Tuesday, April 7, 2009

America Is No Longer A Moral Nation

Americans remember that their nation was "conceived in liberty" but tend to forget that liberty was based on morality. Morality is not the same thing as charity. A thief can donate his booty to charity, but he is not moral. Aristotle argued that there are moral as well as intellectual virtues. The moral virtues in Aristotle's view were justice, temperance, prudence and courage. Morality, then, depends on justice. Justice means that each producer receives a fair return, and that no producer receives an unearned return.

The Founding Fathers' morality was linked to the Aristotelian philosophy. Liberty in the sense that it once existed in America depended on justice. This was the underlying assumption of John Locke's Second Treatise on Government on which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were based. Governments are formed for the just reason of protecting life, liberty and property from violence.

The morality of justice is in turn dependent upon truth. For without a willingness to examine the truth justice is not possible. One cannot receive a fair reward if one is not willing to truthfully examine the contribution one has made.

Ever since the beginning of the Republic a sizable contingent of Americans fought the idea of justice. These Americans wanted the public to subsidize them. The way that they were to be subsidized was through the power to create paper money.

Because of the inherent morality of the 19th century American public, the public rejected this attack on moral values. In 1836 President Andrew Jackson abolished the Second Bank of the United States, the precursor of today's Federal Reserve Bank. The American people of 1836 were too moral to tolerate the fraud associated with the central bank.

In the 1930s John Maynard Keynes proposed an economic system whose foundation is the commission of fraud. Employees would be fooled into accepting lower wages through inflation. The nation's universities would be called into service to perpetuate the fraud by claiming non-existent economic expertise that justified the fraud. The media, already controlled by banking and Wall Street interests, were also called into service of the fraud.

The American people could no longer call themselves moral. For the people did not oppose the fraudulent issuance of bank notes. They did not oppose the transfer of wealth from productive labor to speculator and banker because they were afraid. They were afraid of deprivation because the mass media told them to be afraid. They feared for their security. They trusted experts whose motives were corrupt and whose ideas were merely warmed over and elaborated versions of the same claims that banks had made previously.

America stopped being a moral nation. It could no longer claim justice as the foundation of its ideology. And where justice dies, freedom is sure to follow.

A little dishonesty and a small decline in morality are likely to be followed by ever greater lapses. A little cheating is observed, and then someone does a little more. America has become a nation governed by immoral people. Its economy no longer encourages productivity. Its ethical base has deteriorated. Instead of justice, its ideology is theft. Wal-Mart is excoriated for reducing costs. Goldman Sachs is subsidized for stealing and reducing Americans' standards of living.

A nation that has rejected morality and has rejected justice is sure to deteriorate into the kind of nation that favors charity and stealing. Such a society existed in Europe in the Middle Ages. The socialist economy will see decline to the primitive backwardness of the Soviet Union and pre-Tudor England.

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