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Author Topic: Compromise, Principles, and Politics
WildB
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Unity in Defense of Freedom Cannot Be Achieved When Some Intend to Violate Others' Rights
Abortion is not a "Medical" right, ITS MURDER of the INNOCENT! A National Sin that God will judge.

Leviticus 18:28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
Leviticus 20:22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.


“Public servants” laud compromise as a principled and sensible political course. They call it statesmanship or bipartisanship, and portray it as the path to unity, while roundly criticizing those unwilling to compromise in the desired way. This appeal often strikes a chord with the public. (Leave aside that compromise is usually sought by legislative near-majorities that intend for others to move toward them, rather than the other way around.)

Political reality reveals that the unity argument is a sham. The diametrically opposed things people want government to do guarantees disunity. America cannot be unified about government powers that some consider essential but others reject as unjustifiable. Unity in defense of freedom cannot be achieved when some intend to violate others’ rights to get what they want. How can those who wish to pick pockets and those who are to have their pockets picked unite? As long as government is involved in income distribution, real unity is beyond reach. There is only the question of whose preferences will dominate.

Further, politicians’ self-congratulatory compromise rhetoric glosses over important distinctions. In particular, there are huge differences between market compromises—flexible, voluntary compromises by all whose rights are affected—and political compromises—typically arrangements in which just over half the participants compromise on an agreement to coerce others.

There are few better illustrations of the distinction between market compromises and political compromises than the legislation governments impose on economic arrangements.

The free market (as opposed to the current mixed economy) is nothing but a name for voluntary, peaceful compromise. For example, in a market negotiation, I may offer you $5 for an item and you may ask for $10. The resulting price we agree on will typically be something in between—a compromise, but unlike political compromises, one without coercion. It is practical. It disturbs no one’s harmony or peace. And as any of innumerable circumstances change, that price can change in response, again without coercion. No less important, everyone whose rights are involved, but no one else, must come to mutual agreement.

Ideas Born of Surrendered Principles

Unfortunately, as Read concluded, “[S]urrender of principle appears to be the distinguishing mark of our time . . . [and] ideas born of surrendered principles are the most dangerous vandals know to man.” This is illustrated by the eroded status of Americans’ inalienable rights that were laid out in the Declaration of Independence. Inalienable rights cannot be compromised without being lost, but they have been dramatically compromised. You see it in the massive overstepping of the limited role the Constitution assigned to the federal government. The political process has so compromised the participants that only the explicit “Thou shalt nots” in the Bill of Rights have even a fighting chance of protecting citizens from the predatory tendencies of government.

Unlike market compromises, political compromises do not include all parties whose rights are affected. If Rep. Curly wants to take X dollars from Moe to benefit his constituents and Rep. Larry wants to take Y dollars from Moe to benefit his constituents, doing both can be enacted on a 2-to-1 vote. Yet that is a compromise only between Curly and Larry to help them at Moe’s expense. If not done through government, that would be considered a criminal conspiracy. Calling it a compromise cannot change the fact that Curly and Larry only compromised over the extent to which they would support each other’s violation of Moe’s right not to be robbed. George Washington rejected such compromises long ago when he asserted that Parliament “hath no more Right to put their hands into my Pocket, without my consent, than I have to put my hand into yours, for money.”

The day-to-day “work” of legislators and other politicians—finding ways to make theft work better by mutual agreement among the thieves—further undermines moral and ethical principles. If Curly wants to take X dollars from Moe, but Larry believes it is wrong to harm Moe, Larry would oppose doing so. But instead, in search of a majority, Curly looks for a way to compromise with Larry by paying him off with some of the booty (as with earmarks and other logrolling agreements), raising the price of Larry’s adherence to principle in hopes that he will become willing to compromise himself. And if Curly holds a powerful position (say, as a committee chairman or a member of an appropriations committee), he can keep raising the bribe offers until he attracts enough of the most cheaply corruptible legislators to pass the legislation. Moe, having been abused, then translates that into an excuse to participate in similar rip-offs of others, when the opportunity arises. All end up corrupted.

Charles Sumner once observed that “It is by compromise that human rights have been abandoned” and that “repose can only be found in everlasting principles.” Unfortunately, despite a great deal of lip service to the principles on which America was founded, we have compromised them to a large degree. Not only are the consequences for society adverse, but they erode ethical behavior in a way that is a creeping catastrophe. Leonard Read said that those “who believe that they should gratify their personal charitable instincts not with their own goods, but with goods extorted from others by the police force, who fail to see how thieving damages integrity, and who accept the practice of political plunder as right and honorable—to them ‘Thou shalt not steal’ must appear wrong in principle. . . . [W]hen vast numbers of people surrender living by what they believe to be right, it follows that they must then live by what they believe to be wrong. No more destructive tendency can be imagined.”

Politicians who laud compromise are right in one sense. It is part of living successfully in society. However, they are also very wrong. The kinds of compromise that advance our well-being by improving social coordination are those that respect our property rights and the markets built on them. Unfortunately, those are not the compromises politicians have in mind. Instead, they wish to compromise exactly the rights from which we all benefit while posing as social benefactors. There is nothing noble about compromising people’s well-being and integrity.

Source:Gary M. Galles 2008

Political compromises in U.S. history
Published 3:13 PM ET, Thu October 17, 2013

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That is all.....

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