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Visions of a Free, Peaceful, Just Society


by Don Doig


We are at an interesting crossroads in American history. An ancient Chinese curse had it, "May you live in interesting times." Many people in many
cultures over the span of centuries have had to face dilemmas relating to how they are governed, and how free they are to pursue their own peaceful

Many Americans believe they have unalienable individual rights, granted to them by God or inherent in their nature as human beings. It is a distinctive
feature of American culture, going back hundreds of years, ultimately to origins in English political experience.

This cultural belief was developed through hundreds of years of the colonial experience, and found expression in the American Revolution (really, a
secession from the central imperial government in London). In the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution,
and finally the Bill of Rights, the founders of this nation established the principles by which a free and independent people would govern themselves. It was conceived as a federal system, which actually meant that the people, acting through the separate states would retain most of the political power and would delegate only a limited set of powers to the federal government. Indeed, most power would reside with individuals, in the sense that power over individual decisions, over individual lives, would remain with the individual citizens, and would not be subject to political control.

A significant segment of the American populace still believes this, and thanks to the Internet and alternative media, it is a population that is increasing.
These people are in conflict with mainstream political culture, and mainstream newspapers, television, and radio. This newspaper is part of that tradition. Like many others, we believe that the American public has been had.

Beginning in the mid nineteenth century, an intellectual revolution began which ultimately displaced the classical liberal tradition which had supplanted feudalism in Europe and which had become the governing principle especially in Britain and America, from colonial times up until the Civil War. This intellectual revolution found political expression in the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Hegel, and was called Marxism, or Marxian socialism. (A variant, expressed in the writings of certain German philosophers, lead to fascism and Nazism.) Marxism swept Europe, and came to dominate American intellectual and political discourse. The Socialist Party never gained electoral success in America, but over the first half of the 20th century, their ideas were adopted by the Democratic Party, and eventually by most of the Republican Party. The American public was hoodwinked into thinking that socialism might get them something for nothing. That is, they came to believe that they would gain more from it than they put in (supposedly, it was the rich that were going to get soaked), and that they would have a safety net that would provide a utopia not otherwise available through voluntary effort.

This whole agenda, based on false hope and misguided idealism, was promoted effectively through the mass corporate media, the intelligencia in the
universities, and the government schools. Probably a majority of the American public cannot envision an alternative to our current system of central government socialism, because the dominant culture ensures that the alternative visions are not persuasively offered. Yet few would dispute that overall, the system is broken.

We submit that more of the same is not going to solve the problem.

Over the last several decades an alternative vision has arisen (replacing the outdated -- and proven bloody and barbaric, Marxist or fascist worldview) -- a vision harkening back to that of the founding fathers. A vision which speaks of peace, individual rights, property rights, free markets, tolerance, diversity, and minimal, sharply limited government, devolved as much as possible to the state or preferably, the local or county level. This
newspaper subscribes to that vision.

It ought to be possible for people in local communities to cooperate voluntarily for the common good. It's not like it's never been done. In the West, people commonly banded together to mutual benefit, without the long arm of the law mandating any of it, back before it had occurred to too many
people that the coercive power of the State was needed to get people to act in mutually beneficial ways. We need to return to the ideal of local,
decentralized, voluntary, mutually beneficial social structures. We need to find ways to tell the federal government to take a hike, they are exceeding
their lawful, constitutional authority.

If you can imagine how you might benefit by being left alone, if you believe the political system is stifling and oppressive in its dealings with you, if
you are willing to live and let live, the vision described here ought to have some attraction.

Don Doig



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