Saturday, April 29, 2017

Conservative Ideology

Conservatives generally favor not only the private ownership of personal property but also of the means of production.  Some refer to such a system as capitalism, though they are using Marxist terminology when they do so.  Generally speaking, they believe that property justly acquired belongs to the owner by right.  If they subscribe to the natural law-nature rights philosophy—not all conservatives do—, they believed that private property is a natural right.  Conservatives usually do not subscribe to the current doctrine of “human rights” because it is a phrase contrived to leave property rights out of the definition of rights.  Conservatives favor freedom of enterprise, though they differ among themselves as to the extent to which it should prevail.  They generally tend to oppose both government intervention in enterprise by regulation and control or government engaging in economic undertakings.  They tend to favor a free market, oppose the exclusion of foreigners from the American market or the granting of monopolies by government.  They differ considerably over the desirability of “antitrust” legislation, but it has bee in effect for so long that it rarely comes up as an issue.

As a rule, conservatives are constitutionalists.  That is, they believe in limited government.  They hold that government is a dangerous instrument, and that it is necessary  to take measures to contain and restrict it.  The American approach to that has been by having written constitutions.  These written constitutions are a contract between the governors and the governed.  Generally, conservatives favor a government of laws and not of men, and that the law for the United States government is the United States Constitution.  Conservatives do not accept out of hand the notion that the Constitution is what the courts say it is, since it is a written document.  They differ somewhat over the extent to which they would accept the view that a written constitution can properly be changed by judicial construction.  Traditionalists, who may be in the Catholic or English tradition, would tend to attach greater significance to court precedents than do conservatives in the Protestant tradition.  The latter tend to view a written constitution as fixed until it is amended by the regular and prescribed process.

Conservatives tend to be individualists.  If the sole issue were the individual versus the collective, as in collectivism, they would be almost invariably individualists.  They accept the primacy of the individual, his first ness and vastness, though most believe that in regard to the rights of the individual these are bounded by the necessities of living in society and of cooperation with others.

Conservatives tend to have the greatest respect and attachment for those organizations and institutions nearest at hand to the individual: the family, the church, the local community, the neighborhood school, the local government, as well as customs, traditions, and ways of doing things rooted in locales and regions.  Not all conservatives, or those who have some affinity for conservatism, will subscribe to this hierarchy of values.  Libertarians and rationalists (those who propose to be governed by reason alone) generally do not.

As a rule, conservatives are not revolutionists, do not favor radical and disruptive change, are not utopians, tend to believe, with Jefferson, that abuses are to be tolerated as long as they are bearable, are not relativists, and tend to believe that in the midst of change there are things that endure or are eternal.  They tend to focus upon the fixities, the unchanging, the underlying order, in contrast to thoroughgoing evolutionists.  They are more favorably disposed toward order, tradition, and authority, to the nature of things, than are Liberals and the like.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.287-289

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Study History to Avoid Genocide

Humans are very susceptible to groupthink, ignorance, propaganda, agitation, and psychological manipulation that weakens their resolve. People are also often all too eager to blame their own problems on convenient scapegoats. These human flaws clarify why “Never forget” is the cry associated with the Holocaust and all crimes against humanity.

This is why everybody must respect the study of history. After all, studying history is about remembering. It’s about learning from experience, which is why we must emphatically reject any attempt to water down the accurate teaching and study of history.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Legislating Morality IS a Necessity For Liberty

Liberty is effectively free will, minus the right to infringe on others’ rights. It’s the sole conduit between your life and your pursuit of happiness. Embedded with an inherent moral good, it’s the single instance in our founding principles that actually “imposes” morality, and it does so not purposefully but incidentally. Virtually every other law we have, as noted, is about protecting your rights.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Inevitable Results of Collectivist Ideas

The horrors of Communism and Nazism were not simply the consequences of evil men coming to power; they were the precise results that followed from the concentration of power to impose collectivist ideas.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.267

Saturday, April 22, 2017

When Education is Secularized

If, for example, we secularize education, which we have done, of course, we cut ourselves loose from the ground of all truth.  If we no longer respect the past, do not honor and in some manner revere it, we will trample all that is received from it and hate ourselves.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.267

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Assault on American Civilization

The rebellion which rose to a peak here and there and over and over during the period from 1964 to the early 1970s was nothing else than an ongoing assault on American civilization.  The most dramatic episodes in this assault were Black riots in cities and student takeover attempts of universities.  But the assault had many facets, ranging from the raucous noise of hard rock to pornographic movies to the obscenities that now became rampant in much discourse to the peddling of sexism in Playboy to the vulgarities of Hustler magazine.  The assault was the new destruction which followed in the wake of the new reconstruction.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.247

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SCOTUS vs the Constitution

The high standing of the Supreme Court rests on its position as the court of last resort in defending the Constitution.  The respect in which the Constitution has been held is the foundation of the Court’s authority.  To the extent that the high court deviates from the written Constitution and relies on its own assertions to that same extent it is undermining the base of its authority.  . . . Pronouncements by the Court without Constitutional backing have no popular base.

To the extent that the Supreme Court rules by its own will, it is rule by an oligarchy.  That is, it is a rule by a few men—nine to be exact—over the rest.  That the court had become exactly that was frequently charged in the 1960s.  Indeed, one writer reasoned, with sound logic, that “If it is true that a construction of the Constitution by the Supreme Court . . . is . . . ‘the law of the land’ . . . ; if it is true that a ‘constitutional right’ can come into being merely on the Court’s say . . . , then, where in all candor, are we?  If a judicial interpretation of the Constitution is, by definition, the Constitution, why then we are in the grips of judicial despotism!  That is the meaning of despotism.  An unchallengeable authority can be benign, or malevolent, but it is a despotism if the rest of the commonwealth has not practical alternative to succumbing to its will.”

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.233-234

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Do Not Usurp the Constitution

If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates.  But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.  The precedent must always greatly over-balance in permanent evil any transient or partial benefit which the use can at any time yield.

George Washington.  Cited by  Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.232

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Courts Should NOT Add to the Constitution

This Court, limited in function . . . , does not serve its high purpose when it exceeds its authority, even to satisfy justified impatience with the slow workings of the political process.  For when, in the name of constitutional interpretation, the Court adds something to the Constitution that was deliberately excluded from it, the Court in reality substitutes its view of what should be so for the amending process.

Justice John M. Harlan, Dissent in Reynolds v. Sims, 1964

Friday, April 14, 2017

Diversity - The Emperor Has No Clothes

In the beginning was Diversity.  And the Diversity was with God, and the Diversity was God. Without Diversity was nothing made that was made.  And it came to pass that nasty old “orthodox” people narrowed down diversity and finally squeezed it out, dismissing it as heresy. But in the fullness of time (which is of course our time), Diversity rose up and smote orthodoxy hip and thigh. Now, praise be, the only heresy is orthodoxy. As widely and as unthinkingly accepted as this reconstruction is, it is historical nonsense: the emperor has no clothes.

D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Check Your Worldview

A worldview that says human life has no inherent value of dignity will never lead to utopia, no matter how advanced the tools and gadgets. . . .  Utopianism linked to power leads to gulags and death camps.

Nancy Pearcey

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Harm to Children of Divorce

When we consider the child who is the fruit of marriage, we may also come to realize the enormous seriousness of divorce.  It is fairly common to hear people say in connection with divorce that they fear especially for the children.  This statement, though it may ordinarily refer only to the disruption and uncertainty which divorce brings to the life of a child, may also point to an even deeper reality.  If the child is the sign of the unity—indeed more, the incarnation of the unity—of this man and woman who now propose to rupture their oneness, then of course we must fear for the child.  What event could be more calculated to disturb the child at the very center of his personal identity?  Parents are not merely a cause and children an effect which can easily be separated.  Here again we must remember that our commitments in the flesh are personal commitments.  The child’s personhood, his sense of identity is involved.  To tear the marriage asunder is in some sense to do the same to the child.

Human Sexuality:  A Theological Perspective.  A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as prepared by its Social Concerns Committee, September 1981, pg. 25-26

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Nature Abhors a Religious Vacuum

There was a fallacy in thinking that religion could be removed from our schools.  The Left claimed that the result would be a benign neutrality.  They have been proven mistaken.  Since nature abhors a vacuum, the religions of moral relativism and secular humanism have simply replaced the religions that were expelled.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.342

Monday, April 10, 2017

Government Supports Error

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors?

Thomas Jefferson (1781)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The New Plantation

Uncle Sam has developed a sophisticated poverty plantation, operated by a federal government, overseen by bureaucrats, protected by media elite, and financed by the taxpayers.  The only difference between this plantation and the slave plantations of the antebellum South is perception.

If anyone works their way off of the plantation and denounces it, they are called “uppity” or “sellout” or even “Uncle Tom.”  Instead of a physical beating, defectors are ostracized in the public forum.

Star Parker

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The New Deal Extended the Depression

The New Deal programs did not end the Great Depression; they delayed recovery and prolonged it.  Economically, there is but one route to prosperity, and that is through freedom of enterprise, productivity, and competition.  The New Deal hampered enterprise and competition.  Production was discourage by such devices as acreage allotments for farmers, shorter hours of work in industry and reducing then number of people in the labor force.  Enterprise was hampered by diverting capital from private hands and spending it for public employment and public enterprises.  The proof of the pudding came in the period 1937-1939, when in the midst of prolonged depression, the depression deepened.  The stock market crashed again in 1937, though not so loudly.  Unemployment rose, until in the course of 1938 it reached the highs of 1933, despite such programs as WPA and the CCC.  According to some surveys, it reached 11 million in this period.  Higher wages resulting from government encouraged unionization and wages and hours legislation contributed to the deepening depression.

To show how the New Deal programs prolonged depression and worsened the situation, it may be helpful to examine a little more closely the fate of the farmers.  These measures were often supposed to save the family farm and even increase the number of people in farming.  If anything, they worked the other way.  About 25 per cent of the population lived on farms in 1933; this had fallen to 23 per cent in 1940 and to 15 per cent in 1950, when most of the programs were still in effect.  As for tenant and sharecroppers, who were supposed to be special objects of consideration, the comments of two historians are in order.  One says, “The AAA brought benefits to almost all commercial farmers.  But in limiting acreage and providing the strongest possible incentive for more efficient land use, and thus for better technology, it forced sharecroppers off the land and worsened the plight of farm laborers.”  Another says, “New Deal policies made matters worse.  The AAA’s reduction of cotton acreage drove the tenant and the cropper from the land. . . .”  They prolonged the agony of leaving the farm, with the usually small government checks, but by limiting acreage to money crops they sealed the fate of many farms.

The New Deal concentrated much attention on raising wages and farm prices.  To foster this, it adopted monetary and fiscal policies which brought in later years the scourge of inflation, the destruction of savings, and a society bent on somehow holding on to a portion of what has been earned.  The long-term result to this date [October 1986] has been the progressive destruction of the dollar.  That, too, is a legacy of the New Deal.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.93-94

Friday, April 7, 2017

Unemployment Insurance?

If extended unemployment be accepted as the norm for a considerable portion of the population, it makes sense to insure against this hazard.  Indeed, prudent people have long believed it wise to set something aside against a “rainy day,” i.e., against some unfavorable circumstance beyond their control.  When government undertakes such a program, it takes over at least a portion of the responsibility which before that fell upon the individual, family, or, perhaps, the local community or neighbors.  From an economic point of view, government provided unemployment compensation amounts to paying people not to work.  It is a highly uneconomic, or diseconomic, practice.  This is made more impractical, if that is possible, by taking the contribution to the program from the employer and placing no penalty upon the worker while he receives the compensation.  The only check on it is that the compensation must end after a specified period of time.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.78

Thursday, April 6, 2017

We Need Social Censure

How did we once maintain a society that was a model of prosperity, tranquility, and politeness?  Part of the answer is that, as a God-fearing nation, we employed several fundamental moral weapons which we have now become too timid, or too politically correct, to use.  These weapons include disapproval, ostracism, and other sanctions.

Let’s see how such weapons would relate to the phenomenon of illegitimacy.  Thirty-five years ago [53 now], the unmarried teenage girl who became pregnant was sent away to have the baby.  The shame she brought on herself and her family was deep and lasting.  In addition, the bastard child carried the disgrace throughout his life, with diminished career and marriage prospects.  As we approach the end of the millennium [the book is copyright 1999], our enlightened generation tends to throw up our hands in horror at the thought that ostracism and moral censure should be put to such barbaric use.  I would argue to the contrary, on three grounds.  First, I suggest that the traditional use of ostracism and censure educated society on the proper ties between people, God, and community, while the abandonment of these tools has led to rampant and dangerous individualism.  Second, I maintain that proper and judicious use of social sanctions prevents far more problems and misery than it creates, as do other forms of punishment.  Finally, I argue that no community can succeed without ostracism and censure. . . .

The point of social sanctions, like the point of any other deterrence mechanism, is not to ruin lives but to preserve the common welfare.  Anyone urging the return of such sanctions hopes that their very presence will make the need for their use quite rare.  Back in the 1950s, the number of pregnant schoolgirls who were stigmatized was tiny, and so was the rate of illegitimacy.  The number of vagrants who were harassed out of respectable neighborhoods was minute, and the streets were safe and clean.

The tool of ostracism and social censure was used most effectively to limit both drunken driving and cigarette smoking.  In both cases it was not considered sufficient to merely penalize the actions; it was also necessary to brand those who engaged in those behaviors.  As a society, we are obviously quite comfortable employing social disapproval as a tool for social improvement.  We are just a little queasy about utilizing these undoubtedly effective tools for moral ends.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.255-256

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Which Is Really Greed?

If workers struggle for higher wages, this is hailed as “social gains”; if businessmen struggle for higher profits, this is damned as “selfish greed.”

Ayn Rand

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Teach a Man to Fish?

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means.  I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.  In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Benjamin Franklin

Monday, April 3, 2017

Deception By Investment

The blinding of a person’s will happens when he or she has fully invested themselves into something which turns out to be a terrible mistake. Not willing to accept that they have fully invested themselves in an egregious error blinds them from the reality of it. They simply will the error to be true. We see this all the time in cult interaction. You can prove to a person that he has been deceived, that he is believing and living a lie, and you may even see the distress this information is causing him, yet he sets his face, his will, and simply refuses to “understand” what you are saying.

Don and Joy Veinot, “Invested

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Laws Empowering Unions

It may not be immediately clear why an act empowering labor unions would be for the redistribution of wealth.  Granted, it does not exactly fall under the category of levying either a direct or indirect tax.  But so far as labor unions succeed in getting higher compensation for their members, a redistribution of wealth takes place, whether from employers to employees or ultimately from the higher prices that consumers may pay for the union produced goods.  Thus, a redistribution of wealth is at least contemplated when labor unions are empowered by the government.

Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.75