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Topic: Class Warfare, Matches 2 quotes.



It makes no difference whether government controls allegedly favor the interests of labor or business, of the poor or the rich, of a special class or a special race: the results are the same. The notion that a dictatorship can benefit any one social group at the expense of others is a worn remnant of the Marxist mythology of class warfare, refuted by half a century of factual evidence. All men are victims and losers under a dictatorship; nobody wins-except the ruling clique.

Source: Ayn Rand

Topics: Class Warfare; Government, Dictatorship



Let us first consider the origin of those freedoms we have come to know as human rights. Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. Reason, necessity, tradition, and religious convictions all lead me to accept the divine origin of these rights. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government.

I support the doctrine of separation of church and state as traditionally interpreted to prohibit the establishment of an official national religion. But this does not mean that we should divorce government from any formal recognition of God. To do so strikes a potentially fatal blow at the concept of the divine origin of our rights and unlocks the door for an easy entry of future tyranny. If Americans should ever come to believe that their rights and freedoms are instituted among men by politicians and bureaucrats, then they will no longer carry the proud inheritance of their forefathers, but will grovel before their masters seeking favors and dispensations, a throwback to the feudal system of the Dark Ages.

Since God created man with certain inalienable rights, and man, in turn, created government to help secure and safeguard those rights, it follows that man is superior to the creature which he created. Man is superior to government and should remain master over it, not the other way around. Even the nonbeliever can appreciate the logic of this relationship.

A government is nothing more or less than a relatively small group of citizens who have been hired, in a sense, by the rest of us to perform certain functions and discharge certain responsibilities which have been authorized. The government itself has no innate power or privilege to do anything. Its only source of authority and power is from the people who created it.

Keep in mind that the people who have created their government can give to that government only such powers as they themselves have. They cannot give that which they do not possess. . . .

The proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft, and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by man. No man can delegate a power that he does not possess. The creature cannot exceed the creator. . . .

The Constitution of the United States, an inspired document, is a solemn agreement between the citizens of this nation that every officer of government is under a sacred duty to obey.

The Constitution provides that the great bulk of the legitimate activities of government are to be carried out at the state or local level. This is the only way in which the principle of self-government can be made effective.

The smallest or lowest level that can possibly undertake the task is the one that should do so. The smaller the governmental unit and the closer it is to the people, the easier it is to guide it, to correct it, to keep it solvent, and to keep our freedom.

Remember that the people of the states of this republic created the federal government. The federal government did not create the states.

A category of government activity that not only requires the closest scrutiny but that also poses a grave danger to our continued freedom in the activity not within the proper sphere of government. No one has the authority to grant such powers as welfare programs, schemes for redistributing the wealth, and activities that coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise it in my behalf. If I do not have that right, I cannot delegate it.

If we permit government to manufacture its own authority and to create self-proclaimed powers not delegated to it by the people, then the creature exceeds the creator and becomes master. Who is to say “this far, but no farther”? What clear principle will stay the hand of government from reaching farther and farther into our daily lives? Grover Cleveland said that “though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.”

Once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth through taxation and providing so-called “benefits” for some of its citizens, it becomes a means for legalized plunder. It becomes a lever of unlimited power that is the sought-after prize of unscrupulous individuals and pressure groups, each seeking to control the machine to fatten his own pockets or to benefit his favorite charity, all with the other fellow’s money, of course. Each class or special interest group competes with the others to throw the lever of governmental power in its favor, or at least to immunize itself against the effects of a previous thrust.

Source: Ezra Taft Benson
General Conference, October 1968

Topics: Class Warfare; Government, Power; Government, Vertical Separation; US Constitution

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