Image by Jeff
Smith from Pixabay
59 Let freedom ring -- achieve anything
Ernstraudian Way grew
out of a discussion of togetherness: sharing happiness in mutual
support settings. We want the fruits of cooperation. Humans need
personal interaction. The quality of our relationships is the
foundation of achievement and progress. Individuals and society
build each other.
While we are rejoicing
over the benefits of our togetherness, we encounter uncomfortable
39). When we are close enough together
to pool our strengths (article
29), we are close enough to experience
bumps and bruises to our individuality. To some people, community
and diversity are opposite poles. That is obvious if community
means we must be the same, and if diversity means being
different without sameness. Today we examine unison (a
single note) and harmony (a pleasing combination of
Our discussion applies to
two main arenas: private individuals and public society we will
call government. Today’s title cuts two ways: freedom assured by
good government and freedom from government.
first, we join in a social contract to specialize and pool our
skills to make us more productive and improve standard of living.
A unison pitch is not a symphony. We combine strengths and
compensate for each other’s weaknesses. We achieve economy of
scale. Freedom from want and freedom to expand characterize the
well governed community in which people fairly obey the rules of
Our eagerness to advance
communally must not extinguish diversity. When the public voice
of government quashes individual differences, people need freedom
from government. We need safeguards from excess. Shared love or
cooperation is not a blessing when it becomes overbearing.
Production that requires enforced uniformity is the enemy of
individuality. That kind of stability and material accomplishment
is not worth its price.
initiative, we have observed how well it can replace government
gridlock. General public laws can be unwieldy when applied to
specific local circumstances. Wealth controlled by an individual
can be applied more directly, effectively, and personally even to
the big problems in society (article
45). Effectiveness depends entirely on the private party
article 56). When a
private party grabs the flag and runs with it, the successful
cases (article 49) are intensely satisfying.
Alas, private parties can
also become overbearing in their
desire to be needed. A
major donor becomes a controlling element all too quickly, and
the benevolence disappears when the manager of wealth goes off
the track of genuine helpfulness. When largess becomes exercise
of power, it is time to let freedom ring.
Ernstraudian principles, we expect great generosity up to the
point before it becomes overbearing. We do not submit to
controlling overreach on the private or the government level. We
ring for the freedom from want that is compatible with freedom
"3084392-R1-024-10A.jpg" by Vik-Thor
licensed under CC BY 2.0
Who controls whom?
agile replacement for gridlock
local direct adaptation
virtues of private party
social contract - harmony
economy of scale – symphony
freedom from want
freedom to expand
threat to pull the plug
exercise of power
Article 57 cited President Kennedy’s warning about government
that is too big. That does not limit the size of projects; it
examines the extent of power. When achieving great goals means imposing
control, human advancement is injured. It is good to do tasks
together but bad to have few people control many people.
Management according to law is meant to provide stability. That
ceases to be good when it amounts to entrenchment and is wiped
out in regime change.
Article 56 approved wealth in the hands of private
individuals who use it for public benefit, who apply their
management skills to better advantage than that found in
government bureaucracy. This is injurious when the beneficiaries
become dependent on that flow of resources so that they are
vulnerable to loss of the patronage. Dependency is being subject
to control. Donors who make themselves indispensable are
exercising too much power.
In working relationships, the question
quickly becomes who is controlling whom. Presumably, the
electorate controls the government. The tendency is for
government to control the people. Presumably, private generosity
enables people to accomplish their dreams. The danger is for the
beneficence to change into control.
We seek to keep a good thing good.
Today’s title prepares us for a conclusion spuriously attributed
to Jefferson: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”
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