Friday, October 8, 2010

Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Thomas Paine

Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Thomas Paine
30 Rock and Glen Beck, what do they have and common? Quinton Fabius Maximus. Did anyone pay attention to the Fabian strategy mentioned by Jack in a painting battle with his girlfriend on 30 Rock? This week on the Glen Beck television program, Beck has been discussing Fabian socialism. Both story lines derived from the same individual Quinton Fabius Maximus A Roman General-Emperor of the second century BC.
The Fabian socialism derives its name from this general. I quote from Wikipedia:
“Fabian Socialism, the ideology of the Fabian Society which originated in 1884 and launched the Labour Party in the United Kingdom in 1904, utilizes the same strategy of a "war of attrition" in their aim to bring about a socialist state. The advocation of gradualism distinguished this brand of socialism from those who condone revolutionary action.

In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote a lengthy pamphlet-book called “Common Sense”. It was written in support of revolution. He talks about the necessity of local government and writes extensively against the evils of the English Monarchy. Paines book is included in the last half of this book written by Glen Beck of the same title. I quote Thomas Paine:
“Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz, freedom and security. And however our eyes maybe dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our Wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and of reason will say it, it is right. I draw my idea of the form of government from a principal in nature, which no art can overturn, viz., that the more simple anything is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and easier repaired when disordered; and with this Maxim in view, I offer a few marks on the much so boasted constitution of England.”

It is no coincidence that the founders railed against class distinctions. Thomas Paine was extremely critical of the concept of the divine rights of King’s. He stressed the equality of the individual. He was worried that governments could destroy this equality and bring its people in to subjugation. He hoped a Republic could prevent this. Glen Beck argues in the first half of this book, the Republic has not been able to prevent this subjugation. I think he makes an excellent case. The tone of the book is set early on where Mr. Beck writes,
” the lecherous politicians who lied to us about funding Social Security and Medicare are the same ones who are now trumpeting” free” Universal healthcare. And instead of pointing at their track record and laughing hysterically, we sit by and listen receptively, as though this time might somehow be different.”
He spends several chapters demonstrating how Congress using the power of the office, allows special perks and privileges for their favored special interests. One of the best chapters includes photographs of the particular gerrymandering required to maintain incumbency for many of the politicians. Here is a reproduction photograph of one of these gerrymandered districts mentioned in the book. This is the Illinois 4th District. Luis Gutierrez has been reelected since 1993 from this carefully selected constituency.
Besides demonstrating how certain favored groups receive legislative privilege at the expense of the rest of us, he also goes over the loss of many of our rights at the hands of those who are sworn to protect this rights. Property confiscation under the guise of eminent domain and progressive taxation, draconian gun control policies designed to disarm the citizenry, educational fraud perpetuated by the public school systems and unions and of course the complete expulsion of religion from the public Square are some of the topics he explores in this book.
I include a quote from the book explaining how the progressive movement thinks about property. To the Progressive, property is communal but Progressives must avoid the use of that terminology instead, they stress fairness and its illogical conclusion “social justice”. Here is Beck:
“One of the hallmarks of Progressive thought is the concept of redistribution: The idea that your money and property are only yours if the state doesn’t determine there is a higher or better use for it. You can see that kind of thinking in the words a one-time Republican president Teddy Roosevelt, who gave a speech titled “ The New Nationalism” in which he spoke about” human welfare. Personal property, Roosevelt said is” subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.” His thoughts on accumulated wealth are equally as surprising. In the same speech, Roosevelt said” we grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only as so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country then we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in government control is now necessary.”

This was said one hundred years ago. It is happening before our eyes; see Kelo v New London and progressive confiscatory tax rates. Our president has stated several times individuals should only be allowed to have so much and then the rest should be “spread around”. Beck may be full of hyperbole and showmanship, he is an entertainer after all, but setting that aside, he is beating the right drum. This book is an easy read in the first half, Paines “Common Sense” second half was harder because of the period English but it is worth the time to read them both.

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