Countries and regions of the world are defined by the political ideologies they espouse. As different as these ideologies are, they all reside on the same spectrum, a circular spectrum like a clock; if you go far enough to the right or the left you will eventually end up in the same place.
Do you know what time it is?
At 12 o'clock lies democracy, the only ideology under which capitalism flourishes. Democracy and capitalism have made the USA the greatest nation on earth and home of the world's best entrepreneurs and inventors. Mary Kay, Henry Ford, John H. Johnson, Bill Gates, Donald Watkins, Michael R. Bloomberg, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Logan Delany, David Smith, Oprah Winfrey and Madam C.J. Walker just to name a few.
At 11:59 would be left-wing liberals clutching dearly to their belief that more government is better government. Positioned as the "champions" of the have-nots' left-wing legislation often involves entitlement spending: using taxes from those who earn their money to pay those who earn little or nothing at all.
At 12:01, right-wing conservatives, championing the values of the free market: capitalism, less government. Conservatives believe in lowering taxes, and by extension that government should be smaller. Essentially, if you work for your money, you should be allowed to keep more of it and it shouldn't be taken from you to pay for things you don't agree with.
At 9 o'clock is socialism, an ideology espoused by many of the Occupy protesters that was also the way of the Chinese in the early 20th century. Socialism is the theory that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned, regulated and managed by the community. In Marxist theory, it is the transition between capitalism and communism.
At 3 o'clock? Anarchy. No government, ultimate freedom: no laws, no protection. The Wild Wild West.
At 6:01 is communism, a system under which all property is publicly owned. Conceived with the elimination of the state in mind the end result, ironically, is always complete state command over all facets of the governed nation.
At 5:59 we find fascism. Fascism is extreme right-wing government and social organization. It brings to mind names such as Mussolini, Hitler and Franco.
Any political ideology, or combination thereof, in the range of 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock qualifies as a dictatorship. Regardless of direction, the closer you are to 6 o'clock and the more freedoms and liberties you are losing, the converse is also true.
Its communo-capitalism blend has strengthened the country as it has risen from the 5-6 o'clock zone up toward 12 o'clock. Over the past 30 years, the country has gone from a communist and economically struggling nation to the world's largest buyer of distress debt by incorporating elements of capitalism in its socio-economic system.
I may be reading between the tea leaves, but it seems like some are yearning for socialism where there is no fiscal accountability. Let's not forget that fringe elements of Islam are taking over Europe.
And the good ole USA is still the freest place in the world for now. Tell us any place else in the world that has created a Microsoft, Apple, Facebook or revolutionary medical and drug technologies. The takeaway is that too much regulation and big government curtail the entrepreneurial spirit.
Humans migrate to places of free choice where there is freedom, opportunity and less government: environmental characteristics that foster wealth and creative thinking. My concern is that if the United States continues on the big-government trajectory, many (e.g. Steve Jobs) will go outside the U.S. to create their wealth. Let's prevent our intellectual capital from moving overseas and demand less government, less taxes and minimum regulation.
When we wake up as business owners and human beings in general, we want to lay our shingles where we can make the most of our resources, with little or no interference from big daddy government. Big government is state, county, federal and all government in general.
• Armstrong Williams, author of the 2010 book, "Reawakening Virtues," is on Sirius Power 128, 7 to 8 p.m. and 4 to 5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.
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