When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.
We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
[Stolen without remorse from blogger Black3Actual at The Rio Norte Line.]
Some would say that Ayn Rand was a prophet and that her prediction is now a reality. I would say that Ayn Rand was a keen observer of history and human nature. To say that her words are prophecy completed is to say that this can’t get any worse. Obviously, things can get very much worse. There is a nightmare brewing in the Middle-East and North Africa that has the potential to develop into a terrible war. There is a debt crisis enveloping the world. The ideology of the left has gained sway in most of the world and if they are allowed to continue, much or all the world’s people will eventually live under tyranny.
If we look again at the first paragraph of the above Ayn Rand quote, can we deny that those words could have been spoken at any time in recorded history? I think they could have. Among the traits common to mankind, greed, envy and sloth have always been with us and go a long way toward explaining why governments always tend toward tyranny.
Yet, I am not without hope. Nothing last forever; not even tyranny. History is replete with revolutions overthrew tyrannical governments. The results of revolutions are not always for the better. We need only look at Lybia, Egypt, and what is likely to come out of Syria. In modern developed countries, revolution by arms is highly unlikely due, if to nothing else, the technological advantage the governments have over the governed. No, if we wish to avoid the periods of darkest history that Ayn Rand mentioned, we will need to bring about a political revolution in the United States.
In fact, the political revolution is already under way. It began with the Tea Parties and they have been joined by some of the Paulites. They need more recruits! But, where do we expect this revolution to take us? back to the constitutionally limited government that our Founders envisioned? We need to understand that is not going to happen. Remember that greed, envy, and sloth will always be with us. But, yes we can a government that is much better than the one we have today.
A while back I read an article, if my memory hasn’t failed me, at American Thinker. It was a tongue-in-cheek piece that pointed out that during the Clinton administration, government spending had been reduced to 18% of GDP. He also pointed out that under G.W. Bush, tax revenues were 18% of GDP. Therefore, he concluded that all we needed to do was spend like Clinton and tax like Bush to have a balanced budget. Of course, it is not that simple; but, it is not rocket science either. Most of us know what needs to be done. It will take several election cycles at best. However, it must start on November 7, 2012. If Obama wins a second term, our children and grandchildren will know the darkness Ayn Rand spoke of in the quote at the top of the page.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?