Posted tagged ‘Individual Freedom’

Could Brexit Be The Modern Day “Shot Heard Round The World”?

July 1, 2016

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s immortalized The Minutemen who made a stand against British Tyranny at Lexington and Concord in his “Concord Hymn”. Here is the first verse:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

and fired the shot heard round the world.

Could Brexit be a seminal moment moving forward in the history of liberty? We won’t know until the future unfolds. All we know right now is the UK decided they didn’t want to be ruled by a bunch of unelected bureaucrats who usurped British sovereignty when they went beyond the EU’s original mandate.

The UK was fortunate that they were able to throw off the tyranny of the EU through the political process. They didn’t have to fire a shot. Colonial America had to physically fight to free themselves from British tyranny. The cost of “dissolving the political bands which have connected one with another” is exponentially higher if, in order for you to part ways, you have to fight as opposed to just agreeing to separate. Thank goodness the EU didn’t hadn’t become a military power or maybe this would have turned out differently.

Eight Key Takeaways from Brexit

It’s always beneficial for individuals when layers of bureaucratic regulations can be gotten rid of. This allows decisions to be made at the level closest to the individual, which means they have a better chance of working and a better chance of getting changed when they don’t.

I hope the British realize that just because they got rid of the EU central planners doesn’t mean they got rid of the central planning socialists in their Parliament. If the people want more individual liberty they will have to vote in members of Parliament who will stand for individual freedom and vote out members who have supported government solutions to economic problems. This will be difficult because voting to cut the size and scope of Government means many people will have to vote against their own self-interest. For inspiration, the British people need look no farther than Nigil Farage (click here) and Daniel Hannan (click here). These two men were British representatives in the European Parliament. There support for leaving the EU guaranteed they would lose their job. They voted against their own self-interest which is rare among “public servants”.

If the British Parliament and the Bank of England try to centrally plan the British economy through regulation, taxes and money printing, than all the people have done is exchange one set of central planners, who are far away, for a set of central planners who are local. I hope the people who voted to leave understand that if they don’t remain vigilant, their local central planners will see this as an opportunity to grab more power. All but a few politicians and bureaucrats are sucked into the gravitational black hole of Government power. It is hard to resist. No one with this kind of power should be trusted.

How will this end? No one knows. Let’s hope other countries fire political shots, against central planners, that will be heard round the world.

NIGIL FARAGE RUBS SOME SALT IN BREXIT WOUND

Some good articles about Great Britain leaving the EU.

BROVO BREXIT! by David Stockman, at davidstockmanscontracorner.com. Excerpts from the article:

The central bankers and their compatriots at the EU, IMF, White House/Treasury, OECD, G-7 and the rest of the Bubble Finance apparatus have well and truly over-played their hand. They have created a tissue of financial lies; an affront to the very laws of markets, sound money and capitalist prosperity.”

“…Brexit is a contagious political disease. In response to today’s history-shaking event, determined campaigns for Frexit, Spexit, NExit, Grexit, Italxit, Hingexit and more centrifugal political emissions will next follow.”

“Smaller government – at least in geography – is being given another chance. and that’s a very good thing  because more localized democracy everywhere and always is inimical to the rule of centralized financial elites.

WHAT NOW, BRITAIN?, by Matthew McCaffrey, at mises.org. Excerpt from the article:

Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union represents a blow to political centralization. However, it’s also a sobering reminder that the work of advancing peace and economic freedom is never done. Britain may be extricating itself from EU political control, but if its goal is genuine progress and prosperity, it will need to do much more than simply sever its ties with Brussels.

“Without winning the battle of ideas, the gains from leaving the EU will amount to very little. In this battle, Brexit is not so much a victory as an opportunity…….Brexit offers a chance to once again spread those long-neglected ideals of peace and free trade from which all human progress derives.

EIGHT KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM BREXIT, by Dan Mitchell, at freedomandprosperity.org. Excerpts from the article;

“What an amazing vote. The people of the United Kingdom defied the supposed experts, rejected a fear-based campaign by advocates of the status quo, and declared their independence from the European Union.” Here are some takeaways, thoughts and interesting developments (click on article).”

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As The Number Of Laws Increase, Individual Freedom Decreases

April 15, 2015

 

In a recent article by George Will titled, How to proceed when everything is a crime?, he says there are “an estimated 4,500 federal criminal statutes – and innumerable regulations backed by criminal penalties… The presumption of knowledge of the law is refuted by the mere fact that estimates of the number of federal statutes vary by hundreds.

The unelected bureaucrats in regulatory agencies have piled rule on top of rule, and congress, which created these regulatory agencies, has abdicated its law making responsibility to them, and won’t use its power to rein them in. With the amount of laws that are on the books, almost everyone has broken some obscure law without even knowing it.

It is said that, “ignorance of the law is no excuse”, but if it is impossible to know, let alone understand every law, how can you be held responsible for not being able to do the impossible.

Thomas Sowell has defined the rule of law and freedom  as such.

“THE RULE OF LAW–Rules known in advance, applied generally, and constraining the rulers as well as the ruled.”

“FREEDOM–Exemptions from the power of the rulers and a corresponding limitation on the scope of all laws, even those of democratically elected Governments.”

As more laws that get passed, we move farther away from the rule of law, and closer to a point where we lose our individual freedom. Our only chance of turning this around is to get people to understand that individual freedom is in their best interest, and when government doesn’t abide by the rule of law it becomes the enemy of individual freedom and must be stopped.

Related ArticleIndividual Liberty Is The Least Contentious Way Of Settling Differences, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThomas Sowell, “The Point Of No Return?“, at austrianaddict.com.

 

 

 

July 4th: Independence From Tyranny, The Battle Continues

July 3, 2014

I wrote this post last year for our 4th of July Independence Day celebration. In light of some recent Supreme Court decisions striking down the tyrannical power grabs by the President and the Government, I’ll repost it.

DECLARING INDEPENDENCE FROM TYRANNY

English: This is a high-resolution image of th...

Declaration of Independence (article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JEFFERSON’S GEM

On July 4th 1776 congress adopted a Declaration by the thirteen United States of America for their Independence from the tyranny of The King. I haven’t read this document enough over the years. I’ve taken for granted that I understand the meaning of the words Jefferson penned, but my most recent reading has revealed the depth of meaning he compressed into relatively few words. I had similar thoughts when I reread the Declaration of Independence as I did when I read The Road To Serfdom by Hayek for the first time in 1993. Those thoughts were, “Oh my God, he’s writing about today”. Before we look at some of the words in the declaration, let’s look at what Colonial America was like before 1776..

EVOLVED FREEDOM IN COLONIAL AMERICA

Colonial America developed relatively freely for a couple hundred years before 1776. A culture evolved here over these two hundred years which was different from the culture in England. In a book titled “A Patriot’s History Of The United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, they write about a few trends that led to the spontaneously evolved freedom that existed at the time of the Revolution.

“First, the sheer distance between the rulers and the governed – between the King and the colonies – made possible an extraordinary amount of independence among the Americans”…..”Second, while the colonists gained a measure of independence through distance, they also gained political confidence and status through the acquisition of land. For immigrants who came from a nation where the scarcity of land marked those who owned it as gentlemen and placed them among the political elites. The abundance of soil….make them the equals of the owners of manorial estates in England. It steadily but subtly became every citizen’s job to ensure the protection of property rights for all citizens, undercutting from the outset the widespread and entrenched class system that characterized England. Third, the precedent of rebellion against a government that did not carry out the most basic mandates – protecting life, property, and a certain degree of religious freedom (at least from the Church of England) was established and supported by large numbers, if not the wast majority, of colonists. Fourth, a measure of religious toleration developed.” (1)

“By 1774 American colonists already had attained a standard of living that far surpassed that found in most of the civilized parts of the modern world.” (2)

The economic system in place at this time was mercantilism (read here), which was a system where the state gave special subsidy and monopoly privileges to businesses, individuals, and groups the state favored. It encouraged exports and discouraged imports, and the enforcement of these regulations created a bureaucracy that built state power.

Patriot’s History talks about mercantilism, “Mercantilist doctrine demanded that the individual subordinate his economic activity to the interest of the State….it didn’t help the English that mercantilism was based on a conceptual framework that saw wealth as fixed and limited, meaning that for the Government to get more wealth, individuals had to receive less of the fruit of their labor…….Having the State pick winners and losers in the fields of enterprise proved disastrous……Americans came to despise regulations that threatened the further development of America’s thriving merchant trade…..Traders at the top favored regulations because they allowed them to freeze out aspiring competitors, but producers and consumers disliked the laws and they were swiftly becoming the majority.” (3)  Does any of this sound familiar? (Crony Capitalism)

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

The tyranny of Government is what man has been fighting since before recorded history, and it is what we fight today. The freedom of the individual is rare in history, while the tyranny of government over the individual is the historical norm. Here are a couple of excerpts from the declaration, ask yourself if these words are applicable today.

“We hold these truths to  be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that  among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness–That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Our rights are above the Government, they don’t come from Government. Governments are instituted by men in order to secure each individuals rights. Governments get their just power from the consent of the individuals. When a Government becomes destructive in securing the rights of individuals, the people have a right to change or abolish it.

“Governments long-established should not be changed for light and transient Causes……Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Individuals will suffer evils for a long time before they will pay the heavy price of  changing or abolishing Government. The evil has to become intolerable before men will make a change, and remember, intolerable is in the eye of the beholder. We haven’t reached that point yet, but we are getting closer with each new regulation, tax, intervention, usurpation of power, by our elected officials and bureaucrats, along with each new case of political corruption.

Jefferson then lists the abuses by the King. There are too many to list here, read the Declaration and see if any of the abuses apply today.

“In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms…..A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the  Ruler of a free People.” 

When a rulers acts are the definition of tyranny, he is no longer fit to be the ruler of a free people.

“…and by the authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free ad Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown…….And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The founders absolved their allegiance to the crown, and instead pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes, and our sacred honor.

TYRANNY OR RIGHTS

Why do I see tyranny where others see government giving rights. Health care is only one example. I see Government telling me what I can and can’t do with by healthcare decisions as tyrannical and a violation of my right to property and contract. Others see Obama care mandates on their health care as somehow gaining rights. We obviously have different visions on how the world works. Compromise between the two visions only creates a chaotic middle ground, and this is where we are right now. Which direction we go from here will determine if we will face the sobering decision at some point to “rely on divine Providence, and mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”.

Here is a post I wrote titled, “We’re All Born In The Middle Of The Story“, it is a good follow-up to the above post. Here are some excerpts from the article.

“Most people think history started the day they were born. They give little thought, or have no understanding of how the world that existed the day they were born came to exist as it did. Where each person is, and what they are doing today, is the result of decisions made by them and other people, in the recent past and the distant past.”

 “In 1838, a mere forty-five years after our founding, Abraham Lincoln addressed the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Ill. in a speech about the perpetuation of our institutions of liberty. He was worried about that present generation forgetting the battle for freedom that had taken place fifty years before. How much more worried should we be that our present generations, who are two hundred plus years removed from the actual events,  have no idea about the principles of freedom.”

Click on Lincoln’s address to the Young Mens Lyceum of Springfield. Ill. It is outstanding.

 

Related Article, What Is Tyranny? The President Should Know The Definition, by austrianaddict.com

Related Article, The Most Recent Arbitrary And Unrestrained Exercises Of Power By The Federal Government, by austrianaddict.com

 

Footnotes.

1) From A Patriot’s History Of The United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, pg 25-26

2) From A Patriot’s History Of The United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, pg 25

3) From A Patriot’s History Of The United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen, pg 49-50

Must Reads For The Week 2/22/14

February 22, 2014
The pen is mightier than the sword...

The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

Boston Hospital Takes Custody Of Multiple Children Against Parents’ Will, by Kristin Tate, at benswann.com. Don’t trust people with power, they will abuse it.

New Jersey Police Chief Speaks Out About Town Council, Is Placed On Leave, by Joshua Cook, at benswann.com. Don’t trust people with power at any level of Government.

Unions Use Bullying Tactics, Intimidate Workers, Burn Down Churches For Using Not-Union Labor, by Mark J. Perry, at aei-ideas.org. People with power will abuse it.

Workers At Tennessee Volkswagen Factory Reject UAW, at foxnews.com. Excerpt from article, “VW wanted a German-style “works council” in Chattanooga to give employees a say over working conditions. The company says U.S. law won’t allow it without an independent union.”  Unions are Government protected monopolies on labor. Of course monopolies can’t exist in a true free market, they can only exist through Government sanction.

Thousands Of Connecticut Residents Commit Felony By Failing To Register Firearms, by Kristin Tate, at benswann.com. As the Government passes more ever expanding laws, law abiding citizens will become criminals, either through ignorance or through willful noncompliance.

Concealing Evil, by Walter E. Williams, at jewishworldreview.com. Individuals in Government coerce, confiscate, and intimidate individual citizens in order to bring about outcomes they deem noble.

An Unconscionable Silence, by Judge Andrew Napolitano, at creators.com. When politicians and Government bureaucrats don’t follow the law, individual citizens will decide not to comply with the law. This eventually leads to the breakdown of the rule of law. This is where we are headed if we don’t use the political process to roll back government.

This Is What’s Happening In Venezuela Right Now, by Matt Essert, at policymic.com. The cost of keeping individual freedom before it is lost is lower than the high cost of getting individual freedom back once it is lost. More people have to be awakened to the fact that not only can these things, listed above and in previous posts, happen here, they are happening here. There is still time to pay the lower price.

Related ArticleJuly 4th, Declaring Independence From Tyranny, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleWe’re All Born In The Middle Of The Story, at austrianaddict.com.

What Is Tyranny? The President Should Know The Definition.

May 10, 2013
Constitution Pg1of4 AC icon cut

Constitution Pg1of4 AC icon cut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PRESIDENT’S COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

President Obama gave the commencement address at Ohio State Universities graduation ceremony last weekend. Here are a few quotes from the speech followed by some of my comments.

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

CONSTITUTION VS. TYRANNY

This is what you would expect to hear from someone who doesn’t want his power to be challenged. Lets look at what our founders thought about  Government and compare it to our President. (more…)

Thomas Sowell, “The Point Of No Return?”

February 22, 2013

Is it possible to roll back big Government and reclaim our liberty, or are we at the point of no return?

THE TASK AT HAND

It is possible but it is going to take a lot of work and time. Brainwashing the public into believing that an all-knowing and benevolent Government is where all the answers lie, has happened over multiple decades. It can’t be rolled back in a few election cycles. The public has to be educated about the superiority of individual liberty and free market capitalism over Government omnipotence and crony capitalism. The education system, the media, and pop culture have slowly eroded (more…)

Is The President Our Boss? No. Each Individual Is His Own Boss.

February 12, 2013

INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM

The battle for individual freedom is summed up in these statements by Chris Rock. Will we allow ourselves to be ruled by an “intellectual elite” , and socialize all of the costs. Or will we allow each individual to rule himself,  with each person being responsible for his actions .  You either believe that top down decision-making by “the intelligent few” creates the best possible order for society, or you believe that each individual cooperating and competing with each other in the market, creates an order that utilizes scarce resources and knowledge more effectively.  This is what the history of the world is all about.

THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS THE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE GOVERNMENT

The American Revolution set a different course in human history, a course that had never been tried before. It was fought for the idea that the individual was sovereign and had the right to rule himself. The constitution protected him from the concentrated power of Government run by a tyrannical “intellectual elite” from interfering in his decisions. The constitution doesn’t protect the Government from the people, it was set up to protect the individual from the Government. It is very difficult (more…)