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The Conservative Who Screamed "General Welfare is Not Social Welfare!"

An Open Letter to the Hampton Roads Tea Party on Socialism and Government Involvement in the Economy

By Punkerslut

By Andrew Kitzmiller
Image: By Mike Flugennock, Filters by Punkerslut

Date: August 8, 2011

To: http://www.hrteaparty.com/contact-us/


     There is plenty on your website concerning property rights and government. Some points just deserve a reaction, for instance...

>>"The promotion of individual liberty and responsibility that guarantees equal opportunity, not equal outcome. The establishment of free markets and free speech; limiting intrusion and regulation to such level as to encourage and protect honest commerce and discourse. The protection of property rights, not the seizure from one individual for the benefit of another. To promote the general welfare, not social welfare."

     Is there really a difference between "general welfare" and "social welfare"? "General welfare" I imagine to be the welfare of the common, or the "general," people. "Social welfare" I picture to be the welfare of society, or the common, that is, "general" people. Perhaps what you are trying to do is drive focus away from social aspects of poverty, and instead, try to focus on "general aspects" of poverty. That is, to think of poverty as a result of climate, fortune, or lacking ambition, as opposed to thinking of poverty as the result of a social organization that excludes the working people from a just gain of their labors.

     You're focusing on a perceived "Socialism" within the government. You're thinking about the healthcare and minimum wage acts, instead of say, the bailout and munitions contracts given to corporations. Your complaint against government intrusion is when it gives out food stamps or regulates food quality; but there is no complaint about the billions handed over to military contractors or the control of congress and courts by private capitalist interests.

     Look at this obligation to place on congress: "...to encourage and protect honest commerce and discourse." Are you aware that Andrew Carnegie put snipers on the roofs of his factories, who were used to shoot down striking unionists, and there was no law enforcement against him? Ah, but you're proud of your country, and the products it makes, no matter how much blood is upon them. "Honest commerce" is what we need, but you don't demand it when companies like Coca-Cola hire assassins to kill unionists in Haiti. (http://www.nosweat.org.uk/brands/coca-cola)

     No, "Honest Commerce" for you is defined as an economy where 5% is not taken out of every transaction to pay for living standards of the poorest of the laborers. You want "The protection of property rights, not the seizure from one individual for the benefit of another." Haven't you noticed that the person you're defending is holding a gun, commanding an army, and managing hundreds of prisons? Capitalists have used the military to suppress union strikes in the United States, everything from the Long Shoreman's Strike to the Seattle General Strike to the Pullman Strike organized by Eugene V. Debs.

     Do you really think you need to rise up and protect these property owner from "the seizure of one individual for the benefit of another"? Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt personally signed an order giving a warrant to Railroad Trusts for the right to kidnap, torture, and execute unionists? ("Roosevelt and His Regime," by Eugene V. Debs, one of the victims.) Yeah, try looking that up on Wikipedia! Oh, wait, that project is owned and operated by Capitalists, who expose the IP addresses of anyone who tries to correct the entries to hackers and crackers, while allowing private corporations complete anonymity to write their own articles. (I'm a former-editor of several years.)

     You believe in "limiting intrusion and regulation" of the government, but do you mean the government's contracts to military companies? Do you mean the repression of strikes? Do you mean the funding of dictatorships in the underdeveloped world, like Saddam Hussein, the Iranian Sheikh, the Nicaraguan Nazis, or the Fascist Pinochet in Chile? No, no, machineguns firing upon open crowds doesn't count as "intruding" into the economy. "Intruding" is when the government spends money on "social issues." Not the noose, the rifle, and the bayonet -- no, any form of redistribution of wealth. That's what you consider to be "intrusion."

     And in case you didn't know, the government has been giving hundreds of billions of dollars every year to keep the Capitalists in total domination of the working classes. This funding has even been used for human resources departments to crush unions. (http://farm.ewg.org/) This is recent. But the point should be clear. If you want to stop the government from "intruding," stop whatever is helping the government in doing that -- the Capitalist class.

     That means forming unions, strike committees, and revolutionary associations. That means fighting those who own land, those who own the factories and the mines -- that means property seizures, that means reappropriation of the land from those who appropriated it from us! The truest respect for property can be shown here, where we, the common people, finally seize back every piece of productive wealth around us. And why not? Wasn't it taken from our fathers by use of machineguns and tanks? Then it never belonged to those who hold it today, who are the true usurpers, the Capitalists. And our appropriation of their land isn't stealing -- it's justice.

     It would be in the TRUE SPIRIT of the original American revolutionaries. As Thomas Paine said of Capitalism, "it is necessary that a revolution should be made in it." Or, more fully...

"...landed monopoly that began with it has produced the greatest evil. It has dispossessed more than half the inhabitants of every nation of their natural inheritance, without providing for them, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss, and has thereby created a species of poverty and wretchedness that did not exist before." ("Agrarian Justice.")

Andy Carloff

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