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“Food for Thought” is an original column appearing every other Tuesday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here.
One of the reasons why our nation has prospered is that we have been able to capitalize on our individual abilities, abilities that are diverse and unequal. It’s the differences and “disparities” between people that allows for innovation, invention, new technology, growth, prosperity and progress. To enforce equality upon the populous is not only unnatural (equality does not exist in nature), but it prevents the very prosperity we all desire, resulting in class warfare. It’s no accident. As more “equalizing and redistribution legislation” becomes the law of the land, more poverty and class warfare develop. This will continue until the populous empirically learns the hard way that the State, no matter which party is in power, is their enemy and learns to withhold their consent at the voting booth by abstaining.
Most people hate monopoly power (even the natural non-coercive variety), but the unsuspecting populous gives the State a monopoly on the use of force without even a whimper. With such power over the individual, the State will naturally use that monopoly power to enslave us until we collapse into the Orwellian dark ages, or war annihilates us all. Most people know about the danger of stepping into the lion’s den or getting burned when they play with fire, but to most people these are only allegories with no relevance to their own lives. However, all voters assume a similar great danger when they step into the voting booth. They are collaborating with their own enemies who present them with lots of goodies to lure them in, but eventually make them offers they can’t refuse, “Godfather” style. To add insult to injury, the voters revere those very same enemies with donations to their elections, and name buildings and bridges after them and build statues of their likenesses in the public parks all over the land. As long as the populous values equality over freedom and relies upon the voting booth to try to establish that equality, the societal deterioration will continue, as can be seen in today’s climate of unrest, unemployment, despair and insecurity.
Some argue that it is not equality that the voters seek but equality of opportunity. There is no such thing as equality of opportunity since we are all born unequal. Take two people, for example, Bill Gates and myself. We were born with equal “legal opportunity” but actually we were born with reality-based unequal opportunity. At birth we started out in this world with unequal opportunity by virtue of the fact that Gates was born smarter, more committed to his goals, and able to take greater risks than I. I had the same “legal opportunity” to accomplish what Gates accomplished but I failed to do so. Our inequality illustrates the difference between Gates’ accomplishments and my accomplishments. Does that make Gates an undeserving evil exploiter of us all? On the contrary, Gates’ success made life better for me as it did for everyone else on the planet. The same holds true for Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan, most of who were born extremely poor, but with great intellectual abilities. They didn’t invent or create poverty, since poverty is the natural condition of all life. They helped cure poverty for millions of people. Where the average person sees no opportunity, these great benefactors of mankind saw opportunity and were willing to take extreme risks that most of us are not willing to take.
When one analyzes the motives of the “true believers” in “equality,” we see that what they really want is equal results, which is beyond Utopian. An ideology of equal results is insane and immature, an ideology that can only be implemented by law (at the point of a gun). The one who points the gun in fact creates immediate conflict between himself and the victim, and a multitude of conflicts have flared up right before our eyes over the past 50 years. Government means guns, and the more government, the more guns, and the more guns, the more conflicts. It’s no coincidence that as government has grown since WWII, we have found our country involved in external and internal conflicts at a continually increasing rate.
When one nation aims its guns at another nation it is considered an act of war. When one’s own government points its guns towards its own unarmed citizens, in the attempt to coerce equality it is just as much an act of war. At least countries at war have the ability to agree on a truce and the fighting will stop. However, within a nation, a truce is never offered since the guns of the law are forever present. They hang over the necks of all of us just waiting for someone to step out of line in order to rationalize its use. We now all live with a sense of future catastrophe. The onset is restrained only by chance. Presently our precarious situation involves our economic system veering closer to the edge of a cliff. While this very dangerous situation continues, the legislators call for more equality, more redistribution legislation and more spending condoned and sanctioned by most of the population. The same path of coercive legislation, if continued and not repealed will eventually become the nail in the coffin of America.
The equality ideology is to a nation what hurricane Sandy was to the Northeastern states and what hurricane Katrina was to New Orleans. It will annihilate whatever good that has been produced by the builders, creators, inventors, innovators and investors of the past, leaving misery in its wake—witness the attitude of laziness and desire for more free stuff and equality by the people of Greece today as Greece slips into possible oblivion. America is on the Grecian path. It’s only a matter of time. It mostly likely will not happen in my lifetime but it will happen.
There is no middle ground between equality and freedom. For equality to even be attempted, freedom must be sacrificed upon its alter. At its very inception, the first “equality” law had to take away the freedom of someone or coerce someone to take an action that they would not have taken if they were free to follow their own judgment. The fact that equality must be coerced proves that it defies the laws of nature. The attempt to coerce equality is the very factor that will lead to its failure. Unfortunately the damage will be done in the attempt. In the long run, if 100% freedom (voluntaryism) does eventually reign, optimum equality will take care of itself by creating prosperity, security and contentment for everyone. When the entire nation is smothered in prosperity, security and contentment, inequality stops being an issue. We must not be fooled into thinking that we have already tried freedom and that it failed. It is not freedom that failed. It has been the absence of 100% freedom that failed. Slavery has failed, as it always will in the long run.
Don’t be fooled by the idea that we “live in a free society.” “We would live in a nonzero world [win-win], if we actually had a free market. What we have, however, is a system of political capitalism in which the state has systematically intervened in the market to raise the rich and lower the poor; to subsidize the operating costs of big business; to enforce artificial property rights like patents and copyright, and absentee titles to vacant and unimproved land that ought to be open to homesteading; and otherwise to protect giant corporations from the competitive dangers of a genuine market. In such an environment, it’s entirely reasonable to believe that fortunes in the billions or hundreds of millions have been acquired at somebody’s expense. It’s entirely reasonable, when you see a turtle on a fencepost, to suspect he didn’t climb up there on his own.” (Kevin Carson)
Since the State has had control over the education system of the nation it has been very easy for the State to misrepresent what is taught. Our schools have been teaching that we live in a “free” country and everyone seems to believe it. Like the “doublespeak” mentioned in the novel 1984, our schools teach that our coercive political system has created and is maintaining “freedom,” thus obfuscating the true culprit in the battle between freedom and slavery. That culprit is the ideology of Statism itself.
The American public must choose one or the other. We can’t have both at the same time. It’s either freedom or slavery. It’s true that equality will be the outcome of Statism, namely the equality of poverty, equality of despair, equality of unemployment and extreme national debt, leading to an Armageddon, which is the natural consequence of a system whose coin of the realm is involuntary servitude. Is that the equality we all want? It’s either peaceful co-existence among human beings or perpetual disharmony. It’s either freedom or Statism.