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Michael Ledeen: Obama's Policies Aren't Socialist...They're Fascist

Many bloggers (including me), analysts, and commentators have described Barack Obama's policies as socialistic. Michael Ledeen begs to differ. He argues they aren't socialistic because he's not recommending the abolition of private property. Instead they're fascist because they promote state/private joint ventures as he calls them, meaning people keep their private property while government owns and/or manages business. Ledeen also wrote that this isn't the first time Fascism has made an appearance in the US. It was seriously discussed as a solution to our woes in the 1930's. Here's a portion of Ledeen's piece:

It's fascism. Nobody calls it by its proper name, for two basic reasons: first, because "fascism" has long since lost its actual, historical, content; it's been a pure epithet for many decades. Lots of the people writing about current events like what Obama et. al. are doing, and wouldn't want to stigmatize it with that "f" epithet.

Second, not one person in a thousand knows what fascist political economy was. Yet during the great economic crisis of the 1930s, fascism was widely regarded as a possible solution, indeed as the only acceptable solution to a spasm that had shaken the entire First World, and beyond. It was hailed as a "third way" between two failed systems (communism and capitalism), retaining the best of each. Private property was preserved, as the role of the state was expanded. This was necessary because the Great Depression was defined as a crisis "of the system," not just a glitch "in the system." And so Mussolini created the "Corporate State," in which, in theory at least, the big national enterprises were entrusted to state ownership (or substantial state ownership) and of course state management. Some of the big "Corporations" lasted a very long time; indeed some have only very recently been privatized, and the state still holds important chunks-so-called "golden shares"-in some of them.

Back in the early thirties, before "fascism" became a pure epithet, leading politicians and economists recognized that it might work, and many believed it was urgently required. When Roosevelt was elected in 1932, in fact, Mussolini personally reviewed his book, Looking Forward, and the Duce's bottom line was, "this guy is one of us."

No matter what you call Obama's policies, socialism or fascism, they will end up doing one thing: denying us our God-given freedoms to live our lives and make our livings as we see fit while overstepping the negative liberties the US Constitution has clearly laid out. Ronald Reagan said it quite correctly:

And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.

While we're on the topic of Obama versus Reagan, I saw this at The Anchoress and thought I'd share it:


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Comments (40)

Good post Kim.Wage... (Below threshold)
Fascism would be a more acc... (Below threshold)

Fascism would be a more accurate description of the ideology behind Obama's policies, but the word has acquired militaristic and genocidal connotations from the Hitler horrors that tend to eclipse its denotative meaning.

Jonah Goldberg's analysis in Liberal Fascism is accurate and, with regard to Obama, very relevant.

Ted -At this point... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Ted -

At this point, I think it's time to hang up the 'Obama's not a citizen!' meme. He's run, he's been elected, he's been sworn into office, he's serving as President. IF there'd been sufficient reason to disallow him from running in the first place (aside from semantic quibbles) it would have come to light long before now.

Besides - look at who'd rep... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Besides - look at who'd replace him. Pres. Biden and VP Pelosi grab you as wonderful alternatives?

Socialism or fascism, whate... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Socialism or fascism, whatever. It's all cut from the same cloth.

Ever since the government p... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Ever since the government passed laws limiting monopolies and creating labor unions we stepped away from pure capitalism. In pure capitalism anything goes and wealth and its power flow to the few and away from the many. The ideal system is one that creates the highest living standard for the greatest number of people while giving them the greatest freedom. By the nature of a democracy the people will, over time, move toward and ideal system because it generates the most votes.

However, no one knows in detail just what that ideal system is, and thus, it can only be found by trial and error. Even then the details of the system must change as the world economy changes. The U.S. continues to experiment and adapt and that ability is the key to our past success and to our future. The ability to try new details in our economic system is what we need to protect, not the details themselves.

Deciding what to call our economic system at any given time doesn't seem to be a productive exercise. Lets just call it a bastardized form of capitalism. What matters is how close it comes to the ideal system.

Very well put, Mac. I agree... (Below threshold)
max:

Very well put, Mac. I agree wholeheartedly.

Ever since the gov... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
Ever since the government passed laws limiting monopolies and creating labor unions we stepped away from pure capitalism

Monopolies are unhealthy to a proper function capitalist system.

A company that has a monopoly is the single supplier for a commodity. They can market price for their own best benefit. They don't have to compete for quality.

For cripes sake, a union is a monopoly. They become the single supplier for a commodity, labor. They can market price for their own best benefit. They don't have to compete for quality.

The union often has the government behind them. Companies can do things like leverage exclusivity in distribution and influence industry standards to align with their proprietary standards. When they do this, their monopoly isn't because they are the best producer. Hence, those anti monopolist laws. What really needs to happen is have some of those same laws applied to unions.

Capitalism is the only syst... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Capitalism is the only system geared to the life of a rational state of being and the only moral politico-economic system in history. The altruistic systems of socialism, fascism, communism, et al represent moral cannibalism in that the happiness of one man necessitates the injury of another.

A good rule of them: If a politico-economic system allows the government to act in a way that would be illegal for an individual, chances are the system is collectivist (and immoral) in nature.

them=thumb. Sheesh.... (Below threshold)
Clay:

them=thumb. Sheesh.

Capitalism is the ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Capitalism is the only system geared to the life of a rational state of being and the only moral politico-economic system in history.

Not even in 1776 did the U.S. have pure capitalism as a specific form of monopoly is created in the constitution and enforced by the government. That monopoly is called a patent. Pure capitalism requires a free market, but such a market is harmful to most people. A fair market requires government enforced regulation, but produces a higher standard of living for a larger number of people. In a democracy people vote for a fair market over a free market. Thus, pure capitalism doesn't exist long in a functioning democracy.

Thus, pure capitalism do... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Thus, pure capitalism doesn't exist long in a functioning democracy.

And that's why we need to return to a Republican form of government.

I'm not certain why you say that a free market is harmful. If it's free, then everyone has an opportunity to participate. One must be given the opportunity to fail in order to be truly successful. So-called fair markets pervert that.

Frances beat me to it.... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Frances beat me to it.

"What we have here is a failure to communicate..."

The Democrats in their haste have passed legislation that does not establish their much vaunted system of Erouweenie Socialism but harkens back to a time when Mussolini made the trains run on time and Roosevelt started this country's slide into the abyss.

Ledeen is clearly right. I... (Below threshold)

Ledeen is clearly right. If you read something like "Wages of Destruction" which is about the German economy under Hitler the government ran the economy, but they were still owned by businessmen and shareholders. The state just dictated what you build, invest and hire. Hitler said "I don't need to nationalize the industries if I nationalize the workers". (paraphrase). That will be the next step too if Obama and the Democrats begin running the unions, who are really part-and-parcel of the party anyway.

Billy Joel sang, "Only the ... (Below threshold)
Tammy:

Billy Joel sang, "Only the Good Die Young." I'd like to paraphrase it to say, "Only the Well-Behaved Pay Taxes." We just came back from having our taxes prepared. They're still in a state of being prepared. The reason is because we of middle class income (just barely) undertook my opening my own business, for which we paid out-of-pocket well over $10K, not to mention our charitable contributions and tithe, and the doggone system didn't want to give us credit for it. Our preparer is a personal friend who works for H&R, and she's going to keep working on getting it to through. How dare me for wanting to be an entrepreneur and make a decent living for us! Perhaps I could hit payola if I would just quit trying to work, rent out my womb for the implantation of a litter, and then we could suck off the government teat too.

Pure capitalism is just as ... (Below threshold)

Pure capitalism is just as utopian as aspiring for pure Communism. Neither have or will exist; therefore it is pointless to attain.

In a sensible "system," (call it whatever you want) the economy acts freely and allows the people to freely to act on the resources and create wealth. When disagreements arise (they always do), the government shall act as the arbiter for the parties and resolve the issues. Therefore, the government would need to limit monopolies, set fair, reasonable regulations, resolve disagreement between states, and the list goes on. The key is fair and reasonable. Another key is what the Constitution would allow.

The problem is the government is not just an arbiter anymore. It doesn't follow the Constitution any more. It just doesn't set fair or reasonable regulations any longer. It has created an economic environment is anti-capitalist, anti-growth, and anti-free. It crossed the line of free decades ago and now has become the problem. With every new law and regulation, with every new bailout and buyout, it takes another step toward socialism/fascism. Call it whatever you want. It isn't free! It isn't American!

http://frankilinslocke.blogspot.com/

Pure capitalism is just ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Pure capitalism is just as utopian as aspiring for pure Communism.

Well, of course, pure capitalism has yet to exist. However, the closer the system is to free, the more fair it will become. The more intrusion from the government in terms of tariffs, subsidies, and protectionism the less fair it becomes.

Welfare, regulations, taxes, tariffs, minimum-wage laws are all immoral because they use the coercive power of the state to organize human choice and action; they're immoral because they inhibit or deny the freedom to choose how we live our lives; they're immoral because they deny our right to live as autonomous moral agents; and they're immoral because they deny our essential humanity. If you think this is hyperbole, stop paying your taxes for a year or two and see what happens.

BTW, I think this topic dem... (Below threshold)
Clay:

BTW, I think this topic demonstrates the inconsistency and total bankruptcy of progressive thought. They demand freedom of choice in terms of sexuality, yet they wish to restrict economic freedom. You're free to do as you choose with your body (the more debauched, the better), but your property belongs to the collective.

And that's why we ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
And that's why we need to return to a Republican form of government.

On a national level, and over time, even a Republican form of government is in effect a democracy.

I'm not certain why you say that a free market is harmful. If it's free, then everyone has an opportunity to participate.

Whatever the economic system everyone must participate unless they are completely self-reliant (growing all their food, fabricating all their goods). Thus, the opportunity to participate doesn't define a free market nor any other market. In a free market, as described by librarians, there are few rules beyond a basic monetary and judicial system.

In a free market it's up the buyer to know if what they are buying is what they think it is. That's simply not possible in anything but a primitive society. Why research and test safe and effective medicine if you can make lots of money selling snake oil? Even if safe and effective medicines existed, no consumer could be sure which ones they are among a sea of snake oil. Even with our extensive regulations people still sell snake oil.

In a free market the means of production passes to a person's progeny, and over time, it gets concentrated in the hands of a few people. It's easy to make money when you have lots of it particularly when there are few rules to constrain taking advantage of those with less money. Over time you end up with a landless peasant class.

Our modern stock market could not exist in a free market because investors couldn't have confidence in businesses they didn't have intimate first hand knowledge of. Just imagine if there were no rules against insider trading.

In a fair market (as opposed to a free market) there are rules to guarantee competition. Rules to make sure products are suitable for the purpose for which they are sold (part of the uniform commercial code). Rules to make sure the food is safe and medicine is also effective (FDA). Rules to make sure all products are properly labeled so buyers can make informed decisions. Taxes on inherited wealth (death tax) to break up concentrations of wealth. Rules to ensure consumer loans are accurately described (truth in lending) and there are limits on interest rates. Rules to regulate banks and make sure peoples' savings are safe. On and on it goes, and as long as the people are in control of the government rules will be imposed on markets so that they best serve the majority of voters.

The moral flaw in the system is our ability to tax the unborn, which may in fact be the majority, but they are a silent majority. I don't see a solution apart from a constitutional amendment that restrains the federal government from borrowing or printing money to fund peacetime expenditures. It seems unlikely this generation would vote for less in order to not rob future generations. Ultimately future generations will rebel under this taxation without representation, and if you believer our declaration of independence, justly so.

Tammy,Our... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Tammy,

Our preparer is a personal friend who works for H&R, and she's going to keep working on getting it to through.

Your friend is likely over her head dealing with a business you just started up. Find yourself an enrolled agent or a CPA. You are entitled to deduct your legitimate business expenses, but there are rules for doing so such as amortizing over five years. If your business is a sole proprietorship it gets messy. Look into forming a limited liability corporation (LLC). Running a small business also requires learning how to deal with IRS and other government regulations. You can't just depend on a friend who works for H&R.

"Socialism or fascism... (Below threshold)
John S:

"Socialism or fascism, whatever. It's all cut from the same cloth."

They're different in one respect. Communist takeovers always require killing about one-third of the population to consolidate power. Fascism typically falls into place with less bloodshed -- at least until it leads to a world war.

The acts of government that... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

The acts of government that aren't socialism are those despotic acts that involve preying upon the citizenry and those acts that are criminal in nature and intent. Any act that represents an investment in the continuity of society, that stands for community and people are based in socialism: Police? Socialism. A common defense? Socialism. Emergency services? Socialism. Public education? Socialism Interstate highway system? Socialism. Air transport and air traffic control? Socialism. Management of our public seaways and waterways? Socialism. Provision for a national treasury? Socialism. Healthcare for any segment of the population at any level of coverage? Socialism. Judicial system? Socialism. Park system? Socialism. Bureau of Land Management? Socialism. Coast Guard? Socialism. National Guard? Socialism. Veterans Affairs? Socialism. I can do this all night. And just for the record.... the TARP scam isn't socialism, because it has provided zero benefit to the People and to society. That clusterfuck was just plain ole crony capitalism, a merger of industry and government for the exclusive benefit of a bunch of plutocrats. In other words, fascism.

On a national level, and... (Below threshold)
Clay:

On a national level, and over time, even a Republican form of government is in effect a democracy.

I couldn't disagree with you more. We are in the shape that we found ourselves today because we allowed the erosion of our liberty. We became lazy and uneducated.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people." -- John Adams

We allowed abuses by our government to erode the checks and balances that protect the people from the government. One of the most unfortunate abuses was the systematic elimination of the tenth amendment by the federal government. This began in 1837, and by 1861 the murder of state sovereignty was consummated:

"I saw in States' rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy.... Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization, and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo." -Lord Acton, in a letter to Robert E Lee right after the war

"So the case stands, and under all the passion of the parties and the cries of battle lie the two chief moving causes of the struggle. Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this as of many many other evils ... the quarrel between North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel." - Charles Dickens

There was nothing inevitable about America's departure from a Republican form of government. It was only hastened by the atrophy of our minds and the ebb of our passion. Democracy is merely a milepost on our journey to socialism. Democracy is itself tyranny, a tyranny of the majority. And once the majority discover that they can vote themselves a portion of the government's largess, we will cross the threshold of socialism. The only cure is a return to Republicanism.

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to always be kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all." -- Thomas Jefferson

The point of capitalism is ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

The point of capitalism is not "pureness", it's competition. Therefore, the elimination of monopolies does not have the effect of watering down capitalism, but of bolstering it.

Taxes on inherited wealt... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Taxes on inherited wealth (death tax) to break up concentrations of wealth.

Why break up concentrations of wealth? If it is my property, it mine to do with as I please. If it is my decision to pass my wealth to my progeny, I have every right to do so without the interference of the government. Compare John Locke, whose writings influenced the founders, and William Blackstone, with Karl Marx.

"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience." -- John Locke

"So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community" --William Blackstone

"The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property" --Karl Marx

The Ten Commandments shown in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21 stated that the Israelites were not to steal. These texts, written in approximately 1300 B.C., were a blanket early protection of private property.

Aristotle, in Politics, advocates "private property." In one of the first known expositions of tragedy of the commons he says, "that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual." In addition he says that when property is common, there are natural problems that arise due to differences in labor: "If they do not share equally enjoyments and toils, those who labor much and get little will necessarily complain of those who labor little and receive or consume much. But indeed there is always a difficulty in men living together and having all human relations in common, but especially in their having common property."

The fact remains that God has placed me as steward of my property. I have been granted dominion and if I wish to secure a future for my children by passing it on to them, what right does the government have in disrupting my purpose?

I love the video you posted... (Below threshold)
Jake:

I love the video you posted. I especially like this quote from Reagan in that video:

"This was the very thing the founding fathers sought to minimize, they knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people, and they know when a government sets out to do that it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose." -Ronald Reagan

This is very relevant to today.

-Jake

Fascist? First all Liberals... (Below threshold)
Palinisevil:

Fascist? First all Liberals are Communists and now we're Fascists? Either get your labels right or lay off the hateorade.

First all Liberals are C... (Below threshold)
Clay:

First all Liberals are Communists and now we're Fascists?

Stating that "the shoe fits" says as much about the foot as it does the shoe. So, yes, you are. You hate the very thing that sets itself in opposition to your cause: Liberty.

The problem for you is that we're still using it and won't give it up until we're dead. So, now you know what you must do.

I couldn't disagre... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I couldn't disagree with you more. We are in the shape that we found ourselves today because we allowed the erosion of our liberty. We became lazy and uneducated.

It's a real simple principle. In any form of democracy the people will, over time, vote to regulate the marketplace in an attempt to create the highest living standard for the most number of people (voters), limited only by their government's constitution. If the system of government doesn't allow that then it's not a democracy of any type and all the flowery rhetoric about liberty is utter nonsense.

Why break up conce... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Why break up concentrations of wealth? If it is my property, it mine to do with as I please. If it is my decision to pass my wealth to my progeny, I have every right to do so without the interference of the government. Compare John Locke, whose writings influenced the founders, and William Blackstone, with Karl Marx.

And just where does it say that you "have every right to do so without the interference of the government"? Even if that were written in the Constitution, our form of government allows the Constitution to be amended. The principle of inheritance taxes is based on historical evidence showing that allowing wealth to flow unrestrained from generation to generation creates dynasties that are counter to the general welfare of society. The very wealthy, knowing they can't pass their wealth intact to their progeny instead give it away to good causes such as hospitals, higher education, and charitable organizations.

The fact remains that God has placed me as steward of my property. I have been granted dominion and if I wish to secure a future for my children by passing it on to them, what right does the government have in disrupting my purpose?

By right of the bigger stick (governments which God also established). That bigger stick protects your property and even your life from people stronger or more numerous than you. Take away that protection and you would be subject only to the law of the jungle (anarchy). By accepting the protection of the bigger stick you agree to the terms of the bigger stick. In our form of government those terms are established, over time, but the people living under the protection of the bigger stick. In fact, it's for the mutual benefit that people have come together and created the bigger stick.

Many people believe as you do about passing on their property, and over time, they have voted to end the death tax for most people, keeping it only for the very wealthy. Do you see that the ability of the people to change the rules is what's precious, not the rules themselves?

Many people believe as y... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Many people believe as you do about passing on their property, and over time, they have voted to end the death tax for most people, keeping it only for the very wealthy.

I'm surprised to be arguing this with you, Mac.

A 2006 study by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of Congress concluded that "[t]here is abundant evidence that the estate tax, along with its high compliance costs and impact on capital accumulation, may actually cause income tax revenue losses for the federal government."

The tax is also a significant drag on the economy and encourages wasteful spending on estate planning and tax avoidance. It curtails small businesses, which actually pay the tax, from hiring new employees and expanding.

The JEC estimated that the estate tax has caused a cumulative loss of approximately $847 billion in capital stock that would have otherwise served economically productive uses.

The JEC report further explained that the wealthiest tend to engage in a "multitude of estate tax avoidance strategies." As Peter Schweizer observed in his book Do As I Say (Not as I Do), upon the death of Joe Kennedy, the Kennedy fmily patriarch, the value of the estate was estimated between $300 million and $500 million. The family paid $134,330.90 in estate tax, equaling 0.04% of $300 million.

In reality, the death tax hits hardest individuals and small businesses that have accumulated somewhat modest levels of wealth and do not engage in sophisticated estate planning. More than 70% of family businesses do not survive the second generation; 87% do not make it to the third generation.

In many cases, families and businesses are forced to liquidate assets so that they are actually capable of paying the tax. Furthermore, the tax perversely incentivizes people to spend their wealth--a large contributor to the current economic crisis--rather than save it and pass it to their children.

Japan has an inheritance tax of 70%, but after credits and exemption it is an effective tax rate of 30.3%. The United States has the highest rate of estate tax in the world at the rate of 55% and an effective rate of 44%. Even Sweden and Russia have abolished the death tax, realizing that it hurts the economy. How ironic that we need to look to Sweden and Russia for model capitalism.

And just where does it s... (Below threshold)
Clay:

And just where does it say that you "have every right to do so without the interference of the government"?

Natural law, or "the laws of Nature, and of Nature's God". Google that phrase to discover a wealth of information regarding the founding of America.

America's Founders were tired of having the fruits of their labors confiscated by an overpowering British government, so they declared themselves free and independent.

Most American schoolchildren can recite their claim that "...all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights...to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Less familiar, however, are these lines from their Declaration of Independence:

"He (King George III) has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance....He has combined with others to subject us,...imposing taxes on us without our consent."

What, then, did the Founders consider to be the real cornerstone of man's liberty and happiness? On what basic premise did they devise their Constitution? Let them speak for themselves:

John Adams: "The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God ... anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or Liberty cannot exist.

James Madison: "Government is instituted to protect property of every sort... This being the end of government, that is not a just government,...nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has...is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest."

Their guiding principle was that people come together to form governments in order to secure their rights to property - not to create an entity which will, itself, "take from the mouths of labor the bread it has earned" with a big stick, as you say. What was wrong for individual citizens to do to one another, they believed, was equally wrong for government to do to them.

The right to own property and to keep the rewards of individual prosperity opened the floodgates of progress for the benefit of the entire human race. Millions have fled other countries to participate in the miracle that is America.

How interesting that the ne... (Below threshold)
epador:

How interesting that the next post about Carmen Paglia references a radio interview where she off-handedly at the ends mentions that Ivy-League thinking is fascist. (Her blind love of Obama and the Democratic Party still keeps this statement disconnected from the O man's Ivy League origins). Is this more than co-incidence?

I'm surprised to b... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I'm surprised to be arguing this with you, Mac.

I disagree we are arguing :-)

Rather than answering all the details, I want to focus on first principles.

        •  In a democracy of any type voters change the rules over time in an attempt to create the highest living standard for the most people.

        •  A form of government that doesn't allow voters to, over time, change the rules is not a democracy of any type.

        •  As the world economy and technologies change, the rules needed to create the highest living standard for the most people also change.

        •  The rules are discovered as much through trial and error as by economic theory. Thus, there are going to be errors and successes.

        •  What's precious is the system that allows voters to change the rules, not the particular rules at any given time.

If I have the first principles right then there is no point in this decision to argue about the particular rules as they are all subject to change.

In a democracy of any ty... (Below threshold)
Clay:

In a democracy of any type voters change the rules over time in an attempt to create the highest living standard for the most people.

But this is precisely the point upon which we disagree. I'm not referring to rules upon which we may or may not agree to enact. I'm referring to those unalienable principles upon which America was founded, and regarding which there can be no compromise. According to natural law, it is my property to pass down to my children unhindered. the death tax is nothing more than legal plunder.

Democracy is tyranny of the majority. If the majority can determine to compromise my right of property, upon which this country is founded, then we are all in danger. The individual is the smallest minority, and it his that must be protected against the majority.

I'm referring to t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I'm referring to those unalienable principles upon which America was founded, and regarding which there can be no compromise

I believe the term is unalienable rights, which themselves flow from the philosophy of natural rights. A lot has been written on the subject, but the only fact that can be stated explicitly is that they are unenforceable until they have been codified into positive law, which itself is founded upon the social contract among those being governed.

You can argue that the inheritance tax violates your unalienable property rights, but you can't enforce those rights on the basis of natural law. You can, however, engage in creating positive law that protects your property rights.

The Declaration of Independence lists a number of inalienable rights, but that document is a declaration of war, not the founding document of the United States. In fact, the Declaration of Independence has no legal significance under U.S. law. The Constitution is the founding document, and while it enumerates many rights, it makes no claim that they are unalienable. In fact, the Constitution puts in place the means by which the Constitution can be changed.

Democracy is tyranny of the majority.

True and if you are talking about a super majority, not even the rights enumerated in the Constitution are immutable. Even so, no human form of government is better as judged by the propriety and freedom enjoyed by the many. We have to wait for the second coming to have a perfect government, one ruled by a perfect and eternal King.

If the majority can determine to compromise my right of property, upon which this country is founded, then we are all in danger. The individual is the smallest minority, and it his that must be protected against the majority.

And convincing the majority of individuals that a particularly point of view is best for them is how you protect the rights you hold dear. People have done just that and right now there is federal no death tax on estates of less than 2 million dollars, which means 98% of people are not effected by it. If you are in the other 2% then you can try to get the law changed, otherwise, the government is going to plunder your property when you die.

Should be "no federal death... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Should be "no federal death tax". The state death tax changes from state to state.

Yes, Mac, thank you. I did... (Below threshold)
Tammy:

Yes, Mac, thank you. I did have this very conversation with my husband on the way home yesterday. My operation is not off the ground well enough for me to be able to hire an accountant yet, but as I told him, I'm going to have to this year because I'll be playing with the big kids on tax matters from here on out.

When I worked as a paralegal, I did corporate law, so I need to do an incorporation or an LLC for myself. It's sort of like the same deal as the dentist's kids having rotten teeth. I'm good at handling other people's business better than my own. I don't know why that is unless it's that I'm injecting personal emotion and fear into it, which is just plain silly.

Mac Lorry:In a fr... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Mac Lorry:
In a free market it's up the buyer to know if what they are buying is what they think it is. That's simply not possible in anything but a primitive society.

Just interjecting that this is a false assumption (that government 'supervision' of markets is necessary). There already exists 'certification' entities outside of the government (precious stones are one example) that make a business out of validating products are what they are claimed to be. Those entities products are essentially their reputation and their expertise.

My Irish Catholic WWII VET ... (Below threshold)
Marie Buckno:

My Irish Catholic WWII VET FAMILY TODAY AS OBAMA SPEAKS HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN BACK OUR HOME, LAND OR PROPERTY AND FURTHER WE WERE VICTIMIZED IN VIOLATIONS OF ALL CIVIL RIGHTS IN 1960, 1971, 1986, 2003 and STILL NO REPENTENCE OR RESTITUTION!

WHAT AMERICA?




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