that the only job of the government is to protect that idea.
We've been rallying for the Constitution. Why?
We should rally around the idea. Because that idea is pretty gone. It's pretty gone.
When you say people don't understand personal responsibility, what are you saying? The idea of America is over. Because without personal responsibility, there's no chance. Our faith has failed us.
Well, the idea of America is self-reliance and self-governance. And all of our Founders said, "Without a religious and/or moral people, this system won't work." They're saying the Constitution won't work.
Because the people no longer want the idea. They no longer want to be that person. So my question to you -- not to all of America -- to you, is: Do you even know what that idea is anymore, and are you really willing to live that idea?
There is such growing hate right now, and we're making everybody into bricks. I'm really disappointed in Ted Cruz.
Let me rephrase that. I'm disappointed in me. Why would I make this about him?
Now, part of it is, I want to believe that -- that George Washington can exist. I want to see it from somebody. I want to see somebody that is willing to stand and lose everything because it gives me hope. It gives me hope that I can do it.
Well, if he can do it, I can do it. Somebody who is just unwavering. But that's what I'm looking for.
And I'm not a politician. I don't say that in a pejorative way. Politicians go to compromise. You have to compromise. Our system was built on compromise. And so you get to a point to where you're like, "Okay. I got to compromise here or here. Where am I going to compromise?"
And if anybody is against that, what do you think the majority of Trump supporters are doing? They're compromising. They're saying, "I know I don't want this in Hillary Clinton. I know I have my values. I know he's not that. But I'm going to compromise."
And the only difference between us is the level of compromise that you're comfortable with. And we're not all bricks. We're stones. And we're meant to be stones. So you're not my enemy. He's not my enemy. I have no reason to be angry with you.
And to be honest, you don't have any reason to be angry with me. We're stones. We see things differently. And our levels of compromise are different. That's it. That's it.
We both love the country. I think there are Hillary Clinton -- lots and lots and lots, the vast majority of Hillary Clinton supporters love our country. I think Hillary Clinton does. She just has a different view of what our country is. And why is that?
Because while we argue the Constitution, we're arguing over the security system. Imagine if you spent generations arguing over the security system for a house and you paid no attention to what was in the house. You don't even know anymore why that security system was even put in, in the first place. Nobody's even talked about the treasure. The treasure is probably gone.
If the family hasn't looked and known what that security was on for, they might have sold it. They might have given it away. They might be using it as an ashtray or a footstool. You don't know. Because nobody has said, "What the hell are we even protecting?"
The treasure could be gone. And we're arguing over the security system, if that.
We're now arguing over which one should be in charge of selecting the security system, and neither one of them have even talked about the security system, let alone the treasure.
They're just saying, "I'm not moving from this address." They want you to move your house into another ZIP code. No, sir, we're not.
What difference does that make? Because it's not about the stuff, it's not about the location. This is another controversial thing to say. But all these -- all these lefties, they always say the same thing, "Donald Trump gets elected, George Bush gets elected, if John McCain gets elected, if Bob Dole gets elected, if Ronald Reagan gets elected, I'm -- go ahead and fill in the blank, everybody. I'm going to...
PAT: Leaving. Leaving the country. I'm going to Canada.
GLENN: I'm going to move to Canada. Okay. Okay. Go.
STU: None of those racists ever say they're moving to Mexico.
GLENN: Right. Yeah, right. I'm going to move to Canada. Okay. You're going to move to Canada. I'm not threatening I'm going to move to Canada if these guys are elected. First of all, Canada is not going to protect you from anything. Second of all, let me spin this around: I'm not going to move from here because of something -- hopefully. I'm going to move towards something.
If India all of a sudden had the idea, the original idea of America and said, "Look at our Constitution."
Now, I'd have to give it 25 years to see if it was stable, but if all of a sudden they had the idea of America, and we were like, "Holy cow, look at -- look at. They're kind to each other. They understand moral sentiments and the invisible hand of the market. They understand both parts of Adam Smith. They're good, they're charitable, they're standing on principle, and it's an entrepreneurial place, where you can go chart your own course. There is no caste system, no overseer that's going to keep you down."
If it was truly the spirit of the idea of America, I would move there in a heartbeat. Because I'm not betraying my country. My country is an idea. Everybody else's country is a space. My country is an idea.
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