From time to time some thought brings me back to an old post, THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY. That post is about something James Madison wrote, The Federalist, Paper # 10. Madison wanted people to understand the difference between a republic and a democracy. The purpose of a republic is to protect the individual from the tyranny of the majority.
Why am I bringing up that old post this time? Today we see Crony Capitalism running rampant.
- Most of the news media is owned by about five big corporations. These media organizations are almost completely partisan. Their news stories often omit much of the news. Worse, they sometimes tell outright lies. For example, we are having race riots over the killing of blacks by white policemen. Yet, when we investigate these stories carefully, there is almost nothing racial about the killings. The news media have fabricated the race angle. Did the news media intend to foment riots? No? Then what would they have done differently?
- Big Tech has become partisan. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and other Big Tech companies have an established record of censoring Conservatives, including our president.
- Instead of thoughtfully deliberating over legislation, Congress passes huge, complex spending bills at the last minute. These bills include what are effectively earmarks for special interests.
- Government employees exercise huge power over the government through their unions. Unions are an artifact of Capitalism, a natural counterbalance to those with a great amount of capital. Unions leaders, through their government connections have prevented their members from losing pay when the government is shut down.
- And so forth.
Crony Capitalism is: “an economic system in which family members and friends of government officials and business leaders are given unfair advantages in the form of jobs, loans, etc.” (from here (dictionary.cambridge.org)). Crony Capitalism, not the goodness of “we”, leads to Socialism. Socialism gives those in power even more power than Crony Capitalism. So, instead of fighting the evils of Crony Capitalism those in power use Crony Capitalism as an excuse to create a Socialist or Communist regime.
The ideologies of Socialism and Communism provide excuses that the powerful use to rob some people so that they can give money to other people. That’s why Socialism and Communism are just different names for forms of tyranny. When “we” give our government the power to redistribute wealth, “we” give it the power to steal. Stealing corrupts both the people with the power and the people who become dependent upon the redistributions.
Socialists and Communists demand power in the interests of “we”. “We” are not all that good. “We” can be very self-centered and greedy. Even within the community of those who call themselves Christian, there can be violent disagreement. Go beyond the Christian community and the disagreement grows, inevitably to the point of violence.
Socialists and Communists call themselves the majority and justify tyranny in the name of the majority. Hence, they proclaim war on tribalism and any excuse that any use to refuse to join their majority. So, it is a bad sign that there is so much criticism of tribalism these days, but tribalism is not necessarily a bad thing. Tribalism provides reasons for people caring about each other.
Don’t we have the right to associate with and work with the people with whom we have common cause? Don’t families, clans, and communities need to form close relationships? Why should we not expect people to bond with those with whom they have common cause? Doesn’t the First Amendment protect our right to freely assembly and petition the government? Isn’t the right of free association one of the reasons why the Framers of the U.S. Constitution created a republic?
Therefore, when we insist upon “we”, “we” must consider the ramifications. “We” is a much abused expression. Sometimes people use the expression “we” to insist that “they” must do what “we” tell them to do or they are being selfish. Socialists and Communists, in particular, abuse the expression “we” that way.
Government exists to protect our rights. Sometimes “we” use rules like eminent domain to prevent people from using their property abuse the rights of others. For example, when someone owns a mountain pass, the owner can abuse his property rights by stifling trade. He can require an excessive toll to use his pass through the mountains.
Is Socialism or Communism a necessity? Isn’t monopoly inevitable in a capitalist economy? No. In a society where everyone has equal rights before the law, it is difficult to become extremely wealthy. A large amount of wealth requires increasingly skilled management to hang onto it. Few have either the skills or the necessary discipline to manage very much wealth. That is why the wealthy often secure special advantages from their cronies in government. That’s what drives Crony Capitalism.
So, while some regulation is necessary to prevent natural monopolies (another subject), our primary concern should preventing abuses of government power.
In order to protect our own rights, we have to protect each other’s rights. However, if we go beyond that point, we lose our God-given rights. “We” must never forget that God is God. “We” are not.