Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Demise of Conscience (Jacob Hornberger)

Jacob Hornberger on how the consciences of many Americans have become subordinate to the unquestioned decisions of the thugs in D.C.:

As libertarians have long pointed out, both the welfare state and the warfare state have brought immeasurable damage to our country.

With its various programs of confiscatory taxation of income and capital to accomplish its coercive redistribution of wealth, the welfare state has brought standards of living lower than otherwise would have been the case. This is especially true for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, who oftentimes spend large portions of their lives as dependent wards of the state rather than as productive, self-reliant people in society.

The damage from the warfare state has been even greater: terrorist blowback, torture, rendition, suspension of habeas corpus and civil liberties, disregard of constitutional constraints on power, wars of aggression and foreign occupations, governmental secrecy, assaults on privacy, and, of course, an ever-growing military-industrial complex.

Together, the welfare state and the warfare state have produced out-of-control federal spending, which has resulted in an endless cycle of financial, monetary, and economic crises, most recently demonstrated by the home-mortgage crisis and the 50 percent drop in the value of the dollar during the past five years alone.

Another adverse consequence – perhaps the most important – has been the demise of individual conscience among the American people, which has accompanied the rise of the welfare-warfare state.

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