Freedom 21 National Conference - Dallas, Texas
"Freedom." We use that word a lot. Do we all really
know what that word means? It's used in so many
different ways. Do we understand how it is attained?
Most importantly, do we understand how it is used by
some to actually take freedom away?
Why do some who profess to advocate freedom actually
accept policies, which diminish freedom and call it
"restoring the Republic?"
Simply put, freedom is the ability to act without
hindrance or restraint. Freedom is owning your life,
your actions, your labor.
We say we support the "principles" of freedom. But
what are those principles and where did they come
First of all, we must understand principles are not
legislated or invented. Principles are discovered.
Someone doesn't just come up with an idea and start
to sell it as a principle. A principle exists and
you are subject to it, whether or not you know it.
For example, for centuries men were ignorant of the
laws of physics but they were subject to them
nonetheless. Man couldn't fly or fill two objects in
the same space, no matter how hard he tried because
the laws (or principles) of physics are fact,
whether known or unknown.
The same is true with the principles of freedom. The
basic principles of freedom are consistent with
man's nature, and that's why they work. When the
principles of freedom are recognized and adhered to,
there is prosperity, justice, and happiness.
When the principles have been ignored or rejected,
men have suffered poverty, stagnation, and political
So to obtain freedom, it's vital that we know what
the principles are. There are three, actually.
Individualism, private property, and free
enterprise. They are all necessary for freedom to
exist. Leave just one out, and freedom is eroded.
Individualism - your personal choices - the ability
to pursue your own rational self-interest. Choices
like the religion you choose; the size of home you
build; the car you drive; the kind of spouse you
select. In short, individualism is fulfilling a life
of one's own.
Private property. Well, this conference was built on
the concept of the right to own and control private
property. Your own body is the most important
property you will ever own. The idea that someone
else can control that is absurd, but there are many
who seek to do so.
So private property is not just land. It is your
thoughts, your possessions, and the fruits of your
labor. Without the right to own and dispose of the
products of one’s own life, the individual is
dependent upon the State (or someone) for his very
So, it is obvious that one can't be individualistic
without the ability to own and control private
It can be argued that one can have no other rights
without property rights. George Washington said,
"private property and freedom are inseparable."
Property Rights activist and ranger Wayne Hage said,
"Either you have the right to own property or you
And that brings us to the third principle of freedom
- free enterprise. Free markets. Capitalism. The
process whereby free men buy and sell and trade the
products of their own lives free from interference.
These are the three principles of freedom, and these
are what we are fighting for.
Reinventing Government and "Free Trade"
But today, we live in a new world with new terms and
policies. Free trade. Open borders. Partnerships.
Global markets. Emerging economies. Developing
nations. They tell us we're breaking down barriers.
We're providing opportunities. We're building
FREEDOM around the globe.
To listen to the excited hoopla, it seems man has
never been closer to universal freedom with all of
its benefits of wealth and opportunity to the masses
of the earth. Gone are the conflicts caused by
suspicion, jealousy, and nationalism.
Here we are, brothers and sisters in a brave new
world as our leaders join hands and purse strings to
plan our future without pain or fear or hunger. Oh
my! I get all ginchy just thinking about it!
But before we get too excited, first a little
history lesson on where some of these policies came
from and how they actually work.
During the first years of the Clinton Administration
in the early 1990s, there was much fanfare about a
new policy to "reinvent government." It was sold as
a way to make government more efficient and less
costly. It would, said its proponents, "bring
business technologies to public service."
Pro-business, anti-big-government conservatives and
libertarians were intrigued. The backbone of the
plan was a call for "public/private partnerships."
Now that sounded like their kind of program.
Government, they said, would finally tap the
tremendous power of the entrepreneurial process and
the force of the free market into making government
more effective and efficient. It sounded so
revolutionary and so American.
Today that "reinvention" has revealed itself to be
the policy known as Sustainable Development, which
is nothing more than a plan for a top-down managed
society. Sustainable Development policy includes
population control; development control; technology
control; resource control; and in a great sense,
Sustainable Development is not freedom. Not one of
the three principles apply. There is no
individuality as it advocates group policies; there
is no private property under Sustainable Development
- period. And there is no free enterprise as markets
and supplies are tightly controlled by the hand of
Yet, incredibly, much of the Sustainable policy has
been embraced by the "free-trade" movement, which
advocates open borders, free trade zones, and
one-size-fits-all regulations, currencies, and the
use of public/private partnerships. And many of the
biggest proponents of the policy are conservative
and libertarian think tanks.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was
one of the first of the "free trade" policies to use
the concept of public/private partnerships as a
major tool to drive policy.
The program was sold simply as a means to expand
markets for American industry and agriculture beyond
U.S. borders into Canada and Mexico, thereby
offering American business and workers "better jobs,
better wages and more exports."
However, NAFTA is not unencumbered trade. It
represents truckloads of regulations. And there is
no question that NAFTA regulations and guidelines
are creating great change in the economic order of
NAFTA comes with its own tribunal overseers; its own
courts; and its own set of rules - all of which can,
in fact, override laws passed by local, state and
Such a policy is not "free trade." Rather, it is a
new government structure - reinvented, indeed. Here
is how Henry Kissinger described NAFTA in July,
1993: "It will represent the most creative step
toward a new world order taken by any group of
countries since the end of the Cold War, and the
first step toward an even larger vision of a
free-trade zone for the entire
Western Hemisphere. [NAFTA] is not a conventional
trade agreement, but the architecture of a new
NAFTA, under close examination appears to be little
more than a redistribution of the wealth scheme.
Profiting from it are a few select corporations,
which get wealthy in their elite partnerships with
government while American jobs, industry, and wealth
get redistributed to other nations.
However, the concept continues to be highly touted
by "free traders" as a success. Thirteen years after
its inception there are now more calls for similar
programs to cover South America, Central America,
Africa and Asia. The Security and Prosperity
Partnership (SPP) is designed to further enhance and
strengthen the NAFTA concept over North America.
Public/Private Partnerships = Government-Sanctioned
It is little understood by the general public how
public/private partnerships can be used, not as a
way to diminish the size of government, but in fact,
to increase government's power.
That's because no one ever comes forward and tells
the general public the entire plan for something as
vast as the Security and Prosperity Partnership. No
one ever calls for a debate or a vote to implement
the plan with public approval.
Instead, it's done incrementally, a piece at a time,
in an easy to disguise program here - a suggestion
there. There are few debates or discussions. Even
elected officials rarely know the true agenda they
are helping to put in place.
Slowly, the whole comes together. By the time people
realize the truth, it's already in place. Policy is
And Public/Private Partnerships are becoming the
fastest growing process to impose such policy. State
legislatures across the nation are passing
legislation, which calls for the implementation of
Beware. These bonds between government and private
international corporations are a double-edged sword.
They come armed with government's power to tax, the
government's power to enforce policy, and the
government's power to enforce eminent domain.
At the same time, the private corporations use their
wealth and extensive advertising budgets to entrench
the policy into our national conscience. Cute little
jingles or emotional commercials can be very useful
tools to sell a government program.
Further, participating corporations can control the
types of products offered on the market. Witness the
drive for solar and wind power, even though the
technology doesn't exist for these alternative
energies to actually make a difference.
Yet, the corporations, in partnership with
government to impose these polices, have convinced
the American public that this is the future of
energy. Rest assured that if any one of these
companies had to sell such products on the free
market controlled by consumers, there would be very
little talk about them.
But, today, an unworkable idea is making big bucks,
not on the open market, but in a controlled economy
for a select few like British Petroleum because of
their partnerships with government.
Public/private partnerships can be used by
international corporations to get a leg up on their
competition by entering into contracts with
government to obtain favors such as tax breaks and
store locations not available to their competition,
thereby creating an elite class of "connected"
A private developer, which has entered into a
Public/Private Partnership with local government,
for example, can now obtain the power of eminent
domain to build on land not open to its competitors.
The fact is, current use of eminent domain by local
communities in partnership with private developers
simply considers all property to be the common
domain of the State, to be used as it sees fit for
some undefined common good.
The government gains the higher taxes created by the
new development. The developer gets the revenue from
the work. The immediate losers, of course, are the
property owners. But other citizens are losers, too.
Communities lose control of their infrastructure.
Voters lose control of their government.
Using PPPs, power companies can obtain rights of way
over private land, as is currently happening in
Virginia, where Dominion Power plans massive power
towers over private property - against the strong
objections of the property owners.
Because of a public/private partnership, one million
Texans are about to lose their land for the Trans
Texas Corridor, a highway that couldn't be built
without the power of eminent domain.
Of course, it's not just American companies entering
into PPPs with our government. Foreign companies are
being met with open arms by local, state, and
federal officials who see a way to use private
corporations and their massive bank accounts to fund
As the Associated Press reported July 15, 2006,
"On a single day in June (2006) an
Australian-Spanish partnership paid $3.6 billion to
lease the Indiana Toll Road. An Australian company
bought a 99-year lease on Virginia's Pocahontas
Parkway, and Texas officials decided to let a
Spanish-American partnership build and run a toll
road for 50 years."
In fact, that Spanish-American partnership in Texas
and its lease with the Texas Department of
Transportation to build and run the Trans Texas
Corridor contains a "no-compete" clause which
prohibits anyone, including the Texas government,
from building new highways or expanding existing
ones which might run in competition with the TCC.
That is not free enterprise. And it's not
protecting the second principle of freedom - private
With inside information from its own Public/Private
Partnership, Kansas City Southern Railroad (KCSR)
has been able to grow overnight from a two-bit belt
around Kansas City to controlling a 2,600-mile
artery from Lazaro Cardenas to Kansas City, straight
up the Trans Texas Corridor. KCSR has obtained the
rail rights up the corridor. It is now a
Protected from competition, the railroad will set
the costs and the shipping rules. And it will get
very rich, no matter the quality of service. All
because of whom its owner knows. Ayn Rand called it
the power of pull. That is not free enterprise.
At an April, 2007 meeting in Calgary, Canada, as
part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership,
government officials, business leaders, and
academics met to discuss redistributing Canada's
water to Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.
Canada has water, lots of it, and the public/private
partnerships of the SPP are swarming on it like
locusts as they seek to drain it out of Canada's
rivers and lakes and ship it to potential profit
centers south of the Canadian border.
The Trans Texas Corridor will provide water
pipelines for the shipping, and PPPs will buy up the
rights and dispose of the water as they see fit.
Canadians are suddenly feeling the raw power of the
lethal combination of government and private
industry as they dictate policy. The people of
Canada now understand that they will have little say
in the matter.
Private companies operating in the free market lack
one thing government has - the power of coercion.
That's a good thing. Imagine if Hershey's Chocolate
had the power to stop you from buying Mars candy, of
course telling you it was for your good health.
The free market operates with you making the
decisions based on personal choice. Under
Public/Private Partnerships, the choices are decided
for you in meetings behind closed doors.
How many times now are we seeing free choices taken
away in the name of some government policy?
One example of PPPs using government partnerships to
take away personal choice is the pharmaceutical
companies using the power of the FDA to regulate and
remove availability of natural supplements from the
Meanwhile, private companies that are not part of a
PPP are unable to compete with those who are. They
are shut out of competition from the establishment
of economic development zones, which provide the
chosen elite with reduced real estate taxes and
Companies, which find themselves outside of the
elite status of the PPP, suddenly run into
regulatory difficulties to get their own projects
completed. It's not just a coincidence?
All of these things are happening through agreements
between certain industries and government.
PPPs are one of the reasons many people find they
can no longer fight city hall. The private companies
gain the power of government to do as they please -
and the governments earn the independence of the
companies, no longer needing to answer to voters.
It's the perfect partnership. But it's not freedom.
Such a process allows the private companies to be
little more than government-sanctioned monopolies,
answerable to no one. Their power is awesome and
near absolute. Some call such policy corporatism.
Another term would be corporate fascism.
What public/private partnerships are not, however,
is capitalism or free enterprise, though it may have
some of the trappings of such. The marketplace is
still there. Its laws have not been repealed. But
ultimately, corporatism does not trust the
marketplace to do what the elites want.
Thus the alignment of corporations and government is
done at the expense of ordinary people - the exact
opposite of free markets controlled by consumers.
I'll say it again it is not free enterprise. It's
not "free trade."
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