As we pause to celebrate Independence Day, let us lament the loss of our liberty at the hands of the collective.
On this day long ago, our Founding Fathers embarked upon the hopeless quest to wrest their colonial land from the most powerful nation on earth so that they might establish a new country dedicated to the maximization of personal liberty tempered by personal responsibility. Hopeless, because Great Britain was at that time the most powerful nation on earth, and the ragtag bunch of colonists agitating for freedom and American independence were outmanned, outgunned, and woefully unprepared to face such a powerful foe. We rightly celebrate Independence Day to remember their struggle to wrest victory and independence against such long and overwhelming odds.
Our first few years were trying as we experimented with a confederacy that pitted states against one another instead of aligning their interests to build a great nation. It was soon realized that this confederacy was unsuitable to the needs of the country if it was to grow and become powerful enough to defend against outside threats. Once again, our Founding Fathers came together to devise a system of government that created a national government strong enough to defend against outside threats, but whose power was tempered by state governments which defended citizens against this new national government. Specific powers were granted to this national government with all other powers reserved to the states.
A Congress was established to enact legislation, and an Executive Branch was created to administer these new national laws. A Supreme Court was established to decide if these new laws violated the Constitution under which this system of government was formed. The Founders intended for the Legislative Branch to be the most powerful of these three branches as it was the one directly representing the people. This carefully crafted system of checks and balances was created to ensure that America was a nation governed by laws and not by men. The Founders had experienced the negative consequences of rule by monarchy whereby the whims of one man surrounded by advisors promoting their own agendas could doom a man to failure or death. They were determined to insulate the citizens of America from such foolishness by creating a system of laws fair and equitable to everyone whereby each citizen would know exactly what was permissible and stood equally before the law to argue their rights.
The Constitution was a work of genius which freed Americans to engage in commerce and profit from the fruit of their labor without fear that it would be seized from them at the whim of someone else. Americans responded overwhelmingly to this protection of free enterprise by taking America from discovery to the world’s lone superpower in less than 400 years. The economic tsunami unleashed by the American system of government with its free enterprise protections of individual creativity are a testament to the power of the self-reliant individual over the collective.
Yet, almost from the start, the forces of collectivism began agitating to increase the power of the national government to meet first one crisis, then another. Our Founders explicitly warned us to never ever give power to this national government no matter the circumstances because we the people would never get this power back, and this power would be used by future leaders against us. Under the guise of reasonableness, the collective agitated for more power, and slowly but surely, they were granted this power as Americans succumbed to their siren calls of reasonableness. Incrementally and barely perceptible, our liberty began to dissipate. We rationalized that these minor losses of liberty weren’t being used by us anyway, and they did make the job of dealing with whatever crisis was at hand much easier to overcome. The collective was always there to reassure us that these losses of liberty were the right thing to do.
There was still enough of a sense of individualism in America for many to notice what was happening, and these individuals decided that they had had enough of this dissipation of liberty. They saw an increasingly more powerful national government encroaching upon the rights of Americans to pursue their happiness, and defilement of the state governments designed to protect Americans from this abuse by the national government. When this struggle came to a head, the Southern states seceded from the union to protest this encroachment over their ability to protect the rights of self determination for their citizens. Our Sixteenth President, in a nod to the forces of collectivism, waged a long and bloody war against these upstart states to settle once and for all time the fact that the national government was more powerful than the individual state governments, and that these state governments no longer possessed the power to defend their citizens against the national government.
The collective has engaged in historical revisionism concerning the Civil War to the point that it has long ago obscured the prominence of the struggle for states’ rights against the collectivist national government in favor of the false narrative that the question of slavery was the primary driving force behind the Civil War. Slavery was already dying in the South and would not have gone on much longer as mechanization was taking hold due to the Industrial Revolution. Economically, it was far easier to operate and maintain mechanized farm equipment than it would ever be to maintain an equivalent number of slaves. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves, and did not address the prominent number of slaves owned by Northern slave brokers as it addressed only slaves in the South. After all, President Lincoln was beholden to these wealthy Northern slave brokers for his presidency.
Having settled the question of unilateral national government power, it was not enough for the collective to wait for crises to erupt in which they could agitate for more power. In the Twentieth Century, the collective began creating the crises with which they demanded increasing amounts of our liberty. They engineered wars and economic calamities designed so that we Americans would demand they increase their power and take our liberty to remove these crises. Those portions of its agenda which they could not convince the citizens to adopt through the electoral process, the collective began enacting through the courts. The Supreme Court, which had languished in the background for so long, suddenly came alive discovering in the Constitution new rights never imagined by the Founders.
The collective seized upon the writings of Saul Alinsky to turn the system against itself and overwhelm it to the breaking point whereby the collective could seize more power by demanding new rights and increased funding. Their actions were expensive and demanded astounding increases in taxes to fund the nonsense they perpetrated. The collective demonized the wealthy responsible for so much of the economic growth of America as they agitated for an increasing share of their wealth in the form of taxes.
Wealthy people got wealthy because either they or one of their ancestors created something useful which filled the needs of enough people to make them wealthy. Being blessed with smarts and strong work ethics, they resent the collective seizing the fruits of their labor to fund the collective’s desire for power through various schemes. The wealthy engage tax shelters and all manner of contrivances designed to retain as much of their wealth as possible in the collective onslaught. In an attempt to be left alone, the wealthy even resort to spending a portion of their wealth influencing the collective to this end.
However, the expensive schemes of the collective that encourage government dependence among the electorate demand financing from some quarter, and since the wealthy have lobbied for loopholes and engineered tax shelters, the burden must fall upon the poor who have not the means to influence the process. The collective had to engineer a way to tax the poor indirectly so as not to arouse their wrath against the collective and all of its nonsense designed to increase its power at the expense of individual liberty.
Their solution was to increase government intrusion in the marketplace through onerous regulations. These burdensome regulations accomplish a great deal for the collective while satisfying several constituencies. They create hurdles to small businesses trying to gain a foothold in the free market by their expense which is more easily amortized across a large corporation than a small business. After all, a large corporation can afford to hire one more person to deal with a new set of regulations while a small businessman can barely afford himself. These regulations serve as a hidden tax upon the poor by driving up the costs of goods and services as the higher costs imposed by this unnecessary government intrusion in the free market are passed on to consumers. And, the collective is forced to hire additional workers to administer these regulations, increasing both the number of people directly dependent upon the government for these regulatory jobs, and the number of people indirectly dependent upon the government through lost employment opportunities resulting in government assistance.
The higher costs imposed on Americans through unnecessary government intrusion in the free market results in higher taxes born most heavily by the poor to finance the collectivist schemes. The wealthy can more easily afford these higher costs than the poor precisely because they are already wealthy. The wealthy derive an additional benefit of these higher costs because they keep poor people poor longer as their effects become that much harder to overcome. The poor are kept from joining the exclusive ranks of the wealthy just like the small business is kept from competing with the large corporation.
The collective imposes these regulatory free market intrusions by engineering a crisis in the form of a massive fraud perpetrated to advance the fiction that there is a great calamity which must be addressed immediately to guarantee human survival. If the collective can convince people to abandon their common sense to support a gigantic lie which the collective has fabricated solely to create fear in the people, then they can more easily convince these same people to support smaller lies under the guise of reasonableness. If the collective can convince people not only to support higher energy prices stemming from government intrusion into the market in service to the massive fraud of global warming, but actually demand that government intrusion because of the fear that lie engenders, then they can convince people to abandon their common sense and support egregious affronts to their morality such as gay marriage, and have them do so willingly under the guise of reasonableness.
The collective fears self-reliant individualism and takes every attempt to emasculate the individual. A self-reliant individual is independent and has no need of the collective. The collective has no power over the self-reliant individual and cannot tolerate such a situation. The mistake we self-reliant individuals often make is to think that there is this majority of Americans who are also self-reliant individuals just seething at the collective’s control over our institutions and awaiting their chance to throw these collectivist shackles off. The fact is that the collective is the majority in America, and they are consolidating their power by identifying and removing us self-reliant individuals one at a time as we reach our breaking points and complain about the collective. The collective is composed of all those pusillanimous wimps too scared to stand up for themselves who abhor us self-reliant individuals because we uncomfortably remind them exactly how spineless they are. They vote for the collective because they would rather abandon their responsibility for self-preservation to others in the forlorn hope that their safety will be guaranteed without them having to get their hands dirty. These craven cowards hide behind the collective for fear of the fight, and eviscerate the self-reliant individual as a painful reminder of that fear.
The collective steals our money and possessions through the blatantly unconstitutional act of civil asset forfeiture whereby the authorities can arrest one’s money without ever charging the individual with a crime. This egregious government confiscation of legally earned money is brought to us courtesy of the failed Drug War in which the collective has convinced Americans there is a scourge of drugs threatening their children that must be addressed through massive government intervention which demands we surrender our rights to the government. This failed Drug War has corrupted our local police who have sworn to protect and serve us by turning them into agents of the national government seizing our property and planting contraband on those of us self-reliant individuals who dare stand up and call them out for it. It is obvious to anyone caring to exercise their common sense that the Drug War and its unconstitutional usurpation of our liberty would disappear tomorrow if drugs were legalized. Drug dealers would quickly be squeezed out of the market by large corporations able to produce drugs far cheaper than the current small drug producers. However, ending the Drug War would deprive the collective of a tactic to scare the populace into granting it increasing amounts of power to disrupt our lives in violation of the Founders’ vision as enshrined in the Constitution.
The collective employs its minions in the media to dehumanize and marginalize us self-reliant individuals. We are constantly referred to as right-wing religious extremists while their socialist allies are referred to in the most glowing of warm and friendly terms such progressive, enlightened, and reasonable. This dehumanization makes it possible for the military to turn against us if a revolution occurs. America has always known it is far easier to get the military to fight against an enemy if that enemy is seen in less than human terms. Americans weren’t fighting Germans, Japanese, Koreans, or Vietnamese – they were fighting small-letter dehumanized huns, krauts, nazis, fascists, japs, communists, slant-eyes, gooks, and slopes. Likewise, they will be fighting the right-wing religious extremist threats to America and the Constitution when it comes to that, not conservative self-reliant individuals holding to constitutional principles as envisioned by the Founders.
Enjoy Independence Day in all of its regalia of barbeques, concerts, parades, and fireworks, and don’t give a thought to any of the myriad freedoms we’ve allowed the collective to take from us. It will be a much more pleasant day for you if you resist the urge to reflect on the difference in freedom enjoyed by Americans back in the Eighteenth Century as compared to the small amount of freedom we think we currently enjoy in the Twenty-First Century. If the urge does hit you, quickly remember all of the rationalizations you’ve devised to convince yourself that you really are free such as you weren’t using those particular freedoms anyway, or the national government needed that power to protect us from terrorists and drug dealers, or my state government protects me from the national government (like your conniving state governor seeking higher political office is actually going to protect you from being arrested by agents of the national government usurping the authority of your state), or that Confederate Battle Flag is offensive and has to go (never mind that the gay flag is offensive to moral Americans but no one is calling for it to be removed in violation of our First Amendment right to Free Speech). Then, down another beer and turn the burgers on the grill so you can watch the fireworks later on.
Yeah, it has come to this.