Defining Down Freedom, by James Bovard

You are free to do whatever the government allows you to do. From James Bovard at ronpaulinstitute.org:

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Will the Great Pandemic permanently unleash governments around the world? Covid-19 is enabling politicians to turn freedom from an individual right into a conditional bureaucratic dispensation. Defining down freedom was exemplified by the G-7 Summit that became a ludicrous and hypocritical Lockdowners Victory Lap.

The G-7 leaders, meeting in Cornwall, issued a communique pledging to “protect individuals from forced labour and to ensure that global supply chains are free from the use of forced labour.” But the political bosses had no concern about “forced non-labor” – their own decrees that destroyed tens of millions of jobs. That was no problem because, as the G-7 leaders boasted, “We have provided unprecedented support to citizens and businesses… totalling over $12 trillion including fiscal support and liquidity measures.”

But handouts are no substitute for freedom and self-reliance. Government aid is always only one decree away from mandating terms of submission. In 1942, the Supreme Court declared, “It is hardly lack of due process for the government to regulate that which it subsidizes.” The G-7 Summiteers proclaimed a boatload of environmental goals. Will future “stimulus payments” be restricted to people who reduce their “carbon footprint” or abandon their non-electric vehicles?

The Biden administration was thrilled that G-7 Summiteers adapted its slogan, “Build Back Better,” in the communique. That slogan will entitle politicians to snare more revenue and power to repair the damage from the shutdowns they inflicted. Biden-style rebuilding presumes that any government spending confers vast benefits, at least on politicians. Biden’s colleagues also seconded his call for placing at least 30% of all land and water under government restrictions in the name of conservation.

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