Ron Paul Might Have Said About That 47%
Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas DiLorenzo: Obama’s
'You Didn’t Build It' Canard
Romney and Obama, Ron Paul is neither a repeater of Republican Party
platitudes about "America’s greatness" nor a mumbler of
silly socialist platitudes that sound like they were paraphrased
directly from The Communist Manifesto ("From
each according to his ability, to each according to his needs").
Ron Paul is a seriously learned man when it comes to economics and
political philosophy. He is very familiar with the writings of all
the classical liberals, especially Austrian School economists such
as Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, F.A. Hayek, and Murray Rothbard.
As such, he must know that Rothbard considered John C. Calhoun,
the nineteenth-century U.S. Senator, Secretary of War, and Vice
President of the United States to have been one of America’s greatest
political philosophers as well.
his educational background, Ron Paul would have articulated Romney’s
truthful comment about how the moochers and parasites of American
society ("the 47%") are on the verge of overwhelming the
producers politically. He would not have gotten involved in the
mindless media "debate" over whether it is 47 percent
or 49 percent of American adults who pay no income taxes but receive
benefits from government. He likely would have quoted or paraphrased
Rothbard’s favorite American political philosopher, Calhoun, from
his magisterial 1850 Disquisition
on Government instead.
once formed," Calhoun wrote, a political community "will
be divided into two great parties – a major and minor – between
which there will be incessant struggles on the one side to retain,
and on the other to obtain the majority . . . . " Consequently,
"some portion of the community must pay in taxes more than
it receives back in disbursements; while another receives in disbursements
more than it pays in taxes."
is thus divided into "two great classes – one consisting of
those who . . . pay the taxes . . . and the other, of those who
are the recipients of their proceeds." This will in turn lead
to "one class or portion of the community [being] elevated
to wealth and power, and the other depressed to abject poverty and
dependence, simply by the fiscal action of the government."
This has certainly
come true. The real "One Percenters" that should
have been the object of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters
are not American capitalists per se, but the politically-connected,
subsidized and bailed out ones, combined with the political class
itself, including all politicians, bureaucrats, and their ideological
minions in the media and academe. Even the lowliest "city manager"
of a small California town can retire on a pension in the range
of $800,000/year, the media sensationally reported a year or so
warned that the power to tax will inevitably be used "for the
purpose of aggrandizing and building up one portion of the community
at the expense of another," which will "give rise to .
. . violent conflicts and struggles between the two competing parties."
Stay tuned, Americans, and pay attention to what has happened in
places like Greece.
understood that the totalitarian-minded enemies of a free society
(i.e., most politicians of all parties) would say and do anything
to destroy all roadblocks to their totalitarian dreams. Thus, "it
is a great mistake," Calhoun wrote, to suppose that a written
Constitution would be sufficient to protect individual liberty because
the party in power "will always have no need of [constitutional]
restrictions." As Andrew Napolitano pointed out in his book,
Constitution in Exile, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to
strike down a single piece of federal legislation as unconstitutional
from 1937 to 1995, and precious little since then. The government’s
"Supreme Court" long ago became what Alexander Hamilton
wanted it to become: a rubber stamp operation for anything and everything
the state ever wants to do.
Such men as
Hamilton and his political descendants would use "cunning,
falsehood, deception, slander, fraud, and gross appeals to the appetites
of the lowest and most worthless portions of the community,"
Calhoun predicted, until "the restrictions [of the Constitution]
would be ultimately annulled, and the government be converted into
one of unlimited powers." Calhoun wrote this in 1850; the succeeding
162 years proved him to be prescient.
government and a written constitution were good things in Calhoun’s
eyes, but would never be sufficient to thwart tyranny and economic
collapse unless some mechanisms could be adopted that would allow
the people themselves to interpose their will directly on government.
That’s why he proposed nullification, a "concurrent majority"
of citizens that could veto unconstitutional federal legislation,
and secession, the principle idea of the American revolution.
J. DiLorenzo [send him mail]
is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the
author of The
Real Lincoln; Lincoln
Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe
Capitalism Saved America. His latest book is Hamilton’s
Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution
– And What It Means for America Today. His next book is entitled
Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
Best of Thomas DiLorenzo at LRC
DiLorenzo Archives at Mises.org