A Self-reliant America
Are Americans self-reliant? My guess is that no more than half of our population think of themselves as such; the rest have given themselves up to the good graces of the government. But of those who think that they are self-reliant, how many actually are? A self-reliant American might look something like this:
- One who rejects conformity in favor of individuality
- One who believes that he or she alone controls his/her own destiny
- One who understands his or her civic duty and can be trusted to do it
- One who understands that he or she bears responsibility for government
- One who realizes that personal enlightenment is achieved only through individual effort
- One who reasons that our only source of truth is our morality
- One who will pursue right because it is rightThe notion of self-reliance has been predominant in American social development from our colonial period —until only recently, when politicians realized that self-reliance hindered the success of politicians. Upon this realization, beginning after the Civil War, politicians began to formulate programs that were designed to transform self-reliant individuals into government dependencies. Some examples:
- Enslaving Americans to government entitlement programs: individual welfare, farming subsidies, small business loans, and tax breaks for small-to-medium sized corporations of every description (banking, finance, industry, agriculture, and services) (Politicians maintained control over the largest corporations for their own benefit)
- Creating educational programs guaranteed to destroy a person’s ability to think for themselves
- Formulating and instituting policies certain to stifle individuality by rewarding group-think
- Creating environments guaranteed to prevent individuals from reaching their full potential
- Convincing an entire class of citizens that they could never succeed without government help and guidance; institutionalizing the bigotry of low-expectations.There are two sources of citizenship: natural birth or naturalization. No matter how one becomes a citizen, he or she becomes entitled to certain rights, but also incurs certain obligations. We call these two things the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. What rights? We find these within the Constitution of the United States and its amendments. The duties of American citizenship are these:
- Understand one’s rights, take advantage of them with wisdom, forbearance, and an analytical mind.
- Demonstrate good faith and loyalty to one’s family, community, state, and the nation. Obey the law, peacefully participate in the political process, respect the rights of neighbors by granting to them the same amity we seek for ourselves.
- Strive to live honorably; cheerfully serve on juries, satisfy tax obligations.
- Work toward self-improvement, be a good steward of the environment, participate in community affairsWe all read the news; we are all aware that if you believe the news reports, the numbers of self-reliant citizens, which is to say good citizens, is in steep decline. On the other hand, can we really believe what the news agencies tell us? And could it be that if Americans are no longer self-reliant good citizens that news agencies are partly responsible? Do they not constantly remind us that we are not an exceptional people, that we are incapable of goodness without a strong (government) hand to keep us on the straight and narrow path?The population of the United States (and all of its communities) is growing at a rapid rate. Within large populations we (always) find an increase in crime, even if the percentage of crime per capita remains constant. To err is human … we will never end crimes against persons or property. No matter, we should still attempt to understand why people ignore their duties as citizens.
For myself, I believe that part of this is that too many people are no longer “self-reliant.” They allow others to control their thoughts and ultimately, their bad deeds. Government, in seeking to sustain itself, allows bad behavior by contriving ad nauseam excuses for unacceptable conduct. Why should anyone hold him or herself responsible if,as the government elitists argue,it was all the fault of their parents? Or society? Or rich people?
To this end, we should consider government’s role in such areas as substance abuse. If government was all-knowing and all-seeing, wouldn’t our drug abuse problem be already solved? How many murders, rapes, kidnappings, assaults, and robberies could the all-knowing government have prevented had it solved the drug problem in America?
Self-reliant men do not abandon their wives and children; self-reliant women do not abandon their husbands or children. Self-reliant men and women do not intentionally put themselves in harm’s way; they avoid such things as sexual assault by refusing to put themselves into unenviable positions; they are watchful and aware of their surroundings.
Self-reliant men and women are prepared and willing to defend themselves and their loved ones. Self-reliant men and women do not abuse one another, or their children. Everyone has problems, but self-reliant men and women find ways to solve their problems without causing disruption to their neighbors or communities. Self-reliant men and women in committed relationships always look out for one another.
Suddenly, then, we find self-reliance, more than being some ambiguous or fictional notion of Americana, has a practical application to our ever-increasingly complex society.
Are Americans self-reliant? If not, can we ever get it back?