For my birthday last month, a well-read patriot and dear friend sent me a copy of The Discovery of Freedom, Man’s Struggle Against Authority by Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder of “Little House on the Prairie” fame).
I cracked it open last night and am already thoroughly immersed. (Thank you, SC.)
A reviewer wrote:
“This is not only the clearest, most concise book of the worth, and means of achieving, individual freedom, but it reads like a well written novel. Insights from her travels; whether having dinner with the King of Albania, or visiting the centuries old cave dwellings in the same country or dealing with the mindless red tape in Paris, Ms Lane sifts through the socialist failures past and present in a thorough, yet entertaining fashion.
Anyone with even a passing interest in the philosophy of freedom will benefit from this book. And libertarian book addicts will also learn something from the Timeliness of this 50 year old book, re-published this year.”
This morning as I was going through my email, I came across these quotes which complement perfectly the message of The Discovery… Coincidence? Or is my mind already sensitized to these concepts?
“There are those, of course, who claim we must give up freedom in exchange for economic progress. Well, pardon me, but anyone trying to sell you that line is no better than a three-card-trick man. One thing becoming more clear every day is that freedom and progress go hand in hand. Throughout the developing world, people are rejecting socialism because they see that it doesn’t empower people, it impoverishes them.” —Ronald Reagan
“Government is taking us a long way down the Road to Serfdom. That doesn’t just mean that more of us must work for the government. It means that we are changing from independent, self-responsible people into a submissive flock. The welfare state kills the creative spirit. F.A. Hayek, an Austrian economist living in Britain, wrote ‘The Road to Serfdom’ in 1944 as a warning that central economic planning would extinguish freedom.
… Hayek meant that governments can’t plan economies without planning people’s lives. After all, an economy is just individuals engaging in exchanges. The scientific-sounding language of President Obama’s economic planning hides the fact that people must shelve their own plans in favor of government’s single plan.
At the beginning of ‘The Road to Serfdom,’ Hayek acknowledges that mere material wealth is not all that’s at stake when the government controls our lives: ‘The most important change … is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people.’
This shouldn’t be controversial. If government relieves us of the responsibility of living by bailing us out, character will atrophy. The welfare state, however good its intentions of creating material equality, can’t help but make us dependent. That changes the psychology of society.
According to the Tax Foundation, 60 percent of the population now gets more in government benefits than it pays in taxes. What does it say about a society in which more than half the people live at the expense of the rest?” — columnist John Stossel