Progress isn’t a word most of us feel comfortable using. It has a “we all evolve,” or “progressive” sense to it. That’s the meaning society has stamped to it in recent decades.
But in reality, progress isn’t a sketchy word.
It doesn’t have to have the meaning of an evolutionary, we’re always getting better as a society, doctrinal hogwash. You can view it in a more innocent way.
Take the US for instance. Is the United States progressing as a nation?
How do we know if we’re progressing or not? We base it off of something tangible and rational. I think we can all agree that that base is, in simplest terms, something that works properly. It’s functional, productive, and fruitful.
Our basis of what progress is, is whether our system is working efficiently or not.
Look at our government. Look at our society. Do you think it’s efficient? Is it producing fruit?
Is the US an efficient car driving down a highway? Well, what’s the highway?
The highway is Freedom. It’s Liberty.
Why choose that? Because totalitarianism rarely gets you anywhere productive. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a communist dictatorship or a monarchical one. Totalitarianism stalls your car.
Sooner or later, your car will break down under this oppressive state.
To keep moving on this highway, you need a good vehicle.
This vehicle needs to be made up of several things…
The First is Morality and Virtue
A corrupt society is one that’s doomed to fail. The Founders knew this. It’s not hard to see the value of an honorable society to a well-oiled nation. John Adams said it best that…
The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved.
The Next Component is a Respect of Private Property
Property is a key part of personal liberty. From private property comes the vast majority of the rights you enjoy. It sets up a system of respect. It puts in place clear guidelines of what is acceptable in a society.
The Third Piece of the Car is an Effective Government
An effective government is rarely a product of a big government. (Click to Tweet) The bigger the state, the more bureaucracy, the more rules and regulations, the more paperwork, the more things go haywire.
Just like every average obese American eating regularly at McDonald’s… Bigger isn’t always better. (Click to Tweet)
A competent state is a limited one. Don’t believe me, just ask me about it.
The Fourth Piece is a Free Market
Just like a limited government, a Free Market is the best system available. Anything else is a slow strangulation. You might be breathing now, but you won’t be later. A hindered market is one that is prone to constant failure, distress and corruption.
Note: if you haven’t read up on my Free Market series entitled, “The Free Market Collection” I highly recommend that you go through two or three of the articles in there. Tons of info on the Free Market just for you.
Ok, we’ve outlined the basic structure of a working car. It’ll get you moving down that highway of freedom…but only as long as you don’t mess with any of the components. DON’T SCREW IT UP!
It’s like that epic Star Wars LEGO set you got for Christmas as a child. It took you a day to put it together. But boy, wasn’t it amazing to gaze on in its full glory?
And then two weeks later your dad’s like, “Hey, one day we need to tear down all your LEGO sets and make one giant spaceship.”
Whoa dad! That’s not how it works. You know how long it took me to put that one set together? There’s no way I’m tearing it apart.
Dad thought he had a good idea, but it would kill all your hard work. It would leave you with one giant LEGO set, instead of dozens of smaller (but significantly cooler) sets.
Your hard work would be gone.
This vehicle is just like that.
Once you build it, you don’t tear it down.
No matter how awesome you think the end result will be, it won’t meet your expectations. In fact, it’ll be a colossal failure. You’ll end up with a broken car…or worse…in a wreck…killed, by your own arrogance.
Freedom is a Highway
The car isn’t freedom. It’s a means, not an end to reaching Freedom. It moves you along the road. The speed is up to you, your community, and the nation. Some people can fly at 90 miles an hour down the highway, others can only do 45.
But here’s the ketch… it’s a constant trip.
No destination exists. You’re always moving, always roaming down that freeway.
Liberty isn’t something you reach. It’s not a final destination. (Click to Tweet)
It it’s a destination, then it implies something you can arrive at and enjoy without much responsibility or commitment.
You’ve already reached your little cabin in the woods; the journey is over. You can relax, take a stroll, and totally forget about the ride there.
That’s not how Freedom works.
It’s a constant struggle. A constant goal.
Once you relax, you run the risk of losing it all. That’s why the US is where it’s at now. Americans have forgotten that what our Founding Fathers fought for is a continual battle to maintain.
Americans have become apathetic.
You Need to Keep Moving, Don’t Stop
Since this is a never ending journey, stopping obviously has bad implications.
Stopping implies a halt in progress. If the car isn’t moving, then we’re not progressing in Liberty. It’s most likely that we’re regressing into tyranny.
But wouldn’t turning around and driving back the way you came be regression?
That implies that there’s a destination that you have to reach. No destination, no importance on which way you travel. The only issue now is not moving.
Stopping your car on the side of the road indicates a problem. Maybe you’re tired, or low on gas, or the car broke down. It’s either incompetence or laziness. Both are an enemy of Freedom.
So as you can see, Tyranny is the stops along the way.
If the goal is to keep moving, progressing in Freedom, then any pauses are a threat to that goal. Tyranny doesn’t get you anywhere. When your rights are being slowly taken away from you, and your property is yours in name only then you have a problem.
The Car is Slowing Down
That’s what the US is experiencing now. In fact, the speedometer has been slowing down ever since Teddy Roosevelt. Wilson and FDR helped it further, and WWII and Lynden Johnson hit the brake.
Now with the NSA, the Patriot Act, the EPA, Public Education, and the myriad of government agencies and bureaucratic red tape the car has slowed down even more.
I could say Obama slammed on the brake compared to the rest of them. But the truth is that he’s just a culmination of a growing ignorance.
An ignorance toward the workings of a productive and efficient government, and a well-oiled market.
Simply put, the US has forgotten how to drive the car.
If we don’t figure out soon how to, it’s only going to get worse. You think Obama is a horrible president, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Freedom is the highway. The vehicle has to keep moving for Freedom to reign. No movement, no Freedom. It’s that simple.
The question is, will you take the keys and drive?