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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Freedom vs. Ideology

 Freedom vs. Ideology
The real difference that separates conservatives from liberals is that liberals believe in a system of regulating what citizens do and how they act (for the “good of society,” of course).  In short, liberals believe they know how to run your life better than you do.  Conservatives, on the other hand, simply believe that freedom, tempered by virtue, is the best, albeit imperfect, way for a society to operate.  Conservatives don’t believe in systems, they believe in freedom.  They don’t believe in an ideology, they believe in freedom.

For example, statists, i.e. liberals, believe in systems like Socialism.  My Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of Socialism is, “any of various social systems based on shared or government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”  The Soviets and the Nazis are the two most well-known forms of believers in the socialist system in the past century.  In fact, the word “Nazi” literally means “National Socialist” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).  Stalin and Hitler were just two peas from the same pod.  And both are the extreme antithesis of today’s modern conservative who believes first and foremost in limited government.  Of course, dictators like Stalin and Hitler were more than willing to fight each other for power—the ultimate goal of all statists.

Liberalism is an elitist philosophy that puts the intelligent man on a very high pedestal, far above the throng, perhaps equal to God.  Ignored is the fact that every form of Socialism that has ever been tried is a miserable, abject failure.  Life is simply too complex for a few individuals to make all the correct economic decisions the marketplace demands in order for people to prosper. 

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, successful entrepreneurs in the West were given the opportunity to buy or invest in businesses in the former East Germany.  They were appalled by what they found in the “economic powerhouse” of the Eastern Soviet Bloc.  Nothing had changed since 1939.  Not by the Nazis.  Not by the Communists.  The sewage system had not been maintained.  The water system was a wreck.  The roads were in shambles.  The electrical system was antiquated.  The telephone system barely worked. All equipment was circa 1939.  That’s socialism. 

Liberals will say that it was poorly run socialism, but they are just running away from reality.  Socialism is socialism.  Top down, government owned and controlled economies mean a permanent depression.  There are no examples of successful socialist economies.  For instance, when the USA was booming economically in the 1980s, most of Europe was still economically stagnant because its socialist systems held them back. 

The bottom line is that freedom works.  Freedom works best in the economic marketplace.  Millions of citizens making their own decisions provide the best possible economic opportunity for all individuals.  Government intervention only distorts the marketplace, substituting erroneous government decisions by bureaucrats for free and independent decisions by millions of free citizens. 

In a socialist state, innovation comes to a screeching halt, just as it did in Nazi and Communist Germany.
Government can only regulate scarcity, it cannot create or innovate.  Free, independent, hard working citizens living in a society with an absolute minimum of regulation, guarantees the highest standard of living for all.  The promises of a socialist utopia are a lie.

Recent problems with the U.S. economy can all be traced back to government intervention and regulations that forced otherwise free companies and banks to make bad marketplace decisions.  Those bad decisions have now been compounded by an unwillingness to let businesses, including banks and automobile companies, fail. 

Freedom cannot exist in a society that uses government to bail out failure.  Freedom means the opportunity to succeed or fail.  Without a free market, there is no freedom anywhere in society.  When government limits the freedom of the market, it limits the power of the ordinary citizen.  It concentrates power in the hands of a few and power is the ever enduring goal of all political leaders.  Control over your life and mine.

Free markets deny politicians power over your life.  Capitalism simply means a free market.  It means freedom and freedom is not a
system or an ideology.  Unfortunately, our current political leadership is driven not by reality, but by ideology.  It was said that after Ronald Reagan, only the Soviets and U.S. college professors believed in socialism.  Apparently the nuts are now in charge of the insane asylum.

Ignoring reality is key to believing in socialism and big government.  Protectionism, government controls, government ownership, and the devaluation of the dollar led the U.S. into a terrible depression in the 1930s.  It will lead to the same thing in our lives if not soon reversed. 

You and I must do everything in our power to end the current misadventure into the morass of socialism so that our children and our grandchildren can enjoy the freedom that was passed along to us by our forefathers.

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