May 28, 2017

Rose Wilder Lane on the Progressive Movement and influence of European national socialism

Meanwhile, during half a century, reactionary influences from Europe have been shifting American thinking onto a basis of socialistic assumptions. In cities and states, both parties began to socialize America with imitations of the Kaiser’s Germany: social welfare laws, labor laws, wage-and-hour laws, citizens’ pension laws, and so-called public ownership.

Eleven years ago this creeping socialism sprang up armed with Federal power, and Americans—suddenly, it seemed—confronted for the first time in their lives a real political question: the choice between American individualism and European national socialism.

Will an American defend the Constitutional law that divides, restricts, limits and weakens political-police power, and thus protects every citizen’s personal freedom, his human rights, his exercise of those rights in a free, productive, capitalist economy and a free society?

Or will he permit the political structure of these United States to be replaced by a socialist state, with its centralized, unrestricted police power regimenting individuals into classes, suppressing individual liberty, sacrificing human rights to an imagined “common good,” and substituting for civil laws the edicts, or “directives,” once accurately called tyranny and now called administrative law?

This is the choice that every American must make. There is no escape from this choice; the present situation puts it before us and requires a decision.

~ Rose Wilder Lane, "Give Me Liberty," 1944 (first published in 1936)

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