Skip to comments.America is not now and cannot in the future be a place for unrestricted individual enterprise
Posted on 10/15/2011 10:24:11 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
At a campaign stop in Scranton, Pa, Presidential Candidate Woodrow Wilson had the following to say:
Of course this was intended to be a government of free citizens and of equal opportunity, but how are we going to make it such--that is the question. Because I realize that while we are followers of Jefferson, there is one principle of Jeffersons which no longer can obtain in the practical politics of America. You know that it was Jefferson who said that the best government is that which does as little governing as possible, which exercises its power as little as possible. And that was said in a day when the opportunities of America were so obvious to every man, when every individual was so free to use his powers without let or hindrance, that all that was necessary was that the government should withhold its hand and see to it that every man got an opportunity to act as he would. But that time is passed. America is not now and cannot in the future be a place for unrestricted individual enterprise. It is true that we have come upon an age of great cooperative industry. It is true that we must act absolutely upon that principle.
Let me illustrate what I mean. You know that it used to be true in our cities that every family occupied a separate house of its own, that every family had its own little premises, that every family was separated in its life from every other family. But you know that that is no longer the case, and that it cannot be the case in our great cities. Families live in layers. They live in tenements, they live in flats, they live on floors, they are piled layer upon layer in the great tenement houses of our crowded districts. And not only are they piled layer upon layer, but they are associated room by room so that there is in each room sometimes in our congested districts a separate family.
Now, what has happened in foreign countries, in some of which they have made much more progress than we in handling these things, is this: In the city of Glasgow, for example, which is one of the model cities of the world, they have made up their minds that the entries, that hallways, of great tenements are public streets. Therefore the policeman goes up the stairway and patrols the corridors. The lightning department of the city sees to it that the corridors are abundantly lighted, and the staircases. And the city does not deceive itself into supposing that the great building is a unit from which the police are to keep out and the city authority to be excluded, but it says: "These are the high-ways of human movement, and wherever light is needed, wherever order is needed, there we will carry the authority of the city."
And I have likened that to our modern industrial enterprise. You know that a great many corporations, like the Steel Corporation, for example, are very like a great tenement house. It isnt the premises of a single commercial family. It is just as much a public business as a great tenement house is a public highway. When you offer the securities of a great corporation to anybody who wishes to purchase them, you must open that corporation to the inspection of everybody who wants to purchase. There must, to follow out the figure of the tenement house, be lights along the corridor; there must be police patrolling the openings; there must be inspection wherever it is known that men may be deceived with regard to the contents of the premises. If we believe that fraud lies in wait for us, we must have the means of determining whether fraud lies there or not.
So you see, they're not going to outright nationalize industry. No no, they're only going to nationalize a small corridor, if they even go that far. They'll just make progress. They'll make haste, slowly. There needs to be inspections, which means they'll regulate everything to death. It's regulation, not socialism. It's social regulation. Ronald Reagan said: (20 minutes in)
Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed to the -- or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.
That perversion took place in the early 20th century. Under Wilson and two Roosevelts, among many, many other people at the time. Governors, congress, advisors, judges, and more. And we've been stuck with it ever since.
And by the time I got to your last sentence, I was already thinking “Isn’t it interesting that ALL major wars of the 20th Century were presided over by 3 of the most “Progressive” Presidents of the 20 Century, Wilson, FDR and LBJ. Cut it or rationalize it any way you want, that’s a fact.
Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people.
Fascism is a version of socialism where the government allows ownership of private property by individuals, but the government controls the use and disposal of the property. It is socialism de facto. Communism is socialism de jure. They are both variants of statism.
Hey MM, this is really cool.
Woodrow Wilson of course.
Mr. Knox, interested in the question, forgets that he asked for an inquiry, and replies. If American marines had been killed, it would be war. The mood of the debate is still conditional. Debate proceeds. Mr. McCormick of Illinois reminds the Senate that the Wilson administration is prone to the waging of small unauthorized wars. He repeats Theodore Roosevelt's quip about "waging peace."
Progressives have the mindset that it's their duty to change the world, which makes them prone toward interventionism and abusing US military power.
with the way money’s inflating,
someday we’ll be carrying these in our pockets.
You left out TR who presided over the Filipino Insurrection that took more Filipino lives than the AEF killed Germans in WW1. TR was also a major supporter of US entry into WW1, and if you look at the platform of the Bullmoose Party in 1912, it was the harbinger of every Progressive extravagance of Wilson, FDR, and LBJ and Obama.
Wilson was a pointy-headed academic from the days when US academics all seemed to have an inferiority complex vis-a-vis European academics. He wanted so badly to be considered a member of the Frankfurt School. America’s Presidential proto-commie.
Obviously, America is not now a place of unrestricted free enterprise.....and that’s a big part of why we’re in the mess we are in!
One town in my county demanded a yogurt shop have a grease trap! The zoning board has stopped three businesses known by me from expanding. This same town got into the high speed ISP business and lost $14,000,000 before it got out of it. The Historical (hysterical) Commission is incessantly harassing downtown businesses and homeowners over trivialities.
Woodrow Wilson was a notorious fuzzy-thinking pseudo-intellectual who should have been in academia, where he would have been confined to abusing the unformed minds of adolescents.
I left out TR because I still have a lingering appreciation for him, but it’s fading fast.
It’s interesting about TR. Conservatives are recoiling from his belief in the power of govt in people’s lives. Libs like Doris Kearns Goodwin and Evan Thomas begin researching him because of his progressive beliefs and find themselves shocked by his concepts of nationalism, military power, and racism.
WW’s use of the word “THEY” is very revealing....
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