I contributed a chapter to a recently published book entitled “Why Peace” edited by Marc Guttman….
Peace takes on a more concrete meaning when people are struggling to feed families, buy gas, get and keep a job, and make their mortgage payments. As the productive capacity and civil liberties of Americans are shrinking, as they have done radically since September 11, 2001, the idea of living in a constitutional republic rather than an empire or global military enforcer becomes more compelling to the average American. Increasingly Americans are expatriating, and if not fully disengaging from the American state, are seeking second homes in places that truly, seem to embody peaceful living.
We are reminded today, almost three generations later, of the emerging prosperity-oriented ideas of the late 1950s. Barry Goldwater called for smaller more accountable government, in the face of a growing and ever more confiscatory state. President Dwight Eisenhower questioned the burgeoning growth of the military-industrial complex, and warned all Americans that unless checked, we as a nation would sacrifice both peace and liberty. In 1957, Ayn Rand published Atlas Shrugged, posing a last ditch solution to the monster war-loving state, a “shrugging” off of individual productivity by simply disappearing from the purview of the state.
These ideas – all related to peace, all related to prosperity, founded on Renaissance revelations of the intrinsic value of the individual and resting on the Founders’ ideas of a Creator-granted organic right of liberty – have persisted, even as the government of the United States has morphed into a war-addicted, liberty-offending, debt-ridden global empire.