Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Those Who Deny Freedom to Others . . .

. . . deserve it not for themselves." Those words, spoken by Abraham Lincoln, helped free thousands of people from the chains of slavery. It is collectivism (the political principle of centralized social and economic control, esp. of all means of production) that helps the seeds of racism take hold and grow.

Congressman Ron Paul is strongly opposed to collectivism and believes that the government is ill-suited to combat racism and bigotry. Here's more:

"A nation that once prided itself on a sense of rugged individualism has become uncomfortably obsessed with racial group identities.

The collectivist mindset is at the heart of racism.

Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people's hearts by passing more laws and regulations.

It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government "benevolence" crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.

Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism.

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence - not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty."

Monday, November 19, 2007

This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land

Remember the movie Far and Away? Remember how the most important thing was to own land? If you owned a piece of land you were somebody and it was yours until you sold it or you died. That's not the case today.

If you own land, the government can take that land away from you due to a policy called "eminent domain". Eminent domain used to mean that the government could take your land from you if it was deemed that the land was necessary for the greater good of the American public. Building a freeway is one such example. Sure they usually offer to pay you fair market value for your property, but what if you don't want to sell it? Too bad.

These days, eminent domain also means that the government can take your land away if a commercial entity decides it wants the land in order to put in something like a shopping mall. Ron Paul, however, begs to differ:

"We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches.

Today, we face a new threat of widespread eminent domain actions as a result of powerful interests who want to build a NAFTA superhighway through the United States from Mexico to Canada.

We also face another danger in regulatory takings: Through excess regulation, governments deprive property owners of significant value and use of their properties — all without paying 'just compensation.'

Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society. Without the right to own a printing press, for example, freedom of the press becomes meaningless. The next president must get federal agencies out of these schemes to deny property owners their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property."