"...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration of Independence
"Yet our hope will not be lost, the hope of two thousand years, to be a free people in our land." Hatikvah
What is freedom?
Is it the freedom to vote for one of the two people on the ballot?
Is it the freedom to give up half your paycheck to the government?
Is it the freedom to be regulated to within an inch of your life in the name of your own comfort and security?
The more people rely on government, the more government balloons into a nanny state. The cycle continues as a people that grow to rely on a nanny state become more childlike and immature, losing the ability to plan for the future, cope with adverse circumstances, pursue adult relationships and commit to anything beyond themselves.
If people are treated as slaves, they will behave as slaves. If people are treated as serfs, they will behave as serfs. If they are denied the ability to make important decisions about their own lives, given little responsibility and plied with bread and circuses, they will lose the meaningful abilities inherent in free men and take on the slavish traits of the slave and the serf.
The real irony of socialism is that it breeds not selflessness but selfishness. The USSR created the largest system of corruption and theft in the world inside its own borders. Communist China is today the worst example of rampant capitalism run amok with no regard for human rights or human values.
Those who grow up under a socialist system are natural egotists who expect to be catered to by their government while at the same time all too aware that shortages and corruption mean that it's every man for himself. The implications of this go well beyond the merely commercial.
Some of the lowest birth rates in the world occur in socialist countries. This is not only the case in socialist countries like China that actively discourage births but in the old USSR which actively promoted and encouraged a high birth rate and in modern European and Asian corporate\socialist nations whose high tax rates make two income families all but mandatory. Regardless of whether the bureaucracy encourages or discourages birth rates, a highly centralized socialist system creates built in disincentives to childbirth through its economic barriers and the culture of selfishness that inevitably accompanies a first world socialist paradise.
The inevitable decline continues as socialism bleeds businesses and individuals dry, forcing businesses to go abroad and creating an even heavier burden on individuals who find themselves without jobs but with a massive bureaucracy to carry around on their tax burdened backs. The bureaucracy responds by importing immigrants and catering to their needs. The imported labor manages to keep the system going long enough for the immigrants to take over. And by then the system will collapse but what will replace it is likely to have 'Islam' in the title.
This is the cost of foregoing freedom for the nanny state. The paradox of the nanny state is that trading freedom for security produces neither freedom nor security. Government regulated health care is inferior in every regard to the free market variety. Government controlled national security is notoriously insecure. Government mandated programs routinely worsen the very problems they were designed to deal with. Bureaucratic centralization naturally leads to inflexibility and irresponsibility which produces inefficiency and dysfunction.
When the balance between security and freedom fails, the human need for a security morphs into a monstrous bureaucracy that devours freedom, then the economy, the nation and finally its people, leaving a wasteland populated by its former immigrant laborers and piles of burning rubble in its place.
As Patrick Henry understood, those who value security over freedom will ultimately be prepared to sacrifice that security to anyone who will promise to protect them. The altar of government may be the location of the first sacrifice but it will not be the last. As government realizes that its ability to provide security is limited, time and time again it will compromise with the raiders, the terrorists, the pirates and the looters. Security will be achieved at the cost of concessions to the enemy. And this sacrifice will in time become the final sacrifice as the barbarians from without join the barbarians from within to pull down the gates of civilization.
Israel is already there. Europe is nearly there. America can see it in the distance.
When freedom is traded for security, free men give way to a hedonistic culture that deemphasizes family and moral values and replaces it with a childish dependence on a fossilized self-perpetuating bureaucracy that grows until it destroys the roots of the nation itself. For the nation to live, the bureaucracy must die. For men to be secure, they must first be free.