Melfamy and Flasawdust had a brief discussion on my post about Obama being a socialist and a liar (he is both, by the way). It is an exchange worth exploring because it captures the essence of the discussions (arguments?) that we have.
I think people, and I do include me, want a big brotherly government to take care of mundane matters, such as our health care, our retirement, overseeing the quality of goods and services, so we can concentrate our collective minds on American Idol and the exploding Kardashian population.
And speaking to Black3 in the same thread:
No, I admitted to a tendency to want a good government that I don’t have to personally monitor. And that many would rather not engage in the fundamental debate that has you and Utah in its thrall. It’s obvious, looking back over the presidents in my life, that we had better pay attention to the bast[ard]s.
To which Dusty replied:
You certainly should have included the word “some” in your first sentence. Myself and those I assemble with don’t want our govt “to take care of mundane matters, such as our health care, our retirement”, I am positive that I can do a better job of both of these than they can. We do want the govt to take care of “overseeing the quality of goods and services”, so you aren’t completely wrong. Also, NOBODY that I associate with wants to “concentrate our collective minds on American Idol and the exploding Kardashian population”. I think that is reserved for the OWEbozoites.
I take Mel’s Kardashian comment at face value – I have watched the Kardashians more than once – it was a little like passing a car wreck, it was hard not to look at it – but I think he means that he wants to concern himself about things that he enjoys without worrying about the “mundane” things as he terms them. To me that means that he wants life “de-risked”. I won’t go as far as calling him a Marxist but his position is close to utopianism, not that different from the idealized and impractical societies as envisioned by our friends Plato, Hobbes and More.
I get it, I do…but I also understand that by granting Mel his wish, it compromises Dusty’s freedom – because in order for Mel to go skipping through the daisies of the field, someone has to pay for it – because I understand that daisy skipping doesn’t pay that well these days.
I also want to point out a direct contradiction in Mel’s comments regarding what he wants – not a criticism, just an observation. These two statements cannot both be true at the same time:
- …want a good government that I don’t have to personally monitor…
- It’s obvious, looking back over the presidents in my life, that we had better pay attention to the bast[ard]s.
A government that isn’t personally monitored – yet we have to watch the bastards. This position should certainly generate some internal discomfort and I will ask the same rhetorical question as I have asked before – if we recognize that we can’t trust people in government to do the right thing then how does it make sense to transfer even more power over to them? It isn’t like giving them more of the drug that they crave is an incentive to change.
But back to the Mel/Dusty conundrum…how can these two views be reconciled? In a capitalist society, the “mundane” things are taken care of and paid for by the individual in a commercial transaction based on what they can afford vs. what they need. They can choose. In Mel’s example, I get to pay for his health care and his retirement as I pay taxes and his withdrawal from the system is not about what he paid in but what he “needs”. Sound familiar? It should – “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” – that’s Marxism no matter how you slice it.
I actually have no problem with what Mel wants and neither did the Founders when they set up the Constitution. This is the exact reason for the enumerated powers of the federal and the reserved powers to the states and the people. I think that the miracle of the original intent of the Constitution was that the when it was drafted, the Founders recognized that different groups of people would organize themselves around like beliefs and desires and not all would see the world the same way. It was evident even in the colonial times that the trade and seafaring societies of the New England states were quite different from the agrarian societies of South Carolina and Georgia.
This recognition was the basis for the Tenth Amendment, ratified December 15, 1791, which states:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
This gave unfettered power to the states and local jurisdictions to do what they wanted, the way they wanted.
That is why I have never had a problem with RomneyCare (MassCare). I believe that under the 10th Amendment, the citizens of each state can decide for themselves what they want for their own people. If the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts wants to go full Marx – more power to them because it stops at the state border…it doesn’t impact what goes on in Florida. If a majority votes it in, then the minority has the choice to live with it, work to overturn it, or vote with their feet and leave to live in another state.
Just don’t come to the federal coffers asking for a bailout. You voted for it, you pay for it and if you don’t want it – like I said – vote with your feet. If enough people leave, the system collapses and fails just like a business in a free economy. As a sort of non sequitur – it is amazing to me that the very people who believe in evolution/natural selection/Darwinism and demean creationism are the very ones who support business creationism over a kind of commercial Darwinism – survival of the fittest and evolution for humans but businesses are created by a supernatural power and defy evolutionary logic to be run for the benefit of the employees without regard for cost or customers.
I believe that this is wisdom that the Founders do not get enough credit for due to the Marxist desires that started under Wilson and FDR to convert the entire nation to be one huge collective when the Constitution expressly forbids it. Lincoln opened that door with his disregard for state’s rights during the Civil War – and no, that isn’t a racist, pro-slavery position, that is a pro-Constitution position. People only bring up the slavery issue to avoid having a legitimate debate over the abuses vested on the Constitution by Lincoln.
Dusty and I share the same position and our positions can never be reconciled with Mel’s. Even if Mel is right and that “people…want a big brotherly government”, how can that be forced on those of us who do not want it? How is it even ethical to demand of me that I support something that is contrary to my core beliefs?
Isn’t that the same tyranny as spoken of in the Declaration of Independence?
As a clarification – “And that many would rather not engage in the fundamental debate that has you and Utah in its thrall” – we didn’t initiate the debate. The “progressive” movement brought the debate to our doorstep, we just care enough to engage and confront it. The most simple form of freedom is to be left alone to live as we choose, or in the words of the mythical John Galt:
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
That statement does not mean that I will not be charitable and help others with my talents, my gifts and my service – because that is commanded of me by God, but it does mean that I will resist being compelled to do so that the point of coercion by a tyrannical government. The “progressive” movement altered that equation, not me.
Collectivism cannot be asked of an entire national population as big and ideologically diverse as ours. It occurs to me that this is why the Tenth Amendment is so important to providing a resolution and deserves more respect from our courts and our politicians. These fights should be happening at the state level, not the national level.
Wisdom. The Founders had it. We would do well to listen and understand their brilliance.