[O]n the eve of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference in Washington, more than 80 conservative leaders gathered on the grounds of George Washington's former Virginia estate to unveil a manifesto reaffirming the movement's beliefs.Bollocks, as they say. The "contours of conservatism" is what got us into this mess, and if you think one year of a moderate-to-right-centrist administration has undone the thirty years of greed embodied by the very corpse these asshats trot out anytime someone mentions how much nicer we can make this nation for its people, I got a bridge to sell ya.
The "Mount Vernon Statement," as they have dubbed the document, seeks to tether conservatism to constitutional principles at a time when Republicans and many independents have become outraged over what they view as governmental overreach. Its authors, a group of boldface names and Beltway veterans who have been among the movement's leaders for decades, have been working for months to hash out language that satisfies the party's often fractious factions. They cite the compact as a contemporary version of the Sharon Statement, a document named for William F. Buckley Jr.'s Connecticut hometown that helped shape the contours of conservatism for the past 50 years.
Indeed, along with Geo. Waƒhington spinning in HIS grave, undoubtedly Adam Smith is likely spinning in his grave to see the rape of the average American that has been foisted upon this great nation in a bastardization of his economic principles.
The joint stock companies (ed note: corporations) which are established for the public-spirited purpose of promoting some particular manufacture, over and above managing their own affairs ill, to the dimunition of the general stock of the society, can in other respects scarce ever fail to do more harm than good. Notwithstanding the most upright intentions, the unavoidable partiality of their directors to particular branches of the manufacture of which the undertakers mislead and impose upon them is a real discouragement to the rest, and necessarily breaks, more or less, that natural proportion which would otherwise establish itself between judicious industry and profit, and which, to the general industry of the country, is of all encouragements the greatest and the most effectual.
In the progress of the division of labour, the employment of the far greater part of those who live by labour, that is, of the great body of the people, comes to be confined to a few very simple operations, frequently to one or two. But the understandings of the greater part of men are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments. The man whose whole life is spent in performing a few simple operations, of which the effects are perhaps always the same, or very nearly the same, has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He naturally loses, therefore, the habit of such exertion, and generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become. The torpor of his mind renders him not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgment concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life. Of the great and extensive interests of his country he is altogether incapable of judging, and unless very particular pains have been taken to render him otherwise, he is equally incapable of defending his country in war. The uniformity of his stationary life naturally corrupts the courage of his mind, and makes him regard with abhorrence the irregular, uncertain, and adventurous life of a soldier. It corrupts even the activity of his body, and renders him incapable of exerting his strength with vigour and perseverance in any other employment than that to which he has been bred. His dexterity at his own particular trade seems, in this manner, to be acquired at the expence of his intellectual, social, and martial virtues. But in every improved and civilized society this is the state into which the labouring poor, that is, the great body of the people, must necessarily fall, unless government takes some pains to prevent it.Ahem.
Not exactly the unfettered free market that conservatives go crazy over.
Indeed, Adam Smith was quite leery of business combinations that took human beings off the hook for their actions (like corporations). He understood that people are greedy, vain, selfish, and vicious asocial bastards who would gladly sell their fellow men into slavery for a bowl of porridge a la Esau.