OF B R EA
alone, and if he tries to do it, the affront to his deep spiritual nature will
not be wiped out by providing him
with excitement and distractions!
Rome is not an isolated example.
There were other instances of the disintegration of a nation resulting from
decay of the moral fiber of the people. The eminent historian, the late
James H. Breasted, when asked
whether he had discovered any similar
cases in the ancient world, replied,
"Yes, I have dug up at least a dozen."
How can we profit from these lessons of history? Today, in our own
country, we see many of the old spiritual and temporal values which once
we cherished called into question. The
Constitution is challenged both as to
letter and spirit. The original idea of
a government with narrowly limited
powers has been discarded. Persona]
liberty is being traded off for an unstable "security" based on politically
motivated guarantees. The faith of
our founding fathers in a government
of equal justice for all has been undermined. We are returning to the old
idea of government by special privilege against which they revolted.
Every planned society, welfare state
scheme comes down to this: dubious
benefits for some of us at the expense
of the rest of us. These things are being sold to us under the guise of an
ephemeral and misnamed humanitar-
iaiiism called the "general welfare."
A LIBERTARIAN'S CREED
Yet, we are not without weapons
with which to fight this decay and to
promote healthy growth. The greatest
of these is a new concept of the worth
of the individual person which developed in Europe over the centuries and
is one of the richest fruits of Christianity. The idea came to America
with the earliest settlers, who gave it a
political interpretation. This stemmed
from the belief of our founding fathers
that there is a pattern laid down by
God for man's conduct in society. It
forms the basis of the modern libertarian's creed which I would summarize as follows;
Firsf — Man's rights to life, liberty and
livelihood come from God. They are
inalienable. It is the function of government to make those rights secure.
And when any form of government
fails to serve this end, it is the right
and duty of the people to alter or
Scroll,/ — The functions of government
should be limited to doing for all,
that, and only that, which each one
has a right to do for himself. Specifically, government should defend
the lives, liberties and livelihoods
of the nation's citizens, invoke a
common justice and keep the records incidental thereto. Other than
this, the people should be free to
pursue their own interests provided
such pursuit does not lead them to
trespass on the rights of others.
Human nature being weak, the stability of limited government can be
assured only where political power
is dispersed or fragmentized.
Third — The natural roots of human
liberty are founded in God's moral
law, i.e., in religion. Cut off from
these roots, liberty, standing alone,
is too fragile a thing to survive very
long in our kind of world.
Fourth — The fruit of liberty is freedom of individual choice. Rut with
this freedom there must go, hand in
"The natural roots of human liberty are founded in God's moral law, i.e., in religion. Cut off
from these roots, liberty, standing alone, is
too fragile a thing to survive very long in our
kind of world."
hand, individual moral responsibility for the results of that choice.
Freedom of choice requires a free-
market economy where the value of
goods is determined by the satisfactions they produce for willing traders in terms of other goods.
There are many disturbing signs
that we are moving away from these
basic disciplines of our founding fathers. More than fifty years ago. the
great historian of Rome, Theodore
Mommsen, came to our country on a
visit. At a reception in his honor,
someone asked him. "Mr. Mommsen,
what do you think of our countrv'.J"
The great scholar replied, "With two
thousand years of European experience before your eyes, you have repeated every one of Europe's mis-
takes. I have no further interest s]i[|
you." and v
One wonders what Monii* ()njv
would say today in the light o> no ' (j
increasingly rapid destruction o' nient
traditional values during the j fj<,llR'
twenty-five years. ^th,
Many of our people have been' ,
verted to the idea that liberty A
been tried and found wanting, r[.
many believe that Christianity] ', .'
been tried and found wanting-' J. P
do not know that what lias been "• ""
wanting is not the true values <* 'j.'PP'
erty and religion but onlv pervert lsri •
worthless counterfeits. So when '™'s
urge upon them those true vaj "des
they shy away. They have been J j llPre
before; so they want to try some" °" o
which they think is new. . ,
A "NEW DEAL" 1'1"'
From such thinking sprang "]L centr;
eept of the "New Deal" — the ide*a bun
by substituting man's law of fot"upon
God's law of love, people e-jltion,
made to "do good" for their nci'-to p.,
By a curious line of reasoniw.the ",
humanitarians who advocate tion, \
measures have concluded that ''"S'hich
ond of the two great coniin.uid,ll'dowii|
"Thou shalt love thy neighbor *bee„
self," can be enforced by the 'First -
power of the state and that, wW* the
happens, the first, "Thou shall 1° Ulrr
Lord thv God," ceases to ll-'v'S,,,,,,
significance. , tion
Our current position is niao*!. upo
precarious because, in many ins" „r;v
we fail to receive support frt,nl ess
to whom we look for st"'"' tf/,,.;
urge people to go back to chu^i "
there they frequently find tnj
very forces which have imp.1'1',' j '
traditional beliefs have also "„-
the very source of those bel"-'1*'""'''
church itself! . """,
The contemporary religion8 3 ''.'"'
is in a state of confusion. Man'Li?. 'U
prominent and articulate chu!V ''"'
and some of our most i"\ shit
church bodies have favored th«j) don
izatjon of our national life "'j
urged that more power be P
the hands of government. OI"e^ The
sought to make the churches "^iberh
a political force to put pr''sS<l,.rs •
legislators. In short, those f.flcvoli
we should look to guide us '"'.peais
morass of materialism and s rial ;,
posed humanism appear '.jet ,,,,
"made a deal" for a partne^vtriete
tween God and Caesar, "' . 1|(,^
playing the role of silent part\jniiiip,
I low far have we dcpad^tc,,no]
our traditional values? Thf jpilitj,.,
mystery here. It is well know*1 i
basic policies of the two m»i° ?a< i s
Facts Forum News, Febrii"\