A reader sent me 5 photographs of people in Arizona in front of the capitol building. Many American flags had been placed on the ground. Graffiti of some sort was scribbled on some of the flags. Men, women and children were shown striding across the flags, stomping on them, spitting at on them and burning them.
There are many things one could say about the mind-set of those who desecrate a nation’s flag. Intelligence is not one of them.
Desecrating a nation’s flag is not argument to persuade others to your point of view. It is not a demonstration to show that your actions have merit. It is not even a show of loyalty to an opposing principle, such as those who might rip apart a Nazi flag to show loathing of fascism.
To try to debase the flag of the United States by throwing it whole upon the ground and stomping on it, is the attempt of the mindless, savages who stick pins in dolls or drink his enemy’s blood—as if such actions were power-enabling.
The flag of the United States is unique among nations. And most people know it. It symbolizes freedom. No other flag, save perhaps that of Great Britain, carries so powerful a message. To desecrate the flag of the United States of America means one has no regard for freedom, and more: no regard for the human life freedom protects and advances.
What does freedom mean in action? Freedom is the absence of cocerion; therefore, in action it is the opportunity to live one’s life, to achieve happiness. What provides us with material happiness? Prosperity. How is prosperity achieved? Through profit.
When I was a free-lance artist working in Manhattan, in order to live, profit was essential. I had to have money to buy oils, canvas and stretchers, illustration board, brushes, and all the other materials and equipment necessary to running an artist studio. There were also models’ fees to pay and my own rent and groceries.
When I was paid for my illustrations and/or paintings, the price I received had to be at least a bit more than my combined expenses. To be paid less than my expenses, or to break even meant I could continue to produce paintings only by going into debt. If such a situation continues for any length of time, the business goes into bankruptcy.
Profit, even a little profit margin, kept me afloat. The same is true of any business whether you are a free-lance businessperson, or own a small company or a middle-size or large one. Profit is not “surplus income.” It is not “gravy.” It is the muscle and bone, the essential means of doing business. It is the means to keep on going. Without profit, business is impossible. If one takes in a bit more than the cost of one’s own expenses, it means the business can stay afloat without undue strain. If it earns a lot more than its expenses, it can expand, offering more values to a larger clientele, creating more jobs improving services and so forth.
Many people, including businesspeople, do not understand the virtue, purpose and need of profit. We have been led to believe profit is somehow “dirty” or “usurious” as if making more than one’s expenses was somehow “dishonest.”
The truth is, profit is essential to doing business. Profit, since it supports a businessperson’s life and that of his employees, is a virtue. By means of efficiently producing values and keeping a business’ product desirable, profit says: “You’re doing good. You’re benefiting life.”
The attack on profit is ancient. Today, Leftist habitually attack profit as a sure-fire way to create conflict between those who earn their own way and those who do not. Mr. Obama does the same, feverishly trying to make Americans hate “the rich.” Such individuals try to convince us profit is some kind of evil that destroys society. The opposite is true.
Profit is what makes prosperity, improving and increasing the number of values that businesses offer—whether in manufacturing or in service industries. It is profit that raises the standard of living for everyone.
It is the lack of profit that is destructive. A lack of profit destroys a business, a neighborhood and a society. But profit requires individual freedom. One look at the difference between North and South Korea, or again, during the Berlin Wall the difference between East and West Berlin, attests to that. Those cities demonstrate the individual’s need of freedom and the prosperity possible when he has it. Profit generates prosperity.
Our flag symbolizes freedom. It is the portable display of what our Statue of Liberty represents. When one sees the stars and stripes, one immediately thinks of freedom, of opportunity, of happiness. People the world over know that. Those who desecrate the flag of the United States of America are making an explicit statement. They are not stomping upon a mere piece of fabric. They are stomping on a symbol of man’s need for freedom and the best that he can achieve. What do you call a creature who seeks to destroy the best in man? A criminal? A heinous monster? That which feeds and breeds upon a corpse? Whatever description you choose, he is a killer.
Not even anger is any longer possible toward such creatures. What remains is only a cold contempt re-enforcing a determined resolve to never give in to those who would kill freedom, the profit it can generate and the prosperity that follows.