Friday, September 16, 2005

Caesar and Christ

Will Durant, a famous historian, wrote in his book, “Caesar and Christ”, a summary of the causes of the destruction of the Roman Empire, he said: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes…."

One of those class struggles was the notion that a human being is mostly an economic creature. Meaning his material well being is the single most important part of his life, and all other facets including his freedom and privacy are subservient to that well being. (This is also the crux of Marxism.)

Security, food, clothing, housing and medical care are the same things that one might consider necessary in a jail where they are all guaranteed.

Unless everyone bakes a loaf of bread for every other citizen, we cannot guarantee that all citizens will have a loaf of bread to eat.

Government cannot guarantee material gain, economic prosperity, or food, clothing, and shelter. They are only the result of hard work and industrial production.

While government is absolutely necessary in order to have an orderly society, there are concerns that the tendency is to have government seek more power, thus slowly restricting freedoms.

We, the people, granted our government limited powers. They were only granted the following:
1. Defend the Nation.
2. Punish Crimes.
3. Adjudicate and enforce Property Rights.
4. Compel each citizen to bear his fair share of performing the above.

When we allow the government to do activities outside the above limited functions such as welfare and redistributing wealth, or other activities that coerce people into performing a prescribed code of social planning, then we are in grave danger of losing our freedom.

We can only allow the government to force our neighbor to do these things if we have the right as an individual to force our neighbor to do them, because the government only has the same rights as an individual. They get the right to act in our behalf because we grant them that right. If I do not have that right, I cannot delegate it.

“I tell you that freedom does not mean the freedom to exploit law in order to destroy it. It is not freedom which permits the Trojan Horse to be wheeled within the gates, and those within it to be heard in the name of tolerating a different point of view!” – Cicero, 106-43 BC

Welfare, Homosexual Marriage, Removing God from our Country are all “Trojan Horses.” We should never have the freedom to destroy freedom.

In 1976 Ford Motor Company economists showed that there were more people being supported by taxes in the United States (80,655,000) than there were people working in the private sector of the economy to pay the taxes (71,650,000).

“A new American majority is being created,” the study states, “who are exploiting the fact for their own political and professional purposes.” Such was a major factor in the fall of Rome. This group votes! And it Votes for more entitlements! More Social Programs, more Welfare, more Socialism!

Katrina was a terrible disaster, but should the Federal Government institute more Welfare in order to “fix” the problem? Or, is it really outside the powers granted to them by the Constitution?

Perhaps the Government should instead organize the different Charities to give a “helping hand” to help the evacuees to rebuild themselves? Give a “hand up” instead of giving a “hand out?”

Should we use Charity or Welfare to help those who have lost everything? Is it worth the loss of freedom in order to help others through Welfare?

Am I a lone wolf crying in the Wilderness? Am I too conservative? I hope not, or we have all but lost the battle of remaining a free nation.

“A government must be a taker before it can be a provider.” – Winston Churchill


At 12:27 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

You are not alone. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it and the US is following in Roman footsteps. Rome was the mightiest military force in the world and decayed from within. It was not simply a decay in morals, it was a loss of common sense among the leadership. Empire is an expensive endeavour to pursue. Massive military overextension drained the state coffers, which led to devaluation of the currency. Sound familiar?

I don't disagree with you about charity, but why should Americans get less than foreigners? Israel gets $10 BILLION per year, Egypt $2 BILLION, and the Iraq folly has cost $300+ BILLION. Don't give me the line about nukes from Iraq - it's all been b.s. from day one. If I have the current b.s. story straight, GW has spent $300+ BILLION to liberate Iraqis from a meanie dictator (that America supported for years), but you are complaining that GW wants to spend $50 BILLION to liberate Americans from a natural disaster.

Seems like there are bigger fish to fry than depriving Katrina victims of government money. How about getting rid of foreign welfare first?

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Two wrongs don't make a right!

Where in the items that are in the Constitution, the 4 things I listed, say anything about Foreign Aid?

Welfare for other countries is just as wrong!

"England was killed by an idea: the idea that the weak, indolent and profligate must be supported by the strong, industrious, and frugal - to the degree that tax-consumers will have a living standard comparable to that of taxpayers; the idea that government exists for the purpose of plundering those who work to give the product of their labor to those who do not work. The economic and social cannibalism produced by this communist-socialist idea will destroy any society which adopts it and clings to it as a basic principle - ANY society." - Dan Smoot


At 12:56 PM, Blogger mrsleep said...

$50 Billion for New Orleans. Ok, bulldoze the place, bring in 15 - 20 feet of dirt and rebuild the place. If those unemployed folks want to return to New Orleans, then we'll give them a job, a shovel, and a wheel barrow. They can earn their keep while we rebuild the place. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me to bring work crews in from Texas, Oklahoma, etc. Hire the local folks, and if they don't want to work then they are welcome to leave.

No free lunch's this time, and we better damn well monitor how we space this gigantic pile of money. Zero "no-bid" contracts.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I might add that some could argue that a "Defensive Strategy" of economic support in order to help other countries from defeat of World Communism or Wahabism could endanger the Security of the United States, if we don't help, has some merit.

It is a tough call, and more info is needed to see just how necessary it really is for our defense.


At 1:08 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Bush is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. I actually feel kind of sorry for the fool. He and his buddies started a war that they can't finish and that is costing a boatload of cash. Americans are asking why an equal amount can't be spent on N.O., the perception being that the government is an infinite faucet of cash. Bush would be hard-pressed to play the "no welfare" card under the current circumstances and, as such, we are heading directly to Rome. It's a lose-lose situation.

I just started reading Tom Friedman's The World Is Flat on recommendation from two friends.

So far, it's quite interesting. It doesn't seem that Americans are prepared for the changes that the "flat" world has brought. When people are scared, they cling to what they know and what feels safe and, in America, big daddy government is the security blanket, whether it's economically feasible or not.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I like your idea better than just giving them the money, but I think it needs to go one step better.

You know how the Quakers, Mennonites, etc, help each other build their homes, etc., with charities supplying the materials.


At 1:10 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR - that "Defensive Strategy" has been employed for years and has done far more harm than good (e.g. Al Qaeda/Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran (via Ollie North). Trying to play the power balancing act is dangerous and has disastrous consequences when it backfires. E.g. 9/11.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


A very short book, about 75 pages, is the single most important book every American should read, in my opinion.

It is linked on my blog, under Important Documents.

I cannot stress how important it is for every American to at least understand the principals outlined in his book.

It is a book written by a famous Frenchman who understood freedom. It was written in 1850.


At 1:19 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I agree with the dangerous part, but not the 9/11 part.

9/11 would have happened no matter what we did. We are the great satan in the eyes of Bin Laden and the Wahabists, no matter what we do. Trust me on this, I have read enough of their motives prior to 9/11 to convince me of that fact.

Kerry, Clinton, etc. could have been in office and the same thing would have happened.

We could have withdrawn from Saudi, stopped supporting Isreal, etc, and it still would have happened.

We are the great Satan in their eyes because we have a life style that is immoral in their view and we are runing the morals of the western civilization. Homosexual behavior, divorce at the drop of a hat, pornography, etc., We are evil incarnate in their eyes.


At 1:27 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It may have happened anyways, but there was a lot of sophistication that went into planning such a grand feat. Where did Al Qaeda learn its military prowess but from the training the U.S. generously provided to Bin Laden and the Taleban? Without that training, I think they would be a bunch of holy-rolling buffoons with no ability to launch a worldwide assualt against the world's military superpower.

Did you see this headline today?

Bush won't raise taxes to pay for Katrina, but he will get the money somehow. This is why Americans think money grows from trees. I don't want to pay more taxes, but I don't want a bigger deficit, which only devalues the currency further. We taxpayers are going to pay with taxes or pay with a devalued dollar. And we continue on the road to Rome...

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


The book I was referring to is called "The Law" by Fredrick Bastiat.

The whole book is on the web. The link takes you directly to the 75 pages.


At 1:31 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

You've mentioned it several times now. Repetition works - it's now on the short list of books to pick up. :-)

At 1:35 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


You can print it out from your computer. The whole book is on the web. All 75 pages.

Take the link "The Law" under my "Important Documents" Side bar.


At 1:39 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Will do. Hopefully, my co-workers won't kill me for hogging up the printer. :-)

Here's a quote I used in one of my posts today that I thought summed up the current state of affairs:

"There can be no real individual freedom in the presence of economic insecurity."
Chester Bowles

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Wow, I love that quote!

Goes along with my understanding that without economic freedom, there is no freedom.

“A power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.” (Federalist #79)


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


"Bush won't raise taxes to pay for Katrina, but he will get the money somehow. This is why Americans think money grows from trees. I don't want to pay more taxes, but I don't want a bigger deficit, which only devalues the currency further. We taxpayers are going to pay with taxes or pay with a devalued dollar. And we continue on the road to Rome..."

Yep, it's called deficit spending and it is how inflation occurs.

The government sells bonds to the FED Open Market Committee and they put a book keeping entry that says the government then has "x" amount of money in the bank to spend. Volia, instant money without having to raise taxes. Problem is it is fiat money, it doesn't really exist, and all it does is devalue the existing dollars that are in circulation.


At 1:54 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

A balance budget is the only way to avoid inflation.

Hopefully he will do what he said and will reduce spending in another area. Although that almost never happens.

Either way it is still Welfare.


At 1:59 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Let me futher qulify what I said about a balance budget.

If the productivity of the nation goes up an equal amount as the increase in the money supply, then that will offset the deficit spending.

Delta Inf = Delta M2/ Delta GNP

My formula that my Econ Professor said was brilliant. :)


At 2:02 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Let me give an example of my formula.

If you are playing Monopoly and all of the sudden you doubled the amount of money each player had, what would happen to the bidding price for all of the properties?

They would double.

Now double the amount of properties. Two Boardwalks, two Park Places, etc.

The increase in productivity, (GNP or Goods), would offset the added money.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

'Tis The Road to Rome.

I wrote an article for an online newspaper about two years ago called The Fall Of The American Empire. It compared Rome to current America and the parallels were disturbing. Deficit spending was a big part of the analysis.

Too bad the link for the article isn't active anymore. I think you would have enjoyed the article.

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I like your economic formula.

You are really well versed in a myriad of topics. It is apparent that you read and think a lot. It is really refreshing.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

I truly believe our Constitution is hanging by a thread and that there are people in this country who will eventually wake up and see that the only way to save our great country is to return to the days when government was not looked at as the solution to all of lifes problems.

I have faith that it will happen. I also think that it will take a major crisis in order for that to happen.

It is a law of nature that "A major change only occurs because of a major crisis."


At 2:12 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Thank you for the compliment, it means a lot comming from you.

Are you Dina?

I am Gary.


At 2:12 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Check out my 2 posts from today. I think you will like them. :-)

BTW - if you are ever in the LA area, I would love to take you to lunch.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Oops, I meant to respond before. I am Dina. :-)

I loved your comment that you thought I would be a guy. A few days before, I laughed to my husband that I found a great intellect in the blogosphere (you) and I bet he thinks I am a guy because of the monniker I chose and my style of writing.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Good posts. I agree with much of them, but am as usual on the defensive side of some of their contents. :)

I responded to the first post.

We do need to wake up and not worry about Brittney Spears or what other Hollywood Hero to worship today.

Nor watch every silly "Sitcom" on Television or those "Reality" based dumbing down programs.

People watch way too much T.V. when they could be interacting with their family, friends or neighbors instead.

While I know most of my neighbors, I must admit we have not yet met to discuss disaster recovery. However, one of my neighbors will probably get the idea, (or I will mention it to her), and it will be off to the races. She knows everything that happens in our neighborhood and is very friendly and helpful to the entire neighborhood.


At 8:11 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I commented on Chads Blog about the Flat Earth Synopsis.

Nice post by Chad.


At 2:13 PM, Blogger pappy said...

fr, i've begone reading The Law.
Can a parallel be drawn between legal plunder and enimate domain laws?
ps; thanks for the free education from you and ii

At 2:37 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Plunder is another word for stealing.

Eminate domain was to be used only under extreamly rare ocasions where the state, (city usually), had to have the land for roads, city hall, or other absolutely necessary need.

Leagal plunder is where the law takes money for purposes not under the rehlm of government, i.e., protection, punishing crimes, or defending property rights.

That's it!

No welfare or redistribution of wealth.

When you finish "The Law" you will have a greater appreacation of what our founding fathers really wanted for us.


At 9:35 PM, Blogger Bstermyster said...

Wow - that was a fantastic debate?? of sorts, I learned a ton. This is why I love blogging. FAR, can I link you? I will read the LAW. Thanks for helping me be a better informed American.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Yes, please do link me, and thanks for the compliment.

I love to interact with ii, (Dina), becasue she is very bright and is not just echoing "talking points."

Preaching to the choir usually does little to expand the mind.

However, sometimes we do learn from the choir, and I learn from everyone.



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