Today’s Slave Mentality

 

slaves Todays Slave MentalitySlavery in the United States was abolished with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect in 1863; but I’m not sure it has completely gone away. Slavery flourished in North America throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries where it was an important part of the country’s economic system. Under the legendary Sugar-Rum-Slave triad, sugar was shipped from the Caribbean to Europe where it was distilled into rum. Profits from this was then used to ship merchandise to West Africa where it was traded for slaves, which were sent to the Caribbean where they were sold as field hands for the sugar plantations. Others were used as indoor servants.

The tortuous life of the slaves involved such things as picking cotton, heavy labor, and just about every menial task imaginable. Some would try to escape; others would resist slavery and rebel like in the famous Nat Turner rebellion in 1831. Runaways would be recaptured and returned to their master where they were brutally punished, primarily using the whip. Rebels were executed quickly and publicly. Aside from this, most of the slaves were resigned to their fate and adhered to the rules and regulations of their master, thereby becoming dependent on him for food, clothing, and shelter. Consequently, they learned to live modestly, avoid responsibility, and be happy allowing someone else to take care of them. So much so, they would defend the master in perilous times knowing their livelihood depended on him.

Slave codes were introduced to prohibit slaves from learning to read and write, carry firearms, attend religious gatherings, and many other activities, all aimed at controlling their behavior. This was all done to dissuade slaves from running away or rebelling and frankly proved to be very effective for this purpose.

When the slaves were freed, some thrived under their new-found freedom; but many others were lost and became wards of the state. They may have been freed from their masters but were lost without someone telling them what to do.

The slave mentality is still very much among us. A class of people have emerged in this country who put forth minimal effort knowing the master (the government) will take care of them. As more and more people become addicted to entitlements, they become more apathetic and less likely to work. As an example, let’s consider the American Indian, on whom we have been spending in excess of $2.6 billion annually (1) over the last few years for such things as health care, education, public safety, housing, and rural development. Despite this huge cash infusion over an extended period of time, only 25% are employed, and they suffer from the highest poverty rate and lowest life expectancy in the country. The point is that when you become a ward of the state and such amenities are guaranteed to you, there is a natural inclination for apathy to run rampant.

Those imbued with the slave mentality do not simply want something for nothing; they expect it. Whereas they are content to perform simple labor, they expect their master, the federal government, to provide for their housing, welfare, health care, and other amenities. This explains why entitlements have grown at an alarming rate in recent years and why such people have no problem with a massive government. They are mindful of the rules and regulations of the master but have no true understanding of the concept of freedom, which is nothing more than a catch-phrase of the government.

In contrast, those opposed to big government who actively work to sustain themselves relish freedom and truly understand the price of it in blood and sweat. They realize that freedom encourages personal initiative to invent, innovate, discover, write, and create. They may either be successful or a failure, but they relish the opportunity to at least try. They are allowed to believe what they want, say what they want, and go where they want; but most importantly, they are allowed to be an entrepreneur with all of the risks and responsibilities involved. The slave mentality class doesn’t grasp this and shirks risk and responsibility, preferring the safety of the master instead.

The slave codes of today are implemented by the media that cleverly manipulates the people’s sense of right and wrong, thereby defining how they should think and act. As George Orwell correctly observed, “The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.” Political correctness is an obvious example of how the media influences the perceptions of people. In reality, the media is controlled by the government, which orchestrates the messages to the masses. From this, the slaves steadfastly protect their master by savagely attacking his detractors, either physically or verbally. Such slaves are simple people who can be easily manipulated by the media.

For the slave mentality to flourish, government needs to grow and become more invasive in the lives of the people. Entitlements are the hallmark of the slaves, something they believe they deserve as opposed to earning, something the master will provide. To grasp the size of the people possessing the slave mentality, consider how the country’s Welfare has escalated since 1960:

welfare Todays Slave Mentality

So what exactly is the slave mentality? A person who is willing to become subserviant to the government in exchange for basic creature comforts as opposed to earning it themselves. The slave unknowingly remains a prisoner and is not truly free. In reality, he/she does not understand freedom, nor do they want it; for freedom requires hard work, risk, and responsibility, elements that they have been conditioned to avoid. Knowing this, the government master controls the people through simple bribery and uses the media to manipulate the perceptions of the masses.

The initial reaction to this theory is to dismiss it out of hand, that wards of the state can hardly be considered slaves. However, if they think like slaves and behave like slaves, then in all likelihood they are slaves. It is important to recognize that this mentality is certainly not unique to the United States; it has also become prevalent in the United Kingdom as well as other European countries. One thing we cannot overlook is that if the master’s source of money evaporates, he will be unable to take care of his slaves, and then they will have to settle for less. They may resist austerity measures initially, but they will inevitably have to fall in line. Just remember: if the slaves get out of line, the master still has the whip that  he is unafraid of using.

Keep the Faith!

1 – U.S. Department of the Interior Budget Justifications and Performance Information, FY 2013

Keep the Faith!

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mbatim Todays Slave MentalityTim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Political Postmortem, 2012

Republican Democrat SC Political Postmortem, 2012

It’s been about a month since the election, and the dust has finally settled. I believe we are all glad the negative television commercials are gone as well as the obnoxious lawn signs; but there are a lot of people who miss the action and are beginning to exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Whereas young people were mostly apathetic during this electoral cycle, older people and party loyalists were transfixed on any news pertaining to the campaigns, including presidential, congressional, and local. This resulted in a windfall for the media. Over $1 billion was spent on television advertising alone for the presidential race, not to mention radio, newspaper, billboards, telephone calls, and Internet advertising. In all, we set another record in terms of campaign spending; but was it really worth it?

According to OpenSecrets.org, a research group tracking money in U.S. politics, the University of California was President Obama’s top campaign contributor at $927,568. I don’t quite understand how a university system like California’s, which is supposed to be floundering financially and raising student tuition to new heights, can afford such generosity. Then again, maybe I just answered my own question. The fifth largest contributor to the president’s re-election campaign was the U.S. Government at $528,603. I wonder if the American taxpayers knew about this and agreed to it. I know I was never consulted. (Editor’s note: We sure weren’t either!)

I am still concerned about the apathy of young people and their apparent indifference for our electoral process. I have never seen a generation so uninformed, regardless of the information technology currently available; nor do they seem concerned about the future of the country. This frightens me.

We also learned that the country is as polarized as ever, maybe more so. This has been building since the 2000 election with the hanging chads but has gotten progressively worse. For the first time though, anger has been expressed through social media, such as the physical threats made to assassinate Gov. Romney or calls for uprisings. Such open expressions of hostility are not new, but their propagation through technology is. I pity the Secret Service, which has to investigate such threats and taunts.

The media encourages such behavior, as exemplified by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell who challenged Tagg Romney to a fight on camera (see VIDEO). O’Donnell was neither reprimanded or fired by the network. This can only be construed as MSNBC approving of his antics, and by inference promotes and endorses open hostilities.

Then there is the matter of lying, cheating, and deceit in the campaign itself, either by official representatives of the campaigns or the public, which is why Voter Identification became such a major issue this past year. The closer we got to the election, the more dirty political tricks we saw, such as the letters sent to Republicans in the closing days of the campaign that informed them it wasn’t necessary for them to vote.

The biggest lesson I learned from this electoral cycle, though, was that the country hates our current form of elections. It is sinfully wasteful in terms of finances, consumes too much time (thereby promoting polarity), and distracts politicians from tending to the duties taxpayers pay them to do. We probably spent more on the election than what President Obama proposed to tax the rich. Our form of elections are neither efficient or effective. For a country that prides itself on the efficiency of our technology, we certainly do a lousy job of conducting an election. It’s barbaric, but we only have ourselves to blame. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

One last note: in a recent poll of registered voters, a paltry 22% believed in the polls during the campaign, a whopping 75% didn’t find the media credible in their political reporting, and the rest were unsure what day it was.

Keep the Faith!

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mbatim Political Postmortem, 2012Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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The Disparity Between Capitalism And Socialism

Obama Reigning In Capitalism SC The Disparity Between Capitalism and Socialism

I was recently invited to give a talk at a business conference designed to help high school seniors in our county who have an interest in pursuing a business career. Specifically, I was assigned two sessions to describe what the young person should expect as they make the transition into adult life, which was based in large part on my book “MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD – A Handbook for Entering the Work Force.”

I wore a suit and tie for the occasion to express my credibility and out of respect for my audience, even though none were older than eighteen years of age. This was going to be an unusual talk for me as I normally address adults, not youth. Because of this, I wanted to know a little about my audience. So, using a show of hands, I inquired where the students were from, such as their high schools, but I also flippantly asked how many were capitalists and, conversely, if there were any socialists present. I received a lot of blank stares on both accounts. This caused me to deviate from my planned program and deliver a mini-dissertation describing the differences. I contended that in order to be successful in business, the students would be wise to know what each meant.

Interestingly, some were brainwashed into believing capitalism was evil and simply represented another form of greed. I contend greed is a human emotion and can be equally applied under either system. Therefore, capitalism is not greed; it is a celebration of the individual’s right to try and succeed. Whereas capitalism focuses on the rights of the individual, socialism concentrates on the rights of the group overall.

I explained that under capitalism, the individual has the right to try his/her hand at anything they are so inclined, thereby representing freedom. They simply have the right to try, nothing more, nothing less. If they are lucky, they may succeed; but they also run the risk of failure. Failure is an inherent and important part of the system. There are no guarantees for success. This is why risk is important, to force the individual to work harder and smarter to avoid defeat. As such, capitalism encourages entrepreneurship (innovation and invention). If the person is successful, they are entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labor. If they are not, they must suffer defeat. This should force the person to redouble his/her efforts and try again, which of course is evolution in action.

To encourage entrepreneurship, our founding fathers took steps to safeguard the intellectual property of the individual. This specifically includes Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, wherein the powers of Congress are defined. It states, in part: “The Congress shall have Power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”. This led to such institutions as the Patent and Copyright offices, which were specifically designed to safeguard an individual’s intellectual property. As early as 1790, the first patent and copyright were approved. At the time, safeguarding intellectual property in this manner was rare to the rest of the world. By promoting the entrepreneurial rights of the individual, our forefathers were embracing capitalism.

As mentioned, the focus in Socialism in on the group, not the individual. Here, the rights of the many take precedence over the individual. Because of this, personal initiative is discouraged, the individual cannot endeavor to do better than the next person, and failure is prohibited; the group will always bail you out. There is no notion of assuming risk and being held personally accountable for your actions. All compensation is equitable among workers with no rewards for outstanding achievement or penalties for inferior workmanship. Intellectual property belongs to the group, not the individual. Consequently, this approach discourages entrepreneurship and tends to promote apathy.

The Achilles’ heel of Socialism is the belief that everyone is equal and, as such, should be treated and compensated on an equitable basis. On the surface, this sounds like a fair and noble notion. The assumption though is that everyone works at the same level of effort and expertise which, of course, is simply not so. Restraining the individual from achieving higher levels of workmanship or striving for higher goals is unnatural and discourages the worker.

To summarize:

CAPITALISM SOCIALISM
FOCUS The rights of the individual; the right to “try”; requires freedom. The rights of the group; collective decision making; regulations restrain the individual.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP Yes, encourages risk; enjoys fruits of labor; individual assumes personal responsibility; promotes evolution. No, discourages risk; individual cannot fail; encourages apathy, discourages change; unnatural.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Yes, belongs to the individual. No, property belongs to the group.

Before closing, I encouraged the students to become familiar with the works of author Ayn Rand, particularly “The Fountainhead” (1943) and “Atlas Shrugged” (1957). Rand’s work touted the need for individual achievement and capitalism and saw them as two intertwined concepts.

In business, we have to be mindful of encouraging individual achievement and teamwork equally. We realize our team is as good as its weakest player, hence the need to encourage workers to strive harder for perfection. However, there will always be those people who will rise above others, and it certainly wouldn’t make sense to impede their growth.

“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.” – Ayn Rand

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The Vilification Of The Tea Party

Tea Party SC The Vilification of the Tea Party

Whenever I write a political column that is conservative in nature, I am often accused by my liberal readers of being a “filthy Teabagger.” I have found this expression to be rather amusing. They might also compare me to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, FOX News, etc., all of which are designed to suggest we are fanatically evil and bent on distorting the truth. I have my own views on these entities which I have shared in my columns over the years, some things I like, some things I do not. However, I cannot dismiss them out of hand when I compare them to the liberal media who spins their own doctrine.

Although I am not a member of the Tea Party, I have met many of them over the last few years. Frankly, I have found them to be articulate in their concerns, and nothing more than conscientious citizens. Not once have I heard one of them utter a racial expletive or call for the assassination of anyone or any other gruesome activity. They are simply unhappy with the course the country is taking. Their beliefs can be condensed into three simple points:

* That the government should abide by the U.S. Constitution, thereby guaranteeing our freedoms and liberty.

* That big government and over regulation inhibits business and, as such, should be reduced.

* That the government has a fiduciary responsibility to operate within its means, meaning to operate within a balanced budget.

There may be other minor considerations, but these three points represent their principal concerns. They also want their government representatives to subscribe to these rules and have been very instrumental in getting people elected who share their views. Furthermore, they see government officials as servants of the people, not the other way around. Frankly, I have a difficult time refuting their arguments, which is why I am occasionally accused of being a “filthy Teabagger.”

I find this expression interesting as it is intended to vilify people, thereby sabotaging their arguments. By their baseless accusations, liberals and the media have cleverly clouded the public’s perception of the Tea Party, and turned “Teabagger” into a dirty icon resulting in a Pavlovian response.

Interestingly, the media teaches the public it is okay to ridicule, criticize, and condemn the Right. Not surprisingly, attacking the Left is considered off-limits. As a minor example, if the Republicans were in charge of the White House now, the press would unmercifully attack them for Benghazi, the Budget, the Economy, and the many gaffes of the Vice President. Needless to say, this hasn’t happened. The hypocrisy of the media is overwhelming, yet the public seems unconcerned.

Whereas the Tea Party is unfairly vilified, the left has carte blanche to openly attack conservative candidates and celebrity supporters on social media using vicious discourse, e.g., Stacey Dash. Yet, the media never seems to take them to task over this. Again, hypocrisy in action.

Frankly, I see nothing wrong with the word “Teabagger,” but treat it more as a compliment as opposed to a condemnation. Maybe instead of being offended, we should simply say “Thank you.” Being polite usually confuses the left. As an aside, I am actually quite “clean”, which is more than what I can say about a lot of my liberal opponents.

Keep the Faith!

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mbatim The Vilification of the Tea PartyTim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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GRIDLOCK!

Republican Democrat SC GRIDLOCK!

Not knowing how the presidential election was going to turn out, I wrote two separate articles depending on the outcome, one if President Obama won the election, and one if Governor Romney had won. Now that we know the outcome, we can proceed.

By a narrow margin, Barack Obama retained his job as president of the United States. It was certainly NOT a mandate, but rather a simple plurality. Nonetheless, it is still his job to perform; and we can only hope he can somehow reduce the unemployment rate, balance the budget, and cut the federal debt. Regardless of what you thought of Mr. Obama before the election, it is up to him to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Whether he is able to do so is questionable as the country will continue to spiral downward thanks to the gridlock between the Congress and the Oval Office.

Unlike President Clinton, who was able to work with a Republican Congress, it is more likely the president and the GOP will remain at loggerheads, at least until the next Congressional election in two years. If the last two years are any measure, the country will increase the federal debt, unemployment will remain high, and the direction of the country will continue to spiral out of control.

The Republicans will have to go back to the drawing board in order to retake the White House. No matter how they spun it, Mitt Romney was more of a moderate than a conservative. John McCain was essentially no different in 2008. Now, with Mr. Obama firmly in charge of the White House, I believe the next GOP contender to emerge will be a true conservative. If the government stagnates, as I suspect it will, the Tea Party will likely grow and flourish over the next two years and will no longer back down from senior Republicans who are moderate in nature. The conservative movement will become more robust and take control of both houses of Congress in 2014. After that, the White House in 2016.

Four years ago, I wrote a column on “Presidential Legacies.” In it, I publicly thanked President Bush for his service to the country. I was ridiculed for doing so, but I was unapologetic and remain so to this day. Interestingly, Mr. Obama’s legacy will not be his policies or actions (some would say “inactions”), but for re-awakening the conservative movement in this country. It’s an interesting dichotomy whereby the more President Obama wins, the greater his opposition grows. Conversely, if he loses, the conservatives weaken. Consider this: had Barack Obama lost in 2008, it is highly unlikely the Tea Party would have ever surfaced, and the Democrats wouldn’t have lost the House of Representatives in 2010.

Let’s just hope I’m wrong and that the country will work out its differences. You’ll excuse me if I do not hold my breath.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

mbatim GRIDLOCK!Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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