© 2001 SierraTimes.com
Thomas Jefferson once said, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." His statement is profound and clearly characterizes our slide toward socialism as a natural progression in the cycle of a maturing country. Why? As people increasingly raise their standard of living, they want others to takeover much of that which earlier generations routinely accepted as individual responsibilities. And make no mistake about it; there are always those who will jump at the opportunity to provide services for you-at a price.
People always want others to handle things for them they don't want to bother with. Since governments and political systems are made up of people and reflect human attitudes and behavior, examples at the individual level are applicable and often more easily understood-the principles of this progression toward wanting others to handle things therefore apply both to individuals and government. When applied to individuals, it leads to laziness. When applied to government, it leads to socialism.
As people accumulate more disposable income, they want to hire others to do things for them leaving additional free time to pursue "more important things." They don't want to be bothered with the mundane. In my own case, I used to cut our grass every Saturday. I now have someone cut the grass and take care of my lawn because I don't want to be bothered with it. I would rather pay someone so I can do other things that are of more interest and importance to me.
I also have someone take my trash away, repair my house and truck when something breaks, maintain the road in front of my house, and service my well water system. All services that in the 1700's were the responsibility of the homeowner-but these services come with a price. In this case, the cost is not only money but the service provider determines the schedule. I must adjust my life to fit their schedule if I want them to perform the services. I surrender some small bit of self-determination in my life in trade for others taking care of that with which I don't want to bother.
Same view toward government-let the government handle more and more of our needs so we won't have to worry about it-from constitutionally directed national defense, to the unconstitutional education of your children, to being the dictator of how you are to handle your retirement funds, to establishing rules governing the amount of water in your new toilet. But this too comes with a price and the cost when government gets involved is not only money, but freedom as well.
The difference between hiring others to provide services for me and asking the government to provide services is that I could fire all those personal service providers and perform the functions myself if I chose, but there is no firing the government. What I give up for every government service is yet another small piece of freedom-and those freedoms are surrendered not bartered. "I will provide for you but here are the conditions imposed" is the gist of government's deal with you. You must abide by their multitude of government rules and regulations all designed to enhance government's power and control over the people.
How does government sell this to Americans? One method we've all seen that government uses to impose itself in our life is to fabricate a crisis designed to scare the daylights out of folks; propose a solution only government can provide; sell it hard and vilify those in opposition until a short-sighted public finally screams for government to "do something" then the politicians magnanimously step up to the plate and abide by the will of the American people-attaching strings in the process of course. Example: America's education crisis. Nowhere in our Constitution does it outline a role for the federal government to do anything about education, yet Washington offers itself up as the messiah of our education system with tax dollars in hand. Americans bought the story and are now screaming for and expecting Washington to handle it-regardless of the strings attached pertaining to a curriculum dictated by Washington or the historically demonstrated waste, fraud and ineptitude at the federal level.
Government schools are now indoctrinating children in this socialistic view of life and imposing their distorted version of normalcy, morality and history on our young and impressionable children. In a generation or two, we will have citizens convinced that big government is wonderful; the founders were corrupt and demented white oppressors, sex with anyone and anything is OK, submission is preferred to resistance even in the face of life threatening enemies (foreign or domestic), the warrior spirit is to be avoided at all costs even within our military and that guns have no use or redeeming qualities at all-for the general public.
Federal control of our health care and personal firearms, both of which are "national crises" according to many politicians, are also long standing targets of socialism.
Government attracts people unto itself that are all too eager to take over given half a chance. Power is addictive and the more a politician gets, the more he wants. A corollary to this is that the more politicians offer to do for people, the more most people are willing to let them do and the more they are willing to let them do, the more government is expected to do and will do. It is a cycle that consumes personal freedom and liberty as the fuel required to keep its engine of progressive socialism running. After a few generations this system creates an environment of ever increasing dependency and the expectation that government control of life is normal and is naturally the only way to get things done.
History is a cycle of phases-from oppression, to rebellion, to struggling young nation, to strong independent country, to growing and strong central government and back to oppression once again. America is no different. We are now and have been for years at the strong central government phase of the cycle and rapidly heading for serious and increasing oppression. It will be a while before we see the wheel return to the rebellion phase giving birth to a new and struggling young nation again whose people really understand and cherish true freedom.
Just the view from my saddle
Copyright © Sierra Times.com
Philosophy of Government
30 jun 2001