Archive | March, 2012


26 Mar

March 26, 2012


Freedom: Getting what you asked for


There are many in the blogosphere who have taken on the libertarian ideology like a newfound religion. Like most religious converts, they are blind to the fallacies of their new security blanket.


We don’t need government for anything, they say. We shall home-school our children. We will not pay taxes. We want to be free.


Okay, so who will build your roads? Who will clean your water? Who will take care of your sewage?


Everyone for himself, they say. We want a utopia of “freedom”, they say. Instead, they will get a utopia of chaos where a ‘man’s life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’, to quote Hobbes.


Freedom from government and regulation? Isn’t that what we have now? And, of course, the most powerful in society, the big corporations and the financial elites, have all of the freedom that the libertarians are calling for. And look at the mess we’re in.


It was freedom from government regulation that caused the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and, to a large extent, the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


It was freedom from government regulation that has caused the world economic crisis.


It was freedom from government regulation that has led to the rise of the fraud that is genetically modified food and patents on life forms.


It was freedom from government regulation that has led to the pharmaceutical quackery industry that has inventing diseases and drugs that are more toxic than the illnesses themselves.


It was freedom from government regulation that has led to horrors of processed foods, e-coli and listeria outbreaks.


All governments have been hijacked by the rich and powerful, leading to economic dislocation, wars, and environmental catastrophe.


Government is good if it takes care of the general welfare of the population. Government is bad if it becomes an instrument used by a powerful few to impose their will on the many.


I advocate the return to the Rule of Law, where the individual’s rights are guaranteed and protected, and are considered of greater importance than the interest of the tribe, religious group, or corporation.


I advocate the application of laws and regulations to control powerful interest groups whether they are industries, corporations, political action groups, religious and tribal advocacy groups, etc.


I call for the return of strong government to take care of those things which are for the general welfare (water, roads, electricity, etc.) and the ability to raise taxes from individuals and corporations according to their ability to pay.


And I advocate Equity over Equality. We are not all created equal, although we should be equal before the law. There will always be people who are better than others at doing certain things. I advocate that a person be rewarded equitably, according to the capital he puts into an enterprise. This capital may consist of money, physical and/or intellectual effort, etc.


These are the four factors I advocate:


  1. The Rule of Law
  2. Individual rights above all else
  3. Strong government for general welfare
  4. Equitable rewards


As an aside: Franklin Delano Roosevelt came from a banking family and was a member of the ruling elite. He saved the ruling elite from themselves by imposing government regulations to moderate their greed and restore the American economy.