By Tom Rhodes, 7/20/2011The difference between statists (that’s both Democrats and Republicans) and libertarians is that libertarians respect liberty for themselves and others while statists have little or no respect for the liberty of others. Now if you believe that federal government’s primary roles is to take care of people, regulate their economic activities, and maintain an overseas military empire that intervenes in the affairs of other countries, then you are clearly a statist. This description clearly defines Obama as a well as Bush as statists.
Libertarians in the USA are different from statists, although they have been born and raised within the statist environment; they have broken free of it, in both an intellectual and moral sense. Unlike statists, we recognize that statism isn’t freedom at all. Libertarians want to be free, with all that freedom entails.
Of necessity people who want and accept freedom tend to be to be people of high standards. If a free person takes actions that are not in his best interest, he must be prepared to take the consequences for those actions. A free person doesn't have government agencies bailing him out of every difficulty or excusing his behavior because life isn’t “fair.”
The truth is that unfree people usually succumb to having or acquiring low standards. Under the ruse of being "fair," the government removes the consequences of behavior. This results in the removal of feedback for our actions. With no negative feedback to unproductive or immoral actions, standards sink like a rock. When our motivation to provide for ourselves, and treat others as we would be treated, is removed; when there are no negative consequences to our behavior; when we accept that others have the right to tell us what to do, and tell our neighbors what they must do; when we accept that we are entitled to the labor and property of others; we have lost our the ability to self-govern. Dependency becomes a way of life. Not only do unfree people not respect their own liberty, they demonize those who would claim freedom for themselves.
The lack of respect for liberty, leads directly to lack of respect for life and property. The natural course of events is for authoritarians to reward themselves with special dispensations, to participate in gross immorality and to use imprisonment, torture and murder as tools of control. Nobody could have thought that those terms could be used to describe the US government. Now it is plain that the statists whether Democrat or Republican, that are currently in Washington share significant qualities that were once only considered qualities of unaccountable dictators.
Because too many have become effeminate and will sacrifice their liberty, freedom, and self-respect to provide security for themselves and/or their children, individual freedom, liberty and rights are no longer respected. No matter how much effort is put forth in ensuring "security" no one is ever truly secure. In order to guarantee complete security, you would have to accept restraints on your liberty to the point that you are no longer free. Worse yet to secure this “security” you must restrain your fellow man and take his property as well.
One of the biggest projections that fearful statists have is that those who value freedom and liberty would be the first to call on the government for help, if they were in need. This is merely the projection of their fear onto others. They cannot fathom that a person would rather suffer the consequences of life and their own actions than give up their freedom. They have been so wussified by the belief that there should be no suffering for making bad decisions, nor suffering if nature doesn’t treat you fairly, that they cannot even comprehend the idea that there are those who have such high standards and belief in themselves that they prefer freedom to security.
The total lack of respect for liberty is evident, they create regulations as to what food you can buy, what chemicals you can put in your body, and new even want to regulate the level of success an individual is allowed to obtain. Statists demonize anybody who wants liberty. They demand that everybody accept their low standards and reject the high standards and accountability that free men expect of themselves and others. They are more worried about how students feel about themselves than how they perform. They fear risk, so attempt to regulate it out of existence. They hate the fact that it is free people willing to take risk, invest, work, who don’t accept that their success/failure is based on the actions of others, who created a government that had severely limited powers, whose sole purpose was to protect the natural rights of the people from all enemies foreign and domestic, and allow the people them self-rule, not rule by some elite. No place else in the world embraced the scary idea that to ensure freedom, the people should allowed to govern themselves, that the consequences of self-governing are preferable to the security of statism.
Obama has repeatedly said that he believes he is a ruling elite who should have the authority to do what he thinks is best for everybody, and that the labor, property, and capital of all individuals should be his and the other ruling elites to use and (re)distribute as they see fit. He’s called the constitution “inconvenient” and routinely ignored it. The rule of law is bothersome, and he changes it to reward those he favors and punish those he doesn’t, of course, all for the good and security of the nation. The has told us we are too stupid to understand the debt, promised us transparency while doing more in secret than even Bush. He is a statist of the worst kind and has no respect for the liberty of the citizens of the country he was elected to lead not rule.
Libertarians believe that people should be free to engage in any occupation or profession without any government-issued license, permit, or other form of official permission. Let consumers, not the government, decide who engages in different lines of work. I trust the ASE to certify my mechanic not the government, and would trust the American Board of Thoracic Surgeons to certify my doctor far more than the government. Let free men decide not the government. Libertarians believe that people should be free to enter into mutually beneficial transactions with anyone else without interference by the government.
Libertarians believe that people should be free to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth and, equally important, to decide for themselves what to do with it — spend, save, invest, or donate it. Thus, we hold that people should be free to plan for their own retirement (or not), to donate to their church or other causes (or not), and to help out their elderly or ailing parents and grandparents (or not). Compare the human right standards of countries who are dependent upon foreign aid to those that are not.
Statists have low standards, don’t respect or trust the people to be free, they don’t respect the property of others, and don’t feel as though anybody should ever suffer as a result of bad decisions. So the Statists want to make all the decisions for everybody. This is hardly freedom, and the security they offer is just a lie to concentrate power among the ruling class. If you value security over freedom continue to vote for Democrats and Republicans, they will gladly promise you security in exchange for your freedom, property, and standard of living, you will get neither, nor if you would sacrifice you essential liberty for security do you deserve either. As Libertarians we want and will fight for, freedom.
Statists, mostly liberals, try to claim some sort of moral superiority to their policies. The problem is that the reality of implementing “progressive” policies is that they actually make things worse, usually through predictable but unintended consequences.
US Citizens are some of the most productive in the world, last year we increased our productivity, not with more jobs, but by working harder. Contrast that with the citizens of liberal welfare states, who are increasingly narcissistic. A huge part of the citizenry of England, France, Germany, and other Western Europeans focus on how much vacation time they will have and how early they can retire and be supported by the state. The fact is most Americans work Harder than Europeans. The acceptable standard, work ethic, for people who would be free is superior to those who would depend on others to provide for them.
All the history and evidence of welfare in our country points to the simple fact that nothing more guarantees the erosion of character than getting something for nothing. The welfare state leads to the entitlement mentality – another expression of narcissism. Liberals then take what people need, use twisted and tortured logic and label it a right; this just reinforces this sense of entitlement. Leading large numbers of people to the idea that they have a right to the property or labor of others without having to pay for it.
The great society program of LBJ, institutionalized the welfare state. This corrupts family life. Even significant numbers of Democrats recognize the destructive consequences of the welfare state on the underclass. This makes fathers (males in general) unnecessary to women, who now have the state to support them and their children instead of husbands. The welfare state has become the husband to large numbers of women. It even rewards them more children outside of the traditional family structure.
Children raised in the welfare state tend not to mature into responsible adults. This specifically is an attack against men, who no longer aspire to hard work, and creation of their own family, and the accusation of wealth to pass down to their progeny. I believe my generation was the last of American men raised to believe that they had a bigger purpose in life than just their own happiness. This is why so many women lament the plethora of boy-men who haven’t grown up, and complain that they can’t find a man worth marrying. The liberal state has told men that they don’t have to support anybody, and that they can remain boys as long as they want.
Progressives’ entire world view is twisted. They don’t see that there is a battle in the world between good and evil, what they see is a battle as between rich and poor. They actually believe that equality is more important than morality. This is how they can cheer Cuban tyranny and curse American liberty. They really believe that the egalitarian redistribution of Cuba is superior has lead to a better life for all Cubans than the freedom and liberty and inequality of outcome that exists in America has lead to the quality of life for all Americans.
The most telling fact is that the bigger the government, the less the citizens do for each other. If the state will provide for me, and provide for my neighbors, they why should I. This is best shown in the fact that people who live in the welfare states of Western Europeans give less to charity and volunteer less time to others than do Americans of the same socioeconomic status. Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville recognized this almost 200 years ago, noting one of the most distinguishing characteristics of Americans from Europeans was how much Americans, through myriad private associations, care of one another. Churches, Rotary Clubs, free-loan societies and other voluntary associations were ubiquitous, until our path to the welfare state was stared under FDR and expanded by other liberal presidents. As the state has grown, our charities have declined. In Western Europe, they are virtually non-existant.
With a bigger state comes a vastly greater amount of corruption. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," is an overused but none the less true statement. When a big business is caught in corruption, it goes out of business, people quit buying it’s products and services. Look at how fast News of the World disappeared. A government cannot be run out of business, but worse yet a corrupt business can’t just print money from thin air, nor can a business arrest you.
Of course statists will ignore all the caustic consequences of the policies of the liberal welfare state. They will call their policies “compassionate conservatism”, or “social justice” and label those who don’t believe in the welfare state as selfish or worse. The truth is the welfare state leads to moral decay and narcissism. The standards of those who love liberty and those who want a welfare stare are clearly defined, but taboo to talk about.