"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Living Meaning of the Kelo Decision--in China

Yesterday afternoon, I happened to catch Brit Hume's Fox News Channel news show. One small story gave me the willies, and I hope it will do the same for you.

The story was a bit of outstanding television journalism, from Sky News, with which Fox News has an affiliation.

First, read the story, then go to the Sky News site and look at the video. You cannot afford to miss this one.

China Land Grab Exclusive
Updated: 12:55, Thursday April 13, 2006

China's economy is booming, but at what cost to its people?

In an exclusive report Sky's Dominic Waghorn meets the families who have been evicted from their homes to make way for new development.

Our Asia correspondent spoke to a couple who have been living in a tent all winter after the government seized their home and demolished it.

Sky's Dominic Waghorn reports

"The government is eating our flesh and drinking our blood," they said, huddled in their tent as temperatures dropped well below freezing.

All the couple want is enough money in compensation to be able to buy a new home.

Secretly filmed footage shows the Chinese authorities ruthlessly evicting an elderly couple.

An old man was dragged out by police, followed by a woman who was still in her sick bed.

Discontent in China's slums

"The poor have no human rights, no way of surviving," one evicted woman told the Sky correspondent.

Meanwhile government officials and property developers are making untold millions from the seized land.

In a rare glimpse into life in a Chinese slum, Dominic Waghorn faces a crowd of people waiting to show him evidence of human rights abuses in their country.

A demand for human rights

Their banners and photos protest against corruption, police brutality and sons killed in detention.

One man with burn scars, sustained in a previous protest, holds aloft a placard reading "human rights are more important than living".

With the power the Chinese government has over the country's media, the downtrodden have little opportunity to share their discontent.

But our correspondent reveals the unequal struggle that is taking place between the poor and the powerful.

The government's own figures put the number of protests last year at 70,000, said Waghorn.

In our blog header and "masthead," we quote famous 17th century English intellectual, Lord Bolingbroke: "History is philosophy teaching by example." Well, here is about the clearest example we have seen in a long time.

The government of Red China is seizing the property of persons in order to give it to developers to develop into big money makers, which greatly enrich both the government and developers. Now, let's drop back to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, to a decision issued 25 June 2005 and called the Kelo Decision. The Supreme Court authorized governments to seize property of individuals to turn over to developers to build enriching edifices.

Red China has no property rights, and has no respect for any of the Rights of Man, from the Right to Life, on through the Rights to Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, and the Property. It initiates force to steal from those who are not physically powerful enough to resist the guns, clubs, and killings.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America fully abrogated the Right to Property with its Kelo Decision, and many local governments have moved in for the kill, with the "force of law," which makes the bloody physicalism of Red China unnecessary.

When a government abrogates any one of the four fundamental Rights of Man, it effectively abrogates them all. Property is how people support their right to life, exercise the right to liberty to pursue what they choose--which is ensured by the right to property, and exercise their right to pursue happiness by their own means and determination, using property as their primary anchor to reality. OUR Supreme Court opened the door for governments, from local to federal, to act just like Red China. And they will.

Give them time.

History is philosophy, teaching by example.


  • At Tue Apr 18, 02:09:00 PM PDT, Blogger Eleanor © said…

    I saw that broadcast. One would expect this kind of behavior from China, but the growing problem here is the United States is unexpeted, or is it.

    The reason that the Founding Fathers were so protective of property rights was that the English kings had arbitrary powers which were regularly exercised. You could lose your property if found to be a "traitor" to the crown. The definition of traitor varied depending whose itterest it was to protect and whose backside was sitting on the throne at that particular time. (Remember the large-scale confiscations of property belonging to the Catholic Church by Henry VIII.) Property was held by grace of the Crown.

    The United States is different, but, and there always is a "but," isn't there. The Federal Government stands in for the Crown and some of the same language used in England traveled across the ocean with the early colonists, giving the "Crown," or in this case, the Federal Government the right of Eminent Domain. The definition and application of "Eminent Domain" has been loosely applied perhaps because there was so much land to be had in and around cities. Now that land is less available, the concept is more rigorously applied, more akin to Eminent Domain of the 18th Century in Great Britain.

    We must vigorously and jealously guard our rights against the arbitrary power of government. This is another case over which we must incessantly nag our Federal and State representatives.

  • At Wed Apr 19, 06:02:00 AM PDT, Blogger Always On Watch said…

    Some states are passing legislation to try to counter Kelo. But the fact still remains that many counties and cities are eager to get the revenue from upgrading neighborhoods.

    Of all the crazy decisions on the part of SCOTUS, Kelo may well be the most dangerous. "The power to tax is the power to rule," and so is the power to seize private property.

  • At Wed Apr 19, 08:14:00 AM PDT, Blogger George Mason said…

    Eleanor and AOW: I just don't know how anything can be made plainer than "eminent domain" in Red China and post-Kelo America. It is now just a matter of degree. In no time after Kelo did all these banana republic mayors and councils start evicting property owners in America, now under the full protection of the federal government. It is a small step for SCOTUS to finish the job by simple extensions of the precedent of Kelo to every aspect of our lives. Then we will be just like Red China.

    BTW, something neither the article nor my blog did more than mention is the huge unrest and upheaval going on in Red China. The Reds are working overtime to keep people outside Red China from finding out and publicizing this unrest, as well as brutally suppressing the profoundly unhappy citizenry. Our MSM does not bother to tell you this, but the SKY NEWS report SHOWED IT! The USA could and should exploit the hell out of this, but don't look for the Carterite Bushies to do it.

  • At Wed Apr 19, 02:29:00 PM PDT, Blogger Eleanor © said…

    You are correct. China is a closed society that has something to hide.

    From time-to-time one gets an glimpse of reports of the seething unrest in China. Social harmony is a primary Confucian virtue that was co-opted by Mao as a justification for the reign of terror inflicted by the Red Guards. Of course, social harmony is very difficult to achieve among human beings in any society.

    For China, there seems to be no middle ground. Past Chinese leaders also resorted to swift, draconian measures. Those that didn't were quickly overthrown.

  • At Wed Apr 19, 03:46:00 PM PDT, Blogger George Mason said…


    Your comment was good through and through, but one thing you wrote caught my attention: "Of course, social harmony is very difficult to achieve among human beings in any society." All sorts of things flashed through my mind, from extended family dynamics to the United Nations. Then, I thought of something contained in the broadest meaning of what you wrote, but not something you stated specifically.

    Who is concerned with "social harmony"? While not the whole concern, the answer is usually the state or groups within the state who want to use the power of the state to effect their view of "social harmony" and related notions.

    Probably no nation has such social harmony that people go around like millions of those Al Capp creations, the Schmoos. In a capitalist society, one based on the sovereignty of the individual, that individual exercises his natural rights to be or not be harmonious with others; as long as this individual does not violate the rights of others, he is free to be temporarily, situationally, or permanently non-harmonious. Thank heaven for that! Individuals in capitalist societies choose and unchoose relationships at will, and the state or the statism-lovers can do nothing to prevent or facilitate.

    Red China chooses to create its version of "social harmony" in a typical statist fashion; guns, clubs, and every possible imposition of force to make individuals cease to be individuals and to comply--to be "the masses" or the "ummah." Imperial China was no gold standard, either.

    What is so delicious to me about the times we live in is our ability to penetrate closed societies, like China and all of Islamia, without setting a foot on their soil. Regardless of their ethnic background, all peoples possess the same human nature, and when they plug into the electro-magnetic radiations coming their way, they see much happier other people and a vastly better way of life. This is irresistable to all humans--they either want it or fear it and want to destroy it.

    Note how the restive Chinese speak and demonstrate openly for "human rights." Bring it on!


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