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The three L’s: liberty, law, and ‘lections

Francis has an excerpt from Clarence Carson’s seminal 1970 book on the subject.

[W]e are told that there is no need to fear the concentration of power in government so long as that power is checked by the electoral process. We are urged to believe that so long as we can express our disagreement in words, we have our full rights to disagree. Now both freedom of speech and the electoral process are important to liberty, but alone they are only the desiccated remains of liberty. However vigorously we may argue against foreign aid, our substance is still drained away in never-to-be-repaid loans. Quite often, there is not even a candidate to vote for who holds views remotely like my own. To vent one’s spleen against the graduated income tax may be healthy for the psyche, but one must still yield up his freedom of choice as to how his money will be spent when he pays it to the government. The voice of electors in government is not even proportioned to the tax contribution of individuals; thus, those who contribute more lose rather than gain by the “democratic process.” A majority of voters may decide that property cannot be used in such and such ways, but the liberty of the individual is diminished just as much as in that regard as if a dictator had decreed it. Those who believe in the redistribution of wealth should be free to redistribute their own, but they are undoubtedly limiting the freedom of others when they vote to redistribute theirs.

 Effective disagreement means not doing what one does not want to do as well as saying what he wants to say. What is from one angle the welfare state is from another the compulsory state. Let me submit a bill of particulars. Children are forced to go to school. Americans are forced to pay taxes to support foreign aid, forced to support the Peace Corps, forced to make loans to the United Nations, forced to contribute to the building of hospitals, forced to serve in the armed forces. Employers are forced to submit to arbitration with labor leaders. Laborers are forced to accept the majority decision. Employers are forced to pay minimum wages, or go out of business. But it is not even certain that they will be permitted by the courts to go out of business. Railroads are forced to charge established rates and to continue services which may have become uneconomical. Many Americans are forced to pay Social Security. Farmers are forced to operate according to the restrictions voted by a majority of those involved. The list could be extended, but surely the point has been made.

Porretto’s conclusion mirrors my own oft-stated one:

I could start to rant about the Deep State, whose insulation from electoral processes is a great part of the reason for the diminution of our freedom, but I’ve done it before, and I dislike to repeat myself. My actual purpose here is to remind my Gentle Readers of the essential truth about freedom:

Freedom is not granted.

It is taken:

Whether by you, or from you.

Freedom’s price is always paid in advance. It’s usually denominated in blood. How, then, should we who have paid nothing expect to retain it?

As recent FUSA history has shown, we cannot expect to—because, assuredly, we WILL not retain it. “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Well, we couldn’t, evidently. The one and only thing our tainted “elections,” at least at the national level, guarantee us is more of the same old shite.

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