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Central Planning, American Style

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The November 5, 1993, issue of The Narragansett Times announced the completion of the Narragansett Comprehensive Plan (NCP). Clarkson A. Collins, director of community development, said: “It’s a very enthusiastic and aggressive plan that takes an awful lot on.” My reaction: Eccccchhh! I can envision only an ominous future for Narragansett. Let me describe it.

There is an insistent knocking on your front door. You open it, and an uninvited “caller” informs you, “I am from the government, and I have come to help you.” It’s only then that you realize it is too late — it is “your turn in the barrel” — the officer from the Narragansett Department of Community Development has finally come to inspect your home, its contents, and your personal lifestyle. Indeed, he is there to make sure you are “developing” according to government’s plan for you. Specifically, he is checking if you are in conformance with the “limits” placed on you by the government’s new comprehensive plan.

Exaggerated, you say? Think again. Think about the history of Stalin’s Soviet Union; think about Hitler’s Germany; think about Mussolini’s Italy. Only then will you recognize that these thugs authored the model for the NCP. And only then will you understand the truth in George Santayana’s famous quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The recently trashed U.S.S.R. was a failed, 70-year experiment in “community development.” It developed empty shelves in Soviet stores; it developed government growth and bureaucracy on the one hand, and diminished personal liberty on the other; it killed millions who did not conform to its master plan; it developed government ownership of all property. Dreary gray was the available color; and one size fit all. The “greater good,” the “general welfare,” and similar fraudulent objectives of collectivism were worshipped as a state religion, while the individual was reduced to a mere face in the crowd — a powerless nonentity.

The citizens of Narrangansett have accepted this same flawed ideology and permitted it to take root and flourish here. The socialists who have occupied our town hall and schools are busy implementing this master plan, which has the same objectives as Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, i.e., the destruction of the family; the abolition of private property; heavy taxes; abolition of inheritance; government schools, and more. Read it, and you will weep, as I have.

Alas! We have taken vipers to our bosom in Narrangansett. Who are they? They are the altruistic, sanctimonious frauds in government. Their professed love for humanity masks their private, bitter contempt, intense hatred, and seething resentment and envy for the individual who can earn a living in the free marketplace.

They are the egalitarian levelers, the self-righteous uplifters, and the “true believers” in the economic principles of Lenin and Marx. They are consumers of wealth, not producers. They are the socialist parasites who gave us a flawed property reevaluation here. They are the socialists who gave us an unconstitutional zoning ordinance that dictates morality inside our homes. They are the socialists who charge us to occupy our homes, control our use of them, and make us nothing more than sharecroppers on our own land.

A community planner is a social engineer whose diploma was issued by Moscow Prep and written in red ink on pink paper.

True development is a gradual process, the product of unhindered negotiation between individuals over time. It is the spontaneous result of human interaction, of individuals working for their mutual advantage. It marks the vibrant health of free people in a free market. Development cannot be imposed by government edict. Its parameters cannot be laid out on a drafting board. It is a positive, natural-growth process that withers and dies under government’s heavy hand.

So, how do we rid Narragansett of this political pestilence? For that matter, how do we rid America of it?

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    Mr. Landfield, a Freedom Daily subscriber, resides in Narragansett, Rhode Island.