Interesting, but faux history--Lincoln never uttered these "Ten Cannots." See http://www.snopes.com/quotes/lincoln/prosperity.asp
If Lincoln had not been interested in weakening the strong slave holders, then we never would have had a war to maintain these here United States to strengthen the weak.
The real author, Rev. W.J.H. Boetcker, was director of the Citizen's Industrial Alliance, part of the Citizen's Alliance movement, a pro-business-industrialist push (with many local chapters) to maintain their power over workers, around the turn of the 20th century. They all were anti-union and were strongly involved in union-busting, resorting to strong coercion, including boycotts of businesses that previously had negotiated collective-bargaining contracts with workers.
I wonder whether the Reverend would support the mega-rich hedge-fund managers who have destroyed millions of lives and jobs?
The Rev. Boetcker also gave out The "Seven National Crimes":
I don’t think.
I don’t know.
I don’t care.
I am too busy.
I leave well enough alone.
I have no time to read and find out.
I am not interested.
The many individuals of the elite social classes that the Reverend supported are all for these and the false, dualistic individualism of the "Ten Cannots."
These sentiments about a supposed individualism and self-reliance draw attention away from the much larger threats to society, and away from the program of those who are rapidly concentrating power and robbing us blind. Warren Buffett nearly begged us to "not coddle the rich" because he understands what is happening.
It does make a difference as to who said it because their motives become clear. It was written, more than a century ago, during the time of the robber barons and the Progressive era, when there was the historical social movement against corporate malfeasance and criminality.
We are now experiencing some parallels to those times.
The recurring emphasis on individual morality (never bad, in itself, of course) seems to be true today in order to distract from the structural changes that have purposefully been engineered in the economy. It is easy for us to look around for lapses of individual morality, blame people for their plight, and thus wash our hands of any social remediation, while ignoring the larger, systemic, intended structural changes all around that are rapidly (re)creating an extreme class-based society.
It seems that in American history, when there is structural robbery at the top, there is a concomitant push for "morality education" for the bottom.