T Nation

Loss of Freedoms

Ok, I am a mid-twenty, full of shit, just starting out in the real world, no-clue about life, asshole; And after reading the “CA Court Threatens Homeschoolers” thread (and getting pissed off, even tho I don’t live in CA, nor have kids) I now realize how quickly we are seeing freedoms disappear.

I normally don’t care about things like not being able to homeschool in CA since it doesn’t affect me directly, but I am finally wising up and realizing that this type of stuff spreads like wildfire and sooner or later it will involve me. So basically, what are some other “freedoms” that we have recently lost, or are in the process of losing in the near future?

And why do so many people let this shit happen? (I know, I know; I’m one to talk after just admitting that I normally wouldn’t care about the rights of married people or those with kids since I’m not in either class.) I love being an American, but need to wise up with regards to protecting what my/our forefathers have done to establish this great nation.

BTW, I’m not bitching about America in any way. I love this place, and count my lucky stars everyday that I was born here. I just want to hear some of the issues that we face or will face in the future.

Historian Alexander Tyler in his analysis on the fall of Athenian democracy said (and I’m paraphrasing) that a democracy could not exist as a permanent form of government. It would only exist until the masses discovered that they could vote themselves largess (goodies) from the public treasury. From that point on, the public would only support candidates who promised entitlements from the public treasury, thus resulting in a society beholden to the government.

While Tyler made this assertion on Athenian democracy a couple of years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I think he could’ve very well been foretelling the current attitude in the U.S.

Listen to the presidential campaign and you’ll hear candidates promising all sort of programs from free education to universal health care. The New Deal and the Great Society might have had good intentions, but the end result has been a society that is too dependent on government. I heard our governor once state, “There are people whose very existence rely on government.”

I would say a majority of the people in our society today are not dedicated to freedom. Instead, they want the government to provide them with a free education, free health care, and whatever else they can get free from Joe Taxpayer. Maybe we can turn the tide if, on the 4th of July, people would think about what the signers of the Declaration of Independence had to sacrifice for our nation instead of worrying about who to invite to the BBQ and who’s bringing the fireworks.

A lower court made an improper ruling. It happens now and always has, and in worse cases than this. There are plenty of things to be pessimistic about wrt the future of our freedoms in general, but until this ruling survives an appeal, it really isn’t a big one.

Forgotten man
Steve Tucker served a 10-year prison sentence for selling light bulbs.

It’s Tytler, not Tyler.

The full quote is:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

And it may not have been Alexander Tytler at all who said that. Sounds a lot like Arnold Toynbee.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
It’s Tytler, not Tyler.

The full quote is:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

And it may not have been Alexander Tytler at all who said that. Sounds a lot like Arnold Toynbee.[/quote]

Yeah, it being from Tytler is debated. The books it’s supposedly a quote from, for instance, either do not have anything remotely like it or the books themselves are possibly fake, as they have no record in the LIbrary of Congress.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.[/quote]

Any chance that, along the way, the masses eventually are educated enough to realize that the public treasury is themselves? That any money they vote into their right pocket is paid out of the left one?

Or are there always enough people with empty pockets to whom the public largesse appears to be a sound plan?

Vote Ron Paul.

I think freedom of speech is largely disappearing nowadays. Say one thing that the masses say they do not agree with (even though some do but they do not admit it), and every gives you shit until they forget about it or you leave the vicinity.

Also, there are now certain words or topics that once you say the word or discuss the topic, everyone goes crazy, and again, keeps giving you shit. The loss of freedom of speech is the worst thing that has happened in the United States because this will have future reprecussions that will cipple the democracy of the United States.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Varqanir wrote:
It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

Any chance that, along the way, the masses eventually are educated enough to realize that the public treasury is themselves? That any money they vote into their right pocket is paid out of the left one?

Or are there always enough people with empty pockets to whom the public largesse appears to be a sound plan?
[/quote]

The ones educated enough to understand this aren’t the ones voting for largesse, although I’ll wager they’re the ones contributing the most to the public treasury.

[quote]ukrainian wrote:
I think freedom of speech is largely disappearing nowadays. Say one thing that the masses say they do not agree with (even though some do but they do not admit it), and every gives you shit until they forget about it or you leave the vicinity. Also, there are now certain words or topics that once you say the word or discuss the topic, everyone goes crazy, and again, keeps giving you shit. The loss of freedom of speech is the worst thing that has happened in the United States because this will have future reprecussions that will cipple the democracy of the United States. [/quote]

True, and a perfect example of this is the recent story of Obama’s foreign policy advisor Samantha Power being pressured into resigning after she simply stated (off the record, by the way) that Hillary Clinton is “a monster,” a truth which most of us hold to be self-evident.

And now we find that Howard Wolfson, one of Hillary’s aides, is also feeling the heat after having implied that Obama was using tactics that were just a teensy bit like those used by Ken Starr, the relentless independent prosecutor who went after the Clintons for various high crimes and misdemeanors in the previous century.

Hardly fighting words, and yet people are calling for Wolfson’s resignation as well, including former Senate Majority Leader Tom “Anthrax” Daschle, who had these bons mots to say:

I don’t think that you can make a statement like that and consider yourself within the bounds of civility. I mean, this shouldn’t be tolerated. It’s not acceptable, and it’s unfortunate.

I don’t really give a rat’s patootie for the troubles of anyone on either Obama’s or Hillary’s staff, but the idea that we have come to a point in the history of our nation that a mild insult lobbed at one’s political rival is enough to cost one his or her job frankly sickens me. This is the sort of thing that I can see happening in Russia or Britain, but not in the United States.

And thus we mourn the imminent demise of the First Amendment…

…while thanking God that we still have the Second.

For now.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Varqanir wrote:
It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

Any chance that, along the way, the masses eventually are educated enough to realize that the public treasury is themselves? That any money they vote into their right pocket is paid out of the left one?

Or are there always enough people with empty pockets to whom the public largesse appears to be a sound plan?
[/quote]

Not trying to answer your question , but do you think that day will come sooner if government employed people in strong unions teach our kids?

It is eery that while we detested force indoctrination and “Gleischschaltung”* in totalitarian regimes we also seem to think that the same procedures in Democracies are a-ok.

See latest ruling by a Californian court. There are some real gems in there.

"A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare."

[quote]hercules54 wrote:

Listen to the presidential campaign and you’ll hear candidates promising all sort of programs from free education to universal health care. The New Deal and the Great Society might have had good intentions, but the end result has been a society that is too dependent on government. I heard our governor once state, “There are people whose very existence rely on government.” [/quote]

Which is not to forget the endless campaigning on lowering taxes(or at least not raising them) throughout history and how so many people vote based almost entirely on how much of their paycheck is being taken by the government.

Prior to WWII, the income tax was a one-time payment at the end of the year, similar to how you pay your ad valorem taxes (property & automobile). During the war, the federal government changed the way of allocating the income tax from a one-time payment to weekly payroll check deductions. This was supposed to be temporary, but it’s been intact since then.

Now we have a society that concentrates on how much of a refund they’re getting rather than how much taxes they are paying. As April 15th nears, run this simple experiment:

Go up to somebody with a job and ask them how much income tax did he have to pay. More than likely, the person will tell you, “Oh, I didn’t have to pay anything, I’m getting a refund.” If the person has $2,000 withheld from his check during the year and the tax code dictates that his tax is $1,500, he gets $500 of his money back. He’s more concerned with the $500 rather than the $1,500. If he had to write a check for $1,500 to pay his income tax, I think he would be raising some hell.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
ukrainian wrote:
I think freedom of speech is largely disappearing nowadays. Say one thing that the masses say they do not agree with (even though some do but they do not admit it), and every gives you shit until they forget about it or you leave the vicinity. Also, there are now certain words or topics that once you say the word or discuss the topic, everyone goes crazy, and again, keeps giving you shit. The loss of freedom of speech is the worst thing that has happened in the United States because this will have future reprecussions that will cipple the democracy of the United States.

True, and a perfect example of this is the recent story of Obama’s foreign policy advisor Samantha Power being pressured into resigning after she simply stated (off the record, by the way) that Hillary Clinton is “a monster,” a truth which most of us hold to be self-evident.

And now we find that Howard Wolfson, one of Hillary’s aides, is also feeling the heat after having implied that Obama was using tactics that were just a teensy bit like those used by Ken Starr, the relentless independent prosecutor who went after the Clintons for various high crimes and misdemeanors in the previous century.

Hardly fighting words, and yet people are calling for Wolfson’s resignation as well, including former Senate Majority Leader Tom “Anthrax” Daschle, who had these bons mots to say:

I don’t think that you can make a statement like that and consider yourself within the bounds of civility. I mean, this shouldn’t be tolerated. It’s not acceptable, and it’s unfortunate.

I don’t really give a rat’s patootie for the troubles of anyone on either Obama’s or Hillary’s staff, but the idea that we have come to a point in the history of our nation that a mild insult lobbed at one’s political rival is enough to cost one his or her job frankly sickens me. This is the sort of thing that I can see happening in Russia or Britain, but not in the United States.

And thus we mourn the imminent demise of the First Amendment…

…while thanking God that we still have the Second.

For now.[/quote]

The funny thing is, when I was in Ukraine and looking at the political conflicts currently happening there, you can truly see the right to freedom of speech being employed. People say what they want and do not give a shit what anyone else thinks. If a political member got insulted, then they had two choices: respond or do not care. Everything is said, and no one cares. And Ukraine was part of the USSR. I believe that people do not appreciate the rights that they are lucky enough to have in the United States until they actually lived in a society where they did not have those right.

Screwing girls under 18.

[quote]hercules54 wrote:
Prior to WWII, the income tax was a one-time payment at the end of the year, similar to how you pay your ad valorem taxes (property & automobile). During the war, the federal government changed the way of allocating the income tax from a one-time payment to weekly payroll check deductions. This was supposed to be temporary, but it’s been intact since then.

Now we have a society that concentrates on how much of a refund they’re getting rather than how much taxes they are paying. As April 15th nears, run this simple experiment:

Go up to somebody with a job and ask them how much income tax did he have to pay. More than likely, the person will tell you, “Oh, I didn’t have to pay anything, I’m getting a refund.” If the person has $2,000 withheld from his check during the year and the tax code dictates that his tax is $1,500, he gets $500 of his money back. He’s more concerned with the $500 rather than the $1,500. If he had to write a check for $1,500 to pay his income tax, I think he would be raising some hell. [/quote]

Self-employed people often have to cut that check to Uncle Sam. You’d better believe that they recognize changes in tax rates a lot more than employees who pay taxes through withholdings.

I often idly wonder at how much more of a voting issue tax rates would be if we forced everybody to pay their taxes with a check. No more passive withholdings where tax hikes can be “hidden” from view, you have to actively write a check payable to “Internal Revenue Service” every April.

Let’s then see how much more voters care about pork spending.

[quote]ukrainian wrote:
The funny thing is, when I was in Ukraine and looking at the political conflicts currently happening there, you can truly see the right to freedom of speech being employed. People say what they want and do not give a shit what anyone else thinks. If a political member got insulted, then they had two choices: respond or do not care. Everything is said, and no one cares. And Ukraine was part of the USSR. I believe that people do not appreciate the rights that they are lucky enough to have in the United States until they actually lived in a society where they did not have those right.[/quote]

Paul Colinvaux, who wrote one of the best explanations I have read of why history happens, and why it will always repeat itself, predicted 1980 that by the middle of the 21st century, the people of the Soviet Union would probably enjoy greater real freedom than the people of the United States. Not because of Communism, but rather because no police state can sustain itself, and once the policemen are gone, Russia would still have the largest and richest land mass in the world, with a sparse population.

Rather like the United States a century and a half ago.

[quote]ukrainian wrote:
I think freedom of speech is largely disappearing nowadays. Say one thing that the masses say they do not agree with (even though some do but they do not admit it), and every gives you shit until they forget about it or you leave the vicinity.

Also, there are now certain words or topics that once you say the word or discuss the topic, everyone goes crazy, and again, keeps giving you shit. The loss of freedom of speech is the worst thing that has happened in the United States because this will have future reprecussions that will cipple the democracy of the United States. [/quote]

I agree with you that there are certain words and topics that can’t be mentioned without people going completely crazy and irrational. While this can be quite infuriating I don’t think that this is the same as a loss of freedom of speech.

You still have the legal right to talk about the topics that these people find offensive and they still have the right to give you shit about it.

I think the solution is for normal people to stop giving a shit about what overly sensitive, painfully politically correct types think. Just say what you think and let them be offended.