The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Parting to the Left

The chief beef I have with Kennedy's brand of liberalism (pick a Kennedy, any Kennedy) is the Kennedys' belief that they can pay for their schemes with an income tax.

When the government levies a tax against personal income, they are telling the citizens that their labours do not belong to them but to Kennedy; and that Kennedy reserves the right to decide how much of this is fair. By extension the Kennedys arrogate to themselves the right to take all of it.

I've mentioned this before in an American context. I bring it up now because of a point made in NRO, that George Mason proposed this wording for the new (1776) Virginia constitution: "All men are created equally free and independent and have certain inherent and natural rights..., among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety".

This is, as Brookhiser points out, standard Whiggery as it existed in the mid eighteenth century. Unfortunately it doesn't earn much support among those currently lacking property. This tempts Whigs to concentrate more on the "equality" part of it. If fanatical Scottish Jacobites are the extremists of the Tories, their counterparts are fanatical French Jacobins. When the Whigs in England flirted with them, they lost all credibility there until 1830 or so. It took a name change to "Liberal" for them to dig themselves out fully.

What we see here is the second time the Liberals have made their choice between equality and freedom; and once again they have chosen the left hand path. For this they deserve another forty years in the wilderness. At least.

posted by Zimri on 17:40 | link | 0 comments

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