Façade for collectivism used by U.S. socialists

True liberalism defined

As a 21-year old, I fall right in the middle of "Generation Me," the cohort of Americans currently under the age of 35. Raised by the flower children of the sixties and seventies, we have been trained to embrace diversity, challenge social boundaries, and aggressively pursue our dreams.

Our egotism has produced everything from extraordinary business entrepreneurs to self-entitled brats, yet each member of "Generation Me" shares the demand to be recognized by society as a competent, rational individual. So why not demand the same from the government?

The sole purpose of the government is to protect our freedom from forceful oppression, yet today's government hardly seems like a system of liberty. Instead it resembles more of an annoying "helicopter parent," hovering over every aspect of our lives and providing unsolicited advice. As the members of an incredibly ambitious and independent generation, it is time we told the government the same thing we told our parents on the first day of college: Okay, you can leave now ... no really, get out.

Just as college students need space to grow and develop, human progress requires the opportunity for individuals to take risks and push their creative limits.

When the government regulates the standards of life, labor and competition, it removes the individual's incentive to produce or invent.

This will inevitably lead to a stagnant and mediocre society. So why do the liberal politicians standing on a platform of "change" and "progress" advocate policies that would further expand the government and encroach upon our individual liberties?

Because they are not true liberals.

Liberal, defined

To the world outside of the United States, a "liberal" is a champion of individual liberty, a combination of laissez-faire economics and political tolerance. The classical liberal respects private property rights, thinks in terms of the long-run, and takes a leap of faith into the arms of the free market. Our new definition of "liberalism" is nothing but a façade for collectivism and big-government used by American socialists who were desperate to shed the socialist label of Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin.

To the true liberal, the government does not exist to "walk" him through life, it exists to defend his right to control his own life, plan his own future, and discover his fullest potential for greatness. If he fails in the process, so be it. Moving about aimlessly and feeding off the fruits of someone else's labor would be a far bigger disgrace.

This summer I interned for FreedomWorks, a non-profit organization advocating lower taxes, less government, and more individual freedom.

After watching ordinary grassroots Americans join together to create real change in Washington, I am truly inspired to push the limits of my own individual potential. Now more than ever I understand why a productive society needs capitalism and individual freedom.

Despite the attitudes of imitation liberals, the truth remains that capitalism is the ultimate system of liberty and equality.

Free markets give everyone the equal opportunity to prosper -- so long as they are willing to put forth the effort.

Just as we demand the right to make our own decisions when it comes to our private social lives, we should demand individual choice in the marketplace as well.
Personal choice

The power of personal choice is frightening at times because it holds people accountable to the decisions they have made, good or bad.

But the fear of failure is not enough to justify a society drained of individuality and extraordinary achievement.

Although life in a society free from micromanagement may not always be perfect, it is as close to perfection as we are going to get.

As the narcissistic members of "Generation Me," we are plenty aware of our individual potential.

Yet for reasons unexplained, we largely support policies that stifle creativity, undermine independence and delay human development.

Before hopping on the big-government, "progressive" bandwagon, remember that change for the sake of change is not necessarily progress. You do not have to resist change to be a defender of liberty -- you just have to make sure it's the right kind of change before you accept it.

- Jackie Bodnar


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