Freedom can be inconvenient. It can demand things of us we’d rather not give, and demand us to think when we’d rather coast. But it’s better than the alternative.
Noah Webster defined a slave as:
"1. A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no will of his own, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another...
"2. One who has lost the power of resistance; or one who surrenders himself to any power whatever; as a slave to passion, to lust, to ambition..."
If we refuse to think, others will do our thinking for us. If we cede our right to conscience, the battle is over. Without the ability to personally decide and act upon what we believe to be right and true, we will be utterly defenseless. What’s “right,” or “politically correct,” will then be what those who rule us determine it to be. This is the logical result of relativism: alternate realities must reconcile somehow, and force is the simple, direct method.
All this is nothing new. The current administration’s slogan may be “Forward,” but it’s leading us down a path rejected centuries ago. Collectivism? State-induced infanticide? That’s so 5th century. Progressives are regressing.
Of course there’s the argument that new civilizations need new methods. But we Americans already vetted and rejected these long ago.
It’s ironic that President Obama would deliver his “You Didn’t Build That” speech in Virginia, because this is where we already put collectivism on trial. It didn’t go so well. The Jamestown colony nearly starved. As Jamestown Secretary Raphe Hamor wrote in a letter in 1614:
“[F]ormerly, when our people were fedde out of the common store and laboured jointly in the manuring of the ground, and planting corne, glad was that man that could slippe from his labour, nay the most honest of them in a generall businesse, would not take so much faithfull and true paines, in a weeke, as now he will doe in a day, neither cared they for the increase, presuming that howsoever their harvest prospered, the generall store must maintain them, by which meanes we reaped not so much corne from the labours of 30 men, as three men have done for themselves...”
If a colonist was assured a share in the reapings, why should he break his back bringing it in? The trouble was, not enough food was brought in. Killing the profit motive killed the profit.
As Mr. Hamor further explained:
“Sir Thomas Dale hath taken a new course, throughout the whole Colony, by which meanes, the generall store... shall not be charged with any thing: and this it is, he hath allotted to every man in the Colony, three English Acres of cleere Corne ground, which every man is to mature and tend, being in the nature of Farmers... and they are not called unto any service or labor belonging to the Colony, more then one moneth in the yeere, which shall neither be in seede time, or in Harvest, for which, doeing no other duty to the Colony, they are yearly to pay into the store two barrells and a halfe of Corne: there to be reserved to keep new men... thereby the lives of many shall not onely be preserved, but also themselves kept in strength and heart, able to performe such businesses, as shall be imposed upon them: and thus shall also the former charge be well saved, and yet more businesse effected.”
When a wise Jamestown governor abolished collectivism and put each colonist in charge of his own life, the colony thrived. Over two hundred years later, the Founders encouraged personal ingenuity, for example by placing Article 1, Section 8 in the Constitution. It gives Congress the power“[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
Instead of creating bloated agencies such as the National Endowment of the Arts or the National Science Foundation which redistribute funds bled from the productive private sector, the Founders created an environment where an individual could protect and benefit from his own ideas.
But, of course, that required that an individual himself be protected. “Intention to abort” was first grounds for conviction in Maryland in 1652, and Virginia classified abortion as murder in 1710. The Declaration of Independence affirms each American’s “right to life,” and throughout American history this was increasingly interpreted as encompassing unborn children. By 1965, abortion was illegal in all 50 states. Roe v. Wade turned the clock backward. We regressed from what we already knew.
In May, 1857 the American Medical Association appointed a Committee on Criminal Abortion. It investigated the causes of criminal abortion and ways to reduce them, presenting three major findings about "this general demoralization":
"The first of these causes is a widespread popular ignorance of the true character of the crime -- a belief, even among mothers themselves, that the foetus is not alive till after the period of quickening.
"The second of the agents alluded to is the fact that the profession themselves are frequently supposed careless of foetal life...
"The third reason of the frightful extent of this crime is found in the grave defects of our laws, both common and statute, as regards the independent and actual existence of the child before birth, as a living being. These errors, which are sufficient in most instances to prevent conviction, are based, and only based, upon mistaken and exploded medical dogmas. With strange inconsistency, the law fully acknowledges the foetus in utero and its inherent rights, for civil purposes; while personally and as criminally affected, it fails to recognize it, and to its life as yet denies all protection."
After hearing these findings, the Association adopted resolutions "against such unwarrantable destruction of human life." This remained the official position of the Association until 1970.
How far we’ve fallen. Redistribution is so widespread it’s become commonplace, and on August 1, 2012, the Health and Human Services’s mandate that all insurance companies cover sterilizations, abortifacients, birth control, and abortion took effect.
George Washington’s words ring true today:
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own... The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission.”