Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Saturday, August 07, 2010

500 Words

"In your opinion, what is an emerging threat to freedom?" Or, more plainly stated, "What, in your opinion, is the most critical threat to our society today?"

Interesting question(s).

The threats are many and they are varied, but they seem to have all boiled down into one overwhelming symptom: the schism in American culture. America has been hailed throughout its history as "a melting pot" or "a salad bowl." We're a mixture of diverse peoples melded into one culture. Certainly we have our differences – classes, ethnicities, religions, etc. However, throughout our history people have come here to become American. Regardless of our ancestries, we have been Americans first, united by that globe-spanning idea that here (more than any other place in the world) you can pursue happiness. Your future is not restricted by your past. You too can become rich and famous. You too can own your own home and raise a family. You too can sleep easily at night with no fear of a midnight knock on the door. You too can run for public office and participate in the system that keeps us safe and free.

But what has happened over time is that human nature has overcome the checks and balances that Madison and the other Founders put into that system to minimize the damage that human beings can do. Those men understood that power corrupts and attracts the corrupt, and they attempted to construct a system of government that would allow the most freedom individuals had ever had under any government, while still providing enough power to the government to allow it to do the things that we form governments for. It worked well for a very long time, but as someone observed, once politicians realized they could bribe the people with their own money, the Republic was doomed.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public employment as sinecure with unsustainable retirement benefits. Public sector pay that exceeds private sector equivalence. State legislatures that convene nearly year-round, passing literally hundreds of new laws and regulations annually. Elected officials leaving office only when someone has to scrape their festering corpses out of their chairs. We have allowed ourselves to become divided into the political class and the governed. Our politicians pass laws that don’t apply to themselves. They pass laws they openly state that they haven’t even read because to do so would require too much work. They pass 2,000-plus page monstrosities and tell the governed class that they had to do it "to find out what's in it."

And the governed class is not happy with any of this. True, many are dependent on those entitlements, but the rest of us understand who is responsible for paying for all of this, and we understand that no one in the political class is listening to us.

This is not a sustainable path, the political class seems unable or unwilling to recognize this fact, and as Ambrose Bierce observed, revolution is "an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment."

(P.S. - This post is an entry in the blog contest responding to the new book, New Threats to Freedom edited by Adam Bellow. The contest is open to all and further information can be found here. You don't think I could keep it this short for any other reason, do you?)

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