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It’s All About Common Sense

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-09-01 22:54:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Thomas Paine.
Image via Wikipedia

August 23, 2009

Each and every day a child is born into a world of truths and lies, rights and wrongs, haves and wants.  From its first breath, it is conditioned to understand the forces of action and reaction, the relationship between wanting and getting, and how to manipulate the circumstances to best serve its needs. Whether it’s crying to receive its milk or copping a smile to get a hug, the child quickly begins to understand how to acquire material and non-material things.

Our mind is conditioned to think in terms of acquisitions and possessions. It is human nature and, just like with any other emotion, there too is an emotion attached to one’s possessions. The value of one’s possessions (regardless of whether they are material, like a home or a car, or non-material, like professional respect or rich family traditions) is directly related to the effort exerted in obtaining them. The depth of the emotion attached to these possessions is similarly directly correlated to this effort, as well as their value.  The three form an inextricable triad which is deeply rooted in human nature and natural law. From this simple observation, a basic conclusion about the human condition can be summarized as follow:

Your happiness is directly related to the value of the wealth (material and non-material) you’ve created and the effort you’ve contributed in creating it.

When we are first taught to play in the sandbox, we are told not to take the other children’s toys. Why? Because first of all those toys don’t belong to us – we haven’t earned the right to have them. Secondly, it would make the other children sad, since that for which they likely had to do something to get (i.e. earn it), would be unjustly taken away from them. It’s just common sense, isn’t it?

value-effort-happiness

But some time very soon after the sandbox stage in a child’s development, these nascent links and deep-rooted relationships between ownership, effort and happiness begin to be eaten away. In the home this happens through parents who too easily accept the commercial media version of the world and who are not willing (or intellectually able) to espouse the basic principles of natural law and individual responsibility onto their offspring.   Outside the home the society takes over with incongruent representations of the real world, manifested in attitudes such as:

  • debt is good (and you don’t really have to pay it all back)
  • your mistakes are everyone else’s problem
  • less capable does not mean less deserving
  • every effort is just as good as any other, and should deserve the same outcome (i.e. it’s the effort that counts)
  • opportunity should not be equally apportioned, but instead should be skewed toward those who need it most, even (or particularly) if at the expense of those who can produce a better outcome from such opportunity

Does that make sense? Is a society which has these as its principles efficient, fair, equitable and sustainable?

Clearly, the answer must be “no,” since each violates one or more basic laws of human behavior and indeed common sense. Yet over the better part of the 20th century the American society has adopted and inculcated each of these values into its daily life and its government, media and cultural centers continue to promote even greater departures from the basic principles which make up the human behavioral DNA.

A modern society which is based on principles of liberty and freedom cannot at the same time be one which imposes unnatural laws and ordinances on its citizens. It is not, as most progressive liberals would like to see, a place and time where all are guaranteed an equal outcome, regardless of their individual contribution.  It certainly cannot be one which irresponsibly uses its financial and human resources and violates the most basic principles of supply/demand economics.

Like the sea farer that knows the immovable nature of the stars and how they provide him guidance to navigate the stormy waters, so too a modern society must have its anchor in tried and tested core founding principles. And this is particularly true in a world where change is occurring at increasing speed and where losing its national compass, a society risks eternal disorientation in the sea of conflict and divergence.

In his 1776 political pamphlet “Common SenseThomas Paine looks at the political systems of his time, the monarchy, the British parliament, commons and constitution and questions many of the prevailing ideas of the role of government and its relationship to the citizens. In so doing he applies a rigorous discipline of logic and of common sense, and exposes nonsensical laws and political traditions. Most constitutional historians agree that this scrutiny and deep analysis of the British system of government at the time made a significant impact on the writing of the United States Constitution.

We could say that much common sense was applied by the authors of the American Constitution in formulating the principles of our founding. We know that because of its common sense it has withstood the test of time.

Each time we step away from these guiding principles, we lose one more star in the sky to guide us by.

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Article may be published with attribution to the author and the NakedLiberty.com web site

Article is Copyrighted (c) 2009, XCIOS, LLC

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What Socialism Is

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-09-04 12:04:20. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Errors-of-socialism 1by Nancy Morgan
RightBias.com
September 4, 2009

When a word comes too close to actually identifying an inconvenient reality, secular progressives spring into action. The offending word is either redefined or reduced its first letter, thereby signifying that polite society will no longer accept it. You’ve heard of the N word, the B word (think Hillary) and now comes the S word.

By its abbreviation, the S word, formerly known as socialism, infers a negative connotation. A negative connotation richly deserved due to the incontrovertible fact that socialism has failed every where it has been tried.

In a nutshell, socialism is an economic system where property is held in common, not individually, and its ideal is a centrally directed economy. Socialism entails the substitution of group decision making for individual choice. In this case, the ‘group’ making the decisions are the 32 (and counting) unelected and unaccountable czars Obama is anointing.

The origins of socialist thought come directly from Aristotle. Aristotle believed that since only actions aiming at a perceived benefit to others were, to his mind, morally approved, then actions solely for personal gain (capitalism) must be bad.

This theory of Aristotle’s is the basic premise of the Obama administration. By claiming the ‘moral high ground’ of the ‘greater good’ Obama and his minions have free reign to radically alter both our system of government and the hundreds of years of tradition it represents.

Under the guise of altruism and the greater good, Obama has launched a full scale attack on capitalism. The very capitalism that has fed the world for decades. The capitalism that has produced the highest standard of living in the freest and most productive country in the world. But, according to the ruling elite, capitalism is bad, because it entails, gasp, ‘profit’. And every progressive worth his salt knows profit is only possible on the backs of less fortunate. Right?

Obama and the secular progressives who now determine policy in America pride themselves on being the intellectual representatives of modern thought and thus superior in knowledge, wisdom and moral virtue than those who hold traditional values (conservatives). They believe their duty is to offer new ideas to the public and deride whatever is conventional and/or traditional. Newness, not truth, is their main value.*

The fly in Obama’s ointment is the fact that the system of socialism isn’t very good at creating wealth. Only individuals do that. But hey, socialism is ‘ethically superior’ and that’s what counts. Right?

Obama was voted into office based on his skill at selling abstract ideas like equality and justice. Millions of Americans bought into his spiel. Most likely the very same Americans who buy lottery tickets. Against all reason, they were led to believe that the government can provide them a free lunch. And there will be no cost to them. And best of all, these moochers can also claim the moral high ground. After all, they are victims of rich capitalists. And that’s not fair! And its not their fault that they haven’t won life’s lottery.

The problem with their premise can be reduced to two words. Free will. God gave us free will – the ability to fail or succeed based on the choices we make. Obama proposes to do away with free will and vest those decisions in a central government.

Losers can now breathe a sigh of relief. Whew. Now, instead of losers, they’re much valued victims. And the new socialist society Obama and friends are in the process of implementing has a moral duty to shield them from the consequences of their bad choices. But best of all, socialism allows life’s losers the moral high ground as they systematically plunder the fruits of another man’s labor.

This is socialism. This is what President Obama wants America to be. But students of history insist on asking the question: How long can a society survive that rewards failure and punishes success? Unfortunately, America will get an answer to that question if Obama is allowed to continue transforming our country into his ‘new and improved’ idea of a socialist utopia.

* Hayek’s ‘The Errors of Socialism’

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Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina

Article has been published with permission from the author

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Campaign in Poetry, Govern in Prose

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2009-08-23 23:19:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

August 23, 2009

From a psychological perspective, narcissistic people do not do well when the cards are stacked against them. Few would argue that Barak Obama possesses a rich dose of such self-absorbing traits. His energy is derived from mass adoration, from loud chants of support from his frenzied constituents, and from nodding of heads among the swarm of “yes” people that make up his inner-most circle. The personality makeup of this inner circle is in itself evidence of the strong need our president has for constant reinforcement and acceptance. In many ways, he is a child of the x-generation, brought up in a culture of having the universe revolve around him.

While self adulation served him well during his assent to prominence, where his confidence transcended all voices of skepticism, questioning his sincerity, veracity of promises made and his fundamental ability to deliver on those promises, now in a position of executive power, this same character trait is a strong obstacle to his effective leadership. Moreover, it is likely to become the noose on which his progressive liberal agenda will hang in testament of the poor leadership which the president has exhibited so far.

One of the most noticeable (but not much discussed) behaviors of the president is the extent to which he is shown to the public in solo appearances.  It is rare indeed to see him in any sort of a group setting. All that the media seems to ever get a glimpse of is the president walking alone to his helicopter, stepping up alone to a press conference podium, talking one-on-one, armchair-to-armchair with a reporter or visiting dignitary, or lecturing at a town-hall event or fund raiser. What is profoundly missing from this image is that of a strong, central figure surrounded by an equally strong leadership team, setting the tone of the conversation, crisply defining specific goals and delegating mission tactics to his lieutenants. Instead, after just a few months in office, the only images the public sees of the president seem to project exhaustion and isolation, lack of clarity of direction and being lost in the face of mounting public disagreement with his core beliefs.

There is a quote attributed to Mario Cuomo which roughly goes like this: “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.” And as with most great campaigners, Barak Obama has embraced an ideological dogma and has made great poetry of it during his campaign. His campaign message of social justice and accountable government, interspersed with hope, optimism and himself as the protagonist knight on a white horse, admittedly made for a great work of campaign poetry. Now that the last verse of the poem has been written, it is time to take out the true and tried manual of governing that is the Constitution which, while written in prose, is what defines our nation, its traditions and values.  Barak Obama somehow misses this critical point and until he does get it (if he ever does), his presidency will continue to be ineffective and mired in disarray.

The Constitution does not require exceptional leadership from any one individual nor any of the branches of government it defines – in fact, the process of checks and balances specifically provides a remedy for the flaws of human behavior which are expected to permeate all levels of government. However, the overall benefit to the nation is exponentially greater when such a leader emerges. But what the Constitution does not provide an antidote for is subversive activity which undermines it in the first place. The current president and anti-constitutional proponents of expanded government throughout the 20th century appear to have discovered and understood the potential inherent in this Achilles heel of our system of government and are trying to usurp their hegemony over the founding principles of the Constitution.  By so doing, and with each legislative weakening of the links which bond the pieces of the Constitution together, the buffers which protect us against weak (or in fringe cases corrupt or incompetent) leaders are similarly undermined. Like a weakened immune system of a body, this exposes our society to progressively more virulent strains of government infectious activity to reach progressively deeper into our lives, to restrict our liberties and our freedom.

So frankly, I don’t particularly ascribe a great deal of emotion to whether Barak Obama will “snap out” of his campaign shell and begin to lead our nation with an intelligent domestic and international agenda. For now he is still bound by the limits on his authority through the Constitution and, as I am deeply convinced, his presidency will not just be a one-term event, but indeed will be recorded in history as one of the greatest polar swings in popularity, combined with the fastest fall from glory that any president has ever encountered.  He will soon be followed by another flawed human being (regardless of whether democrat, republican, libertarian, independent or other).  And that is how our system works.

On occasion we are blessed with an Abraham Lincoln or a Ronald Reagan who awakens us to what our nation can be and moves us to a higher plane of national self realization. Those are rare events but they leave behind a legacy which must survive until the time that the next such event occurs. We are in this transitional period now, awaiting the next “great emancipator” or the “great communicator” to make his/her mark on this great nation. In the meantime, our constitutional system of government must be protected and constantly re-enforced to allow for and support the next leap forward.

While the fate of Barak Obama’s presidency will in the end be unremarkable, his lack of leadership during his presidency can over the remaining duration of his term gravely affect the course of events in the unruly Congress which continues to accelerate the march toward the liberalization of our system of free market capitalism. This is where the focus of attention needs to be and where efforts to materially affect the makeup and balance of power should be centered.  The opportunity to do so is presented to us every November.

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Article may published with attribution to the author and web site

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