Scandalously, Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Madison, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and is as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” writes Dr. Clyde N. Wilson -retired professor of History at USC and one of my favorite authors.
Persistent misrepresentation of Jefferson’s words here and elsewhere by later generations has obscured what he meant. A dangerous radical? A chronic upsetter of social order? No. Jefferson does not call for an overturn of society and its reconstruction according to some abstract plan. Think of the root meaning of the term revolution. Jefferson, in fact, is mostly satisfied with his society (Virginia), although he is interested in a few small reforms that might broaden its base. So are his followers satisfied with their portions of America. That is why they support him. Despite the hysterical and sometimes insincere denunciations of the New England clergy, the Virginia planter is no Jacobin. As he sees things, any government, with the passage of time and the accretion of abuses and bad precedents, becomes corrupted. It needs to be revolved back to its original principles.
In sum Dr. Wilson argues that the entire reason the Occupy Wall Street movement has any traction at all with its socialist and communist ideas is because conservative America long ago lost its will to fundamentally set the system back to our previous natural and good order.