jump to navigation

Political Action Follows Political Philosophy November 8, 2013

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
2 comments

The vast majority of human action reflects the thoughts, beliefs, and feelings of the actor.  There have always been and there will always be those whose actions are erratic or divorced from reality.  The actions of this small minority are best ascribed to pathology not philosophy.  For the rest of us we think therefore we are.  What we think about today we act upon tomorrow.

In the realm of political action this holds true.  The philosophies propagated today may not bear fruit or even appear to germinate during the lifetime of those who share them.  However, if they resonate with the thoughts, beliefs and natures of others they will bring forth a harvest in due time.

The time and effort involved in producing a coherent and logical body of work in the field of political philosophy may feel like a fool’s errand or wasted effort to the author working away often without recognition and in seclusion, never seeing the validity of their thoughts acknowledged by their peers or their intended audience.  However, anyone involved in such an effort needs to have a long view and the fortitude to plant so that others may harvest.

Having prefaced my thoughts and illuminated my actions let me plant some seeds.

For my entire life I have had Progressive instructors, politicians, friends and relatives admonish me that the reason for subverting the greatest experiment in human personal liberty, individual freedom and economic opportunity in the History of humanity is that we need to provide for the less fortunate.  They often refer to providing some type of economic security for those who cannot provide for themselves.  They often mean the leveling of society so that there is a minimum level of economic security.

The problem with “economic security” is that the term is so vague how do we know when it has been achieved?  Much like a war on terror it is open ended and can be interpreted in many ways.  What is considered economic security to one may not be to another.

If by economic security we mean security with regard to physical needs and a minimum amount of food that is one thing.  If by economic security we mean the guarantee of a certain standard of living or a pre-assigned social status we are speaking of something else altogether.

It seems clear that any society which has achieved the levels of sophistication and civilization that we have should be able to provide for the basic needs of our citizens who cannot take care of themselves without endangering the freedom of all.  There will be debates as to the levels of help which should be provided; however as to the belief that we should not allow our fellow citizens to starve or freeze I believe we are all agreed.

These questions will undoubtedly cause political debate and they may even cause tempers to flare; however that there is some minimum standard all will agree.  These minimum standards of economic security can be provided to those who cannot provide for themselves without endangering the wider economy and without unduly infringing upon the liberty of the productive members of society.

However, any attempt to guarantee the pre-assigned social status of anyone, or any group, the attempt to provide for those who can provide for themselves and choose not to do so will inevitably cause so many dislocations in the economy and require so many regulations both personal freedom and economic opportunity will be severely restricted.

This is where the debate heats up.  We have those who believe our society can and should protect and provide for those who cannot protect and provide for themselves and those who wish to use social welfare for social engineering.

The levels of taxation and regulation needed to support the minimalist approach can easily be borne by our society and our economy without compromising our freedom if they are applied evenly and fairly.  A flat tax without loopholes, subsidies or any of the other trappings of crony capitalism does nothing to inhibit innovation, enterprise, or competition.  Regulations requiring the equal treatment of individuals or the setting of safety or access levels likewise do not detract from opportunity as long as they are universally applied.

However, to attain the maximized levels of central-planning required to impose a Utopian vision of equality of outcome on any society require so many regulations and such high levels of taxation that they effectively strangle innovation, enterprise and competition.  Why couldn’t that gigantic prison house of nations, the USSR, compete with the United States?

Because they professed to seek a society wherein everyone was equal at all times.  Did they accomplish it?  No. The ruling Communists simply replaced the ruling hereditary aristocracy.  They killed millions to improve life.  They destroyed the incentive and creativity of their people in an effort to produce a more productive economy by fiat instead of freedom.  They eventually made working for the collective so meaningless that a common saying was, “They pretend to pay us so we pretend to work.”  Citizens ended up with worthless money, empty stores and services such as health care that only worked for the privileged government workers.   In any society that robs Peter to pay Paul eventually everyone changes their name to Paul.

As dire as the results have always been for Utopian experiments it is the morality of attempting to level society that needs to be questioned.  I contend that competition is a fundamental quality of humanity.  Striving to improve, to provide for one’s self and one’s family are basic instincts, and when governments interfere with these in an effort to ensure the success of some they have to limit the success of others.

This has a butterfly effect where a regulation for a positive action here about that affects something else over there about this negatively.  Multiply this many thousands of time and we have a cascading effect that restricts opportunity except for those who direct the effort to achieve the equality of all.  Or as the last remaining commandment at the animal farm eventually said, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

No one is as smart as everyone.  No set of central planners seeking the improvement of some can substitute their decisions for the millions of decisions made by free individuals seeking their own improvement.  It just won’t work.  It never has and it never will.  Therefore I contend that if it is inherently detrimental to society as a whole and since it is impossible to achieve it is immoral to attempt.

Man was created with free choice.  This is our fundamental nature.  Therefore what goes against that nature is contrary to the truth of who man is or is meant to be.

That the darker side needs to be restrained is generally agreed.  Every society condemns murder.  Even thieves have a code; at home they know theft is wrong.  Children should be protected and provided for as should those who cannot protect or provide for themselves.  No people has prospered or advanced by leaving their poor to starve or their sick to die.

Likewise no people have ever successfully built a society on the pipedream of equality of outcome.  All that has ever produced is the fever dream of a socially engineered stagnant society where the government picks winners and everyone except the choosers and the chosen few end up losers.

The idea that man is meant to be free birthed this country.  No matter how far we fall beneath the Progressive avalanche of regulation, taxation, and corruption this idea will one day once again take flight.  As long as there are those who will propagate the philosophy the action will one day follow.  Just as sure as a sunrise always follows the darkest night someday a free America will rise from the ash heap of History to which socialism inevitably leads.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None Dare Call It….. March 1, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: , , , , , ,
2 comments

In 1777 the British thought they had finally hit upon a strategy to crush the rebellion.  They would divide the colonies.  General John Burgoyne had presented a bold plan to the government in London.  He proposed to invade New England from Canada marching down the Hudson River Valley.  There British troops moving up from New Jersey and New York under the command of General Howe would join Burgoyne and effectively cut the colonies in  two demoralizing the rebels and discouraging the French who were considering recognizing the independence of America.

In early summer Burgoyne set off with a professional army of over 7,000 men and many thousands of Indian allies.  In a declaration Burgoyne threatened to unleash his Indian allies to pillage the Americans.  When numerous atrocities were committed the vast majority of Americans in the path of the invading army resolved to join the rebellion thus swelling the troops and supplies of the Americans.

As the British proceeded south the resistance constantly stiffened and the swarm of snipers buzzed about the invaders like mosquitos snipping at their heels over and over.  Burgoyne ignored these attacks and continued his advance to the south in a grand style.  Meanwhile, miles to the south General Howe made a decision that would have a fateful consequence.   Instead of marching to meet Burgoyne as he was supposed to do he decided to attack Philadelphia, the Rebel capital.  Not aware of the change of plans Burgoyne continued to march south unconcerned that his supply lines were becoming longer and less secure since he thought he would receive everything he needed as soon as the reinforcements arrived.

Soon American ambushes began to defeat or capture any British forces sent out from the main body to forage or scout.  The Americans began to burn and destroy all supplies, crops, and pasture in front of the British.  Day by day General Burgoyne should have begun to realize he was marching into a trap.  Finally in the first week of October 1777 the American Continental Army confronted the British north of Albany near the town of Saratoga.  Ever the flamboyant firebrand Burgoyne though now surrounded and outnumbered trusted to his professional troops to overwhelm and defeat the citizen soldiers of the American Army.  Without hesitation Burgoyne took the offensive and was soon smashing his way through the poorly trained militias that made up a major portion of the American Army.  He seemed about to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat when one of America’s greatest heroes intervened.

When the British were about to break through General Benedict Arnold rallied his troops and against the orders of his commanding officer led a valiant counterattack which changed the course of the day and set the stage for the eventual surrender of the entire British army.  This ultimately led to the recognition of America by France.  And this led to the French fleet and army being present at Yorktown for the final victory which won the war.

General Arnold was grievously wounded at the battle of Saratoga and would never completely recover his health.  In the reports of the battle the American commanding general Horatio Gates did not mention Arnold’s heroic deeds and took all the credit for the victory himself.

This slight festered in the heart of Arnold, and is believed to be the reason why he eventually betrayed the cause he had sworn to defend and earned a name forever synonymous with traitor in American History.

In 1777 a foreign army tried to divide America.  The assault was met by minute men rushing from all directions leaving the comfort of their homes to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to save their home land.  Today the forces of social welfare use class warfare to divide and conquer.  Now is the time for all good men to come to the aide of their country!  Now is the time for loyalty and patriotism not the time to be timid in the face of forces dedicated to the transformation of our Republic.

Exactly what is treason?  It is the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance: the betrayal of a trust.

Benedict Arnold did that by trying to surrender his command: the fortress at West Point.  He betrayed his trust and sought to bring about the defeat of his nation.

What should we call leaders who act against the interest of the nation?  Who fight endless wars for peace that do not enhance our security or protect our interest?  What should we call leaders who sacrifice our energy independence to a false religion of manmade global warming and squander our treasure pouring it into ideologically driven fringe technologies that fail time and time again?  What should we call leaders who embrace our enemies and offend our friends?  What should we call leaders who have cast off all fiscal restraint and are spending us and our great grandchildren into oblivion?  What do we call leaders who ignore the limitations of the Constitution, expand the police and detention powers of the military, and actively work to put law abiding citizens under constant surveillance?

Historians always say that hindsight is 20/20 and looking back we can see that General Arnold believed he had a reason or at least an excuse for his treason.

Seeing as clearly in the present is always a more challenging assignment; however, it is our responsibility to act as the stewards of the heritage we have received.  And as the current stewards of America’s precious heritage of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom it is our duty to evaluate those who are sailing the ship of state over Niagara without even a barrel and ask ourselves why are they doing this?  Why are those sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States doing everything conceivable to undermine the Republic and institute a centrally-planned collectivist democracy in its place?

The hidden secrets of the heart are impossible to discern.  None of us can ever truly know the unspoken motives of another.  Therefore we must base our interpretations of motive upon actions.  We watch the bravest of the brave fight and die in wars already surrendered.   We watch endless talk about the debt as the debt is constantly increased.  We watch as thousands of new regulations are added every day binding the free citizens of America in a totalitarian nightmare of control.  Though none dare call it by its real name, none dare point the finger of accusation for fear of being called a bigot, a racist, or intolerant, is it time to use the word none dare speak: treason?

As Thomas Paine once said, “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

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

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 453 other followers

%d bloggers like this: