Left vs. Right? No Force v. Freedom!

Whether in Great Britain, the U.S. or any other country, Left vs. Right conflict serves as a powerful political “shell game” intent on distracting the populous from the real issues.  Talking heads, pundits, political scientists, party leaders and more perpetuate this political divide by claiming that the political scale balances between two extremes where communism resides on the far left end of a balance and fascism falls on the extreme right-hand side.  As you slide towards the center from the right you’ll find labels like nationalism, conservative, republican and moderate.  Flip to the left and you’ll move from communism to socialism into terms like liberal, democrat and again moderate.  These are the terms, but how about the labels of radical/conservative, dove/hawk, progressive/traditional and I won’t even attempt to mention the numerous derogatory terms that are out there intended to incite anger and contempt!!  In looking at this scale we’re left (pun intended) to believe then that ideally there is some sense of balance that resides between these two extremes.   

            But what if we are looking at it all wrong?  What if this view of politics is a distraction from what we all really want, FREEDOM? What if instead of looking at everything in these terms of left vs. right, we used a freedom balance with Anarchy on the extreme left and Tyranny on the extreme right and freedom resting at the fulcrum or the balanced center.  This scale would put both communism and fascism on the same side of the scale, right under the heading of Tyranny.  Tyranny would then represent governments or policies that placed unrestrained power or control in the hands of an elite group of social organizers or lawmakers.  Frederic Bastiat warns in his great book, The Law, that man’s natural tendency is to take something he hasn’t worked for or earned and/or impose his ideas forcefully on another.  In a simple sense, this is called theft/bullying and our laws declare that this is morally wrong.  Since man is inclined to take, then the law must be strong enough to stop the plunder, as Bastiat calls it, and make the incentive to work greater than the incentive to take.  He then warns that conglomerated power in government has the same inclination to take that which it hasn’t earned and give it to another. When we legalize this type of plunder whether as corporate welfare or perpetual human welfare, society has lost a measure of its freedom.

            So with this information in view, let’s return to our Anarchy vs. Tyranny scale.  Under this concept, we would find nearly every party, Republican and Democrat to the right of center as their varied social ideals cause them to want to create forceful policy to ensure their ideas are imposed on another.  It always sounds good when my idea of things gets passed, but the question should be how does this affect true freedom?  Now the concept of morality and right vs. wrong plays a role because society does and must agree on moral standards that protect the innocent and defend against plunder or oppression from another (that’s right I said it, you can and must legislate morality!!).  The very law-making process decides on societal morals and is always legislating morality (i.e. murder, theft, rape, slander, monopoly, etc.) 

            In our quest for freedom, I believe our traditional left vs. right model distracts us from a discussion on the proper role of government as the protector of individual freedom because we get hung up on promoting social agendas in all their varieties.  If we, however, used the Anarchy vs. Tyranny scale with a goal to stay in the balanced center of freedom, our national discussion would look very different.  Perhaps then we would look more for the balance between rights and responsibilities, moral absolutes vs. social trends, agency vs. force, etc.  Under this model the government would become more of an impartial arbiter of justice and a defender of liberty rather than a bully forcing its whims and political agendas on the masses.  The social agendas would then be left up to private endeavors working to change perceptions based on their merit.  Our goal at FreedomShift is to call your attention to the issues affecting freedom and begin a series of discussions regarding the proper role of government and personal responsibility.  You don’t have to agree with everything I just said, but I hope you’ll think about the boxes others may be trying to place you in for their agenda!  Think about it.

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