As a human being, I can’t think of anything more important than having rights and having them respected: it’s the difference between tyranny and liberty – and in some cases, between life and death. I was going to write about the differences between rights and privileges, as I believe there has been a blurring of the line between the two lately, but I was having a hard time describing and defining rights; so many of our rights are trampled in one form or another in this country. It’s amazing that people want to expand the pool of “rights” when so many of our fundamental (and easily agreed upon) rights aren’t currently respected.
The dream our founders had for this country and in creating the Constitution was to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” as is written in the preamble. In some respects, it’s positively amazing how far we’ve come since declaring independence back in 1776, but in other ways, it’s downright terrifying. As an example of this, we can juxtapose current conditions in the United States to a few points of communist Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
Marx lays out 10 points or “planks” in the manuscript that he sees as necessary to topple a free enterprise system and replace it with a communist state. Arguably, of the 10 points in the manifesto, we currently have all (in some form and intensity) in the United States. What a scary sign of how this country has changed since its inception.
One of the planks is “abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes,” which perhaps, upon a first glance, we don’t have in the United States, but upon further inspection we do have to pay in perpetuity for the land we supposedly own in the form of property taxes. We are renters of what is supposedly our own land.
“A heavy progressive or graduated income tax” is another plank which is alive and well. As a bit of history, the marginal income tax rate in the United States has been as high as 94 percent from 1944-1945. I know income taxes aren’t as high nowadays, but consider the fact we used to have zero income taxes. A similar plank of “abolition of all rights of inheritance” is not completely implemented, but we do have estate taxes which restrict inheritances.
A plank whose concept seems to be getting a lot of attention lately is “centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.” Our implementation of this plank is the Federal Reserve which has been pointed to as an accomplice for some of our current economic conditions, and I believe rightfully so. “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws” Amschel Mayer Rothschild said.
There are more planks of the Communist Manifesto than what I have mentioned thus far but hopefully by now you get the point: We have strayed from our Constitutional Republic and we have done so in some significant ways. I would not go so far as to call us a communist country, but I think calling us capitalistic is also a bit of a stretch.
I’m not sure people are aware of how much this country has changed since the revolutionary spirit was still alive and well when we effectively “stuck it to the man” (if you will) during our Revolutionary War. Members of our country fought and died for freedom and we seem to be slowly erasing it with time. We need to wake up and reclaim our freedoms before more are lost and it gets harder to get back the ones we’ve already lost.
It’s time for the government to get back to the basics; for the federal government that means providing national security (in a manner that doesn’t infringe on our rights or lead to our bankruptcy) and that’s about it. There are 18 enumerated powers of Congress (Article I, Section 8) and they should stick to those; the more the federal government dabbles in peoples affairs, the more freedoms we lose and we’re worse off for it.