It Takes Two Wings to Fly
Letter from the Editor of Liberty Quotes - Autumn 2014
 
By:
Eric Schaub
Date:
09/22/2014
Location:
Learning Centre: Politics


Dear Friend of Liberty,

It's been well over a year since we have sent out a 'Letter from the Editor.' Frankly, I receive so many emails asking for donations for political causes that I hesitate to do the same. My sincerest thanks to those who have supported us over the last 14 years!

  
There used to be a season when politicians campaigned for office, but it seems now that the campaigning and fund-raising never stops. Every day I am met with another dire appeal to "STOP the {insert your most despised political party here}!" and "URGENT: Stand with {insert your most loved political party here}!"

"Party is the madness of many for the gain of a few."
Alexander Pope
(1688-1744) English poet

I subscribe to many lists that send me daily emails with news snippets and editorials, and invariably I end up on more lists. I am even getting emails from Obama, apparently, asking me personally to "step up" and "chip in" -- how he got my name, I'll never know. :-) The Tea Party manages to keep me well informed with no less than 5 emails per day and of course the obligatory call to action to "Fax Blast Congress" -- for $30, every Senator, Congressman, and the President will receive a faxed 'pink slip' telling them how much I am disappointed in them. Perhaps they envision rolls and rolls of fax paper pouring into offices clogging up Congress so that they would be forced to 'do something.' (Does anyone still use faxes any more?)

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types -- the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution."
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
(1874-1936) British essayist, critic, poet, and novelist
Illustrated London News, 1924

I get emails from conservative groups warning of the 'evil' liberals, and I get emails from liberals warning of the 'evil' conservatives. It seems the problem is simply 'the other guy' -- and that all that is needed is more money. Where is the responsibility of the citizen and the people at large? Are we not tired of all the left vs. right rhetoric when both factions assume power over us that we never gave them in the first place?

"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals -- if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is."
Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004) 40th US President
Source: Reason Magazine, Jul. 1, 1975

"Those who call themselves "liberals" today are asking for policies which are precisely the opposite of those policies which the liberals of the nineteenth century advocated in their liberal programs. The so-called liberals of today have the very popular idea that freedom of speech, of thought, of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from imprisonment without trial -- that all these freedoms can be preserved in the absence of what is called economic freedom. They do not realize that, in a system where there is no market, where the government directs everything, all those other freedoms are illusory, even if they are made into laws and written up in constitutions."
Ludwig von Mises
(1881-1973) Economist and social philosopher, escaped from NAZI Germany

If someone calls me a 'right-wing extremist,' I can assume the person is 'left-wing' and very likely 'extreme' in their views -- their accusation merely exposes their own leanings, not mine. I've been branded a liberal, too, by conservatives when I have not shared their zealous opinions on religion and sexuality.

"Unlike the rationalism of the French Revolution, true liberalism has no quarrel with religion, and I can only deplore the militant and essentially illiberal antireligionism which animated so much of nineteenth-century Continental liberalism. ... What distinguishes the liberal from the conservative here is that, however profound his own spiritual beliefs, he will never regard himself as entitled to impose them on others and that for him the spiritual and the temporal are different spheres which ought not to be confused."
Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
Source: "Why I Am Not a Conservative," postscript to The Constitution of Liberty [1960]

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826) drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source: Letter to F. Hopkinson, Paris, March 13, 1789

I suppose I must be a Libertarian, then. But isn't libertarianism averse to political parties in the first place? I guess that's why Libertarian parties are so poorly represented. I am not a 'party-man' -- I am an individual. My identity is not bound to a specific group -- ethnic, political, religious or otherwise.

"Political tags -- such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth -- are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."
Robert A. Heinlein
(1907-1988) American writer
Source: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

So, as we face yet another election, it begs the question, what are we voting for? If the person we vote for gets elected, what are we expecting in return? What 'deals' or 'promises' have been made -- is this really the authorized role of elected officials to 'lead' us, now? Or promise us something from the treasury -- or borrow it on the backs of the next generation? Or promise 'free' health care or subsidies? It seems all government does now is determine who to promise money to in order to stay in power -- and the voters pick the guy that promises to loot those that oppose them to pay for it. But in the end, invariably the looters become the looted.

"In the US, voters cast ballots for individual candidates who are not bound to any party program except rhetorically, and not always then. Some Republicans are more liberal than some Democrats, some libertarians are more radical than some socialists, and many local candidates run without any party identification. No American citizen can vote intelligently without knowledge of the ideas, political background, and commitments of each individual candidate."
Ben H. Bagdikian
(1920- ) Armenian-born author, dean emeritus of the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, former editor at the Washington Post

Frankly, I don't get the fascination with political parties or their 'leaders.' And now they stroke us for years before they come up for re-election with their promises and inevitable excuses for their broken promises and place blame anywhere but with themselves. (!!)
 
So we get fed up with the lies of the majority party and buy up the promises of the minority party which by now are starting to sound pretty good. Every party skews the facts to their advantage, and inevitably, the minority party must resort to telling the truth. But once in power, they tend to serve that which keeps them in power. An on and on it goes ...

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissensions, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty."
George Washington
(1732-1799) 1st US President, 'Father of the Country'
George Washington's Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

I am ever mindful that America has served as a beacon of liberty around the world. That spirit of self-determination has indeed sparked 'brush fires' in the minds of countless millions -- Liberty is by all means the right of humankind. But Americans will be the first to admit that the USA is a far cry from the 'free' country it is thought to be (or 'taught' to be). Corrupted and controlled by an aristocracy left unchecked for a century, the people find themselves permanently in debt to them. Such is the case for most of the 'civilized' world.

"Given that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, of Liberalism, and of Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy: political doctrines pass, but humanity remains, and it may rather be expected that this will be a century of authority ... a century of Fascism. For if the nineteenth century was a century of individualism it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism and hence the century of the State."
Benito Mussolini
(1883-1945), Italian dictator during WW2
Source: "Fascism," Italian Encyclopaedia, 1932

"I have always believed that government had a limited capacity to do good and a virtually infinite capacity to do harm..."
Neil Hamilton
[Mostyn Neil Hamilton] (1949- ) former barrister, teacher and Conservative Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom
Source: House of Commons debates, 8 February 1994

So I invite you this election period to vote for principle rather than party -- assuming of course you can get your candidate to admit what their principles really are. The political spectrum will always have a left and a right, and neither should dominate the other or anyone else. It takes two wings to fly. Gravitating to the extremes is divisive -- to 'divide and conquer' is the oldest trick in the book. Don't be surprised to discover that the conflict between opposing parties is manufactured by a ruling class to which both sides are beholden.

"In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
Bertrand Russell
(1872-1970) Philosopher, educator

Thank you for your support over the years, both moral and financial. I can certainly attest that Liberty is an ideal that is alive and well -- our subscribers are proof of that! You are in good company.
 

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."
Samuel Adams
(1722-1803), was known as the "Father of the American Revolution."

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Thank you!
 
Eric Schaub
Editor/Publisher Liberty-Tree.ca



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