What is Freedom, Democracy, and Capitalism?
Of course this article is going to be my take on these and related topics. I am writing this because I feel that today these concepts are largely misunderstood.
There are many definitions of "Freedom". But the "Freedom" I am talking about here is the "Freedom" each person has as a basic "Right". Humans have a basic "Right" to be Free.
When "Freedom" is granted in a society it also means that each person shares the responsibility to participate in that "Right" for other people in society. This means that "Freedom" is a "Right" a person is granted until which point that "Freedom" interferes with another person's "Right" to be Free. It is saying, "I am free and I respect your right to freedom as well.""
Today people talk about "Freedom" but they are constantly taking there own freedom away by being a part of some movement which is telling the members of those movements how to think, how to feel, which rules apply, and so on. People attach themselves to personalities and ideologies and take sides when in a free society the basic goal for every person is to think for themselves and not let themselves be led down any certain path by those who want to recruit you to their cause.
So, Freedom is a way of life and it is not an ideology.
Another definition of Freedom is the relationship between a Government and its people. A government based on Freedom is looking for ways to create the most freedom for its people, not pile on them thousands of regulations and laws which serve only to burden individuals.
However the statement "Government is necessary because people aren't perfect." also has a lot of merit. The dance between making a fair playing field for all and having common sense laws to provide a framework which equally protects the common rights of all citizens can only really be achieved when all parties agree that finding the right solutions is more important than what is right for them.
Government is also there to stimulate the economy by encouraging individuals to build businesses. This will be discussed in Capitalism later. But, the general idea is that Freedom is the number one economic driver for every society and its people. Entrepreneurs are like children in a sandbox trying to experiment with what all can be done with sand. Just like children thrive in a free environment so does business.
Freedom really is the idea that we have a peaceful society so that everybody can get to tomorrow a little better off than they were yesterday. 99% of the people on earth are just trying to get to tomorrow. Freedom allows them to do that.
Hand in hand with Freedom goes the concept of Democracy. Democracy is a "type of government". It isn't an economic topic. Yet it has a lot to do with the economy.
The entire idea behind the United States of America is that "All people are created equal." A lot of people interpret that as it refers to race or socio-economic status, but what it really means is that "All people are born equal" meaning that no matter who their parents are they have equal rights as everyone else.
In Aristocracy where there is an entire ruling class based on birth right and generational rights to power. Who your parents were gave you your future. You can't be King or Queen of the British Empire unless you are born in the blood line of the Royals from centuries past. Nobody outside that blood line can be King or Queen. This means they aren't born equally, it means they are born above the rest of the citizenry.
The Continental Congress forged a new form of government where there is no Royalty involved. The government was designed to be run by lay people from everyday life who would work on the issues that face everyone everyday. Just because you are the son of a President or Governor doesn't mean you automatically become one. It Democracy you have to earn that privilege.
In addition, in Aristocracy, the leaders are not there for the good of the people, but rather the people are there for the good of the leaders. Now, there are obviously good Aristocrats who do good for the "lowly common people", but still they do it from above. The let it be done by others and take credit for it.
European Aristocrats were shocked when George Washington left office after 2 terms. They were sure he would become a King taking all the power for himself. But, Washington set the standard for American Presidents because he showed how a President should peacefully and willingly pass on the power to the next President and not try to hold this power for himself. The number one characteristic of a good President is one who will give up their power to someone who defeated them in the election.
Any President who tries to hold on to power is not serving the people but is actually morally unfit to be President based on this one issue alone. This is not the spirit of Democracy, that is the spirit of Aristocracy or a Dictatorship.
"In God we trust" and "We the people..."
What does "In God we trust" mean? Well, it really means that we don't trust humans, ourselves, the opposition, or allies. Yes, there is an element of Religion in this statement, but it isn't really about how we feel about God, but how we feel about humans, which have proven time and again to have a huge capacity for corruption.
"We the people..." means government by committee. In other words the governed are to govern themselves. A government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" so articulately phrased by Abraham Lincoln.
When these concepts aren't held in highest regard, then Democracy crumbles, Freedom crumbles, and corruption and scandal are sure to destroy any path to "...the pursuit of happiness."
Therefore, just as individual freedom ends where another persons freedom begins, so does the idea that we have to allow ourselves to make decisions for the good of others in as much as they make decisions which serve our own good.
In a Free and Democratic society it is absolutely necessary that in order for us to get what we need/want, we have to fight just as hard to see others are served in their best interest as well.
Well, if there was ever terminology that gets misunderstood it is economic terms.
What is Capitalism? All Capitalism means is that every person has the right to possess capital: Save Money, Own Land, Own their house, Own their shop, Own companies...and so on.
So along with Freedom and Democracy, Capitalism is a statement for the right for every individual has to build a better life for themselves and be the King or Queen of their own "Empire" not matter how small it is.
The Danger of the Return to Feudalism
Why is Capitalism so vital to the health of Freedom and Democracy? Why is it possible for this society to return to an Aristocracy and Feudalism?
There is a certain amount of individual responsibility required for a society to function with Freedom, Democracy, and Capitalism. I don't say this because I am making a moral statement about being a responsible citizen, but rather a statement about what is best for the individual.
Nobody is going to care about your life situation as much as you do. Not your Mommy, not your Daddy, no Aunt Uncle or Grandparent. They are trying to get you to do what they think is right for you anyway. Not saying that it isn't, but it doesn't necessarily mean that what they want for you isn't necessarily what you want or need for that matter.
Here is why it is important that each individual make their own way, own their own property, grow their investments and savings, and improves their skills to the highest level possible....
...If you are dependent on forces outside of yourself for your life then you are putting yourself in a position of weakness. You will always be under the thumb of someone or something else. Even if you work for someone else, you can still build your capital, own property, and grow it on a consistent basis over your lifetime. This isn't only prudent to do, it is important for the good of Freedom and Democracy.
Today a large part of the population owns nothing of real value. Many don't own their home, they don't save or invest money so they aren't building their capital value, and most are in debt because they can't wait to get the things that they want now.
The danger of moving towards feudalism is this...Ownership of property can get consolidated into fewer companies and individuals who then "Rent/Lease" to those people who work for other Corporations or Individuals who need their labor but see them as a necessary liability. The power gained by this domination of owned property and the amassing of huge fortunes through these businesses means that fewer and fewer are living the American Dream and are leading the nation into a situation where the workers of a company rent from the company so they have a place to live. Let's say you earn $2,500 a month at a company and you rent from a subsidiary of that company, you really are only making $2000 from that company, and that money is gone forever, into the pockets of those you work for.
Now, you may be the best person on earth, going to work, paying your bills, going to church on Sundays and volunteering when you can, but if you aren't building capital and improving your own "Life Business" then you are weakening yourself financially and are for all intents and purposes a "surf" in this growing epidemic Feudalism.
Survival of the United States of America
At no point in history, including the Civil Way, has the USA been in more peril than it is right now and for many different reasons. The ONLY way the USA as we know it can survive is when everyone gets reminded of the above principles.
Today we have gangs in the inner cities, militias in the country side, politically perverted conspiracy theorists, and the deterioration of the quality of leaders in government. All of this points away from the individual and to groups with an agenda that is not for the well being of the members of that group, but for the well being of their leaders. Some of the leaders in government who have been around the longest have absolutely no problem with all of this as long as they retain power. They no longer care about the good of the nation, the citizens, but only for their own power. If this continues the United States will cease to exist in the very near future. This is what has destroyed many a great civilization in the past.
No, the USA is not too big to fail.
What is the solution to poverty and hopelessness?
Don't be one of those people that exist in that realm. Whatever it takes, get out of it and embrace another set of standards that move towards prosperity. Otherwise being a "peasant" is surely your destiny.
What the USA doesn't want of you.
The USA doesn't want you to fail. It doesn't want you to be poor. The USA is built for prosperity, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. So if you aren't getting those it is on you to go get them. Nobody, not even the government, can give it to you. If you are the horse that doesn't drink, that is on you, not on the rider, not on the river, but on you.
Socialism and Communism and Freedom
Socialism and Communism are economic philosophies. The truth is that neither philosophy should be seen as negative because there is a place for them in society and they are both used in the United States every day. They only become a bad thing when they are forced upon an entire society. Then that is not Freedom, it is a dictatorship or a one party philosophy. However, both have a vital function in Capitalism, Democracy and Freedom.
What these two terms imply is they are operated by Government. But, really, they can also be used in private organizations as well.
Insurance is socialism isn't it? A company offers insurance and is paid by many thousands of people a little money for the time when something bad happens.
It is possible to be a Communist and live happily in the USA. As long as it is not forced, Communism could be a good answer for many. I was a member of a Shaker singing group.The Shakers were a religious sect in the mid 19th Century in the USA. The Shakers would allow people into the sect when they were willing to give up the property they owned. Entire families would join, sometimes giving up farms, houses, horses etc. for the common wealth of the local community. Everyone worked as part of this community which produced real world products for sale.
So, if you want to be a Communist, in America you can do it, as long as you find a lot of other people dedicated to the same idea, and let them go when they no longer want to be a part of it, just as the Shakers did.
Taxes and Socialism are necessary for the running of common services providing infrastructures necessary to building a healthy economic community.
Sustaining Freedom, Democracy, and Capitalism
When a society is designed for personal freedom, independence, and justice then a big part of that responsibility lies in the individual to do their part to make the country stronger by making themselves stronger. Far too many are active in criminal activity, spend a lot of energy protesting things, and waste money on frivolous items rather than doing the right things, supporting initiatives that make a difference, and invest in companies they believe in.
To keep out of feudalism, poverty, and injustice, you have to do things to get you out of them. Otherwise you are not only an enemy to yourself, but also to everyone else and endanger the society that has coddled you thus far.
Get to work!