by Brad Nelson
I think we’re at the point in time where you just have to let events unfold. We’re witnessing some of the times that try men’s souls. The world is trying to realign itself into a thugocracy based upon power, not principle. “Rights” are whatever the powerful say they are. Goods are acquired not by hard work but by how much plundering and agitating you can do. (See: the union thuggery in Wisconsin from a few months ago.) This is the world of B. Hussein Obama and the Democrats, as well as far too many Republicans. It’s familiar turf to them. Lest we forget, the chief qualification of our own president is being a street agitator. That’s what he did. He produced nothing. He simply was a parasite on those who did.
Our greatest hope is our American and Western principles of open, lawful, individual-rights-based government and a vibrant free market. But even that is fading. Increasingly, power is wielded in our own country by an unelected bureaucracy, and our free market is being severely restricted and abused, being replaced in stages by a centrally-planned one. This all may sound good when done under the name of “social justice,” but that’s just a name. No American should want the government involved in their lives to the extent it is now, no matter what nice-sounding word you use to describe it.
And our political structure is becoming more and more what is called “the administrative state.” Anyone who has had any contact at all with the environment nazis knows what I’m talking about. Their move on private property is getting beyond brazen and into the area of Gestapo tactics. They rule through administrative fiat, unaccountable to voters.
Mark Steyn makes the brilliant point in “America Alone” that in Europe the people have been comfortably insulated from their government. True, they do elect leaders, but the leaders in Europe have done their best to insulate the actual mechanics of government from the people. It’s hard to reform such a system, let alone to have any real input. You may change parties but the unelected bureaucracy stays intact.
Now, add in dashes of political correctness, multiculturalism, and secularism-as-god into the mix. We are, frankly, adrift and I don’t see any easy way out other than personal gun ownership and having enough ammo on hand.
A friend of mine has been bugging me to read “Atlas Shrugged.” The movie (appropriately) is coming out April 15. It will be Part I of the book. It’s a thick book so I’ve been putting it off, but he finally dropped a copy by the other day so it looks like I’m out of excuses. [Note: I have since seen the movie, and read part of the book.]
Ayn Rand is full of all kinds of wisdom. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest running out and reading her “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.” The gist of “Atlas Shrugged” is that the productive people (much like now) are getting beat up and demonized by the kleptocrats. They’re being squeezed. And the productive class just says “By now. Have a nice day. We’re going to sit tight on our money while you all go crazy.” Much of the present downturn in the economy can be seen as Atlas shrugging. Excessive environmental regulations, high taxes, a dumbed-down population thanks to our inadequate government schools, insane restrictions on our own energy production, and now the onerous burden of Obamacare is causing the money to flee or just sit in a bank.
We cannot exist much longer by not producing our own goods and demonizing the productive sectors of society. We have to produce more of our own energy. We have to stop over-regulating industries so that they have little choice but to move oversees (where then, of course, the Democrats demonize Atlas again by saying that they are “outsourcing jobs”).
We really do live in loony times. I now understand the American colonists so much better. If there was an uninhabited continent, many people would be moving there now looking for freedom. People still do come to America looking for just that — and finding it — but Patrick Henry might not consider us free, at least not by his standards.
People were certainly looking for religious freedom when they came to America. And that’s no small thing. But that’s only half the story. They were also looking for the opportunity to be free and to advance themselves, something they could not find in a calcified, stratified Europe. That is becoming more and more the situation in America. We should probably get our own house in order before trying to promote democracy abroad. We should try it again, and soon.