by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The property of this country is absolutely concentered in a very few hands, having revenues of from half a million of guineas a year downwards. These employ the flower of the country as servants, some of them having as many as 200 domestics, not labouring. They employ also a great number of manufacturers, and tradesmen, and lastly the class of labouring husbandmen.
But after all these comes the most numerous of all the classes, that is, the poor who cannot find work. I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? These lands are kept idle mostly for the aske of game.
It should seem then that it must be because of the enormous wealth of the proprietors which places them above attention to the increase of their revenues by permitting these lands to be laboured.
I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind.
The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree is a politic measure, and a practicable one.
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. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right.
The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed.
It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.
28 Oct. 1785
While to say that Jefferson and other founding fathers may have been, aside from being Deists, Communists may fetch it a little far, but, in truth, just a little.
Their beliefs in equality, and especially those of Thomas Jefferson, are much more akin to those of the socialists and communists, such as those of the Paris Commune, before it all went down the tube, than of any of the politicians in America today, regardless of party.
The above is just an extended excerpt from the letter by Thomas Jefferson to James Madison and he, Jefferson, speaks of this in many other letters to other members of the American Revolution of 1776.
It was this very belief that brought about the statement that “all men are created equal” and they did not insert the clause that seems to be – invisibly – there today that seems to say that “all men are created equal, but some more equal than others”.
However, it is the latter that seems to be the motivating factor of politics in America today and also which has been indoctrinated into the American public.
To all intents and purposes, when one reads Jefferson's letters, he is advocating a sharing of wealth. Something that today's Americans, and not just the politicians, seems to see as an anathema and decry as socialism.
It is amazing how far today's America has moved away from the ideals of the founders of the United States.
It has to be said that the ideals were being usurped already when the illegal Constitution was put together and then, in more than one case by force of arms, forced upon the thirteen states. The fact is that the delegates at congress where the Constitution was created actually only had the brief to make amendments to the Articles of Federation and not to create a new document, and one at that that was different to what the Articles actually entailed.
It was after than when, in all honesty, the United States, moved from the path that it had been put upon by the founders to a different one. One with an elected king (albeit called president) and one where the equality upon which it was supposed to be founded to one where only some people were suddenly equal and others not. Some, methinks, forgot to read the script.
But, even the Constitution makes certain provision that today are being ignored such as the fact that defense of the USA is supposed to be guaranteed by a militia, by minutemen, and a standing army and air force (not that the latter had been envisaged then) were, in fact, disallowed.
Only a naval force, a coast guard, was to be established to protect the country against problems from the sea and it was, in fact, made clear that force was only used to defend and not for aggression and defense of the realm only. Thus every conflict the USA currently and before, when forces went abroad are, is and were involved in, are and were, in fact, unconstitutional and thus illegal.
The United States of America went so far off it course and ideals and the people are not even aware of it that it is no longer even funny. The same, it must be said, is also true for what happened to the original ideals of the Soviet Union and the principles upon of which it was founded.
Thomas Jefferson and others of the founding fathers, much like many of the leaders of the Labor Party of Britain, had great ideals but what they built up was hijacked by people hungry for power and wealth. We must, however, for the sake of all mankind and the Planet get back to those great ideals.