THE BATTLEFIELD FOR EVERYBODY’S DREAMS AND EVERYBODY’S COVETOUSNESS

Illustration shows a gigantic boar wearing a crown with "$" and a shawl labeled "Plutocratic Greed" and holding the U.S. Capitol dome labeled "Special Privilege", inverted to form a bucket from which it is sowing seeds labeled "Abuse of Power, Arrogance, [and] Contempt of Law" onto a field sprouting "Socialist votes". It is stepping on an American flag and a Liberty cap. (from here)
Illustration shows a gigantic boar wearing a crown with “$” and a shawl labeled “Plutocratic Greed” and holding the U.S. Capitol dome labeled “Special Privilege”, inverted to form a bucket from which it is sowing seeds labeled “Abuse of Power, Arrogance, [and] Contempt of Law” onto a field sprouting “Socialist votes”. It is stepping on an American flag and a Liberty cap. (from here)
In his day (1801 – 1850) and with brilliant intellectual rigor and honesty, Frédéric Bastiat fiercely fought the Socialism that had become a national plague in France. Hence we have his Essays on Political Economy.

In our last visit to Bastiat’s work (WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO MAKE AMERICA AMERICA AGAIN?), we considered the meaning of the idea that made America America.  Here we will consider in more detail what makes Socialism organized injustice.

Socialism poses as a solution for many serious societal ills. Why doesn’t Socialism work?

You say, “There are men who have no money,” and you apply to the law. But the law is not a self-supplied fountain, whence every stream may obtain supplies independently of society. Nothing can enter the public treasury, in favour of one citizen or one class, but what other citizens and other classes have been forced to send to it. If every one draws from it only the equivalent of what he has contributed to it, your law, it is true, is no plunderer, but it does nothing for men who want money–it does not promote equality. It can only be an instrument of equalisation as far as it takes from one party to give to another, and then it is an instrument of plunder. Examine, in this light, the protection of tariffs, prizes for encouragement, right to profit, right to labour, right to assistance, right to instruction, progressive taxation, gratuitousness of credit, social workshops, and you will always find at the bottom legal plunder, organised injustice.

You say, “There are men who want knowledge,” and you apply to the law. But the law is not a torch which sheds light abroad which is peculiar to itself. It extends over a society where there are men who have knowledge, and others who have not; citizens who want to learn, and others who are disposed to teach. It can only do one of two things: either allow a free operation to this kind of transaction, i.e., let this kind of want satisfy itself freely; or else force the will of the people in the matter, and take from some of them sufficient to pay professors commissioned to instruct others gratuitously. But, in this second case, there cannot fail to be a violation of liberty and property,–legal plunder.

You say, “Here are men who are wanting in morality or religion,” and you apply to the law; but law is force, and need I say how far it is a violent and absurd enterprise to introduce force in these matters?

As the result of its systems and of its efforts, it would seem that socialism, notwithstanding all its self-complacency, can scarcely help perceiving the monster of legal plunder. But what does it do? It disguises it cleverly from others, and even from itself, under the seductive names of fraternity, solidarity, organisation, association. And because we do not ask so much at the hands of the law, because we only ask it for justice, it supposes that we reject fraternity, solidarity, organisation, and association; and they brand us with the name of individualists.

We can assure them that what we repudiate is, not natural organisation, but forced organisation.

It is not free association, but the forms of association which they would impose upon us.

It is not spontaneous fraternity, but legal fraternity.

It is not providential solidarity, but artificial solidarity, which is only an unjust displacement of responsibility. (from here)

Still, should we not have a social safety net, at least a little bit of Socialism that prevents the worst societal ills? No. As Bastiat observed: “I have no hesitation in answering, Law is common force organised to prevent injustice;–in short, Law is Justice.” That is, the Law exists solely to prevent us from infringing upon each others rights. How can we trust the people who administer the Law both to protect our rights and to step on our rights?

Nothing can be more clear and simple, more perfectly defined and bounded, or more visible to every eye; for justice is a given quantity, immutable and unchangeable, and which admits of neither increase or diminution.

Depart from this point, make the law religious, fraternal, equalising, industrial, literary, or artistic, and you will be lost in vagueness and uncertainty; you will be upon unknown ground, in a forced Utopia, or, which is worse, in the midst of a multitude of Utopias, striving to gain possession of the law, and to impose it upon you; for fraternity and philanthropy have no fixed limits, like justice. Where will you stop? Where is the law to stop? One person, as M. de Saint Cricq, will only extend his philanthropy to some of the industrial classes, and will require the law to dispose of the consumers in favour of the producers. Another, like M. Considerant, will take up the cause of the working classes, and claim for them by means of the law, at a fixed rate, clothing, lodging, food, and everything necessary for the support of life. A third, as, M. Louis Blanc, will say, and with reason, that this would be an incomplete fraternity, and that the law ought to provide them with instruments of labour and the means of instruction. A fourth will observe that such an arrangement still leaves room for inequality, and that the law ought to introduce into the most remote hamlets luxury, literature, and the arts. This is the high road to communism; in other words, legislation will be–what it now is–the battle-field for everybody’s dreams and everybody’s covetousness. (from here)

A battlefield? Does that not describe this year’s elections? A war of words verging on violence? As the cartoon above indicates, when we give the ruling classes more power than is needed just to protect our rights, they soon begin to abuse that power and demand more, often using their own failures as an excuse. It is just a matter of time before voting will not matter. What will matter is power, who controls the military and police forces.

SEEMS APPROPRIATE TO ME

Here is the winning entry American Freedom Defense Initiative‘s ‘Draw the Prophet’ Muhammad contest.  What’s the problem with this?

H/T to Reformation at Keith DeHavelle. Keith has a great post on this, BTW.

WHAT IS CIVICS? — PART 2

The Friends of the People by Isaac Cruikshank (1756–1811)
The Friends of the People by Isaac Cruikshank (1756–1811)

An Example Of Civics In Action

When we apply what we each believe to be the best principles of civics, we become political activists. That is, for example, what people who are participating in the Tea Party movement are doing.

Political activism is among the most peculiar and risky of human endeavors.  Even when what political activists propose is popular, some appreciate that political activism, but many still abhor it. That’s because we have this idiot notion that politics is a dirty business.

What is it that people detest about politics? Because we each want different things from the government, politics divides us into argumentative factions.  Factionalism is a topic we considered in THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY (through the writings of James Madison in The Federalist Papers). If you wish to understand something about the problem, please refer to that post.

What is political activism? Wikipedia offers this explanation, Activism, and much of what they write about political activism involves changes opposed by the governing class. In such cases, activists may have to overcome a great deal of hostility.  They risk failing and becoming one of many we have forgotten. Such is the case of the Armenian genocide which Clifford D. May writes about in Recalling the lessons of Armenia.

Displayed outside the Turkish embassy in Washington last week was a large banner reading, “Armenian genocide is an imperialist lie.” That claim might be amusing were the subject not so dreadful. The slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915 was carried out by the Ottoman Empire. It was, therefore, by definition, an imperialist crime, one regarded by most experts as the first genocide of the 20th century. The notion that some other empire (which one?) has fabricated a slander against Turkey is ludicrous. Those who came up with that slogan must assume they are addressing a clueless audience. (continued here)

In our nation, we still have the freedom to speak our minds, to get our thoughts into print, and to publicize our views in recorded speeches and videos. What is more important, however, is that we can associate with people whose views with share. We can organize to select the leaders of our communities and of our nation.

Recently, we held Firehouse Primaries (see Prince William firehouse primary primer) in Prince William County. Instead of using a convention or a government-run primary to select its candidates for the general election in November 2015, the Prince William Republican Party set up its own balloting stations held its own primary. That involved quite a bit of work by dedicated volunteers.

I had a small role helping to set up one of the balloting stations. The day after the primary was over I sent the people I worked with a note expressing my appreciation. That follows.

Dear Republican Volunteers

Why Do I volunteer? Well, before we get to that I want to thank you all for volunteering to help yesterday. We had a challenging day. If you have not already done so, please check out the results Firehouse Primary at pwcgop.org. We had good turnout, and that’s why we were so busy. Only two balloting stations had more voters show up.

Fortunately, everyone involved worked hard and took the initiative to do what needed to be done.

John and Jose carefully laid out our floorplan. Thanks to them we were able to efficiently route the voters through the facility. Then, just before our real work began, Jose thoughtfully reminded us to ask for our Lord’s blessing, and he led us in prayer.

Mary, Ashley, and Jose got the voters in the door in an orderly fashion. When they got to the John and latter Steve at the Control Point, each voter was ready to have their registration verified. That task included tactfully dealing with a few people who wanted to gripe. There are always some.

With remarkable aplomb, Michelle, Meg, and Amy withstood the initial wave of voters, processing about half of the voters.  Why did everyone want to come at 10:00 AM?

😦   On a Saturday morning?

Rita arrived, and she already knew what to do with Rocket Base (Author’s note:  Rocket Base is the database we used to check voter registration and political affiliation.). She got her laptop running, and she went right to work. Then Dottie, Jan, Milt, Mark, and Jay added their efforts. The line now ended at the door.  We were processing voters as fast they arrived. Whew!

Meanwhile, Jamie, Bill, and Chuck, each in turn, quietly and courteously monitored the ballot box, provided voters a pen and showed them where to deposit heir completed ballots.

During the second half of the day, Steve led our effort. That included the complex task of counting the vote for three different elections on almost a thousand ballots. In two-person teams, we first counted the statement of intent forms, and then we counted the votes on the ballots. That took more than just the couple of hours we had expected. Thanks for hanging in there to the end.

Finally, Milt agreed to drive to the PWCGOP HQ, and we delivered the results of the vote (name of balloting station deleted).

So why do I volunteer? I just hope the good character and the good will of people like you will rub off on me.

Thank you for the example you set.

–Tom

What true political activism involves is caring enough about other people to volunteer our labor and our wealth. Instead of looking for someone else to do the hard work necessary to make our government work properly, we step forward, and we do what we can.

We can argue until Hell freezes over just exactly how our government is suppose to work. We will never entirely agree. Nevertheless, if we each choose to wait for someone else to make our government work, we risk surrendering the welfare of our family, friends, and neighbors to the tender mercies of strangers. How can we claim to love someone if we are willing to risk their tyranny and enslavement?

The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. The law of liberty tends to abolish the reign of race over race, of faith over faith, of class over class. — John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1st Baron Acton

When we have no one fit to rule over us, with our Lord’s help we must each do our best to rule ourselves.

BILL CLINTON SAID WHAT?

In my mind former president Bill Clinton has only one virtue. He is not Barack Obama, but that is a significant difference.

mallardfillmore.com

Here is the video: Bill Clinton On Politics Of Islam: Paris Killers Exemplify ‘World’s Greatest Double Standard’ [VIDEO] (dailycaller.com)

I heard about Clinton’s surprising (from him) words through the comic above in The Washington Times, on of my favorites.  Since The Washington Times does not run over the weekend, I expect I will be visiting mallardfillmore.com on Saturdays and Sundays.