First Posted: 12/10/2009
To the Editor,
When our forefathers established our government, they established a political/economic system never tried before or since by any other country in history. It was called free market capitalism. It has been the only system established on a moral basis and consistent with the make-up of human beings. John Adams, Revolutionary War hero and second president of the United States declared that without ethics, morality, and religion, there will be no lasting liberty.
There are certain principles which make up a free market capitalist system. These principles are exclusive to a free market system and must be constantly maintained if this system is to survive. Today, these principles are being violated at an ever increasing rate.
One of the key principles and indispensable foundation of capitalism is the principle of individual rights. Rights are a moral concept and provide a logical transition from the principles guiding an individuals actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others. This concept preserves and protects individual morality in a social context and is the link between the moral code of man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
Under all other systems in history both before and after free market capitalism, morality was a code applicable to the individual, but not to society. Society was outside the moral law.
Since there is no such entity as society, since society is only a number of individual people, this meant in practice that the rulers of society were exempt from moral law and that the good is that which is good for society and the rulers edicts are its voices. All other political systems have been expressions of altruist-collectivist ethics and their common characteristic is the fact that society stood above moral law, thus all of these systems were variants of an amoral society.
The most revolutionary achievement of the United States was the subordination of society to moral law. The principle of mans individual rights represents the extension of morality into the social system and serves as a limitation on the power of the state, as mans protection against the brute force of the collective and as the subordination of might to right.
All other political/economic systems have regarded man as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end in itself. In the new system of capitalism man was regarded as an end in himself and society as the means to that end.
Today free market capitalism principles are words with no meaning. I constantly hear and cringe when I hear John F. Kennedys famous words Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country? If Thomas Jefferson could hear those words today, I feel sure he would instantly know that the system which he helped create was being destroyed.
W. Frank Badgett