By: Rosemary Dewar
The concept of being able to curb a community’s immorality by restricting access to things such as alcohol items is a fruitless endeavor. When someone is determined to do harm to themselves or others, most often the inanimate object is not the problem. During Prohibition, the United States was awakening to a heightened moral experience. After the dividing of spirituality and rationality, industriousness was high, but existential meaning was low. The atmosphere surrounding today’s gun-rights debate is no different.
There is currently an ideological splintering so sharp that it cannot be compared to the comparable experiences during the beginning of the 20th century. The human condition remains, and the exacerbation of its flaws is simply more evident than it once was.
Forced regulation that does not serve the individual is immoral. Tolerably risky substances or tools that are utilized by a free society cannot become the focus of our communal ire. Comparable to parents who shelter their children to the point of either enfeebling dependency or negligent rebellion, mounting restrictions can bind a society so tightly it snaps. The laws that were meant to keep a community together end up being the instruments that cause it to shatter.
Although early 20th century America was experiencing economic prosperity and spiritual revival, it did so without rational application. Progressivism’s ideologies aimed toward curtailing immorality and corruption, while simultaneously implementing disastrous financial practices ultimately bankrupted the country economically and ethically. Prohibition introduced the belief that alcohol was a leading factor in the promotion of wickedness. Progressives hijacked women’s groups and religious leaders in order to guilt the society into making governmental bans on a single product (sound familiar?). “Wicked liquor!” they proclaimed. As the Great Depression swept the United States, the desperation to find moral and economic freedom was intense.
Once the imminent threat of Communism and National Socialism was apparent, the United States eventually found its footing by returning to its founding values. Knowing that those values were in direct opposition to the servitude of collectivism, the United States couldn’t fight for something they didn’t revere. Those values united society.
Progressivism has not changed all that much. Third-wave feminism and religious universalism still attempt to restrict the human right to experience cause and effect. The ability to say “no” becomes limited only to those who are authorized to say it. Defending one’s self is restricted to the use of rape-whistles, hand-to-hand combat, and open-ended consent.
It is unfortunate to see that the same founding values are struggling to unite America again. Although there doesn’t seem to be common ground, society is vigorously asking itself the same things as it did a hundred years ago: What does it mean to be good, and how do I find it?
The principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness functioning in tandem with the standards of freedom, God, and plurality in unity are timeless.
Thomas Jefferson stated, “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
“Peaceful slavery” is the supposed promise of collectivism. After observing the revolutions in France, Russia, and China, that false “peace” always devolves into merciless carnage.
The Judeo-Christian perspective commands the individual to “prepare their hands for war” in order to defend what one has dedicated one’s life to caring for and building. What one cultivates for one’s self without violating another individual and/or endangering the community, one has a right to.
The United Kingdom has lost sight of the values upon which the United States bases some of its standards of law. After a school massacre in 1996, Britain banned civilians and most of law enforcement from the use of firearms. This month a 90-minute stabbing incident occurred. Now they are banning knives. During the door-to-door confiscation, law enforcement seized screwdrivers, scissors, and pliers. It’s not long before you are going to see pitchforks and trowels being taken as well.
With this type of thinking, mankind will – one day – have to abolish himself.
Until society learns how to cater to the individual, it will not do well by the individual. Those looking at socialism are not looking far back enough for a standard of virtue. As much as we hope that these truths are self-evident, it is apparent that they need to be reintroduced in to the culture we desire to see.
By: Rosemary Dewar