“The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men. The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inﬂicted by bad governments. The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.” —Ludwig von Mises
America is being destroyed. The enemy, believe it or not, does not come from a foreign shore. Nor does the destruction come to us in the form of ammunition, missiles, or bombs. Instead, it comes in the form of soul-destroying policies and laws that result from the insatiable desire of some to look to government for cradle to the grave care.
There was a time when most Americans looked first to themselves, then their families, and finally to their churches for assistance. The idea of looking any further, especially to a government, wasn’t even a consideration for many. Self-respect, thrift, and charitable giving were hallmarks of the industrious and self-reliant American people.
Today, far too many Americans are looking first to the government to take care of them. Some don’t even bother with looking to self and family. Even those that do often feel caught in a trap of having no choice but to be subsidized by government programs to make ends meet. Whether it’s food, housing, healthcare, or even retirement; Americans not only look to, but expect, the state to take care of them.
Where churches once played a prominent and vital roll in our communities and the lives of individuals, religion is now often openly scoffed at and ridiculed as archaic, outdated, and unnecessary. Where the vast majority of Americans once viewed individual rights as inherent from our Creator, many Americans now believe in collective rights originating from the Almighty Government.
The Welfare State is a product of a failed civilization. Were the people filled with faith, self-respect, thrift, and charitable giving; how much of a need would there even be for the government programs so many have become dependent upon?
In March of 2017, the Bismarck Tribune reported on the horrific and tragic story of a homeless man who was found dead and frozen to the ground under a Grand Forks bridge. Yet, the tragedy wasn’t even told as the primary point of the article. Instead, it was told as part of an article lamenting the cuts that have taken place to homeless shelters.
While churches have historically functioned off of voluntary tithes and other offerings to meet the needs of the poor and needy, the government functions off of close to 100 different types of taxes… many of them confiscatory. For many, the idea of a charitable contribution takes place every year when they file their taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Just one of the many offerings made to the Almighty Government.
Barry Goldwater summed up the difference between conservatives and liberals this way in his best-selling book “Conscience of a Conservative”:
“The root difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals of today is that Conservatives take account of the whole man, while the Liberals tend to look only at the material side of man’s nature. The Conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic; an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, these needs and desires reflect the superior side of man’s nature and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of man’s spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy. Liberals, on the other hand — in the name of a concern for ‘human beings’ — regard the satisfaction of economic wants as the dominant mission of society. They are, moreover, in a hurry. So that their characteristic approach is to harness the society’s political and economic forces into a collective effort to compel ‘progress.’ In this approach, I believe they fight against Nature.”
And just what are the consequences of this focus on the material side of man? The great Thomas Sowell addressed this:
“… the political left’s welfare state makes poverty more comfortable, while penalizing attempts to rise out of poverty. Unless we believe that some people are predestined to be poor, the left’s agenda is a disservice to them, as well as to society. The vast amounts of money wasted are by no means the worst of it.”
What will be the worst of it? What is the cost we pay as Americans for the soul-destroying worship of the state? It can be summed up in three words… loss of Liberty.
Thomas Jefferson warned:
“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?”
Again, America is being destroyed… from within. The remedy? A return to the principles of a Constitutionally limited government, Free Markets, self-reliance, thrift, charitable giving, and a recognition of the source of our God-given and inherent rights.
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**Note: This article was originally published on The Minuteman March 29, 2017.**