Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Free enterprise and choice: the making of a conservative

By Aussiegirl

James Na writes an interesting article about why, having arrived from overseas and witnessed America's abundance, he became a conservative and not a libertarian.

The Seattle Times: Opinion: Free enterprise and choice: the making of a conservative

When I first arrived in the United States more than 20 years ago and took my first steps outside the airport, I was stunned by what unfolded before my eyes.

I saw cars. Yes, automobiles. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of them. But what shocked me was not the quantity of vehicles, it was the sheer variety of them. They were red, blue, white, sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons, vans and pickups. There seemed to be an infinite variety of colors, shapes, sizes and designs.

[...] Eventually, I figured out what made that diversity possible in the U.S. It was, simply put, freedom. Where I had grown up, the government centrally guided industrial production and essentially directed companies what to make. The result was an ugly, expensive, monochromatic car.

Freedom — or more precisely put, free enterprise — was the real reason people have had more choices here. The diversity resulting from this has been merely the product, not the real reason why the idea of America has been so appealing. I could never be a liberal or a socialist from then on.

This seemed a perfect beginning for the makings of someone who would become libertarian (or as Europeans would put it, "classically liberal"). Instead, I turned out to be conservative.

[...] In the end, free enterprise is impossible without vigorous national defense and defense of like-minded allies, as well as a strong moral compass of good and evil.

And that is why I am a conservative today, and support President Bush's vision of spreading democracy around the world.


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