Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Riches, Wealth, Avarice, Power, Abuse and Vice: An Occupy Wall Street redux

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 1, 2011

John Adams: "the man who at certain point...

John Adams, 1823–24, Second President of the US. Painting by Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828).

Perhaps you’ve read the previous entry in this blog. If not, I encourage you do so.


For several reasons, not the least of which are that what you’ll read in the conclusion of this entry speak overwhelmingly to the issue addressed by the protestors.

Following is an entry I made in another forum, the content of which – as I considered it – was worthy of a separate post.

Your thoughtful commentary is encouraged.

I particularly like your earlier remark, and found it quite erudite. To wit, and to clarify, it is this one: “I believe in capitalism, but I believe it needs strong regulation to succeed, and not become out and out piracy, of the rich robbing the poor. The recent supreme court ruling that corporations should be treated as people, and allowed to donate however much money they want to political causes (without having to disclose where and when they are donating it) is an example of an abuse of capitalism that will only hurt the system further. A well regulated capitalistic economy would work well.”

Here’s why I like it.

There is nothing that does not have some degree of regulation, either internal or external. More frequently, we create and use external regulation and regulators. Being fond of analogy because I find it an excellent teaching tool, I shall use one in this instance, as well.

Should the spark plug should be free? Liberate just one spark plug from your engine and see how well it operates. Should your car’s timing have free reign to do as it wants? Simply rotate the timing to 5°_AFTER_ Top Dead Center and see what happens. Sure, it’ll run – it’ll run so poorly that eventually, it will self-destruct by throwing a rod, or perhaps even cracking the engine block, thus causing you great consternation and costing you large amounts of money.

If you’re a sports and athletics enthusiast or fan, consider those games and competitions.

What would baseball be like if there were two batters up simultaneously? If two balls were used simultaneously? If in golf every other stroke was a Mulligan? If football used the Flying V formation, and had a field goal on the 30 and 50 yard lines? If players could use billy clubs? There is a thing called “regulation play”, and it is done so precisely to eliminate chaos and confusion. It is done to allow and encourage competition, to “level” the so-called playing field. In fact, regulation ENCOURAGES competition because it establishes the rules for competition, and sets forth punishment for violations of the same.

As has been said seemingly innumerable times… well, I’ll let the author’s words speak for themselves.

While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

John Adams, (30 October 1735 – 4 July 1826)
first Vice President of the United States (1789–1797), and the second President of the United States (1797–1801) – in Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798, in Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull (New York, 1848), pp 265-6.

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