Ford, Carter, Bush, Clinton, and Powell Tried to Force Americans Into Slavery and the Media Didn't Say a WORD!

By Gord Gekko
web posted June 1997

I don't usually read the posts in USENET which hardly surprising since many that I am treated to are arguments whether people of the Jewish faith are white and whether Rush Limbaugh is finished as a popular radio personality.

There was one thread that did catch my eye on alt.society.conservatism and it dealt with the Volunteer Summit (an event which, speaking of him, Limbaugh lambasted) that was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in late April. Between the usual name-calling between self-described liberals and conservatives were a few ideas that were intelligently argued, so I decided to do some research on the Summit.

The basic purpose of the summit was to promote the idea of volunteering as an American tradition and to limit the role of government in solving the social ills of America. To that end, the organizers believed that if Americans themselves get together and help solve these problems, then all would be grand.

The opening paragraph of the Summit Declaration gives the clearest picture of the event’s intent and philosophy:

"Two centuries ago, America was founded on the proposition that just as all people are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, citizenship entails undeniable responsibilities. As each of us has the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, each of us has an obligation to give something back to country and community -- a duty to take responsibility not just for ourselves and our families, but for one another. We owe a debt of service to fulfill the God-given promise of America, and our children."

Wow, some heady and inspiring stuff there, right?

Only if you find slavery to be a palatable option.

The paragraph is loaded with collectivist sentiments that only a half-wit could miss. Fortunately most of those half-wits were in Philadelphia leaving the rest of the United States alone for a weekend. A gathering of hundreds of Ned Flanders…except this time Ned has the ear of the President of the United States of America.

The declaration opens by stating that the United States was founded upon inalienable rights and that citizenship entails undeniable responsibilities. And what are those responsibilities? To give something back to your country and community, to protect not only yourself, but also everyone.

Understand this clearly. Those who wrote this believe that it is your duty to sacrifice something to someone else. It is your obligation, distinct and unmistakable, to sacrifice yourself to something greater then yourself. Pursuing your own goals is not as important as the "special commitment" that society demands.

If you’re in doubt of my assertions you need have only listen to Clinton’s words during his April 5 radio address. "Citizen service is the main way we recognize that we are responsible for one another. It is the very American idea that we meet our challenges not through heavy-handed government or isolated individuals, but as members of a true community, with all of us working together."

What it is that the summit hoped to establish as the dominant philosophy is nothing more than altruism, the unselfish interest in the welfare of others. Altruism demands that no judgments are made about the people you are apparently supposed to help, simply that you help. The proper altruist feels no joy in personal achievement, preferring instead to value themselves as a giver. Rational self-interest is not high on the list of priorities. As conference leader General Colin Powell put it, those who look at themselves as individuals were on the moral sidelines, not the moral playing field.

The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value. Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible. The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute of altruism is self-sacrifice -- which means: self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction -- which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.
- Ayn Rand,
Philosophy: Who Needs It

What I found interesting was that the summit tried to tie volunteerism into Americanism, something that proponents of the individual (which is often Americanism) would find mystifying. As the Ayn Rand Institute pointed out in their manifesto against the summit, "the Founding Fathers wrote a declaration of independence, not a declaration of servitude."

Volunteering, said participants to the summit, was the hallmark of a great American. This conveniently ignore the fact that great Americans have always been self-reliant and individuals, not altruists. The style of volunteering that this summit called for was one that pitted society against the individual.

Enter Stage Right has dealt with society vs. the individual in several pieces, but it bears repeating once again that society has no claims on a human being. The concept of society is non-existent since society has no rights. A collection of people together creates no new rights, apart from the rights they already had.

No doubt Canadians are wondering why a journal which generally deals with issues of importance to Canada would deal with an American summit. Canada itself too has heard the cry of volunteerism from some. Think it can't happen here? The home of many bad ideas put into practice, that is academia, has long studied the idea of the "third sector". This sector would be made up of paid volunteers. Of the idea, anti-technology activist Jeremy Rifkin says, "Third-sector participants are motivated by service to others and view security in terms of strengthened personal relationships and a sense of grounding in the larger community."

There are already government programs that stress this so-called third sector. The National Youth Service Program (which the author regretfully played a small role in developing) pays students to go out and do volunteer work in several areas, from planting trees to working in hospitals.

Is our government above mandating volunteer work? It doesn't take a politician to realize that "encouraging" business and individuals to deal with, lets say, the homeless problem is cheaper than actually spending tax dollars building and maintaining shelters, providing food and clothes, and programs designed to bring the homeless back into the mainstream.

Who would pay for this third-sector? What if I told you that Finance Minister Paul Martin is rumoured to be a big fan of Rifkin's book The End of Work. Think our Liberal government is above taxing people to provide for this third sector?

Forced volunteerism is already making its presence felt in the United States. In that April 5 radio speech, Clinton endorsed the idea of requiring high school students to perform volunteer work before they were allowed to graduate. In Maryland it is already policy.

The volunteer summit thankfully doesn't seem to have made many great impact in the United States. Let's make sure that happens here to.

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