When Universal Suffrage leads to Universal Plunder and the Twilight Zone
“The American System—
….It can be simply stated without ideological verbiage
that our way of life is founded upon spiritual and moral rights of man
which are the gift of The Creator,
not of governments.”
Herbert Hoover My Crusade Against Collectivism December 1955
Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) and Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), uniquely insightful statesmen. Both familiar with business and economics, both prolific ingenious authors, educators, leaders; both Godly men, who humbly recognized their talents and their responsibilities to act for moral and economic liberty in their nations and abroad.
Both men are worthy of our attention as history repeats the cycles of revolution today attempting to catapult many anchorless into: The Twilight Zone.
Continuing from our last blog, excerpts from Frederic Basitat’s The Law 1850
“It is in the nature of men to react against the iniquity of which they are the victims. Therefore, when plunder is organized by law for the benefit of the classes that make it, all the classes that have been plundered attempt, by either peaceful or revolutionary means, to have a say in the making of laws.
Depending on the level of enlightenment which they have attained, these classes may set themselves two very different aims when they pursue the acquisition of their political rights;
 they may either wish to stop legal plunder or
 they may aspire to take part in it.
Woe and misery three times over to any nation in which this last thought dominates the masses
at the time they in turn take the helm of the legislative power !
Up to now, legal plunder has been exercised by the minority over the majority as can be seen in those peoples in which the right to pass laws is concentrated in just a few hands.
However, it has now become universal and the equilibrium is being sought in universal plunder. Instead of the injustice existing in society being rooted out, it has become generalized. As soon as underprivileged classes recover their political rights, their first thought is not to rid themselves of plunder (that would suppose that they had an enlightenment that they cannot have) but to organize a system of reprisals against the other classes and to their own detriment, as though it is necessary for a cruel retribution to strike them all, [equality of poverty, equality of ignorance and equality of dependence] some for their iniquity and others for their ignorance, before the reign of justice is established.
No greater change or misfortune could therefore be introduced into society than this: to have a law that has been converted into an instrument of plunder.
What are the consequences of an upheaval like this? Volumes would be needed to describe them all. Let us content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.
- The first is to erase from people’s consciences the notion of the just and the unjust.”
Recall Margaret Thatcher in her 1994 speech The Moral Foundations of Society presented at Hillsdale College, remarked the difficulty of trying to explain the concept of Justice to a Communist, “You can’t do it!”
“The concept of justice is entirely foreign to communism. For seventy years, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union had no system of common law.
There were only the arbitrary and often contradictory dictates of the Communist Party. There was no such thing as truth in the communist system.
And what is freedom without truth?”
Back to Frederic Bastiat, of whom Margaret Thatcher declared herself “ I am a devotee of Bastiat!”
“No society can exist if respect for the law does not prevail to some degree, but the surest means of ensuring the laws are respected is for them to be worthy of respect.
When law and morality contradict one another, citizens find themselves in the cruel quandary of either losing their notion of morality or losing respect for the law, two misfortunes that are equally great and between which it is difficult to choose.
It is so deeply ingrained in the nature of law to ensure that justice reigns, that law and justice are inseparable in the eyes of the masses.
We all have a strong disposition to consider what is legal to be legitimate, to the extent that many people mistakenly consider all forms of justice to be founded in law.
It is therefore enough for the law to order and consecrate plunder for plunder to appear just and sacred in the understanding of many.
[Especially if they are on the payroll as middlemen, administrators, central planners, redistributors of plunder or other socialist workers.]
Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find their defenders not only in those who benefit from them but even in those who suffer from them.
Try to put forward a few doubts about the morality of these institutions, and you will be told, “You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theoretician, and a despiser of laws; you are undermining the base on which society is built.” Do you give courses on morals or political economy? Official bodies will be found to express the following resolution to the government:
‘That such subjects should be taught in the future no longer from the sole point of view of free trade (of freedom, property, and justice), as has been done so far, but also and above all from the point of view of the facts and the legislation (contrary to freedom, property, and justice) which govern economic life in France.
“That in the chairs in public universities whose salaries are paid for by the treasury, the professor should rigorously refrain from undermining in slightest the respect due to the laws in force, etc.”
[Yes, in fact, nearly all colleges/universities, but four, in the United States, accept state and federal financial aid, grants, etc. and thus are on the federal/state payroll and bowing to federal quotas, curriculums, testing, and politically “correct” propagation]
“So if there is a law that sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or plunder in any form, it cannot even be mentioned, since how can it be discussed without undermining the respect it inspires?
What is more, it will be mandatory to teach morals and political economy from the point of view of this law, that is to say, on the premise that it is just, merely because it is the law. [“the arbitrary and often contradictory edicts of the Communist Party.” …?]
Another effect of this deplorable corruption of the law is that it gives an exaggerated weight to political passions and conflicts and in general to politics itself.
I could prove this proposition in a thousand ways. I will limit myself to comparing it, as an example, with a subject that has recently been in the minds of all: universal suffrage.
Whatever the disciples of Rousseau think, those who say that they are very advanced and whom I believe to be retarded by twenty centuries, universal suffrage (taking this word in its strictest sense) is not one of the sacred dogmas with regard to which any examination or even doubt is a crime.
First of all, the word universal hides a crude sophism…Universal suffrage means the universal suffrage of those capable.
There remains this practical question: who is capable?
Are age, sex, and criminal record the only signs from which we can recognize incapacity?”
This brings up a good question. Who is capable of voting responsibly today in America? Who grasps the principles upon which our nation was founded? Who possesses the abilities to judge the character and rhetoric of politicians, educators, academia and media? Who has a grasp of what it takes to maintain freedom and personal liberty in The United States?
Who can answer Margaret Thatcher’s question: “And what is freedom without truth? I have been a scientist, a lawyer, and a politician, and from my own experience I can testify that it is nothing. The third century Roman jurist Julius Paulus said, ‘What is right is not derived from the rule, but the rule arises from our knowledge of what is right.’
In other words, the law is founded on what we believe to be true and just. It has moral foundations.”
Margaret Thatcher, The Moral Foundations of Society November 1994
It all goes back to where each of us derives our moral foundations: From the Truth that does not change or from those that only promote arbitrary dictates of hopeless change…in order to plunder others.
Bastiat, Hoover and Thatcher have a great deal more wisdom to add to this. Their Source remains the Same. What about you? Are you anchored to Truth…or floating in The Twilight Zone?
The Crusade Years 1933-1955, Herbert Hoover’s Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath, Edited by George H. Nash
[emphasis and brackets, mine]