Sadly–and alarmingly–logic is a topic which has virtually disappeared from American education.  While it may only be rarely taught, it cannot be escaped and it works its way through the minds of every individual and society.  The results, so far, have been devastating.  Worldwide, millions have lost their lives to the monstrous doctrine of statism.  Witness the horrific loss of life at the hands of communist, fascist, socialist states–and every other variety of statism–in the 20th century.

Why and how has such a vicious philosophy spread throughout much of the world, even though most–at least in America–openly oppose the ideas of statism?  The answer: they are trapped by accepting, unwittingly, the basic premises of those they oppose.

The classic example of a syllogism is the following:

All men are mortal       (Major, or basic, premise)
Socrates is a man         (Minor premise)
Socrates is mortal        (Conclusion)

Now, how does the foregoing figure into the decline of freedom in America?  The answer: statists smuggle into the minds of voters the basic premises of statism. Once those basic premises are accepted, the syllogistic results are inexorable.

Here’s how it works–and has worked for more than a 100 years in America.

Statist begin with seemingly innocuous measures which have profound long-range implications and consequences.

To understand how basic premises work their way through the mind of an individual—and, ultimately, throughout an entire society—consider the fictional town of Dimwit, California, around the year 1900.  Population: 2014.

Dimwit has two barbers.  A local busybody (a progressive liberal, a statist) is upset that her son has received a bad haircut.  Not satisfied with switching her business to the competing barber, she begins a campaign to protect children from bad haircuts.  She argues that barbers should be licensed to protect the public.  Voters in the community rally around her—and even the two Dimwitted barbers agree, thinking this would erect an obstacle to any other barber who might wish to move to the town, saving them from further competition.  Ultimately, Dimwit citizens vote to license barbers.

Now, consider what has been accepted by the citizens of Dimwit:  free competition can be outlawed—and—you must receive permission from others (the state) to earn a living in your chosen profession.

And there is more.  If one profession (barbers) must have the state’s permission to practice their trade, then any profession must have permission from the state to earn a living.  Once this much has been established, then statists can argue everyone must have a permit to work.  Then, they start picking off any and every conceivable profession: doctors, dentists, plumbers, electricians, teachers, etc.  All must have a license to earn a living.  And, historically, this is exactly what has happened.

And there is even more—much more and much worse: the basic concept of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been overturned by the dimwitted residents of Dimwit.  Hold firmly in mind the definition of a right:  A right is the sovereignty to act without the permission of others.  Yet Dimwit now mandates that you must seek permission in order to earn a living.

Now, let’s fast forward to the present.  In America, most reject the basic premise of statism—which is: you do not have the right to act without the permission of others.  Yet they become trapped by statist’s ideas, by implicitly—without realizing it—accepting the basic premises of statism.

Consider how this process worked to advance Obamacare.  When the public debate over Obamacare was raging, statists were all over cable and network news programs arguing that the state can dictate that individuals purchase a product, i.e., health insurance.  After all, they argued, individuals are required to purchase insurance for their cars, therefore, they can and should be required to purchase health insurance.

The opponents of Obamacare squirmed and said that this was “different.”  The only problem was—and is—that it wasn’t and isn’t different.  The basic premise had long-since been established by statists when they won the battle to mandate everyone must buy car insurance.  The statist fight to mandate you purchase car insurance was trivial, in statists’ terms, they had won the larger prize: if the state can mandate you purchase one product, then the state can mandate you buy any product.  Once this basic premise was established, then the logic, over the decades, worked its way through the minds of Americans, resulting in the inevitable enactment of Obamacare.

Now, let’s return to the example of a syllogism, but change the basic premise.

All men are immortal.
Socrates is a man.
Socrates is immortal.

While the conclusion is logically correct, the conclusion is clearly wrong.  Socrates is not immortal.  The conclusion is wrong, because the basic premise is wrong:  man is not immortal.  The acceptance of a bad premise, led to a bad conclusion.

If the basic premise is an accurate identification of reality, then the syllogism will bring you to the correct conclusion.  If the basic premise is an inaccurate identification of the facts of reality, then it will bring you to the wrong conclusion.  And, because of bad premises, America is heading to the wrong conclusion–at least, for now.

The lesson to be learned from the foregoing is: If you accept the basic premises of the enemies of freedom, you will lose the debate.  And, if you do so, you may very well lose, not only your freedom, money and property, but  your very life.

Fulton Huxtable


© 2014

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