Man is born free, yet is everywhere in chains. How did this happen? Insurrection Resurrection provides an answer. In this dark satire, founding father Thomas Jefferson mysteriously appears in modern America to incite a second American Revolution, out of revulsion for contemporary politics. It’s a tale of Alice in Wonderland surrealism, Catch-22 farce, and Atlas Shrugged philosophical controversy.
The antagonist is a tyrannical politician known only as the Head Honcho. He controls the puppet strings of the U.S. government with the guile of Nixon, the subterfuge of J. Edgar Hoover, the scandal of Clinton, and the mystery of the X-Files’ Smoking Man. He’s a ruthless, power-mongering juggernaut who continuously pursues reelection with animalistic Neanderthal fervor. He believes in government of the politicians, for the politicians, and by the politicians. He spews out innocuous slogans, unkeepable promises, contradictory positions, and pompous deceit. He’s embroiled in a ceaseless witch-hunt for a mysterious rebel known only as the Insurrectionist, who is actually the resurrected Jefferson.
The protagonist is Freeman, a career bureaucrat who plods along as the Head Honcho’s public relations stooge. Apathy and purposelessness haunt him. He unwittingly becomes associated with Jefferson, who gradually enlightens him about the absurdity of today’s politics. Through the unique perspective of the “resurrected” Jefferson, it becomes apparent that the current American government is as corrupt and oppressive as the British monarchy we revolted against two centuries ago. Astonished by the opulent lifestyles of American politicians, the enormity of the federal government, and its utter disdain for ordinary taxpayers, Jefferson organizes tax revolts, exposes corrupt politicians, and recruits citizen militias.
The Head Honcho counters with propaganda, censorship, murder, and war to divert attention from his malfeasance and a comic series of governmental malfunctions. Blood begins to flow in a crimson river all around him. His behavior exemplifies a government run amok as he violates civil rights and turns the bureaucracy into an engine of surveillance to hunt down the Insurrectionist. His surreptitious cover-ups, obstructions of justice, and deceptions lead to a constitutional crisis and a public tidal wave of revulsion. He creates a new state religion called Ismism, a generic philosophy with zero principles, all of which are politically correct. This gives him lots of room to maneuver while avoiding clashes with facts.
To stave off mounting rebellions, the Honcho enacts the Insurrection Act, which gives him wartime powers to apprehend and prosecute suspected rebels. The Act exemplifies the unadulterated goal of all governments, which is self-preservation at any cost to individual liberty. Still, the Insurrectionist eludes him. Freeman becomes aware, through his friend Jefferson, that the American experiment has edged, day by day, month by month, year by year, away from its original premise, and now threatens the American people with a bureaucratic leviathan more imposing and intrusive than all previous examples put forth by history. It becomes clear that when government makes peaceful revolution impossible, violent revolution is inevitable
Utterly despondent, the Honcho reminisces about days gone by when kings were kings, serfs were serfs, and everyone politely stayed in their place. He travels back in time to England in 1775, where he becomes the tyrant King George to try to prevent the original American Revolution from happening, in order to make America a more hospitable place for tyrants in subsequent centuries.
Unfortunately, there’s so much inertia behind the American drive for independence from British bureaucratic oppression that he’s powerless to stop the revolution. America’s violent revolt creates humanity’s first separation of church and state, and establishes history’s first republic of individuals with inalienable rights, free markets, and constitutionally limited government. Rebels such as Thomas Paine, who looks exactly like Freeman, and Thomas Jefferson, who authors the Declaration of Independence, lead the American cause. The Honcho now realizes that Jefferson is the Insurrectionist who has been tormenting him, so he returns to modern America to hunt him down.
The story culminates in Jefferson’s capture. In the ensuing sensational trial, he is indicted as a traitor to his own philosophical creation. In his strident defense, he admits to being the Insurrectionist, but not a traitor. He portrays himself as the true American, the father of the country he risked his life to nurture. Then he turns the tables and accuses the Honcho of being the real traitor, because his cynical abuse of power and his mythology of Ismism is subverting America into a hellhole of government run amok. He closes his defense with a new Declaration of Independence from the federal government.
Jefferson’s fiery arguments inspire an epiphany for Freeman. Disillusioned by his criminal government, Freeman draws on Jefferson’s wisdom and the examples of Irish rebels in his cultural heritage to complete a full metamorphosis into a rebel leader. He finds within himself a fountainhead of courage, patriotism, and rebellion. He is ready to grab the torch of liberty from Jefferson and embark on a heroic mission against kings, mystics, and politicians, with an uncompromising will to avenge the brutal oppression of governments and religions.
On a deeper level, the story is a conflict between archetypes in a battle of good versus evil. The Head Honcho is an amalgamated caricature of everything gone wrong in American government, including Watergate, Vietnam, the national debt, and scandalous abuse of power. Thomas Jefferson is the archetypal defender of liberty, justice, and reason. Freeman is Everyman, confused and torn by powerful forces that he ultimately must understand and choose between.
Deeper still, the carefully researched story portrays the timelessness of these archetypes and the cyclical nature of history through surrealistic journeys into the past. For example, in a flashback to the Roman Empire enabled by the Book of Liberal Policies, Marxist Economics, and other Occult Phenomena, the Head Honcho becomes the tyrant Julius Caesar, Thomas Jefferson becomes the liberty advocate Cicero, and Freeman becomes the assassin Brutus. Each flashback, in which the characters play out their archetypal roles, ends with a violent assault on the evil antagonist and reinforces the lesson that the symbiotic relationship between mysticism and power transcends time and place.
On its deepest level, the story probes the source of the social bondage that has plagued the human race, whether it be master versus slave, government versus citizen, king versus serf, or priest versus postulant. It explores the connection between reason, religion, and political power to support its central thesis that kings and politicians, using captive media, harness mindless followers who have been dogmatically conditioned by secular and divine faith to commit organized evil. Faith is the greatest scourge of mankind and the greatest killer in history. Ignorance begets faith, faith begets priests, priests beget kings, and kings beget chains.
The book is current and timeless, fiction and history, surrealism and stark reality. The words Jefferson speaks are derived from his actual writings, yet he plays a fictional role as an insurrectionist in modern America. The chapter on war is as stark as the Normandy invasion scene in Saving Private Ryan. No topic is sacrosanct, and many sacred cows are gored.