For many years lively topics of conversation at home and with friends and acquaintances everywhere have been the subjects of Socialism and the power of our government and its leaders.  It has not always been talk of the right or wrong of Socialism or Despots but always about the effect of them on the human spirit, motivations, and personal industry.

Today’s America seems to me to be a mild form of socialism.  We are a country where you can exercise your free will and you have many liberties, the exercise of which becomes more difficult by the day.  Our current President and his party seem to want absolute power to make decisions for me.  They have already done that for many areas of my responsibility.  For example, I am now told that I am no longer responsible for my own health.  That is now a government job.  I can only choose to be responsible for my own health if I am willing and able to pay a penalty for this transgression.  Similarly, I may be told by my government how large a soda pop I can consume or that I must wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle.  I am told how large my septic system must be and that I can’t plant bushes at the end of my driveway.

He Saw It Coming

He Saw It Coming

Following many discussions of similar matters, my friend Jim Wixson sent me the following:

De Tocqueville’s warning is justly famous, and more pertinent now than ever: this despotism, he said, would be “milder” than traditional despotisms, but

 “……………would degrade men without tormenting them.  lt is absolute, detailed, regular, far-seeing and mild.  It might resemble paternal power if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed irrevocably in childhood.  lt willingly works for their happiness; but wants to be  the unique agent and sole arbiter of that; it provides for their security, foresees and secures their needs, facilitates their pleasures, conducts their principal affairs, directs their industry, regulates their estates, divides their inheritances.   Can it not take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking and the pain of Iiving?   So it is that every day it renders the employment of free will less useful and more rare; it confines the action of the will in a smaller space and little by little steals the very use of free will from each citizen.  (and) reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

Each of us can and must decide to what extent De Tocqueville’s foreboding has been fulfilled.  We might well ask: has not modern politics, which takes on more and more of the tasks of its citizens, already usurped adulthood and reduced vast portions of our citizenry to the children he alludes to – now in the sixth generation of some “families” (if that is what we can still call them)?   (And not so very industrious any more, either.)

Is not our religion’s message to be thrifty and provident?  And the charity our Bible preaches that of a person for his neighbor?  A charity which begins at home?    People of faith or patriotism need to be concerned!

I think De Tocqueville was prescient in that in 1835 and 1840 when he studied and wrote about the new American Experiment in Democracy (Democracy in America), he saw the slow but steady erosion of liberty had already begun.

You need no more proof that your government’s leaders want to continue to increase power than to watch how they are fighting even the tiniest of cuts to funding brought on by the Sequester.