Perspectives: How I would destroy liberty in America

OPINION – Years ago, Paul Harvey shared a commentary on contemporary America titled “If I were the Devil.” It was an inspiring way of illustrating the accelerating decline of societal morals and mores.

With a tip of the hat to Paul Harvey, I’d like to shine a similar light on the decline of freedom in our time.

If I wanted to destroy liberty in America, I’d start by undermining its spiritual, economic, and philosophical foundations.

First, I’d work to convince the populace that everything that came before them was wrong and must be discarded. I’d cultivate an attitude of chronological snobbery that teaches the idea that all our ancestors were hopelessly stuck in superstition, prejudice, ignorance, and everything that is backwards or harmful.

This way the tireless efforts of billions of minds over thousands of years of human history could be dismissed as nothing when compared to our current understanding.

I’d ridicule the religious and marginalize the concept that there are moral absolutes. The only remaining sin would be that of maintaining that right and wrong still exist.

I’d also carefully separate the development of personal character from the acquisition of knowledge. This way, our institutions of higher learning would become, in the words of Fred Reed, “citadels of intellectual darkness [that] teach little, and chiefly serve to force the young to borrow backbreaking sums from colluding banks.”

I’d substitute job training for real education and train our students in the mindset of an employee rather than creativity of an entrepreneur. I’d promote the idea that life is about accumulating things and that a person’s self worth is contingent upon the clothes they wear, the car they drive, and the square footage of their domicile.

I’d destroy the attitudes of thrift and delayed gratification, and encourage people to spend money they haven’t yet earned to purchase things they really don’t need. To justify their overspending, I’d ensure that their government did the same thing at levels that strain our ability to comprehend. This debt slavery would affect not only the living, but also generations yet unborn.

Under the guise of reining in the fat cats, I’d give the most powerful bankers control over interest rates and the money supply by creating the Federal Reserve. I’d convince the public to reject real money and use legal tender laws to force them to embrace an irredeemable paper currency. I’d make the public directly accountable to the federal government through a direct tax on their income.

I’d encourage using government as a tool of plunder to take from the productive and to redistribute to the masses. I’d teach people that to desire to keep what you’ve earned is greedy, but to demand a portion of someone else’s money is not.

To keep the populace from thinking too independently, I’d give the government control over our children’s schooling and then declare the idea so good that it must be made compulsory. This way I could ensure that a majority of the population would grow up thinking within the boundaries of approved opinion.

I’d teach our children to worship the state and the symbols of its power, yet I’d threaten a 5-year-old girl with jail for playing with a pink toy bubble gun. This way the people would learn to see the state as the only legitimate repository of force and would become entirely dependent upon government for their protection.

I would squander American lives and treasure by warring in foreign lands over issues that have nothing to do with national security. The more our troops were sent abroad, the more freedom would mysteriously diminish here at home.

With every tragedy or malicious act, I’d exploit the public’s fear and anger to promote the expansion of government power into every area of their lives. I would speak soothingly of safety and the need to “protect our children from violence” but my actual goal would be that of every tyrant throughout history — consolidating power over the citizenry.

I’d encourage distrust toward anyone who recognized and pointed out any of the warning signs of tyranny. I’d use the time-proven incremental approach to install each progressive infringement on the rights of the people. Each step would be just a tiny bit more than the one that preceded it, but each step would lead inexorably in the direction of despotism.

My greatest tool for destroying liberty would be to promote a type of cultural amnesia that causes the American public to forget who they are. I would teach them that the proper role of government is not to protect their God-given inalienable rights, but to direct everything they do.

Once enough generations have been indoctrinated to submit and obey, my success in destroying liberty would be ensured.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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  • Fred January 29, 2013 at 6:03 am

    As usual Bryan is so correct about what has happened and what will happen little by little to America. I remember how America was in the 50’s. Wow have we gone downhill since then. And this was planned and carried out by the leftists, radicals and pointed headed professors in the colleges who could not even park a bicycle straight. Paul Harvey was a true patriot. Now they would call him a hater or a bigot for telling the truth.

    • mark boggs January 29, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Well, to be fair, the 50’s were a golden age for white males. I’m guessing there would be some differing opinions from minorities or women about just how awesome the 50’s were.
      And do you really think only liberals voted for the Patriot Act?
      I love how for 8 years, liberals went nuts about Bush’s constitutional transgressions, but as soon as their guy took over and continued many of the same policies, we suddenly heard much less noise or were told how these things were necessary “because of______”. And then we have the conservatives who were mostly silent during the Bush years but as soon as Obama was elected, they developed a hyper-sensitivity to constitutional integrity.
      It makes much of the hand-wringing from either side ring especially hollow and hypocritical.

    • Snowfield January 29, 2013 at 8:08 am

      America in the 50’s was an exaggerated attempt to achieve “normalcy” after the horrors of the second world war and the problems of the Depression. Opportunities were much more narrow for anyone who was not white and male. It will be hard to force those who have had more opportunities back into the narrow confining roles of the past, they will fight for their rights.

  • Ron January 29, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Yeah, Fred, let’s get back to those beautiful 50s when we still had segregation, women stayed in the kitchen, and gays stayed in the closet (at the risk of their lives). It’s pretty revealing that your comment includes a quotation from George Wallace about “pointy-headed professors.” Wallace was certainly a bastion of the libertarian ideals Brian espouses, wasn’t he? For white males, anyway.

  • Snowfield January 29, 2013 at 8:12 am

    At this point I fear tyranny from people like Bryan who admit to feeling the right to use violence to get their way as much as from the government,

    • Bryan Hyde February 2, 2013 at 8:12 am

      Simple question for you: Do you believe that all human beings have a natural and inherent right to defend themselves from violent attack?

  • DoubleTap January 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

    At this point, I fear tyranny from the government….and would side with Bryan at any given time to fight it. I value freedom and liberty more than govenment slavery.

  • Curtis January 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    For Snowfield

    I don’t believe Hyde is a tyrant, but if he is he’s pretty small potatoes.
    The Fed Govt on the other hand can come at you in more ways than you can count. Even disregarding the law enforcement agencies there is the IRS, OSHA, EPA, FDA, NLRB and more.
    If the Feds decide to bust your [email protected]# there will be no way to defend yourself

    • Roy J January 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Also local municipalities that might decide the community is better served by annexing a portion of your family farm to build an access road across for the greater good of households that do not and might not yet exist! Woot!

  • Roy J January 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Great article. While I was reading it I started wondering when the United States has ever had ‘liberty’, though, or what Bryan might mean by that? Is it an ideal, and if so, was an ideal that was ever realized? Anyway. It seems to me that, right or wrong, the Federal Government under Lincoln forced the secessionary states to submit and obey after those states lost the Civil War. Also, I would like to suggest that consolidation of power over the citizenry is not necessarily or always a tyranny, regardless of whether or not that is the case with our own government. Some consolidation of power is necessary for any government. Our country currently (supposedly) has consolidated government into 3 branches. Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas all agreed that a good government must take into account the actual circumstances of the real citizens they have to work with. In fact, the case could be made that a dictatorship is preferable to the near total anarchy of hundreds of little revolutionary tyrants. This may have been the mindset of the France that produced Napoleon. I like the ideal of the guild system as attempted during the middle ages in Christendom. I agree with older generations that understood taking care of the family also meant the parents and family that once took care of you. I would love to see an end to property tax (is there anybody who wouldn’t?), because i would like to own my little hut free and clear, and not pay ‘rent’ to the government for it! But this sort of tax has been with us since the start of the country! I wonder, if we abolished property taxes today, is there a municipality in the entire United States (other than that Citadel thing) that would not go bankrupt overnight? And then again the other side of the problem, what will the vast majority pay those property taxes with when they no longer produce an income? I already know how our fearless leaders on both sides of the aisle are paying for theirs…

  • Maggie January 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

    The 50’s were great,and it was only getting better in this country. People were responsible for themselves,things were not so damn important ,people and family were. We had less and did more. We were beginning to see that blacks deserved a better life and worked to give them the opportunities to do so. I did not know about gays until I was 19 and went to a large city and encountered some in a restaurant .Two guys in a restaurant kissing. My family spent the whole trip home doing the best job they could explaining . Now they did think that was abnormal, but I do not remember any hate being conveyed in this explanation,and as my Dad said,”Some things are just personel.”
    We lived on what we had and did not vacation if we did not have the money to do so in any given year.
    I loved it when high school boyfriends came to pick me up in newly cleaned car and came to the door ,visited with family and treated me like I was special.
    I learned to cook,clean and sew. I was educated post high school and lived at home and worked also.
    I was raised to believe the world was mine to conquer. I also had two brothers so I did learn how to stand up for myself . All of these skills,learned in an environment without wealth, by loving people gave me the skills I would need to survive in this world. I, like many did not have a perfect life,but I have had a really good life .
    Women today do not appear to be any happier than I am, gays seem angry and unhappy with a high suicide rate and many blacks did not use the opportunities given to them . White men,well seems they were the rock that provided us all the foundation to build on. Many of them coming from all over this world to work the factories and build this great country.
    Where did some of you get the idea that this was bad? Life was simple, but not bad. We had guns and did not kill each other,we had locks and did not lock them and some did hate because of color of skin or sexual preference but most just chugged along trying achieve a better life and live together. God and prayer comforted many a tormented soul and still would if it was not unacceptable ,as it is today.

    For those of you who missed it,I am sorry. I feel your life will be so much harder and less fulfilling.

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