Obama To Americans: You Donít Deserve To Be Free
2014-02-23 0:00

By Harry Binswanger | forbes.com

Comment: Although you can have your reservations about Ayn Rand, considering her pro-war stance, attack on libertarians and also on the aspects of legitimacy of government, there are however some very good points raised by Harry Binswanger in this Forbes article from December 2013. He questions governments involvement in the economic crash, the Federal reserve system as a whole and who really has been in charge the last 100+ years. When you know about the ideology of Fabian society member John Maynard Keynes who co-founded the World Bank with Harry Dexter White, it become a bit clearer. They have been working hard on destroying the financial system in order to gain support for itís reformation.

President Obamaís Kansas speech is a remarkable document. In calling for more government controls, more taxation, more collectivism, he has two paragraphs that give the show away. Take a look at them.

there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, letís respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ďThe market will take care of everything,Ē they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxesĖespecially for the wealthyĖour economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesnít trickle down, well, thatís the price of liberty.

Now, itís a simple theory. And we have to admit, itís one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. Thatís in Americaís DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But hereís the problem: It doesnít work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didnít work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. Itís not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the í50s and í60s. And it didnít work when we tried it during the last decade. (Applause.) I mean, understand, itís not as if we havenít tried this theory.


Though not in Washington, Iím in that ďcertain crowdĒ that has been saying for decades that the market will take care of everything. Itís not really a crowd, itís a tiny group of radicalsĖradicals for capitalism, in Ayn Randís well-turned phrase.

The only thing that the market doesnít take care of is anti-market acts: acts that initiate physical force. Thatís why we need government: to wield retaliatory force to defend individual rights.

Radicals for capitalism would, as the Declaration of Independence says, use government only ďto secure these rightsĒĖthe rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. (Yes, I added ďpropertyĒ in thereĖproperty rights are inseparable from the other three.)

Thatís the political philosophy on which Obama is trying to hang the blame for the recent financial crisis and every other social ill. But ask yourself, are we few radical capitalists in charge? Have radical capitalists been in charge at any time in the last, oh, say 100 years?

I pick 100 years deliberately, because it was exactly 100 years ago that a gigantic anti-capitalist measure was put into effect: the Federal Reserve System. For 100 years, government, not the free market, has controlled money and banking. Howís that worked out? Howís the value of the dollar held up since 1913? Is it worth one-fiftieth of its value then or only one-one-hundredth? You be the judge. How did the dollar hold up over the 100 years before this government take-over of money and banking? It actually gained slightly in value.

Laissez-faire hasnít existed since the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. That was the first of a plethora of government crimes against the free market.

Radical capitalists are just beginning to have a slight effect on the Right wing. The overwhelming majority on the Right are eclectic. Which is a nice way of saying inconsistent.

The typical Republican would never, ever say ďthe market will take care of everything.Ē Heíd say, ďthe market will take care of most things, and for the other things, we need the regulatory-welfare state.Ē

They are for individualismĖexcept when they are against it. They are against free markets and individualism not only when they agree with the Left that we must have antitrust laws and the Federal Reserve, but also when they demand immigration controls, government schools, regulatory agencies, Medicare, laws prohibiting abortion, Social Security, ďpublic worksĒ projects, the ďsocial safety net,Ē laws against insider trading, banking regulation, and the whole system of fiat money.

Obama blames economic woes, some real some manufactured (ďinequalityĒ) on a philosophy and policy that was abandoned a century ago. What doesnít exist is what he says didnít work.

Obama absurdly suggests that timid, half-hearted, compromisers, like George W. Bush, installed laissez-faire capitalismĖon the grounds that they tinkered with one or two regulations (Glass-Steagall) and marginal tax ratesĖwhile blanking out the fact that under the Bush administration, government spending ballooned, growing much faster than under Clinton, and 50,000 new regulations were added to the Federal Register.

The philosophy of individualism and the politics of laissez-faire would mean government spending of about one-tenth its present level. It would also mean an end to all regulatory agencies: no SEC, FDA, NLRB, FAA, OSHA, EPA, FTC, ATF, CFTC, FHA, FCCĖto name just some of the better known of the 430 agencies listed in the federal register.

Even you, dear reader, are probably wondering how on earth anyone could challenge things like Social Security, government schools, and the FDA. But thatís not the point. The point is: these statist, anti-capitalist programs exist and have existed for about a century. The point is: Obama is pretending that the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society were repealed, so that he can blame the financial crisis on capitalism. Heís pretending that George Bush was George Washington.

We radical capitalists say that it was the regulatory-welfare state that imploded in 2008. You may disagree, but letís argue that out, rather than engaging in the Big Lie that what failed was laissez-faire and individualism.

The question is: in the messy mixture of government controls and remnants of capitalism, which element caused the Great Depression and the recent financial crisis?

By raising that question, we uncover the fundamental: the meaning of capitalism and the meaning of government controls. Capitalism means freedom. Government means force.

Suddenly, the whole issue comes into focus: Obama is saying that freedom leads to poverty and force leads to wealth. Heís saying: ďLook, we tried leaving you free to live your own life, and that didnít work. You have to be forced, you have to have your earnings seized by the state, you have to work under our directionsĖunder penalty of fines or imprisonment. You donít deserve to be free.Ē

As a bit of ugly irony, this is precisely what former white slave-owners said after the Civil War: ďThe black man canít handle freedom; we have to force him for his own good.Ē The innovation of the Left is to extend that viewpoint to all races.

Putting the issue as force vs. freedom shows how the shoe is on the other foot regarding what Obama said. Let me re-write it:

there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, letís respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ďThe government will take care of everything,Ē they tell us. If we just pile on even more regulations and raise taxesĖespecially on the wealthyĖour economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the losers are protected by more social programs and a higher minimum wage, if there is more Quantitative Easing by the Fed, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle up to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesnít trickle up, well, thatís the price of the social safety net.

Now, itís a simple theory. And we have to admit, itís one that speaks to our intellectualsí collectivism and Paul Krugmanís skepticism about freedom. Thatís in Harvardís DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. (Laughter.) But hereís the problem: It doesnít work. It has never worked. (Applause.) It didnít work when it was tried in the Soviet Union. Itís not what led to the incredible booms in India and China. And it didnít work when Europe tried it during over the last decades. (Applause.) I mean, understand, itís not as if we havenít tried this statist theory.


How does that sound? Thatís blaming an actual, existing conditionĖgovernment controls and wealth-expropriationĖnot a condition that ended in the late 19th century.

So which is the path to prosperity and happinessĖfreedom or force? Remember that force is aimed at preventing you from acting on your rational judgment.

Obamaís real antagonist is Ayn Rand, who made the case that reason is manís basic means of survival and coercion is anti-reason. Force initiated against free, innocent men is directed at stopping them from acting on their own thinking. It makes them, under threat of fines and imprisonment, act as the government demands rather than as they think their self-interest requires. Thatís the whole point of threatening force: to make people act against their own judgment.

The radical, uncompromised, laissez-faire capitalism that Obama pretends was in place in 2008 is exactly what morality demands. Because, as Ayn Rand wrote in 1961: ďNo man has the right to initiate the use of physical force against others. . . . To claim the right to initiate the use of physical force against another manĖthe right to compel his agreement by the threat of physical destructionĖis to evict oneself automatically from the realm of rights, of morality and of the intellect.Ē

Obama and his fellow statists have indeed evicted themselves from that realm.

Source: forbes.com




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