Ethan Wise, Editor-in-Chief
Somewhere Between a Conservative
and a Libertarian
It can be boiled down to two words: I’m anti-authoritarian.
Recent movies have helped to remind me just why I’m anti-authoritarian; post-apocalyptic series like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series in particular. They have many things in common, but they all circle around the liberation from an authoritarian regime.
This is also a common theme found throughout human history, including recent history.
The leading cause of unnatural death during the 20th century was due to authoritarian regimes. Between the regimes of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao alone, close to 70 million innocent lives were lost. That’s nearly a quarter of the current population of the United States. We, as the human race, cannot allow ourselves to repeat the mistakes of the past.
I caution those wanting more comfort and security at the cost of giving the government more power. If you give the government an inch, it takes a mile. Every mile it takes, is a step towards an uncontrollable authoritarian regime.
This may seem extreme or even laughable to some, but I’d ask you, how did Hitler, Stalin, or Mao get all their power? Were they born with it? Did everyone willingly just give up their freedom for authoritarian rule?
The answer is self-evident. They amassed their power over time, taking every inch they could, under the guise of nationalism, “the greater good,” or “progress.”
The founders understood this all too well. That’s why the Declaration of Independence states, “...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…” as a safeguard against potential future authoritarian rulers.
For the well-meaning liberals who believe that all of today’s problems should be solved by the government, I ask you to take a second and ask, would you like it if you were giving these same powers to someone you knew would exploit them for their own purposes?
You give the government the power to make healthcare insurance mandatory today. But what if years later, in a strange turn of events, the government then says purchasing a firearm was necessary for the security and well being of its citizens, under the same argument?
We must all act as if every inch we give the government was being given to an authoritarian dictator, because one day it just might be. In the words of Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman, “Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”
Friedrich Hayek echoed this sentiment in his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, stating “The danger is not immediate, it is true, and conditions in England and the United States are still so remote from those witnessed in recent years in Germany as to make it difficult to believe that we are moving in the same direction. Yet, though the road be long, it is one on which it becomes more difficult to turn back as one advances.”
The majority of millennials today have had the luxury of never experiencing or seeing first hand true authoritarian governments. We cannot let that lull us into a false sense of security, and shrug it off by saying oh that would never happen here. I have news, it can.
Two words: Donald Trump.
Did you expect him to gain as much popularity as quickly as he did? If you’re a liberal, are you afraid of what might happen if he actually became president? I propose we make government small enough that it doesn’t matter who’s in office because they won’t have enough power over it’s citizens to dictate their will.
Our ancestors fought for our self-evident right to choose our own destiny. As a result, the idea of America, and the most prosperous and free nation ever to exist in the history of mankind was created.
We cannot let that slip away. I refuse to let freedom be nothing more than a story passed down generation to generation. Or worse, false stories of perilous times. Stories like President Snow in The Hunger Games or Jeanine in Divergent tell their constituents to keep them in fear of their own free will.
As Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
There will always be evil people. We must diligently work to deny them a platform powerful enough see their dreams become a reality. We must continue the fight to pass down freedom to our children, and our children’s children.
That is why I’m a Conservatarian.