Sunday, January 13, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

Listening to all the candidates prattle on about "change," I am reminded of St. Augustine's prayer for chastity: "Lord, make me chaste. But not just yet."

I don't think these people really want change. If they did, they would be capitalists. Capitalists appreciate the kind of change that is most likely to bring the greatest benefits to the largest number of people. Capitalists understand how change comes from men who have the freedom to act, experiment, and make mistakes. If change is to be something more than a new set of rules administered by a new set of rulers, if it is going to truly be the discovery of something new and better, it must begin with confidence in a social order based on human freedom.

I don't hear any of these candidates talking about freedom as the first step to change. Their vision of change is dogmatic. It is not the change of free men. That would be ungovernable. What they offer is a change of masters.

The capitalist wants freedom first, and accepts change as a consequence. He knows that the only unacceptable outcome of freedom is the loss of freedom itself.

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