Jefferson and enlightenment constitutionalist views

Inherited Wealth (Full article from Economist)

Inherited Wealth

"Jefferson cited Adam Smith, the hero of free market capitalists everywhere, as the source of his conviction that (as Smith wrote, and Jefferson closely echoed in his own words), "A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural." Smith said: "There is no point more difficult to account for than the right we conceive men to have to dispose of their goods after death."

On Concentration of power in the state:

It should never get to the point that all people should owe services to the state.

"Whether the state may command the political service of all its members to an indefinite extent, or if these be among the rights never wholly ceded to the public power, is a question which I do not find expressly decided in England... Nothing could so completely divest us of that liberty [which the bill of rights has made inviolable, and for the preservation of which our government has been charged] as the establishment of the opinion that the state has a perpetual right to the services of all its members. This to men of certain ways of thinking would be to annihilate the blessing of existence and to contradict the Giver of life, who gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness; and certainly, to such it were better that they had never been born." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1782. ME 4:196, Papers 6:185

Bernie Sanders Meets Adam Smith, Tom Payne, Madison, Washington and Jefferson. What shall transpire:

The Yeoman Virtuous Jeffersonian Farmer of the 21st Century.

On the duties of citizenship:

"I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties." --Thomas Jefferson to Danbury Baptists, 1802. ME 16:282

53. Duties of Citizens

What duty does a citizen owe to the government that secures the society in which he lives? What can it expect and rightly demand of him in support of itself? A nation that rests on the will of the people must also depend on individuals to support its institutions in whatever ways are appropriate if it is to flourish. Persons qualified for public office should feel some obligation to make that contribution. If not, public service will be left to those of lesser qualification, and the government may more easily become corrupted.

    • Demands of Public Service

"In a virtuous government... public offices are what they should be: burthens to those appointed to them, which it would be wrong to decline, though foreseen to bring with them intense labor and great private loss." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, 1779. Papers 2:298

The reason Libya is hell today is your cowardly manner of war.

Instead of risking casualties you bombed libya into a state of lawlessness - and then apparantly expected it to self organize into a modern democratic state - a feat that i do not think has ever or certainly seldom worked, How many African lives will you expend before you are willing to finally commit America in a non politically cowardly manner, and take responsibility for your actions?

55. Revolution and Reformation

How can a people who have struggled long years under oppression throw off their oppressors and establish a free society? The problems are immense, but their solution lies in the education and enlightenment of the people and the emergence of a spirit that will serve as a foundation for independence and self-government.