Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Think About the Consequences

Western civilization has become very short sighted. In part this is due to the fact that technology keeps things changing at a pace never known in the world before.  Part of it is due to the fact that we, as a culture, can be whipped into a frenzy at the drop of a heart and begin to demand that someone must do something about the crisis that has befallen us.

I think a couple of great examples of this are the Patriot Act and the so called War on Terror, both of which came as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Both of these national policies come from the fact that government played on people's fears about another terrorist attack, and as a nation we didn't want to feel vulnerable, regardless of reality.

Rather than simply trying to placate people's immediate fears we should consider the long term effects of the policies that are being introduced and promoted.  If we truly cared about liberty the first thing we would think about would be the long term consequences of the actions the government takes.

In his book on classical Liberalism, which is embodied in such men as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, Ludwig von Mises wrote:
When the liberal advises against certain popular measures because he expects harmful consequences from them, he is censured as an enemy of the people, and praise is heaped on the demagogues who, without consideration of the harm that will follow, recommend what seems to be expedient for the moment (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition; p. xxiii).
The current administration's perspective to "never waste a crisis" is the type of mentality that is dangerous to the cause of liberty, and so we need people who will be voices "crying in the wilderness," pointing out a different road to take.  We need people who will stand for liberty.

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