First, I must say it is an unparalleled privilege to live in these United States. Today we witnessed the peaceful transfer of power, dearly paid for with the blood and fervor of our patriot forefathers. Few nations can boast such a noble tradition. For this and many other hard-won traditions we must be thankful.
But we also felt the tingle of our new President’s silk words brushing up against our ears, full of promises for the future and disdain for the present. As for the latter, he said “this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.” As I watched the crowds blithely cheer at our new leader’s indictment of the free exchange of private property, I was struck by both the gullibility of our nation and the foresight of Aristotle. Aristotle wrote in his Politics, some 2400 years ago, “Men readily listen [to Utopias], and are easily induced to believe that in some wonderful manner everybody will become everybody’s friend, especially when someone is heard denouncing the evils now existing [...] which are said to arise out of the possession of private property. These evils, however, arise from quite another source–the wickedness of human nature.”
Perhaps there is some truth in the saying “There is nothing new under the sun.”