My comments are in response to an article which appeared yesterday entitled, What Leftists Don’t Understand about Economics, by Daniel Carter, of Investment Watch.
WHAT LEFTISTS DON’T UNDERSTAND ABOUT ECONOMICS
Where do you want me to start? Liberals and their philosophical/political brethren understand little if anything about economics, and even less about the principles of Natural Law and Natural Rights which underscore free-market capitalism. Volumes have been written about Natural Rights beginning with Thales of Miletus in the 6th century B.C. He and the Seven Sages of Miletus (a rather raucous group I’m told), rather than the later Greeks Plato and Aristotle, are credited with giving philosophical birth to the Western Tradition. There is a straight philosophical line from Thales and his Sages, to Aristotle, to Cicero, Polybius, significantly to Aquinas who bridged Christian thought with Aristotelianism, to the Enlightenment philosophes and Founding Fathers, and finally the Objectivism of Ayn Rand. Rand’s masterpiece, Atlas Shrugged, has been rightly called Aristotle’s Eudaemonics (or flourishing) in novel form. Having read both several times, I can confirm this comparison. That’s pretty much what it is.
Reduced to its essence, Natural Rights includes freedom of life, liberty, and property. In the Declaration, the pursuit of happiness was substituted for property. The pursuit of happiness, or flourishing, is the subject of Aristotle’s Eudaemonics. The closest English word for “eudaemonia” is “flourishing.” All agree that flourishing is pre-supposed by ordered liberty. Man cannot rise to the occasion, or find meaning in his life, shoot for the stars, or soar on the wings of eagles without liberty, not anarchy, but ordered liberty. The state exists for one purpose–to protect one’s life and property—not your right to hold a claim check to someone else’s money.
Also, the Ten Commandments have much to say about the primacy of Natural Rights and its place in our Judeo-Christian ethic. Natural Rights were codified by the Ten Commandments. Mosaic Law and Natural Law have much in common. The Fifth Commandment (“Thou Shalt not Kill”) couldn’t make the right to life any clearer. Likewise, The Seventh Commandment (“Thou Shalt not Steal”) could not have come down more firmly on behalf of private property rights.
Unfortunately, Natural Rights philosophy is no longer taught, or only in the darkened corner of the candlelit sanctuary of a hermit. It is ignored or considered hate speech. It was long ago thrown under the bus by the Progressive Movement of Marx and Woodrow Wilson and the Frankfurt School of Irrational Thought.
If you aren’t schooled or steeped in liberty or the principles of Natural Law, you can neither appreciate nor understand nor defend the offspring of Natural Rights—the free market.