Socialism, Individualism and the United States by Rome Green Brown 1917
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The social and political theory upon which our Government is based is the very opposite of that of Socialism. Socialism means a direct and pure democracy in government,—a government by mob rule, a subjection of the individual citizen to the whim and caprice of temporary passion, a government without the intervention of courts or of representative, deliberative legislation. It means an obliteration of property rights and of individual liberties and rights, except as the citizen shall per se become a silent partner in the fruits, if there be any, of enterprises owned and managed by the State. Under Socialism, prosperity depends, not upon individual ambition, effort and thrift, but, rather, upon the displacement of competition and of the exercise of talent and of effort by the individual, by a subjection of individual talent, and enterprise to the direct control of the State. Individual prosperity and property rights are to be submerged in State control. Likewise individual, talent, incentive, effort and motive for effort and for thrift, and all their fruits,—all are to be submerged in State control. Property rights and personal rights and liberties are to be lost under the paternalistic and tyrannical sovereign power of the socialistic democracy.
Our Constitution was written as a manifestation of the world's greatest revolt, by a united people, against, not only the tyranny of monarchy but also against the tyranny of democracy. For the very reason that Socialism is radically democratic, it is even more susceptible of tyranny to the individual than any tyranny of monarchy.
BUY: The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin R. C. Gutzman
The Magna Carta, wrested from King John at Runnymede, was the great protest of the English-speaking world against the tyrannical invasion of the individual rights and liberties of the citizen. Its real force, however, in English jurisprudence, was never adequately felt, until, in the form of the Bill of Rights, it became a part of our Constitution, wherein the enforcement of the individual rights and liberties therein declared was vouchsafed by express limitations upon the legislative power. Our Constitution declared individual property rights and liberties and at the same time safeguarded their maintenance by the fundamental law which was made controlling upon all law-making power of the States and of the Nation. Freedom from unauthorized search or imprisonment, freedom of religion, and, above all, the right to acquire and hold property, and the right of individual liberty in all social and business relations,—the efficient protection of these individual rights was, more than anything else, the purpose, and the accomplishment, of our Constitutional Government.
Of course, where the right of private property exists there must be inequalities of fortune, varying as the diligence, skill, effort and thrift of the individual varies. The socialist would level all inequalities of fortune, simply because he deems that such leveling would conduce to the welfare of the now less prosperous. He would accomplish that object by direct confiscation if feasible; otherwise by indirect means. He would ignore, and as soon as possible abolish, all constitutional guaranties by which private property rights are now protected.
In a recent case the United States Supreme Court said:
"No doubt, wherever the right of private property exists, there must and will be inequalities of fortune; * * * Since it is self-evident that, unless all things are held in common, some persons must have more property than others, it is from the nature of things impossible to uphold freedom of contract and the right of private property without at the same time recognizing as legitimate those inequalities of fortune that are the necessary result of the exercise of those rights. But the Fourteenth Amendment, in declaring that a State shall not 'deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law,' gives to each of these an equal sanction; it recognizes 'liberty' and 'property' as co-existent human rights, and debars the States from any unwarranted interference with either.
"And since a State may not strike them down directly it is clear that it may not do so indirectly, as by declaring in effect, that the public good requires the removal of those inequalities that are but the normal and inevitable result of their exercise, and then invoking the police power in order to remove the inequalities, without other object in view. The police power is broad, and not easily defined, but it cannot be given the wide scope that is here asserted for it, without in effect nullifying the constitutional guaranty." [Coppage vs. Kansaa, 236 U.S. 1, 17-18]
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