Tyranny Cloaked In Liberty

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Posted: Aug 21, 2018 12:14 PM
Tyranny Cloaked In Liberty

In his historical book, The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek summarized that “that the search for greater equality typically is accompanied by greater centralization of government and a corresponding reduction in liberty.”[1]  This is at the heart of the malevolent paradox of the collectivist’s utopian worldview – releasing the oppressed masses by subjecting them to even more oppressive tyranny (a centralized planning government) in the pursuit of equality and justice.  The collectivist strives to make the world in his view, rather than making the world in God’s viewforced equality and justice (socialism) instead of free equality and justice (liberty).  Walter Williams describes this accurately when he states that,

“Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do.  They want to replace the market with economic planning and regulation.”[2] 

In fact, James Madison issued his detest of collectivism in March 1792 writing,

“That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.” [3]

In fact, even the great Enlightenment philosopher, Charles Montesquieu, recognized that evil disguises itself in good; claiming compassion toward citizens.   Montesquieu warned that,

“Tyranny, which is always slow and feeble in its commencement, as in the end it is active and lively; which at first only stretches out a hand to assist, and exerts afterwards a multitude of arms to oppress.”[4]

This is how the collectivist guises its wickedness under the cloak of God – “Jesus tells you to help the less fortunate.”  And, yes, Jesus does tell us to help those in need.  But He tells us that it must be given from our own heart, not from a centralized authority demanding and confiscating our property and wealth, and deciding to where and to whom it must go:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.  Their end will correspond to their deeds.[5]

A favorite and common disguise of the collectivist-statist is using healthcare as their way to show their care and compassion for people.  But this compassion is an illusion, a ploy, to circumvent power into their hands.  The great American journalist and satirist, Henry Mencken, sums it up quite accurately.   Mencken wrote that,

“A certain section of medical opinion, in late years, has succumbed to the messianic delusion.  Its spokesmen are not content to deal with the patients who come to them for advice; they conceive it to be their duty to force their advice upon everyone, including especially those who don't want it.  That duty is purely imaginary.  It is born of vanity, not of public spirit.  The impulse behind it is not altruism, but a mere yearning to run things.”[6]  

Such is, always, the result of our collectivist-statist “betters,” as Thomas Sowell so often writes.

Montesquieu acknowledged that,

“One would imagine that human nature should perpetually rise up against despotism.   But notwithstanding the love of liberty, so natural to mankind, notwithstanding their innate detestation of force and violence, most nations are subject to this very government […] rarely produced by hazard, and seldom attained by prudence.”[7]

Many good-hearted Americans aid Lucifer by becoming his minions; or as has been phrased historically his “useful idiots.”  A predominant manner in which otherwise good intending people aid in his wickedness is through helping others where it becomes pathological because the “helping” is actually damaging.  Yet, they either refuse to acknowledge this damage as a result of their help and/or aid, or are so emotionally driven, as opposed to intellectually or rationally driven, that they remain completely blind to destructive behavior, which they can only see as helping – this is pathological misguidedness.

In 1759 Adam Smith recognized this folly and lamented that,

“[T]he person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires.” 

Smith fully describes today’s collectivist, over two and a half centuries prior, of their anger, misery, contempt, and disgust of the moral values of a just and prosperous society.  Smith continues stating the collectivist’s mindset drives them,

“To violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquility of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.” [8]

Dr. Barbara Oakley, who has studied this behavioral pattern, stated that,

“People’s own good intentions, coupled with a variety of cognitive biases, can sometimes blind them to the deleterious consequences of their actions.  This dynamic of pathological altruism involves subjectively prosocial acts that are objectively antisocial.”

She goes on to explain that,

"The bottom line is that the heartfelt, emotional basis of our good intentions can mislead us about what is truly helpful for others.  Altruistic intentions must be run through the sieve of rational analysis.”[9]

Unfortunately, we often believe that people with seemingly high levels of intelligence or education have a better grasp of problems and complex situations and are immune to emotional decision-making.  Dr. Oakley’s findings reveal this is not always the case.

“Intelligence is no safeguard regarding these confirmation bias-related issues.  Highly intelligent people for example, do not reason more even-handedly and thoroughly; they simply are able to present more arguments supporting their own beliefs (emphasis added). […] Research has shown the near impossibility of reaching biased individuals using rational approaches, no matter their level of education or intelligence; such attempts can be likened to squaring the circle.”[10]

This circumstance is the very reason why other countries have failed or not even close to the same capability and abundance is America.  As Mark Levin writes, “many other countries are incapable of accessing or utilizing natural resources as a result of their own governments, cultures, and societies.”[11]  All countries are not exceptional, nor culturally equal.

In a letter to Jean Nicolas De Meunier, Thomas Jefferson reveals his loathing for the collectivist’s belief living off of the labor of others; and, how it is sacrilege against allowing for the charity of self-giving.  Jefferson explains to De Meunier that “a miserable existence by eating on that surplus of other men’s labor, which is the sacred fund of the helpless poor”[12] is a much less dignified position in society.   In fact, in 1794 in a Congressional debate James Madison berated any notion that the Constitution gave Congress any authority to confiscate monies from citizens to give to anyone else, even if it was for a noble and charitable purpose.  Madison stated that:

Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.  It would puzzle any gentleman to lay his finger on any part of the Constitution which would authorize the government to interpose in the relief of the St. Domingo sufferers…whether the money of our constituents can be appropriated to any other than specific purposes…without infringing the Constitution.[13]

And, indeed, in the book of Malachi we are admonished for such a heatless offering and instructed not to take part in such false giving,

“’Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my alter!  I am not pleased with you,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will accept no offering from your hands.’”[14] 

This is the difference between having an individual relationship with God and Christ (that is, of the heart), and being disconnected from God and Christ, but connected to the collectivist authority forcing your behavior (that is, not of the heart).

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” [15] 

Americans, because of their Christian principles and values, have; not only great concern for the poor, but strident action and giving to those not as well-off – both domestically and overseas, they also believe in helping others lift themselves out of poverty.   As media personality Glenn Beck declared, “When the going gets tough, Americans show up!”[16]  Americans contributed over $298 billion to charity in 2011 with individual contributions making up $218 billion, or 73 percent, of the total giving.[17]  This stunning amount also does not include people’s time, or what they give which is not recorded or tracked; nor does it include what federal or state governments give out in aid.  In fact, Americans give nearly twice as much as even the next closest European country as a percent of GDP, giving 10.2 percent where the next closest countries give around 5 percent or even much less.[18]  Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in his insightful book, Who Really Cares,

“The truly extraordinary thing about the United States is not how much we produce (there are lots of rich, productive countries), nor how much we consume (every country would consume as we do – if they only could).  Rather, it is how much we give.  America is a land of charity.”[19]

Robert Knight explains the very same principles as Paul explained above to the Corinthians:

Socialism always depends on coercion.  That’s because it is anti-God to the core, and sheds the restraints of religious teaching.  Socialism seizes and perverts the biblical notion of charity, turning it into an excuse to empower the state.[20]

[1] Friedrich A. von Hayek (Bruce Caldwell, Ed.), 2007 (originally published in 1944), The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents, .(Routledge, London: The University of Chicago Press), p. 49, fn 22.

[2] Walter Williams, January 4, 2012, “I Want Greed,” Townhall.com, [http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2012/01/04/i_love_greed/page/full/].

[3] James Madison, March 27, 1792, “Property,” in William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., 1962-present, The Papers of James Madison, Vol. 14, (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), pp. 266-268.

[4] Charles de Montesquieu, 2010 (originally published in 1748), The Spirit of the Laws, “Book XIV: Of Laws in Relation to the Nature of the Climate,” (Digireads.com Book), p 197.

[5] Guideposts, The Guideposts Parallel Bible (Carmel, NY: Guideposts), Revised Standard, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, p. 2957.

[6] Henry L. Mencken, 1982 (originally published in 1949), A Mencken Chrestomathy, (New York, NY: First Vintage Books), p. 343.

[7] Charles de Montesquieu, 2010 (originally published in 1748), The Spirit of the Laws, “Book V: That the Laws given by the Legislator ought to be in Relation to the Principle of Government,” (Digireads.com Book), p 72.

[8] Adam Smith, 2014 (originally published in 1759), The Theory of Moral Sentiments, (Lexington, KY: Economic Classics), p. 125.

[9] Barbara A. Oakley, April 9, 2013, “Concepts and Implications of Altruism Bias and Pathological Altruism,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (Rochester, MI: Oakland University), [http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/06/04/1302547110.full.pdf].

[10] Barbara A. Oakley, April 9, 2013, “Concepts and Implications of Altruism Bias and Pathological Altruism,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (Rochester, MI: Oakland University), [http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/06/04/1302547110.full.pdf].  For further discussion and data on this subject for aid and financial support for the continent of Africa see Dambisa Moyo, 2009, Dead Aid: Why Aid is not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa, (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

[11] Mark R. Levin, 2009, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, (New York, NY: Threshold Editions). p. 189.

[12] Saul K. Padover, ed., 1939, Democracy by Thomas Jefferson, “Letter to Jean Nicolas De Meunier, 1786,” (New York, NY: D. Appleton-Century Company), p. 233.

[13] James Madison, January 10, 1794, House of Representatives, “On the Memorial of the Relief Committee of Baltimore, for the Relief of St. Domingo Refugees.”  Taken from Jonathan Elliot, 1827, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, (Nth. and Sth. Carolina, Resolutions, Tariffs, Banks, Debt), Vol. 4, [http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1908&chapter=112366&layout=html&Itemid=27].  Referenced in Walter Williams, June 6, 2012, “Immoral Beyond Redemption,” Townhall.com, [http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2012/06/06/immoral_beyond_redemption/page/full/].

[14] Guideposts, The Guideposts Parallel Bible (Carmel, NY: Guideposts), New International, Malachi 1:10, p. 2432.  This message and scripture reference was given by Pastor Jay Harvey, January 27, 2013, “Faith Promise” sermon series, (Pendleton Christian Church, Pendleton, IN), [http://vimeo.com/58466012].

[15] Guideposts, The Guideposts Parallel Bible (Carmel, NY: Guideposts), New International, 2 Corinthians 9:7-8, p. 2952.

[16] Glenn Beck, October 7, 2009, The Glenn Beck Show, Fox News Channel.

[17] “The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2011,” 2012, 57th Annual Issue, (Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN: Giving USA, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University), p. 8.

[18] Daniel Mitchell, August 2, 2013, “Americans Are Far More Compassionate than ‘Socially Conscious’ Europeans,” Townhall.com, [http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/danieljmitchell/2013/08/02/americans-are-far-more-compassionate-than-socially-conscious-europeans-n1654523/page/full].

[19] Arthur C. Brooks, 2006, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassion Conservatism, (Basic Books: New York, NY), p. 182.

[20] Robert Knight, February 1, 2011, “Socialism’s State of the Union,” Townhall.com, [http://townhall.com/columnists/RobertKnight/2011/02/01/socialism’s_state_of_the_union/page/full/].