Where Are We Going? Are We Already There?

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.

–Ayn Rand

[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? 

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17 thoughts on “Where Are We Going? Are We Already There?

  1. You can’t steal from me what I stole from the original author 😉

    Anyway, i did not mean to say the full extent of her predictions are complete, only that we have met the minimum requirements necessary to declare them fulfilled. And, yes, she was no prophet, merely as you say: a keen observer of history who was willing to accept the objective reality of what history’s lessons say about the inevitable fate of our own nation.

    I get attacked for saying this all the time, but we are more closely mimicking the events that took place in 1930’s Germany than we are those in the Russia from which Rand escaped. But then, in practice, the two ideologies actually differed very little. We just don;t understand this because we do not know the history to which Rand was looking to make her predictions for the future.

    🙂

      1. You give me far too much credit, but the sentiment is not only welcomed, it is needed at this moment. Keep up the good fight. We’ll be rewarded for our efforts in the end. 🙂

  2. I try to be optimistic, but it’s hard most of the time. If things get worse, we will crash. After the crash, the same blood-sucking bandits that caused it will convinced the scared masses to trust them to put it all back together.

    If it doesn’t crash, and by some miracle the economy really starts growing, venal politicians will convince us that it’s all ok now, we can go back to buying crap on credit and watching reality tv as they continue to spend us into oblivion…

  3. There is no question that we are living into the realms of “Atlas Shrugged”. In that respect, yes, Ayn Rand is both, a prophet and a keen observer of human nature.

    One cannot observe history when you are seating on top of it, but the sooner we realize that the concept of ‘separation of powers’ is failing, the sooner we can do something about it before is too late.

    We can start by admitting that our constitution is not perfect (made worse by several amendments since then) and that the third branch – the Judiciary – was practically an ‘after-thought’.

    1. “…but the sooner we realize that the concept of ‘separation of powers’ is failing, the sooner we can do something about it before is too late.”

      Amen! I don’t believe we will ever have a perfect government nor a perfect free market economy. But, we can do much better than we are currently doing. The road back to sanity is very long, it is up hill all the way, and it is slippery. But, the other road is something I don’t want to live to see.

  4. I believe I read that the majority of people had not heard or did not care about the obamacare ruling. We have a very long road to hoe.

  5. This is a pivotal year Jim and we need to remove Barack Obama from office and replace most of the COngress with constitutionalists because we can no longer hope the SCOTUS will uphold the constitution either. This is going to be a tough task but it is one that must be undertaken if we hope to hold onto liberty.

  6. The inversion is so strange. Remember when the left was anti-government? They didn’t trust government… Now the same leftists that said, “Don’t trust anyone over 30” are in their 60s and they want everyone to trust the government. Progressivism is really “well intentioned” tyranny. The elites, who naturally have nothing but the best of intentions while dealing with us lesser people who don’t meet their standards of intelligence, compassion, and wisdom, now believe that they can control us into utopia. It is closer to Germany in the 1930s than we’d like to admit.

    I always want to ask leftists: Exactly what has the government ever done to demonstrate the kind of competence, efficiency, and incorruptibility that makes you want to give them more power over the economy and your life?

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