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“Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” — Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

By Danna Reubin

Photo Courtsey of Richard Winchel

Death is immanent. One would think this immortal awareness that our lives are a fleeting moment would provide urgency for productivity and positive outcomes. But instead, (we?) seem to have a natural tendency towards willing subordination. Even with the accessible fruit within our grasp, we are not willing to reach for it on our own. But for us conservative Americans, retrieving the fruits of our hard earned labor is the bugle that summons us to battle. Our weapons are called longing, determination and belief in ourselves.

There are so many ways to achieve success and ultimate happiness in life as an individual without the assistance of an oppressive nanny state. Those who choose subordination over self-reliance do it out of frustration. Their frustration is born from the horrible notion that there is only one way to achieve and that way is, unfortunately, dependence on others. Failure to understand this as well as dissatisfaction at one’s inability to reject the universal standard of human reliance; constitute the cancer that can emasculate every dream, dampen every hope and erode every shred of determination one can muster.

Many have lulled themselves into a state of compliance with the acceptance of a dependent existence as the rational solution to perceived happiness. In this mode of living, whatever one does not gain through their own labor, the almighty government is increasingly obligated to supply them. The problem is no government is by nature, a producer; therefore, the government must confiscate or steal form one segment of the population to supply the other segments. And that is how a redistributive oligarchy functions. Thankfully, the United States Constitution is a limited government document. It was written specifically to thwart the kind of statist tyranny resulting from an increasingly dependent society.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The sole function of government, according to the Declaration of Independence is to secure these individual, unalienable rights through non-interference. For example, the right to pursue happiness prohibits government from imposing its preferred means of achieving happiness on unwilling individuals. So when we hear of the right to free education or medical care it should be clear that is not what the Declaration or the Constitution meant. Government entitlement programs like Medicare, public schools, Obamacare, social security are rights to claim societies support for a service and since society is composed of our fellow citizens it means a claim on your neighbor’s labor and their resources.

Furthermore, the Declaration’s emphasis on “rights” leads to two conclusions: The political, which values individual freedom and the social, which values tolerance. In order to preserve the harmony granted by this level of freedom, people must accept other’s differences including a considerable variation in lifestyle amongst the citizenry.

And so my friends, if we desire the true freedom granted us by the constitution we must take responsibility for our complacency. We have failed to live up to our constitution. It demands our attention, our deliberation, and our honor. Our Constitution was NOT written for legislators, or presidents, or even justices. It was written for us, the people, so that we could tell when the government was exceeding its delegated powers. It prescribes limits on the government, and not us, and presumes that we strictly enforce those limits, a duty we have failed at miserably, for decades. Yes, it is we who have brought shame and ignominy to the legacy of our forebears.
Because we have stood idle for so long, the government of the United States of America, as it now exists, bears little resemblance to the one the Founders established. The constitution demands our attention, our deliberation, and our honor.

Danna Reubin

Danna Reubin is currently an “Associate Faculty” at SMU and Collin College. Born in South Africa, Danna emigrated to the United States in 1983 after having lived in Tel Aviv for three years previously. Her professional travels have taken her around the globe including destinations such as Russia, Taiwan, Africa and all over North America. An experienced educator, Danna is also an accomplished journalist. She speaks English, Russian and Hebrew.  Voice Empower is proud to have Reubin as a regular contributor. 

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2 Responses to ““Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.” — Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead”

  1. Beverly Nuckols, MD Says:

    There is that little problem of the Creator, which Rand claimed to disbelieve. We depend on Him. Government does receive its powers only from the consent of the governed -- but the consent of one is useless while the consent of many is invincible. The opening quote and the focus on “nothing” rather than acknowledging a real-life interdependence demonstrates perfectly why a Christian can’t be a Randian/Objectivist. Submit yourselves one unto the other, rescue the sheep being led to slaughter, I can do all things *through Christ* which strengtheneth me. Objectivism is another variation on the oldest lie of all: “You shall be as gods.”

  2. Erica Says:

    Alexander Hamilton gave a similar definition of freedom in “The Farmer Refuted.” A man could not be considered free if he were dependent on the will of another; therefore a free man was a financially independent man. Many others shared this perspective with Hamilton, particularly since it was based on Blackstone’s commentary on the laws of England. Numerous laws and state constitutions reflected the principle of positive liberty in this manner, as well.

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