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Affluent Christian Investor | November 25, 2020

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Ignorance Or Evil?

So will the Central Planner be able to come in with the answer to issues and be able to persuade all parties that it is fair? Of course not! It would require a level of totalitarianism to enforce such decisions. Does this eliminate inequality? No, it only increases and exacerbates inequalities. It goes against liberty and freedom – the very opposite of the purpose of The Great Experiment of America. Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek recites a simple but effective explanation of the absurdity behind collectivists’ equity argument:

Who imagines that there exists any common ideals of distributive justice such as will make the Norwegian fisherman consent to forgo the prospect of economic improvement in order to help his Portuguese fellow, or the Dutch worker to pay more for his bicycle to help the Coventry mechanic, or the French peasant to pay more taxes to assist the industrialization of Italy?

To imagine that the economic life of a vast area comprising many different people can be directed or planned by democratic procedure betrays a complete lack of awareness of the real problem such planning would raise.  Planning…cannot be anything but a naked rule of force, an imposition by a small group on all the rest of that sort of standard and employment which the planners think suitable for the rest.[1]

There exists no basis which allows us to decide whether the claims of the poor Rumanian peasant are more or less urgent than those of the still poorer Albanian, or the needs of the Slovakian mountain shepherd greater than those of his Slovenian colleague.  But if the raising of their standards of life is to be effected according to a unitary plan, somebody must deliberately balance the merits of all these claims and decide between them.  And once such a plan is out into execution, all the resources of the planned area must serve that plan – there can be no exemption for those who feel they could do better for themselves.  Once their claim has been given a lower rank, they will have to work for the prior satisfaction of the needs of those who have been given preference.[2]

The validation for this scheme posed by collectivists is often taking care of the less fortunate, and even claiming to care for the population as a whole. American Exceptionalism absolutely rejects the notion that the government is there to take care of us. The Founders warned against this belief and practice. Thomas Jefferson was adamant that, “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they (Americans) must be happy.”[3] Jefferson’s “happy” is referencing Americans contentment with their freedom and liberty – the pursuit of happiness. Founding Father Samuel Adams concurred:

The Utopian schemes of leveling [re-distribution of the wealth] and a community of goods [central ownership of the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown.  [The ideals] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional.[4]

[1] Friedrich A. von Hayek (Bruce Caldwell, Ed.), 2007 (originally published in 1944), The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents, (Routledge, London: The University of Chicago Press), p. 225.

[2] Friedrich A. von Hayek (Bruce Caldwell, Ed.), 2007 (originally published in 1944), The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents, (Routledge, London: The University of Chicago Press), p. 228.

[3] Thomas Jefferson and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 10, (Charleston, SC: Nabu Press), p. 342.  Referenced in W. Cleon Skousen, 2006 (originally published in 1981), The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World, (United States of America: National Center for Constitutional Studies), p. 29.  Also referenced at [http://www.history1700s.com/etext/html/texts/jefferson/Jeff10.txt].

[4] W. Cleon Skousen, 2006 (originally published in 1981), The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World, (United States of America: National Center for Constitutional Studies), p. 29.  Referencing William V. Wells, 1865, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, Vol. 1, 3 vols., (Boston, MA:  Little, Brown and Company), p. 154.

 

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