Let’s Talk Turkey
But first, a word from our sponsors ….
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace….We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ― Samuel Adams
“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville
While I was on Twitter, a few years ago, I would jump in on threads where socialism and capitalism were discussed (Better, the terms were tossed about.). The anti-capitalists would denounce capitalism as “unfair” and the rich as “greedy” while insinuating “equality” and “fairness” occurred naturally within the materialist realm of socialism. As an example, they pointed to Scandinavian countries (where, amazingly, none of them had the gumption to take up residence. That would take initiative and responsibility and money on their part.)
The anti-capitalists, presuming a superior moral position, never talked in-depth about the mechanics of socialism other than it being a redistribution of wealth from “rich” to “poor” via confiscatory taxation. And, whether they were oblivious to or welcoming of the growing soft despotism in America that gives people the illusion that they are in control, I could not determine.
On Twitter there were also those who proclaimed Jesus to be a “Progressive”. They offered a litany of “Progressive” attributes assigned to Jesus, among them “anti-rich”, their presumed antithesis to “Blessed are the poor” [“…in spirit”]. There were those, too, who said that the early church was an example of socialism because the early Christian shared everything in common. Apparently, these folks had never read that Jesus warned about the dangers of the love of riches and not that someone who was rich shouldn’t be. Did these folks also not comprehend that the early church did what they did out of love and not out of coercion?
In the current hopped-up milieu of socialism as social justice*, what is the mystique and lure of socialism, central planning, and top-down government when …
Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing.
For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances – what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself.
-from “Democracy In America” by Alexis De Tocqueville, Chapter VI: “What Sort Of Despotism Democratic Nations Have To Fear”
Long before social media came around fostering populist socialism, I inured myself against the idea of a free lunch. In the 80s I watched Milton and Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose Series on TV. The following video is part of that series.
Plain-spoken Milton Friedman, economist of the Chicago School of Economics, addresses the issue of social responsibility that seems to be the motivation behind a rejection of capitalism and the attraction of socialism. He also presents the fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism: capitalism – an economic market operating under the incentive of profit; socialism – the government market under the incentive of power. Included are his thoughts on collectivism, social justice, moral values, individual responsibility, the doctrine of social responsibility, and philanthropy.
For the many of you around the world who live in disparate circumstances and who read my blog, I pray that you will benefit greatly from this video.
A final word from our sponsors ….
It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the ‘right’ to education, the ‘right’ to health care, the ‘right’ to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle. ― Alexis de Tocqueville
What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish? ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
When I refuse to obey an unjust law, I do not contest the right of the majority to command, but I simply appeal from the sovereignty of the people to the sovereignty of mankind.
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men. ― Samuel Adams
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. ― Samuel Adams
The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods, are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional. ― Samuel Adams
* Pope Francis is Envisaging and Engendering an Open World:
“On the other hand, if we accept the great principle that there are rights born of our inalienable human dignity, we can rise to the challenge of envisaging a new humanity,” he proposes. “We can aspire to a world that provides land, housing and work for all.”
As one can surmise, Francis welcomes the populism of socialism and “for the good of all” envisages a communist version of Catholicism. For example, if you are a Catholic in China, (or the world for that matter) in his vision you’ll be provided land, housing and work provided that you are the Chinese Communist Party’s version of a “good citizen”.
The above helps explain why Pope Francis deplores the populism that elected Trump. A movement of “free people” is hostile to coercive top down rule and to non-democratic central planning and to the liberty-annihilating communism the Pope dreams of and so desires so as to reshape the world into his Let Us Dream image. The Pope/CCP desires the Ring of Power to conform all men to its will.
The Trump movement seeks to take back life, liberty, and country –identity – from the Ruling Class Obama-Clinton-Biden-Cuomo types who talk down to Americans, considering them “bitter clingers” and “deplorables” and rubes. The Trump movement detests the privileged elites (including Francis), and the unelected bureaucrats, and, essentially, those who are “more equal than others” and deign to tell them who they are and what they are to think and what they are to do. The Trump movement fights to keep America from becoming a third world country, as Democrat mayors prove it is possible with their “Open World” policies.
The Trump movement deplores the overreach and suffocating control of globalism. The movement seeks to remove the tentacles of the “Open World” beast that wants to devour the U.S. – our individual rights, our liberty, our Constitution and our identity -to feed its One World Fratelli tutti chimera. “We the people” reject the Great Reset.
The One World forces and the purple and scarlet dressed Whore of Babylon are gathering to fight against the Lord, as foretold.
“The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last…
The great battle of our time.”
Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion
Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University.