Thinking about some of the posts and comments on the site from yesterday, I have to wonder if people really understand the concepts of freedom and liberty. There are those who in the words of a former contributor at this site, melfamy (aka Imam Greg), think that:
… 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.
I’m not picking on Mr. Cobb, I just think that this quote (the understood American Idol and Kardasian sarcasm notwithstanding) is so telling.
So what does that mean? What are the “mundane things” that government is allowed to “take care of” and how much do we hand over to it?
Therein lays the line of demarcation between those of us who believe in capitalism and a constrained government and people like Imam Greg, Professor Progressive, the Communist Crustacean and Komrade Karl, people who believe socialism and in more government.
To be fair, Komrade Karl actually believes that socialism creates a totally free society where each individual is entirely and completely equal because they all work for the betterment of the collective. It is a beautiful concept – but unfortunately a fatally flawed one. It is also a fact that a direct democratic vote in a country of 312,000,000 people is a functional impossibility. We can’t agree in a Senate with only 100 members so can you imagine a national referendum on national highway funding and how those funds are to be distributed and used? Karl also thinks that the elimination of money is a socialist goal, so now think about how difficult it would be to distribute workers to highway projects around the country through some form of managing entity. Chaos.
This is why I maintain that collectivism can only be successful when it is voluntary and in small groups (Joe identified this as being the “cooperative”) – any form of collectivism is simply not scalable to large numbers.
That’s also why collectivists always propose that the “workaround” for this fatal flaw is the creation of an all-encompassing government. The fact of the matter is that there simply can’t be a total dictatorship of the proletariat because there has to be some entity that is created to plan, manage and distribute national output for the imagined “worker’s paradise” to exist.
Once such a governing structure is established, the body politic swings into action – since there must be a prioritization of work based on some criteria, the politics of influence begins as the “needs” of each area are determined…and since one man’s wants are another man’s needs, influence peddling begins. This is why I say that currency is not eliminated in a collectivist society; it just changes from a medium of exchange to a medium of influence. We have spoken of how this works as we quoted F.A. Hayek’s explanation of why the worst get on top in socialist/collectivist socioeconomic systems.
Once the collective attains power through the granting of wishes based on influence, the need for it to be responsive to the proletariat is no more and totalitarianism and autocracy is born.
So, we go back once again to Hayek’s examination of Lenin’s famous question of “Who, Whom?”:
I believe it was Lenin himself who introduced to Russia the famous phrase “who, whom?”– during the early years of Soviet rule the byword in which the people summed up the universal problem of a socialist society. Who plans whom, who directs and dominates whom, who assigns to other people their station in life, and who is to have his due allotted by others? These become necessarily the central issues to be decided solely by the supreme power.
As soon as the state takes upon itself the task of planning the whole economic life, the problem of the due station of the different individuals and groups must indeed inevitably become the central political problem. As the coercive power of the state will alone decide who is to have what, the only power worth having will be a share in the exercise of this directing power. There will be no economic or social questions that would not be political questions in the sense that their solution will depend exclusively on who wields the coercive power, on whose are the views that will prevail on all occasions.
This is an undeniable truth. Collectivism cannot guarantee the ethics or morality of a society any more than capitalism can. A wise man once said:
A corrupt individual is an isolation of corruption; a corrupt government is the institutionalization of it.
Oh, wait – that was me! Maybe not such a wise man but this is true nonetheless. No doubt that Karl would assert that our Republic has the same flaws – but I would respond that those flaws are uniquely allied with the creeping collectivism that has been prosecuted by the progressives over the past 100 years. America is being damned due the the flaws caused by the integration of the very collectivist system that people like Karl want to replace it with. That’s a little like trying to cure a stab wound by stabbing yourself again and again.
The point is that with individual freedom and liberty, we have a choice to associate or disassociate with any facet of a socioeconomic system, corruption included. In a collectivist system, we do not. This is the basis for my assertion that capitalism is the more fair and therefore the more inherently moral system.
As evidenced in Imam Greg’s seminal quote, the root of the issue is that the collectivist defines freedom as “freedom from“, as in freedom from economic risk, from political risk and from social risk. A capitalist defines liberty is as “freedom of“, as in freedom of opportunity, self-determination, liberty. The former requires maximum regulation and control, the latter requires minimum regulation and control. The collectivist confuses safety, security and low risk with liberty, but as we have already proposed, this “security” comes at a cost. We pay for it by surrendering individual liberty to the collective.
In its practical realization, the security of socialism has been historically represented as the enslavement of national populations. It always begins with noble ideals (much as Karl proposes) but it never ends nobly. It usually ends in the oppression of people, then revolution and war…assuming the proletariat has not given away enough of its rights in exchange for the safety and security of its own enslavement.
The historically proven fact is that the only system that has ever guaranteed the individual liberty and prosperity of all of its people has been the capitalist economy and constrained government as represented in the Republic of the United States of America. In the words of Benjamin Franklin when he was queried by Dr. James McHenry as to what form of government was established at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787:
“A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Whether we can keep it is still a relevant question.
13 thoughts on “Taking Care Of Mundane Things”
Your “of and from” comment got me thinking on Jefferson’s letter. Isn’t it odd that that letter was pulled and misconstrued, but his other letters on religion are completely disregarded? It is also pertinent to think that he had a quote (I can’t remember it) that essentially stated a man should be judged by his letters or words……something like that. Maybe B. will know what I’m on about….
Keep it? We already lost it, Boss.
If you can somehow get people like Greg to look past their own selfishness to see that what they ask for empowers govt. to enslave others, you “might” make headway in this struggle. But it is a very, very difficult thing to get the selfish to put others before themselves. If it was easy, we’d ALL be Christians. But even those of us who have accepted Christ struggle to comply with this simplest of commands, so how much harder do you imagine it is for those who neither believe nor see past their own needs?
As for why to cooperative works and the collective doesn’t: you hit on it without shining the light on it. The cooperative works because it is voluntary (small group of like-minded people in willing association). The collective doesn’t because it must always be forced — ALWAYS! It’s that simple.
Thanks for all your help. 🙄
If you would prefer to join the looney-Left in your belief that the world is as you wish it rather than as it is, then — by all means — do so. But if you would rather deal with it as it is, then you need to face the FACT that we lost the Republic a long time ago. If we hadn’t, then the law would still be protecting the rights of ALL individuals — rich, white, etc. alike. But that went the way of the Do-Do bird a long time ago. We live under a modern derivative of fascism — NOT a Republic. This is reality. Deal with it.
Then again, I must deal with reality, as well. So I understand that, as a lover of theater, I am likely talking to the wind. Naturally you live in the land of make-believe, duh! 😉
Um, ring-a-ding-ding, oh slow one: I was referring to my question. Must I talk you you boys as children? I can, you know. I can also shove a rice krispie treat right into your kisser!
Funny, I thought it was we who had to speak to thee as a wee 🙂
I’d love for you to shove your treats right into my kisser, rice krispies and all! 😉
I actually don’t think Karl the Commie DOES believe this….
“…To be fair, Komrade Karl actually believes that socialism creates a totally free society where each individual is entirely and completely equal because they all work for the betterment of the collective…”
His comments have repeatedly stated that he likes the fact that communism rejects the individualist philosophy. He has stated that Socialism / Communism acts by force for “the betterment of the collective”……. and Force is NOT freedom ….. except for the enforcers.
Karl doessn’t believe in equality really …..he believes in Control ….. equality is a Buzz-word he employs to rationalize a system of theft where he believes he will be on the recieving end of Material goods. ( probably because he can’t or won’t compete in the real world now). Remember Marxism is Dialectical Materialism.
Free Market Capitalism and a Constitutional Representative Republic DO work for the Betterment of the Society as a whole …. the increasing standards of living , standards of Medical Knowledge and care and Scientific achievements of the Western Democratic Republics are proof of this. The poverty and death and misery in the Socialist failure States prove their consistant failure.
I agree with Don that Karl believes equality is taking from the producers and giving to the non-producers. This is “fair” in his scheme of things. I also agree with Joe to a certain extent. Karl believes if we were all forced to live just like one another, the producers wouldn’t miss what is taken from them and so we’d all be so much happier … cue the rose peddles, sprinkle the faerie dust, launch a rainbow across the screen … ah, see, collectivism works! NOT!
I can give you a personal example of why “it” doesn’t work in 2013 America.
As I write this I am in Rome, Italy and am enjoying a great 10 day trip over here. Just before I left I had a person that does sub-contract work for my company give me hell because my wife and I take 3 or 4 vacations like this each year. He says it isn’t fair because he can’t afford to go to Wewa more than twice a year for a weekend fishing trip. He said I shouldn’t be able to travel like I do if he isn’t able to do the same. My explanation to him was essentially:
1. I get to work before 6 am everyday and usually work 10 hour days. I can’t get him to show up at 7 am and work 8 hrs daily as he promised to do in order to get the job I hired him for.
2. I don’t smoke or drink (or any of several expensive habits he has) so I actually don’t spend all the income I have made before the next check hits my mailbox. He can’t make it from payday to payday without hitting me up for a “little help”. He has hit me up for a pre-payday loan only to spend hundreds before the weekend is over on a tattoo.
I described a collective to him asked him if he was in one would he totally volunteer his time so the collective would take care of his needs. He asked if he still got taken care of if he didn’t? I told him that I didn’t need to go on after hearing that question.
And the MAIN point he brings up is that……He feels he has the RIGHT to comment on and criticize what You do in your life …. he , Like Karl, believe that they should have the right to tell You what to do…..they mind OTHERS business and excuse their own !!
Marxism-Socialism-Progressivism isn’t hard to understand or Articulte ….. This explanation should be hammered to the Low-Info voters. Socialists basically want to eventually tell you how you listen to your i-pod….and what you listen too…and TAX how much you listen. And eventually tell you ( By LAW and enforcement) everything you can and cannot do.
They would like for the govt to take 100% of what we make and then decide how much of it we should be given back. I guess that is only one step more involved than what IRS does now.
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