- - Thursday, May 1, 2014

The premise of the liberal, “progressive,” collectivist ideal is that man is selfish and uncharitable and must be guided by a group of enlightened, well-intentioned, omniscient benefactors.

To liberals, everything is an issue of money. Their guiding principle is that the government knows best and that we should just hand over our money, whether it’s for education or anything else, and problems will be solved.

If they perceive a problem, they throw money at it. They see poor people, so they raise taxes to better fund welfare programs in spite of the fact that in more than 50 years, the “war on poverty” has not lowered poverty levels. Our schools are failing, and leftists respond by raising taxes to give more funds to failing schools. Over the past several decades, average American student achievement has remained stagnant while per-student spending has exploded.

Blind faith in a beneficent government dominated by a collectivist cabal of bureaucrats is not just an issue of ideological differences. It is a threat to society because it fosters mediocrity and stifles creativity and innovation, the enemies of tyranny. If we do not strive for independence and self-reliance, if we do not take care to manage our means on our own, our end will be ruination.

More and more Americans have abdicated their responsibilities and are becoming more dependent on government. They are blinded by their faith in a government that claims it knows better than they do, that in all things it can succeed and provide. It is becoming fanatical and quasi-religious.

We ignore the lessons of history at our peril. A wise philosopher eloquently cautioned: “There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end. Communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.” Politically astute readers will have correctly guessed the philosopher to be Ayn Rand.

ED KONECNIK

Flushing, N.Y.