"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Progressives Against Liberty

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” - Lord Acton

There is a disturbing trend going on in America today. You can see it on TV, you read it in the papers, you can hear it on the radio, and you can sense it in the things people say. That trend is called statism, or the belief that government action can solve any and all problems the country may face, even those concerning social justice. This “statism” is camouflaged with the term “liberal,” which, as I will prove, is the definition of

It's important to know that the term "liberal" was hijacked over a half-century ago. A "liberal" used to be someone who believed in the free market, individual liberty, and extremely limited government. These views are now known as "libertarian." Progressives and socialists hijacked the term "liberal" to give it connotations of liberty while simultaneously abusing government power to push their own agenda of what they perceived to be economic and social justice.

These progressive or social “liberals” (which I will refer to henceforth as “statists”) are often guilty of one key logical fallacy- that personal freedom and economic freedom are separable. The line of thinking follows that one can give up some or all of their economic freedoms in the forms of taxes, government control of our money, and regulations on businesses and consumers alike. The result, statists believe, is greater personal freedom that we all enjoy through a “level” playing field.

Statists generally wish to remove corruption from society and therefore enhance our personal freedom. However, they are completely backwards in their methods of doing so. They expand the power of government – the legal use of force – to attack the super-rich, powerful elites, instead of reducing government. In every single case in human history where this has been attempted, the government has been bought, and the expanded powers given to it are used against the very people it was supposed to protect. The persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany started with harsh regulations on Jewish-owned businesses. In the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, and China, people sought equality by giving up their economic rights to the government. They got their wish; after all, all slaves are equal.

The fact is, our level of “economic freedom” directly affects our level of personal liberty. Why do people get up to go to work every day? Everyone would agree that the more money you have, the freer you are to do as you please. Our economic activity basically consumes every moment of our lives. By inviting government to regulate our daily lives – our 9-to-5’s, our health, our wallets, what we're taught, what we eat and what we buy – we are trading liberty for physical and financial security; as the saying goes, we’ll get neither. Even if the government could provide for your every need, such a society would depend on the citizenry doing everything the government says, when they say it, and how they say to do it. Where's the personal freedom?

Government, not money, is the tool that the elites use to oppress us in the first place. You can say “no” to a bribe, but you can’t say “no” to a SWAT team or the FBI Gestapo when they’re at your door. When we enlarge the government, even for things we may consider “just” such as welfare, healthcare, etc., we are enhancing the capacity of the elites to abuse us. It’s an obvious fact that every single monopoly in history was created by government intervention in or control of that particular industry. We see it today: companies spend billions every year on lobbying. Where are they lobbying? The very agencies, such as the FDA, EPA, DEA, etc., that are supposed to be regulating them! They buy the politicians, they buy the votes, and they use their newly purchased power to suppress competition and individual liberty. To expand government to combat these people is like getting hit in the head repeatedly with a hammer and giving your assailant a BIGGER hammer so he’ll stop.

Almost every American would agree that a lot of politicians are corrupt, but they were corrupted by the power they were given to stop corruption. Take away the bureaucracy, take away the regulations, take away the government's power over us and there’s nothing left for the elites to buy with their endless funds.

1 comment:

  1. I liken it to a zoo, where all the animals are kept safe and fed, and they receive medical care when ill. How can anyone deny the Progressives of such a compassionate goal... until you realize that the fences around the zoo are not designed to keep the other animals out. The government cannot provide for our needs if we range free.