At a time when socialist politicians are offering free everything, I fancy that the USA has mutated from the land of opportunity to the land of guarantee. Fantasy has become reality in the embracement of relativism. Following is an article by an op-ed writer for a regional newspaper in Connecticut. He makes a clear and sober case for the inevitable failure of socialism. And why the French Revolution failed and the America Revolution did not.
“Socialism remains an empty promise”
By Martin Fey
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Unlike the phrases embodied in the U.S. Constitution adopted 13 years later, those words in Thomas Jefferson’s prologue to the Declaration of Independence have no force of law. Instead they form the fragile ideological capsule that encompasses the spirit of the American experiment.
Jefferson was a great wordsmith, but the phrase was mostly borrowed from the great Enlightenment philosopher John Locke – with one important alteration. Where Locke posited property as a God-given natural right, Jefferson carefully substituted “pursuit of Happiness.” He didn’t want anyone to interpret the Declaration to mean they had a guaranteed right to either property or happiness; instead he sought to convey that every human had the right to strive for both in a free society. That was a radical notion in the aristocratic-autocratic world of the 18th century, where even relatively free Englishmen were considered “subjects” of the king or queen rather than citizens of the country.
Even in those days a strong undercurrent of socialism, sometimes referred to as “levelling,” was pulling at society’s lower and intellectual echelons. It reared its vicious head only 13 years later in the French Revolution, which initially seemed to mirror its American precursor. But the French version promised not only liberty but also equality. As the cautious Jefferson knew, words are weighty objects and the word “equal” was, and remains, especially dangerous. His Declaration qualified that concept with “created” equal.
In America the idea of spiritual equality led to a prosperous aspirational society; in France the unqualified promise of equality led to unleashed envy, massacres, economic ruin, and eventually a return to imperial despotism and prolonged war under Napoleon Bonaparte. The French experience predicted the fate of almost every big socialist experiment that followed, from the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany to Cambodia to Venezuela. No political philosophy or religion has killed more people than Socialism.
In spite of that, the Democrat Party today increasingly embraces Socialism as a route to political power. The party’s leading lights, like elites in countries around the globe over the past 200 years, are apparently confident that they can harness the beast and use it to fashion a world after their own images. From the aged Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to wet-behind-the-ears Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the party is unifying behind the idea that happiness comes from tapping the wealth of others.
Socialists decry materialism, painting it as a capitalist creation, but Socialism is the most materialistic and divisive of all political philosophies. It measures everything in money, including equality and happiness.
The free market philosophy America has advanced isn’t an earth-bound religion like Socialism but rather a path to aspiration, inspiration and improvement of the human condition around the world. That’s a provable fact, while Socialism remains an empty promise.
Martin Fey is a member of the Quiet Corner Tea Party Patriots.