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"The Tenth Commandment" by David Lawrence (Reprint from the United States News), September 29, 1934. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky Am_Lib_Leag_5 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. "The Tenth Commandment" by David Lawrence (Reprint from the United States News), September 29, 1934. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1934. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Legion or in the American Federation of Labor. Yet both the latter organizations are powerful enough to command a majority vote in the House and the Senate. _ _ . The League does not in- business Unly tend to call upon candidates Wants to Have to declare themselves in the a Square Deal coming November elections. The organization has not been set up soon enough. But it would be natural to expect a frank avowal from every member of Congress on January ist so that the people in each district may know where every member stands and so that the American Liberty League may begin its campaign of education in those districts in which members of Congress are supporting proposals in Washington at variance with the principles of sound economics or the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The Tenth Commandment said "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house" and the dictionary defines "covet" thus: "To desire inordinately without due regard for the rights of others." The taking away of private property by confiscatory taxes and the distribution of funds to subsidize voters is not merely a violation of the Tenth Commandment but it comes dangerously near another commandment which says "Thou shalt not steal." To take one man's business and customers away and give them to his competitors is a form of larceny. The use of the boycott by removal of the Blue Eagle has no sanction in law or in the Constitution. It is the caprice of bureaucracy. The use of Government funds to pay political debts is an unmoral act. The American people will not long tolerate the politicians who would use government for their own ends. American business today is tired of the politicians and the grafters. American business today wants to cooperate with government in developing a sound program of recovery. American business today respects President Roosevelt and asks him to give business a voice in the making of public policies. American business today wants and demands and will fight for a square deal. 8 * * the Tenth Commandment by David Lawrence â˜… â˜… â˜… Reprint from the United States T^ews â˜… * AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE WASHINGTON, D. C. THE TENTH COMMANDMENT â˜… â˜… â˜… TrlE Tenth Commandment and the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States are strikingly similar. The one reads: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house * * * nor anything that is thy neighbor's." The other reads: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." It is an amazing commentary on the trend of affairs in America that an organization should have become necessary to enlist the citizenry for a crusade on behalf of the Constitution or the Tenth Commandment. Pious lip service to these two great precepts is given every day by those who would deceive the American people. "Why, of course, we believe in all that," say the "leftwing" radicals. And, of course, they do not. The kind of transparent hypocrisy which these traducers of American constitutionalism really preach is best exemplified by the tongue-in-cheek answer given by Professor Tugwell to the interrogating legislators when he avowed himself a "conservative," adding quickly that he wished, of course, to "conserve" what was worth while. w, . . The American Liberty What Liberty League is a call to arms. League Group It is the beginning of a Stands For movement which, if properly guided and aggressively carried on, will save the American people from the forces which today are threatening to bring misery, starvation and disaster to the common people. It is a movement aimed at those who in the name of the law and in the name of government would rob Peter to pay Paul, who would repress honest dollars and issue fictitious money, and who would confiscate by taxation and by government competition the savings of one hundred and fifty years of Americanism. It will not do to laugh off the American Liberty League or to hurl epithets at it or to speak of it as a return to the "old order." Such an attitude would be a reflection upon President Roosevelt himself whose great personality 3 has forged a new approach to American problems, whose skillful leadership has brought the old-fashioned reactionaries in American business further toward the sensible liberalism of Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Jefferson than has any other single influence in our lifetime. The "left wing" is unfortunately blind to these gains. For there is a greater sense of social responsibility in business today than ever before. There is, moreover, no group of business men of any substantial number in America who want to see human rights disregarded. There is no group that believes in the exploitation of human beings. There is no group which wants to see any human being starve. But there are groups, yes, hundreds of them, who honestly believe it is cruel for a political-minded set of men to waste public funds, to take property without due process of law, to confiscate property without just compensation and to ignore the plight of the millions of men and women who want work but cannot get it because the economic mechanism is kept from functioning by the sabotage of irresponsible radicalism. . , It is easy enough to blame Operation or "big business" for the ills of Natural Laws an economic system that has Being Retarded brought unemployment. But v it is absurd to make such a charge when all over the world the unemployment problem has been growing as an aftermath of war. It is high time the blaming of one another ceased and the so-called leaders of American thought recognized that the responsibility for improvement of economic conditions now lies with those in governmental position who are retarding the operations of natural economic laws and shaking the foundations of the Republic by casting doubt upon the title of the individual to his home and his business. If taxation goes to extremes, it means the destruction of private property. If jungle law prevails in government, then J commitments cannot be made by business men. 1 Financing of enterprises must then be at a standstill. Who wants to buy a bond payable ten years hence â– if the whole structure of business is threatened by acts of piracy? Where are such transgressions? Let us first make a confession of faith: The New Deal has some commendable policies. So far as this writer is concerned, he approves heartily the methods and the money that have been used to furnish relief to the unemployed, the lend- ing of funds for such projects as are capable of repaying indebtedness, and are not competitive with existing enterprise, the efforts made to stabilize the dollar, the proposal to remove tariff barriers and negotiate reciprocal trade agreements, the moves towards disarmament and, generally speaking, the entire foreign policy, the use of silver as a monetary supplement but not a substitute for gold, the stimulation of foreign trade, the legislation adopted to help reorganize corporate structures, the general purposes of the Federal housing act and the measures for the relief of farm and city mortgages. . , - ... But there can be no de- IndePenSlble fense of the "spoils system" Policies of whereby public trust is Government betrayed. There can be no defense of bureaucracy. There can be no defense of a policy which destroys cattle or crops. There can be no defense of the policy of lending money to set up instrumentalities that would compete with and destroy business in which the public has invested its funds. There can be no defense of the policies which seek by subterfuge to usurp the rights of the States as, for instance, in the NRA's theory that all business has suddenly come under Federal jurisdiction. There can be no defense of the policy of wasteful spending which unbalances our budget by 4,000 millions of dollars and gives no dependable pledge of abatement of such expenditures. There can be no defense of the retention of any individual in any public office who believes that the Constitution can be violated because the end justifies the means. If it is desired to amend the Constitution, let the people have the chance to express themselves upon every such proposal. If it is desired to give the Federal Government complete power over all business and industry, let the people vote upon that proposition in constitutional conventions. If it is desired to abolish the State governments and let the Federal authority control electric light and power, coal, oil, and all the production of American farms, let the American people, also in constitutional conventions, pass upon the such fundamental changes. There is nothing in the Constitution which permits any man or group of men to equalize competition, to redistribute wealth or to redistribute brains, to put a penalty upon efficiency or to punish success by confiscatory taxation. The writer does not pro-Nation Needs fess to know the program Saving From of the American Liberty Opportunists League, except for its published statement of an intention to preserve and defend the Constitution. But there is room in America, indeed, there is need today for men who will give their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to preserve the Republic against those who either have never read the Ten Commandments or who believe an emergency in economic circumstances repeals the laws of right and wrong. For nearly a year and a half, business has been abused. Taking their cue from the White House, the "left wingers" have denounced all business men as dishonest and only occasionally have they conceded there might be a few exceptions. There comes a time when business loses its morale, when there is defeatism where there should be hope and determination. Business should organize. It should enlist supporters in every precinct in the land. _ The politicians know only â– Significance the language of votes, not in Character the logic of reason or the of Organizers persuasiveness of thoughtful debate. It is significant that two men who have been honored by the Democratic party by being given the nomination for the presidency have consented to serve on the executive committee of the American Liberty League. It is significant that two prominent Republicans have done likewise. This, therefore, is no new alignment of parties. It is the beginning, however, of a Constitution bloc. To the extent that Congress has disregarded the pleas of business, the American Liberty League will begin in due time to help the election of Democrats or Republicans, as the case may be, who avow themselves in favor of principles of sound economics. As for Mr. Roosevelt, it is inconceivable that the American Liberty League is at this time planning a campaign to oppose the President's reelection. Rather would it seem logical that the American Liberty League should be planning to win the support and cooperation of Mr. Roosevelt on as many portions of its program as possible. The President is too well aware of the vote- getting power of minority blocs in congressional elections to align himself at the outset with those who would regard the American Liberty League as an institution of "reactionaries." The men in the American Liberty League are not the kind who are intimidated by the comments of various members of Congress who promptly christened them "die-hards." The League is an inevitable response to the challenge by the left wing. It is, therefore, definitely anti-radical. It is against the groups that would drive Mr. Roosevelt from sound to unsound positions. _ _ . , For the forces which have lo right tor been unloosed in the depres- Rights Reserved sion and would introduce a to the People communistic or socialistic state are for the moment sympathetic to Mr. Roosevelt, but they will turn upon him whenever he makes the slightest concessions to the liberal conservatives. There are few men in America who have given of themselves so unselfishly as Alfred E. Smith. He rose from poverty to the highest gift in his party. He served the people of New York State as governor and nobody called him a "die-hard" then. Today former Governor Smith lends his name and open support to the American Liberty League. It must be because he feels the issue is drawn, that there has been an attack on the Americanism which has heretofore safeguarded a man's home and his earnings. Far across this land the clear-thinking people will join the American Liberty League because it offers them an opportunity to fight for a cause that is the crux of American liberty itself the perpetuation of the rights granted by the Constitution and the rights reserved to the people which it was never intended that government or the Constitution should ever usurp. Funds may come at the outset from a few business men who sponsor the movement, but in the final analysis the American Liberty League will succeed or fail depending upon whether it brings to its membership the rank and file of American voters, the white collar workers as well as all who own property, those who manage business, those who understand how high taxation destroys incentive and prevents business recovery. The League plans to get at least 4,000,000 members. This is more than there are in the American