“There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means — either may do — the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.” — Benjamin Franklin
Tonight’s post is just a quickie — something I read today and felt like sharing. It comes from Dr. Ben Carson’s book America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great. Toward the end of the chapter on socialism, after examining the good and the bad, Carson considers what our Founding Fathers had to say. (I have included relevant quotes from the endnotes.)
“Statements from Franklin and many of the other founders make it very clear that they were extremely opposed to the concept of wealth redistribution, which is a basic tenet of socialism.
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.” — John Adams
“No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.” — John Jay
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” — Thomas Jefferson
“The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to an uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy.” — James Madison
At an even more fundamental level, they were very much opposed to the concept of a large, intrusive central government, which they felt was really no different than the European monarchies they were trying to escape. Consider the United States’ rapid acceleration to pinnacle status by means of a system rewarding hard work and vigorously protecting individual assets while encouraging compassion and charity — why would we want to change unless there is historical proof that another system will work better?
“The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.” — Benjamin Franklin
“It’s not tyranny we desire; it’s a just, limited, federal government.” — Alexander Hamilton
“The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.” — James Madison
In a socialist society, the government has the right to tax whomever it wishes for whatever amount it deems necessary, whenever it wants. This leads to abusive, unchecked power that can eventually deprive many of the people of their rights — as our Declaration of Independence states — to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The insidious nature of socialism, cloaked in a facade of compassion, makes it very dangerous to an uneducated and trusting populace. And as socialism creates dependency, it is well on its way to eliminating freedom of choice and incentives for high productivity and innovation.”
I thought this was a timely reminder of the need to check the creeping socialism in this nation. It has been eating away at our constitutional rights & liberties for years, and we need to get serious about arresting its spread before it truly is too late. That’s why it is SO frustrating to see so many of the Republicans in Congress acting all wishy-washy about socialistic policies like Obamacare, if not actually supporting these policies and the liberal/progressive Democrats who push them, contrary to the majority of the public’s wishes! Aarrgh!!
Anyway,… I don’t want to get sidetracked. I guess what I’m saying is:
Socialism very bad.
America the Beautiful very good.
Free-market capitalism great!