Greece Is the Word

-By Frank Salvato

Greece, the cradle of democracy, is experiencing chaotic violence at the hands of Socialists and anarchists. That country’s Socialist government has come to a moment in time – like most Socialist and Marxist enterprises – when the system has failed. The promises of the Nanny State and prefectorial centralized government have come up empty and “the people” are angry as a result. Of course, “the people,” the ones who, today, are refusing to realize that you can’t bleed a turnip, are exactly the ones who are to blame for the situation they are in. If the citizenry of the United States of America isn’t careful and willing to make some painful adjustments, economically, we may be starring this future directly in the eye.

Today, We the People – we Americans, stand at a moment in time when a very hard decision needs to be made; honestly, the fate of the nation rides upon it. We can either follow the path of the Socialist Greeks; the path that has led them to national bankruptcy, debt and that nation’s unenviable position as the fuse for a global economic chain reaction that would send the world into the depths of an economic abyss the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Depression, or we can feel a good deal of pain in the form of sacrifice so that our country might continue to exist for future generations.

At this crossroads, We the People find ourselves confronted by some very uncomfortable questions. Are we willing to push ourselves back from the “feed trough” of government dependence? Are we willing to embrace self-imposed personal responsibility, charity and self-reliance? Or are we too uncaring of our nation’s well-being that greed is somehow justified; too narcissistic to abstain from the too easy to attain government entitlement; too self-absorbed and addicted to the “I’ve got mine, to Hell with you” machinations of the Progressive “Me Generation”?

Since the Wilson Administration, and bolstered by the Roosevelt and Johnson Administrations, our form of government has been under siege by forces seeking to transform it from its Constitutionally Republican genesis to a Progressive Democracy, or Socialist Democracy, as it were. The first step came in two phases, which the forces of the Progressive Movement executed with great success. In tandem, the Progressives: a) sold the citizenry on the need for a government administered social “safety net,” and, b) sold the citizenry the notion that our country employs a democratic form of government.

The first milestone, the government-administered societal safety net came to full force in the form of Social Security. Truthfully, at its advent, President Franklin Roosevelt had planned for the Social Security initiative to transform from the government sector to the private sector, but political opportunists and Progressives, as they are inclined to do, saw an opportunity to access more capital for government use and failed to transition the program to the private sector.

Elected officials of a clear mind knew from the start that Social Security was, in the long run, unsustainable as a program exclusive to government administration, and, in the very least, dependent on an ever increasing population to be successful. Today, as the American procreation rate is diminishing and the Baby Boomers are retiring, a crisis of financial wherewithal has affected the program; it is destitute in the very near future.

The next cogs of the government-administered societal safety net followed, and increasingly in number: Medicare, Medicaid and today, the behemoth ideological atrocity that is Obamacare. Each of these programs, at its genesis, could be seen to be unsustainable but for the singularly perfect scenario. In reality, human nature excludes the perfect scenario but for chance.

And so We the People have reached a point in time where the bribery of the ruling class (read: government entitlement programs), while leaving the taxpayer supplied coffers dry, has created societal safety net addicts out of a generation of Americans. Entitlements have become the super-charged third rail of politics. And a good portion of the American electorate, unwilling to face reality or to sacrifice for future generations and love of country, stand addicted to government “heroin” (i.e. entitlements) and in selfish opposition to entering into a proverbial “12 step” program centered not only on reforming government-administered entitlement programs but on weaning our citizenry off of them entirely.

We the People have – through the bad deeds and deceptive financial practices of political leaders over a generation – raided the Treasury dry.

Scottish-born British Lawyer and writer Alexander Tytler, a historian and Professor of Universal History, and Greek and Roman Antiquities, at the University of Edinburgh, is attributed as saying :

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

Please pay particular attention to this line, “…up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.” This is what I mean by the “‘feed trough’ of government dependence.”

In allowing opportunists, power seekers and professional politicians to ascend to elected office – when in fact the American citizenry should have been seeking out statesmen and citizen politicians – we have installed a government of the lowest common denominator. Today we are paying the price for a lack of will to provide governmental oversight and our lack of vision. We are paying a price for accepting the enticement of Socialists and Progressives; the allure of their bounty now but a rotting corpse of debt.

Socialism – and democracy through socialism – never works. James Madison, in arguing against pure democracy in Federalist Paper No. 10, said:

“From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.”

We the people must resolve to stand, as Americans, to do what we know to be hard, but what we know to be right. The time is now.

When you hear politicians and political pundits castigating those who would dare to propose reforms to the government administered societal safety nets, do not cry out “Hazzah,” instead, cry out, “thief, charlatan and deceiver,” for these political opportunists have robbed a generation of Americans out of the true American Dream: equal opportunity, life and liberty for all.

In the end, We the People must place our faith in ourselves. Our true entrepreneurial spirit and self-reliance will allow for small business and community to create and achieve solutions without the opportunistic hand of government-run initiatives.

So, while the questions and choices are daunting, and as the time for our decision approached in haste, the answer is simple and the same for each question presented: We the People need to believe in ourselves before we believe in any government program. When we achieve this; when we put the full power of our convictions in the American people, we will be able to rectify this politically created crisis, mend the ideological divide created by disingenuous politicians and, once again, be able to gaze upon the American Dream.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal . He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at

Copyright Publius Forum 2001