Tag Archives: Freedom

The America That Was — The Good and the Bad, by Richard M. Ebeling

Almost nobody in America really knows what it’s like to live in a free society. From Richard M. Ebeling at fff.org:

We live in a time when an understanding and an appreciation of what a free society can or should be like is being slowly lost. Or so it seems, often, to a friend of human liberty. Political interventionism and a revived interest in “democratic socialism” dominate public discourse in almost every corner of life.

Calls are constantly being made for government to do more. Remaining areas of personal life are to be invaded by increased government regulation, redistribution, control, command, and constraint. The idea of the independent and self-responsible individual diminishes in the number of its supporters, or so it appears, with every passing day.

Public-policy debates concern not whether something should be overseen and managed by government, but merely how far the interventionist welfare state should go, and who is going to pay for it.

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The Sine Wave of History, by Jeff Thomas

The United States is on the wrong side of that sine wave, on the downslope. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Almost daily, someone (often a European or North American) comments to me that the world is falling apart. The government is becoming dictatorial, the people are becoming more socialistic and political correctness is no longer an option, it’s a mandate and you’d better get on board.

This trend is not by any means imagined, but it would be incorrect to say that “the world is falling apart.” If we spend time travelling the world, what we see is that parts of it (primarily the former “free world”) is unquestionably in a state of political, economic, social and moral decline.

The good news is that many other parts of the world are impacted less; others are hardly affected at all and, in still other cases, countries are thriving.

What’s often missed, due to myopia, is that, in any era, there are always some countries that are burning out at the same time as others are on the rise.

Cultures and nations pass through cycles, much like the sine waves above. Any nation that undergoes a social, political and economic collapse ends up hitting the skids and staying there for a while. Often, the spoiled, complacent generation is unable to affect a recovery. However, the next generation learns to recognize that the only way that they can move ahead is to get out and work. Be ambitious, be self-reliant, act responsibly and, eventually, you’ll improve your life.

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The Capitalism and Freedom Connection, by Robert Ringer

Capitalism is the economics of free people. From Robert Ringer at lewrockwell.com:

Americans are easy prey when it comes to being distracted by the political theater in Washington.  It is this attraction to non-issues (e.g., the so-called government shutdown) that prevents them from focusing on the issues that really matter.

Of course, people’s ideas about what constitutes freedom can vary widely, depending upon whether they view the world from the right or the left.  Speaking for myself, I believe that the easiest way to define freedom is to call it the antithesis of communism.

Karl Marx and his lackey benefactor, Friedrich Engels, firmly believed that violent revolution was the only way to bring about pure communism, and that such a revolution was possible only where capitalism existed.  The reason for this, they believed, was because capitalism was a necessary ingredient for creating a wide financial disparity between the workers and the privileged class.

It’s kind of weird that Marx and Engels sought to increase income disparity between the classes, then rectify the disparity through violent revolution.  Perhaps their thinking was a result of their being familiar with the colossal failure of the French Revolution, which led not to freedom but mob violence, unthinkable human carnage, and ultimately a Napoleonic dictatorship.

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13 Illustrations of the Benevolence of Capitalism, by George Reisman

Why capitalism works. From George Reisman at mises.org:

By the “benevolent nature of capitalism,” I mean the fact that it promotes human life and well-being and does so for everyone. There are many such insights, which have been developed over more than three  centuries, by a series of great thinkers, ranging from John Locke to Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand. I present as many of them as I can in my book Capitalism.

I’m going to briefly discuss about a dozen or so of these insights that I consider to be the most important, and which I believe, taken all together, make the case for capitalism irresistible. Let me say that I apologize for the brevity of my discussions. Each one of the insights I go into would all by itself require a discussion longer than the entire time that has been allotted to me to speak today. Fortunately, I can fall back on the fact that, in my book at least, I  think I have presented them in the detail they deserve.

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Another False Dilemma, by Joel Bowman

Our choice is more government or some terrible catastrophe will befall us all. We’re never presented with any third choices. From Joel Bowman at internationalman.com:

Of the myriad rhetorical tools employed in public discourse today, dangerous few are more insidious than the false dilemma. Simply put, the false dilemma is a sly trick of exclusion whereby a speaker (always generously) offers his or her audience the apparently favorable choice between two unfortunately poor options.

Little surprise then that, as the election season circus rolls across the country, this Weapon of Dialectic Destruction (WDD) finds itself a favorite of slick politicians working to curry favor with an increasingly ovine voter mass.

“On which horn do you wish to be gored?” they inquire, sharpening their bestial tines.

Known variously as the either-or fallacy, the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses or, more colloquially, plain ol’ black and white thinking, the false dilemma is both deceptive and destructive. First, because it lures unsuspecting listeners into a misguided belief that their choices are limited to those offered by the speaker and, second, because it attacks the creative process by which new ideas come to “market,” slamming the door closed on alternative possibilities.

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You Want to Make America Great Again? Start by Making America Free Again, by John W. Whitehead

America is at its greatest when it is most free. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”—George Washington

Living in a representative republic means that each person has the right to take a stand for what they think is right, whether that means marching outside the halls of government, wearing clothing with provocative statements, or simply holding up a sign.

That’s what the First Amendment is supposed to be about.

Yet through a series of carefully crafted legislative steps and politically expedient court rulings, government officials have managed to disembowel this fundamental freedom, rendering it with little more meaning than the right to file a lawsuit against government officials.

In the process, government officials have succeeded in insulating themselves from their constituents, making it increasingly difficult for average Americans to make themselves seen or heard by those who most need to hear what “we the people” have to say.

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The Bandit is Gone . . . And Not Just That, by Eric Peters

Here’s a nice tribute to Burt Reynolds and the spirit his films captured. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Burt Reynolds is gone and with him a different America.

He was in his early 40s when Smokey and the Bandit appeared back in 1977 – at first, regionally. The flick was meant for Southern audiences but grabbed traction and quickly became a national sensation on par with Jaws and Star Wars in terms not only of the money it made but the effect it had on an entire generation of Americans.

Me among them.

I was just a kid, years away from being even big enough to drive let alone legally drive but when I saw that movie I knew I wanted to drive.

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