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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Puzzle of Equality, Liberty, Happiness, and Fairness

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

A society cannot practice liberty and equality simultaneously.  Equity is a Marxist construct, and to even claim that civil rights are "rights for equality" is denying the reality of the system of liberty established in the United States, and following the existence of a Marxist drive to extinguish that liberty we seek to revitalize.  The drive for equality should not be about forcing the culture to be color-blind, but to remove government from the culture so that we may strive to be self-reliant, personally responsible, and successful without governmental regulations forcing upon the citizenry their idea of collectivism, and without allowing the politicians to use social engineering through laws that promote preferential treatment, quotas, or limit our opportunities to reach for the incentives offered  by a free market economy, regardless of who we are.

In other words, the greatest threat to our liberty to be who we are is a government that believes it is its job to guarantee equality.

The political opposition of the U.S. Constitution uses terms like "fairness" and "justice" to promote their call for a collective, homogeneous society.  They reference the Declaration of Independence's language calling for the idea that "all men are created equal" without understanding what the phrase truly means.  On the surface the call for "fairness" and "equality" sounds wonderful, but the reality is that these concepts actually propose a society that is the opposite of what our American system of government was designed to promote.

Biblical concepts of individualism and free-will are intertwined with the principles of liberty we find in the founding documents of the United States.  Our natural rights are God-given, and the concept of having an individual right to own property so that we may be fruitful as a result of our labors is biblical.  A free society requires that we have private ownership, and that our possessions are to be obtained as a result of our individual labors.  The Bible states, "Thou shalt not covet" and "Thou shalt not steal," confirming the concept of ownership.  Ownership requires individual assertiveness and innovation to be able to obtain the property.  A society that refuses to adhere to the commandments of Heaven, which includes liberty and the pursuit of happiness, becomes chaos. A society that eliminates the right of private property ownership becomes a tyranny.

When governments call for "fairness" they are calling for equity.  God, however, made each of us different from each other.  We are not the same, nor were we ever intended to be so.  The reality is that in a free system where our own individual skills and drive fuel our journey towards success or failure, there will be winners and losers.  There will be those who become wealthy, and those who don't.  For those who lose, however, in a truly free society those people will still have the opportunity to try again, without government interference, without government control, without government regulation.

As the old saying goes, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."  It is not supposed to be, "If at first you don't succeed, head for the welfare line."

In a collective system of fairness and equality, everyone gets a trophy for participating, whether it is earned, or not.  Everyone, according to the government in those systems, must be equal no matter what, even if it means eliminating innovation, competition, and the recognition of individual achievement.

The Declaration of Independence declares that "all men are created equal."  We must ask, in what way are we all equal?

Should we all be equal at the finish line despite our lack of effort during the race?  Are we all truly equal at the starting line, even though some have the gifts needed for the race, while others may have God-given skills for a completely different journey?  Or are we all equal in the eyes of God when it comes to His Love, Forgiveness, and desire to have us join Him in his Kingdom after our short time here on Earth is completed?

Among our rights we have the right to pursue Happiness.  Is happiness the same for all people?  Is there truly equality in the pursuit of happiness?  Or, did Thomas Jefferson pen those words because it was a proclamation that we are all created equal despite government, and in the eyes of God without government interference?

If the latter is true, then we must ask, "Should it be government's job to seek social justice or equality among its citizens based on government's definition of equality?"

A central government was created by the U.S. Constitution not to regulate our lives, but to protect, preserve and promote the union. A central government like our federal government, like any other central system throughout the world and throughout history, is capable of becoming tyrannical. Knowing the danger of an ever-expanding government determined to interfere with our liberty, the authors wrote the Constitution in a manner so that it is equipped with limitations on the powers of government.  The federal government's authorities are only those that have been expressly granted by the States, and nothing more.

Governmental spending was only supposed to be in relation to those limited authorities.  If the federal government was to determine for itself its own powers, and if the federal government was to be given its own discretion on how to spend as it wished base on its own definitions, then they will (and have) interpret their authorities to be way beyond Constitutional limitations, and inevitably a tyranny will follow.

James Madison, the father of the Constitution, addressed the issue of unlimited spending.  He said, "It has been [said], that the power 'to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,' amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defence or general welfare. . . If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one."

Madison intended for us to understand that our own liberties belong to us, and must not be a part of the federal government's purview, and therefore not a part of federal spending.  Equality is not supposed to be equity in results, but equity in the fact that government does not interfere with our personal lives or natural rights, regardless of who we are as Americans.

When the Progressive Era slammed into the United States during the late 1800s, and gained full steam during Woodrow Wilson's presidency, the democratic socialism and strategy of class warfare under Karl Marx's guidance through the Communist Manifesto took on a theme of redistribution.

"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." -- Karl Marx

Using the Marxist platform, the progressive income tax rate took hold.  Direct taxation with a progressive rate gave rise to class warfare, and ultimately the opportunity for the progressives to buy their power with entitlement programs. Personal ambition was targeted for termination, and the platform of modern day liberalism began its journey to destroy the liberty fought for by the Founding Fathers.

The utopian concepts of collectivism, and communitarianism, through a socialist agenda, has birthed our modern era where we believe that equality is not supposed to be in the eyes of God, but in the eyes of government, through rules of equity.  Our dynamic economic system of financial freedom through a vibrant marketplace free from interference from government meddling has been compromised by increased taxation, governmental debt, and government regulations intruding upon the means of production.

The opposition to constitutional principles argue that a free market is contrary to fairness, and equity.  Some people become rich, while others remain poor.  In order to eliminate the unfairness, the statists seek to increase government intrusion in the private sector, create laws that encroach on our freedoms in the name of protecting us from ourselves (because it is somehow good for the collective good), and eventually gain control of the means of production so that profit and incentive is eliminated for the sake of social and economic justice.

True equality, however, always devolves into equal misery.

Government intrusion into our personal lives, in a system that stands against liberty in the name of equality, does not stop there.  Energy, transportation, banking, and even how we eat begins to fall under governmental scrutiny.  Anti-constitutional forces and their minions demonize success, penalize wealth, and say that "fairness" can only be reached by taxing the rich, and targeting anyone or anything that has reached a level of success that makes it look like they have been blessed unfairly. Corporations have been proclaimed the enemy, and class warfare has become the preferred mode of warfare on the political battlefield.

The basics of economics teaches us that if production is penalized through regulations or taxation, or both, there will be less of it.  This concept is true with anything.  If you tax more heavily a particular product or service, consumers will seek that product or service less.  Therefore, by taxing or regulating against individual production, there will be less production, and the market will suffer, regardless of how eager the consumerism may seem.

To cover-up the damage caused by policies of governmental intrusion into the private sector, and to shore up the concept of equality for all, supporters of statism have established "entitlement" programs.  Dependency upon government, as hoped for by anti-liberty forces, has proven to be an addiction with greater potency than any addiction to any natural or synthesized illegal substance (drug).  As more people join up with the ranks of the dependent, the statists must seek more taxes from the producers of society to pay off the recipients.  The more government seeks such a redistribution of wealth, the more they encourage less production, and as a result, more people become dependent upon the government in order to survive.

At what point does the loss of production become too severe to continue to afford the transfer of wealth from the producers to those dependent upon welfare programs?

Samuel Adams, an American Revolutionary that supported the principles of limited government as prescribed by the United States Constitution, recognized the dangers of collectivism. Though socialism was not technically a concept unleashed upon the world, it did exist under different names, such as "Utopianism." Schemes of Utopianism were present during the dawn of the New World, and the founding of America. The notion of the redistribution of wealth, a socialist tactic used to diminish the standing of the wealthy in a society by taking riches away from the producers by way of heavy taxation, or inflation, and distributing those funds by way of entitlement and welfare programs, or price controls, to the "less fortunate," was not a strategy unknown to the Founding Fathers. In a quote, Samuel Adams spoke of the action, calling it Schemes of Leveling. He said, "The Utopian schemes of leveling, and a community of goods (what we now call "Socialism"), are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional."
Among the reasons the battle for political supremacy is being lost by the forces of liberty is because supporters of constitutional literacy have been losing the culture war.  Equality as a concept from the point of view of the Declaration of Independence has been hijacked and redefined, and the average person does not understand that the modern definition is not compatible with the true concept of liberty.  The argument for "equality for all" has hooked racial minorities (black and Hispanic), single women, millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) and secular voters, who, together, form roughly half of the U.S. voting age population, and is a group destined to dominate politically in the coming years.

How can the proponents of constitutional literacy and the promise of liberty combat against an ideology that seeks to soothe the emotions of people who feel they've been treated unequally, and stroke humanity's desire to be fair?

The equality argument is being used across the board, and is being promoted through a massive campaign through technology.  The maladministration of the term "equality" is being applied to immigration, family, gender roles and religion.  The revolution is being called a blending of immigrant, multinational, multicultural and multilingual diversity that goes way beyond the idea of a melting pot.  How can anyone argue against such a unified-sounding idea?

The utopianist's package is covered with colorful wrappings and sparkling bows.  It winks at you kindly, and holds out its arms with the promise of a reassuring hug.  We can all work together and be equal, the collectivists proclaim.  If we put the community before individualism, in the long run we can all coexist in peace and harmony.

Unfortunately, no matter how beautifully decorated, beneath the colorful wrappings and sparkling bows is a utopian poison preaching collectivism, proclaiming in as loving of a voice as possible that its "for the common good."  The collectivists believe their definition of a social community is more important than God's definition of individuality.

There is no question from a Jeffersonian point of view that we all are created equal, and under the law we should all be treated equally.  Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed that he had a dream that someday people would be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.  In a virtuous society where the rule of law reigns, that doctrine does not mean, however, that we should also be equal in our skills, and talents.  Life is always unequal.  Life is what we make of it.

While we are all created equal by our Creator, the truth is, reality dictates that complete and unadulterated equality ends at birth

During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, not a single delegate argued that equality extends beyond birth.  In fact, Alexander Hamilton on June 26, 1787, made a statement to the contrary.  He said, "Inequality will exist as long as lib­erty exists. It unavoidably results from that very liberty itself."

Madison's Notes reflect no dissent regarding Hamilton's remark.

During the ratification conventions no comment demanding verbiage proclaiming equality was uttered, either.  Nor, in the proposals or during the conventions regarding the Bill of Rights.

Government was never given the authority to impose equality because in a system of liberty where we as free citizens can strive for the American Dream, true equality is not only not possible, but it would work against what is being achieved through liberty.

George Mason, a delegate during the Constitutional Convention, but a man who refused to sign the document because he feared the federal government may have too many authorities as it was written, and because he did not wish to promote it without an accompanying Bill of Rights attached, said of equality, "That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain in­herent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and de­fending life and liberty, and of ac­quiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation, and of pur­suing their own happiness."

After generations of slavery, however, Abraham Lincoln needed to use the "equality" argument to unite a nation.  He began his Gettysburg Address citing the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming, "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Slavery was the antipathy of equality, and in order to stir imagination and emotions, Lincoln pursued the "equality" label.  He succeeded.  Lincoln aroused emotions of sympathy.

His speech, however, was a contradiction of what he had said only a year before.  On August 14, 1862, speaking to a large group of black delegates in Washington, he said, "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races."

Thomas Jefferson warned that the abolition of slavery would bring with it a new set of challenges.  Jefferson believed that slavery must be abolished, but feared a blanket abolition of slavery would cause problems.  The newly emancipated slaves would be steeped in poverty, and there would be trouble between the races.  Besides, the Constitution reserved to the States their sovereignty, so it was not the job of the federal government to tell the States what to do on the matter.  The States had to come to the conclusion to abolish slavery themselves, individually, bit by bit.  A sudden blanket emancipation, Jefferson suggested, may lead to an American race war similar to the revolts in Haiti, and cause a resentment between the races that may exist for many generations.

In truth, different cultures and races have differences between each other, and within those groups there are differences between the various individuals.  There is no equality, not meaning that any one group is better than any other group, but that because we are individuals we all have our own unique way about ourselves.  God created each of us to be unique, and to have our own wonderful and different footprint upon history.

Thomas Jefferson's remark about all men being created equal means that we are not only equally loved by God, cared for by God, and God seeks us equally to come to Him through the Gift of Salvation, but also that he envisioned a country where the government equally did not intrude upon the lives of people, regardless of who they are.  The idea of liberty is that we all possess the same liberty to pursue happiness as we uniquely and individually may decide.  We are equal in the eyes of God, and must be in the eyes of the law.

In a communist system the concept of equality is front and center.  On the surface they proclaim it to mean that all men should be an equal king, but the reality is it means that all men should equally be peasants and slaves, save for a few who are politically powerful and wealthy and must rule with an iron fist so as to stamp out any momentary emergence of individuality, or independent thoughts of having hopes and dreams.

The goal of those calling for equality is to make irrelevant all remnants of individuality, be it the individual sovereignty of the States, to the ability of the individual to influence their system through a representative government.  If the individual can be convinced that their individuality is a danger to their very happiness, they will be willing to relinquish their individualism, and hand over the keys to their pursuit of happiness to the government where a life of mediocrity is preferred. After all, being an individual can be a lot of hard work. As individuals, we work at a thankless job, pay payments on a massive mortgage, and balance the checkbook with not enough money in the coffers. These distractions, we are convinced by the statists, interferes with life.  The life of mediocrity is taught to be real freedom, when it is founded upon a desire for equity.  Anyone who desires more than a life of mediocrity orchestrated by a government that encourages dependency is then considered greedy, and must be brought down to the level of everyone else.

Freedom, after all, is actually selfish, according to the Marxists.  Saul Alinsky, a Marxist radical, wrote, “The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself... People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people.”

2016 Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton championed many of these themes.

As Senator, Mrs. Clinton said while talking to a group of wealthy Democrats, “Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you.  We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you.  We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

Another time during an economic policy speech in May of 2007 she said, “It’s time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few.  Time to reject the idea of an 'on your own' society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity.  I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society.”

On July 13, 1813, John Adams wrote, "Inequalities of mind and body are so established by God Almighty in his constitution of human nature that no art or policy can ever plane them down to a level. I have never read reasoning more absurd, sophistry more gross, in proof of the Athana­sian creed, or transubstantiation, than the subtle labors of Helvetius and Rousseau to demonstrate the nat­ural equality of mankind. Jus cuique, the golden rule, do as you would be done by, is all the equality that can be supported or defended by reason or common sense."

Helvetius and Rousseau were utopianists who were important cogs in the launch of the brutal and godless French Revolution that sought a "we're all in it together" kind of society that Mrs. Clinton called for, but instead wound up with a bloody totalitarian system that still haunts France to this day.

On April 15, 1814, John Adams wrote to John Taylor of Virginia, "Inequalities are a part of the natural history of man. I believe that none but Helvetius will affirm, that all children are born with equal genius."

We are all born equal in the eyes of God, therefore we are equal in our possession of Natural Rights.  We all have an equal right to pursue happiness, and to follow a moral path.  We, however, do not have equal powers and faculties.  We do not have an equal influence on society.  As a result of our labors we do not end up with an equal ownership of property and possessions.  If we were equal in each of those things, we would not have liberty, because government would be in place to make sure each of those things are equal.

While the French decided to try and fashion their own revolution after the American Revolution, their cry for liberty failed because it refused to integrate important ingredients that were a part of the American Revolution.  France rejected God, and inserted the theory of equality.  France, as a result, quenched liberty in blood.

The American Revolution was kept under control by documents limiting the power of government, and because the Americans fought their revolution "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence."  The concept of liberty and a limited government were followed by all of the new thirteen States.

In France, however, the leadership subordinated the liberties of men to the power of a government, following a more democratic government immediately responsive to equalitarian mobs.

Equality leaves no choice, no uniqueness, and no incentive.  If all men are equal by nature, there can be no differences and no distinctions, and therefore, no liberty and no prosperity of any individual for any reason.

Inequality creates freedom, the opportunity to pursue one's own religion, to learn according to one's own talents and capabilities, to work as hard as one desires and to seek the rewards that accompany those labors, to be virtuous or not, and to be as wealthy as one desires if their talents and hard work makes available such an opportunity.

Equality of wealth makes all men poor. Equality of religion destroys all religion.  Equality of labor and reward renders all incentives moot and unavailable.  Equality homogenizes so that there is no innovation or the opportunity to rise up in wealth.  Government imposed equality is full dependency upon government, which is bondage. . . which is slavery.

Equality through government exists only in systems based on collectivism and despotism, both which are unconstitutional and contrary to the concept of liberty.  Equality in the eyes of God is hope, and the ability to seek one's own individuality in a system based on liberty.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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