What is Our Nation Coming To?

When I started Mellon’s Musings, I did not anticipate how quickly things would unravel in the US and abroad. Perhaps it is because despite my best judgment, I did not want to believe it. Unfortunately, my worst nightmares are being realized. This time, things are different. When Rahm Emanuel said “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” he meant business, like Ari Gold negotiating on the High Holidays.

Glancing over the headlines of the week, it is clear that a creeping sense of socialism in this country is no longer creeping — it is a very real threat that no future administration may come close to being able to stop. If I am reading this situation correctly, we are at a true turning point in world history. The forces of freedom and liberty are fast being swept aside. We are heading into a Rousseaun era in which the United States and indeed all other states will degenerate in a large collectivist cesspool. Ayn Rand said, “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” How right she was.

As I forewarned, other states, besides just New York are beginning to come up with creative ways to tax their citizens. One policy analyst says, “The most common phrase you hear from the states is, everything is on the table.” A California legislator says “We’re all jonesing now for money.” States are weighing “solutions” to their shortfalls like making marijuana legal so as to tax it, or allowing gay civil unions in order to boost tourism.

But think this through for a second. If people are struggling to make ends meet, why should taxation to support government be the number one priority? Why does a state have a right to our property to support itself before we do? Why in the hell do they have these big budgets to support in the first place? If we are having trouble paying our own bills, then forget about the state’s bills. Let it wither away! If I sound angry, it’s because I am.

Meanwhile, on a national scale, things are no better. We continue to throw money down the bottomless pits that are AIG and Citi. If what we are doing is not nationalization, then I don’t know what is. We are nationalizing everything: banks, insurance companies, automobile manufacturers and the housing market. We are burdening future generations with insolvent and bankrupt institutions that should have been allowed to go under months ago. I thought this was America, but alas, we have car czars (call it the Presidential Task Force on Autos, same thing) and urban czars too. Lenin is blushing in his grave right now.

Then we have this whole green issue. I largely ignore reading what environmentalists have to say because it generally enrages me. Being at Columbia, everywhere I go everything is green anyway. It’s not that I have anything against nature…I like clean air and clean parks just like everyone else. But this stuff is not about a clean world. This is about politics. Al Gore has made a fortune selling global warming to idiots across the world. Scientists have made their careers off of pandering about this stuff. But the bottom line is, as I understand it, there is no consensus at all as to whether or not what we do on Earth even makes so much as a dent in the overall climate patterns that occur over thousands of years.

Even if we did, how could anyone honestly feel that their livelihood should be sacrificed to nature. If people want to reduce themselves to foraging for berries then they can go right ahead, but they should bear in mind that they wouldn’t be able to survive without that food taken from nature. I for one will continue eating what I want, driving cars, using my computer, television, lights and paper because I want to live my life. It is not the government’s job to tell me what I can and can’t consume.

If we followed this kind of philosophy from the start, we would still be cavemen. There would have been no Industrial Revolution. A million of the things that we take for granted today would have never come to be. If we didn’t use the fruits of nature, we would not be able to live. But I suppose the Democrats might prefer this.

Their cap-and-trade bill looks to me like Smoot-Hawley’s little grandson in terms of its disastrous implications and terrible timing. For a little taste of what we might be looking at, listen to what Obama himself had to say about it: “You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.” But forget about specifics. What this represents is a commitment to the environment over the people. It seems like a great idea to me to raise the price of all types of energies, while putting hundreds if not thousands of people out of business by imposing these costs on our economy in the midst of a depression.

There is also talk of funding roads with a tax based on how many miles we drive. The government would be able to implant some kind of chip in our cars to keep tabs on us. I mean is there any way possible that this could be considered Constitutional? What justification is there for this based upon the limited powers we are supposed to grant our government? This stuff is sickening. They are literally looking to make robbery legal.

More sickening are Gordon Brown’s musings on a “global New Deal,” led largely by President Obama and himself. This sounds like another brilliant idea — what better way to shepherd in socialism then to subject everyone in the civilized world to it. What is so ironic about it all is that Brown calls for a world “where we defeat not only global terrorism but global poverty, hunger and disease.” Yet socializing one’s nation creates these very things. It brings civil unrest and leads to poverty, hunger and disease for the masses. This also factors into the discussion of having a world government. We see the problems that have befallen the EU now that some states aren’t quite carrying their weight, yet with the world putting their blind faith in Barack Obama, there is more and more talk of global solutions to problems, and perhaps even a global regime. When all the paper currencies collapse, I won’t be too surprised if at the least we move to a global currency, so we can all enjoy the hyperinflation together.

It is dizzying how fast this is all unfolding before us. Dizzying and also sobering. I for one do not want to live in a world in which I have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. I don’t want to live in a world in which the government has a claim on my property before I do. I don’t want to live in a world in which the government determines that the environment takes precedence over my life. I don’t want to live in a world in which free speech is protected, yet I have to be afraid that everything I say is “politically correct.” Most of all, I don’t want to live in a world in which the rights of the smallest and most important minority, THE INDIVIDUAL, are sacrificed to the mob for the public good.

One of the reasons I look to Rousseau in all of this is that his love of the state of nature is reflected in the socialism of the day. Rousseau said of leaving the state of nature that “most of our ills are of our own making…we could have avoided nearly all of them by preserving the simple, regular and solitary lifestyle prescribed to us by nature.” Of imagination he says, “Imagination, which wreaks so much havoc among us, does not speak to savage hearts.” Rousseau marvels at the barbarian whose, “desires do not go beyond his physical needs. The only goods he knows in the universe are nourishment, a woman and rest; the only evils he fears are pain and hunger.” Of private property he said, “The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.” Clearly ’tis better to be a savage than a civilized human being.

This is the philosophy that is waging its war on whatever shreds of Lockeanism are left in this once great place. We need to fight this. People should be in the streets rioting over the ridiculous usurpations of power that the state is making right now, yet most seem to go on with their lives in many ways completely unaffected and ignorant of the terrors surrounding them.

But these ignorantly blissful folk are getting the government they deserve to be sure. This is the ultimate result of a democracy in which every man seeks to gain at the sake of every other man through the instrument of legal plunder that is the state.

Turning back to Rand, she said that “It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.” Barack Obama is the man collecting the sacrificial offerings and being served. I don’t want to sacrifice my life to him though. Deep down, I don’t think most Americans desire to either. But if the people do not awake shortly, they may find that one day soon they may not recognize the land they once called home, nor will they much appreciate the masters of the house.

  1. Anonymous
    March 2, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    The article states “there is no consensus at all as to whether or not what we do on Earth even makes so much as a dent in the overall climate patterns that occur over thousands of years.” The following papers from the “American Thinker” provide a concise coverage of the political and scientific issues with regard to ‘global warming’.Clear Thinking on Global Warming, by Randall Hoven http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/clear_thinking_on_global_warmi.htmlThe Farce of Global Warming, By Janet Levyhttp://www.americanthinker.com/2009/03/the_farce_of_global_warming.html However, what I wish to address is the quote from Ayn Rand "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission”. This raises several questions, namely ‘what is happening?’, ‘why has it occurred?’, and ‘what to do about it?’.Now the article “What is Our Nation Coming To?” is an insightful description of what is happening, while the title “Socialist Watch” has been prescient in noting what is unfolding. My sole addition is to clarify matters by reference to the 1963 film “The Servant”. Therein, James Fox plays the role of a British Aristocrat (or master), while Dirk Bogard plays the role of his scheming hireling (or servant). As the situation unfolds, the servant takes on ever greater control, while the master becomes ever more dependent and subservient. In the end, the servant and master exchange roles. I view this as a prototype for our government, which began as an agent (or servant) to protect the rights of its sovereigns (or master), but took on ever increasing control, until these citizens became dependent upon its approval for any action. Today, business & our institutions find that profit & performance depend more on their going along with government aims & requirements, than with their avowed mission.Similarly, the film provides insight as to why this has occurred, as the master seeks the comfort and assurance of his servant, while the servant schemes for expanded power in all realms. Thus there is an abdication of responsibility on the part of the public, along with an ever greater satiety of the governance. Here, the government says “Jump” while the public asks “How high?”. There are of course a confluence of causes for any societal outcome. One is that of the war of ideas, where the views of the socialists and liberals have won over the public, while the avowed defenders of liberty accommodate that which is popular and advantageous. Note that even when conservatives make a better case in terms of facts & history, the liberals win by having taken the higher ‘moral’ ground. Yet there is an even deeper cause, where the ideals of our civilization have been replaced by those of material benefits and passions. Our populace is then “getting the government they deserve”.The primary issue is what to do about it. Here we find that the anticipated sources of support for liberty are not dependable. Republicans tend to be careerists, conservatives opt for ‘compassion’, constitutionalists confine themselves to wording rather than principles, and militarists lack any notion as to who the enemy is, or what constitutes a strategy for victory. (It would be farcical to tell a student at Columbia that we can depend upon our educational institutions for intellectual guidance.) Yet this recalls the biblical tale of how Joshua prepared his army for a fight against overwhelming odds. He removed those troops whose heart was not in fighting, and those with any other impediment. It was only after he got down to the committed few that there was the requisite integrity to obtain victory. (This story is to be taken allegorically, rather than literally.) *Our problem is not in the actions to be taken by groups, but in the lack of integrity and vision of individuals.*Let us get to the root of the problem. There is the vogue belief in government intervention (in the economy, education, health, and culture) predicated upon the government having a moral mission. To counter that outlook, it is necessary to show that government intervention is immoral (as well as ineffective) and must be restored to its original mission of protecting our inalienable rights. Whereas the vogue view is that society is to be built by government, we ought to counter that it is to be developed by culture, where government has the limited technical role of protecting the right of people to do so. Finally, there is the need not only to counter the vogue outlook, but to justify that of our Founders. The liberals have made their case on the basis of incoherent definitions of ‘civilization’, ‘justice’, ‘morality’, and ‘rights’. It behooves us to counter their sophistry, and to reestablish objective definitions of those terms.In short, the individual must regain a sense of what he truly believes, establish what is fundamentally sound, and only on this basis reconstitute civilization. Dare I say it, the individual must seek guidance from the ultimate desideratum — his soul.Allen

  2. J Cooper Wandling
    March 3, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Wow. Its a great day to finally see you’re back and really taking in the grave severity of all that is finally unfolding in this world Andrew.This is no joke.>br>There can be no sit back and wait and see attitude towards Obama. He is here to continue to harm all Americans under the guise of Service.I do not disagree with any of the words that make up your essay. It is raw yet intelligent. What I do disagree with is the emotion behind it. Emotion can be just as enslaving. It is what the government uses when it instills FEAR in its populace. And fear has a direct link to anger.I am sure knowing what you know and attending Colombia must be very difficult, what with all the enviro BS you see on a daily basis. I sum up Environmentalism as this: The Planet does not need Saving, rather it is humanity. But I really believe that when it all comes down to it Andrew, is that you and I and many others are Principled Idealists, and we understand exactly how America was supposed to have been. There’s just not enough of us, nor even if there were, enough who would not twist the freedoms once again given to them into a thirst for Power.Your Ayn Rand quotes were perfect.Here’s a quote for you: “the finest opportunity ever given to the world was thrown away because the passion for equality made vain the hope for freedom.” Lord Acton.

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