12.31.2009 0

The Enslaving Folly of Shared Sacrifice

  • On: 01/12/2010 09:33:37
  • In: Hard Left
  • By Bill Wilson

    Recently reading a left-wing blog, I came across this lament. It is striking in that it conveys clearly the nature of the battle that is brewing throughout America. The blogger who goes by the handle of “Teacherken” wrote:

    “Unless and until we can accept – even actively embrace – the idea of shared sacrifice and collective responsibility, unless and until we understand that we cannot hold on to some things we value in isolation from those we know have to change, we will not be able to make the kinds of changes we need to survive as a liberal democracy.”

    Where to start? First, and most important, is the fact that America was never intended to be a “liberal democracy.” From Day One, we were a constitutional Republic. What’s the difference you say? A very big one.

    The “liberal democracy” our friend so desperately wants, throws everyone into a pot and dictates government policy on the whims of a scant majority. As virtually all the founders observed, such a form of government means that a majority bands together to take from the minority.

    Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best when he wrote:

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb.”

    The constitutional Republic our founders gave us was based on the rights of the individual. Government was restricted, in Jefferson’s words “chained down.” But thanks to people like the good Teacherken, those chains have been broken and the voracious beast that government easily becomes is now prowling the countryside looking for victims.

    This condition didn’t come out of the blue, it was predicted. Vice President and Senator John Calhoun saw our current state of affairs very clearly 150 years ago when he wrote:

    “To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws.”

    The second point that Teacherken’s plea makes is one of collectivism. We are implored to take “collective responsibility” and accept “shared sacrifice.” But nowhere in our founding documents are we as a people or a nation submerged into the rancid stew of one big mass. Individual liberty was the watchword and is the goal to which we must now aspire.

    Who in Teacherken’s and Barack Obama’s world decides what our sacrifice should be? The majority of course. But that very same majority is comprised of the two wolves looking at the lamb for dinner. That is not “sacrifice,” it is murder. History is replete with examples. The small private farmers of 1930s Russia “shared the sacrifice” of the late, great collective experience and millions were turned into fertilizer. Of course, let’s not forget the “sacrifice” of anyone with more than a grade school education in China during their “Cultural Revolution,” a bloody, mind-numbing plunge into collective hell.

    What is “collective responsibility” anyway? First, one must decide what the collective is supposed to be responsible for. If you assume the writer means the welfare of all citizens, then we have destroyed any semblance of individual responsibility. That is a well-worn path to destruction. People, at their most basic level, must be responsible for themselves. Otherwise, they become dependent children. Programs originally designed to “help people get on their feet” have now become programs to enslave. The original goal of so-called welfare state was to get people to be self-reliant. Government and its defenders no longer even pretend they want to see individual self-reliance. The goal now is pure handouts, giveaways, and dependency.

    At its core, the differences between Teacherken and his allies, versus those who embrace a constitutional view, is the way in which each views people. How one regards the average citizen, determines which side of this epic struggle he or she falls.

    For Teacherken and most of the Democrat Congress and Barack Obama, people are weak, needy and unable to care for themselves. They are pathetic creatures requiring the hand of government to care for them. They are dependent children. Were it not so, the trillions of dollars in welfare spending taken from taxpayers and distributed to those in need would have had a dramatic affect.

    But alas, all the spending, all the social engineering, all the authoritarian intrusion into people’s lives has only yielded more need, more demand in their world for more government.

    In short, they have forced Americans to subsidize poverty, illness, ignorance, and sloth and have simply gotten more of it. In so doing, they have created the perfect self-perpetuating cycle where more negativity justifies more subsidies, which only produces more negativity.

    There is another view of mankind, a view our Founders held, and tens of millions of Americans still hold. It is a view that people are free, independent individuals, capable of governing themselves, making decisions that affect their lives on their own without the dictates of bureaucrats or the “collective” and willing to live with the consequences of those decisions.

    As free men and women, they are capable of deciding for themselves how best to use their time, talent and resources. They are answerable for their acts and should reap the rewards of their labors. No busybody need tell them how to live their life. And if they make decisions that I or Teacherken or Barack Obama doesn’t like, too damn bad. It’s called freedom.

    This fundamental conflicting view of people motivates the differing views of the increasingly polarized camps. The outcome of the fight will determine if the American people can restore liberty or sink into the swamp of world government known primarily for “shared sacrifice.”

    Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government and a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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