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On The Matter Of Society

run_the_race_2It seems to me most Americans today are divided into two political camps, and therefore two societal approaches: on the right we have traditional democratic republicanism. On the left, socialized democracy, or statist democracy. It also seems most Americans don’t understand or appreciate how the dynamics of our economy and its overall success rest on these approaches, begging the question which offers the best foundation for a fair and robust society?

I don’t think anyone argues how America began, how the hope of religious freedom and escape from a tyrannical monarch to a better life drove the pilgrims from England. Nor argues the fact they struggled for more than 100 years in their new land dealing with England, but finding no fairness resorted to revolution to win freedom once again.

Some have forgotten how after the war it took ten years to sort differences among the colonies, to establish each as an independent republic with its own constitution and to bring all thirteen together to federalize under a new constitution into the United States of America.

bill-of-rightsThis was new in the world, a people fashioning their own government while holding sovereignty, a true democratic republic with separation of powers and cyclical elections to protect against the possible tyranny of their own rulers/appointees. These were an industrious, hardy people determined to run their own lives, to deal with other nations as equals, and to control their destiny.

Our beginnings are not in dispute. We were a democratic republic defined/governed by a brilliant constitution under which individual liberties were secure. Powers not delegated were reserved to the states, the federal authority being clearly defined and limited as to size, scope and mission. With these we began, evolving into one of the greatest nations on earth. Yet, here we are now facing this controversy about best current approach for running society.

Clearly we’ve been a huge success up to now, compared with other nations and governments. Clearly we prize our independence, our freedom from excessive government intrusion, regulation and control. We have been, by definition, industrious and self-reliant, not dependent.
Let’s look closer.



The right relies on a ruggedly independent people who obey the law, respect institutions, educate themselves, develop a career or trade, start 2-parent families, support community and local charities, tend to believe in a power greater than themselves and support the work ethic. A defined central authority provides communal goods/services and no help to individuals except temporarily and for those with special needs.




The left believes a central authority [state] should provide a goodly portion of the goods and services comprising daily life, including food, shelter, education, childcare, job training, actual jobs, healthcare, eldercare etc. Political correctness is its golden rule. It tends not to believe in a greater power other than the State, which exists to serve its needs and is undefined/unlimited as to size and scope.


Those subscribing to the first exhibit the conducts and traits themselves hoping/expecting others do the same. The second, even if they prosper, don’t think others can/will follow. They’ll go on asking for help as long as they need it.

So, we have a self sufficient society and a needy one. Setting aside race, economic status, level of intelligence or physical ability both systems could lead to success, creating self-sufficient people actively participating/contributing to society, but in the first case they worked/struggled to achieve their goals, taking pride in accomplishment, sharing their success with the community, believing and hoping others do the same. In the second they may/may not get direct help from government but they expect it, a safety net to fall back on. They don’t worry about failure. It’s not important others follow in their shoes: the state is there. Free stuff with no strings lures/elicits an entitlement mentality.


Detrimentally if not destructively the liberal approach allows/subsidizes indefinite schooling, regular job changes, easy unemployment, casual sex/baby-making, scoffing at marriage, dropping out to leech off the system. The left believes in 2nd chances, not justifying oneself to anybody, no stigma/shame associated with one’s behavior. It’s all cool.

When government steps in to provide all one’s needs it promotes irresponsibility. It loses control of its treasury to growing masses of takers, doling out benefits to shirkers/malingerers, ultimately paying out more than it takes in. This results in higher taxes, deficits, crushing debt, a spiraling out of control bureaucracy and, worst of all, a needy, unproductive society voting itself more stuff ad infinitum.

It would be great if an unbiased study could be done to determine which approach yields a happier, healthier more sustainable society over say, three or four generations. Which generates the most GDP? Largest middle/upper-middle class? Highest education levels? Best served lower classes and poor? Least prejudice and bigotry?

Ronald-ReaganI believe America’s ascendancy among nations during the past hundred years demonstrates the efficacy of the former, while incarceration and illiteracy rates, crime statistics, entitlement burdens, deficit spending, national debt, tax rates, projected failure of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid & Obamacare the past fifty years reveal and substantiate the inefficient, non-sustainability of the latter.

Sociological variables had far worse effect a hundred years ago than today, which is to say, given comparable levels of education and skill, being black, brown or Asian do not on their own invalidate a comparison of the two approaches since there is now more equality, opportunity, motivation and anti-discrimination laws mitigating prejudice in the workplace. Believing we all want a fair shot at the American Dream, only one approach offers the best chance.

The study of society is complex requiring lengthier discourse, but succinct or verbose, the republican platform as crafted by our founders over 225 yrs ago has proven a huge success in creating a large, robust middle class and better, more equitable, playing field for all disadvantaged/challenged members of our society, especially when compared with other countries having equal numbers and diversity.

leninThere is still room for empathy and improvement in the management of our republic, but to jump from it to a socialist democracy or statist platform offering empty promises, no guarantee of individual liberties and non-sustainability would be a huge mistake. Hard work, discipline respect, learning these from peers and elders, breeds success. There is no short cut, no kindly big brother guiding, protecting, rewarding. Look anywhere on the planet for a happier people. There is none. We are the paradigm in an imperfect world.

Half of us voted for the left and liberal way of life. I’m not sure if that suggests have/have-not frustrations, indolence in a luxury laden society insidious indoctrination by a determined left, societal dilution by rampant immigration, collusion among an elitist cabal promoting egalitarianism and globalism. We should weigh deeply the probable consequences before yielding to their misguided beliefs and sad, terrible destiny.

You’ve Been Reading Shaneview

I’m Al Shane

You can download this article in pdf by clicking here.

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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