ISSUES IN FOCUS
Week of April 19, 1999
HOW TO DEFEAT STATISM
Even though I have clearly defined statism in Fatal Blindness, I still occasionally receive e-mail asking me to define the term "statism." I also receive some mail, not a lot, that maintains that it is hopeless to attempt to defeat statism.
What is evident is the fact that most do not understand the meaning of statism. Nor do they understand what a pathetically impotent enemy statism is and just how vulnerable it is. Neither do most understand that the key to defeating statists is really very simple, right in front of everyone’s nose.
Statism is the doctrine that maintains that your life, money and property are not yours. It is the idea that you may only take those actions permitted by the state, that you may be forced to surrender your money to the state or forbidden to spend it as you please, that you may not use and dispose of your property as you see fit. In other words, statism declares that you do not have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Tellingly, you will never hear statist politicians openly maintain that you do not have the right to your life, money and property—even though this is, in fact, the basic principle underlying all of their claims. Statist politicians do not make this explicit and with good reason. They advance this underlying idea by implication and by subterfuge—and this fact is the key to defeating statism.
A statist does not openly state that your life, money and property are not yours. Instead, he claims that there is a "right" to health care—which means: your life is to be forcibly mortgaged to pay for the health care of others; and this means your life and money are not yours. Statist politicians claim there is a "right" to education—which means: you are going to be forced to pay for someone else’s education; and this means your money is not yours. Statist politicians claim "essential public services" must be maintained through property taxes—which means: you must pay an annual fee to retain possession of your property; and this means your "ownership" of your property is conditional, that your property is not yours.
Statism can be defeated if political debate is reframed, if statists are made to defend the actual meaning of their ideas. If this ever happens, then statists will lose since they cannot win such a debate, at least not in America—at least not now.
If you wish to defend your right to your life, your money and property, you must make that the issue. You must focus on this single issue and hold statist politicians’ feet to the fire on it. Don’t let them off the hook on this matter, otherwise they will continue to win. You have to make them attempt to defend the indefensible. Once this occurs, statists will be on the defensive, squirming for some way to avoid the question: is your life, money and property yours?
Let statists attempt to promote the growth of the state and the decline of freedom by declaring that your life is not yours, that you have no right to it, that you do not have the right to live your life according to your own judgment, that you live, not by right, but by permission of the state. They will not be able to win a debate on such terms. Like vampires, statists cannot survive if their real ideas see daylight.
Some dispirited souls will undoubtedly say that defeating statism cannot be this simple. Their reaction will be: if it were that simple then someone else would have thought of it and tried it. Well, others have thought of it but not in sufficient numbers to yet make much of a difference.
Defeating statism cannot be accomplished single-handedly. It must be done in concert with others, lots of others. Focusing the debate on the issue of your right to your life, money and property will not be accomplished overnight. First, it will begin with a trickle on the Internet, then gradually spread to other communication outlets. But spread it will. And eventually it will burst into public debate during an election campaign. How long will this take? I do not know, but as increasing numbers flock to the Internet it could happen quickly. It could even happen in time for the 2000 elections.
Let the new debate begin.
April 19, 1999
© Copyright 1999 Fulton Huxtable
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