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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-- George Bernard Shaw


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I don't know that I have the labels right, but here's the thought...

Self-determination is a liberal trait.
Self-reliance is a conservative trait.

The only people I've met who resisted the idea of self-determination - the complete freedom to choose one's direction in life - were either religious or communist. Someone else drives the decision-making for the individual.

The only people I've met who resisted the idea of self-reliance were either socialist or liberals. They believe that we all share a responsibility to ensure the welfare of others.

The strongest society, in my opinion, craves in equal proportion self-determination and self-reliance. The culture champions both.

Those who scoff at self-reliance will your erode your freedom of self-determination. I recall during the presidential election that Obama ridiculed the "ownership society," saying "You're on your own," as though it were a laughable concept. But I remember when people used to say with pride, "I'm on my own." It was regarded as an achievement.

If I do not seek to be accountable for my own life, then I make others accountable instead. Those responsible for the outcome seek to control the outcome. Thus comes the erosion of self-determination. By lapsing my self-reliance, I dilute my freedom of self-determination. It becomes a trade-off. Says the state, "If I am going to provide for you, then you have to do as I say. It's in your own best interest."

And so, a final comparison, which I think sums up well why so many in America are getting active. We're losing America as defined by Jefferson and Madison and the rest of them.

ETC: Another thought on this, which I tweeted: "Self-reliance drives productivity, which is why Obama's America will never reach its potential."


by Brett Rogers, 8/9/2009 9:16:05 AM


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