Note: While I think it is important to start framing big concepts like “liberty” and “tyranny” around ways they manifest themselves in everyday American lives, I also think the word “plunder” as it is used below needs to re-enter the tea party movement lexicon. The connotation and accuracy it brings to the discussion are completely appropriate. Plus, I thought the comparison below was kinda neat.
A classical liberal theorist may explain something in a very clear and concise way…like this:
“It is in the nature of men to rise against the injustice of which they are the victims. When, therefore, plunder is organized by law, for the profit of those who perpetrate it, all the plundered classes tend, either by peaceful or revolutionary means, to enter in some way into the manufacturing of laws. The classes, according to the degree of enlightenment at which they have arrived, may propose to themselves two very different ends, when they thus attempt the attainment of their political rights; either they may wish to put an end to lawful plunder, or they may desire to take part in it.
Woe to the nation where this latter thought prevails amongst the masses…” – F. Bastiat, The Law (1850)
On the other hand, a product of late twentieth century public education and mediocre Redstate blogger known for not being nearly as clear and concise stumbles through a concept like this:
“And for those who presume that the work to reverse this monstrosity will begin as soon as there is a change in power in D.C. I offer a very blunt: Fat Chance, Sucker! The unfortunate reality is that the road back to more freedom is long and hard and requires being true to liberty’s principles while the toll-road to bettering “my” position in the midst of a runaway government debacle is much more efficient…merely costing, at a minimum, tacit denial of those alleged principles. Today’s unified Tea Party Movement will quickly begin to show more fragmented interests as various side paths to individual benefits present themselves as alternatives to a long, hard, revolutionary slog. The perceived unity of a back-against-the-wall defense will not be so solid during a period of multiple offensives base(d) on self interests.
A good example of how quickly things change in these types of circumstances can be seen with the recent banning of smoking in restaurants in a large city near my home. An organized group of restaurant owners put up a correct and valiant…yet futile…defense based on their rights with respect to their property. They fought on principle and were backed by similar business owners and organizations from the surrounding area. Of course, after losing their rights to a runaway city council (i.e. uncontrolled legislators) this group of fine restaurateurs continued the good fight on those same firm principles to reverse this decision…NOT. That would be hard…and the bottom line in business doesn’t wait on battles of honor. The more expedient path was to start pushing for identical regulation from the state level so that restaurants in surrounding communities didn’t maintain their property rights and enjoy an artificial competitive advantage any longer than was necessary. Rights are forever…my rights are critical…your rights are very important up until they conflict with my bottom line.
Don’t expect reality and human nature to be any different in carrying through on reversing health care ‘reform’.”(1) – ntrepid, Redstate (2009)
Sometimes collective human nature isn’t pretty.
Proud Redstate Member since April 2006…?