What is it about mankind that we would rather choose the safety of bondage over the dangers of liberty and freedom? From the Israelites wandering the desert with Moses and yearning for the slavery of Egypt, where they received three squares a day with a side of forced servitude, to the majority of American colonists who preferred to languish with British boots on their necks instead of casting off the yoke of their erstwhile masters, humanity craves peace of mind and is ever willing to submit to whomever will provide it, no matter the cost. And so we continue to prefer tawdry smut and servitude over liberating mercy and grace. It is likely because freedom and autonomy is frightening on some deep level. It is much easier to revel in our shame and make gods of our stomachs than to step into the sun of liberty and risk failure and loss.
Walt Williams recently spoke about the trajectory of liberty in this country. His point is that we are slowly and surely returning to slavery. When the average American must work until April to pay their tax bill, the sad truth is that an ever-expanding portion of the fruit of our labor no longer belongs to us. When the fruit of your labor is taken from you and given to someone else, we call that slavery.
What happens when the portion we fork over to the government reaches 60%? Then 75%? What happens when we have to work until Thanksgiving to pay our tax bill? It sounds like Crazy Eddy’s Rent-To-Own deal: “Pay for 11 months and get the 12th month free! It’s your patriotic duty to your down-trodden brother!! You ARE your brother’s keeper, this Saturday, Saturday, SATURDAY!!”
It is no longer hyperbole to declare that we are marching toward slavery, when the trajectory of liberty in this country is pointed directly at a pair of well-worn, rusted iron shackles.
Americans seem to be actively campaigning for more and more government. Widespread support for the government’s right to insert itself into the doctor-patient relationship. Little to no outcry as the President re-ups the Patriot Act and adds fun, new regulations which allow the Feds to detain anyone, for nearly any reason, for any length of time. You can’t even buy a Happy Meal in San Francisco anymore, for crying out loud! All because some people are not comfortable dealing with the consequences of their choices and actions, and we’ve allowed them to encroach on the rights of others instead of forcing them to face the music.
To be truthful, I cannot understand why Leftists aren’t more jubilant. They’ve wanted America to become more like Europe for ages and now that we’ve adopted European Socialism and a weakened currency equivalent to Europe, they’re more moribund than ever. By now, they should’ve broken out the berets and ouzo, but they’re still frothing at the mouth over Scott Walker, Chik-Fil-A, and Stacey Dash.
Of course across the Pond, they’ve hit their event horizon long ago; it’s only a matter of time until it is curtains for Europe. The Telegraph reports that 9 out of 10 Scots now rely on the government largesse for their livelihood. “[O]nly 283,080 households north of the border – 12 percent of the total – pay more in tax than they receive in public services”. What does it say about a nation which is comfortable with such vast numbers of citizens with their hands out? This is the nation which birthed William Wallace, who would rather die than live under Britain’s thumb, and now 9 out of 10 Scotsmen live on the British dime. The country which produced towering luminaries like John Knox and Samuel Rutherford now produces nothing but poverty, haggis, and public debt.
What the garden-variety Socialist here and abroad fails to observe is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Want free healthcare? Here’s a list of approved treatments, take a number and we’ll call you in six months. Want to nationalize industry? You’ll soon find out the meaning behind the term “only one shop in town” and how that will impact your finances. Want to pass industry regulation after industry regulation? Hope you’re prepared for the industry to pass their cost of compliance with said regulations right onto Joe Consumer. And on and on we can go. A nation was never made free and prosperous through an onslaught of regulation and legislation.
I cannot put it any better than Michael Bauman recently did: “You cannot maximize both freedom and equality. Because like snowflakes, no two human creatures are exactly alike; to the extent you wish to make them all equal, you must diminish their freedom. To the extent you wish to make them free, their natural differences and inequalities inevitably emerge. It’s always going to be a tradeoff between freedom and equality. Human nature makes it so.”