The alpha and the omega

There is they say, a beginning, and an ending. And so this is the beginning of this blog. Its purpose is to collect my thoughts on a range of subjects as they come around. But all subjects inevitably have their conclusions based on previous learning and reading The world is full of books, but remarkable few really matter. Summed up here:

Ec 12:12  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

We know by experience that many books are written to assist in the learning of various trades, hobbies, crafts, and the like. These topics are constantly changing and so the books must also, becoming obsolete in time.

But other books dealing with understanding mankind, government, relationships between them, and history do not change despite what some would have you believe. There are plenty of those throughout history that are “wise in their  own ways” and seek to impose those ways on others. And as I write now on the 4th of July, 2012 I call to attention the founders of this United States, who wisely educated themselves in the great writers that came before them. They studied the writings of Plato, and the Bible. Of John Locke and Socrates. They studied all the civilizations they could in search for nuggets, truths about what ideas in government worked over recorded history, and what did not.

And then on the formation of this new country, applied the best of those things they studied. They found that it was best to put the power of government, as much as possible, in the control of the people, and not in a ruling class. To do otherwise was to guarantee tyranny.

And it worked for a very long time. George Wilder Cartwright recognized
that it boils down to two outlooks on government and summed it up (1925) here:

Individualism means the right and duty of each citizen:

1. To carve out his own fortune with his own industry and skill;

2. To choose any lawful occupation, calling, or business, and to follow the same honestly without molestation;

3. To strive, to save, to accumulate and to own, use and manage lawfully acquired property and the profits thereof;

4. To employ others, or to be employed by others, by mutual consent and agreement;

5. To enjoy the largest measure of human liberty consistent with orderly government.

These rights are safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States. Communism, by whatever name it may be called, denies each and all of the rights and duties set forth above.

1. Under communism, the citizen must necessarily work for the government, or the community, under the direction of his political superiors. There is nothing else to do.

2. Under communism, the individual could not select his own occupation, for there would be no private business. lf the individual were permitted to select his own occupation, all would want the “soft jobs” or the management. There would be none to perform the less agreeable tasks. Under our American system of private ownership, the citizen cannot be compelled to perform distasteful labor without his own consent. Sufficient workers are therefore secured by offering a high enough wage or other inducement to secure the performance of the disagreeable task WITHOUT THE TAINT OF SLAVERY. Students are beginning to understand that communism means slavery to political overlords. Trotsky, when he was Minister of War under Russian bolshevism, must have recognized this truth when he said, “Free labor can only exist in the ‘capitalistic’ state.”

3. Under communism, one may strive, but he cannot save nor accumulate for himself. His products would go into the common fund. Neither can he own productive property, for public ownership and political management take the place of private ownership and management.

4. Under communism, there could be no private employment. There would be no private capital with which to pay the employee. All would work for the government at such compensation as their political superiors fix. Under our system each has the right to work for the employer who is willing to pay the highest wage. The pitiless consequences of communism were demonstrated in Russia under bolshevism. In 1921 to 1923 (the latest obtainable reports), school teachers in Russia received about $2.60 per month and college professors about twice as much. They were reduced to beggary, pleading for assistance from door to door. Under our American individualism, teachers and professors are better paid than in any other country. Under our system, schools and colleges must pay high salaries or teachers and professors will leave the profession for more lucrative employment.

5. Under communism there can be no freedom. The individual is nothing, the state is everything.

In Russia, under bolshevism, there is no longer any pretense of liberty of conscience, of speech, or of the press. Any one who dares to oppose the bolshevist policy is arrested as a ‘‘counter  revolutionist” and imprisoned or put to death. It has been freely estimated by those returning from Russia that 1,800,000 men and women have been put to death for political reasons under bolshevism. John Spargo, one of most noted and respected of American socialists wrote, “It is doubtful whether intellectual freedom is possible under any form of socialism.”

It is unfortunate that the majority of the politicians of today do not possess the same learning, the same values, the same sense of history as was common up to 100 years ago. But that must be changed if the United States is to survive.

And time is growing short.

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