Fifty years ago, the term “social engineering” referred to government policies that forced people to live as government dictated. In the United States, it was a hated term. Americans died to defeat the social engineering that Hitler imposed on the Germans, and tried to impose on the rest of the world. Communism, as practiced in the Soviet Union, was social engineering – the absolute opposite of the freedom Americans enjoyed and employed to limit the power of their government.

How things have changed in 50 years.

In Collier County Fla., – and many other counties – the government has determined that property owners cannot build more than one dwelling on five acres of land. In the Columbia River Gorge – and many other regional areas – a landowner must first get permission from an appointed commission to build even one home – then build it, paint it and landscape it as dictated by the appointed commission.

Actually, in the last two decades, social engineering in America has become the norm, not the exception. What once was hated in American is now welcomed, indeed, demanded. Social engineering was renamed; it is now called “sustainable development.” Social engineering is no longer implemented by jack-booted brown-shirted SS types; it is implemented by “comprehensive plans” developed by “visioning councils” adopted by local governments to comply with state law, enacted by state legislatures to be eligible for promised federal funds.

Government has succeeded in transforming the American system of government from one that is limited by the consent of the governed, to a system in which the governed must obtain the consent of government even to exist. And it is getting worse.

A substantial number of Americans, perhaps a majority, believe that government should dictate where people live, what their housing structures should look like and how they should be constructed. They believe it is right for government to dictate what curriculum children should study in school. They believe it is right for government to dictate which land should be cultivated and which land should not be touched by humans. They believe it is right for government to dictate the kind of automobiles that are available for people to purchase.

Simply put, a substantial number of Americans believe it is right for government to dictate how people should live. They believe that government should “engineer” society.

How different is this modern attitude from the belief system that led Americans into war to defeat the Nazis’ efforts to engineer society. How different is this modern attitude from the belief system that led our founders to declare that the Creator, not government, endowed people with equal rights to “… life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” How different is this modern attitude from the notion that legitimate government is empowered only by the consent of the governed.

Society has been successfully engineered to believe that the goal is no longer freedom, but the control of government, which means the control of society, to fit the agenda of the controlling party. The idea of entering public service as an elected official to limit the power of government and maximize the freedom of individual citizens is an obsolete concept. Those who cling to this idea are ridiculed and marginalized by the mainstream of public opinion.

Listen to the politicians and candidates; each has a plan to inflict more government and less freedom. Who among them advances the idea of individual freedom over forced compliance? Who among them disavows increasing taxes to give individuals more economic freedom? Who among them champions national sovereignty, rather than international appeasement? Who among them holds private property rights of the individual in higher regard than the right of a wolf or a red-cockaded woodpecker?

There are few left who despise the idea of “social engineering.” Of these, very few offer themselves for public service. If, or when, one is discovered, whether a candidate for county commission or for president, this person should be supported. Were it not for the few freedom-loving officials who do hold public office, the agenda of the social engineers would be even more severely imposed.

The next 16 months will provide another opportunity for Americans to decide whether to move closer to the “engineered society” the social engineers envision, or to move toward more freedom and less government restrictions. Elections at every level of government provide opportunities. If there is not a freedom candidate among the candidates in your town, consider getting on the ballot, or encouraging another freedom-lover to become a candidate.

Freedom in America is being lost, not to a superior force or a better idea; it is being lost by good freedom-loving people who are too busy or too lazy to defend it.

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