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God is with us...The Prophecy!

If only the N.Y.T. were this honest.....

If only the N.Y.T. were this honest.....
Read it and Weep Liberals!
Showing posts with label A Word of Warning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Word of Warning. Show all posts

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Law by Frédéric Bastiat Part 2

Victims of Lawful Plunder
 
 
Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means —into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.
 


 
Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws! Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder.
 
 Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.
 
It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution— some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.
 
 

The Results of Legal Plunder
 
It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.
 
 
What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.
In the first place, it erases from everyone's conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.
 
 
No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.
 
 
The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are "just" because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.
 
 

The Fate of Non-Conformists
 
 
If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is boldly said that "You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theorist, a subversive; you would shatter the foundation upon which society rests." If you lecture upon morality or upon political science, there will be found official organizations petitioning the government in this vein of thought:
 
 "That science no longer be taught exclusively from the point of view of free trade (of liberty, of property, and of justice) as has been the case until now, but also, in the future, science is to be especially taught from the viewpoint of the facts and laws that regulate French industry (facts and laws which are contrary to liberty, to property, and to justice). That, in government-endowed teaching positions, the professor rigorously refrain from endangering in the slightest degree the respect due to the laws now in force."[1]
 
Thus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law.
 
Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.
 
I could prove this assertion in a thousand ways. But, by way of illustration, I shall limit myself to a subject that has lately occupied the minds of everyone: universal suffrage.
 
 

Who Shall Judge?
 
 
The followers of Rousseau's school of thought— who consider themselves far advanced, but whom I consider twenty centuries behind the times —will not agree with me on this. But universal suffrage— using the word in its strictest sense —is not one of those sacred dogmas which it is a crime to examine or doubt. In fact, serious objections may be made to universal suffrage.
 
 
In the first place the word universalconceals a gross fallacy. For example, there are 36 million people in France. Thus, to make the right of suffrage universal, there should be 36 million voters. But the most extended system permits only 9 million people to vote. Three persons out of four are excluded. And more than this, they are excluded by the fourth. This fourth person advances the principle of incapacityas his reason for excluding the others.
 
 
Universal suffrage means, then, universal suffrage for those who are capable. But there remains this question of fact: Who is capable? Are minors, females, insane persons, and persons who have committed certain major crimes the only ones to be determined incapable?
 
 

The Reason Why Voting Is Restricted
 
 
A closer examination of the subject shows us the motive which causes the right of suffrage to be based upon the supposition of incapacity. The motive is that the elector or voter does not exercise this right for himself alone, but for everybody. The most extended elective system and the most restricted elective system are alike in this respect.
 
They differ only in respect to what constitutes incapacity. It is not a difference of principle, but merely a difference of degree. If, as the republicans of our present-day Greek and Roman schools of thought pretend, the right of suffrage arrives with one's birth, it would be an injustice for adults to prevent women and children from voting. Why are they prevented? Because they are presumed to be incapable.
 
 And why is incapacity a motive for exclusion? Because it is not the voter alone who suffers the consequences of his vote; because each vote touches and affects everyone in the entire community; because the people in the community have a right to demand some safeguards concerning the acts upon which their welfare and existence depend.
 
 
 

The Answer Is to Restrict the Law
 
 
I know what might be said in answer to this; what the objections might be. But this is not the place to exhaust a controversy of this nature. I wish merely to observe here that this controversy over universal suffrage (as well as most other political questions) which agitates, excites, and overthrows nations, would lose nearly all of its importance if the law had always been what it ought to be.
 
 
 In fact, if law were restricted to protecting all persons, all liberties, and all properties; if law were nothing more than the organized combination of the individual's right to self defense; if law were the obstacle, the check, the punisher of all oppression and plunder— is it likely that we citizens would then argue much about the extent of the franchise?
 
 
Under these circumstances, is it likely that the extent of the right to vote would endanger that supreme good, the public peace? Is it likely that the excluded classes would refuse to peaceably await the coming of their right to vote?
 
Is it likely that those who had the right to vote would jealously defend their privilege? If the law were confined to its proper functions, everyone's interest in the law would be the same. Is it not clear that, under these circumstances, those who voted could not inconvenience those who did not vote?
 
 

The Fatal Idea of Legal Plunder
 
 
But on the other hand, imagine that this fatal principle has been introduced: Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another; the law takes the wealth of all and gives it to a few— whether farmers, manufacturers, ship owners, artists, or comedians. Under these circumstances, then certainly every class will aspire to grasp the law, and logically so.
The excluded classes will furiously demand their right to vote— and will overthrow society rather than not to obtain it. Even beggars and vagabonds will then prove to you that they also have an incontestable title to vote.
 
They will say to you:
 
"We cannot buy wine, tobacco, or salt without paying the tax. And a part of the tax that we pay is given by law— in privileges and subsidies — to men who are richer than we are. Others use the law to raise the prices of bread, meat, iron, or cloth. Thus, since everyone else uses the law for his own profit, we also would like to use the law for our own profit. We demand from the law the right to relief, which is the poor man's plunder.
 
To obtain this right, we also should be voters and legislators in order that we may organize Beggary on a grand scale for our own class, as you have organized Protection on a grand scale for your class. Now don't tell us beggars that you will act for us, and then toss us, as Mr. Mimerel proposes, 600,000 francs to keep us quiet, like throwing us a bone to gnaw. We have other claims. And anyway, we wish to bargain for ourselves as other classes have bargained for themselves!"
 
And what can you say to answer that argument!
 
 

Perverted Law Causes Conflict
 
 
As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose— that it may violate property instead of protecting it —then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious. To know this, it is hardly necessary to examine what transpires in the French and English legislatures; merely to understand the issue is to know the answer.
 
 
Is there any need to offer proof that this odious perversion of the law is a perpetual source of hatred and discord; that it tends to destroy society itself? If such proof is needed, look at the United States [in 1850]. There is no country in the world where the law is kept more within its proper domain: the protection of every person's liberty and property. As a consequence of this, there appears to be no country in the world where the social order rests on a firmer foundation. But even in the United States, there are two issues— and only two — that have always endangered the public peace.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address: Did He Waste His Breath? by Joe Wolverton, II

To all those who read here, I implore you to make these posts famous and share them all over the net. This is my only prayer, that the TRUTH of Conservative principles will never die. The Founders which we owe our lives to in this great land would be proud to know that over 200 years from their time people have not forgotten the greatest principles to ever grace human government. I pray that all Liberals who read my words would not do as so many do, to dismiss out of hand the ideas that so many of the past have given their lives for from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan and beyond! The Constitution of these United States DOES NOT GIVE THE Federal GOVERNMENT the right to bankrupt our Nation, nor does it allow it to become our Nanny from cradle to grave. Socialism DOES NOT WORK anywhere it has been tried, it enslaves, ensnares and destroys every once of freedom, personal or otherwise. No Liberal ANYWHERE has ever proven that it will work nor can they, for we have many years of human history to prove it does not. So I would ask that no Liberal reading here, post nonsesical responces to my posts. No one believes it any more, no one cares if you can belittle and lie against me because in the end.....the Failure belongs to your Agenda not your dream of utopias past and dead.
 
Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address: Did He Waste His Breath?  by Joe Wolverton, II
 
As he prepared to leave office, President George Washington was concerned about the partisan and martial path the young republic he helped found was heading down.
 
 
Even the “Father of His Country” was not above criticism and vitriolic attacks in the press. Although the recently retired general whom the Indians believed could not be killed loathed the shots taken at him by “infamous newspapers,” he refused to make any response that would deny his countrymen of “the infinite blessings resulting from a free press.”
 
 
This noble attitude contrasts sharply with his contemporary and successor John Adams who signed the Alien and Sedition Acts into law in an attempt to criminalize criticism of the president, as well as the vigorous defense currently being mounted by our current president of his authority under the National Defense Authorization Act to indefinitely detain persons he suspects of posing a threat to the security of the homeland.
 
 
In this and in myriad other ways, Washington was in fact “the indispensable man” and an example to politicians in his own time and ours.
 
 
When the time came for Washington to return to his beloved Mount Vernon and deliver one last message to his “friends and fellow citizens,” he relied on his former collaborator and Virginian James Madison to help him draft his Farewell Address.
 
 
September 19, 2012 marked the 216th anniversary of Washington’s Farewell Address.
 
Deservedly so, this speech has become renowned for its prose and principles — including national unity, tolerance of political differences, and neutrality in the endless foreign conflicts.
 
 
To ensure that his remarks would strike the appropriate tone, Washington informed Madison that the speech should declare “in plain and modest terms … that we are all children of the same country…. That our interest, however diversified in local and small matters, is the same in all the great and essential concerns of the nation.”
 
 
Although he penned a version of the address in his own words, he ultimately approved and delivered the words written by Madison.
 
 
After rehearsing his own record of political and military service and expressing his “love of liberty,” Washington urges the states to remain united and to “avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”
 
 
In this case and in so many others, the United States has failed to follow President Washington’s wise recommendations.
 
Our military-industrial complex is immense, and counts profits in the billions derived from supplying our armed forces currently deployed around the globe.
 
Defense contractors sign billion-dollar contracts with the government, and funnel millions into the campaign coffers of key congressmen whom they can count on to keep the money flowing and the troops fighting.
 
 
To avoid the plague of perpetual war, Washington warns against “foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues.”
 
Sadly, our modern proclivity is to surrender sovereignty to international bodies whose members are not elected and thus not accountable to the American people, and to send monetary and military support to “freedom fighters” in the Middle East.
 
 As the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya demonstrates, however, all this patronage has failed to purchase peace.
 
 
Washington associates a lasting peace with the avoidance of martial meddling and with the level of virtue in the citizenry. He declares that a peaceful country can be maintained only by peaceful people.
 
Washington explains:
"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.
 
Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it — It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.
 
Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it?
 
Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue?
 
The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature.
 
Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?"
Our own government’s defiance of this good advice is apparent by its efforts to portray Muslims as radicals and enemies worthy of hate and suspicion; as well as by its codified disregard for due process as evidence by the compilation by President Obama of a kill list composed of people (including some Americans) targeted for summary execution.
 
 
In light of Washington’s wise warnings, it is little wonder that we find ourselves trillions of dollars in debt due in part to the demand for the funding of multiple military operations, as the Constitution, the rule of law, and virtue are counted among the collateral damage.
 
 
The history of the past 216 years reveals that most of Washington’s successors have refused to heed the counsel of caution given in his Farewell Address. Instead, they have chosen to bid farewell to the “fundamental maxims of true liberty” included by him and his fellow delegates in the Constitution.
 
 
If we are to avoid “running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations,” perhaps President Obama, Mitt Romney, and those members of Congress so keen on banging the war drums will take a moment and refresh their memories of our first president’s parting words.
 
The following declaration is particularly timely:
 
"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it.
 
Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other.

 
Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."
 

Finally, perhaps all of us can turn from those habits and long-held prejudices that prevent us from achieving that standard of virtuous nobility recommended by Washington. Perhaps we can turn back to that God that gave us life and is the Author of our liberty.
 
As Washington said and Madison wrote:
 
"Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors.
 
Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
 
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers."
Originally published at The New American Magazine
Apart from his work as a journalist, Joe Wolverton, II is a professor of American Government at Chattanooga State and was a practicing attorney until 2009. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since 2000, Joe has been a featured contributor to The New American magazine. Most recently, he has written a cover story article on the Tea Party movement, as well as a five-part series on the unconstitutionality of Obamacare.
 
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