Wednesday June 20, 2012
Green Libertarian Nationalism: A Healthy Direction for America
by Michael Chapdelaine
Americans caught up in the left-right paradigm dominating American politics in the 21st Century may ask, “Are you a tree hugger who wants to destroy jobs to save owls or a supporter of business free to loot and pollute?” These interests can be reconciled despite assumed conflicts because, like many political movements or parties, there are elements of liberalism and conservatism to varying degrees in the green-libertarian-nationalist mindset.
The conservative movement in America steadily degraded during the Cold War years following the Second World War. For one, the long-standing conservative opposition to communism and their willingness to oppose it militarily, if necessary, has led many of today’s “conservatives” to conclude that chauvinistic, belligerent, nationalistic bravado is a conservative trait. Another misconception is the attachment to or worship of unbridled capitalism as though it were the wellspring of democracy. In truth, capitalism did not exist at time of America’s founding and the profit motive is not America’s ideological seed. Capitalism was a by-product of the freedom possible from a constitutionally limited, republican federation envisioned in the democratic ideal. Freedom is more than the option to purchase a Chevrolet or a Ford truck. A free individual has the option to reject buying either consumable good. A free community has the option to deny Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. the privilege of constructing a small-business-annihilating and traffic-inducing Supercenter in their county, city, town, or other locality. The vast majority of citizens do not understand what it is to be a comprehensive, consistent, conservative ideologue.
Currents of political belief may be broken into aspects:
The terms liberalism and conservatism describe political ideology; though abused and misused, they are not meaningless constructs. While it is true that liberal (open, change) and conservative (closed, tradition) and progressive (forward movement) and regressive (backward movement) are intuitive opposites, they are not necessarily practical or functional opposites when taken on an issue-by-issue basis in politics.
Social conservatism supports existing conventions, values, and local customs with gradual societal evolution, rather than upheaval. Applied to foreign policy, a mild social conservatism manifests itself in opposition to imperialism or interference in international affairs and tends toward anti-internationalism or isolationism. In the extreme, it can breed aggressive nationalism.
Moral conservatism suggests domination, suppression, and in effect endorsement of behavior; government defines right and wrong, especially in personal affairs. The intent is to defeat evil or promote goodness as influenced or defined by religion or attitude.
Fiscal conservatism is an expectation that the government must “live within its means” and modestly. It implies limited government and relatively small institutions. Above all, fiscal conservatives oppose excessive government debt. Belief in balanced budgets tends to couple with a belief that government welfare programs should be narrowly tailored to synergize with low tax rates.
Economic conservatism desires minimized government intervention in the economy. It comes from two schools of thought: the classical conservative’s pragmatism – free markets work best – and the libertarian’s notion of “rights” – free markets are the only ethical markets.
Mixing and matching of liberal and conservative sub-ideologies into a singular, overall perspective produces political movements or parties. These movements or parties pursue and establish different systems or forms of government and types of rule. Many leftist parties have elements of conservatism and right-wing parties similarly have liberalism.
Economic and fiscal conservatism coupled with social and moral liberalism is typically referred to as libertarianism or anarchism (in an extreme sense). Economic liberalism coupled with social conservatism can result in fascism (right wing) or populism (left or right wing). Social liberalism coupled with fiscal and economic liberalism is typically referred to as socialism or communism (in an extreme sense).
A key component of communism – an extreme left-wing movement – is moral conservatism. Repression and control of thought, expression, association, and activity is necessary for “the good of society”. Actions are “in the interest of the people”. As well, the notion that government decisions are more enlightened than those of the individual. Communism replaces traditional morals with loyalty to the state and party dictates. It shuns religion and the family unit; friends and community bonds necessarily dissolve. Authority – fearing the potential for individuals to reject conformity, perpetual revolution and their place within – compromises freedom.
Libertarianism, or classical liberalism reminiscent of the 17th Century, is a political philosophy advocating broad individual rights and a limited government with minimal control over the economy. Libertarians see the defense of individual liberty as the purpose of government. They also favor the right to dissent from orthodox tenets or established authorities. Their essential belief is that individuals should be free to do anything they want, so long as they do not infringe upon what they believe to be the equal rights of others.
Suppose one builds a large rocket on their seemingly spacious ranch. It is potentially a harmless, peacefully pursued hobby. However, the decision to launch may yield unambiguously negative and pronounced consequences for another citizen(s). Imagine after a brief flight the rocket returns to earth on a neighboring ranch. Impact with the earth at high speed generates an explosive effect that kills grazing cattle and deposits hazardous, unsightly debris across a broad patch of land. The matter might not be resolved between the landowners, at which point the inventive citizen is liable according to law. Government must arbitrate – legally and backed by the threat of force – in securing just compensation that might otherwise be refused. Designing and launching a rocket may be benign, victimless, and without offense, but negligent calculation or indiscriminate and careless launch can have a hostile or unacceptable effect to a single citizen or society at large.
Liberty necessarily couples with responsibility or else there is anarchy. Individual rights are tempered by their effect on others. An individual conducting a particular activity can easily go too far, thus infringing on the rights of others; this is even more pronounced with overpopulation.
Welfare liberals born out of Roosevelt’s New Deal, synonymous with “modern liberals” or “new liberals”, embrace the idea of individual rebellion but advocate strong government involvement in and regulation of the economy. Their national concept is for a minimum standard of living (redistribution of wealth), loose Constitutional interpretation, and popular freedom only within the bounds accepted by society’s contemporary appetite (banning private gun ownership because some inevitably misuse firearms). Hence, state and societal responsibility replaces personal responsibility.
Welfare liberals pursue an arguably noble strategy of social justice and prevention of social conflict that is unfortunately accompanied, in practice, by centralized bureaucracy, repressive government supervision of everyday life, and suffocating regulation of business. Preventative justice (stemming from a lack of trust) and mandated equality yields oppression, rejection of tradition, and disenfranchisement of the self-sufficient and productive.
The welfare liberal wants more laws toward the betterment of society. Historically, the prodigious, well-intentioned legislation has not produced a better society (net benefit) but has consolidated power and given more control to the government bodies; most laws advancing social engineering invade privacy and seize the dignity of the passive, the righteous, and the obedient, but fail to eradicate their intended injustice or criminal target.
Welfare liberals can be progressive. Progressivism tends to be a quasi-socialist, leftist movement with a basic vision of a responsible community where people genuinely care about each other, not just themselves, and act accordingly – a trait rarely exhibited by humanity. They place great faith in government, its institutions and ability to overcome natural human emotion. Typical progressive principles:
As benign as progressivism can appear and well intentioned as it may be, progressivism does not answer the following:
It so happens that these are questions that communism has historically proven incapable of answering or has answered by showing them to be impractical policy though theoretically enticing.
Neo-conservatives (neocons) and neo-liberals are two sides of the same corporate, hyper-capitalist coin. They are effectively right-wing leftists or socialist conservatives; neo-conservatives are economically almost indistinguishable from neo-liberals as both
It is common for these supposed free marketers to cry for a bailout when the destructive aspect of capitalism surfaces. Neocons have dropped many tenets of conservatism, particularly social and fiscal, demonstrating more interest in power than in principle. They are sometimes called “pseudo conservatives” as they have ideas that are, in fact, predominantly liberal or leftist and socialistic. Their resemblance to “traditional conservatives” or “paleo-conservatives” is cosmetic, at best.
Neo-liberals often preach a liberal agenda and portray themselves with a non-threatening populist image yet fully immerse themselves in establishing lives of wealth, privilege, and elitism with control over the masses. They are effectively anti-communist leftists. Again, their economic policy is virtually identical to that of the neocon. They rely heavily on misdirection and distortion to instill fear in the minds of the gullible and shape the thinking of the people so that they can continue with the steady theft of liberty. Like the neocon, neo-liberals believe in
One of the hallmarks of the neo-liberal construct is the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. While created to help prevent future conflicts by lending for reconstruction and development and smoothing out temporary balance of payment problems, they intervene at will and force developing nations to participate in the world economy on unfavorable terms. This is a reckless manifestation of the idea that competition is always a virtue so its results cannot be bad.
Both neocons and neo-liberals abuse the populace and conveniently appropriate the use of terms such as “middle class” and “job creation” to advance their elitist agenda. At the same time, they enact laws to preserve class domination, further stratify the people, and advance consumerism.
Individual citizens are left out of the decision-making processes of government, rendered powerless, and then alienated from a marketplace ruled by greed, immense transnational corporations, and a bureaucracy respondent to the highest bidder. Electoral control does not reside with the individual voter but with major contributors, the corporate media with interests vested in maintaining the system, and the corporate sector.
One of the most volatile aspects of the rank-and-file of the Republican and Democratic parties, which contain many so-called neocons and neo-liberals, is obsession with traits specific to American popular culture and American values – the progressive playbook’s values-based foreign policy. This is manifested in an assertion of American moral superiority and exceptionality, e.g. military action being justified in a Third World country as women may subsequently gain the right to vote in the land of the “oppressed”. This makes them dedicated and dangerous internationalists. Policy is always to advance American economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military hegemony and preserve a prominent role for wealthy supporters on the “left” and “right”.
Green-libertarian-nationalism blends moral liberalism with social, fiscal, and economic conservatism; Constitutionally obedient nationalists and ecologically-sensitive capitalists who are adamantly opposed to infringement on individual liberty and alleviation of individual responsibility, thus, it is largely pro-national and anti-statist thought.
In some respects, this makes green-libertarian-nationalists philosophically opposed to liberals and expressly leftist parties, including socialists and communists, as well as a number of conservatives and right wing parties, including fascists and religious fundamentalists. Moreover, a green-libertarian-nationalist differs substantially from “Green” and “Libertarian” proper, progressive socialists and economic determinists, respectively.
Green-libertarian-nationalists prize ordered liberty – the delicate area between repressive force of government and anarchic, individual free will – because it delivers individuals a choice in work, trade, hobby, expression, association, travel, leisure, and residence. The condition of freedom bequeathed Americans had a by-product: abundance.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the American people have come to think that abundance is an end in itself, leading to complacency and apathy; public satisfaction has become perversely defined as attaining personal, material wealth. Complacency and apathy usher in dependency because citizens shirking their individual responsibility become reliant on the hard work of others. Perpetual reliance equals dependency and operating as a nation of dependents is socialism. Socialism is living in a condition of bondage and bondage negates freedom, the whole point of the political arrangement. That is the reason that liberty requires vigilance.
The nation must be more than an economic outline. There needs to be a general retreat from trends towards the socialist system set in motion by Roosevelt’s New Deal and advanced with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, embraced or unchallenged by the likes of William and Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, John McCain, and George W. Bush. A severe breach has occurred in the American Constitutional tradition of a small and strictly limited federal government.
In a simplistic sense, green-libertarian-nationalists would emulate gentlemen-farmers, soldiering writers, and scientific dreamers in the mold of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Benjamin Franklin. Our Founding Fathers were intelligent men with three crucial additives:
Their combined wisdom bore the finest government documents ever written – in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights – with accomplishment and experience extending far beyond a courtroom before serving in public office.
Greatly reduce the size of the Federal government, restrict it only to those powers granted by the Constitution, and return power to the people at the local and state levels.
Abolish Federal agencies not in compliance with the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution; powers and attendant responsibilities returned to the individual states.
Income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, vice taxes, use taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes; the list is broad and deep. Collectively, Americans yield roughly 40 percent of their financial holdings to government at all levels, regardless of income. Yet, for every $1,000 in tax, working, productive, law-abiding citizens might see a mere $100 worth inefficiently returned in the form of decent, necessary services.
Before 1913, federal income taxes were rare and short-lived. Americans gave up less than 6 percent in total to government. In the early part of the 20th Century, the Federal Government did not play “nanny” to its citizens from cradle to grave and the people took responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities. Government was of comparatively modest means and limited scope, much more in line with the founding vision; Government functioned within its bounds and the nation prospered.
A few shallow recessions and minor bank runs – between 1905 and 1910 – convinced powerful bankers that this was not in their business interest. They made a successful push for the creation of the Federal Reserve, giving a private bank control over America’s currency, and Congress followed this travesty with another, the Sixteenth Amendment, establishing the income tax. The legitimacy of both is far from incontestable. Congress first abrogated its responsibility per Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, “To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin…” Second, it undid Article I, Section 2, “…direct taxes shall be apportioned… among the… states… according to their respective numbers…” and Section 9, “No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” The Government, in cooperation with the banking industry, has robbed the American citizen, once with the theft of their labor and a second time with fiat (arbitrary and devaluating) currency.
American Dollar in Its Proper Place
Consequently, instead of tending to the basics within the framework of the Constitution, the Federal Government acquired the means for growth – printing presses for a continuously devaluated fiat currency and increased tax revenue – into a bloated conglomeration of corporate, political, and social services that expands every year; so began the debt and inflation cycle. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the enforcement arm of the Federal Government’s present graduated or progressive tax system; they conduct the theft of the citizens’ labor. Citizens, both in groups and as individuals, have repeatedly sought responses from the IRS bureaucracy as to the basis for their liability and the agency’s tax policies and procedures. No valid answers have been forthcoming despite the Government’s duty to answer to the people at whose pleasure it serves.
There is a simple three-step solution to America’s national financial nightmare:
Taxing consumption (the things one buys) rather than income (the wealth one creates) encourages savings and is unquestionably the fairest basis of taxation irrespective of individual or household income; everyone automatically taxed in accordance to the value, amount, and necessity of the items purchased. Moreover, taxing consumption factors in the use of state services provided and impact on society-at-large, e.g., sales tax on automobiles and gasoline factors in the purchasing citizen’s usage of public roadways, creation of air pollution, etc. Truly free citizens could conceivably live minimalist or subsistence lifestyles with little to no taxation, as they did between 1788 and 1913.
In order to cull the Federal bureaucracy, the private printing presses of fiat currency and theft of the labor of American citizens must end. The Federal Reserve and the IRS are two of the most significant means by which the Federal Government has grossly expanded and incurred a multi-trillion dollar debt.
Allow self-determination for all peoples and nations, while opposing the exploitation or oppression of any country or group of people.
The United States is properly a free and sovereign republic striving to be at peace with all nations; it should neither interfere in their internal affairs nor permit their interference in our own.
In the wake of the Second World War, this nation has increasingly played the undesirable roles of, at best, international police and at worst, imperial aggressor. The Republic should not engage in activities commonly described as “nation building”, “spreading democracy”, and “regime change”. Through involvement abroad, the United States of America has changed from a humble republic to an arrogant world empire, following a similar path taken by ancient Rome. Our nation is now committed by treaty to defend foreign nations in all parts of the world, and by agreements other than treaties to defend more.
It is well past the time for a systematic withdrawal from several treaties, agreements, and alliances that have long-since served their purpose, become functionally impotent, or are no longer desirable. This includes a withdrawal from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and a substantial reduction in the United States’ worldwide military presence and occupations.
The United States should remain an otherwise active, willing, and sovereign member in peaceful initiatives of the United Nations as approved by Congress. It would be, provided the Supreme Court did not rule otherwise, Constitutional to participate in a multinational effort to address climate change resultant from human activity provided Congressional debate occurs, conditions are set, an accord is reached, and authorization is given to the Executive to sign such pacts, agreements, or treaties.
The United States should not deploy troops on any foreign field of battle without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by the United States Constitution. Likewise, Congress should refuse to fund unconstitutional, undeclared wars or under which American sovereignty transfers to multi-national agencies.
Foreign financial aid must end; the U.S. Federal Government does not have any Constitutional authority to tax the American people or use any U.S. funds for the specific purpose of providing aid of any kind to foreign governments. These expenditures, measuring in the billions each year, are a major drain on the Treasury. Green-libertarian-nationalism recommends:
Foreign aid amounts to nothing less than welfare for nations; it has the same disastrous effects as in domestic practice and a widespread record of waste, fraud, and abuse. Successes and well-spent money are the exception, not the rule, with foreign aid. Even when aid reaches its intended beneficiaries, the results are often counterproductive because it keeps entire nations dependent just as domestic welfare discourages Americans from becoming self-sufficient.
The nation should be, within the constraints of its budget, committed to fielding the best trained, best equipped, best organized and most effective military force in the world to provide for the common defense and successfully engage openly hostile, foreign adversaries attempting an invasion of the United States.
Nevertheless, the Constitution does not provide for standing armies. Article I, Section 8 specifically prohibits the appropriation of money for a term greater than two years to raise and support armies.
The Constitution provides for and permits the maintenance of a navy. There is no mention of an air force as the document predates the technology but its purpose reflects that of the navy in another domain and naval aviation exists. Therefore, a professional, all volunteer navy and air force should be maintained to protect the nation’s waters and airspace from sophisticated, organized, and well-equipped foreign adversaries; they should support temporary armies and the militia when and if they are called up to repel a land invasion. Green-libertarian-nationalism calls for volunteer state militias and voluntary reserve officer training in schools, colleges, and universities.
Green-libertarian-nationalists reject the claim that the National Guard is the militia referred to in the Second Amendment. Literally, the term “militia” refers to all U.S. citizens capable of bearing arms. Any opposition to the widespread and proper formation of civilians into a fully armed body is anti-Constitutional and an anti-republican principle; a militia is one of the finest ways of preserving liberty.
Chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons are the most destructive devices ever created. As sophisticated and powerful as modern warheads have become on both tactical and strategic delivery systems, they are as hazardous to those who might employ them as to those against whom they target. In number and capability, they have gone far beyond weapons of mass destruction to become weapons of global annihilation. Even in a “limited” nuclear exchange, the after-effects would catastrophically alter the global environment, destroying the planet’s very ability to sustain life.
Green-libertarian-nationalists believe in continued voluntary reduction of our nuclear arsenal in working towards a world free of these life eliminating, ultra-destructive weapons.
While libertarians usually believe that the private enterprise can do most anything better than the government, green-libertarian-nationalism rejects the mercenaries’ motive of material gain. War is too personal and devastating to entrust to the free market; the free market has no ideological, moral, national, or political stake in war. The conduct of war should be in terms of right and wrong, national interest, and social consequence, not in terms of profit. The free market can certainly provide the equipment to fight as it becomes necessary but the military-industrial complex that has developed is absurd and thoroughly corrupts the democratic process. Green-libertarian-nationalists want the Government – properly representing and empowered by the citizenry – to have a monopoly on the conditions and prosecution of war.
Capitalism, i.e., privately owned means of production, private sector investment, and market forces determining production techniques, distribution methods and prices, et al. is an imperfect economic system but is superior to the alternatives when taken as a whole. Nevertheless, it is not so good or fair enough to practice unbridled. Pure, unshackled capitalism is freedom destroying and highly antagonistic with labor, health, democratic expression, and the environment, as these issues are impediments to realizing optimum economic efficiency and higher profit.
Green-libertarian-nationalism holds that it is unethical to elevate profit above all else. The assertion can stand on reciprocal reasoning or religious tenets. The notion of “business ethics” or “professional ethics” separate from “everyday ethics” or “personal ethics” is flawed. People should not discontinue or lower standards of right and wrong for the workplace or in transaction with others. There is only they way people ought to best conduct themselves at all times.
The citizenry cannot allow business – particularly corporations, those entities enjoying many individual rights and privileges minus much of the individual consequence and responsibility – a total free hand and maintain a free republic. An entirely free market acts in the interests of the market and market interests do not automatically coincide with public interests, and they may be, and often are, highly detrimental to the public at large. The Constitution sets the Government’s ultimate responsibility as ensuring the rights of citizens, not private business collectives.
While it is necessary to recognize there must be some regulation of the economic arena, the Federal Government is presently affecting the practice of capitalism against the public and national advantage. Government must stop bailing out failing industry. No one and no company has the right to cover their losses at taxpayer expense yet corporations, banks, airlines, and others currently make such demands and regularly see them satisfied; they must be denied and left subject to the perils of a highly competitive, free-market system.
Complicated tax codes effectively discourage economic activity and reduce entrepreneurial opportunities. The remedy is the consumption-based national sales tax.
The average person hoping to start a business today also faces a barricade of regulatory policies; one may need to consult a battery of lawyers just to comply with the myriad of regulations from a virtual alphabet soup of agencies – like OSHA, FTC, and CPSC. Zoning and occupational licensing laws are particularly damaging to the type of small businesses that can help enterprising and hard-working people lift themselves out of poverty. Discarding minimum wage laws and mandated benefits would lower the cost of employing additional and native workers.
It is vital to understand that every individual is not necessarily going to be a part of a high-tech workforce requiring years of advanced education for which there is limited demand. Placing this obligation on the populace presumes every potential worker has an interest in such fields and the wherewithal to engage in them. A healthy nation has a diversified job spectrum to support any number of career decisions and it should be reasonable to expect that this may involve manual labor, traditional skilled trades, professional services, manufacturing, and industrial and agricultural options.
Some libertarians expect that global free trade means there are no tariffs and no establishment of preferences with regard to domestic products and employment; this same love of unfettered trade has delivered manufacturing job losses to China, rampant illegal immigration, the death of small family farms, and elimination of entire classes of workers and skilled trades. It has also been equally devastating to many other parts of the world, e.g., indigenous cultures eradicated at the hands of the free market ramming consumerist junk down their throat. Green-libertarian-nationalists expect Government to emplace some trade barriers. The paleo-conservative Patrick Buchanan articulated a similar position in a November 18th 1998 address to the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations:
As you may have heard in my last campaign, I am called by many names. "Protectionist" is one of the nicer ones; but it is inexact. I am an economic nationalist. To me, the country comes before the economy; and the economy exists for the people. I believe in free markets, but I do not worship them. In the proper hierarchy of things, it is the market that must be harnessed to work for man - and not the other way around.
To facilitate this and encourage protection of American jobs, agriculture, and industries, the United States should withdraw from all international monetary and financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These institutions hold this nation (and others) hostage to global corporatism that compromises labor, human rights, economy, environment, and domestic and localized industry and agriculture worldwide.
Government control of education is a step toward tyranny, the practice of communists, fascists, and other totalitarian adherents. The Federal Government has absolutely no Constitutional authority – with good reason – concerning the education of children. Under no circumstances should they be involved in teacher certification, curricula, textbook selection, or learning standards.
Abolish the United States Department of Education and repeal all federal legislation related to children’s education. Separate education from all Federal Government subsidies and regulations, including vouchers, tax incentives, grants, loans, testing and review. No Federal Government agency, department, board, or other entity should hold authority over any aspect of children’s education. Education, training, and discipline of children are the parents’ domain and ultimate responsibility; primary and secondary schools and educational institutions of local communities and states of residence fully controlled by the local citizens, local government and respective state.
Parents should be able to determine and provide for the education of their children in the manner they deem best, including home, public, private, secular, or religious.
State and local governments ought to deal with the vast majority of criminal acts. The Federal Government should properly discontinue widespread interference with the ability of the people in their communities to apprehend suspects, judge the accused, and penalize the convicted, be it through legislation, judicial action, or other activities.
States and local communities can determine whether to execute criminals convicted of capital crimes, to require restitution for the victims of criminals, and other forms of punishment. Federal involvement in state and local criminal justice processes should be limited to that which the Constitution requires.
Crime reduction can be achieved through
Give first-time convicts, non-violent and lesser criminals the chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of society through public restitution before casting them away. The prison system, though designed and intended to punish wrongdoers, makes many men, women, and juvenile offenders more vicious, wicked, hardened, and institutionalized.
Today’s War on Drugs is a re-run of Prohibition and the result is the same: use has persisted underground. It is another misguided effort to save individuals from themselves. Politicians intoxicated with power imagine legislation has the ability to resolve all “flaws” in human behavior. The result is failed, totalitarian policy from a state assuming moral superiority. Prisons are overflowing with non-violent drug offenders that have brought no harm to others or themselves. Aside from an injustice, it costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year to pursue, prosecute, and incarcerate these supposed criminals.
Freedom includes having the option to do, or not, some activity. Lawmaking, by its very nature, is freedom destroying, and with every vice law enacted, life options without penalty disappear.
The politicians creating these types of laws – under the auspices of it being “for your own good” or “the betterment of society” – are control freaks determined to impose their “guidance” and “best intentions” on one’s free will; they remove individual sovereignty from the equation. This process substitutes human rights with state sanctioned privileges. Government officials now have the domineering attitude, “you’re lucky we don’t put you in jail for that!”
The morally terrorizing argument is often that drugs – like alcohol, marijuana, and heroin – make people do awful things. Of course, under the influence of some narcotic someone may do something society finds unacceptable. The important thing in a free society is that which they actually do to others that causes unambiguous harm.
The banning of one drug while permitting another is hypocritical and nonsensical. Numerous studies – like that of Bristol University published in early 2007 in the Lancet medical journal – have shown the classification of drugs in terms of their personal harm or social detriment is incorrect. While alcohol and tobacco remain legal, less harmful, less destructive and less addictive substances, such as marijuana, are illegal.
People have jumped at the chance to meet the demand for contraband as they did in the past with alcohol, and due to the illicit trade, streets have often become battlegrounds with innocents caught in the crossfire, with unscrupulous law enforcement and judges receiving bribes or participating otherwise. It is common that great demand for an illegal product spurs the black market to supply it. The price of the product rises dramatically and the opportunity for huge profits is an irresistible lure for many.
Tens of millions of Americans are occasional, peaceful users of some illegal drug and their activity poses no threat to anyone besides themselves. They are not going to stop despite the law. Again, the core of the issue is personal liberty and its companion, responsibility. While drug abuse is a tragedy and can be hazardous to one’s well-being, so can lack of exercise and a lousy diet. A free society allows people to take personal responsibility and reap the consequences, for better or worse, of their decisions and actions.
The Second Amendment right of all American citizens to arm themselves in order to protect their family and property, and, when necessary, be able to defend against governmental tyranny cannot be contested.
The spirit of the Second Amendment was not simply a convenient afterthought for a pioneering nation reliant on hunting wild game and defending against “hostile” natives. America’s founders fought the Revolutionary War to throw off the British yoke. As it was, most of the revolutionaries owned the weapons they used in that war. With victory secured, the architects of the Constitution knew an armed citizenry is the best defense against future tyranny and injustice. The importance of a government respectful of the people’s capability for resistance was foremost in their minds.
Those attempting to deny American citizens their right to keep and bear arms often subvert the Second Amendment. Most vexing is that often the same people working to preserve and promote other civil liberties seek to deny the one that offers true defense for the rest. Nevertheless, the Second Amendments’ meaning, scope, context, and intent are abundantly clear from the multitudinous writings and speeches of the Founding Fathers and their revolutionary companions.
Thomas Jefferson, chief drafter of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, wrote in a November 13th 1787 letter to William Stephens Smith:
And what country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. …The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Noah Webster, Connecticut Militia member and later dictionary publisher, wrote in his 1787 An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution:
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.
Tench Coxe, American political economist and a Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette on February 20th 1788:
Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American... [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
Patrick Henry, “radical” advocate of the American Revolution, militia leader, and Virginia Governor, delivered the following words in a 1788 speech to the Virginia convention to ratify the Constitution:
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force: Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.
Richard Henry Lee, Continental Congress member, independence resolution sponsor, Declaration of Independence signatory, Westmoreland Militia colonel, sixth President of the United States in Congress assembled under the Articles of Confederation, member of the Virginia convention that ratified the Federal Constitution in 1788, and later a United States Senator, wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette on February 20th 1788:
[W]hereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.
Samuel Adams, “extremist”, “agitator”, “radical”, organizer of the Sons of Liberty revolutionary group, Continental Congress member, Declaration of Independence signatory, and later the Governor of Massachusetts, called for the following language in the Bill of Rights during the 1788 Massachusetts convention to ratify the Constitution:
That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
It is reasonable and necessary that the Federal Government repeal and oppose all domestic arms-control legislation, including
Limitations on the publics’ access to weapons is one of the trademarks of all totalitarian regimes, indeed, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin were rapacious advocates of gun control. The foundation of tyranny has always been, and will always be, a populace that is physically helpless to challenge established rule and resist government injustice. The American patriot must be ready and able to meet hostile, tyrannical government force with force in order to preserve liberty.
A magnificent example of the value of the Second Amendment was the Battle of Athens (also known as the McMinn County War). In August 1946, American citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, among them veterans of the Second World War, took up arms to secure fair elections. They violently rebelled against a corrupt and machinating local government. Dozens of men armed with a few of the latest American battle rifles of the day, the M1 Garand, several semiautomatic pistols, a number of bolt-action Enfield rifles, an assortment of other firearms and some high explosives, in this case, dynamite, took on over a hundred deputies of the sheriff’s department. With some injuries to both sides but without any deaths, these patriots routed the sheriff’s force and unseated their political masters. The Second Amendment provided these determined Americans the avenue of effective resistance to a condition of abuse and disenfranchisement at the hands of government.
Knox Henry Becomes Sheriff After the Battle of Athens (Associated Press)
The people can rightfully decide how best to protect themselves, their families and their property against the predatory, malicious, and criminal elements of society. Millions of Americans have firearms and other weapons in their homes and can rest easier because of it. Studies – like those released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics – show that in countries where gun ownership has been made illegal, armed robbery, gun murders and home invasions have risen. Indeed, South Africa quickly developed the highest gun crime rate in the world following a broad ban on firearms. Regardless, misuse or malpractice by some would not warrant confiscation or prohibition from the citizenry at large.
Peaceable, responsible citizens do not and should not need to ask anyone’s permission or approval to engage in the purchase of arms and any activity associated with ownership not deliberately and maliciously harming an innocent, fellow citizen. The acquisition and retention of arms, by itself, harms no other person. Anti-weapon legislation with the intent or result of obstructing, impeding, or preventing convenient ownership or possession of weapons has its basis in a paranoid presumption of guilt or intent to harm others. These laws punish those who have not yet harmed anyone but it is the very possibility of their misuse in violent, antisocial activity that ushers such restrictions of freedom into the legal code.
Fear mongering has become an important tool of the arms control movement in America. School shootings in particular – like the massacres at Columbine High School in Colorado and Virginia Tech University – seem to prove the point of advocates of gun control, bans, confiscations, and so forth. However, these tragedies are symptomatic of social ill and indicate moral decay, not grounds to recognize or validation of the clear and present danger of an armed public. It was commonplace, even as near back as the 1970s, for students to bring guns to school. Schools even offered classes in riflery and pistolry in addition to school sanctioned shooting leagues and clubs. This was before horrific school shootings were even a phenomenon.
Guns are not the problem but they are easy to blame. As it is, chronically undisciplined and directionless children and social outcasts will always find an avenue to destruction and expressions of violence. Responsible gun owners and caring parents should not be penalized for the actions or inaction of others. If an individual acts responsibly, without attacking others or causing injury negligently, no crime or harm occurs.
An armed citizenry in sufficient numbers is a legitimate, proven method of prevention and deterrence of violent crime. The police do not and cannot provide immediate, round-the-clock security in every home, place of business, or street. More often, they show up after the crime to secure the scene, take reports, and do investigative work. Politicians eagerly manufacturing gun legislation always enjoy the luxury of personal security and armed escorts; they certainly do not rely on police response, they rely on active, armed preventative measures.
In any event, making gun ownership illegal will not and does not stop gun ownership. Like Prohibition and the current War on Drugs, a ban on guns or suppression of legal ownership will only ensure that criminals have them, because only law-abiding citizens will comply. In the end, the honest, passive, and compliant citizen will be victimized and suffer.
Thomas Jefferson quoted the Italian criminologist, philosopher, and politician Cesare, marchese di Beccaria-Bonesana’s 1764 On Crimes and Punishment in his commonplace book from the mid-1770s:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
The Federal Government should not fund, mandate, or prohibit abortions. It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman, in consultation with the father of the unborn, family members, any religious institution they may or may not obey, and professional medical advisors, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of contraception, prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or at-home births. Laws ought not to impose restrictions on free choice regarding pregnancy or encourage its termination.
It is equally unjust, unfair, and morally terrorizing
Mapping the human genome is a great scientific achievement. It has the potential to provide humanity with cures for many diseases that currently challenge the medical community. As with all technology, however, humanity must be mindful of their obligations to use it wisely, ethically, and with great reverence using some standard of human value and considering natural and social consequence. These developments may just as easily tamper with the fine balance of nature and the place of humanity in the grand design as benefit our species. Genetic manipulation may one day prove reckless, meaning that all men are quite literally, not created equal, or even match the definition of the human organism. Biological consequences could be catastrophic to all life on earth, an unintended weapon of mass destruction.
Even though the possibility of stem cell research providing a cure for a myriad of ailments is, too say the least, exciting to those who suffer and the ones who love them, the possibility lingers that cloning of human tissues, or even humans, will occur. Society should establish minimum guidelines codified into law regarding the further research and development of these technologies:
3.13 Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment (Social and Fiscal Conservatism and Economic Liberalism)
It is unfortunate that, among so many other modern political perversions, no small number of self-described conservatives hold a seemingly pathological disdain for nature, wildlife, and the idea of sensitivity toward the environment.
It is most likely “conservatives” lost their way on the environment resultant from their economic thinking. Early liberal philosophy deemed nature and the environment as a resource to exploit; the value of natural resources comes from human use in accordance with the labor theory of value. Thus, free-market liberals (synonymous with the economic conservatives described previously) are uncomfortable with positions that impede economic growth and hold environmentalists in contempt. This is an occasion, among others, of economic conservatism at odds with social conservatism.
True social conservatives view nature with inherent value and ecological conservation as necessary to preserve tradition. Rural life may be the source or sole remnant of traditional American society; the agrarian class was long the backbone of the nation. Modern America’s economically deterministic atmosphere ensures small, family-operated farms in harmony with the land are few-and-far between.
Indeed, some libertarians view any regulation for an environmental purpose as tyrannical. Their implicit expectation is that one citizen cedes or subordinates their self to another who wishes to exploit, unfettered and to the obvious, severe detriment of society, the natural world for personal or corporate material gain.
Green-libertarian-nationalists believe free economic activity by one does not automatically trump the individual or collective desire to enjoy the natural world and its healthful benefits. It must be that many free pursuits – like driving cars producing greenhouse gas emissions – fall under public purview. In terms of the individual, they are free to travel and choose their mode of transport but so long as American citizens operate their cars on public routes and expect to discharge the vehicles’ polluting chemicals into an atmosphere shared by all society. There is an effect on others and infringement on the rights of those who have deliberately chosen not to operate a car. To be fair, the right to pollute must be tempered against the prerogative to breathe clean air.
Hostile Environment for Citizens
Humans have a unique responsibility for stewardship of the Earth: protecting those resources that sustain all life and limiting pollution that degrades habitat. No species, the human animal included, can have unchecked exponential growth within a finite planetary ecosystem without depleting available resources necessary for the health and vitality of all life. Population expansion in the United States and the world cannot be without limits. Furthermore, the needs of humanity must not selfishly supercede those of all other species, an attitude that leads to a compromise of the condition of the nation and world inherited by future generations. A truly free society recognizes that all people do not necessarily want roads everywhere, or parking lots, or strip malls. A truly free people retain the option to pursue an entirely different or traditional life (e.g., the Amish way).
It is in the national interest that the population of the United States should progressively reduce to a number commensurate with the carrying capacity of the boundaries of our nation. Aside from the environmental consequences, overpopulation is also a restriction on individual freedom. The issue is not simply the number of Americans that can exist but the kind of existence that is possible for these citizens. Moreover, when population increases faster than the economy grows, it exacerbates the disparity between rich and poor. Theodore Roosevelt recognized in an address to the National Editorial Association in Jamestown Virginia on June 10, 1907, “…The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life.” Christian relief efforts in the third world have recently made some incidental converts: the eco-Christian or green religion movement. These Christians saw first hand the close tie impoverishment has to environmental destruction.
This is not to say that government policy should censor, restrict, regulate, or prohibit pregnancy. Government should take no action that either compels or prohibits abortion, sterilization, or any other forms of birth control, including forced sterilization of mentally retarded or “genetically defective” individuals. Population reduction and stabilization can partly advance by setting the condition for individual responsibility and family planning, i.e., end all subsidies for childbearing built into present laws, including welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children. Automatically eliminate, through a national sales tax, special tax burdens on single people and couples with few or no children.
The discussion of national ecological harmony cannot be limited to population numbers and birthrates. Higher human consumption rates and populations increase the pressure on the environment in every ecologically problematic way. Government promoted, consumption-oriented lifestyles that have evolved in the industrial world, with America at the forefront, have resulted in a minority of humanity consuming a majority of resources. This is as significant a threat to the national and planetary carrying capacity as high birth rates in low-consumption countries. Enacting of a national sales tax would automatically check – as it is consumption based – such high consumption, among its myriad benefits to the citizenry.
The Federal Government’s preferential energy policies toward oil, coal, and other non-renewable, highly polluting fossil fuels distort their net value and stifle competing technologies and alternative energy. Absent the tax breaks and incentives given to fossil fuels and factoring in the cost of foreign wars to secure them, climate change induced and health hazards they generate via pollution, a gallon of gasoline would cost the average American near $15 a gallon, about five times its present amount. At that price, viable alternatives, e.g., wind and solar power, easily compete and would enter the marketplace en masse.
There must be accountability for unambiguous, detrimental effects on the shared environment of the citizenry at large. Privilege granted to a business by government on behalf of the people to extract and develop resources in a public domain does not in any way supersede the public interest and broad benefits of simultaneously maintaining ecologically sound, if not pristine, conditions. American nationalism should logically guide a sense of stewardship, basing all environmental-resource use policies, plans, and practices on sustainable development and production and the encouragement of balance between optimum and diverse use of land, sea, and air. Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution states that, “The Congress shall have the power to dispose of and make all needed rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States…” Ideally, Congress should have the following near-term environmental objectives:
Some libertarians believe that they are global, free citizens and, as such, have the right to cross any "border" and do not recognize national constructs; these same libertarians have no objection to the ongoing illegal alien invasion. Green-libertarian-nationalists counter that this constitutes trespassing and is a clear and present danger to national unity and vitality. It is a detriment to this nation socially, ecologically, financially, and economically. Government is necessary in this regard, i.e., to defend against unwarranted and undesirable foreign entry. The Federal Government must
America has a proud immigrant history but has no obligation to admit all comers. Moreover, the country is no longer an unsettled frontier. Immigration, legal and illegal, has escalated to well over one million each year to the highest level in American history.
American citizens of European and African descent average 1 to 2 children per couple, a stable rate of population replenishment. Nevertheless, projections from various sources, including the Census Bureau, of America’s immigration-driven population range between 400 and 500 million by 2050. This is partly from direct legal immigration, but overwhelmingly from direct invasion by illegal aliens in conjunction with higher birthrates among Hispanic and Asiatic immigrants, roughly twice that of European and African-American citizens. It will assuredly degrade or destroy our environment and the American quality of life. Already, a population of 300 million results in severe traffic congestion, overcrowded schools, urban sprawl, pressure on energy and water resources, and dwindling wilderness and wildlife areas. Overpopulation makes liberty more elusive; the more people, the greater the interference with each other’s activities. Thus, government regulation becomes justifiable to referee society bursting at the seams. Therefore, America must do the following:
Contrary to the claims of open-border and amnesty advocates, widespread, successful deportation is practical. On June 17, 1954, President Eisenhower’s solution to illegal aliens, dubbed “Operation Wetback”, began. Starting in California and Arizona, approximately 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas and apprehended over 50,000 illegal aliens by the end of July. Another 488,000, anticipating arrest, returned to Mexico. In mid-July, the sweep extended into Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Texas. By September, agents netted some 80,000 in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 additional aliens left voluntarily. These Mexicans were not simply released at the border; they were sent, over land and sea, hundreds of miles back into Mexico. This accomplishment occurred over a short time with a border patrol much smaller than today’s force.
Of course, deportation is unnecessary in most cases provided employers hiring illegal aliens are held to account for breaking employment law and the generous social safety net and welfare benefits evaporate. Proponents of an open-border policy make their case on either sentimentality or greed, but neither is good for America in the long term.
Sentimental forces believe the United States’ history of immigration suggests the nation must be hostage to accepting nearly all immigrants under nearly all conditions despite the realities of the 21st Century. It is difficult to blame desperately poor foreigners seeking a means to support themselves and their families, but the practice of indiscriminate and unrelenting admission hurts America’s poor as well.
One of the most tired bits of sentimental reasoning derives from verses of a poem associated with what commonly is referred to as the Statue of Liberty:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus, a Portuguese-Jewish immigrant, wrote this poem, titled “The New Colossus”, in 1883. Lazarus donated this particular piece of her work to an auction of art and literature meant to raise money for the construction of the pedestal on which the statue stands. Lazarus initially refused the solicitation of fundraiser William Evarts but changed her mind when a Constance Harrison convinced her that the statue would have great significance to immigrants sailing into New York Harbor. Lazarus’ poem was the only entry read at the auction.
Nevertheless, her poem played no role at the dedication of the statue, whose real name is Liberty Enlightening the World, on October 28, 1886. The Paris based Union Franco-Americaine (i.e., Franco-American Union) gave the statue to the United States in 1876, as a gesture of friendship between the two nations and to commemorate America’s centennial; France played an important role in American independence and America in inspiring France’s departure from monarchy shortly thereafter. While the statue serves as a welcome to all visitors, including immigrants, the intent was not that it be a symbol of unfettered immigration or an open invitation to the world to move to America. Liberty Enlightening the World represents liberty, order, and civility as an example to other nations.
It was years later, in 1901, that Lazarus' friend, Georgina Schuyler began an effort to memorialize Lazarus and her poem. She succeeded in 1903 as a bronze plaque engraved with the poem “The New Colossus” was mounted on the inner wall of the statue’s pedestal.
Greedy and unscrupulous forces argue that immigrants, particularly illegal aliens, are performing tasks that American workers will not perform or accept. The truth of the matter is they desire a cheap wage policy that returns high profit in the near term. Admitting a heap of docile, cheap laborers to the United States saturates the supply of domestic labor, thereby reducing wages and raising business profits, yet it makes jobs scarce, especially for people at the bottom of the labor market.
It is not only low-skill and menial labor, the Federal Government plays a part in wholesale recruitment and importation of skilled talent, e.g., engineers and doctors, from developing countries. Of course, it devaluates and displaces their American counterparts but also prevents their worth from becoming a realization in their own nation, so called, “brain drain.”
These laws and quotas granting preferential treatment, special privileges, and additional protections were meant to give disadvantaged black Americans descended from slaves a socio-economic boost. Affirmative action has spread to encompass most groups or segments of the populace to the exclusion of the descendents of the original Christian, European settlers and the more recent immigrants from the European continent. This government-mandated program of racial discrimination advances inequality before the law, the opposite of its intent. It is a great injustice that white Americans should be disenfranchised, their progress retarded, or barriers set before them for the benefit of other groups.
The problem with socialized medicine, i.e., a national health care program administered by the Federal Government and paid for by the Treasury is threefold:
The Federal Government is not empowered by the Constitution to provide health care to citizens. Proponents of a universal health care system paid for by the Treasury and administered by the Federal Government often cite the Preamble to the Constitution whereby it states, “… promote the general welfare ….” However, the Preamble does not actually empower or restrain the Government; the intention is to frame all that follows. Moreover, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reserves powers and attendant responsibilities not delegated at the federal level to the individual states. Any government health care program would have to be at the state level or below in accordance with the constitution of the respective state.
Other proponents will quote the phrase, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Yet these listed inalienable rights are from an altogether different document, the United States Declaration of Independence. Of course, the Declaration plays a massive role in the spirit of the nation but it does not legally govern and certainly does not override the Constitution. The thinking of those desiring a Federal health care system is that the “life” in this phrase is grounds for its creation. The phrase has its basis in the writings of John Locke, “life, liberty, and estate,” where estate is private property. Locke also said, "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” The original meaning is rooted in liberal philosophy of the period, as before, individuals should be free to do anything they want, so long as they do not infringe upon the equal rights of others. From “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Government has no mandate to care for the sick and indigent.
The Constitution sets the conditions for justice, peace, and liberty for citizens of the United States of America. It establishes a small Federal government whose purpose is to act as a protective shield for the citizenry, enabling private lives, personal interests and pursuits, and participation in the affairs of their community. The people are free to the point that society remains orderly and lawful, short of an anarchic state. American revolutionary Thomas Paine’s words also capture the concept of limited government, "That government is best which governs least." The Constitution recognizes the peoples’ self-determination but it does not extend to the particulars of health or other common conditions or provisions under which an individual may be prosperous and content. The proponents of a Federal health care program might as well argue that it is the duty of the Federal Government to provide sustenance, shelter, clothing, and other “basic human needs.” They are pushing for a radical departure as this socialist concept and the practicality of its application is simply not consistent with the constitutionally limited, republican federation bequeathed by the Founding Fathers.
Federal health care proponents, frustrated by the lack of Constitutional grounds for their vision, often enthusiastically argue that Government is already involved in many areas not specified by the Constitution, e.g., education or firefighting. Again, the Federal Government has exceeded its jurisdiction with regard to the education of children; it is properly a matter to handle at the state and local level. Firefighting services, in the other example, originated as voluntary citizen groups in local communities not as a Federal Government service. Today, many continue to be voluntary but have also become a rightful function of county and municipal governments. The Federal Government is almost entirely absent in the fighting of fires, except within national forests, on military airfields, etc. Even there, though, the Government is overextended; a policy over decades of aggressive fire suppression and fighting has encouraged an unhealthy condition for many of the nation’s forests. Ideally, periodic fires cleanse and eventually recharge the soil of a forest, and before the mid-20th Century, forest fires burned, as they should. Today, the amount of undergrowth in conjunction with factors of human-induced climate change set the stage for intense, long infernos. Hence, Government conveniently justifies the “need” for continued firefighting and tree thinning in that domain.
Despite their limitations with regard to health care, the Federal Government can discontinue their significant role in facilitating the creation of a toxic environment and nurturing the pharmaceutical dependency of the populace. Since the 1940s, every American has been exposed to unhealthy levels of radioactive fallout resultant from nuclear weapons testing. As well, the pharmaceutical industry enjoys a cozy relationship with their political benefactors, enjoying “certification” or “approval” for no small number of harmful or unproven prescription drugs. The consumer culture nurtured by the Government also contributes to today’s latent lifestyles absent activity and exercise. Even the quality of agricultural products has suffered from Government-subsidized commercial farming. Years of intensive use of limited, petroleum-based fertilizers over traditional, sustainable methods has literally left the soil absent of a broad array of nutrients for fruits, vegetables, and grains to absorb. Many farm goods are unable to fulfill dietary needs.
Bureaucratic top-down management, rapidly escalating prices, costly yet ineffectual regulations, and the criminalization of the practice of medicine have all accompanied the growing Government involvement in health care. Government interference and subsidy degrades the quality and reduces the availability of patient-oriented health care and treatment. The high cost of health insurance is largely due to government’s involvement in the industry. Government’s principal role in any kind of insurance should be to enforce contracts when necessary, not to dictate to insurance companies and consumers all the terms of their voluntarily agreement.
As the Federal Government controls the supply of medical care, then agents of the Government progressively determine which demand is satisfied. Socialized medicine yields rationing of services, higher costs, poorer results, and the power of life and death transferred from caring physicians to political overseers with a history of incompetence and unaccountability. There is good reason that foreigners have traditionally sought out government independent, American medical attention for sophisticated treatment: it is superior care.
Some European nations are finding their massive financial commitment to government provided health care unsustainable. Norway, for instance, is now to reevaluating their welfare state as the sun sets on their oil windfall. France and Germany are tempted to admit more and more immigrants to maintain otherwise nonsensical population growth; the allure is a tax base for an aging and ailing native population.
“Liberals” today tend to fear moral conservatism instituted by religiously influenced politicians but have no difficulty with it coming from their secular ranks. They see a big role for government to play in mandating compassion, forcing charity, and attempting to mold the conscience of the citizenry.
The stated goals of welfare are to
Despite the lack of a Constitutional foundation for such a Federal effort, Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) was created as part of the Social Security Act of 1935; it was renamed in 1960 to become Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and reformed in 1996 to become Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Since the start of the War on Poverty in 1965, the United States has spent trillions of dollars (directly and through state, local, territorial, and other grants) trying to ease the plight of the poor. AFDC expenditures alone were in the tens of billions of dollars per year up until 1995. Employed and retired citizenry have seen their wealth and income redistributed in the form of direct expense coverage, housing assistance, food vouchers, and free health care.
Continued poverty has been the primary return on this massive investment, accompanied by increased pregnancy out-of-wedlock and the disintegration of the nuclear family. While there are exceptions, the poor get little in the long term from government welfare except handouts in a cycle of dependency and despair.
Private charities and groups do a better and more efficient job of helping the truly needy get back on their feet. Nevertheless, Government sanctioned injustice combats perceived selfishness (not a crime in itself) among the wealthy. They involuntary acquire funds backed by the threat of force (jail time for tax evasion). This assumes
Standards establishing “rich” and “poor” are broad. In fact, a single person making $30,000 per year qualifies as “rich” and accordingly has some of their paycheck diverted to someone voluntarily unemployed with children. The voluntarily unemployed person then collects an equivalent paycheck of $40,000 from the government. In fact, the more irresponsible they become (having more children without independent means to support them) the greater their reward.
It is time to recognize that the Federal welfare system is a failure, cannot reform, and has no valid Constitutional grounds for its introduction; it should end. A compassionate society will find other ways to help people who need temporary assistance, be it privately or by local and state governments. This includes eliminating TANF, food stamps, subsidized housing, and the rest. Individuals unable to support themselves and their families fully should look to supportive family, friends, religious establishment, community, or private charity.
American society is properly based on liberty and individual responsibility. As dictated by the Constitution, all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law. This cannot and should not be perverted toward the notion that all citizens will be equal in their socio-economic standing. The harsh reality is that some people will fall by the wayside no matter what amount of help they receive from any source. For others, the absence of a safety net is the only thing that can motivate self-reliance and productivity. The Constitutional design affords tremendous opportunity but there are no assurances of work and charity. Operating as a dependent society – the socialist construct – is incompatible with the amount of freedom Americans are meant to enjoy.
The Constitution grants no authority to the Federal Government to administrate anything like the Social Security system. It is a socialistic experiment initiated by Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the New Deal, his grand scheme to lift America out of the Great Depression. The program started oblivious to the Government’s own role in instigating the Depression and continues to the present though it is demonstrably clear today that the switch to a wartime economy in anticipation of and while engaging in the Second World War had the real relief-effect.
Corrupt, pandering, and fearful politicians in Washington remain committed to stealing – 6.2 percent of gross wages and a matching 6.2 percent from employers sinks into the system annually per the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) – the future of working American citizens and enslaving coming generations. A broad number of sources, experts within the Government, in academia and elsewhere, have repeatedly warned that the system is heading toward insolvency.
Earning a median income of roughly $32,000 per year, the average American could invest that same amount of money in a well thought-out private fund. With commitment, discipline, and patience, they would likely retire a millionaire on an income exceeding $100,000 per year, about five times expectations from Social Security. Instead of letting Americans invest in their own future, the Federal Government wants citizens to have faith that someone else will pay their measly benefits when it comes time for them to retire. Although most Republicans and Democrats will not admit it publicly, their “solutions” to the Social Security crisis all come down to some combination of tax increases and benefit cuts.
However, in consideration of the broad social upheaval possible from its sudden discontinuance, a speedy but gradual departure must occur. Continue to meet the obligations already incurred under the system but phase out the entire Social Security program. Retreat from Social Security with the following steps:
Ron Paul 2008
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