Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.
” – Ayn Rand
It’s no wonder this quote is literally the first quote you see when you walk into Disney World’s American Adventure. Despite being a Russia emigrant, Ayn Rand understood America was the nation in the world that held the individual in the highest regard. She understood this is the path to progress, actual real human advancement. Having came from Soviet Russia, she realized collectivism in all of its forms is the path to stagnation.
I recently had a conversation with one of my employers about this years State of the Union address. I told him how the “open mike” moment was entirely inappropriate for the SOTU, and added to my disdain for Mr. Obama. I conceded though truth be told most Presidents have been borderline dictatorial in vision and execution, excluding maybe Washington. He responded that there really wasn’t any difference between Washington and Obama. To which I retorted, the scope and power Washington desired was nothing like the scope and power Obama still desires. In response to that I got the typical left wing arguments about the founders, they were the 1% of their time, and of course they owned slaves so how could they believe in freedom? Though both are true, the latter certainly has merit, and if you know history, you know they debated the ownership of slaves in a “free” country. Primarily it was kept onboard to get the southern states to join the fight, and avoid non-slave states from having to fight both the South and the British. Now of course that does not make it right, and I think you kidding yourself if you don’t think individuals like Jefferson, Washington and Adams(at least vicariously) didn’t go to bed every night with the fact they owned slaves weighing on their conscience. That being said, Washington at every turn denied more power. I said to my employer, historical fact, I certainly have beaten this to death on the Free State Radio Network, Washington had philosophical (which lead to logistical) trouble enforcing a tax his Secretary of the Treasury created! The founders really had a disdain for centralized government. After all that is the whole premise of the American Revolution. George the III was the poster child for centralized power and government. Though he was not committing the atrocities modern collectivist governments would engage in the British Monarchy was a collectivist government. Individuals had very little capability of following their own dreams, mainly because like it or not they were stripped of financial power via taxation. That was the whole reason for the American Revolution folks. We teach these sort of over dramatized ideas like colonials were forced to house British soldier, hardly happened at all. The British were destroying US printing presses, again probably extremely uncommon. The colonies had to pay taxes they didn’t want to pay, and there were punishments if you didn’t pay them. Yes, King George and his soldiers enforced taxation laws, and that was the basis for the American Revolution. Huh? A large centralized government enforcing bogus taxation laws at the gunpoint of law, sound familiar?
Perhaps that was where our founders were brightest. I never would say they were without flaws, because they certainly had flaws. However, they recently had the taste of collectivism in their mouth, ripe with financial collectivism, and to some extent (though history is showing this may have been overblown) idea collectivism. My argument with my employer continued with my belief man was never meant to be a victim of a large collective government. I maintain and will always maintain man flourishes when individual rights and power are protected as much as possible. Again, I got the typical progressive argument of without rules and regulation there would be nothing but evil afoot. He replied we really have no historical basis for my argument. This one I had to think about for a while. It took two days, but I reached this conclusion. Mankind flourished with no centralized government, after all under essentially Anarchy, which is both the ultimate individualistic government and the least at the same time, we produced and reproduced to the point there was a need for government. If there was nothing but evil without government, how did we ever get to the point we needed any form of government? Simple, left to his/her own devices the amount of evil one person commits against another is not there. I believe this is the essential argument between those of a “progressive” (collectivist) nature and those of a “freedom” (individualist) nature. Progressives at their heart believe their fellow man to be evil, individualists believe at their heart their fellow man is good. This argument continues through today. Even in the US, most true progress occurred before the birth of modern US Progressivism. Simply look at transportation from the 1780s and transportation in the early 1900s. As much as it would pain a “progressive” to admit this, the main progress in most industries in America occurred without massive regulation and rules and laws and hence a large centralized collectivist government. Look at the industries that are flourishing today, for example technology. Technology has flourished with little to no regulation. With no collectivism, technology and health have made significant advances, practically eclipsing the past as a whole. That being said, the more collectivism involved and the more regulations and the less possibility for individual freedom (which as much as it pains “progressives” to admit does involve someone acquire more wealth and comfort for themselves and their progeny) the less actual progress will be made. I firmly believe that due to the interference from the large centralized government we have, medicine and health will make little to no progress by the time my children are my age. As matter of fact, I could even see it going backwards, which after all is the real crime of “progressivism.” Like the wars(drugs, obesity, terror,bullying) it likes to fight, “progressivism” winds up actually being regressivism.
As I began with a quote, I’d like to end with a quote. This ironically comes from a British TV show, Doctor Who. And despite their collectivist nature (but they are trying Ringo), it rings true.
Madame Kovarian: The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules.
The Doctor: [turns his head slowly to look at her] Good men don’t need rules.