When one comes across an argument in favor of individual liberty and freedom from government intervention, both fiscally and socially, the argument usually centers around practicality. The comment “socialism is great in theory but it just doesn’t work” has become all to common in my opinion. Take that and combine it with the old, “communism is the perfect form of government but it goes against human nature,” and you have a dangerous trend. True, though it may be, that socialism doesn’t work and that communism is against human nature, the other half of these statement are so very wrong. Saying communism and socialism are idealistic and would be perfect makes them into something beautiful and something to be striven for.
Communism and socialism, and their daughter with fascism, progressivism, are not in any way perfect, or idealistic, or in any way something to be striven for. The entire concept of any of these ideologies is that a man is incapable of running his own affairs, that individual rights and liberties are not only not a necessity but also damaging to the all mighty greater good. Fascism, which it is without doubt most people see as the world’s most evil ideology (partly thanks to the joint US-Soviet post WWII propaganda campaigns which focused on fascism and ignored the USSR’s own atrocities), is really no different then communism in all aspects but one, the fact that communism seeks a single world government, while fascism seeks to establish a single ethnic government but seeks to ignore the other nations. Both communism and fascism, and socialism for that matter, are evil. The goal is to wipe out the individual. Everyone is to think, act, speak, and live as simply part of the whole, part of the machine.
However, while these seemingly common arguments that socialism and communism would be perfect persist, the arguments for liberty and freedom are becoming weaker and weaker. The typical argument coming from the pro-liberty side of the great political spectrum is that a government that favors the rights of the people and the individual is more efficient and less debt ridden. For that matter the most ideological argument that comes from that side is that liberty is American and has always been American and that America should remain a land of liberty. Obviously both these are true, socialist economic systems have always ended up a muddled mess, leaving millions starving and hungry and very few people with a possession to their names, and America has always been that great shining city on the hill for all the world to look up to in terms of liberty. However we should not argue in favor of liberty because it is practical, or because it is American, or, for that matter, even that it’s what the founding fathers had in mind or that it’s what the Untied States is based on.
Those who make that argument that liberty is classically American should look back, really look back, at the founding fathers. They had no precedent to build off, they had no nation to conserve. Their goal was not to preserve liberty but to create it. This fact has become muddled in history and that great liberty they fought and died and risked it all for has become not only forgotten but cast aside, perhaps for one reason more then any other, those in favor of liberty no longer really argue in favor of liberty. It is time that we freedom minded peoples of this country changed our argument and tactics. As I said America should not have liberty simply because it has always had liberty or because a smaller government is a more efficient government.
America and everyone, for that matter, should have liberty because it’s what’s right. Everyone should have the right to themselves, to do as they please with their money and their land, so long as it hurts no one else. The ability for man to control his destiny is the fundamental goal we should be seeking. We must begin to argue, as the founding fathers once did, that liberty and freedom are to be sought because the right to oneself is the single most fundamental and democratic right their ever was. The right to be able to tell the whole world you don’t care what they think and to do things the way you see fit. We must be wiling to engage socialists and communists and progressive and fascists in ideological debate. Because my idea of a Utopian society is one where the government doesn’t care what you do as long as you hurt no one else, a society where everyone controls themselves and I think that this idea greatly trumps that socialist utopia of everyone living as a single unit.
We must be willing to really defend liberty, defend the real reason behind it. Only when we start to engage them on their own battlefield, the battlefield of idealism, will we truly be able to ensure that the rights of life and liberty will forever be ensured to ourselves and our posterity.