The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

What Now?

Modified: Tuesday, 20 July 2021 21:53 by admin - Categorized as: Podcasts
The following is a collection of the materials used in creating the thirty-first episode of the Citizen Reagan podcast about the Reagan's Radio Commentaries.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5




This is the Citizen Reagan podcast and I need to get in the habit of doing a few things with every episode, like asking you to rate and review the podcast with whatever services you use. Like asking you to share us with your friends, family, complete strangers and your worst enemies, I don’t care really, just as long as you share it. Like telling you that you can find past episodes, transcripts, research and more on a wiki on my webspace. The address for the wiki is but if you just visit, I have a variety of other projects there. I sell digitally restored books, magazines and pamphlets. I have constructed an archive of old pulp short stories. I accept donations through Ko-fi, if you're willing help out. It’s all there on the website. Now, with that out of the way, let's get to Reagan.

This is the final episode of my series of podcasts about the book The Incredible Bread Machine. It's going to be a little shorter as I cover the last section entitled, "What Now?"

The first chapter in this last part of the book is to discuss, "The Proper Role of Government."

For thousands of years, humanity has struggled with creating adequate government, but it has largely been a struggle in building a government's structure. Grant quotes Rose Wilder Lane:

"From Nebuchadnezzar to Hitler, history is one long record of revolts against certain rulers, and revolts against kinds of living authority. When these revolts succeed, they are called revolutions. But they are revolutions only in the sense that a wheel's turning is a revolution. An Old World revolution is only a movement around a motionless center; it never breaks out of the circle. Firm in the center is belief in Authority. No more than the Communist or the National Socialist today, has any Old World revolutionist ever questioned that belief; they all take it for granted that some Authority controls individuals.

They replace the priest by a king, the king by an oligarchy, the oligarchs by a despot, the despot by the aristocracy, the aristocrats by a majority, the majority by a tyrant, the tyrant by the oligarchs, the oligarchs by aristocrats, the aristocracy by a king, the king by a parliament, the parliament by a dictator, the dictator by a king, the king by—there's 6000 years of it, in every language."

Perhaps the important issue is the role of government. Government is legalized force. It can be used to support or hinder personal rights and whichever is does is what determines whether the society is free or tyrannical. Governments should not initiate the use of force, but it may choose to respond to a use of force in the defense of others. The government should have no concern for compassion, rather is should focus on providing liberty which will give the people the freedom to serve others with compassion.

Force or fraud. These two words are repeated throughout the book as things government is in place to protect people from. Property can be stolen through force or fraud and this kind of theft is in government's purview to protect against. All too often, however, the government has forgotten this and is, in fact, itself the instigator of force or fraud, and using its legalized force against the individual is textbook tyranny, even if the results of such are good or done with good intentions. Not included in the book, but in my opinion this is a fine place to quote C. S. Lewis:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

I'll also quote Grant because this paragraph sums up the entire chapter (and more) nicely:

It is the proper role of government to protect people from force or fraud. It is not the proper role of government to force them to be "compassionate," or "fair," or "moral," or "progressive." Whether force is initiated for the sake of the rich or the poor, for the black or the white, for the Catholic or the Protestant, for business or for labor, for women or for men, the result is the same: tyranny emerges from the shadows, step-by-step. Nor does "legality" or "majority rule" alter its features, for Nazism was legal, and a lynch mob is majority rule.

In our next chapter, the second last in the book, Grant looks for ways to fix a broken system as he examines, "The Limits of Political Action."

Linda Abrams, a Los Angeles lawyer, during every election season includes a sticker on everything she writes. The sticker reads: "Don't vote—it only encourages them." You see, election time only gives us a choice between ruler A or ruler B, but not the choice of no ruler.

In the marketplace, a transaction must be seen as of benefit to all involved or else the transaction won't be completed. Since government can only provide what it has taken from someone else, there is always a loser and this will inevitably set one group against another. It is in this division that government and politicians can play one group against the other to his or her own advantage.

Is reform possible? Grant does not seem optimistic, stating that, "The state is force. Nothing else. ... But an institution based on force will be virtually immune to reform." He does not see a way to correct things from within.

With this statement, we move to the final chapter of the book: "The Twilight of the State." If reform is not possible from within, is all lost or is there still a way? Grant argues that the people have one weapon left: they can refuse to cooperate. He says this power is greater than the ballot, but Americans are reluctant to exercise it. We feel like we're obligated to obey the law, whether they are good or bad. Can bad laws be changed within the system? In theory it can, but it's much more likely that more bad law is piled on top of it.

Some may believe that this leads to chaos. Grant seems to believe it would not, but that even if it did, the end result would be worth it. The Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence weren't the product of orderly, obedient subjects, after all. There is a history of civil disobedience being successful. Gandhi helped to free India from British rule. The Poles were a significant burden to the Soviet Union due to their lack of cooperation with their rulers. Even in Nazi Germany, as Albert Speer is quoted, "Just issuing an order proved insufficient in the Third Reich, even in wartime. We, too, were at the mercy of the willingness of the people involved." Ayn Rand saw the submission and compliance of the producers to government's taxes and regulations as a kind of sanction of the victim.

Two groups that would have the greatest impact if they were to be non-compliant are taxpayers and businessman, but there are significant psychological hurdles to taking action. Taxpayers view it as a civic duty to pay and they believe that government is the only way to go. On the former, Grant calls civic duty an altruistic premise, a sacrifice of self-interest to some greater good. On the latter, Grant reminds us that he has worked through several ways the services of government can be handled without government. Grant offers one specific idea of how one can engage in tax related disobedience involving the founding of a church, but he emphasizes that it can't just be used for tax avoidance. It must engage in good works and maintain an ethical doctrine. For the businessman, disobedience would involve his or her rejection of regulation. It confuses Grant that businesses so readily comply with any bureaucratic investigation. Do not cooperate with the bureaucrat. Force the government into litigation. If a regulatory body comes to you, make sure they have a warrant. Cancel government contracts over outrageous compliance demands.

We grow ever closer to a total government system, but government fails all across the board when compared to a true free market system. Will we ever see that? Will it take civil disobedience to come about? I don't know the answers. What I do know is I'll work to do my part, even if it's in some kind of support role.

Finally, as mentioned, there is a lengthened version of the poem The Incredible Bread Machine available in this book. I won't read it here for you, but I'll provide a link to it on Youtube, being read by R. W. Grant himself.

[Part 1]
[Part 2]

I hope you enjoyed this multi-episode look at the book.

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