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Friday, December 2, 2011

On Liberty

Much is made of liberty, of the idea of it, the loss of it and the consequences. But, it is also the worst-defined benefit of being human. It is a nebulous, mythical idea that does not seem to inspire the dedication and enthusiasm it deserves. The loss of liberty rarely causes death, or mourning and rarely does it inspire crusades to retain it, or retrieve it from where it goes.

The two extremes of liberty, or the loss of it are romping through the meadow unencumbered by anything other than the air that surrounds one and the utter imprisonment of the mind, body and soul. The average person finds somewhere in between to be comfortable and find enough in that condition to remain docile when chunks are pried away from the fringes. "At least I have my job, my house, my car, my toys, even if I am not allowed to use them as I would like..." A grand statement that is.

I say liberty is something more than a bargain and I take every restriction as a personal insult and damage to my being. That so much of society views liberty from such different perspectives leads us to the point where many are willing to go to the mats over it and others shrug.

So, let me put it this way: Liberty is the measure of humanity. Rather than restrictions of liberty as an indicator of the evolution of the society itself, there can be no society where humanity is not promoted and valued. Societal evolution is in effect a retrograde condition of humanity.

It is no coincidence that the early 20th Century in America was perhaps the most free and the most inventive and innovative the world has known. It was a moment in time when anything a person wanted to get a hold of was available to them. Dynamite was a commodity to be picked up at the hardware store and used to do whatever a person imagined might benefit them in some way, i.e. blow a stump out of the ground, or revitalize a water well. If one wanted to build a railroad they got investors and purchased the land, or made deals with the landowners for a share in the stock of the railroad and they built the damn thing. Try it today.

The cumulative lack of liberty has created a nation where very little can be accomplished without the profit being sucked out of it by permits, labor costs and endless hoops of regulations to be complied with. Today we are still coasting on the industrial liberty of those earlier times. Most of our infrastructure was built when building something didn't mean providing the incomes of forty or fifty people before the project even got started.

In the oil field today much of the profit is being denied to the workers and it is being diverted to satisfy the goals of environmentalists and government bureaucrats. Whole pipelines are being delayed and denied due to some environmentalist nonsense, sheer nonsense, but this is how they have invited themselves to the profits of others.

So, when I react the way I do to further regulations restricting the liberty of this industry or that, this section of the population, or that, I take it personally. It is not my personal liberty that might be endangered by the restrictions being placed on this or that, but the cumulative effect of keeping more people unemployed, more profits that could be used for expansion and revitalization going into some hole created by bureaucrats degrade society as a whole. It makes us weaker and our economy perpetually under served, making the inventions and innovations less likely to gain support and attract funds. It weighs on society like a wet blanket, killing it slowly, driving into a dull, lumbering oaf unable to respond to demand.

Europeans already experimented with this concept of robbing liberty to supply society with all sorts of niceties and it is coming to the end of that run. Everything we have been told by our rulers that would benefit us all has slowly damaged us all. The thirst of the federal machine which has appointed itself the master of society, pointing us all in the right direction, has consumed so much of the national product that it has drained the pool from which all of us were nourished.

So my call for a Liberty Summit was in response not only to the Constitutional crisis we suffer from in this nation where the federal government has largely discounted the Constitution in favor of federal, state and local control of the population, but it was in response to the stubborn and impossible grip the bureaucratic monster has on the inventive spirit.

While some might view the Liberty Summit as a time and place for Second Amendment advocates to strut their stuff it was not meant that way. It was a means of getting those who feel disenfranchised by the abuses to the Fourth and First Amendments together with those who feel the same about the Second Amendment and to find common ground in the concept that what hurts one of us hurts us all. My point being that if there are liberties to be valued there should be a liberty summit to make those cross connections to each other, to recognize that all of our supposed rights are being assaulted daily and on every plane and there does need to be a reckoning.

The fact is this: you are not an American if you do not enjoy the rights guaranteed to you under the very founding document of this nation. America is not America without fidelity to the principles of its founding and the most ironic part of it is that those who now enjoy power do so only by the very document they daily undermine. For a politician to even joke that the Constitution is anything they say it is, is confessing that they have no legal authority. While our rights are only secured by the Constitution, their authority is also only secured by the Constitution. Let them destroy it, but I would counsel them to be very careful as the destruction takes place lest they be sawing off the branch on which they sit.

3 comments:

  1. Hand me the saw and I'll do it for them. The only authority the government has over us is that which we give it. Many speak of the line being when the guns are confiscated or free speech is denied. The line was crossed long ago and so long as we continue to tolerate it, our country will continue to degrade.

    T.L. you are correct, it is about more than this amendment or that amendment. It is about the whole of our country.

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  2. I would note that, if one DARES to stand against the government Overlords, one needs to FIRST stand against their "Law Enforcement" enablers. For it is THEY who enforce WHATEVER their Masters say. Are you ready to kill some pigs? If not, let me know when.

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  3. Anarchy or Liberty Do people understand the diference?

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