Freeman

ARTICLE

The Farmer's Two Masters

SEPTEMBER 01, 1959 by INDIANAPOLIS STIR

The figures which tell what gov­ernment is doing in agriculture are both staggering and impres­sive. Here is a story that is al­most hard to believe.
 

In Indiana, for instance, a farm­er can grow corn which is par­tially under government control and partially free. Chickens which are sold in a free market are fed on a farm which produces wheat from allotted acreage. Hogs and cattle graze over a pasture which next year will be planted to soy­beans, a crop which receives price support. There are thousands of acres of vegetable and truck crops grown in this state. Millions of bushels of fruit are sold freely from farms with Controlled crops just across a fence.

This sort of system cannot con­tinue forever. The statistics show the day of decision is much closer than many professional agricul­tural workers and politicians like to admit. With a total farm income of about $12,000,000,000 last year, the Commodity Credit Corpora­tion now has an investment of about $8,900,000,000 in price-sup­port programs. By the end of the year, the government may have an investment in crops equal to the entire agricultural income for that year. This nation once tried to ac­commodate two opposing economic and human systems. In a wracking convulsion, it decided that men must be free, that no nation can live half slave and half free.

The farmers of America face that same choice today. As the country did some 100 years ago, the farmer has avoided the deci­sion by compromise while hope­fully waiting for some solution which will be pleasant to all. This is no more likely to occur in the fields of America than it occurred in the political world of a century ago.

Sooner or later, the farmers of this state and the rest of the na­tion must choose which they pre­fer—freedom or complete govern­ment control. Slavery is a hard word which will have to be admit­ted by some later generation of men who will find that strict gov­ernment control does mean en­slavement, if they are foolish enough so to choose.

Those who feel they can evade this inevitable decision should be reminded that it was put in words which will always have direct meaning and application: "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other."

The choice is that clear and plain. The farmers of this country must, we believe, choose freedom. How can anyone think otherwise, and honestly believe in these United States of America?

From The Indianapolis Star, June 13, 1959.

 

***

The Revolt of the Masses

Suppose that in the public life of a country some difficulty, con­flict, or problem presents itself, the mass-man will tend to de­mand that the State intervene immediately and undertake a solution directly with its immense and unassailable resources.

Jose Ortega Y Gasset

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

September 1959

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

Essential Works from FEE

Economics in One Lesson (full text)

By HENRY HAZLITT

The full text of Hazlitt's famed primer on economic principles: read this first!


By FREDERIC BASTIAT

Frederic Bastiat's timeless defense of liberty for all. Once read and understood, nothing ever looks the same.


By F. A. HAYEK

There can be little doubt that man owes some of his greatest suc­cesses in the past to the fact that he has not been able to control so­cial life.


By JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Leonard Read took the lessons of entrepreneurship with him when he started his ideological venture.


By LEONARD E. READ

No one knows how to make a pencil: Leonard Read's classic (Audio, HTML, and PDF)