RUSH: I also have something I want to get into today, something a little philosophical. Well, I say it’s philosophical. It’s probably the way I’m gonna approach it. I ran into a piece today by Dr. Eamonn Butler at the AdamSmith.org Web page, and he comments on a book that he’s reading. It’s Daniel Hannan, the English member of parliament who has a new book out called “How We Invented Freedom And Why It Matters.”
It illustrates a major difference in the perception of freedom on the continent, meaning in Europe, as opposed to Great Britain, the island. And Great Britain. Well, actually it equates the two, and it points out the differences in the way we in America have always looked at freedom versus the way it’s always been looked at in Europe, and not just the socialist Democracies of Europe, but also the communist countries. It’s one of these esoteric things, but it actually isn’t esoteric. It’s fundamentally important and the best way to illustrate it is this.
In the United States, we as citizens presume that everything is legal until a law is written making it illegal. It’s something that we’re taught, but it’s also something that we just assume. So important is freedom to us, and so adequately, precisely defined and spelled out in our founding documents, all men are created equal, endowed by their creator. So we’re born free, we are born yearning to be free. That’s the natural spirit, the natural human spirit, and we just assume everything’s legal until there’s a law saying it isn’t.
But you go to Europe and many other parts around the world, and the presumption is just the opposite. It is that everything is illegal until there’s a law making it legal. And that, to me, is fascinating. I think there’s no question about it. It actually illustrates why and how so many people are totally subservient to the state. When you assume as an individual that everything is illegal until somebody makes it legal, you are essentially denying — whether you know it or not — the basic tenets of freedom as you are born. It also leads to statism. It leads to all-powerful governments. It leads to people giving up freedom and assuming, in fact, that they never had it, that freedom is what is given to them by the state. That’s never been us.
And I tell you, this is one of the things, I’ve been dancing around the edges of this for the longest time. For example — and not to frustrate you here, but as you know, as a hobby and for a whole lot of other reasons I read tech blogs every day, and these tech blogs are written by young people and they are people who think they’re very bright, they’re very smart, smarter than anybody else. They’re typical youth, they’re arrogant. Some of them. Not all, but I mean if you had to assign attitudes to the majority of ’em: arrogant and condescending and think they’ve got all the answers and they’re brilliant and all this.
And given the way they react to things that are political, they probably more closely resemble Europeans in assuming that everything’s illegal until the state says it is. And it manifests itself in these people in a belief that the state’s infallible. And whatever the state says, be it the United Nations, be it the United States government, be it the president, whatever the governing authority says is, without question.
There is one exception I found in this group, and that’s the NSA scandal. They’re opposed to that. They’re very much bothered by it, and they’re suspicious. But you let the same people who are spying on them spread this hoax and lie about global warming, and they believe everything the state says about it. They believe everything any professor says about it. They believe anything the United Nations says about it without questioning it.
Because they believe the people involved in this are just like them: Upper crust, elite, scientific oriented. “Scientists don’t lie. Science isn’t lies, blah blah blah,” and so the same people who will intellectually be suspicious of spying by the government via the NSA, on anything else the government’s infallible. It’s a scary thing to me. Remember Ron Paul in his so-called farewell address to Congress when he retired, said the most surprising thing to him was how difficult, how hard a sell freedom is?
That hit home with me. I’ve always wondered why it’s a hard sell. It’s not just that with freedom comes individual responsibility and self-reliance. Those are, no question, daunting things to a lot of people. It’s easier to be dependent. It’s easier to count on somebody else rather than yourself — and ultimately, it’s easier to blame somebody else when you fail, rather than blame yourself. So you get reliance on the state and the quasi-acceptance of freedom. I think our future hinges on this.
I think our future hinges on how the people of our country view freedom, and if more and more of them adopt the European attitude, which is… See, they get the order wrong here. If they assume that everything is illegal until a government or a Congress or a law comes along and makes it legal, then what is their starting point? Their starting point is, they have no freedom. The only freedom they have is that bestowed upon them by the state, by the central authority, by the munificence and the magnificence and the goodwill of the state.
Where as, I’m sure most of you are like me. Everything’s free until we pass a law saying it isn’t, and then it’s not. Let’s take this further. Where do we, a free people… Where do our laws come from? What is it? If the starting point is that everything’s legal until we pass a law saying it isn’t, and then it’s not, it is our culture, therefore, that will be the single most relevant defining character. Our morality. Our culture will define for us what’s right, wrong, good, bad, good, evil, legal, illegal, and so forth.
Whereas the other viewpoint, everything is illegal? The human being is totally subservient to whatever the state decrees the human being to do. Have you ever run into people…? I know you have. Have you ever run into people who are afraid to violate any — no matter how small — restriction, law, tenet or whatever because of abject either fear or an inordinate faith and respect for governing authorities?
You run into these people all the time, and they are really threatened when there is opposition to what the state has said is illegal or legal. I could give you personal examples. Let me just give you one that I’ve talked about. Here in south Florida, we have this law that eight months out of the year we cannot have lights on in the backyard because the state has concluded that lights on in the backyard might cause sea turtles who are hatching from their eggs to come ashore rather than go to the ocean, as they should.
Now, I, as a person born believing I should be able to turn on my lights whenever the hell I want to, naturally opposed this and was suspicious of it, and questioned the so-called science behind it, based on my actual experience of being a homeowner on the beach and watching this. And whenever I voice my disapproval/disagreement with this — and, whenever I’ve toyed with the idea-of-civil disobedience on this like keeping a light on just to say, “To hell with you!” — some people get scared to death.
They run away and don’t want to be anywhere near me if I’m actually gonna do this. ‘Cause they don’t want to run afoul of the authorities. Even if they think the authorities are wrong, they are petrified of crossing them. They thus do not see this eight-month ban on outdoor lights on the beach as an encroachment on their freedom. It’s just the government says you can’t do it and that’s that, and that’s never good enough for me.
So herein, I think, resides (in many ways) the answers to the future of the country, just how many people are unwilling to stand up to the government. Like the lightbulb ban. It’s a another one, this incandescent lightbulb. It’s absolutely fatuous and silly and based on fraudulent science. It’s simply science masquerading as politics again, the idea that the incandescent lightbulb is causing global warming. We have these compact fluorescents. That’s crony capitalism.
The compact fluorescent lobby has succeeded in greasing the skids of member of Congress, so we got a ban on the Edison lightbulbs. I’m not one that just sits by and, without passion, accepts it. Now, I don’t break the law. Don’t make the mistake here of coming to a wrong conclusion, drawing an incorrect conclusion. I’m talking about attitude, particularly among the young, this blind acceptance that whatever the state says is gospel and you better obey.
“You better not challenge it. You better be good!”
It’s frightening to me.
I saw a picture the other day, stack of pages of actual law written, passed by Congress and signed by the president into law. It was, I don’t know, three-inches high. And then there were three stacks six-feet high of regulations written by the EPA and other bureaucracies which had not followed the legal process. They were just regulations that had become law and nobody had the opportunity to say “no,” and it was extra-constitutional. These various bureaucracies do not have the right to regulate us the way they do, and the number of laws that we have is obscene anyway.
You put that relatively small stack up against three, six-foot-high stacks of regulations just in this year, by the way, or last year.
Daunting, is what it is.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you somewhat of an illustration of this. A story from the French News Agency: 202 million people globally are unemployed. I don’t know on what basis that’s decided, because there are billions and billions and billions of people, but we’ll just accept the number: 202 million people globally are unemployed. Well 92 million, almost half of them, are in the United States.
How can that be?
How in the world can that be while we’re told we have a growing economy and 44 months of job growth (as Obama told David Remnick), and we’ve got the economic rescue that happened, and the stimulus, and the health care, and everybody being covered with their premiums going down. How in the world can this be? Now, one of the people quoted in this piece is Guy Ryder, United Nations Director-General, International Labor Organization. “There is a clear linkage between these unacceptable levels of unemployment in the world and growing inequality.”
So that’s why we’ve got half the world’s unemployment in the United States, because we lead the world in inequality?
Doesn’t that just delve nicely with Obama and the pope?
RUSH: A brand-new day of broadcast excellence here at the Limbaugh Institute.
The photograph that I described of all of the new regulations added to the Federal Register last year versus the number of pages of new real law was provided by Senator Mike Lee. I have the picture. I’m gonna turn on the Dittocam. I’ve got it zoomed in so you can see this. And, by the way, I just sent the picture up to Koko at RushLimbaugh.com and they’ll be posting it there if you want to go to the website to see it, if you don’t have a Dittocam.
Now, what you’re gonna see is a bookshelf, a glass case bookshelf with two and a half stacks of regulations that just became law without going through Congress, without being signed by the president, just virtual decrees by various bureaucracies. In the upper right-hand corner as you look at this, on top of the bookcase you will see a very small stack of paper. That small stack is actual new laws that were passed in 2013. This does not include Obamacare. That was 2010. Don’t forget, folks.
Without any further ado, there we are, turning on the Dittocam. Those two and a half stacks of paper are regulations that became law simply by decree from the EPA, the FCC, the FAA, you name it. And up there in the upper right-hand corner are the actual new laws. Eighty thousand pages of new regulations in the Federal Register last year. Most people don’t even know that this has happened, not even aware. Senator Mike Lee put this together. Most people are not even aware of it and they don’t think there’s anything they can do about it when they find out. But it’s nothing new, it happens every year. I don’t know if it’s to this degree or not, but I’m telling you this presumption that — and this is most people in the world. This, again, goes to the whole concept of American exceptionalism, how we are the exception to so many things in the world.
In our country we are born, and the presumption is everything is legal until a law is passed saying that it isn’t. Furthermore, it is our cultural experience, morality and so forth, from which our laws spring, not authoritarianism, not statism. That’s what’s so different about Obama. We have statism here. We have authoritarianism. Half these regulations are his. By the way, those do not even include executive orders. The rest of the world is born thinking everything’s illegal. They are born criminals. They are born in violation of the law. Until their state says something is legal, everything’s illegal. Imagine that.
I became aware of it via a website, AdamSmith.org, a piece written by Dr. Eamonn Butler, who is reading Daniel Hannan’s new book, “How We Invented Freedom and Why It Matters.” And here’s the passage that alerted Dr. Butler. “The response is always the same: ‘But the old system was unregulated!’ The idea that absence of regulation might be a natural state of affairs is seen as preposterous.” Meaning in socialist totalitarian countries, the idea of no regulation, no rules? What? That’s preposterous. That’s silly. We can’t have that. There have to be rules on everything. There have to be regulations on everything.
“In Continental usage, ‘unregulated’ and ‘illegal’ are much closer concepts than in places where lawmaking happens in English.” And Dr. Butler says: “This is a profound point. We’ve all heard about the differences between British (specifically, English) and Continental Law. In English, Common Law, rules are decided by courts in response to some ‘specific problem’ arising. In Continental, Roman Law, rules are laid down by the authorities. So in Britain, things are presumed to be permitted unless there is a law to stop them. On the Continent, things are presumed to be prohibited unless there is a law to allow them.”
And, believe me, America’s left and leftists all over the world subscribe to the belief that everything is illegal until they say it’s okay. You have lawyers and lawmakers who end up believing that nothing’s legal until they proclaim it. They believe that law shapes culture, except in an authoritarian state where the ruler would use law backed by force to dictate to the majority. Now, in free societies — and this is my point, and we are one — in free societies, culture dictates what the law is, not the other way around. The other way around, the state dictates culture. The state deducts right and wrong. The state dictates what’s criminal and what it isn’t. And folks, this is precisely — like Drudge has this headline today: “Fifty-five Million Abortions Since Roe v. Wade.” That’s 1973, 55 million abortions.
If you want to know why Roe v. Wade has been such a debacle in our society, it is because, precisely because the state — in this case, the Supreme Court — just proclaimed that abortion is constitutional. There wasn’t anything democratic about it. The American people didn’t vote on it. And this is not the way we do things. This was, in fact, in direct contravention of our culture at the time. And it still is. Our culture really does not say that babies in the womb are worthless. But Roe v. Wade does. And that has been rammed down everybody’s throats because the state has presumed to say what’s legal and illegal, rather than the culture deciding it, which in most cases is defined as the majority in a republican, democratic sense.
If the states, for example, had been permitted to evolve their own abortion laws, some would have permitted it on demand; some would have forbidden it in all instances. Most states probably would permit it but highly regulate it. But regardless, there wouldn’t be this raging controversy, because whatever the end result would have been because the American people had participated in whatever the outcome of the decision was state by state. So this presumption that the state knows everything, that we are born illegal until the state okays our behavior, specific behavior, or the state has the total authority to proclaim something legal — this is my problem with the Supreme Court in general and a lot of other people’s, too. I’m not alone.
How do we get to the point where every piece of controversial law or every controversial issue ends up being proclaimed legal or illegal by nine people? And look at the willingness of so many Americans to accept it. The Supreme Court Supreme Court is the final authority. Well, why? Particularly if a decision comes that’s in direct contravention with our culture. It’s a truly fascinating and maddening thing, too. It’s one of the reasons why our society is so embattled by this, because of the way it has happened.