Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

If America Were Totalitarian, Where Would You Want to Live?

Posted by M. C. on September 20, 2022

by Richard M. Ebeling

I’ve asked them why they would have done that. It is amazing how many of these students know little or nothing about how, why, when, or even from where an earlier generation of their families had made the journey to America. Some know some things about their family’s histories, but many do not, and equally amazing, some of them don’t care.

Suppose that one evening as the sun was setting and dusk was settling in, a strange mist fell over the United States that resulted in the entire population of the country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, falling into a deep and restful sleep. Similarly, as evening settled in across the Russian Federation, the same type of mist enveloped the entire country from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea, with the Russian people falling into an equivalent restful and deep sleep.

When the people of the two countries awoke from their night’s slumber, they found themselves, respectively, living under two radically different political regimes from the ones that they had been under the day before. In Russia, the country was still physically the same. There still were the deep forests, the rich soil of the steppes, the mountains of the Urals, and the stark, frigid terrain of the Siberian north.

But the Russian political system had been transformed into a constitutional, strictly limited government, with every citizen secure in his personal and civil liberties under an impartially enforced rule of law. In their economic affairs, the Russians found themselves living under a laissez-faire, free-market order in which every individual was free to peacefully live his life as he personally chose, with all interpersonal relationships based on honest and voluntary associations inside and outside of the marketplace.What these waves and generations of immigrants arriving in America wanted and were searching for was freedom in some or all of its facets that they were denied in the places from which they had come.
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In the United States, the Rocky Mountains still stretched southward from the Canadian border, the central plains still had miles upon miles of corn and wheat fields, the wide Mississippi River continued to flow from Minnesota south into the Gulf of Mexico, and New York and Chicago still had their majestic skylines. On the other hand, however, the country had been transformed into a fully totalitarian political regime.

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