Thomas Paine wrote a book titled Rights of Man. The Rights of Man posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. The Rights of Man begins thusly:
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
I PRESENT you a small Treatise in defense of those Principles of Freedom which your exemplary Virtue hath so eminently contributed to establish.–That the Rights of Man may become as universal as your Benevolence can wish, and that you may enjoy the Happiness of seeing the New World regenerated the Old, is the Prayer of
Your much obliged, and Obedient humble Servant,
Paine was addressing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen written in France after their revolution. The basic principle of the Declaration was that all “men are born and remain free and equal in rights” (Article 1), which were specified as the rights of liberty, private property, the inviolability of the person, and resistance to oppression (Article 2).
Capitalism is defined as:
A social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its result is the free-market.
Therefore capitalism is a basic right of man or in more modern terminology a human right.
To take away one’s property is to take away their ability to survive. Take away a farmer’s land and you take away a farmer’s ability to reap what he has sown. The farmer can no longer feed his family nor sell what he has reaped to feed others. If the state (government) controls the dirt (land) then it controls the people.
This is what the American Revolution was all about. Unchaining the people from serfdom to the King of England.
As Friedrich A. Hayek, in his book
It is true that the virtues which are less esteemed and practiced now–independence, self-reliance, and the willingness to bear risks, the readiness to back one’s own conviction against a majority, and the willingness to voluntary cooperation with one’s neighbors–are essentially those on which the of an individualist society rests.
Collectivism has nothing to put in their place, and in so far as it already has destroyed then it has left a void filled by nothing but the demand for obedience and the compulsion of the individual to what is collectively decided to be good.
Capitalism is the opposite of obedience and compulsion.
Capitalism can exist even in the most repressive societies, such as in Communist Cuba. In my column My Visit to Cuba — An American in Havana I wrote:
What I observed is that the Cuban people have great potential if they are unleashed and allowed to earn what they are truly worth. Socialismo (socialism) is slowly but surely killing their lives and doing them great harm. I noticed on the ride West of Havana through the rural areas of Cuba hundreds of people waiting along the road trying to get a ride. Some were nurses in their white uniforms thumbing rides to the hospital where they are needed. I saw horse drawn carriages along the major highway carrying people because the public transportation system cannot keep up with the demand. The horses and cattle we saw were emaciated. The roads were in poor shape including the national highway system.
As one Cuban man put it, “the people have no love for their work.” They have no love for their work because Cuba needs a change in direction.
A love for work comes from the rewards of one’s efforts. Take that away and you remove the soul of the individual. You remove his purpose in life. You remove the one of the fundamental rights of man.
There are those who believe the polar opposite. There are those who believe that central control trumps individual freedom. There are those who are being taught that capitalism is evil, until the time that they must earn enough to feed themselves.
There was a time in America when there were only two classes of citizens, the working class and the non-working class. The working class took care of the non-working class. Economic classification is identity politics (a.k.a. Cultural Marxism) writ large. It is designed to put the poor (those earning below a certain wage determined by government) against the rich (those earning above a certain wage determined by the government).
During his inaugural address President Trump stated:
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.
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The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
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That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.
President Trump is an American. He believes in the rights of man. He is a capitalist. He is everything that Washington, D.C. hates.