How do we know our political views are correct? On the left, liberals are certain of their intellectual superiority. This snobbery allows them to scorn anyone with differing views. Among conservatives, the neo-cons aim to make government bigger and more intrusive. On what basis can we build a powerful argument against those on the left or right who want to force their agenda down our throats?
Our founding fathers are a good place to start. When Benjamin Franklin stated, “It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part,” he never dreamed the American people would hold still for today’s taxes of 50%. Those of us who oppose higher taxes and advocate limited government are in much better company than the liberals and neo-cons who would find no favor with our founders.
Thomas Jefferson put it this way. “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” What we have today then is the sum of bad government. Jefferson warned about the eventual outcome of income transfers. “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Jefferson went on to say, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
It hasn’t worked out that way. Socialist schemes administered by government squander our tax dollars and social costs are running away. You can have socialism, but you can’t have prosperity. As the great Austrian social economist Ludwig von Mises instructed, “Socialism [modern liberalism] is not in the least what it pretends to be. It is not the pioneer of a better and finer world, but the spoiler of what thousands of years of civilization have created. It does not build; it destroys. For destruction is the essence of it. It produces nothing, it only consumes what the social order based on private ownership of the means of production has created.”
Mises further stated, “A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.”
We are in the early stages of the disintegration of our society. Multiculturalism, inflation, high taxes and a huge, growing underclass will see to that. Disparaging the free market is another sign of backwardness and coming chaos. Envy; hatred of the producers, anti-business propaganda, punishment of the rich; expropriation of wealth; the politics of class warfare; all are in vogue.
Worst of all, the government is destroying the dollar. Through its big spending, social schemes and foreign adventures, it must inflate to stay afloat. The flaw in paper money is that it can be created at will by politicians and bureaucrats to meet any contingency. At some point hyperinflation is inevitable. That will tear the social fabric further as the nimble become richer and the masses become poorer.
Each of us carries a responsibility to preserve our freedom and the greatness of our nation. We must gain enough understanding of the threat from within – the reigning dogma of the left. We must become beacons of economic education and influence in checking the inroads of socialism. “It’s one mind at a time,” said my mentor, the late Bernard Daley. He saw the writing on the walls years ago and vigorously warned about the inroads of socialism and the destruction it would make inevitable.
The socialist leader, Norman Thomas, once said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.” Fear for your country if that proves to be true.
The patriots who drafted the Declaration of Independence risked all. One tragic reversal and Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the others would have quickly been hung from a tree and you would never have heard of them. The guidance they provided for controlling government has been rejected by the free spending pols of today. We have ignored the guidance of our founders and we will pay a price. Hopefully, the excruciating setbacks we suffer will make us harken once again to their wisdom.