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The Founding Fathers discussed Socialism at the Constitutional Convention
PGA Weblog ^

Posted on 04/25/2013 6:11:44 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica

Even called it dangerous. On May 31st, 1787, Elbridge Gerry made the following remark:

Mr. GERRY. The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots. In Massts. it had been fully confirmed by experience that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute. One principal evil arises from the want of due provision for those employed in the administration of Governmt. It would seem to be a maxim of democracy to starve the public servants. He mentioned the popular clamour in Massts. for the reduction of salaries and the attack made on that of the Govr. though secured by the spirit of the Constitution itself. He had he said been too republican heretofore: he was still however republican, but had been taught by experience the danger of the levilling spirit.

This is actually quite loaded. First, He is pointing out the evils of democracy.(Remember, the founders set up a Republic, which is inherently democratic but it's not a Democracy) As I have been repeatedly pointing out, modern leftists view democracy as a form of socialism and they have for over a century.

Second, the last line says this:

He had he said been too republican heretofore: he was still however republican, but had been taught by experience the danger of the levilling spirit.

What is levelling? Samuel Adams explains this better than anybody I have ever seen. In a letter to Dennys De Berdt, January 12, 1768, Samuel Adams writes the following: (page 137)

Property is admitted to have an existence, even in the savage state of nature. The bow, the arrow, and the tomahawk; the hunting and the fishing ground, are species of property, as important to an American savage, as pearls, rubies, and diamonds are to the Mogul, or a Nabob in the East, or the lands, tenements, hereditaments, messuages, gold and silver to the Europeans. And if property is necessary for the support of savage life, it is by no means less so in civil society. The Utopian schemes of levelling, and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable, as those which vest all property in the Crown, are arbitrary, despotic, and in our government, unconstitutional. Now, what property can the colonists be conceived to have, if their money may be granted away by others, without their consent?

Samuel Adams was never one to mince words, I love it. But you can easily see what levelling is in his description. It's socialism! These damn socialists have been renaming themselves for centuries now! They were renaming themselves and playing sophist word games during the time of our founding and before it!

Well then, it makes total sense that Elbridge Gerry would call out the dangers of "the levilling spirit".(It was mis-spelled in the transcript, so I'm not surprised that so many people have missed it) For brevity's sake, I'm going to use wikipedia to explain this.

Before the socialists called themselves socialists, they called themselves "levellers", as in "levelling the playing field", you know, everybody gets the same paycheck, "make everything equal in everybody's house", that sort of thing. Mostly, the radical "we are going to steal your wealth" levellers ended up being called diggers. Note how Wikipedia describes them:

The Diggers tried (by "leveling" real property) to reform the existing social order with an agrarian lifestyle based on their ideas for the creation of small egalitarian rural communities. They were one of a number of nonconformist dissenting groups that emerged around this time.

Socialists. An early leader of the "digger/levellers" was William Everard. Here is his "The Declaration and Standard of the Levellers of England". They only gained their name as 'diggers' because they chose to farm on government property.

Now that I have made my way through the weeds here, Elbridge Gerry is not the only Founding Father who discussed Socialism at the Convention. Benjamin Franklin did too. He also called it despotic:

Hence as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partizans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharoah, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever.

Wealth redistribution. Benjamin Franklin just described ACORN. The king(Obama) redistributes wealth to his partisans.(Solyndra) There's thousands of groups to pick from here. Ever notice how Obama always needs more taxes? Franklin did.

Reading all of this, you would almost get the idea that the Founders warned us.

TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: progressingamerica

1 posted on 04/25/2013 6:11:44 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
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To: Zeneta; CommieCutter; SwankyC; Albertafriend; preacher; Anima Mundi; frithguild; ColoCdn; ...
If anybody wants on/off the revolutionary progressivism ping list, send me a message

Progressives do not want to discuss their own history. I want to discuss their history.

Summary: Socialism is an idea that precedes the establishment of America

2 posted on 04/25/2013 6:14:59 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica (What's the best way to reach a YouTube generation? Put it on YouTube!)
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To: ProgressingAmerica

Part of me thinks that the perpetrators actually do not think they are socialist. The are benevolent leaders.

Doesn’t help either that our public schools haven’t taught real history in a generation.

3 posted on 04/25/2013 6:17:51 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: ProgressingAmerica

Leveling had it first big moment in 1647 in the agitation for the abolishment of property and privilege by Cromwell’s Roundhead army. Many of today’s liberals and conservatives would be shocked to learn that the Western world’s first socialists were a body of Christian “religious fanatics”.

4 posted on 04/25/2013 6:27:59 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: ProgressingAmerica
Well, we've got it.

Socialist Party Of America 1928 Platform

Herewith the economic planks of the Socialist party platform of 1928, along with an indication in parenthesis of how these planks have fared. The list that follows includes every economic plank, but not the full language of each.

  1. "Nationalization of our natural resources, beginning with the coal mines and water sites, particularly at Boulder Dam and Muscle Shoals." (Boulder Dam, renamed Hoover Dam, and Muscle Shoals are now both federal government projects.)
  2. "A publicly owned giant power system under which the federal government shall cooperate with the states and municipalities in the distribution of electrical energy to the people at cost." (Tennessee Valley Authority.)
  3. "National ownership and democratic management of railroads and other means of transportation and communication." (Railroad passenger service is completely nationalized through Amtrak. Some freight service is nationalized through Conrail. The FCC controls communications by telephone, telegraph, radio, and television.)
  4. "An adequate national program for flood control, flood relief, reforestation, irrigation, and reclamation." (Government expenditures for these purposes are currently in the many [non-adjusted] billions of dollars.)
  5. "Immediate government relief of the unemployed by the extension of all public works and a program of long range planning of public works …" (In the 1930s, WPA and PWA were a direct counterpart; now, a wide variety of other programs are.) "All persons thus employed to be engaged at hours and wages fixed by bona-fide labor unions." (The Davis-Bacon and Walsh-Healey Acts required contractors with government contracts to pay "prevailing wages," generally interpreted as highest union wages.)
  6. "Loans to states and municipalities without interest for the purpose of carrying on public works and the taking of such other measures as will lessen widespread misery." (Federal grants in aid to states and local municipalities currently total [non-adjusted] tens of billions of dollars a year.)
  7. "A system of unemployment insurance." (Part of Social Security system)
  8. "The nation-wide extension of public employment agencies in cooperation with city federations of labor." (U.S. Employment Service and affiliated state employment services administer a network of about 2,500 [in 1980] local employment offices.)
  9. "A system of health and accident insurance and of old age pensions as well as unemployment insurance." (Part of Social Security system.)
  10. "Shortening the workday" and "Securing to every worker a rest period of no less than two days in each week." (Legislated by wages and hours laws that require overtime for more than forty hours of work per week.)
  11. "Enacting of an adequate federal anti-child labor amendment." (Not achieved as amendment, but essence incorporated in various legislative acts.)
  12. "Abolition of the brutal exploitation of convicts under the contract system and substitution of a cooperative organization of industries in penitentiaries and workshops for the benefit of convicts and their dependents." (Party achieved, partly not.)
  13. "Increase of taxation on high income levels, of corporation taxes and inheritance taxes, the proceeds to be used for old age pensions and other forms of social insurance." (In 1928, highest personal income tax rate, 25 percent; in 1978, 70 percent; in 1928, corporate tax rate, 12 percent; in 1978, 48 percent; in 1928, top federal estate tax rate, 20 percent; in 1978, 70 percent.)
  14. "Appropriation by taxation of the annual rental value of all land held for speculation." (Not achieved in this form, but property taxes have risen drastically.)


1.) Free to Choose (©1980), Milton & Rose Friedman, pg. 311

ALL of the planks of the 1928 Socialist Party Platform have been implemented except for 14... but don't worry... it's coming.

5 posted on 04/25/2013 6:44:11 AM PDT by Bon mots (The police will protect you! Like they did in Boston. Trust them...)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
hmm, I'd always taken that group to actually be advocates for the elimination of the government subsidized and enforced CLASS SYSTEM.

That is, they were good Republicans.

You do realize that the United States Constitution not only abolishes the class system, it prohibits its officers from even accepting the trapings associated with the ones that do exist outside this country. The Second Amendment contains in it the very language necessary to ENOBLE everyone ~ the right to keep and bear arms ~ the hallmark of the highest class in ancient times!

BTW, the use of the term 'property' in the lead-in piece differs from the more normal American usage at the time which was that 'property' were slaves!

6 posted on 04/25/2013 6:58:45 AM PDT by muawiyah
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