Since January 30th of this year, I have been posting reprints of “meme” articles that Bureaucrash once promoted. I believed …
Far from being environments conducive to learning, schools across the world coerce students to conform to the whims of politicians and bureaucrats. Billed as bastions of free expression, intellectual honesty and rigor, administrators have turned schools into prisons for the mind, where one-size- fits-all policies are forced upon youth and where independent thoughts are discarded. It’s a world in which the government will tell a student what they can and can’t think, wear, say, or do. It’s a world that crushes the individual for the benefit of those in power — a practice we’ve dubbed “Teensploitation.”
Statists are anti-progress. Statists claim their policies are for the common good. For some this claim is just a front to get more power, but for others it is a genuine goal. Nevertheless, even the most well-intentioned statists, who believe that granting government the power to control individual actions will result in a better outcome, violate rights and cause harm.
When confronted with a problem most people today turn to the government—but in reality, it’s often the government that created the problem and its continued involvement only exacerbates the problem. Politics distorts free market signals, quashes rights, and, quite bluntly, kills individuals.
Thanks in large part to misinformation, protectionist legislation passed with the support of Big Labor and other rent-seeking groups, and rhetoric accompanying these actions, immigration has become a divisive topic. As was seen between East and West Berlin decades ago and between the United States and Mexico today, this controversy sometimes results in the construction of physical barriers to prevent the free movement of individuals. Yet, fortunately there are some reasonable voices in this discussion, helping to point out how immigration restrictions further entrench governments and negate individual rights, in addition to severely hampering the economy.
First, let’s get clear on what kind of censorship we oppose. We oppose any censorship by government, because only the government has the “authority” to legally use force against you for expressing your ideas. Your neighbor might kick you off his property if you say something he dislikes, or a privately owned newspaper can refuse to publish your letter to the editor, but neither should legally use force against you to shut you up.
Freedom subsumes individual liberty and personal responsibility. If individuals are free to act and also held responsible to bear the consequences for their actions, good outcomes will be reinforce correct behavior and bad outcomes will provide a learning experience. When government gets in the way of this feedback loop, it prevents the development of virtue and merely subjects the individual to the will of the State.
Government policies cannot mimic the dynamism and spontaneity present in the market, and, in fact, more often than not create perverse and unintended consequences. The solution to environmental concerns is not for more government intervention but for the application of a free market approach, which encapsulates entrepreneurship, property rights, and voluntary transactions.
The message “Don’t Tread” communicates in two words what the entire political philosophy of classical liberalism is about: desiring to be free from oppression from whatever quarter. In other words, “don’t mess with me.” This message is used by those advocating a less-invasive state, because governments — through taxation, legislation, regulation, surveillance, etc. — are the main aggressors upon individual rights.
Communism is the vision of an egalitarian society with common ownership of property. Karl Marx, the father of communism, stated that the prevailing capitalist environment is responsible for class struggle and inequality among people. He believed that people’s lives are determined by their economic environment and in order to achieve the communist utopia, that environment has to be changed. For this change to occur, the working class (proletariat) must overthrow the existing regime, dismantle all capitalist institutions, and eliminate the possibility of a counterrevolution by the merchant class (bourgeoisie).