Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Thomas Edison vs. the state

"The great non sequitur committed by defenders of the State, including classical Aristotelian and Thomist philosophers, is to leap from the necessity of society to the necessity of the State." ~ Murray N. Rothbard

I read this quote today and couldn't help but think that we are there.

Whenever there is an issue, it appears that the first response or reaction is to turn to government for a solution, despite the fact that many possible solutions already exist in society.

And then I think about the great inventors in our nation. They saw a need or had an idea. Their first reaction wasn't to turn to government to provide it; they went out and did it themselves.

Think about Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, the phonograph and the motion picture camera - among other things.

He held 1,093 patents, making him the fourth most prolific inventor in history!

And I'll bet there was no such thing as a federal grant back when he was inventing things either.

How could that possibly have happened? How could he come up with so many brilliant contraptions that have so changed the way our world operates without relying first upon government?

Have we come so far from individual liberty and responsibility, as well as responsibility to care for our fellow man, that we cannot do so with an enormous interwoven jungle of government agencies to make it possible?

Or perhaps we've given up on our individual obligations to succeed and use our success to help others less well off in favor of paying taxes to the government so the government can perform those functions for us? Isn't that the core basis of collectivism - at least the kind of collectivism currently being espoused by so many on the left? Isn't that why so many think that research and development can *only* be funded by the government? Or maybe I should say *best funded* by the government?

If Edison were alive today, would he be the great inventor he was able to become before his death in 1931?

Or would he be just another person sitting in the dark waiting for government to invent a light bulb?

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