An American Dream Or Human Nightmare?

November, 2019 Feature--Truth Based Logic


Synopsis
A gathering storm: Incompatible views of the American experience. Inevitable clash, between advocates of dependence on bureaucracy to limit individual achievement & defenders of a social order premised on it; a culture premised on personal responsibility in all human interaction.

Since 2008, American Democrats have moved dramatically to the far Left. They have embraced an egalitarian collectivism reminiscent of the horrors the Eighteenth Century Jacobins imposed on France, or which the Bolsheviks imposed on Russia, after World War I. Apologizing for a once proud history, but supported with slavish uniformity by most of an indoctrinated media, a new Leftist leadership poses the greatest threat, yet, to the heritage of America, to the enduring legacy of the Founding Fathers.

Clearly the issue--the defining issue in 21st Century America--involves our once focused sense of purpose. Traditional American purpose was in a social order--with moral foundation--premised on personal responsibility. To traditional patriots, America--the federation of States bonded by the Constitution--was not seen as an engine for social change, not as a palliative for material disappointments, not as a mechanism for egalitarian experiment.

America was seen as a federation of "promised lands." Here, no one was guaranteed material success; yet each individual was free to try, free to excel; indeed free to achieve greatly; inherently free to retain the benefts of personal labor & ingenuity; to pass them forward to posterity, without arbitrary ceiling on wealth or social status.

In America, we respected, honored--hoped to emulate--our high achievers. Emulation, not brooding envy, was the order of the day. An obvious result, was that virtually every ethnic group that came here, rapidly achieved at a higher level than their cousins, who remained in ancestral lands. Over and over again, the same experiment; the same result!

In this spirit--respect for the natural aspirations of the individual, honor & emulation for high achievers in the pursuit of excellence;--the Founders interdicted the misuse of taxation for the purpose of redistribution of wealth (Article I, Section 9, in our Federal Constitution), from those who earned it, to those being patronized by politicians. Thus they prohibited the unequal Taxation, now mischievously called "progressive," on individual Americans.

That those, who achieve greatly, benefit proportionately from such achievement, is hardly a basis for moral outrage. While charity is indeed a virtue, it has never involved a forcible or involuntary taking of the material achievements of others.

Another approach: When a defined people establish a political order premised on basic principles; when millions of people migrate to the domains of that political order, intending to seek acceptance in same, solemnly swearing to uphold the legal premises of that political order; there certainly appear to be moral obligations, imposed & accepted in a dynamic interaction, which deserve recognition. Yet the new "Democratic" Left does not find the Constitution, all public officials have sworn to defend, even meriting much discussion. They almost never describe where they claim the power, to carry out proposed adventures in social engineering, is derived.

These introductory factors relate primarily to the settler values, as opposed to a contemporary American nightmare over attempts to reengineer civil society; to an inspired self-reliance, now besieged by slogans. The contrast could not be sharper.

The settler culture grew out of the aspirations of those who had cleared a wilderness to build self-sustaining communities from the ground up; a people who aspired to an ongoing multi-generational society, where the concept of limiting the achievement level of any family would have been rejected as a violation of natural law. (America: Based On Experience & Reason)

Consider the observable struggles, both of man & beast for a better life, achievable through the focused efforts of an aspirant, in the context of references to the Blessings of Liberty and our posterity in the Preamble to the Constitution. Are they not totally consistent with rejection of the misuse of direct taxation for any totalitarian redistribution of wealth? Are they not totally inconsistent with any of the egalitarian projects, which pepper the words & actions of the radical Left?

In an historic perspective on natural law, man had at least as much right to the accumulated fruits of his productive labor--as against the coveting avarice of other humans--as the fabled squirrel--against other squirrels--in the gathering of nuts. In fairness, the lesson is obvious. It is not even necessary to cite the careful reasoning of Jefferson or his contemporaries (yet note his explanation of the dynamics of a social welfare system that actually benefited those in need, Jefferson On Welfare), to recognize how far we have drifted from a common sense reality.

The self-reliant settler nations, who set a new American path in the late 18th Century, had proven both their capacity to achieve & the validity of reliance on individual responsibility, over six preceding generations. They did not imagine material benefit would be gained by exchanging primal liberty for dependence on a distant bureaucracy, in a far off center of power. A social order, which guaranteed housing, sustenance and/or healthcare--guarantees now imagined by the bulk of Democratic spokesmen & office holders--was no part of the typical aspirations of a new citizenry.

From any reason or experience based perspective, the Leftist pursuit of dependence on an egalitarian bureaucracy, is an effort to replace the aspiration based premises of those, who demonstrated how to actually succeed on a scale virtually unrivaled in human history, with the envy based contrivances of those who simply will not accept reality: We are all different complexes of aptitudes, strengths, weaknesses & motivations; all, beneficiaries and/or victims of a myriad of chance factors--virtually impossible to fairly or accurately measure, much less benefit from intervention by bureaucrats, theorizing how others should live in a distant center of arbitrary power.

In the mean spirited culture that the American Left offers, we no longer honor success in the way early America did. Instead we are cursed with voting blocs motivated not by admiration; not by a desire to emulate what actually works in the human experience; but by envy & resentment, rationalized by the absurdity, that equality, rather than excellence, must be the goal.

Thus the rationalization for taxing high achievement at accelerating rates, while Government increasingly intervenes, to interfere with--to limit the extent that--an individual, who knows what he is good at, can actually apply his aptitudes to emulate what has proven to work. Thus, at virtually every turn, figurative sand is poured into the gears of the economic dynamic. Daily decision making is ever more complicated by such factors, based not on reality but often compulsion driven false premises. Who suffers? All of us.

Did any reader ever sit in a classroom with his or her "equal" on either side? It is beyond merely unlikely! Each of us is a complex bundle, in very different proportions one from another, of aptitudes, aspirations, disabilities (both innate & consequential), as well as possible motivations in varying contexts (or circumstances), all influenced by experiences particular or peculiar to each individual. There is no logical reason to expect an equal level of social, material or spiritual accomplishment between any two of us; nor any benefit from making believe there is.

Politicians & academics, who bemoan "income inequality," as rationalization for inflicting greater political intrusions in the economy, social institutions and/or daily interaction of a people, are engaged in malevolent sophistry; obvious sophistry, which can only worsen any "problem," they pretend or imagine to address. This should be obvious with a little reflection on the dynamics involved. Consider:

1. Who is more likely to improve their personal situation: One who lets demagogues convince him or her that they should blame their failures on those who succeed; or those who seek to emulate the more successful, by considering what actual talents the seeker has in the context of what others in the community find useful? In other words, trying to do his or her personal best with each individual's actual aptitudes.

2. Who is more likely to improve his or her situation: The person with an attitude framed in envy & resentment--such as an individual demanding that others solve his perceived problem--or the person, who seeks to follow the example of those who assumed a focused responsibility for their own future?

3. Who is more likely to succeed: The person who follows the example of those who have succeeded, in any particular endeavor, or the person who allows power grasping politicians to poison his or her outlook? (Where a punitive hatred of those who made better decisions, replaces even the most basic work ethic, causing the subject to rationalize dependence on modern Pied Pipers?)

What distinguished the Founding Fathers, in launching a social political vehicle-- a Constitutional federation with a near total lack of dependence on bureaucracy--was a near total dependence on individual responsibility. What they unleashed, was a dynamic, creative power, involving a far higher percentage of the citizens, than could be reasonably expected in any of the major, dependence based, contemporary powers.

There were six generations from settlement to the Constitution; four or five more to the American ascendancy, realized in the first half of the Twentieth Century; a rise that, for a time, would preserve the heritages of much of what we call the "Free World," from a sickening egalitarian Socialist Compulsion For Uniformity, the neurotic impulse, which the Democratic Left now imagines to be a solution to most of the problems of Mankind.

Our clear history, from 1787 till 1929, provides a compelling refutation to the Socialist argument. What the new Democratic Left offers is to turn what has been labeled an "American Dream," into what--given the logistics in contemporary mass communication--could rapidly morph into the ultimate human nightmare! We face a gathering storm, envy & compulsion driven fanatics, increasingly armed by neurotic technocrats, seeking almost total control of the usable information, still allowed to a hapless humanity.

William Flax





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