This article was originally published at americanchronicle.com on Oct. 15th, 2008.
There´s been a lot of talk about change in this year´s presidential campaign. Apparently, both the Democrat and Republican candidates seem to believe they can deliver change to the American people. And, of course, no matter which candidate is elected there will be change. The questions are, how much change and what kind of change?
Change is something that is constant. Everything is always changing. Even the tallest mountain is slowly eroding, or being slowly thrust upward. When you wake up in the morning nothing will be the same. Sure, most things will be familiar, but everything you know will have aged, everything around you will have moved in one way or another, everything will have changed, even if only in some slight way. No matter how one tries to keep things the same, one can never stop change. It is destined to happen.
Talking about change is meaningless. It´s about the most worthless thing one can promise. Change happens, no matter what. A calm sunny day can suddenly change into a stormy one and vice versa. A nation can change from a prosperous one to an impoverished one, and vice versa. To promise change without being more specific as to the type of change and the details of how change is to happen can be dangerous. It´s about as useless as offering hope. Hope for what? Better days, or simply that the pain does not increase? Sometimes the pain can get so bad that people will hope for death. Personally, I hope for smaller, less intrusive government. I don´t see either presidential candidate attempting to cause that change to occur nor offering me any hope that it will.
As far as I can tell, the changes either of the major party candidates offer are equivalent to changing the type of accelerant an arsonist wants to use to burn a building down. They are simply proposing that they modify the rules of the game to the benefit of themselves or their friends rather than changing the game being played for the benefit of all. They will try to make one believe they are doing it to be more fair, or for the good of the country, but in reality they are making it even more certain that the rich will get richer and the poor will stay dependent upon them. They are changing the rules to make it even less likely that independence can be achieved for the individual.
In the long run, change comes down to either making ours an individualist society as the founders of this country dreamed it would be or making it a collectivist society as men like Carl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and their ilk dreamed they could entrap all mankind in. Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain both want to keep marching down the collectivist road we as a society took the first steps upon long ago. Indeed, the only changes they are willing to make are changes in the speed at which we are heading toward a complete collective and the type of socialism that will rule over us.
Neither Obama nor McCain want to change direction, take that fork in the road and start heading down a path toward a more individualist society. Neither one has talked about repealing the unconstitutional, intrusive laws that have been passed since 9/11/2001. Neither one has talked about doing away with the Fed and going back to constitutional money or switching over to a competitive monetary system to get us out from under the thumb of the international gang of banksters. The only change they offer is bigger, more intrusive government. They only offer more theft for the tax payers and more corruption. They only offer more divisions and wider rifts between the classes.
It should be remembered that this nation was built upon the foundation that the individual is the most important component of any group. This is the reason that certain amendments in the Bill of Rights state that government shall not infringe upon individual rights. Groups of people don´t have rights other than those appointed to each individual in that group. When one infringes upon the rights of an individual, it weakens the group. In this way, certain large groups can be whittled down and individuals can be shuffled from one group to another. The larger group might become the privileged group and the smaller group denied a certain right. This type of change shows how a pure democracy does not necessarily promote freedom. On the other hand, if a minority group has enough political power, they can decide to infringe upon the rights of the majority thus becoming a de facto aristocracy. This can be successfully accomplished by using fear, force or threats, either economic, physical or otherwise.
Slowly our society has changed from a republic into a strange political animal ruled by an elite class that tries its best to maintain the façade of a free society even as the foundations of our liberties are eroded away. The propaganda we´ve been exposed to since we were children has done its job for the most part as many people still believe we are the freest nation on earth and our country is the best. Few seem to realize that we long ago stopped being a country and started being an empire and as an empire grows it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the empire and still honor individual freedom. Few seem to recognize the tyranny used to support the pillars of empire. The poorest workers have always suffered in anonymity as the powerful have kept them hidden and built their wealth on their backs. The middle classes and wealthier have allowed for their own wealth to be extorted by the elite and political classes. Even the elite and political classes suffer somewhat as they struggle to keep hidden certain facets of society, afraid of the reaction of the masses should such "secrets" become evident. In effect, everybody has become enslaved to the system that has been set up. The system itself becomes the monster everyone fears. The change needed is to open the system, remove the cancer of force and coercion that government is, and begin to live by the philosophies of individual freedom, voluntary government, self determination and individual responsibility.
Change, but its very nature, can be good or bad. It can be drastic or subtle. It can cause destruction or promote growth. It can combine these characteristics in a myriad of ways and cause unforeseen consequences. Yet as a society we continue to choose change that has proven in the past to lead to destruction and dire consequences. We need to be careful about the change we choose. We need to evaluate the choices we make and try to steer toward change that has proven to promote prosperity and growth. We need to change back to what we were at one time, a society that promoted liberty of the individual and honored personal choice. That is how we became a prosperous nation and that is how we can continue to be one.