Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Free Enterprise Is An Endowment That Eschews Statism And Tyranny

 "I believe that without free enterprise there can be no democracy."

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969)

While free enterprise and democracy are very different, with one being an economic system and the other political, they are not exactly oil and vinegar.

Both are based solidly in the camp of individual freedom and individual responsibility.  Both eschew tyranny, soft and hard tyranny.

This was no accident.  The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing.  How could they devise a political system, with the exceptional ideas of individual rights and limited gubment, and then incorporate some form of socialistic, controlling, regulatory economic system?  While that may be a form of "mixed economy," it was not what they had in mind.  Necessarily!

The idea was freedom!  The idea was natural (God given) rights!  The idea was no tyranny!


This is where "American Exceptionalism" comes from.  It is not the thought that Americans are somehow exceptional to others in the world.  Or that we are smarter, or better able to do things, or able to grow an economy with historic success.  Those who deride American Exceptionalism as something untoward or arrogant simply don't understand it, or pretend not to.

Our country's founding was exceptional in that it was the first time in history that "rights" did not flow down at the whim of, or dictate of, or good graces of, a tyrant!  Our founding was the recognition of the endowment of natural (God given) rights!

And Eisenhower nails it.  Neither free enterprise or democracy would exist without the other.  Each plays into the other.  Each contributes to the success of the other.  They are oil and vinegar that work well together in the tossed salad of our society.

Sure prior to the Founding Fathers such ideas as natural rights flew around.  The great  philosophers of the Enlightenment - Locke, Hume, Kant, Montesquieu, Hutcheson, Hegel and Hobbes - all wrote about free, unalienable and natural rights, recognized natural rights, and wished for societies that enjoyed natural rights.  All these philosophers were read and understood by the Founding Fathers, and particularly their great fan Thomas Jefferson. The thinking of these philosophers found its way securely into the founding documents of the American Enlightenment, and American Exceptionalism.

These philosphers discussed individual freedoms, and individual rights, and unalienable rights, and natural rights.  They DREAMED of the society our Founding Fathers put together.  They would have loved to live here and enjoy what we enjoy.

And so, we, as citizens who have this great endowment bequeathed to us, have more to do than simply complacently enjoy our abilities to do and to become.  We have a DUTY to promote our endowment of rights, to defend our endowment of rights, to teach our endowment of rights as well as live our endowment of rights.  We need to meet HEAD ON the challenge of the statists who want to dismember our rights one by one; dismember our freedoms one by one; dismember and squash our desires, and abilities, and creativity and motivations, and if they can one by one.

The Founding Fathers would see statism as tyranny.  We should too.


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