Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

What is the ‘change’ you want to see?

Posted by Jesse on November 21, 2008

A Farewell Address: Some Observations on Four Terms in Congress

Excerpts:

Thousands of men and women have come and gone here in our country’s history, and except for the few, most go unnoticed and remain nameless in the pages of history, as I am sure I will be. The few who are remembered are those who were able to grab the reins of power and, for the most part, use that power to the detriment of the nation. We must remember that achieving power is never the goal sought by a truly free society. Dissipation of power is the objective of those who love liberty. Others, tragically, will be remembered in a negative way for personal scandals. Yet those individuals whose shortcomings prompted the taking of bribes or involvement in illicit sexual activities, have caused no more harm to society than those who used “legitimate” power to infringe upon individual liberty and expand the size of government. Morally the two are closely related. The acceptance of a bribe is a horrible act indeed for a public servant, but reducing liberty is an outrageous act that causes suffering for generations to come.

….The most I can hope for is that someday a suggestion I’ve made is remembered: that the debate would shift to a different plane. Instead of asking which form of intervention and planning government should impose, perhaps someday Congress will debate intervention versus nonintervention, government versus voluntary planning, U.S. sovereignty versus internationalism – the pros and cons of true liberty. Today the debate basically is only that of deciding who will be the victims and who the beneficiaries. I hope the hours of debate over the mechanisms of the political system orchestrated by the special interests will give way to this more important debate on freedom. The lack of this debate was my greatest disappointment. Only rarely did I see small fragments of this discussion, and then merely as a tactic for short-term gain rather than because of a sincere belief in the principles of liberty and the Constitution.

…..Many Members of Congress defend liberty, but only in minute bits and pieces as it appears convenient. I find in Washington the total absence of a consistent defense of liberty, as this principle applies to the marketplace, our personal lives, and international relations. Bits and pieces of liberty will never suffice for the defense of an entire concept. Consistency in defense of freedom is necessary to counteract the consistent aggressive militancy of interventionism, whether it’s of liberal or conservative flavor.

Government today perpetuates violence in epidemic proportions. Most of the time, the mere “threat” of violence by the agencies, the bureaucrats, the officials in charge of writing the final drafts of legislation, is enough to intimidate the staunchest resister. Courts, legal costs, government arrests, government guns, and long-term imprisonments have created a society of individuals who meekly submit to the perpetual abuse of our liberties. All this in the name of the “social good,” “stability,” “compromise,” the “status quo,” and the “public interest.” The IRS, the EPA and other agencies now carry guns. The colonists would have cringed at the sight of such abuse of our rights to live free. They complained about a standing army that carried guns; we now have a standing bureaucracy that carries guns.

Government today has accumulated massive power that can be used to suppress the people. How is it that we grant our government power to do things that we as individuals would never dream of doing ourselves, declaring such acts as stealing wealth from one another as immoral, and unconscionable? If a free nation’s sovereignty is held in the hands of the people, how is it that the state now can do more than the people can do themselves? Planning our people’s lives, the economy, and meddling throughout the world change the role of government from the guarantor of liberty to the destroyer of liberty.

Our problems have become international in scope due to the nature of the political system and our policies. This need not be, but it is. The financial problems of the nation, although clearly linked to our deficits and domestic monetary policy, cannot be separated from the international schemes of banking as promoted by the IMF, the World Bank and the Development Banks. It is much clearer to me now, having been in Washington for seven years, how our banking and monetary policies are closely linked to our foreign policy and controlled by men not motivated to protect the sovereignty of America, nor the liberties of our citizens. It’s not that they are necessarily inclined to deliberately destroy our freedom, but they place a higher priority on internationalism and worldwide inflation – a system of government and finance that serves the powerful elite.

All the military might in the world will not protect us from deteriorating economies and protectionism, and will not ensure peace. Policies are much more important than apparent military strength. The firepower used in Vietnam and the lives sacrificed did nothing to overcome the interventionist policies of both the Republicans and the Democratic administrations. When foreign policies are right, money sound, trade free, and respect for liberty prevalent, strong economies and peace are much more likely to evolve. The armaments race, and the funding of enemies and wealthy allies, only contribute to the fervor with which our tax dollars are churned through the military-industrial complex.

The crisis we face is clearly related to a loss of trust – trust in ourselves, in freedom, in our own government and in our money. We are a litigious welfare society gone mad. Everyone feels compelled to grab whatever he can get from government or by suit. The “something for nothing” obsession rules our every movement, and is in conflict with the other side of man’s nature – that side that values self-esteem and pride of one’s personal achievement. Today the pride of self-reliance and personal achievement is buried by the ego-destroying policies of the planned interventions of big government and replaced by the “satisfaction” of manipulating the political system to one’s own special advantage. Score is kept by counting the federal dollars allocated to the special group or the congressional district to which one belongs. This process cannot continue indefinitely. Something has to give – we must choose either freedom and prosperity or tyranny and poverty.

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