James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

When You Give the State an Inch, it Takes a Mile

The charges have been leveled at heirs of the libertarian, classical liberal, and Old Right traditions for generations:
  1. We would throw widows and orphans to the street.
  2. Our "isolationism" would "appease" foreign aggressors and genocidal tyrants
  3. We would wreck the environment due to our blind ideological commitment to free markets and property rights
A reasonable, well-intentioned person with a conventional upbringing and education may agree with these statements.

And yet:
  • These smears are just that: attacks by people who don't understand what freedom is, or lies by authoritarians who do
  • This freedomist/patriot ideology hasn't held power at any time, especially not in the past 100 years
What's happened instead, is that . . .
  • America isn't being bankrupted by helping the truly needy, but by pouring Social Security and Medicare disbursements to wealthy and middle-class people
  • We are pouring almost a trillion dollars per year not to defeat Hitler or the USSR, but to defend South Korea from North Korea (despite South Korea's overwhelmingly superior wealth and manpower), and to make war on nations like Afghanistan and Iraq that had no power to invade their impoverished neighbors, let alone conquer their regions or world.
  • The war on property and markets isn't used to curb just pollution, but to take land for the benefit of other private developers under the principle of eminent domain, to take property from its rightful owners without due process under the principle of civil asset forfeiture, and to outlaw behavior on private property such as smoking, making "sexist" remarks, and making contractual relationships between consensual adults
In other words, it is all the other ideologies that are driving America into poverty, endless war, and tyranny.

We should reverse the arguments. We should ask people with pro-government ideologies:

* Why are we shelving out money to rich people just because they're old?
* Why do we need to pay for the defense of wealthy competitors like Japan and Germany?
* Why do you want to tax and regulate small-time entrepreneurs out of existence?

The anti-tax, smaller government crowd haven't done any harm to America. That's probably why we're attacked so vociferously. It's time to turn the tables.

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