Plymouth Plantation -- socialism to capitalism
Capitalism produces harmony as well as bread. Socialism produces disharmony and no bread. Socialism kills the spirit and eventually kills the body if gone long enough. Starvation is a fact of life in socialism. It was the brutal fact of life at the Plymouth Plantation until Bradford decided Plato was wrong, and Aristotle was right. In his classic book, Of Plymouth Plantation, he writes how they had tried to live by the philosophy of Christian Socialism where everybody shared everything so nobody would be unequal. He writes, "So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end...This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content." He is talking about himself as the Governor and how much his life improved because there were fewer problems by giving up socialism. Bradford said people "went willingly into the field...which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression."
Bradford was wise enough to change and try something new. He writes, "The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort."
Adam Smith said that each person is unique, and God works through that person in a free market to provide a service society needs. It "encourages every man to apply himself to a particular occupation, and to cultivate and bring to perfection whatever talent or genius he may possess for that particular species of business." This decision can only be made between him and God. Socialist planners cannot possibly keep up with everyone's individuality.
Adam Smith explains that those socialist elites who would try to "direct private people" on how to spend their money with schemes of national economic plans are "dangerous." He says, "What is the species of domestic industry which his capital can employ, and of which the produce is likely to be of greatest value, every individual, it is evident, can, in his local situation, judge much better than any statesman or lawgiver can do for him. The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it."
Smith hated government officials by calling each of them who interfered in the market place an "insidious and warty animal called the statesman and politician." Smith says they are also hypocrites too because it always happens that leaders who want to guide the spending habits of others -- judging everyone from capitalists to housewives as spendthrift, often themselves live in luxury at the taxpayers expense and can't balance their own budgets and spend people's hard earned money that they earned honestly, less wisely than the average person would. He writes: "It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves, always, and without exception, the greatest spendthrifts in society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own expense does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will."
The only way for the average person to overcome the brainwashing of those who push for socialism is to clearly understand the principles of wealth and to see that capitalism and decentralization of power is spiritual. George Roche, the president of Hillsdale College, a college that teaches the free market, wrote, "A society unwilling to place its faith in the dignity and capability of free men is a society doomed to the mismanagement of 'little men playing god.' These little men of course fail completely to realize that contrast and individual difference are the foundation of all genuine creativity. A situation in which an individual is left free to dispose of his property and order his affairs as he sees fit is an ideal, both for human productivity and for human freedom. Such institutions of the private sector as private property constitute an indispensable support of personal liberty. Viewed in such a light, private property becomes truly spiritual, valued less for its material complexion than for its underlying spiritual value. The Biblical injunction, 'seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,' is a suggestion of how important are the underlying values, and how they serve as an absolute prerequisite for the creative capacities which are unleashed when our spiritual values and our emphasis upon individual freedom are in proper order. If we would be materially prosperous, let us begin by being spiritually healthy, by allowing a productive form of social organization, a truly free market and free society premised upon the dignity of the individual."
"While it is true that freedom 'works' and that it is the only system consonant with a high degree of material prosperity, it is the underlying why it works, the spiritually correct condition of individual freedom which releases those creative energies, to which we owe our primary allegiance."
To be a socialist is to be unspiritual. He says, "modern man's insistence upon collective solutions is understandable, since he has divorced himself from the spiritual values which give meaning to him as an individual personality."
If the U.S. government was like voluntary churches which had to use only persuasion to get people to send them money, how much would they get? One recent candidate for president campaigned on the theme of a 17% flat tax. If leaders were really God centered they would have taxes as totally voluntary as well as the military. No draft. No forcing anyone to give money or to fight. Do you think people voluntarily would send in 50% of their earnings to local, state and federal governments which still leaves a deficit and no payment on the debt? Would they voluntarily send in 17%? Of course not. Most people would send some money, perhaps 10%, and tell their representatives to apply that to our military, local police and courts. America would have a laissez-faire economy immediately. We must trust people so much that even though they are fallen it is best to leave them alone instead of having a few elites, who intimidate people by saying they are superior, run their lives. Making taxes voluntary would unleash creativity and wealth we could never even imagine.
I know it sounds strange that to be public and selfless, you must be private and in love with yourself as God's unique channel to serve. It doesn't make sense that if you leave people alone wealth comes. But it happens. Grass roots works miracles. What would America be like today if government hadn't taken trillions of dollars and tried to emasculate entrepreneurs? It would be so much more truthful, beautiful and good. Smith is considered the father of modern economics and the father of free enterprise. His classic book, The Wealth of Nations, was printed in 1776. God was behind it. It is interesting to me that his name is Adam. From him we get our first written classic for the economic system of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. His last name, Smith, symbolizes the average man who will prosper in a capitalist economy. The historian, Thomas Buckle, was so excited he went a little overboard, but he is right in seeing the incredible breakthrough that Smith brought. He said that Smith "discovered the laws which regulate the creation and diffusion of wealth" and his book "is certainly the most valuable contribution ever made by a single man towards establishing the principles on which government should be based .... This solitary Scotsman has, by the publication of one single work, contributed more toward the happiness of man than has been effected by the united abilities of all the statesmen and legislators of whom history has presented an authentic account."
Smith has many disciples and admirers. Milton Friedman likes to wear a tie with faces of Adam Smith on it. But many others do not like him. Years ago I was watching a televised debate between the Republican candidates for the presidency. John Anderson, a congressman, after listening to several of his competitors, blurted out in disgust that they were all advocating the teachings of Adam Smith, and these are his exact words, "who lived 200 years ago." It is intellectually bankrupt to say this. Truth is truth.
The key to understanding the debate between capitalism and socialism is to understand the word "equality." Feminists fight for the Equal Rights Amendment which would only bring an equality of misery for women. Liberals fight to be social engineers who want to be Robin Hoods which kills the goose that lays the golden egg and brings on equality of poverty for the masses. Religious socialists fight to control others with fear of excommunication and eternal punishment.
Socialism is equalilty of misery
Winston Churchill said the only equality socialism gives is the equality of "misery." He tells those in power to "Set the people free": "I do not believe in the power of the state to plan and enforce. No matter how numerous are the committees they set up or the ever-growing hordes of officials they employ or the severity of the punishments they inflict or threaten, they can't approach the high level of internal economic production achieved under free enterprise."
"Personal initiative, competitive selection, the profit motive, corrected by failure and the infinite processes of good housekeeping and personal ingenuity, these constitute the life of a free society. It is this vital creative impulse that I deeply fear the doctrines and policies of the socialist government have destroyed."
"Nothing that they can plan and order and rush around enforcing will take its place. They have broken the mainspring, and until we get a new one, the watch will not go. Set the people free -- get out of the way and let them make the best of themselves.
"I am sure that this policy of equalizing misery and organizing scarcity instead of allowing diligence, self-interest and ingenuity to produce abundance has only to be prolonged to kill this British island stone dead."