Thursday, April 22, 2010

Capitalism vs. Socialism

"I never ... believed there was one code of morality for a public and another for a private man."
Thomas Jefferson, In a letter to Don Valentine de Feronda, 1809

Many people today feel the following statement may be true.

"I don't see that we're headed for socialism, though a lot of people are asserting that. It's just hyperbole, an attempt at rabble-rousing.”

When it comes to protecting our American republic this is the crutch of the whole debate, is it not? If you visit you can get paragraphs of definitions and variation there of, related to the subject. We could find one that fits our general philosophy quite well, depending on our understanding. But I believe the following one, found elsewhere best states my understanding of socialism.

1. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.
The Free

I like this one because it not only defines it well, but the second definition points to the reason any acceptance of socialism is repugnant to a free market system, which America is suppose to be. So now ask yourself, “Is our government distributing and/or controlling goods or direct plans that controls our economy?” How about social security and more recent, company bail outs and now the new government healthcare system? If these are not forms of socialism then what are they? It is taxes used to redistribute the wealth.

I can not argue with the faults stated by some that the Bush administration has helped this drift we are talking about. As a matter of fact, I can think of only one recent president who might have understood this and tried to remedy it and that was the Regan administration. The subject of American socialism might seem like a hyperbole because many who adhere to capitalism have drifted so far from our founders principals and philosophies, which should control the free market that it does seem at times one is no better than the other. But the answer is not going to be to replace it with a new or different system un-related to capitalism, like socialism all progressives are trying to institute; nor any big government either party sees as the answer.

Progression away from our founders’ principles (my definition of a progressive) under any party affiliation is wrong. No big government plan is good for the republic. The difference between the Bush and Obama administration is that Bush may have been uninformed or misunderstood the principles our republic should work under, but Obama seems very direct and purposeful in his decisions directly headed for socialism. He truly believes it is the answer, but he would be wrong.

What is the answer? Why is capitalism sometimes the overbearing, power grabbing entity it should not be? As a nation we have drifted away from the principles that would help it be the positive influence our founders intended. As I mentioned in my previous post yesterday, we need to come back to the American religion. It needs to be taught once again as it use to in schools and college and lived every day by the people. We, as the people, need to be the virtuous, honest, respectful citizens as a whole the nation was founded upon. Our republic intended such and the founders expected it to be taught and practiced this way. If we are that people, then our economy (and all aspects of community) would reflect it and we would not need the government or anyone to direct us or our resources because it would be taken care of without it. Our founding fathers profoundly understood this and expounded diligently for us to hold these truths. We need to stay away from socialism and practice the principles our republic was found upon.

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, (A)nd if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
Thomas Jefferson

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
Patrick Henry

The American Religion

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John Adams October 11, 1798

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
James Madison, 1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia

I had a loving friend (I mean that literally, not facetiously) who replied to a post I made on a social network and thought I would share it and my response. The post involved me encouraging my Christian friends to take a look at the Manhattan Declaration and if they agreed with it consider signing it. Here were the three comments made to that post.

1) “It's not a Christian country. It's a country with christians in it.”

2) "Two quotes from James Madison:"
“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.”

3) "The Christians are fine, Rick, they're protected. It's the rest of us I'm concerned with. Please note:"

Artilcle VI of the Constitution states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States...

Here was my response.

“You make some good points. But first make this distinction, I wrote this post on the Manhattan Declaration TO Christians of America and never insinuated this is a Christian nation. Our founders did not use that religious characteristic. But they all agreed to the “American Religion” essential for all philosophies including the basic tenets of our nations founding. This means they drew their perspectives from all religious ideas of the time, philosophers (heavily on Cicero) and similar historical readings. This gave them principals (28 according to W. Cleon Skousen, “The 5000 Year Leap”) which all the founders agreed upon to include even the deists and agnostics present.
     Now, Christian principals fit nicely into this frame but it was meant to be the essential components of our republic government: not validate or promote any religious ideals upon the governed. Hence, the reason for the separation of Church and state. They did not want any particular sect or denomination to pollute the tenets they agreed upon for a good government. All the founders agreed with this and the quotes from Madison simply support it. They wanted separation OF religion not FROM religion. And finally, the Christians are not fine or anyone else who calls themselves Americans, because our current course is undermining the fore mentioned principals our republic is founded upon. Unless you are for socialism or something even more constricting, then everyone should try to express ways to keep us from going down that road. For a Christian, that might mean the Manhattan Declaration but maybe not. There are many other petitions to achieve the same goal.”

There are hundreds of quotes by our founders that support this concept. I happen to be a Christian and the American way of government fits nicely with my philosophies. But every patriotic American, people who believe in our republic, need or should understand the principals our nation is founded upon and at the very least adhere to the “American Religion” or if it makes you feel better, the “American Philosophy”.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Conservatism is Black and White

"I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."
George Washington

I am always saddened when in the news I see prejudice. But when it is in the form of a racial thrashing to ignore or hide a philosophical ideal, it just proves the ignorance or blatant dishonesty of some people. I am referring to those who unjustly slander someone because they align themselves with the Tea Party movement and happen to be black. They've been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values just because they are conservative.

"I've been told I hate myself. I've been called an Uncle Tom. I've been told I'm a spook at the door," said Timothy F. Johnson, chairman of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group of black conservatives who support free market principles and limited government.

If you don’t like the political ideals someone holds then talk about those issues. But no, like most bullies, a racist against his brothers and sisters finds it easier and effective to simply try to demean them, bring them down on other aspects because bullies are not smart enough or have authentic ammunition to counter on the level the issue is really about.

Timothy Johnson continued with this and it tells where the real concern is. "Black Republicans find themselves always having to prove who they are. Because the assumption is the Republican Party is for whites and the Democratic Party is for blacks."

It shouldn’t matter if someone is white, black, yellow, red or rainbow, because it is not about color but a philosophical world view and guess what – we will not always agree but that can be OK when experienced in a good republic (one as our founders developed). So, heed George Washington’s words be honest people. If you can not be that virtuous then we shall need to be the kind of patriots our founding fathers exemplified.

"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
Samuel Adams

Monday, April 5, 2010

“Change” and “Gay” Need Definitions

"The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors." -- Thomas Jefferson

If I didn’t know better, I would think Mr. Jefferson was able to see the future and determined our modern day mainstream news media was more poisonous than informational. And he would be right. A big problem today is our ever evolving English vernacular. Nothing new really, but today as with much of our contemporary world the speed at which modifications takes place at most times is faster than the definitions needed for qualification. I can’t help but feel it is the very reason many people (mostly progressives) like it that way because it fits their situational ethics as they need it and when they need it. You might be asking, “What is he talking about?” I’ll use two words we read often in the news to qualify.

Gay has been around for a while and long enough for us to understand the change the word has morphed into. People even giggle now when singing a popular Christmas song proclaiming; “now we don our gay apparel”. Fifty years ago visions of “Sunday best” or special attire to reflect a clean wholesome outfit for a special occasion and celebration was envisioned. Today we might more readily attribute visions adapted to an x-rated party or brothel. At the very best just something more colorful; as a rainbow or maybe two suits for a “bride” and / or “groom”. This is a complete one hundred and eighty degree change.

Ummm. I just used the word change. I should be careful. You see, recently that word was used to help elect our last president (and still is used many times). He campaigned on the idea of “change”. The problem is people were not listening to definitions used when this word was thrown around as a positive experience. That might be because “we the people” were defining the idea as something positive and probably related to financial strings as we have become more materialistic. “Change” for the better meant more jobs or more money to buy things or spend on college or any number of other good “things” Americans have come to enjoy. These are extensions and enhancements of our “pursuit of happiness” and most often envisioned when we want “change” for the better.

You can not argue that Obama is delivering on his promise of change. But we should have been listening closer to his idea of it.

“Change doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.”
BARACK OBAMA, DNC speech, Aug. 28, 2008

“It's time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government….”
BARACK OBAMA, weekly address, Apr. 25, 2009

Now let me ask you, when you think of change for our American way of life would you have thought this kind of change? Look again at the quotes. Not change from Washington to the people as it should be, but change to Washington (aka, the government). How? Well, to “fundamentally” change it. Just to make sure we don’t misunderstand the definition of that word, fundamentally –

Basic - relating to or affecting the underlying principles or structure of something.
Encarta Dictionary.

That sounds an awful lot like changing the basic fundamental of our nation’s founding principals as written by the founding fathers. If you agree with Obama, I consider it anything but patriotic as defined by our American principals. People, we can’t blame our president for the changes he is making. We can only blame ourselves for not interpreting his intentions. He is not talking about our kind of change, one to keep our liberties with the help of a small government to assist in letting us change for each individual. No, his change is one of big government that will tell you what you need or don’t need.

From now on, we need to be very clear about what kind of change we want and need; not what government thinks or wants for us. I need to share a quote with you from one of our most recent presidents who understood how our government is supposed to work. Then I’ll finish with another from one our founders who we need to heed now more than ever.

“The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing. Ronald Reagan (October 27, 1964)”

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."--Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Call to “Point Up” the Wall

A term used in masonry work to replace mortar between the bricks.

Once again our founding fathers could predict struggles between government and the people based on knowledge lived in their every day struggle to develop our nation.

The known propensity (a tendency to demonstrate particular behavior) of a democracy is to licentiousness (pursuing desires aggressively and selfishly, unchecked by morality) which the ambitious (one who has strong desire to have or do something) call (seek out or visit), and ignorant believe to be liberty. (Definitions added)
Fisher Ames, speech in the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, January 15, 1788

My translation – “A true democracy unfettered by a moral compass tends to gravitate towards immoral philosophies because true direction is ignored, which the foolish will call liberty.”

We have seen this to be true more and more in recent decades as men and women have chosen to ignore the basic element the founding fathers used to mortar each brick of our republic while it was built. Each element or “brick” the framers eventually agreed upon and used to generate our great nations’ government was held together with a belief in God (the mortar). Mr. Fisher Ames could easily point to current events and say, “I told you so”.

There are those who prefer to confront issues using the moral compass our fathers used and others who not only ignore it but desire to stomp on it. The media in general has determined to villainies any conservative political movement, including the Tea Party movement, while overlooking similar or worse acts perpetrated by the liberals (or more correctly, progressives). This is because most mainstream media is liberal by nature. Just check the news and find all kinds of finger pointing claims to tea partiers as “dangerous, racist, homophobic bunch of loons” as Dan Gainor writes. Day after day the people who are peacefully conveying what they want THEIR government to do or not, most of the media uses a broad brush to paint them all the same as the relatively few truly misled unrelated fools. This is done to misrepresent and nullify the sound arguments true patriots try to convey. “There’s no doubt out of millions of protesters, a few might have said something inappropriate. If the media treated left-wing protest with the same fine-tooth comb, they’d be shocked by the results.” I couldn’t agree more.

People, we need to repair the wall of our republic and bring it back to the roots it was founded upon. Otherwise we will continue to see the shoddy, disrepair that tends to fall in time without it.

"This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed." – Patrick Henry (1736 – 1799)