Reply to Nick Beams
1 May 2001
Dear comrade Nick Beams:
Your letter though intelligently presented still refuses to acknowledge the true nature of humankind. Centralized planning does not work and history has shown that to be true and so does the present. The freer the society the more prosperous it is. Just compare the United States to the former Soviet Union and Communist China, Ireland to the European Union, and the Republic of China on Taiwan to Communist China. I am a Reagan Conservative Republican and a Jeffersonian Liberal. Perhaps you have not given their views (Ronald Wilson Reagan and Thomas Jefferson) the proper credence?
Some Reaganisms: Excerpt from “America's Strength” radio broadcast by Ronald Reagan, Dec. 22, 1976:
“Our system freed the individual genius of man. Released him to fly as high & as far as his own talent & energy would take him. We allocate resources not by government decision but by the millions of decisions customers make when they go into the market place to buy. If something seems too high-priced we buy something else. Thus resources are steered toward those things the people want most at the price they are willing to pay. It may not be a perfect system but it's better than any other that's ever been tried.”
Ronald Reagan's Philosophy: “The ideological struggle dividing the world is between communism and our own belief in freedom to the greatest extent possible consistent with an orderly society.”
“Communism,” he wrote in May 1975, “is neither an economic or a political system—it is a form of insanity—a temporary aberration which will one day disappear from the earth because it is contrary to human nature. I wonder how much more misery it will cause before it disappears.”
Some views of Thomas Jefferson:
(Excerpts from an essay “Socialism vs. Liberty” [http://www.geocities.com:0080/CapitolHill/7970/jefpco25.htm] from the website The Jeffersonian Perspective, Commentary on Today's Social and Political Issues Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson)
The key determinant in the question of Socialism vs. Liberty is that Liberty must always and forever prevail. This fundamental fact is derived from the philosophical foundation laid down by Thomas Jefferson in the American Declaration of Independence, which itself derives from the very nature of man and is confirmed in the quotation that is the lead to this whole series of essays:
“Nothing... is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.” —Thomas Jefferson to J. Cartwright, 1824.
Whatever else we may conclude, this is the one unalterable guidepost that cannot be moved without undermining the whole purpose of government and, indeed, of human life itself.
“It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.” —Thomas Jefferson to M. D'Ivernois, 1795.
Advocates of Socialism (such as yourself Nick Beams) maintain that the ideals of Socialism are social justice, greater equality, and security. But there is no mention of inalienable rights. The three ideals, stated plainly, seem innocent enough. In fact, justice, equality and security are mentioned or implied in the American Declaration of Independence, which also adds, however, the pursuit of happiness. “All men are created equal” defines equality. “Certain inalienable rights” suggests justice. The people's right to establish government that will “effect their safety and happiness” affirms their right to security.
The omission of the pursuit of happiness from the list of socialist ideals is significant, because Socialism removes that as an individual's responsibility and makes it the task of the state. Socialism is not founded on a philosophy of natural rights, but on a theory of social betterment. It is not based on an understanding of the natural condition of man and his inherent nature, but on a utopian concept which defines an ideal good. It does not leave to the individual the determination of what constitutes the pursuit of happiness, but decides and dictates this to all members of society. This is a fundamental difference, based on the abstract idealism of socialist theory, as opposed to the realistic view of existence posed by natural rights. While recognizing that all men are created equal in their entitlement to political rights, natural rights also grants to men the freedom to discover their own potential and to make of their life what they will. Natural rights do not attempt to compensate a person for his natural shortcomings, nor diminish the rewards to a person for his natural abilities. Each person is accepted “as God created them.”
“Our wish... is that... equality of rights [be] maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry or that of his fathers.” —Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805.
Socialism, in pursuing what it postulates as social justice, greater equality and security, does so by abolishing private enterprise and private ownership as the means of production. Socialism creates a centrally planned economy. Much has been written to prove that Socialism enervates initiative, destroys creativity and is therefore highly inefficient.
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