All Maine Matters

September 2006



This Month’s Issue
Read November’s Issue of All Maine Matters.


Low Bandwidth - Text Only

Designed by Laisha

All Maine Matters

Because All of Maine DOES Matter!
Vol. 1, No. 9      September 2006 FREE

Why We Must Advance the Principles of Freedom
by Tom DeWeese

“Freedom.” It’s the most used, most misunderstood, most misused word in the English language.

Every movement, every revolution, every special-interest campaign uses the word Freedom to explain their motives and to draw us in to their cause.

Everybody wants freedom. We fight under the banner of “Live Free or Die.” But, no cause ever won a campaign or a war under the banner “be happy under tyranny.”

But “Freedom” is also a word that can be used to enslave us. The word “Freedom,” in the wrong hands, with the wrong motives or agenda can be a butcher’s knife.

What do you mean when you cry out for freedom? Che Guevara, the man who helped set up the brutal communist regime in Cuba, was called a Freedom Fighter. Mao Tse Tung was called a Freedom Fighter. “Free the masses,” cried Lenin.

There are those who tell us that that a hungry man is not free. That for everyone to be free we must all first be sure everyone is fed. We must all take the responsibility to share the wealth to assure that every man, woman and child marches forward together before any of us can be free.

Others tell us that we can’t truly be free until we are all safe. We cannot be free, they say, as long as people own guns. How many times have you heard it said, “I would gladly give up some of my freedoms to be safe from the threat of terrorism?” Or my favorite: “If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear from intrusive government searches and data banks. We need these intrusions to preserve out freedoms.”

Some say that the only way to assure we are free is to live a healthy life. The only way for that to happen, according to them, is for government to rule, regulate and control what they eat.

Others believe that fencing in property takes away everyone’s freedom of movement. The Indians, they tell us, were free of fences. Private property, they say, stifles freedom. And still more tell us that borders among countries close us off from each other and stifle trade and commerce. Open the borders and give us “Free Trade.”

There are whole schools of economics teaching us that taxing the rich evens the playing field and frees everyone else of the burden of having to be responsible for earning a living. Some people, say these academics, just aren’t cut out for such tasks. Life is oppressive. We must free people of the burdens of life.

The new government school curriculum frees the children from the burden of having to know how to spell properly, or memorize boring dates or multiplication tables. That gives them the freedom to be creative and to think loftier thoughts beyond stifling academic rules.

But if you truly mean to live a life in freedom, be very careful about how the word is being used. Because such use of metaphors and ambiguous weasel words are really a trap. In these cases, the goal isn’t freedom. It’s total control. It feeds on your good will and generous nature. But it doesn’t mean freedom.

George Orwell once wrote, “Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful…and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Tyranny Vs Freedom

So what is ”Freedom?” In the political sense, there is only one crucial principle that separates freedom from slavery: the absence of physical coercion from government.

There isn’t good slavery Vs bad slavery. There aren’t good dictatorships Vs bad dictatorships. The good gang Vs the bad gang. There is Freedom Vs Tyranny.

If you truly stand for Freedom, then you are accepting the premise that you have natural or God-given rights. Rights you were born with. It means you stand for individual liberty. That you have the right to your own life; that you have the right to the fruits of your labor; and you have the right to pursue your own happiness.

Only a totalitarian would tell you there is no time for joy. Only one who wants to own your life would say that the drive to win a ball game, or a boat race, or a track meet are a waste of time. Human joy and voluntary action are the rewards of freedom.

And it’s vital to protect intellectual freedom -- the freedom to own your thoughts and ideas. Intellectual freedom cannot exist without economic freedom.

If you accept the premise of Freedom, then, in order to achieve it, you must also uphold a political system that guarantees and protects these rights. There is only one such system. Capitalism. Free Enterprise. And I don’t mean the misnamed euphemism: “Free Trade.”

All of these things are the essential tools of maintaining a free society. Step on any of them, for any reason, and you begin to destroy the existence of a free society.

In a Free Society there is no need for agents of the government to fan out among us to gather data, inspect the quality of products or license services. You do that with your freely made decisions and dollars.

You choose which products to buy and which services to use. That creates competition. To attract your dollars, companies lower prices, improve the quality of products and services. Those who don’t, go out of business. No need for meat inspectors, health inspectors, building inspectors and the like. No need for government to set utility rates, cable rates, or regulate phone companies.

In a Free Society, government shouldn’t be in the energy business. It shouldn’t be holding congressional hearings to rule on the kind of toilet you should have in your home.

And in a Free Society -- monopolies cannot exist. Today, we like to blame big corporations for many of the bad things in our lives. It’s true many are run by some very nasty people. They use their wealth and power to promote their own political agendas. They can flood the marketplace with inferior products, charge outrageous prices and suck the life out of their competition. But, you see, they can only do that if we let go of our control over the government and allow them to use it against us for their own gain.

Today, big corporations work hand in hand with government. They spend big bucks to buy politicians to pass laws to hurt competition or to give themselves most favored status. And that’s why we have monopolies.

A monopoly can only exist through the sanction of some function of government, either through licensing, franchising or some other sort of protection. In fact, by watching this process, one major truth comes screaming out at you – the bigger government becomes – the more power major corporations have over our lives.

That’s because free enterprise – your right to choose – and your individual ability to control the free market - disappears. Corporations spend more of their time and resources padding the pockets of politicians in order to gain special favors, than caring about the products they want to sell you.

The politicians get more powerful. More agencies spring up in Washington. The corporations get a bigger share of the pot. And the consumer is just the pawn in the game.

In a free society, you are never the pawn. You control the game. If you want to limit the power of corporations, limit the size and power of government. It’s that simple.

Now, if this all sounds completely bizarre, or utopian, or quaint, or old fashioned to you, then that is a testimony of how far we have come from the Free Society our Founding Fathers created for us. Because all of these things were once American ideals and policies. And it was during that time in American history that the United States became the most advanced, prosperous, healthy, happy place on earth to live.

Ever-growing government power and the end of reason

What changed? We surrendered the ability to reason and to take responsibility for our own lives – instead giving it to government to make sure we are safe.

There is an endless supply of examples to show how government intrusion into the market place and our personal lives destroy a free society. In fact, what was once a slow process by government-- perhaps moving so slowly that many didn’t even notice – has become a tsunami.

The public school system is a major one. Here, the very ideals of liberty and a free society are being totally obliterated as public schools become used at propaganda tools rather than a place for teaching basic academics.

Government education is an oxy moron. Government school curriculum is simply the political agenda of whatever gang is in charge at the time.

Today, schools are busy making patients out of our children in order to pump them with mind altering drugs and strip search their souls through government sanctioned mental health screening. And the Bush Administration actually called such mental health screening the New Freedom Commission.

There are now more psychologists on the payroll of public schools than teachers, as we, the taxpayers, are forced to pay an average of $10,000 per year, per student to educate our children in government institutions that teach no academics. The result is an abuse of innocent children beyond description.

These things don’t happen in a free society. Because teachers in a free society understand they are your children and not just a resource for a global village.

The imposition of environmental regulations has become the greatest threat to ownership and control of private property.

Our Supreme Court has now declared that there is no private property and that any community is free to take any property it wants for private development. Again, the Sustainable Development public/private partnerships help the elite to profit from someone else’s pain.

The politicians get more power. Their buddies, the chosen developers, make money building the project. The real estate agents have a new product to sell. The community makes more tax revenue. Everybody’s happy in the well-ordered society. Of course the property owner has his dreams shattered, but the common good must always be considered over a few malcontents.

The legalized assault on private property has given rise to a horde of powerful non-elected government agencies like planning commissions, transportation commissions, homeowner associations, neighborhood councils, and stakeholders consensus councils.

It provides a power structure to an army of activists called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who work in partnership with all the councils and associations to make and enforce policy. There is no place in a Free Society for the legalized theft of private property.

Now we see these controls spreading to new areas of our lives. Most recent is a new kind of tag system is now being imposed on the farms of the nation, called the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

Its purpose is the same tired excuse – protect the common good. Well, they don’t exactly say it that way. This time it’s to protect the national food system from Mad Cow and other dreamed up disasters.

Small farmers find they have to tag all of their animals and register them with the US Department of Agriculture. So extreme are the regulations, that, for example, owners have to register and tag every single animal on the farm. If they move even one, they have to notify the USDA.

The financial burden is so great on the small, mom an pop farms, the only possible result will be for them to go out of business – leaving all of our food to be grown by massive farm corporations.

No one is served by such idiocy. Of course, it’s not really about protection of anyone. It’s about control. The end result is a soft fascism leading to a police state.

Ban it! Ban it! Ban it!

The true purpose of these policies is the implementation of Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development has three components: global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction.

Sustainable Development is anti-free enterprise, anti- individual liberty and anti-limited government. Sustainable Development has no place in a free society.

A free society protects its property owners and businesses and helps them to go about their lives, unencumbered.

A free society doesn’t set up spy mechanisms to track the whereabouts of all of its people through a national ID card, as has now been established in the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act -- no matter what the excuse or current crisis.

A free society doesn’t close down whole industries and towns at the whim of special interests groups who use made up excuses like spotted owls.

A free society honors its borders and protects its people from outside invasion. It doesn’t give the hard earned wealth of its people to criminals who ignore our laws and our borders to invade us.

And in a free society, government doesn’t tell its citizens where they can or can’t place a manger scene at Christmas.

But today, now that the floodgates are open to allow government intrusion into any and all aspects of our lives, politics has become a power struggle between two very similar camps. Republicans. Democrats. Left. Right. Liberals. Conservatives. Twiddle Dum. Twiddle Dee.

The bigger government gets, the more money there is for politicians to make and the more power they have to wield -- the less interest they have in a quaint idea about limited government and human freedom.

Political parties that have become drunk with power are not sober enough to remember their platforms, their histories, their promises, or their oath of office.

And so the dream of a free society grows ever dimmer. Instead we grow almost immune to the daily invasion by government into our lives. We endure massive restraints on the free market as vital products are banned.

DDT is banned, because a special interest group says so. Now millions over the world die needlessly because there’s now nothing strong enough to counter the swarms of mosquitoes that carry malaria. Our own cities are threatened by West Nile Disease. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Oil companies are banned from drilling oil we so desperately need. In ANWR, and in the Gulf of Mexico, there is more oil than we may ever need. We could completely end our dependency of any foreign oil. It could end the threat of terrorism. We could watch the economy soar. But we can’t because the agenda of those with power and money control the Congress. It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are movements to ban over the counter natural supplements, and fast food, and air conditioning, and recreational vehicles, and the consumption of meat, and cars, and suburban housing, and the family pet, and plastics, and fireplaces, and on and on.

All because one or one hundred special interests have a political agenda to do it. And because we have surrendered to them control of our government. The floodgates have been opened.

Ban it. Ban it. Ban it. Ban it. These are the sounds of the bombs going off in a war for control. The war against freedom.

The one statement that should never be uttered in a free society is: “ban it.” A free society cannot exist under this weight.

Tom DeWeese is president of the American Policy Center and editor of the DeWeese Report. Contact information:


About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2006 All Maine Matters