Leapfrog the West
Michael S. Rozeff
by Michael S. Rozeff
by Michael S. Rozeff: Why
Not Freedom of All Persons Everywhere†Now?
Egyptians, Bahrainians, Omanians, Libyans, Saudi Arabians, Yemenis,
Jordanians, Palestinians, and all the other many peoples of the
world who are striving for better forms of government that will
lead to real improvements in your lives, I wish you well. You are
engaged in a difficult enterprise. Many of you are risking much
to achieve it. May God be with you.
If I were to
sit down with one of you in your country as your guest, after the
exchanges and pleasantries of friendship, the conversation might
turn to the ways of life that you wish to bring into being. That
is my subject.
to imagine and create new ways of life, to cause to be where nothing
was before, is the central human capacity, one that is given by
God and one that is shared by all human beings. This creative power
To love God
I take to be manís mission and Godís desire. We are in this together.
To love God is to love his creation, which includes other people.
To love oneís neighbor implies, at a minimum, tolerance of his freedom
and the ways of life that he creates. Be slow in judging him. Be
slower still in using force to hinder and dominate him. If, in your
eyes, his ways are strange or evil, tolerate them. I am not speaking
of the crimes such as murder, theft, arson, and rape of which we
all know, but of the myriad of other behaviors on which human beings
are prone to disagree.
If you desire
a good society, you should not pursue it as an abstract goal, nor
should you pursue it as a general goal obtained by the Stateís uniform
laws or by customs dictated to all or enforced on all by social
means as supposed ways to make people good. Focus instead on the
person, on each and every person. Each person has the highest value,
over society and over state. These are not persons. They are merely
organizations and tools to achieve other purposes and they are always
seriously flawed. The good society is good when its people are able
to be persons, which means they are in possession of the
unhampered freedom to create.
My advice to
you who are now involved in various revolutions and protests is
something like the following, in very brief outline.
West. Learn from the mistakes of the West. Donít imitate the West
blindly in the heat of the moment of attaining new governments.
Opportunities like this do not arise often. Make the most of them.
Do not immediately
or quickly fasten upon some more or less standard political agenda.
They are all deeply flawed. They reflect the sins and mistakes of
the West, which the West has not overcome. Seek instead to understand
the fundamentals of human life and the human being as a basic guide
to social, ethical, and political life.
If your educated
class is promoting grandiose social schemes and promising grand
results, donít believe them and donít approve their agenda. Such
promises have been made in the West for several generations. These
social engineering and wealth redistribution schemes all are coming
to a bad end here. Donít be enticed into repeating the Western follies.
My view is
that the essence of the human being while on this earth is the free
human personality. Our being is tied up with freedom at its
very root. Every sacrifice of freedom that arises from the pressures,
domination, and coercions of family, friends, business, church,
society, and state, or from our own personal sacrifice and enslavement
by ourselves, destroys a portion of that being or suppresses it,
thereby causing a degree of non-being. As I understand the human
condition, God created us as free persons. We are free to choose
good or evil. Non-being is evil. Being, which presumes freedom and
actualizes freedom, is good. The free human personality, as Godís
creation, is good. It is a value that is above family, friends,
society, organizations, and states. Its worth is above any of these.
nurture freedom of the person. Nurture freedom of conscience. Nurture
freedom of creativity. Nurture freedom of thought, expression, speech,
and action. Nurture all of these at the level of each single
person. Do not nurture domination by society, religion, state,
family, business, or any other institutions. That which is good
is the free spirit in each person.
Make no attempt
whatsoever to create the "good life" or happiness or welfare
of citizens (or subjects or individuals or voters) by means of the
state or any institution or association that dominates and suppresses
the person. That approach is godless and wrong. It invariably leads
to a confusion of means and ends. The state uses violence as a means.
If you allow the state to use violent means in the hope of achieving
the ends of happiness or general welfare, you will destroy the freedom
of the person. But freedom of the person is the good. It is what
God brought into being.
Do away with
notions of sovereignty by any person or group or institution. The
U.S. Constitution is deeply flawed from the outset in its assumption
that We the People are sovereign. Sovereignty is a godless concept.
It is entirely at odds with the idea of a free person. God is not
sovereign over human beings either. He does not determine what we
do with our freedom. Even being sovereign over oneself distorts
the idea of a free and creative spirit. In the same vein, the libertarian
notion of "owning oneself," although consistent with and
correctly emphasizing the idea of freedom, is essentially a cold
and bloodless view of a human being. The human being has a more
fiery, passionate, hotter, and loving core in its free and creative
to justify freedom by beginning with a natural right or self-ownership
derives from an agnostic or atheistic view of human life. It doesnít
ground freedom in God and his creation. It treats the human being
as matter or as a socially-derived institution of property. It doesnít
make us all brothers and children of God. It isolates the personality
and thrusts the human being toward egoistic individualism. This
is not an entirely false depiction of fallen human nature, of course.
And yet the human spirit naturally reaches out to other similar
spirits and to God. It reaches backward to creation and forward
to the last days and the Kingdom of God. Purely rationalistic concepts
of the human being that were born in the Enlightenment and have
carried through in different forms to modern day democratic, social-democratic,
socialist, and communist governments are insufficient to understand
human nature and insufficient to move firmly away from the many
varieties of slavery, overt and covert, and toward freedom. These
old Western ideas have resulted in Western governments that suffocate
and suppress persons. They culminate in efforts to spread the same
kind of governments worldwide and to have one worldwide government.
The U.S. Constitution
gets off on the wrong foot by making the general welfare an end.
This leads only to the sacrifice of the person. Utilitarianism,
which is the philosophy that sets happiness as the ultimate human
value, is deeply flawed. It is basically another godless concept
and one that leads to the adoption of violent means to create the
end of happiness, thereby sacrificing the free person, which is
the actual value.
Do not attempt
to eliminate the everyday human failings and limitations by using
force or the powers of society and state. Human beings must be free
to choose between good and evil things. They must be free to make
mistakes. Human beings cannot be moral beings without making choices
for and by themselves. They cannot share in Godís grace without
such freedom. Do not be legislating personal morals. Do not be imposing
societal sanctions on beliefs, speech, clothing, art, sexual behavior,
and discovery. Do not be attempting with such broad powers to create
earthly utopias. This is not only impossible, but attempts to accomplish
this go directly against the free and creative human personality,
which is Godís creation.
catching up to the flawed Western ideas of politics. Surpass these
ideas. They are not rooted in God, despite the rhetoric to that
effect that attempts to fuse God, country, nation, and State. As
such, the Western ideas lead to godless behavior. This was evident
early on in America and is becoming increasingly marked over time.
Do not create
theocratic states, however. They too are inimical to human freedom
of thought, conscience and action. Power over the human person cannot
be turned over to priests, clerics, and ayatollahs any more than
to secular politicians. The combination of a powerful church and
a powerful state is a recipe for suppression of the person.
of church and state is a good idea. In practice, however, the State
makes itself the new God. It tries to surround its immoral activities
with an aura of high morality. In the U.S., there are many religious
denominations. Somehow, though, the churches either make very little
noise about the welfare-warfare State or else support it outright.
The State has managed to get organized religion on its side, by
usually go about constructing a new State that is in no essential
way much different from the old one. Avoid this at all costs. Otherwise,
the people are doomed to another 50 or 60 years until the next revolution
must understand the nature of the State if you are to leapfrog the
Western political structures. If you understand it thoroughly, then
you will wish to minimize the State.
The State is
the sword, that is, power. Its essence is power: holding power,
increasing power, and administering power. This has been evident
for several thousand years if one examines the rise and fall of
empires throughout the entire world as well as their conquests,
wars, and legalities. The state has no central interest in justice,
righteousness, rights, or the freedom of people, its own or others.
It would just as soon enslave everyone if people did not resist.
It would make war continually against others or against its own
citizens if it could. It makes war to prevent peaceful secessions.
It claims territory through war and dictate, through ruse and stratagem,
through conquest, blood and violence. It claims all within its boundaries.
states of the twentieth century provide clear examples of the demonic
nature of the State. The worst of them under Hitler, Stalin, Mao,
and Pol Pot butchered untold millions of persons. They sought meticulous
control over economy, press, thought, money, and travel. The Western
social democracies are not far behind in these respects, and they
are already past masters at making war. Reject them as a model of
government. Jesus rejected "all the kingdoms of the world,
and the glory of them." Follow his example.
If it were
not for manís craving for a universal kingdom, his craving for power,
his fears and desire for security, and his susceptibility to the
hypnotic temptations that the State generates, this evil institution
would not exist. It exists now only to be overcome and bypassed
by humanity. Do your part in this endeavor.
The State promises
order. Its order is a superficial pastiche of arbitrary laws and
measures that typically discriminate unjustly while also imposing
uniformity on those affected. The State promises to remedy chaos,
but it creates chaos and non-being by suppressing the creative spirit
The idea of
the State as a thing to win is an incentive to warfare and chaos.
When a state loses control over the people, warfare often erupts
among groups that cannot tolerate one another as all strive to gain
control over a new state and impose their agenda on everyone.
One of the
worst features of the State is that whatever is immoral for a person
is made out to be moral for the State. The State uses its people
to kill and maim, to torture and spy, to inform and rat on others,
and to assault and destroy, and all of this is approved of and applauded
as if nothing were wrong. Brutality becomes something that wins
medals and is glorified in motion pictures. The most corrupt and
lying politicians gain the most respect.
place a Western-style democracy is not going to create prosperity.
It only introduces a source of friction at the heart of a society.
It will be an institution that endangers property rights, seeks
greater power, wonít allow secession, wonít tolerate any serious
challenge, manipulates the public, caters to special interests,
wastes resources, taxes onerously, corrupts the money, and takes
every opportunity to control the people.
foreign aid from the West is one of the worst things you can possibly
do. You will simply doom yourself to being a satellite of the West
and part of its machinations. You may well end up at the mercy of
thinking about a new government, think instead about how to build
a vibrant society in which persons can exercise their creative spirits
freely, for that is the basis of a good society. Think about generating
tolerance. Think about generating trust. Think about well-defined
property rights. Think about free markets. Think about incorruptible
money. Think about a variety of institutions of justice and defense.
Think about justice itself.
The West is
strangling in its own debt, its own corruption, its web of lies
and deceits, its fearful peoples, and its overly large governments.
Why look to the West? Why go backwards when you have a chance to
go forwards? In short, leapfrog the West.
S. Rozeff [send him mail]
is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.
He is the author of the free e-book Essays
on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book
The U.S. Constitution
and Money: Corruption and Decline.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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