Each generation is defined by its values. While each generation’s values and norms are different, the ideals of liberty and freedom have been consistent for every generation since our nation’s conception. Even the hippies of the 60’s eschewed opposition to government control and overreach. Since our founding, being an American has meant advocating for freedom and liberty. However, it seems as if this social norm is ailing with the rise of my generation and the technical age. Freedom isn’t “cool” anymore. People would rather be guaranteed goodies from the public treasury rather than have their rights and liberty preserved. As long as everything is free, who needs freedom?

As this negative paradigm shift occurs, it paints a sullen picture for our near future. Revisionist academia undermines traditional American values and attempts to draw us away from the teachings of the Founding Fathers. The average college student probably knows more about Thomas Jefferson’s views on race rather than his remarkable vision of individual liberty. Today’s generation thinks the United States is responsible for the most evil in the world, and Communism in the Soviet Union and China was a noble and admirable experiment. Rich guys in suits are evil, unless they work for the government, and Sandra Fluke -the 30 year old college student who can’t afford birth control for recreational sex- is a hero.

It is time for a Libertarian renaissance. Freedom needs to be cool again. This generation should be inspired to get rich, produce things, and live free. The decline in American family values is dangerous to us as a society, but a decline in American political values is dangerous to the world! We have always been a symbol of freedom, and the wonders that can be produced from being free. Like Lincoln said, America is the “last, best hope for man on earth.” If we forget where we came from and what made us so great, the free world will deteriorate. America’s world view is the fabric that binds the free countries on earth. Yet freedom is declining in America. You can’t open a lemonade stand or drink a 40oz soda in Manhattan. In New Jersey, young drivers are forced to display red stickers on their vehicles to signify their inexperience. Pretty soon in California, you’re going to need a permit to breathe, and might have to pay a tax per breath. Obviously that last one was a joke, but the point that laws are becoming excessive should be clear. In the words of the Roman statesman Tacitus, “The more laws, the more corrupt the state.”

Whenever national issues occur, such as mass shootings and economic failure, our generation pleads for more government. Take our guns, we don’t deserve to have them, only the all powerful state should have guns (reminds me of that thing that happened in Germany in the 1930’s) for they know best! Spread the wealth of the 1%, they don’t deserve it, they are evil! Let’s give all power to our lord and savior, Barack Obama, for he is all knowing! This generation’s reverence for government and central planning is sobering. This view of collectivism is inconsistent with the vision of the Founding Fathers, and if we allow this malignant theory to spread, the death of traditional America will ensue. In 2013, I am hoping for a generational epiphany. I want to see my generation wake up, observe the failures of government all over the world, question academic authority and conventional wisdom, and ignite a Libertarian Renaissance.

Colin Snell | Burlington College | @SnellColin