Essay: Tyranny vs. Liberty

During the days of Joseph Stalin’s rule over Russia, in a Marxist experiment, he made an unforgettable point in front of his henchmen. Stalin said nothing, but he clutched a nearby chicken, holding it with one hand and plucking each feather off of the chicken with the other. When he was done, he set the featherless, fear­-crazed chicken on the floor, with some bread crumbs in his hand he walked away. The chicken quickly raced over to him warming itself against Stalin’s pant leg. Then Stalin gave the chicken some bread crumbs and walked to the other side of the room and the chicken repeated its actions. Then Stalin said, “This is the way to rule the people. Did you see how that chicken followed me for food, even though I had caused it such torture? People are like that chicken. If you inflict inordinate pain on them they will follow you for food the rest of their lives.” (Zacharias 26-27)

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name ­ liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names ­ liberty and tyranny.” -Abraham Lincoln (Basler 403­-404)

In a socialist society, everyone shares. Take for example food. One farmer grows apples, one grows peaches, one raises cows and so on. Then everyone shares the fruits of their labor. The underlining assumption behind this theory is that every one is good. That everyone will do what is required of them even though everyone else is sharing what they grow as well. But, many times in the Bible it says that no one is good, in other words that man is depraved. (New International Version, Ps. 14.3, Ps. 53.1, Rom. 1.28). History shows that when socialism is tried, people get lazy, everyone expects everyone else to do their work for the sharing. So no food is grown, which means people starve.

The Pilgrims tried this system when they came over to America. William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Plantation,  refers to this system as a “common storage.” (Bradford 76) Where the food is stored and shared. With this system, many of the Pilgrims starved to death. As 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (New International Version, 2 Thes. 3.10)

A more recent display of tyranny was in 2008. 64 year­-old Barbara Wagner had a recurrence of lung cancer. She was an Oregon citizen subject to its government run health care. Wagner’s physician prescribed a drug for her situation but the government health care denied her request for the drug, instead told Wagner that they would be willing to help her with assisted suicide. Ms. Wagner did not want to die, so the manufacturer provided the medication for her free of charge for a year. No thanks to the Oregon government. (“State denies cancer treatment, offers suicide instead.”)

I experienced tyranny first hand in 2006 when I visited the country of Belarus. If you went to the local store, there was one kind of cheese, one kind of bread and the shelves I saw were often bare. When you asked a host what kind of cheese this was they would respond “it’s the cheese.” The Belarussian government has seized so much control that they manage what you eat, drink, and how much heat to which citizens and visitors have access. Like the Joseph Stalin story I mentioned earlier, the tyrant is continually trying to increase your dependence on the government, until one day it has control of everyone and everything. The Statist, Marxist, and Socialist are all power hungry monsters that want more power before the previous feast has been finished.

James Madison said in Federalist Paper No. 51:

But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” (Hamilton, et al. 319)

Remember the pilgrims? How they were starving because they were trying socialism? William Bradford describes their solution: each family was given land and they were to provide for their families. There was a complete attitude change because now they grew food for their livelihood and more food than ever before was grown. (Bradford 115.) The concept of liberty solved the Pilgrims problems. And liberty is an essential component of the free market. The free market has shown time and time again to solve whatever problem efficiently and robustly.

For example, the recent discussions in Copenhagen, Denmark were held to find a viable solution to a assumed problem of Global Warming. One action that was considered was the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is a agreement that countries would sign and ratify saying that they will reduce their carbon emissions (an assumed solution). But, author and commentator Dick Morris points out that the free market has already achieved half of the Kyoto Protocol and is continuing to do so without Federal regulation. (Morris, Dick)

Experts in Forbes magazine say that the recent housing bubble was caused by government. The government told banks to give loans to people who the banks knew couldn’t pay for them. The result was these banks going bankrupt. The government’s solution was to give the bank millions of dollars, which only made the problem worse. (Wallison, Peter .J) The real solution is provided with the system of the free market. The system of the free market says that in order for the economy to survive, the bad businesses must suffer the consequences of their actions. While this may sound harsh, the real culprit is the government who caused the problem in the first place.

But there is always a threat to our nation. Norman Thomas, leader of the Socialist Party of America and American socialist candidate for President, in a 1944 speech said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” (“The day socialism comes to America.”)

We must not allow Norman Thomas’ words come true. We must not allow people like Stalin, Hitler, and Karl Marx to rule this God given and free nation. We must RESIST. We must recognize it and remove it as soon as possible.

As Ronald Reagan said:

Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self­ rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?” (“American Rhetoric: Ronald Reagan ­­ First Inaugural Address.”)

Ronald Reagan also warns that:  “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” (“Ronald Reagan and freedom.”)

Americans are not chickens to be plucked. Americans are not ones to be the hungry, cowering, dependent, government drones. This is my country, this is your country, we cannot afford to let the government do as it thinks best. It must to do as we think best. Just because our name is the United States of America does not mean that we are immune to tyranny, but because we are the United States of America we can stand up and say NO to tyranny. And I agree with Edmund Burke when he says that, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (“Quote Details: Edmund Burke”) The government should not have much to do with us, be we should have much to do with the government.

I am an American. I am going to be well educated, politically active and run for the office of President of the United States of America.

What will you do?

-Ben

Works Cited

“American Rhetoric: Ronald Reagan ­­ First Inaugural Address.” American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. 03 Dec. 2009 <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/ronaldreagandfirstinaugural.html>.

Basler, Roy P., ed. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Vol. V. Piscataway: Rutgers UP, 1953.

Bradford, William. Of Plymouth Plantation. New York: The Vision Forum, Inc., 1999.

“The day socialism comes to America.” A Free Press for a Free People. 03 Dec. 2009 <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=56620>.

Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, John Jay, and Clinton Rossiter. The Federalist Papers (Signet Classics). New York: Signet Classics, 2003.

Morris, Dick. “U.S. HALF WAY TO KYOTO GOALS ­ WITH NO GOVERNMENT REGULATION.” VOTE.COM ­ Homepage. Web. 30 Dec. 2009. <http://www.vote.com/mmpprinterfriendly.php?id=1761>.

New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973.

“Quote Details: Edmund Burke: All that is necessary… ­ The Quotations Page.” The Quotations Page ­ Your Source for Famous Quotes. Web. 22 Feb. 2010. <http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/2298.html>.

“Ronald Reagan and freedom.” White House 2: Where YOU set the nation’s priorities. 03 Dec. 2009 <http://whitehouse2.org/points/2076­ronald­reagan­and­freedom­>.

“State denies cancer treatment, offers suicide instead.” A Free Press for a Free People. 19 June 2008. Web. 25 Jan. 2010. <http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=67565>.

Wallison, Peter .J, and Edward .J Pinto. “A Government­ Mandated Housing Bubble ­ Forbes.com.” Forbes.com ­ Business News, Financial News,  Stock Market Analysis, Technology & Global Headline News. 16 Feb. 2009. Web. 05 Jan. 2010. <http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/13/housing-bubble-subprime-opinions-contributors_0216_peter_wallison_edward_pinto.html>.

Zacharias, Ravi. Can Man Live Without God? Dallas: Word, 1994.

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2 comments

  1. Yes, the Great One, Ronald Reagan. All Presidents since the Great Man have merely spent the peace dividend that he won for all of us, and for all of the human race. He towered above his time, facing down the oppressive and imperial regime of the USSR when the stakes were global annihilation.

    We have ricocheted from the feckless (Bush 41) to the selfish and profane (Clinton) to the schizophrenic (Bush 43) to the Marxist/Fascist (Obama) and find ourselves in great need of a President with even 1/10th the majesty and leadership of Mr. Reagan.

    If we make it through this dark time, a President will rise and lead America on its continued journey of freedom, prosperity, and enlightened government unprecedented in human history.

    Godspeed to his great soul and to the United States, the last, best hope of Earth.

  2. Anonymous · · Reply

    An outstanding work of thought and research. With this type of thought and research along with plans for our future, you indeed may be running for the office of President of the United States. We must all do our part for God and our Country.

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