“Collectivism doesn't work because it's based on a faulty economic premise. There is no such thing as a person's "fair share" of wealth.” P.J. O’Rourke
We don’t elect governments to decide winners and losers and we don’t elect governments to decide what is fair and what is not fair. Governments big enough to enforce some faction’s notion of fairness is big enough to annihilate freedom and liberty and a good number of the people as well.
Why don’t I like today’s liberalism or today’s liberals?
They operate from another false premise: People are entitled to the things others produce. People are not so entitled. The founders of this country were very careful not to enumerate into the Bill of Rights…stuff. Everything in the Bill of Rights involves a right to something you can do for yourself without the aid of government and without someone being forced to provide a material good. Speech, Assembly and Religion do not require anything from anyone. The Right to Bear Arms doesn’t guarantee the firearm. The Right to counsel doesn’t promise the services of a lawyer. That is a misinterpretation of the intent of the founders put into law by lawyers for lawyers. Rights to things cannot be legally assigned without violating the very nature of unalienable rights from the Declaration of Independence and the spirit of American Constitutionalism.
We are individual citizens of a Republic. We are not wards of the state and we are not owned by the state for the purpose of providing our efforts to others by force. Government is force. We are responsible for our own lives and our own actions. Our actions create consequences and it is not a valid function of government to instruct our fellow citizens to sacrifice themselves to mitigate our consequences. If I want a house, it is incumbent upon the government to remove itself as an impediment to my earnings or my opportunity to build that house. I am not entitled to the house. It is my responsibility to obtain the property, materials and labor to produce said house. If I enter into a contract with my fellow citizen either individually or in the form of a lending institution, then I am responsible for faithfully executing the terms of that contract.
If I don’t pay my mortgage then I should lose the house to the lending institution. My inability to honor my contract is not my neighbor’s liability. I am responsible for my actions and liable for my debt. My neighbor is not nor am I liable for my other neighbor’s debt. Any activity by the government that seeks to change this dynamic is un-American. We the people do not have a right to vote ourselves the efforts of our fellow citizens. Any government that does so will and should be opposed by force if necessary. The citizens of this republic who join with the government in an effort to use the power of government to take from me to give to you will be opposed with the expressed purpose of defeating them. Such people are not a part of any acceptable economic solution.
Another issue I have with modern liberalism is over the notion of immigration. Today’s liberals tell me that because we are a nation of immigrants then we should not be allowed to enforce our immigration laws. I heard this from the Speaker of the House. Because they cannot politically win the debate to remove our immigration laws from the books, they work at cross purposes to the law to prevent the enforcement of said laws. There is also the bogus argument that the historic existence of immigration somehow obligates the United States to always allow continuous immigration. This isn’t true or in my opinion desirable. If I am pouring water into a glass and the glass becomes full, I stop pouring even though historically, pouring water into the glass was a desirable activity.
Liberalism seeks to continually grow government. It seeks more and more dependency on government activity to the point where we create a permanent underclass of citizens who no longer have an incentive to create wealth for themselves. This makes them a burden on the ever growing institutions of the state and then imposes further burdens on the productive citizens to support those who believe they are entitled to the efforts and productivity of other citizens. I repeat…they are not. Managing to become born does not give you title to my possessions and efforts. Liberals court these people for their votes. So we have a parasitic relationship between those dependent on the state and those producing enough to maintain said dependency. We are quickly reaching a point of diminishing returns. In New York City the mayor tells us that 40,000 people out of 8 million provide the vast majority of revenue to the city. How can we think to place further burden on such a fragile system?
It is my job to provide for my family and for those whom I choose to provide for. It is my job to provide food, housing, medicine, communications, transportation, clothing and any material thing I can obtain in a free market. It is the responsibility of my fellow citizen to do the same. All men are created equal and the equality we possess is both in opportunity and responsibility. We are not equal in any sort of measurable sense. Government cannot make us so. If I work harder and smarter, I will obtain more material wealth. It is not the place of government in a free society to ensure outcomes among the citizens. Quite frankly the people we elected aren’t smart enough to make such decisions and they don’t have a right to make such decisions. The mob of democracy cannot give that right to a government. Any attempt should result in the removal of said government.
These are not points for debate or compromise. I don’t negotiate with thieves, slave masters or enablers of tyrants. To me the current slide into collectivism is like a water glass filled with poison and my water glass is filled with pure clean water. Where is the compromise? How much poison am I to take into my glass to satisfy those who would see me weakened and stripped of my freedom? No…I am not having a debate here. Collectivism is evil. Individualism is good. It is black and white. The people who see us as a member of some sort of hive can hold their rallies and vote themselves power over my property and my efforts, but I will not participate. I would rather burn my possessions where they lie than have them confiscated by the government and shared among the looters of the world.
I used to be a liberal. I was a card carrying, slogan spouting, useful idiot of the political left determined to redistribute people's wealth that I had no part in creating. I was convinced of my own self-righteousness simply because I confused caring with helping. I didn’t realize that equality included the right to success or failure. I didn’t understand that government force is not compassion and that welfare isn’t charity. I thought that everybody who wasn’t lucky enough to be born me was somehow entitled to a share of what I had. I was a fool. I have since grown a brain. It hurt as the great hollow places filled with grey matter. It is a process I highly recommend.
A liberal is a person who believes society would be better served if he gets to reassign your wealth to someone of his choosing. A liberal believes that anything defined as deviant behavior by moral people is the good, and that moral people are bad. Some liberals believe that animals should have the same rights as people. A liberal believes that wealth is created at the expense of someone else. Liberals are more interested in the collective than the individual. Liberals define the individual by his group characteristics. Liberals are, in this day and age, racist-socialists who label people by race and ethnicity, create dependency on government for various groups, and then fight for the right of selected constituencies to remain dependent on the state.
In the 1970s, I defined myself as liberal. I was anti-Nixon, anti-Vietnam War, anti-government. I was out there walking for the hungry, writing for an “underground” newspaper, writing for the school newspaper, wearing a wide belt and work shirt, certain of the superiority of my views. Except for the wide belt and work shirt my position has not changed.
I did, however, refuse to grow up to become “them.” What happened to the radical left is that they have become the fat cat government bureaucratic left. They have become Nixon. They are the dudes in the Pentagon who bungled the war in Vietnam. They are the IRS, the jack booted storm troopers of the Justice and Treasury Departments. They are our “big government espousing, buy it on credit, relativistic, hypocritical parents.” The only real difference is that unlike our parents, they have done nothing to earn their complacency towards authority except whine.
PJ O’Rourke said it best. They hate people. They hate human beings and have dedicated their lives to making the Earth a miserable place to live. They have squandered the economic future of their own poor uneducated children and now our grandchildren.
Liberalism is a hollow unprincipled shell of a philosophy. It contains no concrete premises. It is the rich man’s communism, a way to get back at those who would seek to enjoy what they have created. It is a vindictive, elitist, guilt ridden, collective of people whose own lives are so empty and pointless that they feel compelled to drag everyone down to a common level.........theirs.
They have a zero concept of right and wrong. They don’t know the difference between can’t and shouldn’t. What is worse, they do not understand the difference between real compassion and government forced giveaway programs. Liberals believe that big government welfare programs are compassionate. They massage their own guilt at having material things by enacting policy that will take the assets of productive people and hand them over to the unproductive. Of the unproductive they ask nothing in return and anyone who disagrees with this approach they label as a racist, a fascist, a Nazi, or intolerant.
Liberals are famous for their tolerance of the intolerable. They see everyone who is not dirt poor as rich and everyone who is rich as an exploiter of the downtrodden...except themselves. It’s okay for them to be rich because “they care.” Makes me want to puke. Tolerance is a mantra to them. It doesn’t even require a qualifier. Tolerant of what? Anything except dissent. To disagree with the universally tolerant is to be bigoted and intolerant. Tolerance is one of those undefined goals of the liberal movement like “change” and “hope.”
One of the favorite words we all used when we were liberals is “fairness.” It is fairness, we said, that drives us to propose bigger government. What is fair, was us getting to divide the wealth, to redistribute what others worked to create. To determine how and where others should live, work and be educated or indoctrinated. The reason education in this country is so abysmal is because liberals don’t think it’s fair that some should be smarter than others or get more because their parents work harder to provide more. As a matter of fact, they seek a dumbed down populace to keep a plurality of voters to put them in office. The election of 2008 was the culmination of years of hard work. Now we have a plurality of voters who think “change” is a policy and “hope” is a direction.
The reason business isn’t providing 100% employment in this country is because liberals don’t really believe in capitalism. So they use government as a club to beat back industrial progress. The reason so many African Americans are poor and hopeless in the inner city is because without their struggle, liberals couldn’t get elected. So they pass laws, regulations and policies to keep them safely tucked away in America’s slums. Socialism is the new slavery, the Democratic Party members are the new overseers, the Federal Government owns the plantation. Emancipation will only come from free markets, unfettered capitalism and the realization that a tin cup is a poor substitute for self-reliance. Electing an African American President won’t change anything because he is more or less just another guilt ridden liberal wringing his hands over the plight of the poor. Obama understands that the policies of the welfare state will make things worse for “his” people, but he will do nothing to help them. He is committed to the cause.
When I was 17, I hung out with this guy who claimed to be a communist. He was definitely a left winger. He despised capitalism, though he enjoyed a house, a TV and food purchased in a free market. He was a few years older than me and I used to sit in his dirty little shack with his pictures of Mao and Lenin on the walls and listen to him talk endlessly about what was wrong with America and why communism was better. Today, we finally have something in common. We both have a shared dislike of liberalism. He called them useful idiots. I have dropped the useful part.
Today the label “liberal” is avoided even by liberals. It is not unlike the communists deciding that the word carried too much negative baggage and began calling themselves socialists. The reason liberalism is such a negative label is because it represents big, out of control government spending, high taxes, interference in the economic lives of citizens, collectivism and a kind of snooty self-righteousness that makes people nauseous.
These days, they have decided to define themselves as mainstream or progressive. That means if you disagree with them you are considered extreme, regressive or even oppressive. They get a lot of support for this point of view from the news media whose claim to be objective is weakened by their admission to being 90% liberal democrats. This election cycle the new media actively campaigned for the liberals, so chalk journalism up to another lost institution. We can put it on the shelf right next to the public schools.
I wonder how people will react when they realize that the paradise promised by the pie-in-the-sky socialist in the White House has no filling. Those who believe that the government is going to level the playing field and make their lives easier will surely be disappointed by the reality of what is coming. Easing the lives of those who have always taken the easy route will be no small feat to muster. How do you make life easier for someone who isn’t trying that hard?
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