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.
By Michael Lewinski 01/27/14
Former Congressman J. C. Watts recently observed that the state of our affairs will not improve until we abandon the opinions of fallen men and return to God’s absolute truth. The idea he was expressing is that our culture forms the basis for the attitudes and behaviors which manifest themselves in society.
During the course of the last half century American culture has transitioned from one rooted in Judeo/Christian values to a Progressive culture embracing secular humanist beliefs. The differences between these two versions of life couldn’t be more stark. One embraces Christian love, while the other promotes self. One produces servants, while the other engenders entitlement. From one set of values emerges individual accountability, while the other shifts responsibility to others. One nourishes the soul, while the other debases the human spirit.
How else to account for the deteriorating tone and tenor of life in 21st century America? It is not respect for the value of life that animates a social coarseness which can be observed in flash mobs, indiscriminate public killing, and gang warfare. It has been the abrogation of business ethics and individual accountability that compelled Pope Francis to tell the wealthy of the world gathered at Davos to stop thinking only of themselves, and observe that “the business community often fails to take into” [account] “the dignity of every human person and the common good.”
With the transition from a culture steeped in the rule of God, to one based on the flawed rule of man, it should be expected that a breakdown in the social order degrades the value of the individual, pits one against another, and erodes other critical institutions of society. It was after all, the Founding Fathers who warned us that our new system of government was made only for a moral people. President George Washington said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . And let us indulge with caution the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion . . . Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle.” In an address to the militia of Massachusetts, in 1798 John Adams declared, “We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
With the ascension of the Progressive world view within the ranks of government, Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation that “If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great,” seems to be coming to pass. President Reagan probably said it best. “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
Knowing where a nation is headed is difficult to discern. Members of a community experience life day by day, with the cumulative effects imperceptibly observed, and often colored by a short term perspective anchored in past experience. With a human bias of hope and optimism, ordinary folks caught up in what is called the normally bias, most citizens are unaware of the value and propriety of the information provided by a ruling elite intent upon perpetuating the status quo.
Six years into the Greater Depression, The MSM and the organs of the central planners, led by the Federal Reserve, vigorously promote the perception of a recovery. Green shoots are on the horizon again we are told, as corrupted numbers are tossed about concealing the true state of inflation, GDP, and unemployment. Feeding the 1%, with $4 trillion of new money from thin air, the Federal Reserve inflates up the equity and housing markets without infusing the corresponding value only the real economy can create to support such rises in price.
The very same central planners and crony capitalists, the ones who broke the economy in the first place, prevent the necessary natural correction of the malinvestments and market distortions which are essential for healing the economy and achieving a real recovery. They are again trying to substitute financial manipulation and illusion for the economic sinew of a real economy, as they choke the life out of the free markets a free people require for prosperity. The writer Jeffery Lewis stated it this way, “It is crystal clear to anyone willing to go a few steps beyond the headlines that massive intervention and ignorance of risk act as massive governors to progress, real economic growth and natural capital formation.”
While few people may know the details and mechanics of the economy or the intricacies of governance, all but the dead comprehend how poorly the establishment is governing society. They feel it in their guts and mourn it in their hearts. Knowing what it all means and where we should go is both confusing and frightening. The one fact that is clear, it is the representatives we send to serve us in government who are responsible for the presently failing organization of the country. They also are the individuals who are accountable for bringing our system back into balance.
Who will you choose to return America to its glory this November? Will you select the elite representatives of the Progressive status quo bent on maintaining a state that continues controlling the economy and its citizens activities in civil society, or representation intent upon restoring free markets and a civil society which is supportive of liberty and is unencumbered by a big government that eats its people’s sustenance?