Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen – Chapter 8
ANOTHER STANDARD BY WHICH TO JUDGE GOVERNMENT ACTION —THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO
In a speech delivered at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on May 18, 1960, President David O. McKay said:
“I come with another theme this morning—Two Contending Forces. Those forces are known and have been designated by different terms throughout the ages. ‘In the Beginning’ they were known as Satan on the one hand, and Christ on the other…In these days they are called…Communism on the one hand, free agency on the other.”
Thus has the prophet of God in our day, identified the form of government proposed by Satan for our acceptance. Just as the government authorized by the Lord has a Constitution, so does this one authored by Satan—it is the Communist Manifesto drafted by Karl Marx in 1848. It is generally regarded as the ultimate in authority for Communists the world over. On the other hand the Lord has placed His stamp of approval on the United States Constitution. (D&C 98:4–7)
Having these two documents—the United States Constitution and the Communist Manifesto-available for comparison, simplifies the problem of distinguishing right from wrong in government. The two systems proposed by these documents are the very antithesis of each other. They contradict and oppose each other at every point.
While the Constitution provides for a federal system with the powers of government first divided between the state and the national, and with a second division between the legislative, executive and judicial, the Communist form is a single, centralized, all-powerful dictatorship. The Constitution contains a Bill of Rights and other detailed limitations upon the power of government over the individual. The Communist state has no restraints whatsoever. While the Constitution guarantees citizens the right to elect their own political leaders and to make alterations in their laws, Communism denies all rights of self-government.
There is one basic objective to which Communism is committed which stamps it as the mortal enemy of the Lord’s form of government: this is it’s unalterable opposition to the right of private property. The Constitution expressly guarantees the protection of this right in the same clause in which it protects the rights of life and liberty, and it denies government the power to take from the individual his private property for public use without just compensation.
On the other hand the Manifesto declares that the destruction of private property is the primary and basic aim of Communism. It says:
In this sense the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.
At still another place in the Manifesto we find this:
The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations.
Not only does the Manifesto declare its main purpose to be the destruction of private property, but it contains a detailed plan by which this is to be accomplished in a nation such as the United States whose laws and constitutions were designed to protect this right.
The method proposed is not violent and bloody revolution (at least at the outset) but the peaceful and legal process of inducing the citizens of the United States and other nations to destroy the right themselves with their own legislatures, courts, and executives. We are to adopt a series of laws which will inevitably have this result. Listen to the Manifesto as it unfolds its plan:
We have seen above that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to establish democracy. The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest by degrees all capital from the bourgeoisie (property owners), to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state.
This naked appeal to the selfishness of the voter to use the government as an instrument of plunder is nothing but a proposal for legalized theft. The Manifesto goes on to say:
Of course in the beginning this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property and on the conditions of bourgeois production:…These measures will, of course, be different in different countries. Nevertheless, in the most advanced countries the following will be pretty generally applicable…
Then follows the famous ten points of the Communist Manifesto. They constitute a blueprint for legislative action. They are in essence a political platform to be adopted over a period of time which culminates in the complete destruction of private property.
There are a variety of ways in which a government can destroy private property and the Manifesto’s ten points include most of them. One way, of course, is to confiscate by outright seizure. This method is proposed in points numbered one and four which read:
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
To what extent have we adopted the policy of government ownership of land in the United States? The Federal Government has always owned land, but up until recently its policy was to transfer its holdings to private owners either under homestead laws or by grants of various kinds. This policy no longer prevails, and today it is reported that the Federal Government is condemning for “public purposes” thousands of acres of land each year for such things as power projects, housing projects, irrigation schemes and flood control. The Federal Government owns approximately one-fourth of all land in the continental United States today.
The second method for destroying private property proposed by the Manifesto is this:
3. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
The founding fathers of our nation, well aware that the power to tax is the power to destroy, included within the Constitution severe restrictions upon the power of the Federal Government to impose direct taxes. Such were forbidden unless proportioned according to census. When this nation adopted the 16th amendment to the Constitution in 1913, it abandoned this safeguard to human rights provided by the Lord’s form of government and substituted therefor Satan’s proposal for their destruction.
The power of government to impose graduated taxes when coupled with the power to produce inflation with “printing press money,” is an extremely potent combination for destroying property. By the simple device of cranking the printing presses, thereby raising prices and wages, the government can silently elevate everyone into a higher tax bracket without changing the tax rate structure at all.
The public is deceived into believing that their higher wages and incomes brought about by inflation are beneficial. In actuality their purchasing power is not increased by the raise but rather is decreased because of the heavier tax rates they are subject to and the higher prices they pay for what they purchase.
4. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
The 16th Amendment which permitted the imposition of graduated income taxes also allowed steeply graduated inheritance and gift taxes. The federal estate tax rate rises to 77% and goes a long way toward achieving the abolition of all right of inheritance proposed by the Manifesto. And here again, if inflation continues at its present rate, everyone will soon find himself in these upper tax brackets and the right of a person to leave his property to those he loves either during life or at death will have been destroyed. Thus another stated objective of the Communists will have been reached.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Even John Maynard Keynes, one of the most vigorous proponents of the welfare state, recognized in this Communist device a potent weapon for the destruction and confiscation of private property by the state. Said he:
Lenin (first Communist dictator in Russia) is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens…Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of over-turning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose. (Economic Consequences of the Peace, Keynes. Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920, pp. 235-236)
The Constitutional Convention specifically rejected a proposal to give the Federal government the power to issue “paper money.” (Elliot’s Debates, Vol. V, pp. 434-435) The men who attended that Convention were painfully aware of the great dangers of paper money. Governments with the power to print paper money have always abused this power. Many of the Convention attendees had participated in, and saw the great damage to the nation the paper “Continental Dollar” caused. Those men voted on and struck down the emission of paper money. They further limited the government’s power over money. The Federal government was limited to coining money and regulating its value. They also provided that no state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts. (Art. 1, Sec. 10)
In spite of the fact that these constitutional provisions have never been officially or legally altered, in the year 1934 the Federal Government confiscated all of the gold money of its citizens and passed a law making it a criminal offense to use gold as money. (U.S.C. Title 31, Sec. 443) As of today (1967) the Federal government is in the final stages of removing all silver backing for its currency and has substituted base metals for silver and gold in its coins.
Thus, one more of the constitutional safeguards to the right of private property has been removed and the proposal of the Communists adopted. Today the Federal government has not only the power to borrow huge sums of money from its citizens and pay such debts with “printing press money,” but it can destroy the creditor class by forcing them to accept a debauched and depreciated currency from other debtors in lieu of hard money which a redeemable currency provides.
We will not examine individually the last five points of the Manifesto. They call for centralized government control over communication, transportation, factories, farms, labor, and education. These proposals constitute an additional method of destroying private property by so regulating and regimenting the so-called owner in the use of it that he is owner in name only.
As originally interpreted, the United States Constitution denied government the right to regulate and control the citizen in the use of his property. Over the years the commerce clause and the general welfare clause have been so interpreted as to permit both the state and Federal governments to regiment labor, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, communication, finance and all other forms of economic activity. Today, if there is any limit on the power of government to regulate, no one knows what that limit is.
After comparing these two systems of government, and noting the changes we have wrought in our constitutional form, who can deny that we have largely abandoned the Lord’s plan for Satan’s? In an editorial in the U.S. News and World Report of July 20, 1964, entitled: “Our Vanishing Constitution,” David Lawrence, nationally known writer said:
Only 175 years after our forefathers ordained the Constitution of the United states, the document has largely fallen into disuse…We can hardly believe our eyes, however, as we reread the provisions of the Constitution that have been torn to shreds by the autocratic action of a judicial oligarchy.
The words used by Mr. Lawrence to describe what has happened are extremely interesting in the view of a prophecy made by the late President John Taylor in 1879 which is recorded in Journal of Discourses, Vol. 21, p. 8 as follows:
The day is not far distant when this nation will be shaken from center to circumference. And now, you may write it down, any of you, and I will prophesy it in the name of God…When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty.
Each Elder of the Church might well ask himself where he stands with respect to these two documents—whether he is upholding the Constitution or helping to tear it to shreds and replace it with the provisions of the Manifesto. We might also ask ourselves what kind of a position of authority we can expect to occupy in the next life if we line up on Satan’s side in the battle for freedom here.
One method in wide use today by those who are attempting to destroy our constitutional form of government is to discredit the Constitution by maligning and impugning the motives of the founding fathers who established it. The farther away from the event we get, the more some men believe they know the personal characters of those men, and the more evil they detect in their purposes.
Latter-day Saints should beware that they neither believe nor spread these falsehoods. Anyone who desires to know the facts would do well to study original source material such as the writings of these men and statements made by their contemporaries. If he does so he will find such unimpeachable source material as the following statements by James Madison and Alexis de Tocqueville:
But, whatever may be the judgement pronounced on the competency of the architects of the Constitution, or whatever may be the destiny of the edifice prepared by them, I feel it a duty to express my profound and solemn conviction, derived from my intimate opportunity of observing and appreciating the views of the Convention, collectively and individually, that there never was an assembly of men, charged with a great and arduous trust, who were more pure in their motives, or more exclusively or anxiously devoted to the object committed to them, than were the members of the Federal Convention of 1787. (James Madison, Elliot’s Debates, Vol V, p. 122)
The assembly which accepted the task of composing the second Constitution was small; but George Washington was its President, and it contained the finest minds and the noblest characters that had ever appeared in the New World. (de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. 1, p. 118 Walter A. Knopf, Inc. 1945)
Latter-day Saints who condemn the architects of the Constitution and the work of their hands are rejecting the words of their scriptures. The Lord has told us that these men were wise men; that He raised them up for this very purpose, and that they acted under His inspiration. (D&C 101:77; D&C 109:54.)
Those who see selfish motives in the founding fathers for establishing a government which protected their own properties should realize that it would have been impossible for them to have government protect property rights in general without protecting their own. We have been told that no government can exist in peace unless the right and control of property is protected. (D&C 134:2) It is Satan’s form of government which would destroy this basic human right so essential to freedom.
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Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen Chapters: