Author Archives: Adam Selene

The Case for Change

There are three groups of people within this nation of ours, generally speaking. You may not like it, but you are bound to fall into one of these broad categories.

The first group are those who think that things are generally okay, we just need to tune and adjust to improve where we’re headed. Most people who describe themselves as Republicans and a significant percentage of Democrats fall into this category. You are the folks who “just want Congress to do X”. X might be some sort of national health care or it might be tougher rules on drug crimes, or what have you. Think Hugh Hewitt or Arnold Schwarzenegger or Harry Reid.

The second group of folks are those who want dramatic change that involves the government in some fashion. You are convinced that if only we would empower our government to do something for us, we could have a wonderful life. For the most part, these folks are socialists (I know that’s not in fashion, they say “progressive” now, but I call a spade a spade) and want to empower a government that runs our lives for us. Think Jeffords or Kerry or Boxer. A smaller piece of this group thinks the government should be empowered to “make us moral”, the Jim Dobson’s of our political landscape.

The third group of folks, the smallest by far, also wants dramatic change that involves the government. They want to make government a much smaller part of our life, take power from government and return it to individuals. Think Milton Friedman.

I’m not speaking now to the second or third group in our political landscape. They both have a case for change in mind. In the latter case, I agree in some fashion. In the former case, you are tyrants whose approach has been tried in the past, it has been found wanting, and we have rejected it. Move to Cuba if you think that government control of individual choice is such a good thing.

That first group, probably 80% of the citizens in this country, is the group I’m addressing. So, the question is, why is change a good idea? You look around you and life is pretty good. You make a good income, have friends, are safe from crime and war. You’ve got it good, don’t you? So, why should you want dramatic change? Why remove the government from your life, when it’s doing such a fine job of making things work well?

I could make the moral argument. Humans have inherent rights and when government makes choices for you, those rights are usurped. Of course, except for a few folks, this argument carries no weight. You are happy with the government making those choices so long as they don’t intrude too deeply into your affairs. So long as you aren’t affected in your daily life (or think you aren’t), you don’t mind the government fighting a Drug War, intervening around the world with the military, deciding who you can and cannot see for your health care, regulating our economy and so on. So, although I could, I won’t make the moral argument.
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Comrades, I Hereby Declare the Revolution

A revolution? Comrades? But this is a classic liberal blog, isn’t it? In a word, yes. And it will remain so. I use the word “comrade” in it’s older sense, not the socialist meaning of egalitarianism and absolute equality of class, but in the fraternal sense. We are comrades, brothers and sisters seeking liberty.

But, a revolution? Yes, a revolution. Not a violent one, I don’t advocate that. A revolution in thought, a continuation of the Liberal revolution that began in Scotland nearly 300 years ago.

Who am I and why am I posting here? You may recognize the name and the quote that I chose to introduce myself with. Like Heinlein’s celebrated novel, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, I am a construct, a false front. This is a nom de guerre, appropriate to a revolutionary. I’m a concerned citizen, a believer in liberty, a classic liberal following in the footsteps of giants. Men like Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, and Milton Friedman. I have no illusions that I am their equal, that I will start revolutions in thought and theory on par with theirs. Perhaps, though, I can sway one of you out there to see the value of liberty and the danger of collectivism. And you can touch one person yourself. And so on. And we change some portion of the world.

So, citizens, lend me your ears, for I have things to say, things I hold dear. Things of deep importance if we are to retain those small amounts of liberty that our masters in Washington have decided are meet for us to keep. I intend to share my thoughts on the nature of the individual, the society, the government, the rights of man. And we will see if I can change the world in some small way.

p.s. You might want to keep an eye out for my pal Simon Jester, I hear he may get into the swing again as well.

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