By Michael Lewinski 02/26/14
Economist, Richard Ebeling attributes American Exceptionalism to a set of principles emanating from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. On the success of the American economy he noted , “The history of the United States from the time of its founding in the late 18th century up to the early decades of the 20th century was a period during which virtually all market activities were free from government regulation, control or manipulation.”
The reason for this success he observed, “Before ‘America,’ virtually all societies were founded on conquest and plunder. But nowhere else than in America was there such a conscious and explicit claim that kings and their governments were not the giver and taker of ‘rights’ belonging to the people. Outside of protecting each in his individual rights, every individual was self-governing and sovereign in guiding and directing his own life. His life was his own to plan and implement. The government did not control, order, or plan his life for him. He chose his own career; he earned his own way; he was responsible for caring for himself and his family; all of his associations and relationships with others… were based on his voluntary agreement in mutual consent with others.
How far we have fallen. How unexceptional we have become. Where, in America, has big government not “interfered with the free-market interactions and activities of people?” Nowhere! Not in your personal life, your family life, your work life, or any other element traditionally left to civil society.
Look around you. Big Brother wants to put its “minders” in the newsrooms. It’s nullifying Freedom of Religion, 2nd Amendment rights, and spying on the people with its warrentless electronic searches. The IRS harasses and suppresses its political opponents. A regulatory juggernaut is methodically making us poorer by crushing wealth creation and destroying jobs.
The question before us is whether the contemporary rejection of American Exceptionalism will stand, or if instead, we will again embrace the core values which enhance the freedom embedded in a strong, vibrant civil society unencumbered by a Progressive, controlling, centrally planned government.