"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will." ~ Adam Smith
Between Barack and a Hard Place
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1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
Hearing “conservatives” call Obama a socialist is rich. Call them on it. It’s fine and dandy to have a socialist military, socialist roads, socialist police, socialist prisons, socialist judges, socialist airports, socialist railroads, socialist sports stadiums and socialist utility companies. Why as a matter of fact, we’d have chaos if we didn’t have government ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of these important services. The subjugation of individuals to the community’s most popular political gang is required or evil people will exploit the innocent. But by God, we must draw the line when it comes to providing socialist medical care!
Conservatives like to lecture liberals about lacking logic and reason. Liberals like to lecture conservatives about being mean, coldhearted ogres. They just can’t fathom that those uncaring conservatives could really deny medical care to people in need. Conservatives can’t conceive of how irresponsible, thieving liberals could really demand that others pay for their needs. The political process that creates this conflict is supposed to solve it. Bipartisanship is the merging of emotional reactions with circular logic. There is no real debate between conservatives and liberals, just an argument over how to distribute the spoils of the system. Welfare or warfare.
Liberals openly justify taking what they need from producers because they see it as expanding the existing socialist government to be more fair. You know, “The way it is” or “The real world.” At least liberals recognize that it’s just a matter of degree. Everything is relative.
Conservatives have finally said we can’t afford any more welfare. This is a good thing, but conservatives don’t have a leg left to stand on. How do conservatives justify taking money from liberals to pay for their paranoid “defense” needs that include invading and occupying countries around the globe? How do conservatives justify taking money from liberals to build a “homeland” security behemoth? How do they justify paying billions to police to arrest and imprison millions of non-violent people on stupid drug charges? And on and on with energy, adjudication, transportation, communication, education, utilities, banking, space exploration, and now where do they draw the line? At health care? Really? Why?
Conservative and liberal arguments go right by each other in their binary worlds. Conservatives who chant “support the troops” somehow fail to see that the military is the biggest socialist program ever created. It is the original socialist program and the mightiest one by far. Conservatives use the military to justify socialism, seemingly without even realizing it. Liberals ask how much health care could be provided for the $13.5 billion conservatives want to spend on just one new Gerald R. Ford Class aircraft carrier (the price keeps going up as it’s built); a big sitting duck that can be taken out with one missile. Trillions of dollars are spent on the military-industrial complex readying to fight World War II over again against nobody in sight, yet health care for the poor is off the table?
On the most important “need” (of maintaining the most powerful military in the history of the world) we must resort to central planning, a rigid hierarchical structure, the loss of natural rights (human elements), the complete subjugation of individuals to the collective, communal eating and sleeping arrangements and, of course, state ownership of the means of production. Although the invisible hand of the free market can be trusted to provide food, clothing, shelter and even health care, the iron fist of socialism is needed to provide security, dispute resolution, drug distribution, transportation, the production of electricity, etc… Again, why?
So what is it about the production of some goods and/or the provision of some services that make them not only immune to the laws of economics, but turns them upside down? We must use socialism for some things, but can’t use socialism for others because, uh, um, because it has always been that way! Is that all they got? A history of failure, really?
Well, I’m told, it’s because evil people use violence, and competition in a free market for security would lead to a battle between “warlords” ending up with a monopoly run by the strongest evil one. Note this theory assumes that evil warlords will win out over good security companies, revealing a prejudice towards the superiority of evil over good if left to the free market (sound familiar?). But, but, we can’t take the risk that evil will win!
So to keep this from happening, the conservative statist argument goes, we must have a monopoly on violence that can charge consumers whatever price they want and determine the level of service provided; with the power to jail or kill you if you protest either. Using popularity contests to choose the few people who will be given the power to direct these monopolies. What could go wrong? Somehow, now, good will win out over evil when we resort to socialism? Huh!?
Liberals openly justify collectivism as “The way; we have no say.” Submitting mind and body to political gangs because they say “It is so,” apparently gives them peace of mind. The solace of slavery is not the fate of those who truly love liberty. Socialists cower before the towering responsibility of freedom and resort to central authority as a refuge. Monopoly authority somehow personifies the warm, cozy memories of childhood caregivers, making them feel safe. Very natural, submission to authority is.
Conservatives say “Not me; I stand on my own two feet! We only give the collective authority over the individual to protect the individual.” Take away individual rights to protect individual rights. Brilliant! Plant the magic beans of socialism and then be shocked when the beanstalk grows. “Oh, look there’s a giant living at the top so we must fight for limited beanstalks!” So much for principles.
I heard Rush Limbaugh railing against socialism recently when he said, “The problem is the liberals, the socialists, the statists!” This was followed by a short pause which made me wonder, if maybe for just one second, he could see the logical conclusion of what he preaches daily. That if you support the state, you’re a socialist. No matter what fear you want the state to protect you from. Nah, not with half his brain tied behind his back.*
*If you think that this article supports socialist healthcare, please don’t have children.