America's Political Crisis

It seems that every other day, one hears of another "crisis" that must be dealt with immediately -- by government expansion. Examples include everything from swine flu to global warming to the rising cost of health care. We are warned that we need the government to protect us. We are asked to sacrifice. We are told that there is no time to think, and we must act immediately -- Washington will do the thinking for us. 

The American people instinctively sense that there is something terrible happening, something that is antithetical to the indomitable spirit of benevolence, self-reliance, independence, and freedom that has characterized our nation from its beginning. Our government has been hijacked by collectivist radicals whose every act is designed to expand their power and chip away at our freedom. One never knows what new government fiat may emerge on any given day, what its effects will be, and whose lives will be damaged for the benefit of what purportedly needy segment of the population. This is the nature of the real crisis. 

In order to solve a problem, one must not merely define its practical manifestations, but determine its root cause. It is critical to determine the fundamental issue that makes all our current absurdities and injustices possible. Then we will know how to eradicate the hijackers and rescue our great nation from the precipice of an irrevocable disaster.

The essence of what has made this country great is the notion that each individual owns his own life, that every moment of that life is infinitely valuable and irreplaceable, that his sacred moral right is the freedom to live and pursue his own happiness. Each of us has the right to work, produce, and enjoy the fruits of her own achievements, and our only obligation toward others is to allow them that same freedom. 

Does the political manifestation of this ideal (capitalism) lead to widespread abundance and prosperity, raising the standard of living for even the poorest among us? As a matter of clear historical record, yes, it certainly does. But the mistake made by proponents of freedom and capitalism is to present these effects as the essential moral purpose of a free society, which they are not. Protecting the right of each individual to exist and live as he chooses, so long as he does not infringe on the same rights of others, is the ultimate purpose and moral justification of a rational government in a free society.

When one asserts that capitalism is the best system to achieve "the common good," one is conceding the basic premise of collectivism: that the moral purpose of a government is to not merely protect, but provide for its citizens. And since it produces nothing, the only way a government can distribute wealth to some citizens is by first taking that wealth by force from those who have produced it. This throws the door wide open for tyranny; if forced expropriation of private property helps to provide for the "general welfare," then it is morally justifiable under the premises of collectivism. Maybe one can argue that capitalism works in practice -- and it does -- but the legitimate rights of the individual are not defensible on principle once the tenet of sacrificing the individual to the collective has been accepted as the moral yardstick against which government action should be measured. This is the root cause of our current political crisis. 

Once the legitimacy of actual, objectively definable rights has been undermined by the tenets of self-sacrifice, needs take the place of rights. The collectivists claim that it is one's "right" to be provided with health care. But what about the rights of doctors who would be required to provide the medical treatment and the property rights of every other American who would be taxed to subsidize it? This leads to an obvious contradiction: There can be no such thing as a "right" to violate the rights of others. 

A simple test for determining if a purported "right" is legitimate is this: Does it require the compulsory, active participation of someone else? This means, does the satisfaction of this right require others not merely to refrain from interfering with someone who claims this right, but to take some positive action, such as providing goods or services? Needs cannot and must not serve as a basis for rights; one person's need is not a legitimate claim on the life of another.

For the reasons described above, every form of welfare state is fundamentally, irreconcilably at odds with legitimate individual rights. There are two options: a free society with a strictly limited government, or a runaway state with a limitless claim on individual lives. Those who have hijacked our government know this, they have made their choice, and their constant acts of secrecy and dishonesty show that they know that their goals are indefensible. After the long and blood-curdling record of collectivist governments throughout history, one cannot give the benefit of the doubt to those who seek to impose it on the United States of America.

Productive Americans already work a significant percentage of each year just to pay their taxes. Cumulative decades are taken from our lives by force to support a massive and corrupt government. How much enjoyment and abundance could the American people achieve with all those irreplaceable years that are instead spent toiling to support the bloated pensions of public-sector union workers, the caviar on Nancy Pelosi's military jet transport, Barack Obama's extravagant parties in the White House, and any needy incompetent who thrusts his hand out and insists that he is entitled to be provided for? 

The cause of our nation's peril is a vicious set of moral premises. It is on moral grounds that the battle to take it back must be fought. The upstanding, responsible citizens of America must stop yielding to intimidation by the snarling leftists who claim that they have a right to do as they wish with our earnings and lives because they claim that they want to help people. The proper answer to this is that they are free to allocate their own resources as they wish, but they have no right to ours. And when the collectivists throw out the accusation that our refusal to submit to tyranny is selfish, we must proudly proclaim that they are correct. 

It is only when we stand against the collectivists on moral grounds that we will win back our country, our freedom, and our lives. 
It seems that every other day, one hears of another "crisis" that must be dealt with immediately -- by government expansion. Examples include everything from swine flu to global warming to the rising cost of health care. We are warned that we need the government to protect us. We are asked to sacrifice. We are told that there is no time to think, and we must act immediately -- Washington will do the thinking for us. 

The American people instinctively sense that there is something terrible happening, something that is antithetical to the indomitable spirit of benevolence, self-reliance, independence, and freedom that has characterized our nation from its beginning. Our government has been hijacked by collectivist radicals whose every act is designed to expand their power and chip away at our freedom. One never knows what new government fiat may emerge on any given day, what its effects will be, and whose lives will be damaged for the benefit of what purportedly needy segment of the population. This is the nature of the real crisis. 

In order to solve a problem, one must not merely define its practical manifestations, but determine its root cause. It is critical to determine the fundamental issue that makes all our current absurdities and injustices possible. Then we will know how to eradicate the hijackers and rescue our great nation from the precipice of an irrevocable disaster.

The essence of what has made this country great is the notion that each individual owns his own life, that every moment of that life is infinitely valuable and irreplaceable, that his sacred moral right is the freedom to live and pursue his own happiness. Each of us has the right to work, produce, and enjoy the fruits of her own achievements, and our only obligation toward others is to allow them that same freedom. 

Does the political manifestation of this ideal (capitalism) lead to widespread abundance and prosperity, raising the standard of living for even the poorest among us? As a matter of clear historical record, yes, it certainly does. But the mistake made by proponents of freedom and capitalism is to present these effects as the essential moral purpose of a free society, which they are not. Protecting the right of each individual to exist and live as he chooses, so long as he does not infringe on the same rights of others, is the ultimate purpose and moral justification of a rational government in a free society.

When one asserts that capitalism is the best system to achieve "the common good," one is conceding the basic premise of collectivism: that the moral purpose of a government is to not merely protect, but provide for its citizens. And since it produces nothing, the only way a government can distribute wealth to some citizens is by first taking that wealth by force from those who have produced it. This throws the door wide open for tyranny; if forced expropriation of private property helps to provide for the "general welfare," then it is morally justifiable under the premises of collectivism. Maybe one can argue that capitalism works in practice -- and it does -- but the legitimate rights of the individual are not defensible on principle once the tenet of sacrificing the individual to the collective has been accepted as the moral yardstick against which government action should be measured. This is the root cause of our current political crisis. 

Once the legitimacy of actual, objectively definable rights has been undermined by the tenets of self-sacrifice, needs take the place of rights. The collectivists claim that it is one's "right" to be provided with health care. But what about the rights of doctors who would be required to provide the medical treatment and the property rights of every other American who would be taxed to subsidize it? This leads to an obvious contradiction: There can be no such thing as a "right" to violate the rights of others. 

A simple test for determining if a purported "right" is legitimate is this: Does it require the compulsory, active participation of someone else? This means, does the satisfaction of this right require others not merely to refrain from interfering with someone who claims this right, but to take some positive action, such as providing goods or services? Needs cannot and must not serve as a basis for rights; one person's need is not a legitimate claim on the life of another.

For the reasons described above, every form of welfare state is fundamentally, irreconcilably at odds with legitimate individual rights. There are two options: a free society with a strictly limited government, or a runaway state with a limitless claim on individual lives. Those who have hijacked our government know this, they have made their choice, and their constant acts of secrecy and dishonesty show that they know that their goals are indefensible. After the long and blood-curdling record of collectivist governments throughout history, one cannot give the benefit of the doubt to those who seek to impose it on the United States of America.

Productive Americans already work a significant percentage of each year just to pay their taxes. Cumulative decades are taken from our lives by force to support a massive and corrupt government. How much enjoyment and abundance could the American people achieve with all those irreplaceable years that are instead spent toiling to support the bloated pensions of public-sector union workers, the caviar on Nancy Pelosi's military jet transport, Barack Obama's extravagant parties in the White House, and any needy incompetent who thrusts his hand out and insists that he is entitled to be provided for? 

The cause of our nation's peril is a vicious set of moral premises. It is on moral grounds that the battle to take it back must be fought. The upstanding, responsible citizens of America must stop yielding to intimidation by the snarling leftists who claim that they have a right to do as they wish with our earnings and lives because they claim that they want to help people. The proper answer to this is that they are free to allocate their own resources as they wish, but they have no right to ours. And when the collectivists throw out the accusation that our refusal to submit to tyranny is selfish, we must proudly proclaim that they are correct. 

It is only when we stand against the collectivists on moral grounds that we will win back our country, our freedom, and our lives.