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Walter E. Williams: “If Liberty Dies in America, It Will Be Dead for All Times Everywhere”

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Published on: April 8, 2017

Professor Walter E. Williams is a conservative American icon who has helped to shape the philosophy and intellect of some of America’s most conservative intellectual minds. The economist and Professor at George Mason University is a prolific writer whose musings on economics, freedom, and culture have captivated and encouraged conservatives for decades. His work has molded a generation of conservative leaders, influenced our national dialogue, and shown some liberals the error of their ways. The man is a hero to millions, and deservedly so.

On Thursday evening Professor Williams was awarded another accolade as one of the 2017 winners of the Bradley Prize. In his acceptance speech, Williams encouraged the nation to wake from its slumber because our way of life is under assault, and if liberty dies here… then it will most certainly die everywhere. Williams also argued that too many Americans have forgotten what liberty really is and have instead simply accepted as moral when the government immorally forces some to live at the expense of others.

His entire speech is well worth listening to, and I’ve included it below.

“Tragically too many of our fellow Americans accept as moral, government conduct which is clearly immoral. Most of us accept that it’s ok for Congress to forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another American. We just don’t think of it that way. But at least two-thirds of the federal budget can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American and giving them to another American to whom they do not belong. The activities of government that fit that category are numerous but some of them are farm subsidies, business bailouts, welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and hundreds of other handout programs. Keep in mind that the forcible use of one person to serve the purpose of another is a fairly good working definition of slavery. That is slavery is the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another. Now don’t get me wrong, I personally believe in helping our fellow man in need. I believe that is praiseworthy and laudable to help one’s fellow man by reaching into one’s own pockets to do so. I think it’s worthy of condemnation to help one’s fellow man by reaching into someone else’s pocket to help.

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Now, this should be of deep concern for those of us who are Christians. When God gave Moses the 8th Commandment, ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ He did not mean ‘Thou shall not steal unless you get a majority vote in the United States Congress.’ He meant you shall not steal.

Now, for most of human history, mankind has been subject to arbitrary abuse and control by others. It’s personal liberty that’s the rare state of affairs, and enjoyed by only a tiny part of mankind mostly in the western world, and for only a tiny part of its history — just a couple of centuries or so. We Americans bear an awesome burden to preserve liberty. If liberty dies in America, it will be dead for all times, everywhere.

I thank God for organizations such as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation that helps in so many ways to make the case for the moral superiority of personal liberty and its main ingredient limited government. Thank you very much.”

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