Thomas Jefferson and our other Founding Fathers understood, as John Locke before them, that each individual is naturally and morally entitled to keep the fruit of his/her own labor in pursuit of happiness. We have a moral obligation to help the disabled poor as taught in the Old and New Testaments, but that Judeo-Christian duty is a non-self-serving individual obligation, not a self-serving collectivist government obligation. Our Founding Fathers did not include charity as an enumerated power of Federal Government in our Constitution because they knew that government (a small group of people) is prone to greed and corruption on a far greater scale than that of individuals, most of whom are naturally compassionate and charitable toward their disabled neighbor.
“God, who hath given the world to men in common, hath also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life, and convenience… Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this nobody has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his.
Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.” John Locke
“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.” Samuel Adams
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson
Karl Marx agitated for totalitarian government power over the individual – where government (a small group of people after all) possesses a “right” to the fruit of the individual’s labor in their pursuit of happiness – in violation of the Natural Law embedded in our Declaration of Independence. Marxist government empowered with this so-called collectivist right to individual property is reminiscent of the same so-called divine right of Medieval Kings. Marxist Socialism is simply a modern form of Medieval Feudalism where Marxist collectivization of property (and thereby power) replaces the same collectivization by Medieval Kings, Princes, Bishops and Priests.
When Karl Marx advocated “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” he failed (I believe intentionally) to account for the facts of lower human nature. The ordinary man desires to labor creatively for his property in the pursuit of happiness. The laboring man who desires the fruit of his own labor is not a greedy man – it is, rather, a natural sign of self-ownership and earned self-esteem. The proletarian man does not desire to labor, but desires the fruit of labor of the laboring man – that is greed. Karl Marx ignored or concealed the fact that the proletariat class becomes the greedy class – along with the Marxist ruling class – greedy for the labored-for property of the hard-working middle class. When the non-disabled man fails in his sacred duty to labor creatively he becomes needy for property, and must either beg or steal property to satisfy his need – or he can vote for Marxist-type government to do the dirty deed through unjust, excessive taxation of the laboring man. The needs of the lazy man are manifold – so under Marxism the laboring man must pay according to his ability – he must be forced to pay – he must pay without limits – because the lazy man has unlimited needs.
“In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend… The proletariat [lazy, tax-eating, non-disabled under-achievers] will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital [property] from the bourgeoisie [laboring, tax-paying middle class and entrepreneurs], to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state [Marxist Government]… Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property… You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible… And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois [middle class] individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.” Karl Marx
Thomas Jefferson must have anticipated the likes of Karl Marx – a man hell-bent on re-establishing despotic government domination of the individual – where unequal government-given “rights” trump God-given equal rights.
“To take from one [according to his abilities] because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others [according to his needs], who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association–the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” Thomas Jefferson
Marxism is also a huge self-serving Orwellian lie because under Marxism – through excessive and unequal taxation – individual property is concentrated into the greedy collectivist hands of the Marxists. The individual is forced to in effect render unto Caesar that which belongs to God – all of course in the name of “equality.” Both George Orwell and Igor Shafarevich described the oxymoron – the internal contradiction – of Marxist Equality.
“It had long been realized that the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism. Wealth and privilege are most easily defended when they are possessed jointly. The so-called “abolition of private property” [Communist Manifesto] meant in effect the concentration of property in far fewer hands than before… In the years following the Revolution it [The Socialist Party of Oceania] was able to step into this commanding position almost un-opposed because the whole process was represented as an act of collectivization… It had always been assumed that if the Capitalist Class were expropriated Socialism must follow; and unquestionably the Capitalists had been expropriated. Factories, mines, land, houses, transport, everything had been taken away from them; and since these things were no longer private property it followed that they must be public property. Ingsoc [Socialist Principles of Oceania], which grew out of the earlier Socialist movement and inherited its phraseology, has in fact carried out the main item in the Socialist program with the result; foreseen and intended beforehand, that economic inequality has been made permanent.” George Orwell – 1984
“The usual understanding of “equality,” when applied to people, entails equality of rights and sometimes equality of opportunity. But what is meant in all these [Socialist] cases is the equalization of external conditions [social and economic outcome] which do not touch the individuality of man. In socialist ideology, however, the understanding of equality is akin to that used in mathematics, i.e., this is in fact identity, the abolition of differences in behavior as well as in the inner world of the individuals constituting society. From this point of view, a puzzling and at first sight contradictory property of socialist doctrines becomes apparent. They proclaim the greatest possible equality, the destruction of hierarchy in society and at the same time a strict regimentation of all of life, which would be impossible without absolute control and an all-powerful bureaucracy which would engender an incomparably greater inequality.” Igor Shafarevich
As George Orwell observed, Marxists are metaphorically the Pigs of Animal Farm– individuals who consider themselves “more equal than others.” The Marxist Pigs are enthralled with the idea of government (themselves) owning the fruit of the laboring “little animals” where all the eggs, apples, corn, etc. is placed into a commune – a communal pot under their exclusive control. The Marxist Pigs control communal property – they are the commune-ists. The Marxist Pigs, after gorging themselves with a lion’s share of communal food, require all the “little animals” to approach their communal pot, tails wagging, in order to receive their leftover rations; and they must lick the hand that feeds them. Pig (Marxist) government encourages the lazy proletariat animals to relax in the barn while the others work in the fields; with this they can set up a perverted form of “democracy.” The Pigs control all the property in the communal pot, so they are in a position to in effect steal property from the laboring animals (“from each according to his abilities”) and give to the lazy (“to each according to his needs”) in return for votes. The lazy animals have unlimited needs, so the laboring animals may be taxed without limit. The Marxist Pigs are the managers of this struggle between the working and lazy classes, and through vote-purchasing (votes purchased with stolen property) establish a self-perpetuating perversion of “democracy” which keeps them in power.
Karl Marx understood that a prosperous democracy can be perverted into serfdom under totalitarian government – no doubt Marx understood it would be much more difficult to subvert a Constitutional Republic – where there might be limits on government collectivization – limits on taxation. Subversion of a democracy occurs when enough of a population goes over to the proletariat class – with outstretched hands – voting for the Party which will rob the laboring middle class on their behalf. Eventually under Marxism the middle class is worn down – exhausted and demoralized by what amounts to slave labor. When the middle class finally succumbs there will be a dramatic fall off in production of food and other goods and services – anarchy ensues – and who “comes to the rescue” but the Marxist Ruling Class who robbed the workers to buy the votes of the lazy in the first place. Envision a cruise ship where more and more passengers run over to the left side looking for “free stuff” from government – of course the “free stuff” is the fruit of other men’s labor – the laboring men still slogging it out on the right side. Eventually there will not be enough laborers and entrepreneurs on the right side of the ship to prevent it from capsizing. Voila: Social Justice ends in poverty and a “dictatorship of the proletariat” – code for dictatorship of the Marxist ruling class. Karl Marx termed victory of the Marxist ruling class over the laboring middle class as “winning the battle of democracy.”
“We have seen above that the first step in the revolution by the [non] working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.” Karl Marx
Like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin anticipated the likes of Karl Marx.
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Benjamin Franklin
Economic justice is the equal, unalienable, God-given right of each individual to his/her labored-for property in pursuit of happiness – not Marxist equal outcome of property. As pointed out above, equal outcome of property is an Orwellian lie – an Orwellian contradiction – the defining Contradiction of Marxism – because economic equality requires an excessive and therefore unnatural use of force. Excessive force requires a superior class of not-to-be-equalized equalizers – a class is superior in rights – superior before law – and superior themselves in social and economic (property) outcome. Equal rights of every man and woman to the fruit of their own labor leads to economic inequality – which is natural and un-forced. Marxism, in Orwellian fashion, leads to even greater economic inequality – which is unnatural since it requires great force via gun-clinging government agents, courts and prisons. The only government regulation required to ensure truly free enterprise is just that amount of force needed to ensure equality of rightsto life, liberty and the fruit of labor – a minimum of force.
“No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.” Thomas Jefferson
Free people are naturally prosperous because they bring home the fruit of their own labor, and thereby possess a natural incentive to labor. An unnatural state of serfdom and poverty occurs when Marxist government (a small group of people) forcefully robs and then “collectivizes” the fruit of other people’s labor – in violation of Natural Law. The temptation to pig out on collectivized property and to use it for bribing people and buying votes is an irresistible force in Marxist government. Serfdom and poverty are inevitable in a collectivist society because the people comprising collectivist (excessively taxing) government are greedy for fruit of other men’s labor – and because the work ethic of the laboring middle class is destroyed as they eventually become exhausted and demoralized by the burden of excessive taxation of their labor on behalf of the proletariat and Marxist ruling classes. The work ethic of the non-disabled proletariat class is also destroyed because they are no longer required to labor for property – the Marxist ruling class supplies them with the fruit of middle class labor. In the end a nation where the natural work ethic of its people is destroyed is a nation on the road to serfdom and poverty. Marxist Socialism is not the cure for poverty – it is one of the chief causes of poverty in the modern world – an organized crime against humanity.
Abraham Lincoln understood that Natural Law is embedded in our American Declaration of Independence. Lincoln acknowledged the self-evident truth that each individual possess a natural God-given equal right to liberty, and that each individual also possesses a natural God-given equal right to the fruit of his/her own labor in pursuit of happiness – “for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor” – not a European Marxist system where “some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor.” It is fitting to give Abraham Lincoln the last word.
“Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” Abraham Lincoln
“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.” Abraham Lincoln
Ronald R. Cherry, MD