Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quo Vadis, America?

The Latin title of Henryk Sienkiewicz's famous novel means, "Whither goest thou?" On this July 4th it's a question we should be seriously asking ourselves.

At any time, for any peoples, there's only one of two ways to regard the individual in relation to society: either as an autonomous and sovereign intellect recognized as the primary unit of action, or as an undifferentiated glob within a group.

For millennium men lived as members of a group or a class---in clans, tribes, dynasties, city states, military oligarchies, dictatorships, theocracies and every other form of communal society in which the concept "individual" was---at that time--- undiscovered.

Then appeared our Founding Fathers who saw a new direction and formualated a startling new idea. They saw the importance of one man, one mind, one passion---the individual, the fountainhead of all that civilization knows and enjoys. They created a government based on the moral principle of man's right to live for his own sake. They shaped the world's first representative republic, a government to guard our freedom, making us the freest nation on earth. They gave us the Bill of Rights---the first explicit statement in history that named the individual's freedoms and his rights to life, property, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At last, men were free to earn a living as they chose, dispose of their property as they saw fit and live free of government coercion.

Since then, every July 4 we celebrated our freedom and our gratitude to those who left us so precious a legacy. We celebrated our independence from a burdensome government. Today a burdensome government threatens us again, and our legacy is in jeopardy. We hear demands that doctors be enslaved and teachers be shackled in the name of "the common good." We are told that everyone should be subjected to mandatory "volunteerism" to serve the community. We see businessmen who have created the richest nation on earth being persecuted and ordered around by politicians and their appointees in the name of "the public interest," while government cronies declare that the media should shun dissent with government policies.

Whither goest thou, America?

This July 4, the Albuquerque Tea Party celebrated "the Spirit of '76"---a spirit that calls for "more freedom and less government." Focused on the fundamental principles of individual rights, limited government and capitalism, the Albuquerque Tea Party argues against government's encroachment into our lives and objects to government takeover of the economy. They are providing the opportunity to voice our concern about government actions.

However, some people resent the choices engendered by freedom. They want to hide the individual in one big group and forbid individual choices. They advocate the ancient practices of communal living, known as collectivism. Today, it's called socialism.

Socialism is the doctrine that believes society is superior to the individual and that society "as a whole" should be our primary concern. But there is no way to treat society "as a whole." Society is composed of individuals with individual needs and desires and abilities, with individual dreams and goals and ambitions. The concept "society" is an abstraction describing a group of people. That abstraction does not exist as a concrete entity.

Only the individual exists. When individuals come together to cooperate in some venture, they remain individuals. They do not dissolve into unidentifiable globs. The notion that society, or the group, is somehow more important than the individual is putting the cart before the horse.

The Albuquerque Tea Party seeks to put things in proper order. On July 4, they honored our Founding Fathers in the "Spirit of '76." And the grass roots turned out to cheer them on. They recognize that by restoring individual rights we will limit government and that a limited government will make possible genuine capitalism, which benefits us all.

Whither goest thou, America? Do we want freedom or fear? Do we want to be a nation of free individuals who think for themselves and earn their own way, or a straight-jacketed "society" marching goose-step to government edicts?

The answer is up to each of us. And each of us can give our answer loudly and clearly by supporting and advancing the Tea Party in his city.

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At July 6, 2009 at 9:27 AM , Blogger A. Rational Human said...

Live free or die hard!


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