There are lots of people who don’t mind at all if the government limits or abrogates freedoms that they don’t happen to care about. But eventually, the mega-state will get around to something they do care about. By then, it’s too late.
In this essay for AIER, Richard Ebeling reflects on the steady erosion of freedom in America (and elsewhere) over the last century.
It is difficult, I think, for most of us to even imagine how inconsequential government really was in people’s lives, at least at home, in these Western countries not much more than a century ago. Of course, even before the First World War, the modern welfare state was gaining footholds in these nations, but even with this, and especially in the United States and Great Britain, most people, to use the happy phrase of the British laissez-faire liberal, Herbert Spencer (1820-1902), could go through their daily lives and pretty much ‘ignore the state.’
Ebeling provides a useful historical overview of the growth of government. It goes back to that greatest of governmental disasters, the First World War.
However, if current trends continue in the present direction for too long, the potential and possibility for liberty may be irreparably lost. We need to remember and to forewarn others that liberty is far easier to lose than to be successfully and fully regained once it is lost.
Read the whole thing.
#Clear #Thinking #Loss #Freedom #National #Review