Quantcast

Were The Founding Fathers Socialists ?

Tracker2 2010/11/28 23:40:01
Related Topics: Elect, Obama, Capitalist
These days we hear that "socialist" word thrown around a lot and usually directed at Obama and Democrats as a negative so it got me curious to see what the founding fathers and writers of our constitution thought about socialism.

First lets define socialism as an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources.-wiki


So did the founding fathers promote any socialist system of public or common ownership and cooperative management ?

Well lets take the Government itself as a prime example:

1) the government is not owned by anyone and we elect our president and representatives and have the power to fire (impeach) them. Each individual of voting age has the same vote power regardless of wealth so the government is a socialist system of public and common ownership and co-operative management.

2) The government is authorized by the constitution to collect taxes to pay for programs the government sees as benefiting the citizens welfare and providing for security. These programs do not just benefit specific groups but most benefit and are enjoyed by the majority of people. So our tax system was set up to be a socialist system that we all contribute to (supposedly) for the benefit of all citizens.

The founding fathers directed in the constitution certain government responsibilities such as military and national security:

1) the Military and national security is under direct authority of the president we elect so by proxy we have a common ownership of the military and national security and it is a socialist program that belongs to the citizens for the benefit of citizens.

2) Public roads, bridges, libraries, postal service and fire stations were programs designed by the founding fathers to benefit citizens and as these grew taxes were collected to pay for them making all citizens common owners of these public works.

So I think it is fair to say that our founding fathers believed that socialist programs that benefited the majority of citizens were constitutional and ethical and almost every president and congress has supported some socialist programs and have added new ones as the need arose.

That is not to say our founding fathers wanted a completely socialist country and these programs have generally been done in moderation with a balance of socialist programs with capitalist programs to support free markets.

I have read the constitution many times and I can find no where that says our government is just limited to one certain political ideology and it appears that the founding fathers supported both socialist and capitalist programs equally.

There is also nothing that I can find in the constitution that prevents future presidents and congress from expanding and creating new socialist and capitalist programs based on their authority to provide for the welfare of all citizens.

If anyone can find a section of the constitution that prohibits socialist programs or can show me where our government is required to be conservative or capitalist please let me know.

If you disagree with certain socialist programs remember we own those programs collectively and each of us has a vote to help determine which if any programs we want for our benefit so make your vote count.

So now that you know the founding fathers supported some socialist programs does it change your mind about socialism ?

You!
Add Photos & Videos

Top Opinion

  • julia 2012/12/24 01:09:03
    julia
    +7
    I'm not sure I agree because the constitution was inspired by the writings of John Locke. The father of classical liberalism. Traditional liberalism and socialism are opposites. Liberalism demands freedom of the state and individual rights. I'm not against social democracy by any means. It has been very successful in other countries. I just don't think it was exactly what the founders were thinking of. Most of our taxes are unconstitutional and it wasn't the founders who added the 16th amendment, which was never ratified by all the states. The original document that the founders wrote about taxes said that congress had the right to hike taxes to pay off any debt. And the government has the right to collect taxes for services and goods delivered to the people. Property taxes, income taxes didn't exist back in the founding fathers America. Big cities did start building roads but in rural areas communities built roads for themselves. Public education was around since Britain controlled us and the founders kept that it because why a change something that was working well? Actually some of the things you mentioned were not created by the founders but by Britain. The founders saw no need to change them. But the biggest tall tell sign that the founders were not socialist is because they were traditional liberals. Traditional liberalism is in no way compatible to socialism. Not even social democracy.

Sort By
  • Most Raves
  • Least Raves
  • Oldest
  • Newest
Opinions

  • crossboy56 2013/04/02 17:27:34
    crossboy56
    Yes.However,only for themselves the greedy SOBs
  • julia 2012/12/24 01:09:03
    julia
    +7
    I'm not sure I agree because the constitution was inspired by the writings of John Locke. The father of classical liberalism. Traditional liberalism and socialism are opposites. Liberalism demands freedom of the state and individual rights. I'm not against social democracy by any means. It has been very successful in other countries. I just don't think it was exactly what the founders were thinking of. Most of our taxes are unconstitutional and it wasn't the founders who added the 16th amendment, which was never ratified by all the states. The original document that the founders wrote about taxes said that congress had the right to hike taxes to pay off any debt. And the government has the right to collect taxes for services and goods delivered to the people. Property taxes, income taxes didn't exist back in the founding fathers America. Big cities did start building roads but in rural areas communities built roads for themselves. Public education was around since Britain controlled us and the founders kept that it because why a change something that was working well? Actually some of the things you mentioned were not created by the founders but by Britain. The founders saw no need to change them. But the biggest tall tell sign that the founders were not socialist is because they were traditional liberals. Traditional liberalism is in no way compatible to socialism. Not even social democracy.
  • Winghunter 2012/10/28 14:08:51
    Winghunter
    “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” —Thomas Jefferson

    "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." -- Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, 1766

    "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy." --Thomas Jefferson

    “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would b...

    “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” —Thomas Jefferson

    "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." -- Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, 1766

    "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy." --Thomas Jefferson

    “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison in a letter to James Robertson

    What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776
    (more)
  • Child of light 2011/11/21 06:55:32
    Child of light
    +1
    The Founding Fathers were not socialist. The fact that they have given the government the power to create things like roads, post offices, fire fighters, etc...Is for public safety and infrastructure. These things have little effect on the personal choices and freedoms of the people. The "general welfare" statement that you've quoted in the Constitution is regarding the people's safety from things like disaster and criminal attacks and the like. Not like the welfare program we have today. As for the Constitution's limit on political ideology, there is none. The sole purpose of the Constitution was to create a government that was limited and protected the individual rights and freedoms of the people. Not promote political ideologies. Unless you count limited government and individual freedom as an ideology. Socialism as we know it today probably didn't exist back when the Constitution was being drafted. That's why they didn't bother writing about it. The Constitution's sole purpose is to create government, the three branches, describe its powers and limits. They wanted limited government. It's not the government's job to make sure each and every person has what they need to live. It's only their job to make sure they have the opportunity to meet their needs.
  • SCOTT H... Child o... 2012/07/05 05:19:20
    SCOTT HAMILTON
    +1
    You are so right. We are supposed to be a country of rugged individuals not weak cradle to grave entitlement zombies. We can not possibly be great when everyone needs a mommy and her money to survive.
  • Ronnie 2011/10/18 11:07:38
  • Ronnie 2011/07/12 20:19:07
  • Diane 2011/02/26 04:50:17
    Diane
    Yes.

    Agrarian Justice is the title of a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, published in 1797, which advocated the use of an estate tax to fund a universal old-age and disability pension, as well as a fixed sum to be paid to all citizens on reaching maturity. This is similar to the later philosophy of Georgism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    "All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation
    of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his
    natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all
    Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the
    Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore
    by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick
    shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society
    on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can
    have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his
    Club towards the Support of it."

    Ben Franklin

    http://www.foundersquotes.com...

    Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1785 letter to James Madison:

    "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”

    http://press-pu...
    Yes.

    Agrarian Justice is the title of a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, published in 1797, which advocated the use of an estate tax to fund a universal old-age and disability pension, as well as a fixed sum to be paid to all citizens on reaching maturity. This is similar to the later philosophy of Georgism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    "All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation
    of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his
    natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all
    Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the
    Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore
    by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick
    shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society
    on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can
    have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his
    Club towards the Support of it."

    Ben Franklin

    http://www.foundersquotes.com...

    Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1785 letter to James Madison:

    "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.ed...
    (more)
  • Dan™: Real Change, Not Fals... 2010/11/30 22:25:18 (edited)
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    Here's the first thing that pops out at me, besides the provocative title, of course:

    "2) The government is authorized by the constitution to collect taxes to pay for programs the government sees as benefiting the citizens welfare and providing for security. These programs do not just benefit specific groups but most benefit and are enjoyed by the majority of people. So our tax system was set up to be a socialist system that we all contribute to (supposedly) for the benefit of all citizens."

    Actually, no.

    The founding fathers (i.e. Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington, et al) did not "set up" our tax system at all beyond excise taxes and tariffs. In fact, for the first 100 years of our republic's existence, we did not have any federal income tax.

    The 16th Amendment -- not the original Constitution or the original first ten Amendments written by the Founders -- was ratified in 1913, which for the first time granted the federal government authority to levy an individual federal income tax on citizens.
  • Tracker2 Dan™: R... 2010/12/01 00:04:26
    Tracker2
    You need a lesson in the constitution:

    Taxes are right in the main legislation

    Section 8 - Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    See that "general welfare" statement ?

    So the founding fathers did authorize congress to collect taxes for the general welfare and at that time those general welfare programs were public roads, libraries, postal service, military, bridges and fire departments.

    That is a socialist system!
  • Dan™: R... Tracker2 2010/12/01 00:42:52 (edited)
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    +3
    I need a lesson "in the constitution"? Really?

    I've been patient with you, Buddy-O, but you need to just shut up and stop exposing the depth of your ignorance on the subject.

    You cited section 8, which explicitly says that those taxes, duties, imposts and excises must be uniform throughout the United States. This section does not refer to the federal income tax.

    Our current federal income tax code doesn't derive it's authority from Section 8; it's based on the 16th Amendment, because our progressive tax code isn't uniform throughout the United States (which would be a violation of Section 8).

    Have you bothered to read the 16th Amendment? If Section 8 covers it, then why did they go to all that trouble back in 1913 to pass a Constitutional Amendment in order to institute the income tax?

    I'm not even going to get into your tortured misreading of the "General Welfare" clause as advocacy of a socialist system.
  • Tracker2 Dan™: R... 2010/12/01 03:31:01
    Tracker2
    I don't require your patience and you need to drop the tough guy act because you are not in charge of anything on SH!

    The founding fathers said "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

    They do not have to include the word income tax to please you.

    You tried to say the constitution does not authorize the collection of taxes for general welfare programs and you are wrong and got busted!
  • Dan™: R... Tracker2 2010/12/01 07:42:41
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    +1
    Actually, you're the one who got busted ... and the funny thing is, you actually busted yourself! LOL! Because you've still never answered my challenge and explained why all that fuss back in 1913 about the 16th Amendment establishing the federal income tax never really happened in your alternate reality.
  • Tracker2 Dan™: R... 2010/12/01 13:59:39
    Tracker2
    +1
    Try again!

    The question is were the the founding fathers socialists ?

    I have proven that the entire government system including the authority to collect taxes is a socialist ideology.

    I have proven that the founding fathers authorized taxes to be collected for the general welfare.

    I have proven the Founding fathers set up numerous social welfare programs such as military, public roads, libraries, fire departments, bridges, and the postal service.

    I have proven that all presidents and congress have supported these socialist programs and have added to them as the need arose.

    I have proven there is no wording in the constitution that says our government is limited or restricted to not promoting a social welfare programs.

    I have proven there is no wording in the constitution that says our government is meant to be small or conservative.

    The 16th amendment was not written by the founding fathers and deals only with the types of taxes collected and in no way does it preclude those taxes from being used for social welfare program.

    The burden is now on you to prove the constitution says general welfare programs were not constitutional and that the founding fathers said in the constitution that the government was to be small, limited or conservative.


    Or you can just admit the founding fathers and all presidents and congress have supported socialist general welfare programs!
  • Dan™: R... Tracker2 2010/12/01 14:09:13
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    +1
    You've proven only that you're a clueless, hopeless moron.

    Here's just one more example of your foolishness: your confusion about the words "socialism" and "social" -- as in social welfare programs. The fact that you don't even realize that the terms are not synonyms is illustrative of your overall ignorance.

    I'm done wasting my time with you. Best of luck sorting out all that BS you've got bouncing around inside your skull.
  • Tracker2 Dan™: R... 2010/12/01 14:25:04
    Tracker2
    +1
    Programs that promote social and general welfare are the backbone of socialist ideology:

    socialism is an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources.-wiki

    Your welcome!
  • Winghunter Tracker2 2012/10/28 15:04:35
    Winghunter
    +1
    The Socialist Mask of Marxism http://pjmedia.com/mihaipacep...

    Below are the “Ten Reasons to Reject Socialism” by The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

    1. Socialism and communism are the same ideology

    2. Socialism violates personal freedom

    3. Socialism destroys personal initiative

    4. Socialism violates private property

    5. Socialism opposes traditional marriage

    6. Socialism opposes parental rights in education

    7. Socialism promotes radical equality

    8. Socialism promotes atheism

    9. Socialism promotes relativism

    10. Socialism mocks religion

    In a word, Socialism is treason and traitors WILL BE dealt with accordingly!
  • SCOTT H... Dan™: R... 2012/07/05 05:24:02
    SCOTT HAMILTON
    So approximately 100 years ago was the start of the social society?
  • 2468 2010/11/30 02:35:06
    2468
    +3
    America is a blend of the "isms" including but not limited to:

    - capitalism
    - socialism
    - fascism
    - plutocratism
    - corporatism

    We are not a single ism...we are a blended society and we are free to use the right "ism" for the job.

    Being afraid of say Socialism is like a carpenter that is afraid of hammers.
    When we get to fascism that is more like a power saw and one may rightfully be afraid of it.
  • Tracker2 2468 2010/11/30 03:00:30
    Tracker2
    +3
    Good response, I agree that our founding fathers obviously incorporated many political ideologies together when designing the constitution which was the result of many people from different counties and backgrounds.

    It was left intentionally vague so that the government of the time could use it as a general guideline without being tied to it as if it were a religious commandment.

    The fact that they allowed for amendments says the constitution is not written in stone and should serve the people as a guide and adapted by consensus to fit the need.
  • erinjoy 2010/11/29 21:37:48
    erinjoy
    What you have just described is a Republic. That is the United States.
  • Tracker2 erinjoy 2010/11/29 21:43:30
    Tracker2
    +2
    So then a Republic is made of both socialist and capitalist ideologies as I have said.
  • tinhat 2010/11/29 21:37:24
    tinhat
    lucky your the author of this piece otherwise you would be blocked LOL
  • Tracker2 tinhat 2010/11/29 21:44:00
    Tracker2
    +2
    If you can't handle the truth don't read my articles!
  • tinhat tinhat 2010/11/29 21:51:21
    tinhat
    +2
    I know I agree with you
  • charles_1 2010/11/29 03:13:49
    charles_1
    +1
    You are reading too much into the things the founders directed the government to do. The founding fathers wanted a republican form of government. That is absolutely required of the federal and all state governments. That is the limit of the 'type' of government they required.

    The founders wanted limited government. They accepted that the federal government would have to do certain things. They enumerated exactly what those were in the constitution. The bill of rights was not even supposed to be necessary. The aurgument was that unless a power is specifically enumerated, the government does NOT have the authority to act. But many were afraid of the government and insisted on the bill of rights. Anything not specifically enumerated is left to the states.

    If you read the constititution you will notice certain things like:

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

    "...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures...





    You are reading too much into the things the founders directed the government to do. The founding fathers wanted a republican form of government. That is absolutely required of the federal and all state governments. That is the limit of the 'type' of government they required.

    The founders wanted limited government. They accepted that the federal government would have to do certain things. They enumerated exactly what those were in the constitution. The bill of rights was not even supposed to be necessary. The aurgument was that unless a power is specifically enumerated, the government does NOT have the authority to act. But many were afraid of the government and insisted on the bill of rights. Anything not specifically enumerated is left to the states.

    If you read the constititution you will notice certain things like:

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"

    "...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    The founders obviously had a capilatist leaning and respect for private property and private production.

    And while things like military, immigration, post office, judiciary system, prisons, and certain specific other institutions are listed for the federal government, those listed are supposed to be the ONLY things the federal government does. The states are supposed to do everything else unless there is a constitutional ammendement giving the federal government the authority. And those things listed are largely not socialist. A fire station run by the government is not an example of socialism. That is a misnomer. A socialism is when the government controls something that is marketable and can exist in the market without the government control. If the government takes over the oil industry that is clearly socialist. If the government creates the military that is just government because a standing military has no way to exist in the free market, so it's not socialist.
    (more)
  • Tracker2 charles_1 2010/11/29 03:32:08 (edited)
    Tracker2
    +2
    OK, if that is true can you show me anywhere in the constitution where it says government should be limited or conservative ?

    The constitution is a very general document and I see no where in the constitution that limits the government to not create programs that benefit the citizens. Since the founding fathers created socialist programs like the military, public roads, public libraries, fire departments and the postal service after the constitution was written it seem obvious they thought those programs were constitutional right ?

    To promote the science and arts has been accomplished by public and higher education which are both socialist programs right ?

    The right to life and liberty is also supported by social programs like public health care that allows all people to stay healthy and not be imprisoned for not being able to work because of health problems right. You would have a hard time having the right to life without the right to health care right ?

    Most fire stations, police stations, and ambulance services are provided by collecting taxes which are then spread around to the states to pay for those services so they absolutely are socialism.

    The government has the constitutional right to defend the country from foreign and domestic enemies and a corporation that has monopol...

    OK, if that is true can you show me anywhere in the constitution where it says government should be limited or conservative ?

    The constitution is a very general document and I see no where in the constitution that limits the government to not create programs that benefit the citizens. Since the founding fathers created socialist programs like the military, public roads, public libraries, fire departments and the postal service after the constitution was written it seem obvious they thought those programs were constitutional right ?

    To promote the science and arts has been accomplished by public and higher education which are both socialist programs right ?

    The right to life and liberty is also supported by social programs like public health care that allows all people to stay healthy and not be imprisoned for not being able to work because of health problems right. You would have a hard time having the right to life without the right to health care right ?

    Most fire stations, police stations, and ambulance services are provided by collecting taxes which are then spread around to the states to pay for those services so they absolutely are socialism.

    The government has the constitutional right to defend the country from foreign and domestic enemies and a corporation that has monopolized our energy service and raises prices making it impossible for citizens to live is considered a domestic enemy and the government has the right and obligation to control or eliminate that enemy.

    I have already said the founding fathers supported both socialist and capitalist ideology and unless you can find some statement in the constitution or evidence that they did not I think you should re-evaluate your opinion that the founding fathers did not support socialism.
    (more)
  • charles_1 Tracker2 2010/11/29 05:09:26
    charles_1
    +1
    Read the discussion here:

    http://books.google.com/books...

    What you will see is that the founders discussed this. They already thought the constitution created a limited government. Conservative is not a meaningful adjective, it's not useful. Limited is the key component. Did you read this part "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    Many of the founders did not, for example, think the 2nd amendment was necessary. The 2nd amendment acknowledges our pre-existing right to keep and bear arms and tells the government in specific terms not to mess with those rights. This amendment was thought unnecessary because the founders thought that since the constitution did not specifically say arms could be regulated, that meant the federal government could not regulate them at all. Knowing the history now, you can see how the government has disregarded the fact that unless the constitution specifically gives the government a power, it doesn't have that power. And you are reading the constitution the same (incorrect) way when you ask me to find where it prohibits something. The burden is NOT on me to show you a prohibition. The burden is yours to show where the p...




































    Read the discussion here:

    http://books.google.com/books...

    What you will see is that the founders discussed this. They already thought the constitution created a limited government. Conservative is not a meaningful adjective, it's not useful. Limited is the key component. Did you read this part "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    Many of the founders did not, for example, think the 2nd amendment was necessary. The 2nd amendment acknowledges our pre-existing right to keep and bear arms and tells the government in specific terms not to mess with those rights. This amendment was thought unnecessary because the founders thought that since the constitution did not specifically say arms could be regulated, that meant the federal government could not regulate them at all. Knowing the history now, you can see how the government has disregarded the fact that unless the constitution specifically gives the government a power, it doesn't have that power. And you are reading the constitution the same (incorrect) way when you ask me to find where it prohibits something. The burden is NOT on me to show you a prohibition. The burden is yours to show where the power to do something is specifically called out. If it is not specifically called out, the government does not have that power. It is reserved to the states or the people. If the government wants that power it must ask for it through a constitutional convention.

    I already stated that just because the government does something like police, military, or post office that does not make that a socialist endeavor. You do not understand socialism. It is government control of the means of production. An endeavor that cannot be supported in the private market is by definition non-productive. Therefore having the government do it is not socialism. Just because you pay for something with tax dollars does not make it socialist. If that were the case then the existence of any tax for any service would be socialist, even just paying the president for being the president would be socialist. That is simply not the case. That is popular misrepresentation of socialism and it is incorrect.

    You should read more about the founding fathers debates, the federalist papers, and some of the personal writings of the founders. Some other points:

    1. The preamble is not a directive to the government. It does not carry the legal standing of the body of the constitution. It merely states the context or purpose of the document. This is well established legal president.
    2. Public and higher education are not enumerated powers and are not supported by "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" This section of the constitution creates copyrights and trademarks to empower capitalism and free market. You have totally misread what this says.
    3. Public roads, public libraries, and fire departments are not enumerated powers. The federal government does not have this authority. The states do.
    4. If the right to life were held as you infer, then every time someone dies that would be unconstitutional. That "life" part is in the preamble and is not legally enforceable, it is context for the constitution.
    5. The government has NO constitutional rights. It has delegated powers as explicitly listed in the constitution.
    6. The defense of the country you allude to is specified as "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions". That hardly allows the government to take over energy companies. Those companies are privately owned and cannot be declared enemies and taken over because you don't like the prices. Market driven prices are not an insurrection or invasion. The government has limited authority to regulate commerce. That is all.

    Founding fathers quotes:

    “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” — Thomas Jefferson

    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

    “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison

    “[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” — James Madison

    “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” James Madison

    “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison

    “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” — Benjamin Franklin

    “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” — Benjamin Franklin

    “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” — John Adams

    I found no indication that the founders were supportive of socialist ideas. In fact almost all discussion is to the point of limiting the federal government powers and empowering private citizens.
    (more)
  • Tracker2 charles_1 2010/11/29 14:43:07
    Tracker2
    +1
    I have read that statement and since the founding fathers wrote it and then set up socialist programs after they wrote it they must have believed these programs were within the powers of the federal government.

    You are taking small snippets and quotes and other papers as evidence but you can't find anywhere in the constitution that supports your claim.

    Where does it say the government is to be limited and small or conservative ?

    That is your agenda and not supported by anything in the constitution.

    The preamble is part of the constitution and is the ideology on which the entire constitution was founded.

    The Preamble to the United States Constitution is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution's fundamental purposes and guiding principles. It states in general terms, and courts have referred to it as reliable evidence of, the Founding Fathers' intentions regarding the Constitution's meaning and what they hoped the Constitution would achieve.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    You need...



    I have read that statement and since the founding fathers wrote it and then set up socialist programs after they wrote it they must have believed these programs were within the powers of the federal government.

    You are taking small snippets and quotes and other papers as evidence but you can't find anywhere in the constitution that supports your claim.

    Where does it say the government is to be limited and small or conservative ?

    That is your agenda and not supported by anything in the constitution.

    The preamble is part of the constitution and is the ideology on which the entire constitution was founded.

    The Preamble to the United States Constitution is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution's fundamental purposes and guiding principles. It states in general terms, and courts have referred to it as reliable evidence of, the Founding Fathers' intentions regarding the Constitution's meaning and what they hoped the Constitution would achieve.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    You need to keep in mind the Government belongs to WE THE PEOPLE and therefore it is a socialist program:

    1) the government is not owned by anyone and we elect our president and representatives and have the power to fire (impeach) them. Each individual of voting age has the same vote power regardless of wealth so the government is a socialist system of public and common ownership and co-operative management.

    2) The government is authorized by the constitution to collect taxes to pay for programs the government sees as benefiting the citizens welfare and providing for security. These programs do not just benefit specific groups but most benefit and are enjoyed by the majority of people. So our tax system was set up to be a socialist system that we all contribute to (supposedly) for the benefit of all citizens.
    (more)
  • charles_1 Tracker2 2010/11/29 22:59:38
    charles_1
    You do not know what socialist means. The government is not a means of production. It matters not who owns it because it is not an asset, it is a liability. You seem to think taxes used for government expenses automatically means a socialist program and that is not true. There is no talking to you until you actually understand the definition of socialism. The government defined in the constitution is a republican form of government (Not republican party, republican governance).

    "Section 4 - Republican government
    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

    I repeat that it is not my obligation to show you how limited the government is. You can read what the founders wrote in the federalist papers, or other writings, as well as anyone else. The government is limited by the constitution and is not legally empowered to do anything not specifically enumerated in it. The fact that people like you exist is exactly what the founders feared the most and it's why the bill of rights was added. The bill of rights is all we have left now and that too will be ...

    You do not know what socialist means. The government is not a means of production. It matters not who owns it because it is not an asset, it is a liability. You seem to think taxes used for government expenses automatically means a socialist program and that is not true. There is no talking to you until you actually understand the definition of socialism. The government defined in the constitution is a republican form of government (Not republican party, republican governance).

    "Section 4 - Republican government
    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence."

    I repeat that it is not my obligation to show you how limited the government is. You can read what the founders wrote in the federalist papers, or other writings, as well as anyone else. The government is limited by the constitution and is not legally empowered to do anything not specifically enumerated in it. The fact that people like you exist is exactly what the founders feared the most and it's why the bill of rights was added. The bill of rights is all we have left now and that too will be eroded over time. It is the natural progression of society as we move more toward a pure democracy and eventually vote ourselves into ruin.

    "Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” — John Adams
    (more)
  • Tracker2 charles_1 2010/11/29 23:13:05
    Tracker2
    +1
    The government is absolutely a means of production. It was designed to produce Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,...

    Those can only be produced if the government has authority to collect taxes and establish programs so it is most definitely a socialist structure.

    I repeat show me anywhere in the constitution that says we are to have a limited and conservative capitalist government ?

    You can't because it does not exist and you are trying to go around the facts that our founding fathers did support and establish socialist programs and every president elected has supported some socialist programs.

    that is a fact you can not deny and still be honest!
  • charles_1 Tracker2 2010/11/30 01:38:18
    charles_1
    The constitution IS THE LIMIT for the government. The whole thing says we are to have limited government. It's mere existence establishes the limits of the government. The government can only legally do what is specifically enumerated. If you cannot show a specific grant of power in the constitution then the government does not have that power. I have already showed you the limit, you cannot comprehend it because you read the constitution wrong. You do not read it with the perspective of "what does this say I cannot do." You are supposed to read it with the perspective of "what does this say I am allowed to do." I do not have to show you where the constitution says you can't do something, you have to show me specifically where it says you (e.g the government) can. If you cannot show a specific grant of power, you can't legally do it. Notice how something as trivial as the post office had to be specifically called out. Notice how something as commonplace as copyright and trademark enforcement has to be called out. Without that specific mention in the constitution, those things legally could not be done by the federal government. That rule is supposed to apply to everything the government does.

    You need to read other works written by founders and specifically their writings ab...



    The constitution IS THE LIMIT for the government. The whole thing says we are to have limited government. It's mere existence establishes the limits of the government. The government can only legally do what is specifically enumerated. If you cannot show a specific grant of power in the constitution then the government does not have that power. I have already showed you the limit, you cannot comprehend it because you read the constitution wrong. You do not read it with the perspective of "what does this say I cannot do." You are supposed to read it with the perspective of "what does this say I am allowed to do." I do not have to show you where the constitution says you can't do something, you have to show me specifically where it says you (e.g the government) can. If you cannot show a specific grant of power, you can't legally do it. Notice how something as trivial as the post office had to be specifically called out. Notice how something as commonplace as copyright and trademark enforcement has to be called out. Without that specific mention in the constitution, those things legally could not be done by the federal government. That rule is supposed to apply to everything the government does.

    You need to read other works written by founders and specifically their writings about the constitution and its interpretation. I provided you quotes, from the founders, but you need to read more fully.

    There are some socialist programs. But they were not enacted by the founders. And just because something is enacted does not mean it is constitutional. It is the natural course of a government to continually centralize power within itself. Even the founders knew the average citizen was essentially powerless, that's why the bill of rights is in there. But I doubt you actually read the article I provided, nor did any of your own research into why the founders put 10 amendments in the constitution during the ratification.

    And you still do not know what socialism means nor what the 'means of production' refers to. You need to study that too. Unless you learn what socialism really is and read more of the founders works this is a pointless conversation.
    (more)
  • Tracker2 charles_1 2010/11/30 01:50:23 (edited)
    Tracker2
    +1
    What limit is in the constitution ?

    Show me one where it says you can have a military but only this size ?

    Show me one that says you can protect life and liberty but only this far ?

    Show me one that says you can provide for the general welfare but you can't create these programs ?

    I have told you and now will repeat again:

    That is YOUR opinion and agenda for the constitution and is not defined in the constitution or supported by the actions of the founding fathers, the preamble, the presidents actions or the supreme court decisions.

    You don't want to follow the constitution you want it to follow your agenda and guess what ?

    You are just one person with one vote and don't make the rules!
  • charles_1 Tracker2 2010/11/30 23:40:57
    charles_1
    No, you said socialism was the founding fathers opinion. READ your own question. And that is an incorrect conclusion based on a biased reading of the Constitution and no research or effort on your part to read the whole body of knowledge about the founding fathers and their opinions. I have provided you with founding father quotes, books on the subject, and other resources but you come back to your own biased interpretation of the document they wrote. You never cite the founding fathers actual letters, speeches, federalist papers, nothing. At no time have I said this is my opinion. I have said it is the founding fathers opinions and beliefs based on reading what they wrote, and provided the evidence.

    You have provided NO evidence whatsoever that the founders were socialists. You have not provided a single quote from the founders speaking highly of a big government program or a desire to be socialist. You have only stated your unsupported opinion and continue to do so. Provide a quote from the founding fathers discussing the constitution where he expresses a desire for socialism. Name a program not specifically listed in the constitution that the founders thought was included by inference under some "general welfare" provision. Good luck, you're gonna need it.
  • Tracker2 charles_1 2010/12/01 00:09:42
    Tracker2
    I said the founding fathers supported socialism and I have proven that with the constitution while you keep trying to push other papers that are not the constitution.

    Your denial is ridiculous and you have failed to prove the constitution supports your claims!
  • 2468 Tracker2 2010/11/30 02:37:32
    2468
    +1
    Wow, I made the same points and boy did people jump on me.

    Hope you are ready to withstand the Fear Storms.

    Best wishes and good luck.
  • Tracker2 2468 2010/11/30 03:14:52
    Tracker2
    +2
    Thanks,

    I expect it and relish the challenge because While I can't change some peoples opinion those that are reading might learn something.
  • trentin... Tracker2 2010/12/01 06:51:16
    trentinafur
    +1
    "those that are reading might learn something".

    Yep. thanks.

    Interesting "discussion" with Chuck. He has not addressed your point that the founding fathers established many federal services which are NOT specifically called out in the Constitution. This is clear evidence that Charles is taking a much too narrow interpretation of the charter of the federal government - as defined by the Constitution.

    Not sure if he is avoiding this point of yours - or just doesn't get it.
  • Tracker2 trentin... 2010/12/01 14:15:13
    Tracker2
    I believe he gets it but he is stuck in his opinion and unwilling to change that opinion because he would have to admit he was wrong.

    I do not understand why some people absolutely refuse to accept that our constitution and the Founding Fathers supported both socialist and capitalist programs since America has benefited from both and the majority of Americans have benefited from those socialist programs.

    I am always amazed at people yelling about socialism as a negative and when you ask about their own life they are using SS, medicare, medicaid, public hospitals, libraries, airports, trains, vet programs etc.

    When I explain these are socialist programs they try tell me they are not because they earned them in some way.

    I think most people do not really know what socialism is and want to believe they are not using socialist programs because they perceive socialism is evil and associated with communism and Hitler.

    Thanks for responding.
  • Truthbeknown 2010/11/29 03:10:11
    Truthbeknown
    The FFs would have taken one look at everyone on SH and started fixing bayonets on muskets.

See Votes by State

The map above displays the winning answer by region.

News & Politics

2014/10/30 19:13:36

Hot Questions on SodaHead
More Hot Questions

More Community More Originals