Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Wisdom

Courtesy of a Tweeter I follow, I came across a post published in 1968 by The Honorable Ezra Taft Benson, Former Secretary of Agriculture, The Eisenhower Administration. It is worth reading, although it does contain a few 'typos', so be patient, please. Some extracts:
"Suppose pioneer “A” wants another horse for his wagon. He doesn’t have the money to buy one, but since pioneer “B” has an extra horse, he decides that he is entitled to share in his neighbor’s good fortune. Is he entitled to take his neighbor’s horse? Obviously not! If his neighbor wishes to give it or lend it, that is another question. But so long as pioneer “B” wishes to keep his property, pioneer “A” has no just claim to it. If “A” has no proper power to take “B’s” property, can he delegate any such power to the sheriff? No. Even if everyone in the community desires that “B” give his extra horse to “A”, they have no right individually or collectively to force him to do it. They cannot delegate a power they themselves do not have. This important principle was clearly understood and explained by John Locke nearly 300 years ago:
“For nobody can transfer to another more power than he has in himself, and nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life of property of another.” (Two Treatises of Civil Government, II, p. 135; PPNS, p. 93)"
"By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by man. No man possesses such power to delegate. The creature cannot exceed the creator. In general terms, therefore, the proper role of government includes such defensive activities, as maintaining national military and local police forces for protection against loss of life, loss of property, and loss of liberty at the hands of either foreign despots or domestic criminals."
Benson quotes from the Alabama Constitution (supposedly as it was then):
"That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression. (Art. 1, Sec. 35)"
Another quote worth repetition is one of John Locke's (Two Treatises of Civil Government, II, p. 57; PPNS, p. 101)
"The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom......"
Finally, on the subject of local government, let us consider a quote from Thomas Jefferson:
"The way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many.........What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body. (WorksPPNS, p. 125) 6:543;"

My reason for such lengthy quotations is that, individually, they knock holes in arguments for, example, EU membership, the Big Society and Redistribution of Child Benefit payments, the latter on which I posted earlier today. Benson also discusses in her post: The Dividing Line Between Proper and Improper Government, The Nature of Legal Plunder, Government Cannot Create Wealth, and The Basic Error of Marxism, amongst other topics.

2 comments:

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Well your quotes do not really knock holes in the arguments for EU membership - it depends on whose arguments you mean, and what end those people have in view.

The panjandrums of the EU have no intention of granting us freedom, or democracy, or secure property rights, or sound money or any of those wonderful things.

Those are not the aims of the project, and those are not the arguments they make; their intention is to establish a bureaucratic rule administered by themselves, in which the people have no choices and no influence, whilst leaving the skeleton and appearance of democracy intact so as not to frighten the horses.

Their argument for the EU is that it brings these things about, which unquestionably it does.

Arguments made for the EU, in which democracy or freedom are mentioned, are part of the deception, they are not the actual state of affairs, and if you argue on that basis, you are one of the deceived.

Witterings From Witney said...

WY, accept what you say, however:

I was not just talking about EU membership, which you seem to presume.

For instance: the Child Benefit is not more than "redistribution of wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will" when considering that the Coalition are forcing UK people to pay for the children in other countries.

"That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression." can be levied against Cameron's Big Society, likewise " or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will"