Friday, July 8, 2016

A review of “The Men Who Built America” (History Channel)

"The Men Who Built America" is something of a rarity in the world of documentaries, because it is one of the few history programs out there that actually focuses on the private sector. Most history programs focus on either heads-of-state or wars, and there's nothing wrong with this - public-sector history is definitely worthy of study; and it is well that our schools spend so much time teaching it. Nonetheless, there is much of importance that happens in the private sector as well; and our focus on "politics and the military" should not preclude us from talking about these things on occasion, if not frequently.

In that spirit, I set out to talk about this remarkable program; which is one of the few programs that talks sympathetically about the contributions of businessmen. When liberals talk about businessmen at all, it's usually in a negative sense, to paint them as greedy "robber barons" who will stop at nothing to make a buck. Fortunately, however, this show seems far enough to the right that they don't slow down the narrative with inappropriate rants about capitalism, and instead focus on the human story of what happened - showing the considerable accomplishments of these men, while not omitting the more sordid details of how they sometimes went about getting their massive fortunes.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Actually, John Locke DID influence the U. S. Declaration of Independence

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

- The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 (first paragraph)

Some have claimed that John Locke didn't have much influence on the Founding Fathers ...

John Locke once wrote an eloquent defense of private property, which liberals enchanted with socialist ideas have long resented. Because of this, there have been some who have claimed that he did not really have much influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States, who are still quite popular in my American homeland.

John Locke

... so it might be helpful to correct the record

Because of this, it seems like it would be worthwhile now to correct the record; and give the evidence that Mr. Locke did indeed have an influence on the Founding Fathers. Most notably, he had a great influence on Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence; and it can be shown that some of the language within it (not to mention the ideas) are a direct borrowing from John Locke.

Thomas Jefferson

Specifically, he influenced the Declaration of Independence, as these quotes will show ...

I will now present the quotes from the Declaration of Independence (which are well-known), followed by the quotes from John Locke's "Second Treatise on Government" (which are lesser-known). These will help to show that not only are the ideas the same, but in some cases, the language is as well.

John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence

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