Saturday, December 12, 2009

Are you Qualified to Vote?

It is my conviction that voting in a free society is a solemn responsibility. Having the maturity and thoughtfulness that enables you to make a correct voting decision is a high standard that everyone should seek. If you are not able to vote with the utmost of your intelligence, your vote would invalidate the vote of a person who has given due diligence to his choice. More than this, you might be contributing to the election of a charlatan or thief.

Certainly, no one should keep a free citizen from voting. But there are some reasons why you should voluntarily refrain from participating in the vote. These have to do with whether you are able to make the right voting decision, whether you have the intellectual honesty necessary. This has to do with your ability to think through the issues in any election with a proper philosophical orientation that makes a correct voting decision possible. It has to do with whether you are intellectually independent and self-confident enough to be dispassionate about issues that directly affect your life and the lives of your fellow citizens. I have identified four reasons that, if they apply to you, should convince you that you should not vote.

Reason #1. You may not be qualified to vote if you have never held a steady job.

Employed people generally have an interest in a strong economy and want governmental policies and laws that enable both businesses and employees to function well. This is because government has the power to restrict business activity through high taxes, burdensome regulations and government grants. Contrary to the opinion of many, it makes a difference whether a business is free or shackled by government regulations.  If we vote into power people who seek to control rather than liberate, we could be asking for rough times.

What does it mean to “participate in a productive job?” It means living a moral life, using your thinking and skills to create values that other people want to buy. When you take a job, you must develop a sense of discipline in your life; you must build your life around the requirements of working. You must plan your life across a number of years. In short, it means that you accept the responsibility of providing for yourself. This affects your voting decisions and gives you a strong stake in voting for the right people who will help you reach your long-term goals.

If you are enjoying the benefits of having your own income, home and appliances, even a car, you would have an entirely different approach to voting than if you have never taken responsibility for your own support. If a candidate offered programs that dole out money to unproductive people, a person who had never held a steady job might vote differently than a self-sufficient voter. The irresponsible person might vote for a politician who wants to re-distribute wealth from the producers to the non-producers. This would be a moral travesty.

Reason #2. You may not be qualified to vote if you are on government relief

Government relief does an interesting thing to many of those who are its beneficiaries. It often encourages them to be satisfied with having their needs met by government. It establishes the idea in the minds of the beneficiaries that it is the duty of all other citizens to provide for their well being. Certainly, government does a lot to create this illusion and that is because it wants the votes of those beneficiaries. Although some people believe this idea is unquestionable, I think most people know that getting something that you haven't earned is immoral. Further, this premise encourages the growth of government and is antithetical to the principles of a free society.

A social progressive would disagree with me about whether you should vote because his/her political ideal is a society where the more able will provide the funds to support the less able. The people who would benefit from welfare programs are the very people from whom the social progressive would seek support. In my view, this is precisely why the person getting government relief is not qualified to vote. What gives any person the right to demand that another person should be forced to supply his support?  His vote to receive government support invalidates the vote of the person who has lived his life earning his keep.

If you advocate such force, what is the difference between you and a thief? Doesn't the thief think he is justified in taking someone’s money? Does not the thief think that people are "suckers" who do not deserve the money he steals from them? Morally, there is no difference between a thief and an advocate of income redistribution. Both forms of redistribution are a violation of the right to the pursuit of happiness. And the productive person has to work harder because his time and energy have been expropriated (it takes time and energy to make money)…while the person who receives the money will generally squander it.

Money earned by the productive individual would not exist were it not for the choice (to work). And since the person who receives the money from government as a beneficiary did not choose to work, that fact makes the redistribution of money a crime. No point of altruism, no exploitation theory and no right can be mustered that gives anyone the right to take something from one person and give it to another. One thing is certain: the best way to ensure that production stops and society descends into group warfare is to make living impossible for the talented and educated.  If you want to understand why our economy is in the dumps, this is the reason: there is too much redistribution going on.

Progressives never say they want to stop production or punish success. But their policies are not only immoral (as is theft) but impractical. You cannot expect the victim to continue to allow theft of his property. Eventually, he will tire of working hard for others when he realizes that the entire social welfare scheme is a fraud and a lie. He may join the Tea Parties. In other cases, he will do what is his right and protect his property against the marauders of government by being less productive until the marauders are removed from power.

Whether redistribution takes place through volunteerism/work camps (which is a scheme for stealing the energy of people – a form of concentration camps), higher taxes (which is overt theft of the property of the able), the Fairness Doctrine (which is a way of destroying freedom of speech and stealing from people their right to think), to Foreign Policy (which is a plan to loot the American economy for the sake of the developing world) to providing grants to local community organizers such as ACORN (which is an effort to loot the treasury by community organizers and corrupt real estate developers – See Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Valerie Jarrett), you can be sure that there will be no end to the looting and no end to the propaganda that promotes sacrifice. You can be sure that it won’t be long before we are totally bankrupt.

As Ayn Rand says, “It stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there's someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.”[1]

Reason #3. You may not be qualified to vote if you are in college or a college graduate.

You may not be qualified to vote if you have been influenced heavily by the prevailing philosophies taught in our nation’s colleges and universities. Higher education today is supposed to be an open forum for ideas. Its goal at one time (a very long time ago) was to teach the student to think critically, to be open to new ideas and learn how to evaluate ideas in an unbiased manner. This is not the goal today. If you went to college to get a good education, you have been cheated. Let’s look at some of the influences.

Hume/Kant Axis

David Hume and Immanuel Kant are two philosophers who have had devastating influence on the ability of our young people to think. Their ideas have poisoned the inductive process and have turned thinking and philosophical inquiry into an undertaking that rejects virtually every valid concept known to man. Concepts such as reason, truth and knowledge have been turned into their opposites and the result has been the establishment of a secular nihilist foundation upon which virtually any anti-man concept can be built.

You may think that ideas do not matter; that action is more important than thought and that it is useless to spend time on subjects like philosophy because, you think, they have no application to life. That point of view is exactly the point of view of David Hume. In denying the value of philosophy, you have accepted Hume’s philosophy.

The key question regarding Hume and Kant's influence is that their ideas amount, in practice, a destruction of your ability to evaluate reality. These philosophies leave you without a method for understanding reality. They leave you to depend only upon your emotions when making moral decisions...including political decisions. And because pragmatism defaults to altruism, all political decisions are based on socialist and progressive schemes of government that enslave you to the collective. Literally, the entire Hume/Kant culture is mired in altruism to such an extent that many people have no problem using government coercion to attack a myriad of “social” problems. If you accept this blindness, you are not qualified to vote.

Marx/Rousseau Axis

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a philosopher who coined the term “social contract.” This view of government essentially justified majority rule, democracy, where the minority was charged with accepting any laws or restrictions that the majority decided to impose. Rousseau founded his preferred government upon the idea that there was an implicit contract to accept majority rule. He also held that the will of the majority was somehow infallible and must be accepted as opposed to mere self-interest. Rousseau is very popular among progressives today because his ideas justify forcing the minority (that is often rich and ripe for exploitation) to accept high taxes and expropriation by the government. As the Obama administration is eager to tell us: "We won."

Karl Marx is the champion of communism and socialism. Through his development of a mystical “historical process,” Marx invented a political philosophy that was attractive to many who hoped for the legalized nationalization and looting of the products, machines and factories created by capitalists.  They thought they could expropriate the machines and factories from the owners and still retain production and wealth.  It was a fool's errand; the exact opposite happened; production was always destroyed.

Marx’s critique of capitalism is considered by many to be accurate. However, it is based on a faulty view of both humanity and the workings of the market system. Marxists are determinists who think that men are molded by the economic class and that the market system is a zero/sum game that always involves someone winning and someone losing.  Yet, capitalism is based on the idea that man, when he engages in free trade uses his reasoning capacity and his ability to choose moral action. On the other hand, Marx thought that capitalists were vicious predators seeking to exploit the workers when in fact they were traders who significantly benefited the lives of those who bought their products.  Capitalist trade is not a zero/sum game but a win/win as well as a constantly improving system that helped people live better and longer lives.

Today, Marxist ideas are taught with little debate and they infest our students with the idea that capitalism is full of evil exploiters and that America is an imperialist country. If you are a Marxist, you are not qualified to vote...pure and simple. This includes many people in the Obama administration who now have the power to run (ruin) capitalism.

The current economic crisis (September 2008) is an excellent example of how Marxist socialism is a failed system. Contrary to the advocates of dictatorship, this crisis is a failure of socialism, not capitalism. The basic principle of socialism, according to Karl Marx is from each according to his ability to each according to his need; and the Community Reinvestment act fostered by Bill Clinton required that banks issue risky loans to people who did not quality for them.  This was a form of redistribution of the money of the banks to the crooks at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who were all Democratic Party operatives.  Even Barack Obama was involved.  

Reason #4.  You are not qualified to vote if you still think that Barack Obama can make things better. 

Obama is a nihilist whose only goal is to destroy this nation.  He cannot help himself because he was raised by a communist mother, influenced by a communist father and mentored by communists and terrorists all his life.  Consider: failed stimulus programs, failed jobs policies, failed foreign policy, failed monetary policy, failed oil policy, failed tax policy, failed educational policy, failed green energy policy and his constant calls for Americans to sacrifice.  If you have not done the study necessary to know how and why all of these policies are failing, if you have not learned that a nation cannot indefinitely spend more money than it takes in...and know why it is wrong to engage in deficit spending...then you have no idea how to be a citizen and you should not vote.  Leave the voting to the adults and you'll be much better off and you'll feel a lot better about it.

Conclusion

Of course, ours is an age of skepticism and all concepts including freedom and individual rights are under attack by people who don’t hold any principles: the progresive left and right. The conceptual corruption created by skeptics and mystics in our society has made discussion about a proper society into a na├»ve activity. If people argue that the principle of property rights should be inviolable, many will shrug as if the rights advocate is stupid to think in such a pedestrian way. Social planners are busy trying to decide how best to allocate other peoples’ money for the sake of social goals while society plunges deeper into the depths.  People on the dole accept the money given to them by the government and in return they buy into the socialist myth that such redistribution is good for the economy.  As they see things getting worse, they don't even know that their very own parasitism is causing it.

How did we turn our nation over to these simplistic morons who don't even know that individual rights are the only means to a just society? They think they are too smart, and too hip, to care that we have lost the fundamental basis of proper society and they think that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid or seeking to help the rich.

But I don't want you to refrain from voting.  I would prefer you educate yourself about the issues and stop listening to the talking heads who only confuse you.  Open a book and get all sides on the issues, especially the issues about which the media is not telling you.  There is plenty of alternative media out there.  The truth is out there and it is not just about Democrat vs. Republican.  It is really about right and wrong and it takes effort to learn how to think so that you can make an informed choice.

When the leaders and intellectuals in a society are corrupted by skepticism, one cannot blame the people for not knowing better. How could the average person know what makes up a proper society when his teachers don’t explain to them what is a proper society?  When sacrifice is the guiding principle and when most people think that plunder is the only practical way to run a society, can you blame people for voting for the most consistent and corrupt graduates of our universities? It has happened before that the people have taken things into their own hands when they felt it was necessary.  Yet, I fear that we are probably going to have another "fixed" election; fixed by the universities.

Yet, it is the job of the intellectuals and philosophers to properly educate the people and today’s crop has failed miserably – otherwise we would not be arguing about absurd notions like income re-distribution and media bias.  We would not be thinking that we can spend our way into prosperity or that robbing Peter to pay Paul is actually going to be ok with Peter.

A careful reading of the Constitution will give you a better understanding of what the Founders intended when they established our country. They sought, fundamentally, to restrict government and avoid tyranny. In practice it meant that every citizen was free to think, speak and act as he saw fit – without the possibility of influence from the government. The sum of man's rights is what we call individual rights. Properly, the government cannot violate the rights enumerated in the Constitution. The government's only mandate is to protect individuals from having their rights violated by anyone including the government. This idea has created what was once the most politically free society in the history of the world - with the consequence that it is also the most affluent society in the history of the world. When people are free to make their own decisions about their lives and property they most often make the correct decisions and the result is a society where people are safe, trusted and successful.

We owe it to ourselves to ensure that we do not make a “light” or “frivolous” decision when we vote for important offices. The people who created our society and set its foundations studied philosophy, politics and world history for many years; they debated political and philosophical issues for hours and even fought against a deadly British army for the right to live free of government coercion. It is incumbent on any American of voting age to ensure that he/she has the correct intellectual foundation that is necessary for making a rational choice about the people who will hold power in our country. If you have not made that effort to understand the issues, you should not vote. If you think that theft can be made moral by pulling a lever behind some curtains, you should not vote.

[1] The Soul of the Collectivist, For the New Intellectual, Ayn Rand

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