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The intent of the Founding Fathers and the dangers of socialism, part 5

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This is the final article in a five-part series.

Thomas Jefferson/Wikipedia
Thomas Jefferson/Wikipedia

Monopolies are unhealthy for a capitalistic, free-market system. They stifle competition. Competition increases quality as it reduces prices for consumers. Under socialism the government controls the means of production, whether in health care, manufacturing, banking, or insurance. In effect the government becomes a monopoly. Prices will be fixed and there is no incentive to ever reduce prices. The state monopoly has no competition and effectively no criticism.

When the power is centralized in the federal government, the state becomes everything. The Founding Fathers desired as little power as possible to be invested in the federal government. They knew from personal experience that when the power is centralized in the federal government the individual suffers. The all-powerful state is termed statism, or another is socialism. 

Socialism is the road to servitude; the road to complete dependence on the state. The Founding Fathers understood that when all power is vested in the state it takes on a life of its own and seeks ever more control. They understood that the all-powerful state, in which the few control the many, is the greatest threat to liberty. Also, if the power gets into the hands of the wrong person, totalitarianism ensues.

Remember, slave masters employed strict discipline; demanded complete submission; and used fear, and dependence, and superiority to control their slaves. As we observe what is happening in American politics today, does it not appear that the political polices of the current administration and congress are dangerously close to the principles used by slave masters? The government wants us to be completely dependent on the state.

The most effective way to centrally plan is to do so unilaterally, because unilaterally is the best way to coerce and enforce the ideals of central planning. The head of central planning must use strict discipline to prevent any opposition to the plan, fear to motivate submissive change, and a sense that he knows better than all. People must open their eyes; the very things noted previously are happening, and they strongly resemble the methods of slave masters.

America is adrift and floating in the direction of socialism. Vigilance is needed by the populace to maintain the original political system established by America’s Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson said, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” 

Vigilance demands people pay attention to where they are headed as a nation. It means they do not give the government carte blanche power to act. Our Founding Fathers understood human nature and therefore had a healthy skepticism about government. They knew men’s lust for power and so they designed a political structure that would check it. Why would people want to abandon that and give complete power to the central government?

Let everyone take some lessons from history about being vigilant. Plato said, “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Aristotle warned, “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.” The Lutheran pastor and political activist Martin Niemöller, who was imprisoned by Hitler for his leadership role in the Confessing Church said, “In Germany they came first for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

America it is time to speak up before it is too late.

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Mark Hudson
Mark Hudsonhttp://www.mlcconline.org
Mark Hudson has been pastor of Medical Lake Community Church since 2001. Before that he served as a missionary in Germany, where he spent a decade planting churches.

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Ernesto Tinajero
Ernesto Tinajero
12 years ago

“America is adrift and floating in the direction of socialism.”

Mark,

What is your evidence of this. The since 1980s America has been busy dismantle the New Deal. The tax rate for wealthy is the lowest since 1920s. Deregulation has been the rule of the day, gutting of glass steagall act and the creating in 2000 of the largest market in the history of man through the efforts of Phil Gramm. It seems our drift is the other direction towards a return to Gilded Age Capitalism.

Mark Hudson
Mark Hudson
12 years ago

Ernesto: Planned economy, over-regulation, redistribution of wealth. The free market is not free, it is choked by over-regulation. The market is not fixing prices, but the government through micromanaging the economy. The government desires to take over more and more means of production-government workers have increased in the last three years more than the private sector workers. It is a drift towards socialism-european style socialism.

Bruce
Bruce
12 years ago

You lump all the “Founding Fathers” together, but its not true that they were united about anything, much less limited Federal government. The Federalist party consisting of George Washington and James Madison wanted a strong central government, much like you claim with Obama today. The Anti-Federalists consisting of Thomas Jefferson wanted strong State governments and a weak central government. But you can’t claim that they were united. They were divided the same way we are today.

Bruce
Bruce
12 years ago

Also, you said that monopolies are unhealthy for a capitalistic free-market system. We actually have many monopolies in our system. The electrical utilities are all monopolies. The NFL is a monopoly, as is the NBA, etc. Are you saying these are unhealthy also? Would you prefer multiple water companies running pipes into your house, multiple electrical cables, multiple cable TV coax cables?

Ernesto Tinajero
Ernesto Tinajero
12 years ago

“Planned economy, over-regulation, redistribution of wealth. The free market is not free, it is choked by over-regulation. The market is not fixing prices, but the government through micromanaging the economy. The government desires to take over more and more means of production-government workers have increased in the last three years more than the private sector workers. It is a drift towards socialism-european style socialism.”

Again, I am not sure what you mean. I showed through the gutting of Glass and the banning of regulating the derivatives, that we have moved away from what you feared. I would add that even in the darkest days of the recent recession, (one cause by those unregulated derivatives market I might add) when people were calling for the nationalization of the banks, the government resisted and propped up the banks until they could get on their feet then bowed out. The only one I can think of is the semi-take over of GM and Chrysler, but again when those companies return to profitability, the Government bowed out. It can be rightly seen as the proper action.

Mark, I am trying to understand your fear, but giving something more to go on. The deregulation of the markets, the lowering of taxes, the reform of welfare, the regulation of oil companies was written by the oil companies under Vice President Cheney all have happened since the Regan years. Phil Gramm’s program of deregulation help caused the last recession (gutting banking laws, pushing for unregulated derivative markets) and you and measure an qualify these.

If the government is desiring to take over production, then it is doing a lousy job of it. In the industry that it stepped in, it has bowed out. In the sector that it could’ve of, banking, it didn’t. Give something more like the government just took over Apple last week.

Mark Hudson
Mark Hudson
12 years ago

Bruce: You’re right. The Founding Fathers did not unanimously agree on everything. They did agree on the Constitution, voted for it, and then it was ratified by the States. All I’m asking from our government is that it abides by the Constitution. Today, the President bypassed Congress and announced a policy (law) that rightfully belonged to the Congress to institute. President Bush did the same thing during his administration. Both parties are guilty of ignoring the Constitution.

Yes, monopolies are unhealthy for consumers. Competition regulates the prices. Monopolies can charge whatever they want and the consumer, if he wishes to have the product, must pay the price. In our city (population 4750) there is one telephone and one cable company. If I want telephone service I must use them. It could be that other telephone companies have cheaper service, but I would not know.

Mark Hudson
Mark Hudson
12 years ago

Ernesto: From the reports I have read small businesses are feeling choked by over-regulation and are not investing or hiring for fear of what the government will do next. Companies are sitting on a lot of assets, because they are unsure of the future plans of the government.

I’m not fearful. God is in control no matter which political party is in power. He was in control when Nero was emperor. After studying the Founding Fathers, I agree with their views of human government. I am not claiming to be an expert on all the views of the Founding Fathers, but I think I understand their vision of what America was intended to be. What saddens me is how far our government has drifted from the intent of the Founding Fathers.

Prabu
Prabu
12 years ago

I have been following this thought-provoking and well written series closely. Though I fundamentally disagree with your main premise, I have enjoyed reading your posts.

Ernesto Tinajero
Ernesto Tinajero
12 years ago

Mark,

On you last comment to me, I have good news. During this recovery the private sector has been hiring on levels of other recoveries. Job growth in this sector, corporate and small business, has been add jobs. My work has doubled their workforce in the last four months.

So, the question is why is the unemployment rate is so stubbornly high. The public sector, local, state and federal governments has shredded 1.4 million jobs in the last two years. Government has shrunk. If public sector had not fired those people, mostly firemen, policemen and teachers, then the rate would be 7.3%. The country is heading more toward a Austrian Libertarian as oppose to the founding fathers who were Lockean Liberals.

Dennis
Dennis
11 years ago

That is one thing that always gripes me about how government extorts more taxes. Even though I would need to see where you got the 7.3%, every time the government wants to over spend or reaches their already outrageous level of deficit spending (who gets to do that except government, anyway?) the first thing they threaten to cut is necessary services, some of the few things they were meant to do in the first place. Why not first cut so many of the unnecessary and shameful boondoogles, many of them worthless pseodo-scientific “studie” the MUST be funded. Sad. Another reason for the unemployment is that the current administration has authorized several huge bridge and tunnel projects in California to construction companies from China. Talk about hypocritical. I myself would call it lying to remain in power.

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