Thursday, March 26, 1998
When I wrote this in early 1989 it was four years before I became a christian and I was still much focused on my outer world. I have included this because, although I have greatly matured since this writing, I can still agree with much of what I wrote. Additionally, it is quite representative of many years of concentrated effort to understand the world I live in. As you read, keep in mind the Berlin Wall was still standing between East and West Germany as I wrote this. And yet not much has changed, and our slide to statism has accelerated.
I no longer have the passion for social change at the political level, but my passion has increased to a feverish level for change at the personal, the individual, level. We change our world in our own individual worlds. We influence the world by how we live. The only power in the world powerful enough to make any change, small or large, is the power of God. And God is in control.
April 1, 2008
Just ten years later and I found these writings as I was poking through old material in search of something else. It is amazing what has transpired in my life since those earlier times. Ten years ago, the internet was a fledgling new medium and television was still the predominant mode of communication. The internet has since brought to the world an entirely new and engaging vehicle of communication that allows us to transcend time and space. Mind boggling!!And whatever God has shown me over the years has only been magnified, reinforced, clarified and heightened. He tells us in His Word what will be, and I see it happening and coming to pass. For all the difficulties along the way in this life, God’s Story DOES have a Happy Ending!
Freedom in America
America fairly burst with pride when she emerged the victor after World War II. Our young men were home, the tyrant, Hitler, was dead, Japan surrendered, and for the first time America showed her strength following the weakened America of the Great Depression. America’s young men knew they were literally defending the shores of their homeland, and they knew the vileness of the enemy had been understated when they liberated the Nazi Concentration Camps. Many soldiers vomited when they saw the skeletal, filthy condition of the victims as the stench rose wretchedly to their nostrils. This was the monument to fascism, fanatic contempt for the value of a human life and their rights as an individual to be free of such bondage and torture. The Japanese similarly treated American prisoners of war. It is no wonder Americans were euphoric that such deadly foes were defeated, and the confidence of the American people was reflected in the strong economic growth following the War.
Patriotism reached an all time high and the prevailing attitude remained “My country, right or wrong” well into the Vietnam War years. This blind faith in the goodness of our government created a climate in which the politicians have set about raping the American people ever since. While they blindly trusted the good intentions of their country and it’s government, they failed to realize they are not one and the same thing. One can love the country with the deepest passion, and despise the government for laying ruin to it. Such was the truth as finally exposed by the Vietnam War.
Fifty thousand men were sacrificed for no purpose at all. Of course, high-minded rhetoric of fighting for democracy and freedom was bandied about then as it still is today. The communist threat is real, we are told, and as such, Central America is an important issue of the day.
There is no doubt of the ugliness and evil of communism, fascism, in fact statism of any kind. The power lusters care little for individual rights. Freedom and democracy, otherwise known as laissez-faire capitalism, would seem the prize that is well worth fighting to defend.
My question is this: How can America tolerate the hypocrisy of her government as it further entangles her in irrational international episodes, decries the threat of global communism, and all the while her own long-term trend is forever moving toward greater and deeper statism? Why is it we see the threat from without, but fail to see it within?
In truth our people know so very little about the differences of the statist systems of the world and our own. And sadly, fewer still know of the growing number of similarities. This is perhaps the scariest fact of all.
Whatever the reasons, and there are many, that most of us are ignorant in this area, there is no excuse for such ignorance in an “enlightened” society with a universal educational system. We are taxed to the teeth for this horror of a system that produces a society of morons in the one area of human freedom. Our schools, text publishers, the media and more have all spoon-fed us the idea we are free, without the basic understanding of what “free” means. They dare not tell us that we are not as free as we used to be, that what we have accepted by default is an ever increasing dose of socialism and fascism that is squeezing out whatever laissez-faire capitalism we have left, if in fact there is any left at all.
It is this sad fact that renders us virtually helpless in most of our foreign affairs. We inadvertently support statism, including communism, at home and abroad. We can never hope to influence a world to the side of freedom until we show her what freedom is and all the benefits it brings. We must show by example, and until we do, we cannot blame others for their mistrust of us and our intentions. They fear deep down that we don’t know what we are doing, or why we are doing it, and many times they are right.
Perhaps one of our most difficult problems is that governments deal with each other too much and always have. How much better if people, and the companies that many of them represent, could trade with each other without interference of their respective governments. Agreements could then be reached or not, based on the voluntary choices of the people involved. Gone would be government negotiations with all attendant tariffs, quotas and other restrictions as well as most government “business” in which it has no business. It may be that most governments of the world would not follow suit, but in time the people of other lands would look to America as a model and we would finally have the kind of influence we want—friendly, peaceful and enriching. They would soon demand reform on a larger scale that we see now in the Philippines, in South Korea, Haiti and Panama to name a few. Europeans would one day grasp the glaring difference of emerging freedom to the stifling socialism they have been mired in.
And as a society of free individuals, there is no doubt of loyalty, dedication and military defense, if necessary, in the event of national crisis. No soldiers were so brave as those volunteers in our own Revolutionary War. Men and women can, and do, endure great hardships to defend their liberty and the individual rights of all. But this is so where there is clear and imminent danger; there is not involvement so foolish as that in the affairs of others, unless done by individuals based on their voluntary choices.
We think of ourselves as the guardian of freedom and yet no longer recognize that our government has taken most of it. We are forced by excessive taxation to pay taxes that line the pockets of power lusters worldwide, allies and foes alike. We strengthen with our foreign policy and aid the institutions that oppress the people of foreign lands and then wonder why America is not more popular abroad.
Freedom is a concept that can be applied in principled ways to any society by that society itself. Freedom is a concept that must be learned, and the only way it can be learned is by reading. Statist countries know this and so control the press to maintain their power and stranglehold on their own people. Freedom is a concept that must be discussed on a national and international basis, and ever-greater numbers of people must understand it.
We have had the great fortune to live in a nuclear peace, but no person alive and of sound mind, can help but be awed by the destructive power of the world’s arsenal. It is clear that humanity must grow up in a hurry.
There is a vital need for education that educates—in the basics, reading, writing and math, and in the sciences if we are to stay technologically and thus economically competitive. And we must be educated in the sciences of philosophy, economics and politics if we are to understand what we are trying to defend and maintain—our freedom. We must understand that freedom itself, in all aspects of life, is what nurtures the best from within. Enslavement by political, economic, physical or mental means can only reduce a people to the level of the most pitiful societies of the world. We must not move toward more statism, but for our very survival move away from it and toward life-giving freedom. But we must understand it on an individual and on a societal level.
We celebrate the 200th birthday this year of our U.S. Constitution and we are too blind to see how this document has been abused and interpreted to serve the purposes of many self-serving politicians and other immoral types. The federal government as a strong but limited body has become an unwieldy, unmanageable monster with an insatiable appetite for meddling and tax and spend.
Is it so hard to understand why the majority of our society chooses to close their eyes to the truth? Twelve years of their life has been indoctrinated with what the government wants them to know, or more precisely, wants them to believe. It is too scary to doubt the honesty and good intentions of their government. And most grind away at making a living, affording them little time and money or energy to seek truth on their own. And most have just accepted it all, not even questioning the reason for the string of contradictions that makes life confusing indeed for so many of our people. This is the true purpose of our educational system. Teach them enough to function to be good worker bees, but discourage the questioning mind for it may stumble across the truth.
The power lusters hope to keep our attention on fear-inspiring issues, such as Soviet-backed military in Central America, AIDS, environmental poisoning, rising crime rates, drug-related problems, and hundreds more crisis-proportion problems. They hope by diverting our attention from one topic to another, that our attention won’t focus on the big picture and how they use all these problems to strengthen their power hold and maintain their control of us. And in irrational fear, few will discover how politicians create and fuel these same problems. Americans want changes, but they are too vague in their demands because they don’t know what to demand.
We must demand a return to the values of freedom as handed us by the Founders. We must understand our Constitution and the role of government in our lives. We must understand, as the Founders did themselves, that the Constitution is not a flawless document. They trusted that a wise people, developed so under freedom, would improve upon it, as history would teach its lessons. They feared a free people who would trust any government too much for only anarchy could result.
We have amazingly accomplished more than anyone in the span of human history could ever have imagined. But accomplishment and achievement do not happen automatically. Nor does freedom. To avoid anarchy, we must not embrace statism. To progress we must seek enlightenment. Countdown to a Miracle (Readers Digest, Sept. 1987) is a spine-tingling account of the fragility of the process of the Constitutional Convention. It illustrates the foundation of sand upon which we started to build our national house, and light of this historical reminder it is hardly short of miraculous that we have any house at all. Our house may have rotting substructures, but the blueprint is intact. It is only a matter now of recognizing this and understanding that we have a framework under which to make the repairs and refurbishments. There is no need and it could serve no purpose to raze the structure. But reform must be swift and based on sound philosophical principles that promote freedom and protection of the rights of individuals.
Americans pride themselves on their freedom of speech, their right to express their ideas in all forms of media, and their right to assemble. Yet few think they are shorted any information, that the powerful and dominant medium of television supplies great diversity of thoughts and ideas. Republican and Democratic views have dominated television politics since television’s inception some 40 years ago. Few realize that any ideas exist outside of this political status quo, and many would rejoice to find so much rich material and ideas that DO exist from countless sources, individuals and groups outside of the Republican/Democrat sphere. Both parties advance statism, and statism protects itself. The FCC through the Fairness Doctrine is largely responsible. TV networks have not dared air controversial views for government would then mandate fair equal time to air opposing viewpoints. Conservatism has been accepted as the opposite to liberalism. In truth, Democrats and Republicans differ little, only in which areas of human existence they believe government should have control. Between the two, government has managed to take control in all. It will be interesting to see if repeal of the Fairness Doctrine will allow true opposing viewpoints to surface resulting in stimulating and meaningful debates that will bring the American people alive. No wonder apathy has spread like a cancer when the same old pablum is presented them day after day, week after week, year after endless year. And all the while, hopes and dreams for a revitalized America are dashed as one politician after another promises change and we always get more of the same. One by one, thousands by thousands, Americans have lost interest in the political arena they don’t understand. Most never even wanted to. What kind of self-government can we expect when only a few Americans have any idea about what is really going on or even care?
Many diverse and interesting views exist in what is almost an underground of information. Is it not long overdue to utilize all the talent available to solve our endless list of national problems? Books and information that span decades, even centuries and millennia, should now have the chance through a medium as vast as television to finally have a wide audience made possible by electronic technology. When the printing press was invented, so liberty had her birth, and she struggled through the written page as human minds shared ever-increasing diversity of ideas and opinions. It is through the written page that liberty will sustain her life and flourish. But television can provide the forum with which to discuss the ideas from the printed page; and ideally, more will turn to the written page to more fully understand the debates as they proceed. More authors will add the fuel for debates. We may reach a stage where people can begin to carry on more intelligent and persuasive political conversations. Most I have heard are devoid of any historical perspective and every conversation seems to end with “Well, we can’t change the world or solve all the world’s problems. And we still live in the best country the world has ever seen. If you think it’s bad here, just to go any other country in the world…..” and so it goes, and little improves.
What if we COULD change the world? What if we COULD solve the world’s problems? What if we COULD go to any other country and marvel at how advanced and wonderful she had become in her own right? What if we COULD? I, for one, believe we CAN.
All we get now is empty rhetoric from all sides. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to tune into an interesting fast-paced debate that provokes thought and discussion? To get several points of view on an issue, instead of the usual one or two. More options, more choices, better chances for good solutions all mean more freedom. Our society could use a good infusion of fresh ideas. As it is now, we are lucky if we stumble across them. Why not publicly air them and provide more food for thought?Interestingly, at the time of this writing I still held the view that the Holy Bible was a manipulative book written to control people. I have since come to know it as the standard by which every thought and concept must be measured. The first book off the first printing press was the Gutenberg Bible.