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Why We Need a Third Party December 4, 2014

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy.
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It has happened just as foretold. The Progressive Republicans joined with their Democrat fellow-travelers and once again sold our inheritance for a bowl of promises. In 2010 we voted for an end to the out of control spending and what did we get? 3.5 trillion steps closer to the abyss.

Fast forward to 2014 and we did it again. We sent Washington a loud wake-up call that out here in fly-over country we are tired of this slow motion slide into collectivism. And what is the first thing our shiny new majorities do? Re-elect the same tired old progressive leadership that has compromised its way from debt to debt and legislation to regulation. Does anyone think for a moment this crowd of Democrat lite that call themselves Republicans are going to do anything to stop the emperor who has no clothes?

Does anyone think they will use their power of the purse to reign in the President Obama from doing things he himself said he couldn’t do because he wasn’t an emperor? Does anyone think they will do anything to bring out the truth about the IRS or Benghazi? They may play politics with investigations and hearings but at the end of the day the administration will not be called to account for turning the light out on America’s time in the sun.

It’s time to admit that when you fall off a cliff it doesn’t matter much if you were pushed or if you walked. The fall might not be so bad but that sudden stop at the end isn’t so good.

Maybe it’s just me but I’m tired of the same old same old in our politics.  The big-box monopoly parties have morphed into two sides of the same coin.  Today we choose between the Conservative Progressives’ policies of tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource our sovereignty or the Liberal Progressives’ policies of tax and spend, infringe personal liberty, and outsource our sovereignty.  We’ve been caught on the horns of a dilemma trying to choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and since we don’t want to throw our vote away we must vote for one of the big boys after which the campaign promises dissolve and we’re hung out to dry.

As a voter I’ve had my Damascus Road Experience. The scales have fallen from my eyes. I’ve reached the point where I would rather vote for someone who might actually try finding another way to operate our government besides taxing like the Sun King and spending like a drunken sailor whose credit card limit is constantly raised and who can print his own money.

It’s time to stop talking. It’s time to take action. The Founders of our nation dedicated their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to birth our state and this noble experiment. It’s time for us to do the same. This nation was conceived as a representative republic designed to operate on democratic principles. For over 100 years the Progressives have worked to transform the land of the free and the home of the brave into a People’s Democratic Republic. What’s the difference? The difference between a Democracy and a People’s Democracy is “the difference between a jacket and a straight jacket.”

How did we arrive at the current situation?

James Madison our fourth president and the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution said, “There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”  We didn’t get here all in one jump.  First the camel said, “Can I just stick my nose in your tent to stay warm?” and finally the generous man found himself out in the cold as the camel settled down for a nice warm nap, one inch at a time.

The compassion of our people built a safety net for those who needed help and the greed of the lazy turned it into a hammock.  America, the Land of the Free is being transformed into an America that is dedicated to the unsustainable achievement of, from each according to their abilities to each according to their need. When you rob Peter to pay Paul eventually Peter changes his name to Paul and the house of cards tumbles down.

The willingness to share our heritage led America to welcome more immigrants each year than the rest of the world combined, and the abuse of our generosity turned into a migration invasion that threatens to overwhelm us and destroy the future of our children.  Taxes imposed to meet the ever-swelling demands of government have turned into a blatant, wealth re-distribution program that makes most pyramid schemes look fair. It’s as if our predatory government looks at a productive citizen as merely a source of residual income.  Or as the ads promise, our Progressive leaders lay on the beach of self-importance and our checks just keep pouring in.  We’re no longer respected as Citizens.  Instead, we’re coveted as consumers or human capital.

It’s time for action.

We as citizens who love our country must to break the logjam caused by an imperial presidency, an abdicating legislature, an activist court, a suffocating bureaucracy, and the strangulation of regulation. The constant growth of government destroys freedom for “as government expands liberty contracts.”

It’s time to actively work for America’s acceptance of a different way.

And what might this Different way be?

Something radical, something that almost strains the bounds of the imagination, something that would immediately unleash the bent-up energy of a free people: a return to constitutionally limited government!

But how do we get there from here? We need to build a new party to win the reins of government from the two-headed bird of prey which has assumed perpetual power through perpetual re-election. What we need now are citizens willing to sacrifice their repose and enter the arena. We need non-professionals to clean up the mess and right the ship of state.

What we don’t need is one more election where the Conservative Progressives replace the Liberal Conservatives because as Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We need a new party. We must work to unite the Tea Party Movement with the many splinter parties which hold the same basic values. We must reclaim our liberty from the professional politicians and professional radicals who have manipulated the system to achieve unlimited power which they use to spend us into insolvency, tax us into poverty, and regulate us into serfdom.

This new party must siphon off all the conservatives who are members of the twin party out of habit or family tradition. This new party must rise fast and work hard. It must capture the center and the right declaring boldly that it will defend what America stands for but not necessarily all that stands for America. The time has come to fight for the right before we are swallowed by the wrong.

Winston Churchill said, “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival.  There may be a worse case.  You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

We can’t let divisions divide us or they will bury us. United we stand, divided we fall. None of us can do this alone but together we can. Keep the faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Why the Welfare State Isn’t Well and It Isn’t Fair October 24, 2014

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy.
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Why the Welfare State Isn’t Well and It Isn’t Fair

Throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries Socialism had a fairly precise definition, a somewhat clear program, and a generally agreed upon goal. The definition of Socialism was some variant of Karl Marx’s well known statement, “From each according to the ability to each according to their need.” Socialism’s program was the nationalization of all means of production, exchange, and distribution. Socialism’s goal was the use of all three in a comprehensive plan to bring about some chimera of social justice.

There were two general schools or roads socialists followed to utopia, Marxism and Fabianism. Both were variants of Socialism. They differed mainly in their stated ultimate ideal of a Socialist State and how to get there.

The Marxists said they believed that in a fully Socialist State the State itself would wither away, and all that would be left was a classless society basking in the sunshine of social justice for all. The method advocated by the Communists to achieve this social nirvana was revolutionary change leading to a dictatorship of the working class (proletariat) which ruthlessly exterminated the old society and built the new.

The Fabians saw their road to social justice leading through a highly centralized government built up gradually by democratic means slowly gaining control of the levers of power and gradually implementing its program of bureaucratic control until complete social justice was achieved.

In Europe these schools of thought were explicit and open forming political parties and vying for power either through the ballot or from the barrel of a gun. In America the engrained belief in personal liberty, individual freedom, and economic opportunity were too strong to allow the open development of any party that openly claimed Socialism as their philosophy. Therefore the gradualist approach of the Fabians became the incremental approach of the Progressives.

Starting with Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, massively redirecting society under FDR, and moving ever forward under every president, except Ronald Reagan, the Progressives have slowly built the web upon which America now is bound.

With the fall of the Soviet Union and of its satellite empire communism finally lost its great patron. It had long since lost its allure in the reality of a brutal dictatorship that ground its people into the dirt in the race to social justice. So in the West Socialism has gone underground in the Green Movement, the vast network of community organizing groups, and in the Democrat Party. Many of the leaders of the Party now openly call themselves Progressives. All of them champion the idea of a Living Constitution that is evolving from the old American ideal of individualism toward a new collectivist ideal of social justice.

As long as the ideas and goals of Socialism were just that: ideas and goals, it all sounded good and many intellectuals as well as many members of the general public bought into the lofty sounding fairness of social justice. However once the Socialists gained actual power in the USSR and later in its satellite empire the crushing reality of its brutish methods and the soul killing dullness of its execution dimmed the glow. It changed its image from a rising sun of opportunity into the glare of an interrogation lamp.

This is where the insidious and dangerous character of the new underground Socialists in the plethora of underground manifestations reveals itself. Today we don’t have a socialist state in America; instead we have a welfare state. Unlike Socialism the welfare State has no precise definition. The attempt to understand all its implications is like trying to take a picture of fog: it obscures the picture however it cannot be seen as anything solid. The leaders of this homegrown style of Socialism: Progressivism, have learned that by incrementally increasing the level of governmental control over private industry and individuals they can still achieve the Socialist goal of income redistribution without the stigma of advocating an admittedly authoritarian dictatorship.

All they have to do is speak in vague terms of the general good and spreading the wealth around and the low information citizens nurtured in state schools will stand in line to proudly vote for hope and change. Never realizing that the prosperity Paul thinks he is voting out of Peter’s pocket will not reach him as it is syphoned off to feed an ever growing bureaucracy needed to transfer the wealth.

As long as the danger to liberty came from self-declared Socialists who were openly pursuing collectivist goals and as long as there was the glaring disconnect of a brutal dictatorship saying it was oppressing its own people in the quest for social justice it was easy to argue that the tenets of Socialism were false. There were examples to show that it would not achieve its goals, that its execution was brutish, and that it would inevitably produce results which most Socialists themselves would find abhorrent.

The situation is different when we face the Welfare State. It has no definite form and is instead a conglomeration of diverse and sometimes even contradictory elements. Some of these elements may seem to make a free society more attractive such as something for everyone while others such as the means to take from one to give to another are incompatible with freedom.

I am not in any way advocating for no government. I am advocating for limited government. There are many things which most will agree are beneficial to society and which are legitimate concerns for government such as defense, the mail system, taxes appropriate to a limited role, and the judiciary. Most people today would also agree that some form of a safety net is possible in a free society to protect against risks common to all.

However here it is important to differentiate between two views of this type of protection. There is limited protection which can be achieved for all and absolute security which can never be achieved.

The first of these types of protection is against severe poverty: the assurance of a minimum level of support for everyone. The second is the guarantee of a certain standard of life which is determined by comparing the standard enjoyed by one group against that enjoyed by another. In other words the difference is between the protection of an equal minimum income for all and the protection of a particular income for particular groups. This is the goal of the Welfare State that brings us back to “From each according to their ability to each according to their need” or as our current Progressive President puts it, “Spreading the Wealth Around.”

To accomplish this, the coercive power of the State is used to ensure that particular people get particular things which in turn require discrimination between people and unequal treatment. Some are forced to give while others receive. This is incompatible with a free society. Thus the welfare State which aims at social justice inevitably leads back to Socialism with its coercive power and arbitrary methods. In addition though some of the aims of the Welfare State such as income equality can only be achieved through the use of methods which are incompatible with freedom all of the aims may be pursued in that fashion.

The primary danger is that once the aims of the Welfare State have been accepted as legitimate it is then tacitly assumed that the use of means which are contrary to freedom are acceptable. The ends justify the means and the rule of law is sacrificed in the name of social justice.

Ultimately we arrive at a place where the criticism of the generally accepted goals of the Welfare State leads automatically to negative labels. If you point out that Obamacare is socialized medicine you are throwing grandma over the cliff. If you point out that common core is indoctrination you are against education. If you point out that progressive taxation is inherently discriminatory and unfair you are the friend of millionaires and billionaires and the enemy of the poor. If you point out that government regulations are strangling business you are against clean air and consumer safety.

Our Progressive leaders always point to the shining city on a hill where everyone has everything. Our low information fellow citizens never seem to realize that a government which ceases to administer limited resources put under its control for a specific purpose will instead use its coercive power to ensure that people are given what some bureaucrat decides they need. They never connect the dots. They do not understand that when larger and larger segments of the population come to depend on the government for everything eventually it will be the decision of those in authority what anyone receives. This isn’t freedom. This isn’t what America was or what it is supposed to be. And this is why the Welfare State isn’t well and it isn’t fair.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

Why Gridlock is a Good Thing May 29, 2014

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Gridlock is one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon us by the Framers.  It is a natural result of the checks and balances built into the system to stop any temporary majority from fundamentally changing the country.  If it wasn’t for the checks and balances FDR would have completely socialized the country back in the 1930s.  If it wasn’t for them now BHO would simply impose his agenda on us.  Wait a minute I think he is.

Living as the occupants of an occupied nation those of us who believe limited government, personal freedom, and economic liberty are good things have to face up to the fact that a cadre of political savants who advocate for the collectivization of the American experiment have maneuvered their way into the halls of power.  They have captured the media, the unions, Hollywood, and a large segment of education.  The elections have been gerrymandered into a parody of democracy.  Political Correctness dries up free speech and affirmative action uses racial quotas and discrimination while saying they are doing it to increase integration.

It takes a conspiracy theory wrapped in a spiral of silence to pretend the foregoing isn’t true.  Every day the regime is bent on fundamentally changing this country from a representative republic founded upon respect for the laws of nature and of nature’s God into a centrally-planned social safety net.  Our education system spends more money per capita than any other, and instead of academic superstars we produce illiterate whiners with high self-esteem.

The borders are open to a mass migration from the third world.  Free trade has gutted our industrial base.  Our foreign policy is in tatters as the conquerors of the republic allow our ambassadors to be murdered, our citizens to be unfairly imprisoned, and our national interests to be sacrificed for hidden goals and secret agendas.

America the beautiful where have you gone?  From sea to shining sea your people watch as the alabaster cities rot into bankrupt hulks where socialism has failed.  At the same time those who exemplify and lead the destruction of the once proud land of the free and home of the brave point to the very instrument which provided the opportunity for humanity to excel in the bright sunshine of freedom.

Seeing gridlock not as a brake upon the ambitions of temporary ruling factions to establish themselves as permanent oligarchies, President Obama attacks the structure of government as created by the Framers of the Constitution.

One of the greatest mistakes ever foisted upon this country by the progressives was the passing of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.  This change to the Constitution was pushed through in the early days of the 20th century finally becoming law in 1913.  This amendment took the election of U. S. Senators away from the state legislatures and made them part of the march towards democracy that has always been a hallmark of the progressive movement.

Before the 17th Amendment the Senators had acted as the representatives of the States preserving the federal nature of our government.  Since its passage the various states must hire lobbyists to represent them in Washington as if they were just another interest group.  This has given us the best government money can buy and left the States at the mercy of a central bureaucracy on steroids.

Now President Obama, as the leader and spokesman of our Progressive masters is railing against the fact that every state has two senators.  In his political cradle the paragon of party politics, Chicago Mr. Obama described to a small group of wealthy supporters several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and possibly recapturing the House. One of those hurdles, according to the President, is that each state regardless of its population has two Senate seats.  Or as Mr. Obama said, “Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage.”

The President noted that the congregation of Democrat voters in big cities gives Republicans an advantage in rural states affecting both the elections for the House and the Senate.   Of course it is those very concentrations and the massive political machines’ support that allow the democrat Party to control so many States and their electoral votes.  In essence what Mr. Obama is complaining about is that while Democrat control of big city machines has perhaps locked up the electoral keys to the White House they are not able to translate that into a lock on the legislative side for a true one party state.

If you will remember the last time they were able to pull off this hat trick (2008-2010) they shoved Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or as it is also known as, the Federal Reserve Empowerment Law down our throats. This has socialized one sixth of our economy, has entrenched crony capitalism, and enshrined too-big-to-fail.

The Progressives from the Ivory Tower to the White House have worked tirelessly for over 100 years to change the iron-clad guarantees of the Constitution into a Living Document that is as firm as Jell-O and as clear as mud.  They want a one party state and a unified centralized government to efficiently complete their transformation.  It is in the interests of all lovers of liberty to vote for divided government so that we can bask in the light of gridlock.  For when the lawyers in Washington and the bureaucratic minions aren’t able to do anything maybe we will have a chance to do something.

The biggest hurdle we have in maintaining the safety of gridlock is that the Progressives have captured the leadership of both major parties.  They have also rigged elections in such a way as to almost eliminate the possibility for a minor party to win.  Using our ballots strategically we must find ways to keep the Progressives from gaining one more shot at one party rule.  We must maintain some breathing room so that freedom doesn’t suffocate.

Why is gridlock a good thing? Because it might be our last chance to get something done.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the Reason? January 10, 2014

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Just as the pursuit of perfection can often end in the sacrifice of what is good so too the worship of reason often results in the exaltation of mediocrity and the circumscription of reasonable thought and action.

Daily the Progressives aggressively push forward against positions which have long been the traditional battle lines of the conservative movement.  The front lines in the culture war move ever closer to the transformed America they envision.  First prayer was expelled from School.  Then the sexual revolution wave peaked with the nullification of state abortion laws by the Supreme Court and then crashed into the mainstream with condoms and birth-control distributed to school children.  Divorce became common-place, and out-of-wedlock births account for the majority in several demographics.  Pornography is a constitutional right and as close as a mouse click away in most homes.

Those who want to hold on to the America we were raised in are ridiculed in the press, movies, and by our elected officials as a wild-eyed fringe of traditionalist America-firsters clinging to our guns and Bibles.  This is why it is important to examine the place of reason as opposed to tradition in the operation of society.

To paraphrase the infamous phrase of George Bush the Younger, “I have sacrificed free market principles to save the free market system,” I would say, “At times we must suspend the rule of reason for reason to flourish.” Or follow in the footsteps of David Hume who was said to have turned against the Enlightenment its own weapons to whittle down the claims of reason by the use of rational analysis.

It is the ability to think in symbols and imagine abstract things that sets man apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.  Therefore at the outset let me say this is not an appeal for irrationality or any type of transcendental mysticism.  It is instead meant to be a rational examination of the anti-rationalistic position which is necessary for the preservation of individual freedom, personal liberty, and economic opportunity, and the only conditions under which reason can flourish and evolve.  For the attempt to apply reason and reason alone to the organization of society’s intricately woven interface of conventions stifles creativity, leaves no place for innovation, and is ultimately unreasonable.

When we attempt to apply the laws of science or the mechanical practices of engineering to human activity we run the risk of building a maze so perfect the mouse can never find the cheese.  Or in other words we can seek to make our processes so ideal that there is no room for free thinking, free action, or for the splashes of genius that are the real catalysts of societal evolution.

Those who stand by the idea that reason and reason alone should shape the future must of necessity seek to abandon tradition; for traditions are not built upon reason.  They are built upon trial and error.  That which doesn’t work is discarded, and that which works becomes accepted through use and time.  However it is impossible to completely disregard tradition.  Every day each of us moves through life acting upon hundreds of unconscious rules and procedures that we don’t think about because they were bred into us by those who raised us.  It is the consensus of a common culture and heritage which makes a people one, E Pluribus Unum.

Those who worship reason believe that they can design a perfect society, a utopia, and that all of their dreams of perfection will stand the light of day.  History proves over and over that those who seek to guide the evolution of man through the evolution of society do not create the heaven on earth they advertise.

Look to the French Revolution which cast down Christ and enshrined Reason as their God.  It didn’t produce the liberty, equality, and fraternity it promised; instead it brought forth Terror, dictatorship, war and ruin.  The Russian Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy of the Romanovs and installed an even more absolute dictatorship that promised a worker’s paradise and delivered the gulags, starvation, and collapse.

When those who think they are wise enough to make everyone’s decisions about everything try to manufacture a society that looks like their computer models they must use coercion to force those who do not accept their vision to act as if they did.  Rules, regulations and red tape bind the human spirit and prevent the growth of the un-designed, the unforeseen, and smother the spark of genius.  As counter intuitive as it may sound a free society will always be in large measure a tradition bound society. For traditions, though they may seem unbreakable at times, are always evolving while rules are cast in concrete.

Patrick Henry told us, “Virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone that renders us invincible. These are the tactics we should study. If we lose these, we are conquered, fallen indeed . . . so long as our manners and principles remain sound, there is no danger.”

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Our virtue is embodied and defended in our traditions.  Once these walls have fallen how can our virtue stand unprotected assailed on all sides in what is becoming an alien culture?

The ethics of virtue tells us “virtue is determined by the right reason. Virtue requires the right desire and the right reason. To act from the wrong reason is to act viciously. On the other hand, the agent can try to act from the right reason, but fail because he or she has the wrong desire. The virtuous agent acts effortlessly, perceives the right reason, has the harmonious right desire, and has an inner state of virtue that flows smoothly into action. The virtuous agent can act as an exemplar of virtue to others.”

The virtuous person acts in the way they do because it is their nature.  They have imbibed the virtue of their society and they act naturally as an embodiment of the good.  They have absorbed the traditions and they act as they do without thought, without regard or reliance on reason.  They do not question what is right or wrong.  They know what is right or wrong and act accordingly.  They follow tradition.

The worshipers of reason reject the traditions that have grown up organically in society and design their own.  They reject the good and seek the perfect.  The problem is that perfection is impossible in this life.  Perfection does not belong to the realm of man.  The air castles and utopias of the rationalistic social engineers may look good on paper; however they never materialize into anywhere we can live.

Why is it hell the Progressives will deliver instead of the heaven they promise?   This is what has traditionally happened and that’s the reason.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

The Question is, “What’s the Answer?” September 26, 2013

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In politics and economics as in everything in life there always seems to be more questions than answers.

Some answers previously shared:

Politically speaking, I have said before in these columns that I no longer consider myself to be a conservative because there is nothing left to conserve.  Instead I consider myself a Liberal in the classical sense: in the tradition of Jefferson and Paine a believer in human liberty.  The once proud name of Liberal has been coopted and fundamentally transformed by the Socialists who have followed the advice of one of their early leaders, Norman Thomas, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

I say it is time to reclaim the name.

In the economic realm, I am unabashedly a believer in capitalism.  The reason for this is that it is the only system ever devised by man that requires freedom as a foundation for it to exist.  Every other economic system ever tried is a centrally-planned command system.  The king, the dictator, or the politburo decides how many widgets the country needs and that is how many widgets the country gets and everyone works at the widget factory.

As a child of the Cold War who had Marx shoved down his throat by Socialist teachers from grade school through college, I rebelled when one of my History professors told me that economics was the lynchpin of History.  It wasn’t until after the fall of the Evil Empire that I was able to appreciate this truth.  It is interesting to note that before we adopted the German style of College education in the 1890s Economics, History and Political Science were all one discipline.  How can we understand any one of them without the others?  One legged stools do not stand very well.  Information in a vacuum is still a vacuum.

So what is the question?

How can America continue to exist politically as a Republic with a constitutionally limited government dedicated to personal liberty, economic freedom and individual opportunity if our central government destroys competition?

The support of competition does not make someone an anarchist as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accuses.

The use of competition as an organizing mechanism in society precludes the use of certain types of coercive regulations.  However, it does not preclude the use regulations or guidelines.  There are important reasons why the negative aspects of this statement have been stressed by the advocates of competition while the positive have been neglected by its opponents.

It is necessary that all parties in the market place must be free to buy and sell at any price which they can agree on. It is also necessary that everyone should be free to produce, sell and buy anything that can be produced or sold.  It is also necessary that everyone has equal and free access into the trades.

Any attempt to control or regulate prices or quantities of commodities deprives competition of its ability to bring about the effective coordination of individual efforts because price changes then are no longer able to correctly act as a reliable guide for an individual’s actions.

This is not an iron-clad rule.  As long as any restrictions placed on all potential producers affect all producers the same and are not used as an indirect method for controlling prices and quantities.  All such restrictions impose extra costs however if they are imposed evenly competition can survive if not thrive.  For example, it is generally agreed that regulations to control the use of poisonous substances, to limit working hours, or to require sanitary conditions are both desirable and necessary.

The only question here is: are the social advantages gained by these regulations greater than the economic costs they impose.  Neither is the existence of social services incompatible with freedom as long as their organization and operation is not designed to restrict competition.

Thus it is shown that the advocates of competition and economic freedom are not anarchists demanding a Laissez-faire anything goes free-for-all.  They admit the need for safety and agree that as long as things are equal things are fair.

The fairness of competition is shown in one of its primary foundational principles: that the owner of private property benefits from all the useful services rendered and is liable for all the damages caused to others by its use.  When it becomes impossible to make the enjoyment of certain services dependent on payment or if the damages from its use are deflected then completion is ineffective as a social organizer because the price system has been disrupted.

Thus both restrictions on the use of property and bailouts which transfer the cost of failure from those who made the bad decisions to the taxpayers cause the market to become unhinged from reality and the creature of government direction.  We see licenses, permits, and other regulations control who can engage in what economic activity.  Look at the stock market.  Does it rise or fall because of innovation?  Do the efforts of people to create and market new products lead the DOW to new heights?  No.  The market rises and falls on whether or not the Fed is going to continue pumping fiat money into the system.

The rules of the game have been so distorted by the government that honest and open competition is almost impossible.  This is why the underground economy flourishes, because it the only place where free competition still exists.  And people will always yearn to be free.  No matter how governments try to chain their citizens down with webs of regulations and nets of laws Gulliver will always struggle and strain against the ties that bind until he breaks free.

It is obvious to all that President Obama has succeeded in his goal of fundamentally transforming America.  For example, his massive stimulus that paid off campaign debts to unions and donors and his mountains of new regulations on everything from banking to coal to student loans. There is the never-ending FED pump which just keeps pouring more money into an already bloated bubble in an effort to make a socialized crippled economy at least look like it works. And of course there is Obamacare which effectively socializes 1/6 of the entire economy.  The combination of these policies breaks the back of competition and sound the death knell of the great experiment in freedom begun in 1776.  Drip by drip, inch by inch we have been moved closer to the goal.  Now it is the Health Care take-over and the flood of fiat currency that are leading to a terminal case of bankruptcy, a systems collapse, and as our Progressive leaders hope the dawn of a new day.

When the invisible hand has been tied and competition weighted in favor of government chosen winners and losers, when the electoral game has been stacked in favor of a two headed Progressive Republicrat party of unlimited power, pride and ambition, when equal justice under the law applies only to citizens and not to officials, the Question is, “What’s the Answer.”

That answer might be, “How long?”

How long before we the American people demand that our nation founded in revolution against tyranny reject the empire and restore the Republic?  We can all see that the emperor has no clothes.  We all know the deck has been stacked, the game rigged, and the winners chosen.  How long before we demand that we are allowed to live in a nation where we will be judged by the content of our character and not by our membership in a protected or favored group, our political contributions or whether or not we have saluted the party line?

As we watch our beloved nation transformed it might be well to remember what our second President John Adams once said, “a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”  Then again he also said, “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

I’ll Try Not to Get Arrested September 5, 2013

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Recently a person I know who saw himself as being in the forefront of the cultural revolution in the 60s and 70s proudly announced he was going to the 50th anniversary of the March   Washington. After his announcement he added the tag line, “I’ll try not to get arrested.”

Let me set the scene. Yes, this person did protest the Vietnam War by burning his draft card and applying and receiving conscientious objector status while going to school not jail. Yes he did turn his back on some traditional America traditions such as Christianity and eating meat. However, he did retain at least two traditions he learned from his family: he has always supported democrats and he is a capitalist.

Of course he would argue vehemently if anyone ever called him a capitalist since he will tell you all day long that he hates capitalists and capitalism. No, he is no capitalist, he is an entrepreneur. According to Dictionary.com “Capitalism is an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.”

Let’s see, my acquaintance is comfortably retired, living on a multimillion dollar private estate in a fashionable area. How did he grab the golden ring? He did it by his own hard work and enterprise. He invented and developed several products; he established a manufacturing company which employed others to do the actual manufacturing and sold enough products to make a living while investing for the future. Then he sold the company and lives on the dividends. But he isn’t a capitalist, he hates capitalism.

I know several people like this. They have reaped the benefits of capitalism yet they hate capitalists. Or as Lenin said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

Fifty years ago MLK participated in a march on Washington because Blacks in America were suffering from unprecedented unemployment, unspeakable inner city violence, and unconstitutional government surveillance. Fifty years later with the former revolutionaries of the 60s and 70s secure as the power elite, they have finally delivered unprecedented unemployment, unspeakable inner city violence, and unconstitutional government surveillance for everyone without regard to race, creed or color.

The only way someone could get arrested in today’s Washington ruled by Progressives and the very epicenter of Political Correctness is to counter-demonstrate on the other side of the street from the victorious revolutionaries at the MLK triumphal procession.

It amazes me that they cannot see their own inconsistency. They make a pilgrimage to worship a man who said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” and yet they support racial quotas, set asides and preferential treatment just to make things fair.

This proudly quintessential anti-war crowd now supports a regime that waged an illegal war in Libya and whose chosen leader wants to kick the hornet’s nest in Syria. These are needless wars that resulted in the establishment of Al Qaeda franchises in Libya and who knows what we will see from an attack on Syria.

The people who elected the Watergate Congress, the people who hounded Nixon out of office because they believed he had violated the Constitution now sow blindly supports our Imperial President, the purported constitutional scholar when he says, “Congress doesn’t have a whole lot of core responsibilities.” Yet the Constitution places Congress as first among equals and devotes more space to its powers than to any other branch.

As they used to remind us the powers of Congress include the sole and exclusive power to declare war.

When President Bush took us into what so many Democrats called illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan he sought a debate and received a vote of authorization from Congress. Our over-the-hill revolutionaries held vigils outside Bush’s Texas home and tried to ignite an antiwar movement. Yet when President Obama attacks Libya without even notifying Congress they said nothing.

Now there is a congressional debate over attacking Syria and that is a good thing.  And some are speaking out against a war that doesn’t have anything to do with American national interests.  But where are the limousine liberals?  Are they still supporting a president who is willing to take us to war to put the red in his line?  If they are I pray they remember that red will be the blood of American heroes and what we call so innocently collateral damage.

If you watch the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media tonight you can guess what these perennial revolutionaries will say tomorrow since their personal opinions are plagiarized.

Back during the Vietnam War they were duped into supporting the communists, and now they’re duped into supporting people who want to bring central-planning and eternal surveillance to America.

Is this naivety or hypocrisy? Is this selfless altruism combined with low information? Or is it the self-centered arrogance of people who can be proven wrong time after time yet still believe only they can see the right course.

These aging middle-class capitalists who hate capitalism, these social revolutionaries who live on private estates still see themselves as revolutionaries after they’ve won the revolution. They still worry about getting arrested after their Dear Leaders have taken over control of the police, the IRS, and the NSA. In their 21st Century utopian USSA we find that according  to a Department of Defense training material, “people who embrace “individual liberties” and honor “states’ rights,” among other characteristics, as potential ‘extremists’ who are likely to be members of ‘hate groups.’” In Amerika today the 60s radicals are the establishment and the silent majority has become the outsider.

So while I pray for my acquaintance’s safe return from his pilgrimage, I will keep writing about the need to preserve limited government and I’ll try not to get arrested.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

Socialism is as Socialism Does August 31, 2012

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Ronald Reagan taught us, “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

Barack Obama’s mentor as a young man was communist party member Frank Marshall Davis.  As a community organizer he was a follower and promoter of the communist fellow-traveler Saul Alinsky’s methods and goals.  As a professional in Hyde Park he associated with socialist radicals such as Bill Ayers.  As an up-and-coming Chicago Politician he attended the church of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, an outspoken proponent of the socialist Black Liberation Theology. As president he appointed communist Van Jones to be one of his many Czars.  Mr. Obama says he is not a socialist.  However, simple logic tells us if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck you can be relatively certain it’s a duck.

Mr. Obama has told us that he seeks to be a transformational president like his idol FDR.  He was bold enough to tell us just days before the election in 2008 that he would fundamentally transform America.  In just one term he has accomplished much along the way to changing us from what we have always been into what the Progressives have always wanted us to be.

How has Barak Obama transformed us?  Into what is he transforming us?  A look at his impressive *list of firsts as president of these United States points in the direction he is herding us:

 

Mr. Obama is leading us from being the first among nations to being just another vote in the United Nations.  Now there’s a level playing field for you.  And now it’s time for another election, some say our most important, some say perhaps our last.

In many ways this election cycle is refreshing.  For generations the Progressives have pretended to be something they are not to win elections.  They have pretended to be dedicated to the American dream of personal liberty, economic freedom and the belief that America was different from other nations, that as the world’s first and most enduring modern experiment in a republic based on limited government we were exceptional.  Although the policies of the Progressives have always been at odds with this assumed identity at least every election cycle they would tip their hat to the America of our fathers and portray themselves as a Thomas Jefferson or an Andrew Jackson.

Therefore, 2012 is shaping up to be the election where the Progressives cast aside their mask and run as who they are: the American version of socialism promising to tax the rich and spread the wealth around, from each according to their ability to each according to their need.

If Mr. Obama wins re-election on this platform the Progressives will finally have their chance to give Americans the same kind of cradle-to-grave utopia the happy people of Russia, China, North Korea, and Hitler’s Germany have had the fortune to endure.  If Mr. Obama wins re-election espousing the true intentions of the Progressives, to change the constitution from a rock solid foundation for freedom into a living document that is a dead letter, he will succeed at his vow to fundamentally transform America.

He will fundamentally transform the dreams of our fathers for a land of liberty and opportunity into the dreams of his father who was a pro-communist social engineer and America will become just another country trying to build heaven on earth by plundering some to benefit others.

As to his  utopian beliefs and aspirations President Obama has said, “I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth”

President Reagan also told us, “Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it, and hell where they already have it.”

*Lists of Mr. Obama’s firsts are found numerous places.  The sources referenced for each first are merely representative of the many available for each.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

What’s A Patriot to Do? July 20, 2012

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Mr. Obama may not be the only President we have ever elected who has little real world experience, but he may be the first who has none.  And hopefully he will be our last.

President Obama’s latest insult to hardworking Americans has drawn massive press, at least in the portion of the Media that isn’t consumed with repeating and debating his false allegations concerning Romney’s business record.  It isn’t hard to understand how a Marxist would consider the accomplishments of a capitalist to be criminal.  It also isn’t hard to understand how a Marxist would believe that no one can accomplish something on their own; they do believe it takes a village to raise a child after all.  What is hard to understand is how America was gullible enough to elect a Marxist president when the evidence of his beliefs, his associates, and his political activities were so easy to see.

What will be utterly beyond comprehension is a majority of our fellow voters drinking the kool-aide a second time when it is obvious from Mr. Obama’s rhetoric that he is selling a blatantly anti-capitalist and anti-American line of constitutional suicide.

With serial apology tours, bowing to foreign leaders, and abandoning our surrogates to help install the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the Middle East, it is obvious Mr. Obama is a walking disaster for America’s foreign policy.  It is also obvious from the recession he has managed to turn into the Great Recession that his spread around the wealth transfer policies are an unmitigated disaster on the domestic front.  His record wouldn’t inspire anyone except a fellow American hating Marxist to vote for him, so his only viable tactic is to make the other guy totally unacceptable.  In the coming months watch as the President, his fellow traveler mouth pieces, and the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media turn squeaky clean bland, boring Mitt Romney into a nefarious arch criminal who has built a massive criminal enterprise on the backs of exploited victims.

Even if President Obama really believes personal accomplishments, except his own of course, are merely the trophies of exploitation that doesn’t mean the rest of us should accept this as a legitimate premise for discussion.  The Democrat Media may want to spend endless hours asking Mitt to explain why he threw grandma off the cliff after stealing her Social Security check, but that doesn’t mean any sane person should waste time considering it.

A better question might be if capitalists have claimed personal success unfairly while using roads and electric grids built by others why is it fair for Mr. Obama to claim as his own the  fame for killing Osama when someone else started the campaign and someone else executed it?  Why aren’t the failures of his forays into venture socialism such as Solyndra, the Volt, or anything else his fault?  Our Dear Leader is a walking example of socializing the costs while personalizing the profits.  If it goes bad it was someone else’s fault, but if it goes right it was all him.  He has changed the famous Truman quote to “The Buck Stops with You” and since the teleprompter told him to say it he was able to do it with a straight face.  The saddest thing of all is that the dumbed down crowds he wows probably don’t know he changed the quote at all.

All of this is shaping up as a surreal election cycle.  We have a Democrat doing everything imaginable to lose.  He is abandoning the white middle-class, attacking capitalism, and lavishing insult after insult upon anything and everything Americans have always held dear including our founding principles.  We have a Republican who passed the template for Obamacare and can’t generate as much excitement as a Saturday night of rearranging your sock drawer.

America hangs in the balance.

If we re-elect a Marxist on a platform of class warfare and soak the rich, I imagine we will see class warfare and soak everybody.  If we elect a middle of the road Massachusetts Republican with a veneer of conservatism who is enamored of the foreign affairs advice of John Bolton, the angriest  of the neo-con war hawks I imagine we might get a reprieve on the Marxism as the government grows to sustain more wars for peace.

What’s a patriot to do?   Are we teetering on the edge, past the tipping point, or already careening into the Abyss?  Do we throw away our vote on someone with no chance to win?  Do we choose the lesser of two evils knowing that we will still be choosing evil?  Do we do as one of my oldest friends is doing: sell everything and leave the country before all this progressivism hits the fan?  Do we store food, bury guns, and wait for the zombie apocalypse?

The answers could be so simple.  Domestically we could cut taxes, cut regulations, and let the economy surge.  In foreign affairs we could follow the direction laid out by the founders: a friend to all and an enemy to none, withdraw our far flung international police precincts, make our homeland an impregnable fortress and let trade be our currency and peace be our policy.

Instead we face a future of austerity and contraction based upon a bloated government swallowing ever more of the American pie no matter who wins.  We face endless interventions and undeclared wars in quagmires defending a status quo that is no longer tilted in our favor.  China, the rising dragon of the East, is playing chess as our dithering Progressives moan about chickens coming home to roost, and political correctness prevents us from doing what we should do when we should do it.

We are truly between Barack and a hard place with every forward indicator pointing down.

These are times when I draw upon the true source and summit of my being and remember that the God of Heaven and Earth has not left us without understanding.  We face these problems because we have forsaken Him, and the only way back is through Him.  He told us long ago, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  That isn’t just an observation it is a promise.  And unlike our fickle politicians who merely want to tickle our ears, God always keeps His promises.

Therefore as we turn to face the change don’t be discouraged, don’t be depressed, and don’t worry.  God has our back if we will give him our faith. For He also told us, “A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”

Keep the peace.  Keep the faith.  We shall overcome.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

If I Wanted to Make America Prosperous Again April 26, 2012

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First, I would ask myself how did our ancestors build America from an agricultural colony on the edge of civilization into the number one manufacturing and commercial nation the world had ever known.

Why reinvent the wheel if round ones still roll?

The early American colonies of the British were founded based upon the economic ideas of Mercantilism.  Governmental regulation of industries, trade, and commerce characterized Mercantilism as every aspect of the economy was utilized for national policy. This was especially true with foreign trade, which was determined more by national aims rather than individual or local interests.

The definition of wealth began to change in the sixteenth century.  During the Middle Ages, wealth was defined by the amount of productive land a nation possessed.  As transportation, especially by sea, improved so did the ability to conduct foreign trade bringing with it an increase in the amount of cash generated by that trade.  The definition of wealth came to be the amount of cash a nation possessed.  Therefore every nation sought to have a favorable balance of trade.  They also sought to develop monopolistic type environments wherein they provided their own raw materials thus avoiding imports which meant money flowing out and fostering the export of finished goods raising the level of money flowing in.  Defining wealth as the accumulation of cash, the nations of Europe desired to conduct foreign trade on a larger scale, and they began looking for foreign sources of gold, silver, and raw materials.

This brings us to the British effort to develop North America as a source of wealth.

The Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland were the first successful British colonies in what was to become the United States of America.  Though the initial colonists came looking for gold they soon learned that prosperity came not from a shovel but instead from a plow.  It was tobacco that primed the pump and lifted the colonies from a burden to a benefit for the mother country.  After years of mounting expenses for the British and years of starvation for the colonists the cultivation of tobacco brought prosperity.  Virginia’s production of tobacco grew from 200,000 pounds in 1624 to 3,000,000 pounds in 1638 overtaking the West Indies as the number one supplier of tobacco for all of Europe thus boosting Britain’s balance of trade.

The cultivation of tobacco fostered a plantation system based upon indentured and slave labor.  A gentrified class of great planters sought to replicate the social structure of Britain with a small number of very rich ruling a large number of small land holders who prospered to a certain extent but never enough to challenge the status quo.  The wretched poor of Britain who had come to the Chesapeake colonies to find a better life did find more opportunity and the ability to advance from the landless poor to the ranks of yeoman farmer.  However, there was little opportunity to enter the ranks for the gentry which became a type of American nobility.

New England, because of the soil, the climate, and the fact that there was no major cash crop that grew well in the area, did not lend itself to large plantations.  Most farmers were operating at a subsistence level.  If they did generate a surplus it was in crops that were not easily transported across the ocean, and they were also crops that could be grown in England and were not needed as imports.

This climatic and environmental adversity did not condemn New England to being a poor relation to the Chesapeake nobility.  Instead the New English diversified, innovated, and used individual enterprise to not only match but to surpass Chesapeake and every other colony in the British Empire.  Those who settled New England were Puritans who sought to purify the Anglican religion of ceremony and return it to what they saw as the simplicity of early Christianity.  They did not believe that good works brought salvation but they did believe that salvation brought good works.  Therefore they sought to occupy their time with productive activity to glorify God through their labors.  This was a manifestation of what the sociologist Max Weber later called , “The Protestant work ethic.”  Whatever you choose to call it, it was this drive to succeed no matter what the adversity that led the New English to look beyond the soil, beyond the climate and to the opportunity.

First they exploited the fisheries of the Northeast.  In 1641 the New English caught 600,000 pounds of fish much of which was exported to Britain.  By 1645 they were catching more than 6,000,000 pounds per year employing more than a thousand men on 440 ships.  They came to dominate the fish trade shipping not only to Britain and its empire but also to Spain, Portugal, the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands.

By the end of the 1600s the merchants of the New English coast began to circle the globe trading the fish, surplus crops, and lumber of their area to all parts of the British Empire.  They became such shrewd traders that soon American ships were carrying trade from one colony to another even when the cargo didn’t originate in New England.  This secondary carrying trade generated a growing profit that in turn rebounded in a number of ways.  The increased profits brought home financed increased industry and growth at home, and it also spawned a shipbuilding industry which exploited the vast resources of the northern forests.

Between 1674 and 1714 the New English built more than 1200 ships, totaling more than 75,000 tons.  By 1700 there were fifteen shipyards in Boston which produced more ships than all the rest of the British colonies combined.  Only London had more shipyards.  This was a significant engine of economic growth.  To build one 150 ton merchant ship required as many as 200 workers, mostly skilled craftsmen.  The shipyards also supported the growth of numerous enterprises to supply their needs such as saw mills, smithies, barrel makers, sail makers, iron foundries, and rope makers. In addition, the farmers of New England benefited by feeding the craftsmen, supplying the ships, and providing the timber.

By 1700 Boston was the third city of the Empire behind only London and Bristol and the New English shippers were earning freight charges for carrying produce and material that was neither produced, shipped to, or shipped from their home colony.  The enrichment of the area spread prosperity far beyond the sphere of shippers, sailors, and their sundry suppliers.  According to Boston’s shipping register for 1697-1714 over 25% of the adult males in Boston owned shares in at least one ship.

All of these linkages produced an economy filled with diversification and development as opposed to the stratified monoculture of the Chesapeake colonies.

These trends continued as time went on leading to the industrial North eventually overwhelming the agricultural South.  The expansion and growth of America was based upon a foundation of hard work and innovation born of adversity.  Finding themselves in a hard place Americans found a way to prosper and grow like a young plant reaching for the sun.  Freed from the rigid restraints of the home country and then guaranteed freedom by the constitution and the limited government it provided America surged to the front ranks of nations.

Today, America labors under self-imposed adversity.  We are in the grip of an oppressive Progressive Movement that after 100 years of incremental advance is poised to transform America from what she has always been into what they want her to be.  America has traditionally been a constitutionally limited Republic operating on democratic principles providing individual liberty and economic opportunity.  The Progressives envision America as a centrally-planned highly regimented social democracy where the wealth is spread around from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs .

If I wanted to make America prosperous again I would take off the self-imposed shackles of a central government on steroids, stop imposing new regulations, and reduce taxes everywhere on everyone.  Then I would stand back and watch our economy takes off like a rocket and we take our place beside our ancestors as free people with economic liberty and a will to succeed.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

Praetorian Progressives and Their Imperial Dreams March 15, 2012

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Under President Obama we doubled-down in Afghanistan?  We sent more of our fellow citizens to a long hard slog in a country whose synonym is Quagmire while announcing the eventual date of their withdrawal at the same time.  In an unprecedented action Mr. Obama announced our attack as he heralded our retreat in a calculated political decision that has cost lives, squandered treasure and told the Taliban to wait in the wings for the second act.

 

As our economy was being outsourced, our debt monetized, and our infrastructure crumbled we meekly followed the leader deeper into a thankless nation-building campaign in the Little Bighorn of nations.  A nation that is more of a Western construct than an actual nation-state, and the tribes which inhabit this mountainous waste have resisted and foiled every empire from Alexander to Moscow.

 

There is a fundamental difference between a republic and an empire.  Republics are based upon the consent of the governed.  Empires are imposed from above.  Republics foster a community of equals each with the opportunity to achieve.  Empires exalt the ruling class at the expensive of everyone else.  Though settled by European kingdoms seeking empires the United States wasn’t founded to become an empire.  Individuals fought against the empire building tyrants until their determination and resolve won independence against all odds.

 

It is time to re-think America’s international military commitments.  It is our world wide web of foreign commitments and entanglements that has been used by the self-righteous Progressives and their cronies in the military industrial complex in their efforts to transform the United States from republic to empire.  They have used the never ending wars for peace to regiment our society and create a centrally-planned bureaucratic mega government.

 

George Washington warned us to avoid foreign entanglements telling us, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”  He warned us about allowing the military to grow to big, “Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

 

Thomas Jefferson outlined the essential principles of our government which included this advice concerning foreign affairs, “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.”

 

For the first 100 years of our existence we followed Washington’s great rule, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”

 

The temptation to empire captured the American imagination in the 1890s: the beginning of the Progressive Era.  This was a time when Europe was rushing to gobble up the last places open for colonization or carving up those areas unsuited for colonies into spheres of influence.

 

Under President McKinley the United States entered the scramble for colonies in the Spanish-American War winning Puerto Pico and the Philippines as well as a long war against those in the Philippines who wanted the independence they had expected when liberated from the Spanish Empire by the American Republic.

 

Teddy Roosevelt the great grandfather of the Progressives followed McKinley walking softly while carrying a big stick in the form of the Great White Fleet.  He used America’s new found industrial might and military power for multiple intrusions into the sovereignty of Latin American countries.  While better known for his war against business, or trust busting as it was then called, the first President Roosevelt extolled war as a means to national greatness, “No triumph of peace is quite so great as the supreme triumph of war”

 

After being re-elected on the promise to keep America neutral President Wilson proclaimed America must fight to “Make the World Safe for Democracy.”  An adventure which cost over 300,000 casualties and which actually expanded the empires of England, France, and Japan while sowing the seeds of an even greater war.

 

After Wilson’s war the Congress of the United States re-asserted control by rejecting the international entanglements of the League of Nations Treaty returning to the traditional American foreign policy of freedom of trade and freedom of action.

 

Under FDR America fought an undeclared naval war against Germany in 1940 and 41 and imposed draconian embargoes against Japan prior to Pearl Harbor.  Once we were attacked we had to defend ourselves.  However, when World War II ended with the defeat of German, Italian, and Japanese totalitarianism and the vast expansion of Soviet totalitarianism, the guiding light of America foreign policy seems to have been permanently extinguished.

 

As the British Empire sailed into the sunset we filled the void taking up the role of leader of the West in the Cold War. For forty-six years we faced the Soviets until they collapsed.  Then instead of coming home we spread our wings even further embracing Eastern Europe.  We made a vain promise to send young Americans to fight for Estonia and Slovakia.  We coaxed color-coded revolutions all around Russia while our allies moved the EU to the East.  All of this rebuffed the hand of the Russians and made them instead of friends bitter foes who realized America had exploited their weakness and attempted to surround them with enemies.  This is the exact scenario which has haunted Russian paranoid dreams for centuries.

 

It is against the traditional principles of American foreign policy to establish and maintain an empire of far-flung outposts.  Doing so has broken the bank and we cannot afford to be the Policeman of the world.  We cannot afford to build nations for people who don’t want them while allowing our own infrastructure to decay.  How did a peaceful nation of free citizens become the advocate of pre-emptive attack and endless occupation?  How much blood and treasure did we invest in Iraq and what will be the result: a precipitous pull-out resulting in a Shi’a ally for Iran.

 

The war in Afghanistan was obviously defensive and retaliatory in nature given the Taliban’s support and collusion with Al Qaeda.  But ten years later what’s it all about?  Are we really dedicated to building a modern nation for tribal people who have no sense of nationhood?  Have we blundered into the same trap that brought the Soviets to their knees?

 

And it isn’t only our current hot deployment that is problematic.

 

The United States has armed forces in over 130 countries.  We’re committed to defend most of these countries against aggression.  Where were these allies on 9-11?  Where are they in Afghanistan?  Why do we have treaties binding us to go to war to defend those who refuse to support us when we’re attacked?  If these policies are counter-productive are there any alternatives?

 

Close the foreign bases and bring our troops home.  Sell the bases and save the money.  Station our troops on the borders to protect us from the on-going invasion of illegal immigrants who are overloading our systems. Let the maintenance of the bases and the spending of the troops contribute to our domestic economy instead of the economies of other countries.  If we need to project American power, use the carrier battle-groups designed for that purpose.  Protect America and rebuild our infrastructure.

 

When asked what to do with the American Military after World War I Will Rogers said, “Get ‘em all home, add to their number, add to their training, then just sit tight with a great feeling of security and just read about foreign wars. That’s the best thing in the world to do with them.”

 

We must jettison the Empire to save the Republic!  If we don’t the imperial power will swamp the republican nature.  We will retain the forms our Founders gave us as we find ourselves under the jackbooted heel of the Praetorian Progressives and their imperial dreams.

 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

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