Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Republicans are Socialists, Too

Why do libertarian thinkers and laissez-faire capitalists say that the Republican and Democratic parties are two sides of the same socialist coin? I am not referring to the recent bail-out of the banking system, but to practically all the Republican Party stands for.

A simple observation from a website that attempts to describe the redistribution of wealth has this to say about the dual party system:

"Socialism dominates the political discussion in virtually every free society. As a result, there exists in each country two political parties - One that favors increasing the number of such programs, and another party that opposes them." http://www.newspeakdictionary.com/ct-distribution_1.html

This is a perfect description of America's situation, where the 1) Democrats favor increasing the size of the government so it becomes the righter of all (supposed) wrongs and, in doing so, making everyone (supposedly) "equal"; and where 2) Republicans merely oppose making the government bigger by fighting the Democrats over which socialist policies ought to be implemented--or not.

I don't even trust that the so-called "free-market" deregulation the Democrats accuse their counterparts of is true, since the only thing they may have "deregulated" is socialist, or at least non-free-market, regulations implemented earlier; and I think that deregulation does not mean looking the other way, as the Democrats did in 2006.

"Sen. John McCain's 2006 demand for regulatory action on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could have prevented current financial crisis, as HUMAN EVENTS[.com] learned from the letter shown in full text below. McCain's letter -- signed by nineteen other senators -- said that it was '...vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac]...operate in a safe and sound manner.[and]..More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event that either...should fail.' Sen. Obama did not sign the letter, nor did any other Democrat." http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=28973

But "regulatory action" on government-backed institutions has nothing to do with the free market, either. Privatizing Fannie and Freddie would have been freemarket ideology.

But did the ability to operate in a manner that was unsafe and unsound result from the deregulation Democrats claim, or did it result from those two socialistic "quasi government corporations" that bought mortgages from lenders? They encouraged the lenders to make sub-prime loans at the request and pressure from Democrats Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.)

To many people, Republican adversity to the Democrats sounds as if the parties are very different. But the coin that isn't Democrats on one side and Republicans on the other side puts both parties on the same side of the isle (to mix metaphors) with each other when they are contrasted with laissez-faire capitalists. Laissez-faire is a different coin, a horse of a different color.

And it is literally gold, not paper, money.

Before I make the contrast with laissez-faire, (which will be tomorrow), I would like to say the Dems and Republicans are on the same side of the isle when they are contrasted with strict Original Intent Constitutionalists, who look to historical records and standards as the means by which to interpret the "original intention" of the men who wrote it. As it stands today, that can sometimes be done, but often it cannot be done. Some of the Amendments added since 1787 have erased forever the "original intent," because we can never get close to original intent without declaring unConstitutional those Amendments, specifically the Fourteenth with its "citizens of the Unites States" clause, a clause that allowed the large expansion of federal power through democracy that clearly lacks the "republicanism" of the Founders. Today's State and Federal governments operate often as near-pure democracies, republicanism be damned.

"The Founders clearly understood the dangers of a democracy. Edmund Randolph of Virginia described the effort to deal with the issue at the Constitutional Convention: 'The general object was to produce a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origins, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.'

"These strongly held views regarding the evils of democracy and the benefits of a Constitutional Republic were shared by all the Founders. For them, a democracy meant centralized power, controlled by majority opinion, which was up for grabs and therefore completely arbitrary." Rep. Ron Paul in the US House of Representatives, January 29, 2003 The Fourteenth gave them that arbitrary power, and now "the trouble in Washington" is merely the system of one party trying to wrest that arbitrary power from the other party.

Both parties endorse socialist programs, when "socialism" is defined simply as "taxing A to benefit B." When everyone within a given political domain, say a school system, is taxed at the same rate to "provide for the common Welfare" by being able to provide public schools, there is no socialism, so long as what is being taxed is directly related to the use of the money. The same applies to any form of taxation that is applied equally across the spectrum of any political domain.

However, the taxation of A to benefit B violates this principle. This sort of taxation only creates the very classes and class warfare that socialism hoped to eliminate--because socialism creates it faster and more surely than republican democracy.
"Theft does not cease to be theft simply because an elected body is the entity which is perpetrating the act. 'Forced Charity' is not charity at all - it is theft." [ibid] Not only is it not charity, it is a majority deciding whose money to steal and whom to give it to.

The Supreme Court Historical Society reports the first attempt at income taxation was for two percent of any income over $4k. In a 5-4 vote, the law was struck down.

"Bluntly, the dissenters called this decision 'the most disastrous blow ever struck at the constitutional power of Congress,' 'a surrender of the taxing power to the moneyed class.' [ ] William Jennings Bryant said the Court stood with the rich against the poor; other political figures took up the charge."

The opposite of "surrendering the taxing power to the moneyed class" in this case would be its surrender to those who were not the moneyed class, those who wanted what the moneyed class had by means other than earning it.

Forget that the "moneyed class" who owned the means of production in the biggest factories were completely wrong to squash the power to unionize. That was unforgivable. Forget any illegal actions at all by that upper class in this argument. Those illegal actions, or any that ought to have been illegal, were wrong no matter when they happen; and they do not create a political "right" for the opposition to continue in their own fashion the class warfare.

The proper thing to do would have been to eliminate any power for either side to commit that warfare. The power to pass an income tax existed; where was the power to let laborers stand arm in arm in the right to assemble peaceably and with full recognition of their First Amendment right to free speech?

Perhaps historically I am wrong to presume that political thinkers and jurists saw such activities as "peaceable assembly" or as "free speech" in the 19th century. Perhaps that came later. I admit to being a poor historian.

But the fact remains that whether I am correct or not, the power existed to do otherwise than was done. Instead, somewhere along the road in "America's Great Experiment in the Consent of the Governed", one group has come to hold the power to rule, by "powers not delegated by the Constitution", over others to whom such powers are "reserved." [The Tenth Amendment]

"Powers not delegated by the Constitution" away from the individual are the crux of laissez-faire. Laissez-faire is one of the powers reserved to the individual. The fact that the Founders wrote nothing about it because the return of socialism to American soil was not a consideration.

What was a consideration was the state of religion in the role of influencing governments, and they wrote mountains of material on that subject. It is because of this concern that Jefferson wrote about the "wall of separation between church and state" which is one of the historical facts accepted by Constitutionalist who read with Original Intent.

There is no historic framework for anti-socialistic policy except the first two years of the Plymouth Colony. Why the Pilgrims Abandoned Communism; Pilgrims Beat 'Communism' With Free Market; etc.

And so, without historic documentation, and because anti-dog-eat-dog legislation in the 19th century aimed at the so-called "robber barons" hurt the honest capitalists too, and because power is now centralized and what ignorant, honest American's believe is the "capitalist system" gone bad, we might never, ever get to practice "the powers reserved to the People."

* title adapted from Rep. Ron Paul's speech,
"Sorry, Mr. Franklin, 'We’re All Democrats Now'", in the House
, January 29, 2003
"Madison, the father of the Constitution," said Paul, "could not have been more explicit in his fear and concern for democracies. 'Democracies,' he said, 'have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.'

"If Madison’s assessment was correct, it behooves those of us in Congress to take note and decide, indeed, whether the Republic has vanished, when it occurred, and exactly what to expect in the way of 'turbulence, contention, and violence.' And above all else, what can we and what will we do about it?"



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