Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Case for Selfishness

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."-- James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788

The slow erosion of freedom in 'advanced' countries takes place in the comfortable halls of legislatures. There are no tanks in the square or government "hit squads" in the middle of the night. The rights and freedoms of the people aren't taken, they are given.

Freedom is diminished by the acceptance of less. We have entered the "less period" in our national history. We are told we must except less health care so that others might have more. We must use fewer resources so that some might have more. We are told that by improving our own lives that we negatively impact the lives of others. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This country was built and became the most prosperous nation on Earth due to selfishness. People who wanted more for themselves and their children distinguished this country from all others. It is the selfish desire for more that leads people to create, innovate, strive and improve their lives and by extension, the lives of others.

Rather than encouraging selfishness, our government encourages jealousy. The government would have some believe that there is a relationship between what any two people have but no relationship between those same two people's efforts. This results in the false belief that those who achieve do so to the detriment of others. This false belief is typified by the government's line that "fairness" dictates that segments of society should give more. Yet, giving more in the form of taxes has never lifted as many people out of poverty that selfishness has.

We need more selfishness in this country. We need more people who are unwilling to settle. We need to stop giving up our freedom.