Monday, December 20, 2010

Redistribution By Any Other Name

On the pages of the Santa Cruz Sentinel Opinion section a local World History Professor and unsurprisingly a progressive David Sweet, tries to reintroduce the liberal argument for the redistribution of wealth by simply using different terms. Instead of the old "social justice" terminology he discusses "Defining-and achieving-the Common Good". Here is a small sample.

Without a serious and sustained commitment to achieving and maintaining the common good, Lincoln's quaint notion of a government "of the people, by the people, and [especially] for the people" is nothing but a mockery.
The argument for electing candidates with a well-articulated and reliable commitment to the common good such as several of those we've been fortunate to have the opportunity to vote for in Santa Cruz County over the years becomes much less airy-fairy if we recognize that the common good is synonymous with any genuine "homeland security." The only secure country is one in which there is a broad consensus that government does its best to see to the well-being, not primarily of corporations or the rich or powerful, but of all of the governed.The problem with this argument is by definition it is an overreaching government that has all but obliterated any sense of the “common good”. The reason it is not included in the Declaration of Independence nor is it in the US Constitution, is because, like social justice, the common good, when applied to government is simply another euphemism for redistribution of wealth. The concept of a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people," has seen its death knoll, as government has become a separate entity, not of (and certainly not for) the people. The true common good is the result not of “the people” but as individuals freely giving in support of their neighbor based primarily on religious beliefs and reciprocity. The farther this giving and support extends beyond a neighborhood, the more demanding and tyrannical it becomes. We are left with the fascist like ravings of Jim Wallis who teaches that true Christianity is forced re-distribution of wealth through a supposed benevolent Marxist regime.

One either believes that the people will define the common good as the need arises, or government will become their master as it defines the common good as it’s need to acquire more authority. According to President Obama if the Constitution "didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and [the] Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties." The document, he argued, "Says what the states can't do to you, says what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf." That remark and David Sweet defining the common good as the job of government, shows a shocking ignorance of the purpose of the United States Constitution. By definition a socialist defines not the actions of the people, but the actions of government as the common good; so the common good simply becomes serfdom to the government. It is the continuing attack against our founding fathers belief that a people can truly govern themselves.

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