Even though we have provided links to the first posting in this little series, as well as the second posting in this series (so people can read the whole story, if they are so inclined), some readers — admittedly very, very few, a statistically “zero sample” — insist on either putting words into our mouth or don’t bother to read before jumping to a (wrong) conclusion or making an assertion they pull out of . . . the blue.
|De Lamennais: socialism = social justice|
So, please bear with us if you are one of the many, many readers who realized that all we’re doing here is reporting facts. Period. If you want to argue about something, try to keep it within the bounds of coherence if not civility. And if you don’t know what a word means, ask or look it up. Don’t just impose your own definition(s) and assume we’re wrong because we are reporting the fact that some people in 1981 believed that distributism and socialism are not the same thing, and that expanded capital ownership is the same as distributism.
Yes, we realize that adherents of “democratic” and other forms of socialism-that-are-not-socialism-except-when-they-are-and-people-who-don’t-“get it”-are-all-stupid are incensed whenever someone casts aspersions on “the democratic religion” of socialism or hints that it might not be the wave of the future and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth, but that’s what makes a horse race.
Getting back to our subject and President Reagan’s speech to the Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice, the whole point of the Task Force was to demonstrate the effectiveness of a program of widespread capital ownership in countering non- or anti-human economic, political, and social systems. The plain fact is that little or nothing can be done to a free people who have control over their own lives through direct ownership of the means of sustaining those lives and vesting the owner with a social identity, but most of all, power.
That is why, as we have noted repeatedly on this blog, Daniel Webster pointed out nearly two centuries ago, “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.” A powerless people is not a free people. Political democracy without economic democracy is at best a sham, at worst a cruel joke. Thus, as Ronald Reagan noted —
“There is no reason to believe that the citizens of most countries with struggling economies are not as bright, hard-working, and capable as those in countries which are enjoying great progress, like on the Pacific Rim. If an environment is created where enterprise can thrive and a profit can be made, investment will flow, jobs will be created, production will increase, and everybody will be better off.
“Our Government’s International Programs at Treasury and A.I.D. in recent years have been molded to promote just such growth-oriented policies.
“There has been a crying need, however, for creative and innovative thinking in regard to economic growth in Central America. That is where the Task Force for Project Economic Justice comes in.
“We are all aware that Central America is today on the front lines of battle for human freedom. The security of our country and the stability of the hemisphere are tied to events in that volatile region. We’ve provided our friends there with the weapons and military equipment needed to counter an on-going strategic move by the Soviet Bloc- which, I might add, pumped in more than $1 billion of military and other support to its puppet regime in Nicaragua last year alone.
|President Reagan delivering Task Force speech|
“But don’t let anyone tell you we are relying on guns alone to carry the day. Our friends in Central America must have the weapons they need to survive, but, if they are to win, if freedom is to be secure, the Central American Democracies must have strong, growing economies. Let me reaffirm to all of you, our commitment to counter communist aggression in Central America will not diminish our efforts to meet the economic challenges that confront the people of that troubles region.
“Growth, of course, is not enough. It must be the vehicle of a better standard of living for all the people. Again, economic and political freedom are inseparably linked.
“The people of Central America — and, in a broader sense, the entire developing world -need to know first-hand that freedom and opportunity are not just for the elite, but the birthright of every citizen. That property is not just something enjoyed by a few, but can be owned by any individual who works hard and makes correct decisions. That free enterprise is not just the province of the rich, but a system of free choice in which everyone has rights, and that business, large or small, is something in which everyone can own a piece of the action.”
This brief series will conclude on Tuesday.