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The Freedom to FlounderPosted Tuesday, August 26, 2008, at 7:24 PM
In 1607, Captain John Smith founded the first permanent English settlement in America, called Jamestown.
Jamestown was named after King James I of England who commissioned the first "authorized" English version of the Bible, commonly known as the King James Version.
The Jamestown Colony was a business venture of the Virginia Company of London, a British firm formed by members of a secret society, including Sir Francis Bacon. The goal of this secret society was to build a New World Order by starting their own "ideal" community from scratch and expanding globally from there.
Sir Francis Bacon was the Grand Commander of the brotherhood order called the Rosicrucians and the founder of English Freemasonry. He's also considered by many historians to have been the true identity of the playwright known as William Shakespeare,
Not long thereafter, a second English Colony was assembled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, by a group of religious dissenters.
Britain had broken from the Catholic Church and formed the Church of England, but these two splinter groups had disdain for this new church. They were the Puritans and the Separatists who decided to journey to American in the pursuit of religious freedom. Collectively, they were known as Pilgrims.
Thus, the Jamestown Colony and the Plymouth Colony had been formed in the new land.
Initially, the first two colonies were each set up as collectives with a communal style of living, based primarily on the philosophy of Plato, where no one owned property and everyone was fed from a common store.
They were the hippie communes of their time -- disdainful of authority, seeking freedom of expression, wanting to live in harmony with like-minded others.
It was a utopian scheme, lofty on idealism but short on practicality, that soon floundered. Both colonies suffered great hardships.
The leader of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford, eventually realized that the lack of incentive was the root of the problem and instituted a system whereby each family was assigned a plot of land they could call their own and reap whatever rewards they could produce.
From then on, the Plymouth Colony flourished.
The leaders of the Jamestown Colony had no such enlightenment. If it weren't for friendly Indians and the arrival of reinforcements in 1610, they likely would have perished.
This is another example of how the ideals of private property ownership and free enterprise work for the benefit of all.
Collectivism (socialism, communism, totalitarianism, or any large centralized excessive bureaucracy that feeds on productivity and suffocates individuality) will never be as effective as individual freedom simply because there is a lack of incentive to be productive or innovative.
In a free society, ambitious people are free to be rewarded for their efforts and are inclined to prosper, while lazy bums are free to avoid responsibility and are inclined to hang out with other lazy bums.
In a collective society, people have no incentive to be productive. No matter how hard they work, they will only receive an equal share for their efforts. And those who contribute little to the overall communal output will receive an equal share as well. There's no point in working hard if there's no reward for working hard.
In a free society, innovation is driven by competition. Rapid improvement leads to success.
In a collective society, there's no incentive to be innovative. Everyone is merely a cog in a vast human machine, enslaved by a rigid system where decisions require a collective agreement, leading to a stagnant bureaucracy where change will be discouraged.
In a free society, a wide gap tends to exist between the rich and the poor, one of the chief complaints of those who endorse a collective system. But that's the price of freedom. So be it.
In a collective society, a wide gap tends to exist between the illusion of common good and the reality of common sense. Another wide gap also exists between the ears of those who support the illusion.
Unfortunately, those who feel entitled to the efforts of others will invariably attempt to impose various forms of legalized plunder, such as a "progressive" income tax or an inheritance tax, against those who prosper. But whenever the plunder of successful people takes place, a free society becomes less free.
In a free society, everyone starts on a level playing field and the outcome is determined by effort.
In a collective society, the playing field is rigged because the outcome is determined in advance by a central committee. Such a system will almost certainly flounder.
If I flounder, I'd like it to be my choice.
Quote for the Day -- "Get born, keep warm.... Short pants, romance, learn to dance.... Get dressed, get blessed.... Try to be a success.... Don't want to be a bum, you better chew gum.... The pump don't work, cause the vandals took the handles..." Bob Dylan
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.