Who is the Servant – the Individual or the Government? Print
Commentary/Politics - Editorials
Written by Kathleen McCarthy   
Wednesday, 13 May 2009 06:00

Now that the concept of a "New World Order," introduced by George H.W. Bush, has gone mainstream, dismissing the dangers of intrusive laws and loss of liberty as the claims of alarmists, conspiracy theorists, and right-/left-wing extremists no longer flies. Legislation has been passed and new legislation continues to be proposed that impacts the rights of Americans to the degree that they forever change our governance from one of a constitutional republic to one of collectivist democracy.

Forget Democrat versus Republican. That is moot. Americans must assess our fundamental governing principles, regardless of party affiliation, and then take a stand. Historian and author G. Edward Griffin beautifully synthesizes this issue in an informed, well-researched four-part essay, "The Future is Calling" (Freedom-Force.org). Griffin condenses the Western world's current myriad forms of government into just two competing principles: "It is a contest between the ethics of collectivism on the one hand and individualism on the other. Those are words that have meaning, and they describe a philosophical chasm that divides the entire Western world."

Collectivism advocates that the group is more important than the individual, and that the group has rights of its own. These rights focus on the greater good for the greatest number. Therefore, collectivists agree that government grants rights, and people are the servants. Conversely, individualism advocates that rights come from the people, and government is the servant. In America, rights are considered inalienable (inalienable means not to be transferred to another) and are the innate possession of people. In America, government exists to protect rights, not to grant them.

This is the debate in a nutshell. Once you determine which principle you embrace, the rest falls into place. There are reasonable arguments on both sides, but for my part, the logical conclusion is that if individual rights are sacrosanct and protected, it follows that group rights are automatically protected because groups are made up of individuals.

On the other hand, if group rights are primarily protected, then individual rights are automatically at risk. If government has the authority to grant rights, it also has the means to take those rights away. It could easily justify sacrificing the rights of certain individuals for the greater good of society. But all this really means is that the rights of those certain individuals are not as important as the rights of other individuals. And which individuals get to make such decisions? There is no surer road to tyranny.

Individualism defines the United States Constitution, which provides the road map for a republic under the rule of law. Collectivism, on the other hand, characterizes socialism, communism, despotism, theocracies, monarchies, and fascism. America is unique in that it operates under a constitution dedicated to protecting individuals first. So why is this country in such trouble? It is because we have allowed our lawmakers to subvert the constitution over time. We have not held our lawmaking to the standards clearly defined in the Constitution. Americans have consistently accepted legislation that undermines and erodes the U.S. Constitution. Like water on a rock, the government has been slowly trading our individual rights for its own. As government grows, in tandem with mega-corporations around the globe, it has slowly and methodically replaced laws that protect individual rights with laws that either trump or negate those rights with ever-increasing governmental authority.

Most of this overreach has been accomplished through fear of threats from terrorism, crime, illnesses, financial collapse, and a host of other crises that are arguably manufactured to allow for this transfer of power. We have no one to blame but ourselves. At some level we all know this has been happening under our noses, but we resisted getting involved for reasons that history will never condone.

What makes this all the more insulting is that we are paying for our own loss of liberty. For example, our tax dollars are financing the Department of Homeland Security's betrayal of the American people with its newly released watch list of potentially dangerous groups of extremists, defined mostly by people's opinions of today's controversial issues. Included in the list of extremist groups are animal-rights activists, anti-abortion activists, alternative media, anti-technology activists, anti-immigration activists, black separatists, Christian identity activists, Cuban-independence activists, environmentalists, ethnic-based activists, and the list goes on. The DHS has constructed a list, made even more egregious when coupled with the USA PATRIOT Act that no longer requires probable cause to detain a suspect. Incredibly, there likely isn't an American that doesn't qualify as a possible domestic threat. This list should be considered domestic terrorism.

In addition to the newly established target groups of regular Americans by DHS, new legislation introduced by Senator John Rockefeller, The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 - S.733 (OpenCongress.org/bill/111-s773/show) and S.778 (OpenCongress.org/bill/111-s778/show) - will if passed allow the government to shut the Internet down for any perceived threat. This legislation represents nothing less than global censorship and a means to control American dissent and disapproval of government's policies and actions. This legislation would also allow unprecedented access by the government to the private e-mails, Web sites, etc. of any citizen it wishes to surveil with no required probable cause. It is but another invasion of privacy and subversion of our constitutionally lawful inalienable rights.

Another piece of legislation under consideration - and don't let the title of this bill dissuade you - is the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009, H.R.2159 (OpenCongress.org/bill/111-h2159/show). It ignores the Second Amendment by giving governmental authority to deny any American who is a member of any of the above-referenced so-called "extremist" groups the right to purchase a firearm.

Each of these proposed laws directly contradicts the U.S. Constitution in one manner or another, and as such should not be given a moment's thought, let alone passage as a law of our land.

Americans must stop being duped! We must acknowledge the monster at the door. We must grow up politically and admit that we've had our heads in the sand for too long, while suffering too much political and financial damage. Collectivism is the core ideology behind support of unchecked government growth and is in direct opposition to the core ideology of individualism that is the foundation for America's constitutional republic. As an American, you must decide and take a stand, one way or the other.

Please read the essays by G. Edward Griffin by going to RCReader.com/commentary/the-future-is-calling/ so that you can at least understand the grave challenges all Americans face right now. His research will disturb you, but perhaps it will liberate you, as well.