Abraham Lincoln opposed Socialism

Harold Pease

Perhaps America’s most beloved and respected president was Abraham Lincoln, who now shares a national holiday — Presidents’ Day — with George Washington.

Today most Democrats would oppose him, as they once did in 1860. He opposed slavery and socialism. He saw nothing in the Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, worthy of emulation.

On the ownership of property Abraham Lincoln’s feelings were especially strong, he said, “Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprises”

To him there was no need to take by force the wealth of those who produce and give it to those less productive, as has always been the prescription of socialism. The “share the wealth” philosophy of socialism brought on by “envy politics,” so articulated by the Democratic Party today, was a foreign ideology to the Civil War president, who had read and rejected Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

The answer to ending poverty is not class envy, a philosophy implemented by Lenin in Russia when the communists identified those holding property as enemies of the state and liquidated some four to eight million farmers, the “Kulaks.”

Our Constitution does not redistribute wealth; it leaves the individual to do that for himself by his work ethic. It remains the fairest way.

Lincoln’s answer to the poor, from which he sprang himself, “Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another but let him labor diligently to build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence….”

Today approximately 47 percent of the adult population pay no federal income tax; many actually receive benefits for which they have paid nothing. 

Lincoln’s views sounded similar to those expressed by President Trump in his 2019 State of the Union Address. “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination and control. We are BORN FREE, and we will STAY FREE. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will NEVER be a socialist country.”

The new calls for socialism in our country were recently dropped by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s long-awaited Green New Deal endorsed by recently announced Democratic presidential candidates.

Paying the estimated $7 trillion price tag required would result in a 90 percent tax take which, ironically, is the definition of slavery—the very thing Lincoln is credited as having ended.

Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the US Constitution.

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