Tyrants disguise their actions by distracting the people
China Premier Vows Protection for FarmersOf course, Beijing will never make any real promises regarding their style of "eminent domain." I would say that government officials can seize land as they desire, as the people have no Constitution as we do, but our Fifth Amendment didn't seem to help us much, did it. Government officials will delay as much as possible, then make only the most vague and hedged statements. One wonders about this chicken-or-the-egg puzzle: did they learn this tactic from Ted Kennedy, or is it vice-versa?
Mar 14, 2006, BEIJING - China's premier pledged on Tuesday to crack down on seizures of farmland for redevelopment, a source of rising rural anger, but stopped short of saying whether the communist government might allow farmers to own land.
The comments by Premier Wen Jiabao came as the parliament endorsed a five-year plan to close the growing and volatile gap between rich and poor.
Chinese leaders are trying to defuse increasingly violent rural protests over complaints that local officials are seizing land to build shopping malls, factories and other projects and are failing to adequately compensate for the loss in farmland....
The five-year plan endorsed by the ceremonial parliament calls for billions of dollars of new spending this year on rural schools, health care, roads and aid to farmers....
Meanwhile, the leaders will continually speak of "the growing gap between rich and poor," which is a natural progression as a society grows wealthier, and not a bad thing at all. Read my explanation of how wealth does "trickle down" in an economy, meaning if my neighbor grows far wealthier than I do, then that's more money he can spend on goods and services I provide, or more money for him to invest in my business.
After fomenting strife between the classes, China's leaders then engage in massive social spending, hoping it will pacify and distract most people so that they won't perceive the tyranny over them. Why wouldn't it work on the Chinese, when it works so well on Americans who have a tradition of freedom?
"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" Patrick Henry's cry rings true for all people, and he would be sad to see today how even Americans largely prefer life and peace at the very high cost of subservience to despotic government. The chains may be light, and they may be invisible, but they are still chains. The subservience may not be a regional governor ordering you into a particular job, or deciding what your food rations will contain, but it is still subservience when most of your life is influenced to some degree by laws and regulations. Are you really free when you must seek government's permission to build or even raze your own home? What about the FDA determining how much blood you can donate, whether a life-saving medical operation is too dangerous for you, or if a new inhalable form of insulin is safe for you to use?
Our friend Josh Hendrickson expressed how "dissatisfied" he is with Republicans, who since 1994 have become the enemy they once assailed. However, to paraphrase the Bard, though their actions seem madness, yet there is method in them. They regained control of Congress by inciting a lot of proper anger against the Democratic machine, but that won't work after a couple of election cycles. Republicans realized they had to win votes by bragging at re-election time how they did this and that for their constituents, just like Democrats did.
Why else did the GOP-leaning New York Post endorse Charles Schumer in 2004? Because, the editorial said, he was doing so much for New York -- bringing home the bacon. Why else did President Bush push so hard for the prescription drug boondoggle, but to convince enough seniors that if they voted? Not only that, he was especially trying to win seniors' votes in Florida, a critical battleground he nearly lost in 2000.
So how can we stop "politics as usual"? Jefferson's advice was, "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." But when courts ignore or completely misread the Constitution, how can we use it to restrain government? We have bad courts because the bad justices were appointed by bad elected politicians, who were likely elected for promising things to the voters. We the people must learn, all over again, the immorality of big government: that all the nice-sounding programs are paid for by others' coerced taxes.
Until then, we get the government we deserve. The Chinese have no tradition of freedom like Americans do, let alone any arms with which to revolt. So what's Americans' excuse when we vote for most of our leaders?