Thursday, February 23, 2017

The True Enemies of Freedom

Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it compromises and develops the germ of every other.  War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few,. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of the state of war, and in the degeneracy of manner and of morals, engendered in both.  No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.- James Madison

In my present condition I could scarcely be justified were I to omit raising a warning voice against this approach of returning despotism: the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government.  Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves a much higher consideration. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch which the have not honestly earned.  Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost.- Abraham Lincoln

It is time for the public to hear that the giant evil; and danger in this country, the danger that transcends all others, is the vast wealth owned or controlled by a few persons. Money is power. In Congress, in state legislatures, in city councils, in the courts, in the political conventions, in the press, in the pulpit, in the circles of the educated and talented, its influence is growing greater and greater. Excessive wealth in the hands of a few means extreme poverty, ignorance, vice, wretchedness as the lot of the many. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government by the corporations, of the corporations, and for the corporations.- Rutherford B. Hayes

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