It might be a little late in the day to bring this up, but the morning after Mitt Romney's talk at the Al Smith Dinner on October 18, someone sent us a link to a video of the speech. Unlike most political speeches or humorous monologues, we watched it through to the end. We're not sure the Romney campaign would be pleased to hear this, but it may have been the most carefully written and highly nuanced speech of the entire campaign.
The only thing lacking was a recognition that neither of the candidates has a viable program either of economic recovery or (not to sound too melodramatic) of restoring the Republic. It took an Octavius Caesar to halt the decline of Rome, and neither candidate is of the caliber of the "Divine Augustus."
Even Caesar Augustus, however, only halted the deterioration and delayed the inevitable end of a system that embodied grave flaws. The founders of the United States and the framers of the Constitution intended the American Republic to correct the errors of the past and create a "more perfect" union, establish justice, and so on, but insisted on leaving in place the "original sin" of slavery.
This, according to constitutional scholar William Crosskey of the University of Chicago, was fatal. Almost from the beginning the ideals on which the United States was founded were corrupted to preserve an inherently unjust institution: people innocent of any crime held in servitude for the economic benefit of others. This was justified by what became known as the "living Constitution" theory that euthanized the document.
The violation of the natural right of liberty (freedom of association/contract) involved in chattel slavery undermined understanding of the natural law itself. It led, inevitably, to distortions and violations of the natural rights of life and property. Ironically, this has largely been accomplished by effectively nullifying the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, an amendment adopted in part to establish for all time the inalienable personhood of every human being.
Not surprisingly, the only real hope we have of sustainable economic recovery and of restoring the Republic lies in emancipating people from the wage slavery of capitalism and the welfare slavery of socialism, and in reversing the growth of the Servile State that combines the evils of both systems. Only a program of expanded capital ownership that does not violate either political expediency or the precepts of the natural law can accomplish these goals.
As I argue in my latest book, The Restoration of Property: A Reexamination of a Natural Right (as well as in my previous book, Supporting Life: The Case for a Pro-Life Economic Agenda, 2010), simply redistributing existing wealth through the State or redefining the natural right of private property — and, inevitably, life and liberty as well — causes more problems than it solves. It can, in fact, be shown that the Keynesian emphasis on using the State to redistribute existing wealth through taxation and inflation and (as Keynes put it) "re-editing the dictionary" for political ends is, in large measure, responsible for the current economic and even moral decay of our society.
That being the case, and in light of Romney's speech, I can think of no greater service any American can perform for his or her country than to set aside egos and opinions, and introduce the candidates and our fellow citizens to the potential of Capital Homesteading to reestablish the United States as "the last, best hope of earth."