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Monday, May 03, 2010

The War on Freedom

How do you take away the freedom of a free people without putting tanks on every street? You do it by transforming their culture. By turning the very idea of freedom into something ugly and shameful. A foul thing to be associated with extremists and other bad folk that good citizens are advised to avoid. The goal being to convince the people that their freedom is a thing they should be happy to give up, rather than having to forcibly take it away from them.

And so the political War on Freedom begins by rebranding freedom itself as selfish. In this new narrative freedom is a lie because there is no such thing as freedom in America. The very idea of freedom is an arrogant and privileged entitlement held by "rich white males" and used to oppress "people of color" and all the other officially designated minorities by the Commissars of Political Correctness. In place of the old fashioned idea of freedom, we have the far more "equitable" system of social justice with its myriad of organizations and departments all created to ensure that everyone does what they're supposed to, thinks what they're supposed to and has as many rights as they're supposed to.

As Orwell's 1984 accurately predicted, in Newspeak, Freedom becomes Slavery, and Slavery becomes Freedom.

As the new liberal narrative would have it, the only people who want the freedom to keep what they earn, write what they think, choose their own health care, elect their own leaders, read what they like and live lives apart from the great machinery of the state-- are the White Male Oppressors, (who are simultaneously ignorant clinging to their religion and their guns and yet at the same time are part of a privileged elite). Freedom is clearly a bad thing then. It's a symptom of selfishness. And selfish people are the oppressors, The greedy ones who don't want a welfare state, illegal aliens, impossibly priced products, inaccessible lifesaving medical procedures, recycling bins in every room of the house and all the other wonderful benefits of Socialism.

People who want to be free are no longer Americans. Certainly not Constitutionalists. Instead paradoxically they're the new parasites, the people who refuse to be cogs in the great machine of socialism. The selfish Kulaks who hoard their wheat. The businessmen who make too much money. The hardworking housewife who won't pay double for a "Green" labeled product. These are the worms in the apple of the socialist state. The people who refuse to contribute to what the government and the alliance of unions, left wing front groups and media pundits labels as the Public Good.

The USSR began by portraying independent small farmers as greedy monsters who were responsible for the people starving, because they refused to give up their land and join collective farms. Collective farms whose workers had nothing, could not even travel without a permit and had to steal the food they grew in order to survive. And so war was declared on the independent farmer. Millions were shot, deported or imprisoned in labor camps. However by eliminating the independent farmer, the Communists also eliminated Russian agriculture. The collective farms were an abysmal failure. Within a generation, Russia was stuck importing wheat from the independent farmers of its worst enemy, the United States of America.

By declaring war on American small business, liberals are about to repeat the Soviet experiment in the United States. The decline of the US economy is closely tied to the war on small business. To the replacement of the businessman with the speculator, the inflation of the dollar, the destruction of the manufacturing sector and the transformation of the US into a service and sales economy, not that fundamentally different from the rest of the Third World.

But the left's war on the small businessman is about more than just seizing wealth in order to finance their own operations. That of course is a large part of it. The left has always believed that it must live off the land. And from the French Revolution to their modern day grandchildren, the Communists and Nazis, they have always know that wealth distribution is needed to be able to live off the land. But what they never understood is that their idea of government as a robber baron practices a multi-generational form of economic destruction that there is no full recovery from. It is possible to replace lost gold and silver. But replacing an economic niche when you have wiped out the people who used to fill it, and culturally blotted it out, can be next to impossible.

Yet that is exactly what the left wants to accomplish. Its goal has always been the destruction of the bourgeoisie, the middle class, the people who are living proof that hard work and economic aspiration leads to social mobility and political freedoms. These the left considers banal, selfish and rotten. Their existence a subversion of the left's own revolutionary ideology. Because they have achieved freedom through work, rather than ideology. Because they believe that those who work should be the masters of government, rather than properly qualified university graduates who have spent five years penning screeds about the unfairness of having to work for a living. And so like the Kulaks, they must go.

The destruction of the economy is not part of the collateral damage from liberalism's uncontrollable spending or nanny stateism. It is the whole point.

The Founding Fathers understood that economic freedom was also political freedom. That is why the Boston Tea Party played such a key role in the race toward political independence and self-government. Liberal revisionist historians typically deride the American Revolution as a Middle Class revolution. Which of course was exactly the point. Distance and opportunity had made political aspirations possible in America. But economic opportunity had made them meaningful. Thus the difference between the revolt in Haiti and the one in the 13 colonies. Much as Israel's independence differed from the independence gained by so many other former British colonies in that part of the world. 

One cannot have political independence without economic independence on the national level and on the individual level. Where economic independence is compromised, political independence soon follows. And the decline of individual liberties in America can be directly traced to its split between socialism and corporatism, two seeming opposites drawn together by inertia to form one great economic black hole. A situation that the last few years of bailouts and toobigtofails, useless regulatory bodies and political power grabs should have amply demonstrated for anyone.

The War on Freedom therefore is geared toward portraying freedom as selfish and greedy. As a dangerous anachronism out of place in the modern day socialist country. There is no such thing as freedom, they will say. Only privilege. The idea that you could believe what you wished, say what you wished, elect your own leaders and make your own economic decisions, was all part of the arrogance of the entitled. But now there will be people who will distribute that privilege equally to all, within the parameters of the public good. The public good in their eyes being indivisible from their own good, and that of the system of redistribution that they oversee. And that is how tyranny begins, and freedom dies.

Freedom, real freedom, isn't perfect. It is the freedom to make one's own mistakes, rather than having the state make everyone's mistakes for them. At the same time. Freedom is not a selfish thing that obstructs the public good, it is the public good. Because the public good is best served by individual freedom, not by a collective yoked together in the same of an impossible ideal. The tyranny of the collective has never created its heaven on earth, but it has instead produced no shortage of hells. It is left to the individual to pursue his happiness, and in the process helps others find theirs. The collective has never changed the world for the better. Only individuals have.

Liberalism insists that freedom is a shameful thing. A rebellion against their idea of the public good. Their War on Freedom is in truth a war on the individual. And it is one that we must win, if freedom is to prevail.

14 comments:

Lemon said...

The US is not what it was even 20 years ago.
It has changed for the worse and going farther downhill daily.
Yes, we need a return to the time when every man judged his own way and made his own mistakes before the government got involved even in telling us which products to use or not use.

As for selfish, greedy, the left is exactly that in every way.

Arius said...

I must be one of those parasites that isn't waiting for Obama's marching morons to bleed me dry. Get your money out of the dollar and the US before it's too late.

Will said...

Hi.
As usual a very good discription of the situation.
But how about the influence on the market of cheap goods imported from China - India and others?
For sure with wages as they are now in America you are bound to go down in the long run?
Shouldn't goverment stop the influx of these to save their own economy.
Allowing them to take over the markets create also the platform for a "Saviour" to step in?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Cheap goods benefits the corporations and consumers in the short run, while destroying the American economy by outsourcing more and more of it.

This is perfect for creating the ground for socialism. Since it hollows out the economy leaving it a fragile shell.

Keli Ata said...

War of Freedom is exactly right. That's what most people don't understand.


BTW: The comment about buying ever increasing and expensive green products really struck a cord with me. Taken to extremes, the increasing demands to buy green and almost ostracism if you don't is down right scary.

Especially if your income is modest like mine.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, DG says things like "Freedom is not a selfish thing that obstructs the public good, it is the public good. Because the public good is best served by individual freedom, not by a collective yoked together in the same of an impossible ideal."
If he cannot defend selfishness correctly, his arguments must ultimately lose--on moral grounds.

Crazy Daisy In Jersey said...

Another truly brilliant piece, Sultan Knish. Keep 'em coming!

Lech Dharma said...

An excellent piece, DG! I have never heard of "rugged collectivism"---only rugged "individualists."

As Adam Smith pointed out (and I am paraphrasing): when one intelligently acts in his own self-interest within a free and competitive marketplace, by default he is acting in the best interest of the greater society.

If the cost of labor in this country had not been artifically driven-up by unions and socialist government policies, businesses would still be using domestic labor, and America would be exporting manufactured goods. Besides, as labor-union coercion increases, the overall quality of labor decreases, because there is no consequence to doing inferior work: That's the result of "collective" bargaining, for you.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

And that of course was always the goal. Sucker in the workers to think they'll get a better deal with you. Exploit them to build political lobbies that can also bring capitalism to its knees.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

K.A. it's a tax to punish "consumerism"

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Thank you Daisy

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Anonymous, you're being a little too literal and ignoring the fact that we're saying the same thing

Col. B. Bunny said...

Anon, what is the proper way to defend selfishness? In what way does the exercise of one's liberty to pursue one's self interest amount to "selfishness"? Is all private, uncoerced action selfish?

You are doing what DG is writing about here -- rebranding freedom as selfishness.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Freedom is the whole of it! I am glad we are using the word terrorist (when appropriate) again.
from the land of ozero & rahmbo

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