Sunday, October 3, 2010

Basics of American Philosophy

I wrote the following on August 19th, 1994.

When I mention "our current administration", I am referring to Clinton.  But Clinton never even dreamed of the sweep of power wielded by Obama.  We are now, in 2010, much further down this completely un-American road. We have further separated into two camps: those who still believe in freedom, and those who believe in government control of just about everything.  I have watched these trends for 30 years or more.  It is an inevitable march to crisis.


Basics of American Philosophy

As a free American, I have a right to own anything I want, and to do anything I want.  I can own land.   I can own and carry firearms.  I can defend myself at all times.  I can start a business and reap its rewards.  I can build what I want, how I want it.  I can travel wherever I want to go.  I can say what I want and print what I want.

I don't have to get permission from anyone to exercise these rights.  I am not beholden to any master on earth.

My only restriction is that I may not violate the right of others to be free in their lives and property.  In that restriction, I am responsible for my actions.

I don't have a right to be fed, or a right to a house, or a right to medical care, or any other "right" that is dependent on others providing it to me.  To grant these things to me would violate the rights of others.  I do have a right to be free from force and other interference as I purchase whatever I want.

I do have important moral responsibilities to my fellows, but it would be immoral if any person or organization took my property from me by force and gave it to others.   Besides, to be dependent on handouts can destroy any future ability to provide for yourself -- just like animals in a zoo.

Americans have delegated certain things, for the sake of convenience, to an association of citizens that we call a "government."  It provides a structure for common defense, for criminal punishment, for settling disputes, and for coordinating those few efforts that involve us all.  But it is a small thing, with strictly limited power.  If it were to become oppressive, we would simply dissolve it; after all, we brought it into being ourselves.

The people we choose to lead this association can never create a tyranny and threaten us because we retain the right to be well-armed.  We are always careful to stay more powerful than the government.

Our freedom is our most prized possession.  Many Americans have died for it.  In other countries -- even the so-called 'free' countries -- the people are tightly controlled.  They may be democracies, but their people are not free.  They have traded away their freedom for a false security -- false because it is the security of the slave.

Americans are always skeptical when other countries are portrayed as examples for us to emulate.  Americans' love of individual liberty makes us unique among all nations.  We don't want to be like England, or France, or Japan.  We value our freedom more than governmental promises of protection from want, crime, and the pressures of a free market.  We would rather control our own lives, accept our own risks, and pay our own way, than be told what to do.

We don't need or want a governmental parent constantly protecting us, providing for us, and scolding us.

Americans have always known intuitively that if you must ask permission, you are not free.  If much of your wealth is being taken from you, you are not free.  If you are denied the tools to defend your life and your freedom, you are not free.  If you are being watched, measured, and monitored, you are not free. If you let others provide for you, you are not free.

When the founders of our country decided to revolt against British rule, these thoughts were basic to their philosophy. We remained true to their ideals for many decades, but in the middle of this century we tentatively took the first steps down a completely different path.

We began innocently enough by providing more aid to people.  But now every necessity for living is considered a 'right,' the only question being how to tax enough to provide them.

The government is larger and more controlling than anything the founders could have ever conceived.  We pay more in tax and have less liberty than the colonists did under British rule.

We still have a democracy -- so far -- but almost all of the thousands of new laws created every year are made by un-elected bureaucrats in government agencies.  They are authorized to do whatever they think the people will tolerate.  Every aspect of human behavior has become an excuse for a new program, more control, more government.

With our current administration, this process has greatly accelerated. Soon everything in your life will be infiltrated by the government.

Thomas Sowell explained the situation well in the November 19th, 1993 New York Post:
"What the welfare state is saying, whether in this new 'Health Security Act' or in a thousand other programs, is that we are not to be a nation of independent people controlling our own lives, but a nation of clients whose lives are controlled by bureaucrats, dispensing taxpayers' money according to the vision of the anointed.

"This is not a new idea, however much the advocates of the welfare state proclaim 'change.' Most of the history of the human race has been a history of the masses of ordinary people having their lives controlled and their destiny decided by some elite.

"It has taken centuries of struggle, agony, sacrifice and bloodshed to get out from under the thumb of those who acted as if they had been born into this world 'booted and spurred, to ride mankind.' Now we are turning around and heading backward, toward a world where people's fates are not in their own hands but in the hands of some puffed-up political 'leaders.'"


I am fascinated by Mr. Sowell's reference to welfare state advocates proclaiming "CHANGE" all the way back in 1993.  Nothing is new, is it?

We have an opportunity this November to turn the tide.  Obama's policies are not part of the America I know and love.  He may or may not actually be a foreigner, but his policies are certainly foreign, and indeed are repugnant to true Americans.

If you love freedom, vote against those who support him.  Throw them out now.

Then throw him out in 2012.


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