Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

09 April 2008

Do You Beat Your Neighbor?

In America today we have a great many citizens who either believe the government should enforce Christian Bible morality or that the leaders of the Nanny State should see to it that the helpless masses are taken care of. These people are now being joined by some who say that American law must be determined by Sharia Law, which is the only true law, the law of Allah. All of these people believe that they are good and kind-hearted people who care greatly about their fellow man, while those who believe in Constitutionally limited government, individual rights, and laissez faire capitalism are monsters who do not give a fig for their fellow man.

I have had this charge leveled against me since I was a teenager. The equation is simple: If you think you know how your neighbor should live his life and you think you can make his life choices better than he can, then you try to gain a democratic majority and impose your way to live his life upon him. If you try to do this, whether you succeed or not, you are a very virtuous person who cares about his neighbor, his fellow man. Those who resist you are bad guys. The resisters are bad whether they think that they want simply to manage their own lives or because they think that most other people are better qualified to manage their own lives than the resister is or than the government life management service is.

Of course there are some people who wish that others would manage their lives for them. There are not very many, but there are many elitists who think that there are many people who need to have them provide life-management services to the needy and unable. As I have often observed, it is a funny thing to consult with those whom the elite think are the dependent ones. Most of them think that they themselves are not dependent, but that there are others who are. Talk to the others who are and you find the story repeating itself in most cases. Strangely, most people would rather run their own lives, but they think that there are many more people who want help via a one-size fits all government mechanism than there actually are. But believing this and wanting to care about their fellow man, they push for laws to provide government programs to compel people to contribute their time and income to the needy recipients of the law.

The needy have a very special status. They are to be treated well and provided for. This is the means by which those who favor the laws to help them become virtuous. Meanwhile, the fact that the law requires that individuals give up their rights to their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness does not make the law proponent feel like a bad person. The fact that the law requires that if any particular individual does not provide the tax money to be used or does not provide the service free or at below market cost, then government force will be used to see that he does, does not make the law proponent feel bad. Government employees will be dispatched to seize the resisters property or to garnish his wages. If the recalcitrant individual is so foolish as to try to defend his individual rights, well, shoot him! He obviously did not care about the community enough. He was obviously suffering from a severe mental illness, social Darwinism or is an anti-social sociopath.

Would anyone even think to look into this individual's life to see how charitably he treated people that he knew and cared for? Very unlikely. Almost everyone would simply say he broke the law and he had to be compelled to submit or to be put away. So, our good people who care so much for their fellow man are now fully prepared to kill their fellow man and their neighbor in the interest of The Law, despite the fact that the law was not Constitutional and was not necessary to accomplish the mission it supposedly had. After all, the mission could have been accomplished very well by private charity. Any private charity with the enthusiastic support of a majority of the voters should be able to care for a great many needy people.

So why must the people who wish to help the needy use the force of law to do so? Why do they not put their money and time into what they themselves say they believe in? Doesn't one have to conclude that they do not really believe in helping the needy enough to put much effort into it? Don't we have to deduce that they are eager to gain their virtue on the cheap? But, it is a virtue that threatens any individual who believes that he has an individual right to choose his charitable acts himself with death. How do these people who claim they are virtuous for caring about their fellow man square this with hiring government law enforcers and sending them off to kill the individualists among them. Why do they want to beat their neighbor? Why are they so violent? Yet they pretend to be good and to care. Is this not transparently false? Are these not clearly evil-doers?

If you want to help the needy, by all means go and do it. Just have the common civility not to force everyone else to commit their lives to your charity. They may not have any charity they wish to commit to. If so, that is their right. On the other hand, they may be very committed to charitable acts which are simply different from those which you have a commitment to. If you really have a commitment to helping others, then put your money and your time where your mouth is. Don't shove a gun down someone else's throat to make them give their money and their lives to your value. They have the right to choose their own values. It is by choosing our own values that we develop and manage our own lives. Without that freedom, there is a clear violation of a man's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of his happiness.

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