A Halloween parable

Power Line reader RPW created a Halloween parable via the Xtranormal video platform and posted it on October 29, though it is titled “Just after Halloween, 2011.” In the lit biz, I believe they call that prolepsis. In any event, the video will remain timely for the indefinite future.

The video comments in its own style on the Obama/OWS phenomenon. In a mere four minutes it makes a profound point that goes to the root of the idea of limited government. It warrants a look. Please check it out and share it.

Given that citizens of lesser means always outnumber the rich, the classic political philosophers held that government based on majority rule was untenable. They were of the view that it would lead to organized theft from the wealthy by the democratic masses. Aristotle observed in The Politics, for example: “If the majority distributes among itself the things of a minority, it is evident that it will destroy the city.”

The Founders of the United States were deep students of politics and history, and they shared Aristotle’s concern. Up through their time, history had shown all known democracies to be “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” James Madison and his colleagues held that the “first object of government” was to protect the rights of property.

They understood the protection of property rights to be bound up with freedom itself. “In a word,” Madison explained, “as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights….” The Founders thus incorporated numerous provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect the property rights of citizens from the power of the government.

Whatever else might be said about him, President Obama operates on a different philosophy of government from that of the Founders. His credo is reflected in the proposition: “I think at some point you have made enough money.” By contrast, the Founders thought that at some point the government had enough power. They created a system of government that was meant to establish protections against the likes of President Obama and the OWS crowd.