End of the Republic

The American Republic is in decline. The decline is self-inflicted, a sort of suicide by choice. Why are people deciding to follow the "Road to Serfdom" over the "Road to Freedom"?

Location: Chesapeake Beach, MARYLAND, United States

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Philosophy of collectivism - it never works.

Freedom from poverty is essentially different from the freedom of gays and lesbians to lead their own lives. What does it take to be free to marry your partner? Only that nobody else intervene. What does it take to have freedom from poverty? Does someone have to act to provide you a well paying job? Does someone have to act to provide minimal services? That would be anti-freedom as someone is FORCED into providing wages, housing, education, etc.

I want people to be free from poverty as well – and the best way to do that is to give them power over their own destiny. That means setting them free from the oppressors (government, big business, Israelis, whoever you see as an "oppressor"). The best bulwark against all three is a STRONG set of laws that protect PRIVATE property rights. Then the oppressors are disarmed because they cannot take away what you have or your right to get more and keep it, too!

There should be rules, but the rules should be outcome NEUTRAL – just to make sure that those rights are not violated – i.e. we delegate our right to use retaliatory force to an independent, objective, third party that we call government.

The battle we have to fight is the battle between individualism and collectivism. The collectivist states would be our doom precisely for due to the philosophy they embrace, not in spite of it.

Freedom vs. collectivism

There are two trends in the US and a big fight is coming between those who want to bind us all together vs. those who want to keep individual freedoms alive and well.
The battle is between individualism (freedom) and collectivism.
How do we go about living our lives in a society with one another when one group (collectivists) want to tie people down and limit their freedoms while the other group wants to remain free? These are irreconcilable differences!!!!! We cannot have both in the same society!

The question is what to do next. Neither of us will likely ever shift to the other one’s point of view. So, what do we do when we are faced with this situation – especially where one of us wants a society that ties us all together and the other one wants to be free to go his own way? Those are two FUNDAMENTAL differences.

The only way to achieve peace between them is to go in the direction of freedom. In all cases of collectivism people like me are either killed, imprisoned, or exiled. In a free society, socialists and communists can exist – they can form their own voluntary organizations and participate as long as they want to whatever extent they want. The problem I have is when these same people want to use the FORCE of government to impose their values on others.

Freedom or death, mate. That is your only choice!

Do not call the US a capitalist or free market country.

A free market is capitalism – not a mixed economy. A mixed economy is a mixture of freedom and controls and “dominant classes” fight to gain influence over the controls and to limit the freedom of the market (since a free market is a challenge to their current power and influence). They want to use the apparatus of the state to disarm their competitors and put chains on the market. Sounds a lot less like capitalism, when you really look at it!

The USA was a lot closer to it in the latter half of the 19th century than we are now. The progressive movement started to kill it in the decade running up to WWI. We had no central bank, the government was very small and restricted itself to its enumerated powers as laid out in the constitution (for the most part). We had no income tax. We were on the gold standard and the government did not print money. We had no public education system, etc – yet from the end of the civil war through 1920s, we had become the world’s leading industrial power and the living standards of our citizens were raised quite dramatically.

Capitalism and industrialization INHERITED the problem of exploitation of workers and eventually abolished it! It did not create it. Do you think that workers were all happy in the pre-industrial time? Do you think there was no such thing as child labor or did you forget all about the exploitative nature of the feudalist and mercantilist models?

In terms of the robber barrons – re-check your history again – note what fields they appeared in first – the ones in which they were able to get government involvement through the abuse of the interstate commerce clause and the establishment of the ICC. Second, the “trust busting” started to occur only in areas in which government was beginning to get its feet (see railroads as a primary example). This was the beginning of the end. It was not a perfect system, but we had a lot more freedom back then as opposed to today.

Regarding education, if you set up a modern factory with the skills of that workforce, you would be extremely disappointed with the results. Once again, this was a problem that was inherited by the capitalist system and eliminated because of it. The need for more highly educated people spurred the investment (private) in schools. It was the CHRISTIAN progressives who petitioned for a nationwide public system because they believed that the private school education was too secular! There was great opposition to these factory jobs back then by the early socialists and Marxists because they believe that industrialization and capital investment cost jobs and led to unemployment – rather than realize that the machines were replacing the backbreaking labor with highly skilled and better paid (due to the higher productivity) jobs. Just believing their argument, we should have close to 100% unemployment by now!

Beginning in the 1920s we started to get full scale government intervention – as we had a central bank in the US for the first time diddling with the money supply (even in spite of the gold standard). The 30s were the result of welfare statists attempting to break the rules of reality (to spend without regard to the consequences and that belief that the cure for the accumulated war debt was to extend more credit!)… How Keynesian! The 30s were made worse by the confiscation of gold and the imposition of draconian price and wage controls by FDR. As it says in the Koran, only Allah can fix prices!
The 30s were the result of governments foolishly playing with toys they had never seen before and should never have taken out of the box.