"Now, as individuals differ greatly from each other, in intelligence, sagacity, energy, perseverance, skill, habits of industry and economy, physical power, position and opportunity, the necessary effect of leaving all free to exert themselves to better their condition, must be a corresponding inequality between those who may possess these qualities and advantages in a high degree, and those deficient in them ... It is, indeed, this inequality of condition between the front and rear ranks, in the march of progress, which gives so strong an impulse to the former to maintain their position, and to the latter to press forward into their files. This gives to progress its greatest impulse."
John C. Calhoun (1782-1850)
This is not only so much a free enterprise quote, as it should be a quote about the human need to strive for freedom and for people to work on their own behalf.
But alas, when "leaders" seek to convince others that a cradle-to-grave society is not only possible but desirable, well, they then seek to secure their power to the point that they can force these economic and societal inefficiencies onto society.
Always it is foisted and sold as "progress" and "improvement."
Of course it must be forced!
Why? Because those doing the foisting KNOW it is neither progress or improvement! It is simply a means of securing power and exercising control.
It's been said that if all wealth was confiscated from everyone and then returned in exact equal amounts to all - it would not be long before society would be as economically stratified as it is now.
Mostly those who are rich now would be rich again. Mostly those who are dependent now would be dependent then.
Sure some might end up richer than before. And those who inherited their wealth without any idea of how to produce it again would likely end up in a lesser condition.
But for the most part the strata we see now would re-emerge.
Why? Because of Calhoun's first statement above. People "differ greatly from each other in..." and he lists many ways.
How can "leaders" legislate motivation, and energy, and dreams, and desire and all those things that make us individuals? THEY CANNOT!
How can "leaders" spread around the wealth such that all benefit and all enjoy a more closely "equal" condition? THEY CANNOT!
How can "leaders" pass enough laws to prevent the thieves and scammers from taking from others to provide for themselves? THEY CANNOT! That scum has always been with us and will always be, no matter what laws are passed and how "equal" society is said to be.
What a myth that any of this is possible!
Now I happen to disagree with the second half of Mr. Calhoun's statement! He lived in society where there was no public dole! There was no entitlement mentality! There was no political party deriving its power from how many they could convince the myth above was alive and well!
Calhoun thought those in the rear of the parade were always striving and trying harder to make their way to the front. He called that the "greatest impulse of progress."
But if it was the "great impulse" then, it is not so now! The very gubment we have now spends much of its time and energy, and our money, developing ways to convince more and more of our citizens that their present condition is caused by the "rich," or whomever else, and that they are entitled, ENTITLED, to receive that taken from others instead of providing for themselves.
Look around the world where things are not working so well financially or economically and you will see this mentality to be more deeply ingrained than here!
If you want to see the future of our society, and the direction it seems to be taking, look at countries like Greece where they riot if their financial bureaucrats even speak of putting a small piece of their entitlement pie onto a different plate!
I wish the parade truly was like Mr. Calhoun experienced, where those in the rear ranks were using their Constitutionally-protected freedom, and individualism, and personal leadership to better their personal conditions and move forward in the ranks with regularity.
To ask: do YOU think we will get to that place again?
GETTING BACK TO THAT PLACE WILL TAKE TRUE LEADERSHIP!