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Individual Freedom Or Government Slavery; What Should Be An Easy Choice Is A Challenge To So Many

In considering our Day of Independence in this year 2022, we have much to reflect on and to contemplate.  The last two years have seen an erosion of individual liberty like unto nothing in our history.  Freedoms that we have taken for granted for most of our lives have been curtailed in ways great and small.

Our freedom to gather was blocked by edict of government officials.  Our freedom to speak our thoughts without fear of censure has been subjected to attack from private and government entities alike to the extent that livelihoods have been denied and some have even been imprisoned.  Our rights to engage freely in commerce have been subject to arbitrary limitations of unelected bureaucrats, while our system of justice has become two different systems – one for the elites, and one for the rest of us.

We have an administration that has assumed power as a result of criminal election fraud, yet despite massive evidence, we seem unable to properly prosecute the guilty and correct the situation.  This illegitimate administration has taken action to destroy the economic well-being of the country by cutting off our sources of energy necessary to every aspect of our lives, in the name of an imaginary crisis, while flooding the economy with inflation promoting cash.

Our representatives no longer seem to operate with our best interests – the best interests of the country – at heart, but rather serve the interests of themselves and the desire of their parties for more power.  Instead of seeking common interests and working to bind up the deep wounds that exist in our society, too many parties look for differences and ways to set one group against another, shattering any common ground.

Not just us

Although the changes here are most noticeable to us, the destruction of individual liberties is happening worldwide.  The Heritage Foundation has been tracking economic freedom across the world for almost thirty years. The 2022 issue of their Index shows the US has dropped to 25th place among the world’s nations, while nearly every country has shown a reduction in its score.

Looming over the world is the specter of the Great Reset – the evil brainchild of Klaus Schwab that sets forth a blueprint for a global socialism where all problems will be solved, no-one will want, no-one will own anything and we will all be happy.  Capitalism will be eliminated and all resources will be distributed fairly and equitably.  Education, healthcare, food, housing, transportation, and everything else will be free.  How all those “free” goods will be produced, and who will provide the “free” services are questions left unanswered.

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Nevertheless, the ideas are seductive, and popular among those who combine idealism with lack of experience.  The traditional answer across thousands of attempts to create such a system in environments ranging from small communes to entire nations, is forced employment.  In other words, some authority such as a government determines what work must be done, and assigns available labor to perform it.  In order to distribute to each according to their need, some must be compelled to produce according to their ability.  People quickly learn to have little or no ability, but lots of need.

Who else has owned nothing?

There have been extended periods in history when the bulk of the populace owned nothing, and were, by many accounts, happy.  They went by other names than Socialism, but were in large measure indistinguishable from that system.

One of these systems that operated for hundreds of years went by the name of Feudalism.  While there is currently debate about what exactly Feudalism is, in the classical sense it is where the land and its inhabitants are owned by a nobility.  The serfs who lived on the land and worked it to produce crops didn’t own the land or anything else, but supposedly they were happy.  There are lots of medieval paintings of peasants laughing and smiling and dancing at fairs and celebrations, so they must have been happy.

An enduring institution

A much longer lasting system that has existed for almost the entirety of human history is slavery.  It is said that ancient Athens, the home of democracy, was almost forty percent slaves.  I visited a fortress in Sweden that was built by Norwegian slaves.  The Bible makes frequent mention of slaves throughout the Old Testament.  After the Islamic takeover of North Africa, a market for black slaves opened up when certain African tribes discovered that not only could they take over their neighbor’s territory, but they could make a nice profit by selling off the former inhabitants to Muslim slave traders.  In fact, it wasn’t until 1962 that Saudi Arabia made slavery illegal, although it is reported to still continue in some locations.

Slaves own nothing, Everything is provided free to them – food, housing, clothing, medical care, education – everything.  All they have to do is occasionally work at tasks set by their owners and perform other specified duties.  Amazingly like life under Socialism where the State is the slave owner, although the subject people aren’t generally referred to as slaves.

Of course, we all know that slaves were happy people.  They had festivals, and musical gatherings, told entertaining stories, and generally had a good life free from the concerns of making a living and having to decide what to do each day. The burden of all these decisions fell on the slaveowner, or in the case of Socialism, on the bureaucrat responsible.  A dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Where shall we go?

As we stand now, two paths lie before us.  One leads to an increasingly authoritarian state – a state that provides for all our needs at the cost of unquestioning obedience.

The second path leads to restoration of freedom, prosperity, personal responsibility and the ideals of liberty and justice for all.  It is a path not only of restoration, but also of innovation, creation of new wealth and promotion of the well-being of both the nation and of its individual citizens.

There is a false middle path that appears to combine the best features of both, where there are lots of “free benefits”, but where the costs of such are paid with a growing and thriving economy.  This path always leads back to the first road as more and more “free” goods are commanded and used to purchase more and more power for those who would distribute such largess.

The Road to Serfdom

This heading is the title of a book by F. A. Hayek.  He gives a powerful analysis of the dangers of this particular road and discusses the seductive appeal it holds.  Whether through fear or through laziness, there are many today who believe freedom to be overrated, and even dangerous.

Many, confused by a multitude of challenges at all levels of life, would abdicate their responsibility in favor of following some appointed expert who claims to know the proper course for our lives.  We have seen it with medical “experts” in the recent pandemic, where their “solutions” not only did not affect the spread of disease but had the unintended consequence of nearly destroying our economic structure.  Similar “experts” are espousing courses of action for our economy, our national security, and even our climate.

Too much freedom?

There is a growing impression that our problems are due to too much freedom – too many differing ideas of a proper course and a corresponding lack of shared direction.  The solution as they see it is to eliminate those divergences and to force acceptance of one viewpoint and one course of action.  Once we are aligned on a common goal, we can work on refining it to attain the perfect state of society.

Others have taken to heart the words of a famous song of the sixties where “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” and see no point in holding on to something that has no value.  They see only freedom to fail, and fear ending up like so many of the obvious homeless we see every day.  Better to do as we are told and be taken care of than end up destitute on the street.

One has to ask, though, why there is such a recent homeless “problem”.  Are we failing to address the problem effectively because they serve as a visible threat of what might happen to us if we step out of line?  The poor have always been with us, but never have they been such a visible problem, even during the dustbowl ’30s, as they are today.  Why?

Snake oil cures all ills

For all these and many other reasons, there has been a growing interest in Socialism. Capitalism is represented as exploitive and the source of economic inequalities and even injustices.  Only, as the proponents say, by distributing wealth evenly and justly, can we have a fair and equitable society free from all current evils.

But who shall decide what is fair, what is equitable?  How shall the wealth be collected, and by whom and by what means?  What happens when it comes time to generate more wealth, when existing wealth has decayed, been consumed, or squandered?  Shall we sink quietly into a bedrock level of poverty like Cuba or Venezuela or so many other examples?

Will we have to resort to an authoritarian State that will use force to allocate division of wealth, and like Stalinist Russia or Communist China, conscript the population into forced labor when voluntary methods fail? Isn’t that what slavery is all about?  Is this really the path we want to follow?

The path of freedom

Make no mistake, this is not an easy road.  There are many powerful interests today who adamantly oppose this path.  Those who hold power now will not lightly surrender it.  They fear a red wave of reform in November, and are doing all they can to avoid it.  We should not trust that they would actually allow a fair election in five months, any more than they did in 2020.  They have many options available, ranging from repeating the election rigging of 2020 to declaring a national emergency to martial law.  Don’t imagine only one will be used.

It would be nice if our opponents would abide by law and tradition and transfer power gracefully, but given all that has transpired these last six years, that is highly unlikely. Is all the talk of the Left being terrified of what might happen in November just a smokescreen to distract us and lull us into complacency?  Are we counting unhatched chickens?

The first order of business

Things have progressed to the point that the first order of business must be a cleanup of the mess we have allowed to accumulate over the last several decades.  Given the proximity of the November elections, it is of highest priority that we do what we can to ensure the elections are as fair as we can make them and to thwart the efforts of those who would subvert them.  Very few meaningful reforms have been enacted since the 2020 election, so many of the fraud mechanisms are still in place

Steps to take

Vote like your life depended on it

One important act is to vote.  Yes, there will be fraudulent votes that will compete with legitimate ballots, but consider that each legal vote cancels a fraudulent vote, so lots of legal votes would force more cheating.  The result would be to make cheating so obvious that they cannot hide it as they have done in the 2020 results.  When twice as many ballots are received as there are registered voters, it will force acknowledgement of the problems and of the invalidity of the results.

Democracy dies in darkness, so keep the lights on

We also need to keep watch on every aspect of the election process from ballot production to tabulation to mail handling to electronic processing to final result reporting.  We were unprepared in 2020.  If we don’t watch like hawks in 2022, it is on our heads.  That includes legal blocks of last-minute changes in election procedures and laws at every level of government from local to state supreme courts.  Join with like-minded people to multiply your effect.

Election integrity begins at home

There is much more to do on election fronts, including requiring full audits of results, not just recounts, of eliminating fraud promoting vote-by-mail, of removing the dangerous electronic election-management systems, of cleaning up voter rolls, of ensuring every legal voter has proper identification, and only legal voters, and many other things.  It is rather late to correct all these matters by November, but we must do what we can, and watch the rest carefully.  We can act where individuals are most powerful, at the local level, and work upward.

A stitch in time

We must demand that the rule of law be followed as written across all levels.  No longer can we afford the situation where the rule is that the law only applies to conservatives.  Ever since Hammurabi had the laws of his kingdom carved on a boulder and placed in the center of the city so all could know and follow the law, the importance of consistent law to a civilization has been understood – until now.  We cannot have a country that suffers the whims of judicial activism or selective enforcement.  Again it is up to us to ensure that the law is known, knowable, and uniformly enforced regardless of race, creed, social status or any other arbitrary factor.

Can we afford to wait?

We must also work to correct as soon as possible the injustice of the 2020 election that emplaced an illegitimate administration in power.  We have at least five legal means to correct matters – they only require the courage and will to act.  Simple decertification of the election results would suffice, but legal action by just one Secretary of State could force judicial action to review the evidence from 2020.  We also have impeachment that could be forced in congress even despite the Democrat majority.

Likewise, there is the 25 Amendment where a president can be declared incompetent and removed.  Finally, there is the 10th amendment where the States or the People can take whatever actions they deem necessary for the good of the Republic.  At the rate at which destruction of the Nation is being implemented, we cannot afford to wait – even the few months until November.

Let Truth prevail

These things are but a small sample of what can and must be done.  We must reject the lies that this Nation is not worth preserving, that it is founded on the backs of slaves and that it has been the oppressor of peoples across the globe.  We can fight back with the truth that no other nation in history has been as generous, as devoted to justice, that has done more to improve the lot not only of its own peoples but of people throughout the world, that has served as a beacon and example of hope and freedom for all to share.

What Freedom means for all peoples

One path leads to a boot on the neck of humanity forever – a regime that keeps its people poor and dependent to ensure its power remains unchallenged.  Those who seek power will promote scarcity.

The path of Freedom, in contrast, is a path of abundance.  A wealthy people are a free people.  Many of the problems we experience today could easily be solved, or would even cease to exist with sufficient wealth. As pointed out in the Economic Freedom Index, the freest nations are also the most wealthy.  Matt Ridley points out that one of the essentials supporting innovation is freedom.

Why we must choose

If we chose the wrong path, or chose by default, we betray not only ourselves, but our future generations, and freedom-loving people across the world.  The costs would be high, as we would:

  • have failed our ideals of liberty and justice for all;
  • have betrayed the trust of voters in the integrity of our electoral system;
  • have thrown away decades of progress toward racial equality in the adoption of a poisonous racist theory;
  • have allowed our system of justice to become corrupt;
  • have failed to live by our Constitution and rule of law, and given power over to an unelected bureaucracy.

I have only come in the last few years to realize what a truly exceptional nation we have and what we are letting slip through our fingers through our willful ignorance and desire to appease those who wish our destruction.  Those who lack the skill to build seek only to tear down.  We cannot let them win.

By David Robb

David Robb is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a practicing scientist who has been working in industry for over 50 years. One of his specialties is asking awkward questions. A large part of his work over the years has involved making complex scientific issues clear and understandable to non-specialists. Sometimes he even succeeds.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Blue State Conservative. The BSC is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author’s opinion.

Photo by Basil James on Unsplash