The 10 cannots

In 1916, a minister and outspoken advocate for liberty, William J. H. Boetcker, published a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots .
“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.”
I was speaking with a friend recently, a man who lived most of his life under the Communist regime in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. He has spent several years and continues to incur many legal expenses in his endeavor to become a U.S. citizen, but he has since lost his enthusiasm.
“The socialist goal back home was that everyone had equal wealth. They met that goal—eventually no one had anything. Any attempt to work harder to achieve a better standard of living for your family was considered contrary to the welfare of the state, and dutifully discouraged. Socialism is a big hole, easy to fall into and hard to climb out of.”
He lamented, “The American dream is not something I want to wake up from—but too many Americans have no idea what they have, and are about to lose it. Socialism seems an appealing ideal, collective ownership, equal society, ‘sharing the wealth,’ et cetera. But it has a downside: It doesn’t work.”
Indeed it doesn’t work. It creates wards of the state—slaves, if you will.
In the 1980s, I spent enough time in Socialist countries, including the old USSR, to know that we want to avoid, at all costs, a USSA. If we could gather up all Americans who, knowingly or unknowingly, support collectivist policies and transport them to the old USSR for a week, they could see the terminus of such policies—the walking dead—and the wisest among them would rethink their support for statist concepts such as “sharing the wealth.”

3 thoughts on “The 10 cannots

  1. Aye, and you cannot maintain responsibility by sacrificing honorable people to criminals, whether socialists of communists.
    I was able to visit Russia and the Ukraine in the early ’70s. They were populated with people. Russia in particular by people in an almost universally depressing situation. Yet they persevered. In many ways prisoners of the realm, yet they persevered as best possible in spite of the leadership.
    Across the world, corporations have become international while national governments have become intertwined with the corporations and each other through financial markets and trade. Corporate management and governauts are merging to form a new class, a modern feudalism. Where employee stock ownership plans should have much in the realization of a Marx/Engels goal of enforcing managerial responsibility and empowering innovation, yet irresponsible board-&-management structures render the employees’ investments an little other than captive capital.
    There are few leaders who appreciate the value of teamwork by motivated enlistees rather than captive draftees. Fewer still that understand the strength of individuality, in spite of all the historical evidence even from this country. Not to enforce a “sharing of the wealth”, but we have had too much of those with not only a need to win but also have to see others lose. Many situations are not zero-sum games, they allow win-win outcomes that can allow teams and groups of teams to share growth and achievement without enforced sharing. We could use more leadership toward those goals rather than the commercial Darwinism we have seen these past years.
    What are your motivations? What do you prize enough to willingly invest your own work? What responsibilities to you maintain? How will you support that with your vote? What will you do to give that more chance of ready success in the next election?
    Best luck to all in this election, I hope we all do not become the losers.

  2. Very Good comment! Hi, Nick, hi everybody!!! My name is Sergey. I was born and grew up in the former USSR. That was a huge country with 11 time zones ( still 11 time zones, after the union colapsed, just in Russia)!!! I agree with an autor of the article…socialism is the “cancer’ for the USA!!! Now, we do have more socialism in the USA, than Russia has it!!!What happend to this country, to people??? Once this country use to be a country of the brave, but now has turned into a country of the slaves: to the paycheck, medical insuarance, mortgage, SUV’s, video games, 6-packs, remote controles, TV’s, computers, cellular phones, e.t.c. All this conviniences, gadgets, insurance, lazyness, workaholizm, ignorance, zombionism, socialism, democracy, corporatism, propagandism, bulshitism, bushism, liberalism, imperialism, profitism,anti-constitutionalism,political appathy, complaycensy, overweightism, degradism, kulturism, nudism, sexsism, rasizm, ateism, discrimination, foreign countries occupation, GMO food consumption, big work force reduction, profit sharing reduction, “global worming creation”, cemtrails, vaccination, low IQ generation, ottizm, prozak drug, barack obama, john mccain …fight all this and do some action…you will see a big reaction…
    …Well, you get an idea!!!

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