Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More prescient brilliance from the founders

Still slogging through Mark Levin's The Liberty Amendments. In his chapter about creating an amendment to protect private property he quotes founder John Adams who could very well be talking about the Occupy movement or our current class warfare promoting President and his water carriers in the press:

Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of every thing be demanded, and voted.

What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them. The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

I don't want to sound like a broken record here -- it's just that I continue to be amazed at the . . . what . . . timelessness perhaps, of the founder's comments on society. I suppose it is sort of tragic that if men like Adams and Franklin were saying things such as what I've quoted so far over 200 years ago, and those conclusions are drawn on observations of past societies, that we have not progressed very far as a species in that we're headed in exactly the direction they warned about.

No comments: