John Quincy Adams’ Warning Against the Search for “Monsters to Destroy”, 1821



And now, friends and countrymen, if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world, the first observers of nutation and aberration, the discoverers of maddening ether and invisible planets, the inventors of Congreve rockets and Shrapnel shells, should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind? Let our answer be this: America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….

[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

15 responses to “John Quincy Adams’ Warning Against the Search for “Monsters to Destroy”, 1821

  1. sometimes, it is necessary to destroy all monsters…

  2. Look around at how far we have fallen.
    Is there a single statesman anywhere in the halls of power? Is there one single elected official who could articulate their position as eloquently as what has been stated above by J.Q. Adams?

    • Why, there are PLENTY of them out there. Elijah Cummings. Sheila Jackson Lee. Corinne Brown. Johnny McShame. “Weepy.” “Post Turtle”. Tiny Dancer. The Dwarf. I have no doubt you can name HUNDREDS more.

    • You did not specify a country, so Putin seems to be doing pretty good even if he’s a tyrant.

  3. When the Feral Gov. of Lincoln refused to let States legitimately and peacefully leave their former Union; and dominated fellow Americans by ruthless force the Empire was Born and Sanctioned as a way of life.
    The subsequent historical record is clear with the caveat that the Empire began with the earlier Mexican War, or that mankind is ever perfect..
    Why does the past matter? Because we will have to pick up the pieces and begin anew one day. Republic to Demoncrazy to Dictator to Collapse to Rebirth or to Afterbirth as the future times may unfold.
    The individual and his family remain the basic building block, No amount of
    ProgreSSive insanity or propaganda will ever alter that basic fact.
    Pre-pare and be Ready to preserve liberty and freedom.

  4. Just another lying politician. Historical facts prove him to be so. Do your own homework, or just believe the politician as most people have always believed politicians.” America is wonderful and righteous and good and has never been otherwise, the exceptional nation with the exceptional people who are different and better than any people that has ever existed.” It must be true, God Himself said so… somewhere.

  5. HHH Old Vet.

    We do not have to search for the Monsters as they are directly in front of us. Why the Monsters are not dead yet puzzles me.

  6. HHH Old Vet.

    Liberty is No more.

  7. The first monster(s) to destroy is the one(s) within you.

  8. “Statesmanship is the art of saying ‘nice doggy’ till you can find a rock.” — will rogers

  9. Communism. Addams claims “America” is the Borg, an organism composed of human beings as its cells, with one “popular will” reaching one conclusion. This doesn’t fit the biological facts. Humans are too smart and too independent to be cells, and so there is no “popular will”.

    Suppose America were the Borg. Who then is Addams talking to? Did you notice this problem when you read the piece?

    Politician Addams is a sleazy salesman trying to sell us a contradiction, a lie to get us to do something we wouldn’t do if he told us the truth.

    • Nihilism. Cynicism. Atheism. Narcissism.

      And, it’s “Adams.”

      Might want to upgrade your agitprop auto post program.

      Pro-troll Anonymous is a sleazy psyop trying to sell us a revisionist lie to get us to do something we wouldn’t otherwise do and to deflect us us from the truth.

      I would add a hearty FU, but there is no U there.

  10. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.

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