Marilyn M. Barnewall
December 6, 2009
To be a socialist, you have to be a fearful person. To be a capitalist, you must be confident in your ability to manage risk.
Only free people have the creative energy to be capitalists. Perhaps that is why we are seeing the economic concept of capitalism so badly prostituted in America. Those who want a socialist form of government fear the creativity that naturally arises from capitalism and the freedom required to maintain it. Those who oppose capitalism are frightened people who want “Big Daddy” government to take care of them. Slavery to the state even appears less threatening to liberals than freedom, creativity, and capitalism.
One of the great (and historically apparent) failures of communism and socialism is its inability to breed creative drive into the masses. To be creative requires risk. One always risks the benefits of the present with innovation. One always risks offending powerful “others” when inventing something different and better.
Those raised to depend on others for their existence have also been raised to doubt themselves as individuals. It is part of the price required to make people believe more in government – a necessary social adjustment when robbing people of their freedom -- than in self. If I were investing in China right now, I would keep that thought in mind. As China’s consumer markets become more self-sustaining and less dependent on exporting products to other consumer markets, they will face a conflict between the need for creativity on the one hand, and government’s need to suppress it on the other. It has always been communism’s greatest weakness.
America is a two-party system. Neither party understands capitalism. Thus, neither has insight into the philosophy supportive of it. That supportive philosophy is clearly stated in the American Constitution. Thus, it should surprise no one that neither political party nor the Supreme Court understands that venerable document, either. Legislation passed and pending and judicial decisions passed and pending provide sufficient evidence that Constitutional understanding is lacking.
I believe the primary reason conservatives are unable to rally as a united group is because liberals – who control classrooms and the mainstream media – are very skilled at defining conservatism as issues, rather than as a philosophy. Conservatism is a philosophy, not one or two or ten issues.
Until conservatives learn that, they will continue to buy the verbiage of local politicians who say they’re conservative because they want low taxes, no abortion, no illegal immigration, etc. The question is: Do they understand conservative philosophy?
We have the anti-abortion group which feels very strongly about the right to life but isn’t terribly concerned about illegal immigration. Others, adamant about illegal immigration, are lukewarm about abortion, but don’t have sufficiently strong feelings to actively oppose it. Thus, by defining “conservatism” as issues rather than as a philosophy, these two groups never join forces to fight what they both detest: Socialism.
While it is like trying to rope the wind to get conservatives marching in the same parade, liberals are taught to walk in lock step while young. Fear-motivated people have to stick together. There is safety in numbers. That’s why when a woman like Sarah Palin is publicly abused the National Organization of Women (NOW) doesn’t support her. NOW is supposed to defend abused women, but not one who opposes liberal policy.
I read an article last week in The National Defender provided by the Kirk Center. It defines things conservatives believe. It is excellent.
First, the article says, conservatives believe “that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant and moral truths are permanent.”
I agree with that. My only disagreement involves how the words “moral order” are defined. The article points out there are two aspects or types of order: “the inner order of the soul, and the outer order of the commonwealth.” Plato said something very similar – but it is Aristotle who understood conservative thought. The author suggests “order” equates to harmony… which is a little too close to the U.N.’s word “harmonization” for my comfort.
The concept of unchanging principles and changing values is a kind of friendly combining of the soul and the commonwealth (government).
Understanding moral order is complex – especially when people’s freedom to believe as they choose is involved. In my book, When the Swan’s Neck Breaks, I wrote a chapter that gives an explanation of how I believe social moral order is achieved – or, not achieved. It is a work of fiction and three friends are sitting in front of a fireplace talking about the moral order. It is impossible to insert all of that text here, but you can read what is said about values and principles here.
The basic premise is: Values change as a society progresses, but must be tied to unchanging principles for healthy progress to occur.
First, terms need to be defined.
As Jake, a former CIA agent in the book says: “Values are man-made laws – a social legal system – that must be obeyed or society can assess a penalty against the violator. Values are also rules that religions, clubs, and other groups determine members must observe if they want to belong to the group.”
And, Alex, a Russian bio-physicist who has cloned human spies for the U.S.S.R., says about principles: “I would say a principle is a fundamental truth. Principles are the key element of a system of thought or a line of reasoning. God’s laws are principles. Universal laws are principles.” He thought for a moment longer. “As Jake said, values – or, man-made laws – are created to support a system of thought… or, principles.”
If you understand the preceding two paragraphs, you understand why it is so important for the Rule of Law to disappear from society if America is to be destroyed from within.
There are societies that serve examples of no societal progress. Many people better schooled in Middle Eastern thought than I refer incessantly to the lack of social progress in that part of the world for 750 years. Why? They reject the concept of changing values. No changing values, no progress.
We can use American society as an example of what happens when changing values (so progress can occur) are not tied to unchanging principles. We end up with no Rule of Law which, in turn, permits illegal immigration, the push for same-sex marriage, a drug culture filled with those who prefer escapism to real life lived in Technicolor, millions of abortions each year and little respect for life, a failed system of education – the list could get very long. No wonder Islam prefers tradition to “progressive” ideals.
Behavior that can be listed at the bottom of the social garbage heap can be found in a report submitted Friday by Breitbart-TV.com and Co-Host of ‘The B-Cast’ about “Obama’s deviant Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings.”
According to the report, numerous books presented stories that go beyond pornographic. I have often wondered what sane person can look at a small child and see a sexual being? The very thought makes my hair stand on end! The books gave explicit descriptions of preschoolers taking part in sex acts. Some of the stories “seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships.
"One memoir even praised becoming a prostitute as a way to increase one's self-esteem.”
Laws represent changing values. If there is no law, no one can break the law. If there are no social values who can be a hypocrite? Even more important, fearful people can rest easy because there are no laws to break, no social values to violate.
When changing social values are tied to unchanging principles, progress can occur and social order can be maintained. One example of unchanging principles is the Ten Commandments – gee, no wonder Christianity and Judaism are under such harsh attack by those who want preschoolers to read pornography. Laws of Nature are another source of unchanging principles. The sun rises in the East daily. It never changes. The line of least resistance creates crooked rivers. It never changes. Too many weeds in a garden will strangle a flower bed. It never changes.
It is apparent we have too many weeds in government today and the flower bed is in dire straits.
As long as society’s values (which are accurately reflected by the strength or weakness of a nation’s Rule of Law) are tied to unchanging principles like loving their neighbors as themselves, honoring their fathers and mothers, not murdering people and not committing adultery, like not stealing or telling lies and not coveting the possessions of others, it is fairly easy to keep the kind of chaos that dominates today’s American society to a minimum. When we allow government to remove the attachment between changing values and unchanging principles, one of two things happens:
A totally amoral society emerges which, because evil hates honest work
and laziness gives it no spine, eventually implodes on itself; or,
2. A system evolves which allows no progress because values become frozen in time to save society from itself.
As I said, the concept of unchanging principles and changing values is a friendly combining of the soul and the government.
Though scholars and the media think conservatism is merely a group of issues, I say the nation that combines its soul (unchanging principles) with values (progress) defines quite well the philosophy of conservatism.
We do not need to walk in lock step, putting aside our moral compasses for a cause. But we do need to better define what it is we are as a nation and as a society. Conservatives need to come together and that is done under the aegis of a philosophy, not a list of issues. Until conservatives accept a total philosophy and don’t define their status as issues, the left will continue to divide us into smaller groups and will continue to conquer.
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All conservatives believe in the same thing: a moral society based on the Rule of Law. Someone needs to inform our President – and while they’re at it, tell him to fire the idiot School Czar.
© 2009 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn Barnewall received her graduate degree in Banking from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Business in 1978. She has authored seven non-fiction books about banking, two are listed at Oxford and Cambridge University libraries in Great Britain. Her current book, When the Swan’s Neck Breaks, details the banking problems she foresaw in 2006. Of the 24 predictions made in the book, 22 have happened. It is fiction but readers refer to it as docu-fiction.
Barnewall was named one of America's top 100 businesswomen in the book, What It Takes (Dolphin/Doubleday; Gardenswartz and Roe) and was one of the founders of the Committee of 200, the official organization of America's top 200 businesswomen. She can be found in Who's:Who in America (2005-08), Who's Who of American Women (2006-08), Who's Who in Finance and Business (2006-08), and Who's Who in the World (2008).