Monday, October 27, 2014

A tale of two quotations

Two "quotations" from Thomas Jefferson from both sides of the political spectrum.

Left side
"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."
Right Side 
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
Both are not really quotations from Jefferson, while the right's version is obviously false.  Let's face it, Jefferson was a slave owner: talk about taking from people who work for a living without proper compensation!

The exact quotation used by the Left also has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. It may be a mistaken amalgamation of the author's comments in the above 1994 reference with a real Jefferson quotation. Jefferson wrote in 1825 to William Branch Giles of "vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76 now look to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and monied in corporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry."

This gets to what exactly were the real reasons for the American War for Independence?  If it was based upon free trade and an end to monopolies (i.e. The British East India Company), then the legacy would be one which is more left leaning than the current right wing appropriation of the "Tea Party" title would have us believe.

The problem with the period of the War of Independence is that it has become part of the US National myth.  It is romanticised and not seen in its proper historical context.  Instead of creating a utopia, it created anarchy and economic ruin which was only fixed by the adoption of the Constitution.

People need to reassess that period of Early American history in a new light.  I would hope that it would help extinguish the insurrectionist nonsense that has become common which none of the founders would tolerate.

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