I hate to keep bashing “educators” but…

Notes from a university political science course, in which we were being taught about ideologies:

  • Libertarianism
    • “liberty from government control”
    • Opposes laws that limit drug use, abortion, speed limits, seatbelts, pollution control
    • Foreign policy focus on isolationism (troops @ home for only defense)
    • Different tenets disliked by conservatives and liberals
      • Conservatives dislike disrespect for traditional values
      • Liberals don’t like that it does away with social programs”

Given that I consider myself mostly libertarian, I was more than a little surprised to learn that my main goals are legalizing drugs, ending all traffic laws, killing babies, halting all trade with “threatening” countries, spreading disrespect for traditional values, and destroying the environment. I thought my main goals were economic freedom, self-reliance, and maximizing individual choices, but those broader and more important subjects did not even make it into the discussion. Unfortunately, in order to have a “political education” in this country, I only need to remember that libertarians hate seat-belts.  I can remember that, and make an “A” in the class for doing so, but it certainly does not make me any wiser; for some, it may actually have the opposite effect.

Libertarianism values individual liberty, private property and social contracts. My professor will admit that classical liberalism, or laissez-faire liberalism, was the primary philosophy behind America’s founding, and he will admit that he cannot name a difference between libertarianism and classical liberalism, but he cannot bring himself to say that America had a libertarian founding.

I pointed out to my professor that isolationism is not actually a tenet of libertarianism, because isolationism assumes non-intervention (which libertarians support) as well as economic protectionism (which libertarians condemn). I suggested he use the word “non-interventionism” instead of “isolationism,” because libertarians are staunch defenders of uninhibited international trade, and isolationists are very much opposed to uninhibited trade. Realizing his error, but caring more for his coercive power over his students than he cares for their proper understanding of politics, he stumbled to his chalkboard and underlined the word “isolationism,” muttering something about how libertarians oppose aid to struggling countries.

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The role of government, as taught in university

welcome to the dark ages

I like studying the arguments of those who disagree with me, mostly because of the proof that they provide, that the American educational system is worthless, even at its highest levels. In my earnest opinion (and I think most would agree), Americans should not spend a penny on anything that is worthless, and they certainly should not be forced to do so.

The modern “progressive” professors, perhaps in different words, are telling me the following consistently: not only is big government a reality, it is preferable to limited government, and it is the proper choice for people in this country–the people need big government. From a slightly related project that I felt worthy of posting here, I give you my response to a major university class on policymaking:

“I was disappointed to learn that the current expansive roles of government, many of which have been stolen from the unsuspecting individual, have become an assumption unworthy of discussion in America’s university setting. Expansive government is accepted among many so-called intellectuals as an unavoidable reality, like the presence of air, or the passage of time–theoretically, these realities can be removed, but there is a dependency in humankind that keeps us from beginning their removals, for fear of suffocation in the case of air, fear of boredom in the case of time, or in the case of removing government excess, fear of choices.

Dependency on government is not a creation of post-Enlightenment wisdom (boldly assuming that such a thing exists); it is ancient and awful, morally corruptive and mentally corrosive. Dependency has locked the door to a vast room called freedom (a room we loved for its superior rewards, despite its pitfalls), and allowed us only to enter a narrow space that seems comfortable to some at first, but is ultimately restrictive to everyone. This narrow space is a high-tech world of limited products, limited jobs, limited entertainment, limited incomes, limited choices, limited words, and even limited thoughts–all limited by the anti-competitive forces that shape this narrow reality, distract the rational human mind with cheap excuses for education, progress and entertainment, and keep locked the door to freedom. Most of government is unnecessary imposition, and its number one priority is to keep those imposed upon from realizing how sorely they are being screwed.

The belief that the role of government is limited to the protection of individual rights and private property is now seen in the “intellectual community” as a primitive ideal; it has been relegated to the rank in the U.S. that it served in numerous fascist and totalitarian regimes. Just as the philosophy that advocates individual liberty, classical liberalism, has been viciously (and correctly) called anti-slavery, anti-monarchy, anti-German, anti-English, anti-Soviet, and anti-Italian in the past, it is today earning the title “anti-American”, not because of its unwavering principles, but because of the disappearance of America’s principles. This is saddening when we realize classical liberalism is the ideal philosophy upon which the country was founded.

“But,” we are told, “democracy allows the people to vote for new roles of government–roles the people want government to assume.” It is as if we are supposed to believe a warped version of history in which, against all evidence to the contrary, the horrific decisions of the masses–from enslavement to inquisition to lynching–are absolved, and the perpetrators are proven wise. I am not buying it.

Progress should not be named for its conformity to public opinion; it comes only in the advancement of individual liberty for every individual party. An increase in market competition can be called progress, as can the emancipation of individuals from bondage, but something like the coercive confiscation of individual property (and by this I am referring to the taxing of an individual’s labor) should never by called progressive. A tax levied on an individual’s income is always restricting to individual progress, whether or not public opinion supports it. Even those who may appear to benefit from the redistribution of printed labor are restricted from production by the realized incentives of laziness. Moreover, the confiscation of individual property (your labor is your property) is precisely what America, in its foundation, was trying to escape and avoid forever.

Big government is old and unnecessary, and America proved it. For hundreds of years the people of England and France tolerated high taxes and endless international conflicts under the “protection” of their kings. Monarchy was popular. It was, in the opinions of the so-called intellectuals of that era, necessary and proper. It seemed good, but it never really was good, was it? People began to realize this, and they became “enlightened.” People will soon become enlightened again about the unnecessary impositions of yet another sour government. History points to a lengthy, violent and impoverishing end to the narrow confines in which Americans suddenly find themselves, as they realize the growing illegitimacy of U.S. democracy, and understand that their democratic choices are only illusions; I hope, however, with faith in the wisdom of good Americans (despite the coercions of their rulers), for a reasoned and rational end to the exponential growth of government, and if I did not believe that were possible, I would not be writing for it, because my pen would be an insufficient weapon for the battle.”

B.J. Lawson: a common sense conservative

A Congressman who cares

Remember when Republicans were elected to downsize government? In 1994, the American people were inspired by the prospects of economic freedom to vote Republicans into office. In 2001, George W. Bush was expected to come in and aid them in that effort. It did not happen. Under Bush and the Republican Congress from 2001 to 2006, the U.S. federal government grew tremendously, and fiscal conservatives everywhere were left shaking their heads in disdain. What happened to the small government Republican?

Remember when Republicans were elected to end wars? The time may be returning. Democrats were elected to Congress in 2006 to end the war in Iraq, but the war goes on. Now, a new breed of Republican has emerged–or more properly, an old breed of Republican has returned–to end draining wars that are, upon full investigation, little more than a product of power and greed, an excuse for higher taxation, as well as a cause of rising inflation–not to mention the leading cause of brutal death among American youths. When we elect policymakers, we will do well to remember that “the most unprofitable of all commerce is that connected with foreign dominion. To a few individuals it may be beneficial, merely because it is commerce; but to the nation it is a loss. The expense of maintaining dominion more than absorbs the profits of any trade.”

In two paragraphs, I have acknowledged the two most important goals in the minds of American voters over the last 15 years: to decrease the size of government, and to end the war in Iraq. These two goals have been the major deciding factors for the partisan power shifts in Washington in recent decades. Neither has yet been accomplished, and it seems that those who desire one of the two, are willing to concede the public goal for another benefit that is less important to the people. However, there is a new breed of Republican, modeled after the 18th century intellectual, who makes both of these primary intentions of the American people the top priorities in policymaking. Who is this dream candidate? B.J. Lawson of North Carolina’s Fourth District.

Despite his facing a multiple-decade incumbent of Washington’s bureaucratic old guard, there is, in my opinion, little doubt that Lawson will win a seat in Congress this year. If he were to lose, it would be an insult to the intellect of North Carolina’s Fourth District. He is as vivacious as his opponent is ancient, but his energy is not a product of his youth, but of his enlightenment; there is a sense that has been awakened in him, which will soon be awakened in all of us–it is as Paine described it: “a mass sense lying in a dormant state, and which, unless something excites it to action, will descend with us, in that condition, to the grave.”

My advice to the Fourth District of North Carolina is simply this: do not vote again for a ruler; vote instead for a leader. On this, our Independence Day, remember that men who shared David Price’s political philosophy were among those that favored the British Crown in 1776; but men who shared the philosophy of B.J. Lawson, who believed whole-heartedly in liberty, pledged to the American cause their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. If the citizens are informed and intelligent, and vote their consciences, B.J. Lawson cannot fail to be elected.