The Government Won't
Make America Great Again"Americans now 'look forward' to a President who has expressed little affinity for the principles of liberty or the Constitutional limitations designed to defend it. But, as a reminder of the central importance of these two concepts, it may be helpful to turn to Leonard Read, who, in his 1976 book Comes the Dawn, marking its 40th anniversary: 'A few men who did look into 'the law of liberty' bequeathed to present-day Americans a unique heritage. They were the authors of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. In what respect were these political documents unique? First, they unseated government as the endower of men’s rights…Second, they more severely limited government than ever before — for the first time in history, hardly any organized coercion standing against the release of creative energy. Result? The greatest outburst of creative energy ever known, simply because the millions were free to act creatively as they pleased. Political power diminished and dispersed beyond the ready grasp of authoritarians who would run our lives. That was the American miracle!' .. Americans seem to have 'evolved' to the view that limited government is an anachronism, if the campaigns we have just endured offer us guidance. We have largely abandoned what our founders and founding documents created for what is essentially a world of unlimited government, restricted only by a few 'favorite' constitutional rights still defended by the Supreme Court. But now we have elected a “change agent,” offering potential for improvement as well as trepidation. Leonard Read can remind the new president, and us, of how truly stupendous was the human growth and creativity unleashed by history’s greatest demotion of government from its authoritarian control over individuals’ lives and also how much we have regressed from history’s freest society to what is now largely a command society. Given government’s displacement of liberty in America, we can hope Donald Trump can 'catch' some of Read’s wisdom. As Read wrote, 'I side with the English poet, William Cowper.'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower .. Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume .. And we are weeds without it. All constraint .. Except what wisdom lays on evil men .. Is evil. [Adapted from Apostle of Peace (2013).]"
LINK HERE to the essay