Saturday, February 10, 2007

Declaring Our Independence...Again

Murray Sabrin

One of the greatest achievements of the human race was the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration stated unequivocally that government is created to protect the rights of the individual.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,…

These words ignited the American Revolution and the eventual establishment of a new nation of independent states in order for the American people to take their rightful place in society, free individuals pursuing their dreams, their hopes, their values.

That was the promise, the ideology, of the American Revolution---liberty, limited government and free enterprise.

How far we have come from 1776! Today, the prevailing ideology in Washington DC and Trenton and all the other state capitals is statism—the belief that the state should “take from one group in order to give to another. The more it can take the more it can give. It is to the interest of those whom the government wishes to favor that their state become as large as possible.” (Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government)

In short, too many Americans have embraced what the political elites have been selling to them in election after election for decades, dependence on the state for their basic needs—education, housing, medical care, social security, etc.

Three decades ago, Murray Rothbard speaking at the Libertarian Party convention correctly diagnosed the issues facing America.

The difference between us and the Democrats and Republicans is not that we are so much smarter than they are, but that we are deeply concerned with ideas, with principles, whereas they are simply concerned with getting their places at the public trough. We are interested in principles, they in power; and, gloriously enough, our principle is that their power be dismantled.

Too many libertarians have absorbed the negative and elitist conservative worldview to the effect that our enemy today is the poor, who are robbing the rich; the blacks, who are robbing the whites; or the masses, who are robbing heroes and businessmen. In fact, it is the state that is robbing all classes, rich and poor, black and white, worker and businessman alike; it is the state that is ripping us all off; it is the state that is the common enemy of mankind. And who is the state? It is any group who manages to seize control of the state's coercive machinery of theft and privilege. Of course these ruling groups have differed in composition through history, from kings and nobles to privileged merchants to Communist parties to the Trilateral Commission.

On these pages we will expose the statists of both political parties and what they are doing to what is left of the American people’s liberties. The clock is ticking. Given who are the leading contenders for the presidency in 2008, we should be worried, very worried.

Our goal in the next several years must be nothing less than declaring our independence again. Nothing less will save American from a complete statist takeover of our society.

Murray Sabrin, Ph.D., is professor of finance in the Anisfield School of Business, Ramapo College of New Jersey, where he is executive director of the Center for Business and Public Policy.