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Evils of Equality

 

“Freedom is life’s great lie. Once you accept that, in your heart, you will know peace.”—Not Bernie Sanders but you’d be hard pressed to find a place where he disagrees with this idea.

So I’m sure we’re all tired of Bernie and his cult of stupid praising equality.  They’re quite an illiterate bunch. I call them illiterate because if he had ever picked up a book he might have had the chance to see the obvious evil of equality. Bradbury, Huxley, Orwell, and of course most beautifully Vonnegut in “Harrison Bergeron” show the clear dehumanizing nature of equality. Further these idiots have clearly been living in caves as I know everything from The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Star Trek back in the day to episodes of the Simpsons—not to mention a slew of movies have also dealt with how equality is really a terrible thing (and I mean movies of quality not just whatever the latest teen dystopia is). But for those of you who might not be sure why I’m suggesting equality is terrible let me explain.

As an English teacher by day I like to make sure we all have the same definition going in when we discuss something, so let us begin with a quick definition:

equality: noun, the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities

But that really doesn’t help us now does it?  Except in giving us the idea that things that have equality are essentially the same thing. This is why we have to break down equality into lots of different categories such as potential, rights, under the law, access to opportunities, abilities, and results. (Yeah I’m going to cover all of those.)calvin-coolidge-quotes.jpg

Now not all equality is bad, because in many ways we are perfectly equal. For instance we are all equal in our potential. We all have the potential to reach into that part of ourselves that is part of God.  In a more immediate sense we all have the potential to make our lives, and possibly this world, a better place than we found it (but again not everyone lives up to that potential).

We are equal in our natural rights. By definition we are beings with bodies, reason, free will, and souls. Because we have bodies we have the right to life, because without that right we could not use any of those other things we have. Because we have reason and free will we all have the right to liberty so long as it does not infringe upon the liberty of anyone else. Because we have souls we not only have a right but a moral obligation to pursue our Happiness because that is what we are made for. Wrapped up in the pursuit of Happiness while in this world is liberty but also the right to property to see the effort of our labor made manifest. We are all equal in these rights. No one has a greater natural right to liberty than another…although if you prove to be a danger to those around you, for the safety of everyone you can lose your right to liberty.

And because of the nature of government it must be enforced that we are all equal under the law. That the writing and enforcement of the law cannot, must not, favor one group over another. If we didn’t enforce strict equality under the law (which by the way we don’t with such wonderful ethical violations as Affirmative Action, and the DOJ’s current racist enforcement of voting rights laws) the system would be by definition corrupt.

And then there is this tricky one about access to opportunities. This is where equality stops. When conservatives and libertarians talk about equal access to opportunity they are speaking about something we are all equal in regards to. We all have a right to seek opportunities that will lead to our happiness, and while we don’t have this in real life because of the government, we do have the natural right to seek any job, any profession, any piece of property and try to achieve them. However, since we do not have a right to getting these things, only the equal right to pursue getting them, some of us will not achieve our pursuit. And in this respect individuals are not equal. Some will find success/happiness in the opportunities, some will not. And that is a fact of reality.

These are all things we are equal in because they all deal with potential. We all have these rights to do things as we choose, but notice nothing is guaranteed to us; we have to work for every end. Only means are rights not ends.*

Liberals, however, when they mention equality of opportunity they think of something else. They think of the evil which I spoke of in the first paragraph. When they say everyone should have access to the same opportunities, they don’t think with the addendum that conservatives do “so long as you have worked for them.” Do you want to have a pay check, a better job, a life-style where you can take 2 months, or a year off? Conservatives want you to have those things, so long as you work for them. Liberals just want to skip that little work point and just say you should have the opportunity to live that kind of life. To hell with whether you’ve earned it.

And that’s the problem with equality of results. It denies that people have to earn things; that they just have to be given things. And while the pragmatic problem is that when a government gives people things you have to steal them from others which is evil in and of itself, it reduces the incentives to actually produce. This is why communist and socialist nations produce less, because there is no incentive to produce more–only capitalism produces that. Don’t believe me, look at pictures of any Soviet breadline, then, go take a look at how many types of bread you have to choose from at the local Safeway.

But aside from the pragmatics that guaranteeing equality of results doesn’t work there is an inherent evil in equality of ends. First off people are not equal. One person is smarter, one stronger, one a better painter, one a great accountant, another a great teacher, another a great writer, another a great parent. People have different talents. Most of have two or three things we’re good at. A rare few are exceptional in multiple fields. A rare few are gifted in almost nothing. But each of us has different skills. Now while we all have our purpose on this Earth, it does not mean all of us will fulfill that to our fullest potential. And to treat everyone as if their gifts were all the same is to deny that which makes us good. To say we all get paid the same, or have equal rights to healthcare, states that your gifts and talents and efforts and character are worth the same as the most talentless, ungifted, lazy jerk. And that’s exactly what equality of ends is endorsing. It says that the most pathetic excuse of a human being is worth the same as you. It is to say that the person who has turned their back on making the world a better place should receive the same as the person who strives to use all their gifts to their fullest potential. It is to say that there is no difference between those who choose the best in ourselves and work to that end and those who fall to the worst in ourselves and work to no end but destruction.

You cannot bring the worst of us up to the level of the best of us unless they choose to bring themselves up to that level. Thus to say that everyone, without qualification, deserves the same payment, healthcare, means you deserve the same rewards, healthcare, place in society. Equality says you are worth no more than the most lazy, illogical, uneducated person in the world. Is that right? No it’s evil. Only by embracing the best within us and rewarding that, do we acknowledge that there is a difference between the best and worst within us. (And you’ll notice that those best among us then offer more opportunities through personal charity to others to let them shine as well). The only way to establish equality is to destroy those of skill and gifts because otherwise they would be a reminder to those who do not have those skills and gifts that they are not equal (go read Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”)…equality means that no one should be more special than any other or shine out from the crowd (go read Huxley’s Brave New World)…it means you cannot exercise your liberty because the full use of liberty means you might be different and better (go read 1984). Equality in the way liberals mean it is slavery.

Yes we need equality under the law, equality of rights, equality to pursue our dreams because we are humans. But that which makes us human allows us to progress at different rates, which by definition means an inequality of results. And to go against that is to go against what makes us human. It is an evil that denies the best within us.

*Liberals will of course bring up handicaps here.  Guess what real handicaps didn’t stop Keller, Hawking, or Reeves, humans have potential because of their soul and their brain and for the vast majority of people with handicaps we have no problem making legitimate accommodations when people legitimately have something that is out of the norm that might offer a small stumbling block to them demonstrating the full potential of their mind.  As for mental handicaps, well we as a society take care of those who literally can’t take care of themselves—it’s an incredibly small group and this minuscule exception doesn’t actually challenge the idea of rights and equality of opportunity being more important than equality of results.

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Filed under Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Individualism, Uncategorized

Conservative Values versus a myriad of extremists

A government professor of mine once stated that all governments were a balance between three different values: Equality, Order, and Liberty. No one value can be pursued without cost to the other two. The ideal society would actually be the one that keeps these three points in balance. However, as we look around modern parties and political movements, the logic of balance seems nowhere to be found.

Four Cardinal Virtues

Individual have the 4 cardinal virtues: Temperance, Moderation, Justice, Fortitude…but these are the basis for the three political virtues: liberty, equality, order. They all have to work together or not at all.

Liberals, socialists and progressives seek equality at the cost of order and liberty finally reaching their ideal society, a Communistic state where everyone is equal but in the end utterly worthless as equality requires none be higher than others, thus all talent, all incentives, and all goals have been destroyed leaving society to collapse before the equally unimpressive slaves that it has created. In a state where all are equal there can be no order because power cannot be vested (even through law) in another thus nothing can keep law and civil society together thus at best everything is merely slave to the whim of the herd (law by the same methods created reality TV)…and there can be no liberty, as liberty leads to exceptionalism, and no one can be better than anyone else

The growing fascist movements of Greece, the tyranny of Vladimir Putin, and the vile wretchedness of Islamofascism value order above all else. But for there to be complete order there can be no liberty because if people can choose for themselves, they will sometimes choose wrong and this inevitably leads to some level of chaos, some crime, some disorder. And in the ordered state there can be no equality, as equality requires that all are subject to rules, and for the ordered state to work no one can watch the watchers because they are the final authority, otherwise there is no way to control and maintain order.

Libertarians and anarchists view liberty as the end all be all of all politics. But where there is perfect freedom there can be no equality, even before the law, because there can be no law if there is nothing but license to do whatever you want. And there can be no order in the fully liberated state as the law who would hold back those who do not recognize the rights of others cannot exist.

And finally populists don’t particularly view any of these as all that important. Yes populists want equality when someone is doing better than them, which is why businesses and businessmen are evil and need to be reined in…but they strangely don’t care about equality when they’re doing better, which is why even Ron Paul brought back millions in pork to his district. They care about liberty, for themselves…but for anyone else, eh, it’s not that important. And order is important, so long as it’s in my general vicinity, enforced by me, and I don’t care if it’s not in my line of sight. (And please understand why I have been hitting the populists posing as conservatives a lot lately, your average Democratic voter has always been a populist. Their activists and politicians maybe progressives, but the voters are populists who just care about their entitlements and what will be given to them).

Meanwhile there is the real conservative viewpoint. That these three virtues of a society must be held in careful balance. That the extreme of any one of these because a dystopian nightmare (Liberty, Order, Equality…Lord of the Flies, 1984, Harrison Bergeron…or for the less well read, Mad Max, Hunger Games, Divergent…or if you prefer history, Somalia, Nazi Germany, Revolutionary France). That a society without these three to guide them is just as bad as one where only one is followed (I’d give an example but modern politics seems to be it and the last few years of Rome seem to be the only places dumb enough to try such an abhorrent idea in practice). Only the society that balances these forces is a prosperous one.

So what is the guiding star of conservatism that makes it so different from these other ideologies? Well, not to sound like a dozen other blogs on this site but the answer is once again, Aristotle.

Aristotle, for all his flawed understanding of politics (give the man a break, there wasn’t much reliable history to work with in the 4th century B.C. and you can’t expect him to have prescience of what was to come) understood that in politics, as with ethics, it is not a question of ends or means, but a question of ends and means. Those who value equality or order only value an end of making everyone equal or making everything peaceful. Those who value liberty only value the means of liberty not the result of what such anarchy brings. Only balancing both ends and means work.

And Aristotle saw the correct end to focus on. The end to all human life is Happiness. And society, family, education must all be structured to ensure Happiness for the greatest number of people. Now because Happiness requires freedom of choice and personal growth, not everyone will reach happiness no matter what a government/family/society does, but it requires liberty and the ability to exercise free will. But because Happiness requires some ability to plan and control your own life, it requires order to some degree. And because the point is to provide Happiness (or the opportunity to pursue Happiness) for the most people as all are equally human and equally deserving at birth of achieving Happiness. None of these on their own can lead to Happiness, and all must work together.

And this is why other belief systems don’t work; they’re not aimed at Happiness.

For instance look at misnamed “social conservatives” (Progressives for Jesus might be a better way to put it). They keep saying that the point of marriage is to have children. As if having children is an end in itself.   And they keep bringing this up as a reason why they opposed gay marriage. Now there are good reasons to get rid of marriage as a legal concept (and replace it with legal civil unions and let religion handle marriage without government interference) but it is not just the Progressive mentality here to have the government take control of everything. It is the missed sense of what the end of things are. They view the family as a means to creating another family. The family, society, everything in the view has no purpose but to serve itself. You have to have marriage to create children. You have to raise children so they lead lives where they get married. They get married to have children…over and over again. There is no point to the individual life (unless you want to get into some bizarre servitude to God, which views God as a master and the individual the slave…but no serious reading of any sane religion even comes close to that.) This is why social conservatives tend to be not only bad at politics but their own religion. Social conservatives should go back and read their Aquinas who makes it clear that “the principal end of matrimony, namely the good of the offspring” and that “the secondary end of matrimony, which is the mutual services which married persons render one another in household matters.” Notice how in the second point it is the betterment of each other (i.e. the individual’s happiness) that is the point of marriage. Just as every social institution is supposed to place the Happiness of the individual as a goal. Parents should be concerned with teaching their children the knowledge, ethics, and character that will allow them to be happy adults. Schools and other societal organizations should be focused on encouraging people to be the best they can be with the goal being individual Happiness. Social conservatives’ problem, like all progressives, is they think society is the end goal, it is not; the good of individual is the goal.

Then you have Libertarians who don’t even consider ends and just, like good Kantian idiots, look at means. And liberty is the only mean they care about. Oh they may say that freedom leads to individual Happiness, but they ignore that just because the exercise of free will is necessary it is not sufficient. (Just as Milton Friedman said that “History suggests only that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition.”) Let’s take a look at what sometimes appears to be the only thing that libertarians think about: The War on Drugs. Okay, I will concede that the War on Drugs has been handled idiotically. I will concede that if a person should be able to use drugs in the privacy of their own home if they’re not hurting anyone. I concede that the power to prosecute the War on Drugs has led to massive costs and an intolerable level of corruption in the name of the War on Drugs. But in all this the libertarians fail to admit some very simple things. They act like the people who take drugs are all just innocent little lambs who are the victims of an unjust police power. prison violent

nonviolent

Oh, look it would appear that as incarceration went up crime went down…shocker.

Let me set the record straight: They’re criminals (whether they get caught and convicted or not, they’re criminals). They have the mentality that the rules of society, their long term well-being, and how their actions may hurt others are of absolutely no concern to them so long as they get a moment of pleasure. At best that is vilely hedonistic, at worst it has a bit of a sociopath in it. Libertarians like to pretend that you have otherwise innocent drug users in one group, and in another you have real criminals. And that the fact that we have a massive prison population proves that this War on Drugs needs to end. The problem is that you don’t have two different groups; you have a Venn diagram where criminals and drug users are often one in the same. Libertarians like to point to the increasing prison population, but they always conveniently forget that as prison populations go up violent and non-violent crime go down. They ignore that often drugs are used to put dangerous criminals away when other more serious charges don’t have as much admissible evidence. So there are benefits to the War on Drugs. But not willing to admit that drops in the murder, rape, theft rates is a good thing, libertarians only care about the liberty to do drugs.   They don’t advocate that we should focus more on the cartels, the gang distributors, and legalize personal home use (all things which would still probably round up the worst real criminals while not hurt the people who can actually handle personal use)…no they have to argue that we should just legalize all drugs. No concern for order, just liberty…and no Happiness for anyone.

The other difference between libertarians, Progressive for Jesus**, and real conservatives. Unlike Libertarians, conservatives understand that laws do need to be structured not just to protect rights but to encourage habits that will typically lead to a healthy society and Happiness in individuals (for instance unless we switch to a flat tax having tax credit for charity; the fact that we can’t just get rid of civil union side of marriage, and that we do need a safety net of some kind***; providing minimum standards for education to make sure all students receive a basic minimum of education) but unlike the Progressive for Jesus we must do so in a way that limits (or at least poses as few limits as possible) to the good that liberty provides (deciding what counts as a marriage and what doesn’t, when gay marriage provides the same benefits; spending money and resources checking on what people do in private that hurts no one; dictating what to include content wise in education; etc.).

Being consistently conservative is difficult. It requires balancing numerous issues of the needs of individuals, the long term good of society, Liberty, Order, Equality. And it’s a constantly shifting point because what creates that balance in one era may be totally unbalanced in another. Proper government needs to be directed toward the Happiness of individuals. It needs to balance our needs for liberty, order, and equality. When it does not do these things it creates bad laws. And it is so easy to get lost in caring only about your own want (populists) or one of the political virtues at the expense of the others. Right now we need a lot more liberty, but we cannot forget that it is the balance and the good of society and the individual that is our true goal—not just liberty for the sake of liberty.

Of course none of this is really new…the people who real conservatives look toward as a guide post made it quite clear that liberty, or order (tranquility, defense), or equality (justice, general welfare) were all equal political virtues that had to be held in balance of each other…

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Did we forget we're conservatives and we want to limit the power of the federal government?

*Now I know that I have heard some people have claimed that the FBI is merely shading the numbers—that they’re not counting things the same way to make things look better than they are. I’ve heard that claim from LOTS of people. But you know what I find interesting, I can’t find that claim on any think tank. None. Liberal. Conservative. Libertarian. Nobody. You would think that conservatives would have hit Clinton or Obama for skewing the data, or liberals would have hit Bush. But nobody seems to questions the FBI’s stats…nor is there any jump that you would see if you changed the criteria, it’s a slow progression. So either everybody and I mean everybody, is on a massive conspiracy to slowly skew the crime numbers, or crime really has been dropping.

**You thought I wasn’t serious, but I am. I am using that from now on.

***Libertarians, before you yell at me that we need to get rid of welfare entirely, please remember that Friedman and Hayek both said we need a safety net because having people in real poverty (the kind you see in the third world) creates people who seriously have the choice of steal or die, at which point it becomes a need for them to steal and as we all know from the example of Jean Valjean, utterly unjust to punish them.

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Filed under Aristotle, Capitalism, Conservative, Constitution, Happiness, Long Term Thinking, philosophy, politics

Rick Santorum’s Perverted View of America

“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”—Thomas Jefferson (Notice the use of the singular “mind” and “man”…if he had meant society he would have said “minds of men” but rather this is a statement against tyranny over even a single individual…yes he was a little lax on fulfilling that depending on the complexion of the individual in question…but I’m going for a philosophical concepts here, not the fact Jefferson had personal issues.)

So  uber-liberal and Christian Sharia supporter Rick “I will trample every freedom history has ever known to establish my theocracy” Santorum seem to be back in the press with a new book and vain desire to be the center of attention.  Now while I comb over some of his newer garbage and lies it might be helpful to remember why Rick Santorum is literally the walking embodiment of everything wrong with the Republican party, the reason we lose elections, the reason we have driven away libertarians and moderates, and the godsend of liberals and progressive everywhere.

Putting the “Fun” back into psychotic fundamentalism

So let’s take a look at Rick Santorum’s older book, It takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good:

“It wasn’t a freedom that celebrated the individual above society. It wasn’t a freedom that gave men and women blanket permission to check in and out of society whenever they wanted. It wasn’t the freedom to be as selfish as I want to be. It wasn’t even the freedom to be left alone, with no obligations to the people we know and to the people we don’t yet know. The Constitutional Convention’s freedom, American’s traditional freedom–or the better word, as I defined it earlier, liberty–was a selfless freedom, freedom for the sake of something greater or higher than the self. For our founders, this liberty was defined and defended in the context of our Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity. Often, in fact, American liberty meant the freedom to attend to one’s duties–duties to God, to family, and to neighbors. Our founders were in the business of constructing a nation, a political community. No-Fault Freedom, a freedom from every tie and duty, provides no basis for that project: it is a principle of division and social deconstruction.” (44)

Okay this is perhaps more frightening than anything I have seen Obama say.  Granted Obama’s actions are those of a petty banana republic dictator trying to create a fascist state…but he’s an idiot and doesn’t do it well.  Most notably he can’t come out and defend his statist collectivist views.  But here we have Rick Santorum doing that very articulately.

Let’s take this monstrous evil apart bit by bit.

It wasn’t a freedom that celebrated the individual above society.

 

Yes the Founding Fathers believed in none of that tripe that said individuals “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Oh wait.  Notice how liberty is joined with the pursuit of Happiness.  Happiness (capital H) is an Aristotelian concept that an individual has reached the completion and fulfillment of their life through the expression of personal virtue, not through the collectivist service to virtue that Santorum suggests here.  A society cannot pursue Happiness, only an individual can.  A society cannot have a right to life, only an individual can.  But, Santorum wants you to believe that Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin who worked on the first draft put a social right in between two individual ones.  And if you believe that one I have a lovely bridge to sell you.   Further, pursuit of Happiness is an expansion of John Locke’s right to property (his original rights were the right to life, liberty and property and no one in their right mind ever thought Locke was talking about social rights not individual one).  If, as Santorum dishonestly suggests, the Founders held society above the individual then that would mean the right to pursue Happiness as a more evolved idea of property, was only for society, which would mean that property should only be held by society and not the individual….and you wonder why I consider Santorum a filthy socialist?

And of course the Founders held the good of society above the good of the individual.  Which is none of them ever broke any of the laws that were for the good society for personal gain—so long as you ignore that John Hancock made a fortune as a smuggler.  And if you put the good of society ahead above the individual then you would see the need to pay off the debts incurred by a massive war fought partly to defend you from the French and not complain about the numerous taxes levied to pay off that debt…oh wait no they would rather risk “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” than pay those taxes.  By the way Rick, honor is also a personal virtue.

Notice also some of their complaints

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

All of those are actions by the British Government attempting to bring about the “public good” but at the expense of personal liberties.  Notice Rick, how the individual is not being sacrificed for the good of the whole by the Founding Fathers.

Notice also phrases like “To secure the public good and private rights” from Federalist 10 by Madison, which seems to place the individual on equal, not subservient, value to the public good…you know kind of like how Christ put the individual on equal footing to everyone else when he quoted Leviticus and said “Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.”  Ignorant, and evil, collectivists like Santorum also seem to miss the second part.  But I shouldn’t expect someone as zealously passionate about his religion to actually read the book they claim to follow.

It wasn’t a freedom that gave men and women blanket permission to check in and out of society whenever they wanted.

As Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington did quite often.  And stop me if I’m wrong but wasn’t America founded by people who wanted to check out of society and start a new one, wasn’t this nation founded by people who wanted to check out of the society of Great Britain, wasn’t westward expansion driven by rugged individuals who wanted to check out of society and go west (which was, last time I checked part of the Founding Father’s vision).

 It wasn’t the freedom to be as selfish as I want to be.

Which I’m sure is why Jefferson said “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”  It might be easy to assume Jefferson held the attitude to all private actions that didn’t hurt anyone.

Or try this one from their contemporaries Adam Smith

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”

Selfishness is what defines human progress.  But Santorum wants to think in the very plebian and uneducated way of sin and virtue.  Selfishness and Selflessness.  It shows that he had done little to any study of the philosophy of the Founding Fathers, nor does he know anything about his own Catholic doctrines…as study in either would lead him back to Aristotle who saw each virtue to have two vices not one (but you know when I looked up Santorum’s education, it came from the Dickenson School of Law, named after John Dickenson, a man so morally bankrupt that he is the only person who had the chance to sign both The Declaration of Independence AND The Constitution AND refused to sign both.  It’s good to see Santorum is keeping up with that legacy of opposing what is right and good and true).  But back to Aristotelian virtue.  It is not a choice between selfish and selfless it a choice between the virtue of rational self-interest and the vices of narcissism and selflessness.  Rational self-interest is where one puts ones needs, wants, and desires first but not at the expense of others, where one’s rights are on equal foot with the rights of others, and where we treat others with compassion, not just because we have the duty to them, but because it makes us feel good.  Santorum confuses selfishness, caring about your own concerns, with narcissism where you care ONLY about you and damn how others are affected by your actions (one might say this is the behavior of a sociopath, but even most high-functioning sociopaths take the needs of others into consideration as a means to their ends…so it’s hard to find a lot of examples of this particular evil.  Most evils in the world are caused more by short sightedness and ignorance, not by narcissism).  Strangely however, Santorum’s constant grabs for power at the expense of civilization itself if he ever got power is miraculously excluded.

 It wasn’t even the freedom to be left alone, with no obligations to the people we know and to the people we don’t yet know.

I think he is trying to pervert Edmund Burke’s definition of society (and by extension) as “a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”  But a partnership is not an obligation.  The partnership Burke spoke of was to not view government as a joint stock company like short sighted East India Trading Company he had to deal with (the GM of it’s time) which was designed only to make a quick buck, what he was talking about was that society and law should be made with the long term good in mind.  That we should not solve our problems by heaping problems on future generations.  But if it is trying to pervert Burke he forgets that Burke was probably America’s chief proponent in Britain of our argument to King George III and Parliament that said we have a God-given right to be left alone when we choose so and our only obligation to you, our parent country and society, is to “hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.”

There are however no “obligations” or “duties” in this, only the basic ethics to not intentionally harm others (i.e. future generations) but we have no obligations other than the ethical injunction to not maliciously and unjustly harm others.  Yes our Happiness depends on maintaining healthy friendships, but our Happiness is a duty only to ourselves. We are the ends of our own life, not the means for which society can use to achieve it’s ends.

It is the freedom to be left alone.  Who the hell does this man thinks made this nation?  A bunch of people who just sat in society and always worked in it or those who constantly moved west when they got tired of society.  Don’t like society, move to America.  Don’t like the first colonies’ society, move West.  Don’t like the colonies society, cross the Appalachians.  Not thrilled with the society of the new Union, cross the Mississippi. So on and so on.  Don’t like the state you live in, move to another. Don’t like the way things are done, create something new.

Oh and I hate to make this observation, but I have never in my life known a person with an IQ over 110 who doesn’t long for at least some point of each day where they have the freedom to be left alone, who doesn’t want time with their own thoughts…who wouldn’t yearn for days to be left alone if not longer…what does it say about a man who not only doesn’t want that freedom, doesn’t understand it, but actually wants to outlaw it?

The Founders would have agreed with their contemporary Adam Smith that our obligation is to ourselves and to reason because through these two things naturally develop empathy and compassion…and without a rational self-interest there can be no empathy, compassion or ethical behavior.  And I don’t think there was enough short sighted idiocy in all 13 colonies to make them agree with this disgrace of an American named Santorum.

The Constitutional Convention’s freedom, American’s traditional freedom–or the better word, as I defined it earlier, liberty–was a selfless freedom, freedom for the sake of something greater or higher than the self.

Yes, they were after something higher than one person: property and property rights.  And the Happiness of the individual.

I don’t know how selfless it was, as it was very much for the defense of personal property and the right to shoot anyone, be they an individual or a tyrannical government, who dared think they could take your hard earned property…but it was for something greater because they knew that if you could not control your own fate through work, property and achievement there could be no Happiness.

But this man clearly doesn’t believe in Happiness…no, like a good little Kantian he only believes in duty and obligation.  (Please, remember that Kant is the philosophical basis for Communism and Nazism).

 For our founders, this liberty was defined and defended in the context of our Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity.

Could someone please tell me what Judeo-Christian values are?

Would that be the Enlightenment/Thomist-Aristotlian view each person was personally responsible for themselves.  Perhaps the Puritan/Protestant view that salvation of self was a personal matter and that each person is saved or damned based only on their own merits as an individual.  Couldn’t be the Unitarian view that Franklin and both John and Abigail Adams had that took that Protestant view of individual relationship to God even further and saw it not only as personal but private as well.

Perhaps it might be the in line with the view of the Bill of the Rights of Englishmen that more or less implied that since we can’t possibly know the mind of God we’re not going to legislate in such a way that suggests one religion is more right over another….you know one of those British things that the Founding Fathers actually wanted to continue.  Shame you don’t want to continue that Rick.

Might it be that Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity that a Catholic like you should know, that of St. Thomas Aquinas, who in the Summa Theologica stated that “human law does not prohibit every vice from which virtuous men abstain, but only the more serious ones from which the majority can abstain, especially those that harm others and which must be prohibited for human society to survive such as homicide, theft and the life.”  Hmm…even Thomas Aquinas seems to recognize the importance of personal property rights (and this was still before the only ethical means of economic dealing, laissez-faire capitalism, had really been codified in both law and practice)…shame a man from 1200 is centuries ahead of Rick Santorum (but frankly people in 500 BCE were centuries ahead of Santorum).

Often, in fact, American liberty meant the freedom to attend to one’s duties–duties to God, to family, and to neighbors.

No you have a duty to yourself.  If we are made in God’s image then there is nothing higher we can serve than our self, our reason and intellect which makes us the equals of God if we choose to use them, our free will which according to the Christianity you claim to follow is something no other being in existence has been given.  Yes, if we are being true to ourselves, our reason and our will we will be compassionate and kind to others and wish them the best and help them when we can, but because “love [them] as we love [ourselves]” not because “we love them more than we love ourselves” (I seem to not remember that little distinction in the Bible).

 

Duty, a fascinating word.  As in duty based ethics.  The ethical system of fascists and communists everywhere.  Thank God the Founding Fathers were versed in logical people like Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke and Adam Smith who recognized that it was self interest that caused people to be good and the goal of society to provide the tools to become a good person if they choose to be (but never forcing a person who is not harming others to be something that they do not choose to be)—they thankfully never gave into the evils that the word duty has created other the course of history.

Sad they didn’t have the DSM-IV around yet…they could have also looked up Dependent personality disorder.  (Which is pretty much the opposite of a narcissistic personality disorder, which is apparently what Santorum thinks anyone has if they have even the smallest concern for their own well-being).

 Our founders were in the business of constructing a nation, a political community.

This is perhaps the only correct sentence in this quote.  Of course the Founders thought of it as one joined together by mutual consent rather than forced upon people.  A society of individuals joined in common cause, not a group of slaves with duties to carry out.

No-Fault Freedom, a freedom from every tie and duty, provides no basis for that project: it is a principle of division and social deconstruction.

I will not disagree that people are often at their best when they are involved in society and working to better it (there are of course numerous exceptions, which Santorum might have heard about if he ever actually read something)…but it only yields something good for everyone when it is done by choice with the goal of personal fulfillment being equal or higher than the wanting to do good for others.

The point of society is to produce the highest good and the highest good is personal individual Happiness.  Granted the best society is the one that allows (not brings, because Happiness can only be achieved, never given) for the most people to reach that Happiness…but that Happiness can only be achieved in a society free of preposterous concept of duty…individuals are good by nature and choose freely to help others, they do not need moral obligations to enslave them to do so.  Rick Santorum fails to realize this, and fails to realize everything that is good in this nation.

***

British historian Lord Acton observed, “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought.”

What Santorum insanely proposes here is that “Liberty is not the right to do what our reason tells us we ought, but the obligation to be enslaved to invented obligations to one man’s narrow definition of God and to everyone else in society of others. “

Which sounds like one the Founding Father’s actually supported…and which one do you think Adams, Hamilton, Washington, and Jefferson would be drawing lots as to who got to shoot Ricky for treason?

This man and his vile beliefs is everything wrong with the Republican party.  It is not conservative, but it taints the banner of conservatism by claiming to be so.

 

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Filed under Conservative, Happiness, Rick Santorum

Why modern liberalism is Evil.

Let me first clarify my use of the word “evil.”  As a New Ager I believe that every single soul in the universe will one day reach enlightenment and be welcomed into heaven. Don’t try and list off really evil people in history because they too will, one day, make it back to God. So my belief is that people aren’t evil, they can be very ignorant of what they’re doing, but they themselves and their souls are not evil. But I do classify their actions as evil. I classify such actions as Evil when their actions not only delay their own return to enlightenment, but also hurt the progression of others, whether the act is malicious or well-intentioned…

…So to my liberal friends out there: I’m insulting your idiotic beliefs, not you.

Okay, so we’ve got that out of the way, why is modern liberalism evil? Doesn’t liberalism support equal rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness for all humanity, democratic republicanism, the rule of law over force, and all are equal before the law and all that stuff? No, you’re thinking of Classical Liberalism, a philosophy which is at the heart of the Enlightenment and American Revolution. Modern conservatism and modern liberalism are both out growths of Classical liberalism. Philosophically modern conservatism is more of Classical Liberalism’s heir (in practice it sadly falls a little short), modern liberalism is Classical Liberalism’s idiot bastard child.

Why? you ask. After all, as a friend of mine recently said:

“As a Democrat, I support social welfare programs — that’s not ‘babysitting the populace.’ I think that government has a responsibility to provide programs for those in need.”

burn-books-ban-music-hate-blacks-murder-gays-become-symbol-of-hope-and-freedome-che-guevara-300x225

And it should come as no shock that this butcher is a hero to modern liberals.

Isn’t that a good thing? Wanting to help those in need? It seems so good?…And yet, it is evil. And let me explain why.(And I’m not attacking my friend in particular, I’m pretty sure almost every liberal in America would agree with that statement in its entirety).

Let’s look closely at the 2nd sentence in that statement (mostly because the first sentence is self-contradictory).

The government has a responsibility to provide programs for those in need.

There are three key terms in this sentence: Responsibility, Provide, and Need. We’ll deal with each one separately

The Responsibility of Government

What is the responsibility of government? Well if you listen to Classical Liberalism and modern conservatives who have their heads screwed on correctly, government is there to do things. Protect your rights and do those things which only a force as large as government can. What are your rights? The classic list is Life, Liberty, Property/Pursuit of Happiness. What does it mean to protect these things? Does it mean the government should stop me from eating that Big Mac because that will cause a cholesterol build up which will one day lead to my death? Nope. Protection means to protect you from others forcibly destroying your life or liberty. Through this the government has a responsibility to create a military to protect you from outside sources, and a police force (FBI, State Police, Highway Patrol, Sheriffs, and Local Police) and a court system for internal threats. They are there to stop others from taking things away from you.

Notice in this understanding of government’s responsibility they are not giving you anything. You were born with life and liberty it’s just no one can rightfully take it away from you without justification.

The second issue is things that only something as large as government can tend to. Things like standards. Weights, measurement, currency, laws for conducting business, highway and streets (because they all need to be standardized, although upkeep and repair should be at least contracted out if not privatized).These things need to be standardized because without them you have about zero chance of pursing happiness successfully. For instance one of things government has a right to do is standardize what is and isn’t legal banking practices so that everyone is keeping their books in the same way and thus everyone (and by everyone I primarily mean mainly stockholder and potential stockholders) can make sure everything is proper and the system is working and not lying/cheating/taking advantage. Our government chooses to not partake in this responsibility—I say this because the banking practices on sub-prime loans of which all the banks currently are still engaging in by government directive, which were designed by Congress to effectively destroy the market (even if that wasn’t their intent), were and still are very legal. That’s right it’s legal to do something that will cause economic collapse. But does Congress rewrite the laws? No. It would rather discuss your right to health care (which does not exist).

And herein is where the evil lies in that. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are things you are born with and that no one gives to you. Health care is something that is given to you. Why is this evil? Because, it is an insult to the value of humanity. The human soul is an end unto itself, completely capable through its work and mind of providing everything it needs for itself. It’s a concept called free will. To say that something must be given to you (aside from the rights granted by your Creator), that you are not capable of getting it for yourself means two things. You are not complete and have insufficient power to live a whole life, and that whoever does provide this for you does have that power. Traditionally the relationship is called that of the master and slave…and in the scenario of the modern liberalism, government is not playing the role of slave (which it should be).To say that government has a responsibility to provide anything perverts the concept of a right, it perverts the concept of government which should be used as a shield against the irrational forces which choose not to recognize your God given rights, but rather into the driving force that makes your life complete. It subordinates your will to the will of government…to the will of the party, the leader (what’s the German word for “leader”?), or the will of Big Brother.

What the Government should provide?

Well nothing is the obvious answer if you read the previous paragraphs. But there is another reason why the government providing anything is just plain evil. To provide something means the government has to get it from somewhere. Where does it get the money to operate? Taxes. Now we don’t pay our taxes out the goodness of our heart. If we are rational we pay for what the government should be doing because we recognize government is a necessary evil that requires funds to operate to protect us…That accounts for about 10 cents of every dollar the government collects. We pay the other 90 cents because the government has guns and prisons and thieves called the IRS who will go into your bank account and just take it without your permission.(Anyone else miss the good old days of Robin Hood and the American Revolution, when we knew what to do with tax collectors?).

But it’s not just their theft and extortion that’s evil. Back to health care. Notice what’s implied by the concept of you have a right to health care. That means a doctor has to treat you, whether you will pay them or not. If it’s an absolute right it can’t be ethically paid for. You don’t pay someone for your liberty or your life?  Do you? No, that would be evil. You can pay someone to protect those things, but you’re not paying them for life or liberty, you have those by being a human, you’re paying them to act as a shield against outside forces that seek to steal those things. So if health care was a Right that you have, it would be unethical or evil to demand payment for it. But if you have the right to demand the services of a doctor or a nurse, or demand the right to a drug that could save your life, what does that mean? It means that the doctor does not have the right to refuse you treatment, payment or no. And if the doctor doesn’t have the right to refuse treatment, the right to demand payment, doesn’t that mean he is a slave. Doesn’t it mean that the drug company and the scientist who came up with the drug are slaves to the person demanding the drug if they don’t have the right to determine what they think is a fair price for the drug.  You may have the right to keep up your health as an extension of your liberty, but you do not have the right to demand someone else look after your health.

I feel I need to make this clear. If the doctor has a right to demand payment for his knowledge and his service then health care must logically be conditional. Rights are not conditional. If health care is a right, then health care providers must logically be slaves. It’s one or the other. Rationally there can be no having health care as a right and not having slaves. Since modern liberalism states health care is a right, logically they are calling for the enslavement of an entire class of people, namely health care providers. Modern liberalism claims lots of things are rights, a livable wage, for instance, but when you run it through logically if it is a right then someone must be forced to provide this right. That person is called a slave.

So that’s twice now that modern liberalism has devalued human life to little more than slavery. Let’s take a look at the third part of the sentence.

Who are those in need?

Those in need—are we talking about those in need of protection from genocidal tyrants? Those in need of defense against a culture that debases women as less than human? Nope. From the context of the sentence it seems we’re talking about people who don’t have enough stuff/money according to our liberal friends. But before we give those in need everything they “need” let’s look at why they’re needy.

“You need only do three things in this country to avoid poverty – finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20. Only 8 percent of the families who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.”

– William Galston, advisor to Bill Clinton.

So I’m not a sociologist here, but using the information provided for us by the Clinton administration, it would seem Five Pillars of Liberal Thoughtthat poverty is primarily caused by making really stupid choices. Taking another look at the statistics, as economist Thomas Sowell loves to point out in just about every book he writes, over half of those people who are below the poverty line are in their 20’s and won’t be below the poverty line in 10 years, having given up their places among the poor to a new set of 20 somethings. So it would seem that most people tend to learn from their youthful mistakes. Who would have thought in a capitalistic system that rewards hard work and intelligence that the stupid and lazy get the shaft.

But the call goes, ‘what about their children! The children of these people who live below the poverty line will never be able to break this cycle.’ To which I say: Bullshit. Every school I have ever worked at full-time could be called “at risk” education. And at every school some of my brightest students were not the children of middle class families, but the children of parents who lived in poverty. They saw how their family lived and they choose to get an education so that wouldn’t be them. The children who repeat the cycle of poverty are those who CHOOSE to not strive, to not learn, to not break the cycle. It is a choice, as the opportunity is always there in a capitalistic system to get out– it has nothing to do with race or gender or religion or your parent’s background. It is a matter of choice. To deny this denies free will,  oh wait there once again we find that to say that people are needy means that we don’t believe they have free will, the responsibility to take the consequences of their choices; once again liberalism has devalued human beings to little more than a mindless thing.

Modern liberalism’s problem is that it devalues the inherent value of human life.  It see personal charity not as something that should be done because it benefits the giver but only as a duty that must be obeyed without.  It sees all

Every person in this picture is an idiot.  Only one of them isn't bright enough to actually leave a mark on history for good or ill.  Guess which one.

Everyone of these people believed in government not liberty…they what we call in the modern day, liberals.

of humanity as either problems to fix or tools to use. But a human being is not a problem or a tool. It is an end unto itself. Only from this perspective can a life have value. Liberalism pushes everyone away from this value through its destruction of free will through its imposition of slavery and through its denial of human value. I’ll be the first to say that history is more than filled with far worse examples of this evil than your modern American liberal, but it is a difference in degree not kind. I will also admit that while this idea pushes people away from any kind of personal growth, it is the person’s choices to follow that philosophy, not the philosophy itself that is at fault for not achieving personal enlightenment. But it is still used as a tool for preventing the progression of many human lives…and in that sense it is absolute evil.

 

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, Individualism, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Tyranny