Gabriela Calderon de Burgos wrote an article at CATO regarding the end of free speech in Ecuador. El Universo (The Universe) newspaper in Quito had a mostly blank page for its cover today. The only thing on it was a quote from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.
Why is this on the front of El Universo? Because the newspaper, its editor, and other contributors were sued in criminal court by the leftist president of the country for libel. The newspaper’s directors and editor will spend 3 years in jail. Fines of $30 million were ordered, as well as $10 million to be given to Ecuador’s president.
Oh, this is the fifth judge on the court since February. He became judge on Monday, and issued the order just minutes before his week long term ended!
We now see that liberal efforts in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador is shutting down free speech and imprisoning innocent people that oppose tyranny.
How long before we see such actions in the free world that is becoming less free every day due to government expansion into every inch of our own lives? Just look at how the War on Terrorism and the Great Recession have already reduced our freedoms. Travel is limited, unless you consent to being molested by TSA. Government bails out big banks, unions and corporations, while allowing the regular folk to lose their homes. Government is firing corporate executives. Government is telling us we cannot drill for oil and reduce our dependence on terrorist supported nations. Government supports teacher’s unions instead of children in the war on education. And government has brought us into a multi-trillion dollar deficit and then attacks those who would seek the hard but real answers to fix the problem.
Government does not desire us to be free. It allows us to be nominally free, as long as we are supportive of their abuses.
Truly, the Book of Mormon’s warning that when the wicked rule they support their wicked allies, while the innocent get screwed is happening in our day.
While I’m not a big Ayn Rand fan, she was correct in this.
How soon before the Feds tell us we cannot speak out against our government and its policies?