by Kyle Becker -
It is a constant refrain on the left that conservatives are “selfish.” Those who want to work and keep the fruits of their own labor are castigated as self-centered and greedy, while progressives are held out to be all-compassionate and kind for supporting government-run programs for every malady under the sun. Enough of that rubbish.
The term “selfish” in various contexts implies that someone wrongfully holds onto or gains something at the expense of another. While conservatives and most political moderates uses the term “selfish” to deride those who take things that do not belong to them — in other words, what that person did not produce or receive voluntarily from another — the modern left uses the term “selfish” to upbraid those who want to hold onto something of their own that is demanded by another.
The left therefore seems to assume that the life, labor, and property of any individual are the possession of “society.” This is a tribal, mystical, and frankly demeaning notion that is anything but concordant with civilized peoples.
If a person is born into the world and has the potential of leading his own life, which culminates in that person’s death and no other’s, then it is logical and moral to look at that living being as a totality.
In reality, a human being is not a cog in a machine, or a blob of protoplasm in a swamp of humanity, or whatever analogy reflects a part of a whole being subordinate to the whole. He is a sentient being, alive within the cosmos, and should be afforded every opportunity to direct his own inseverable experience, so long as he does not impinge on others’ right to do so.
It only follows, then, that choice and voluntarism should follow in every sphere of life and without artificial boundary. As in society, as in economy, as in politics, as in private life.
So in the course of a person supporting his own life, as capitalist economies allow the overwhelming majority of humanity to do, it is wrong for another legally and morally co-equal human being to extract life and labor from him. Coercive redistribution is a violation of the voluntary nature of the free economy; whether to work or to starve is a choice all people are capable of making. Reality is not coercive; it is instructive.
As the preconditions of voluntarism and choice vary in the economy, the definitions of “selfishness” tend to become altered in the language. In a free economy, people trade their labor at their own discretion. It thus becomes a moral affront akin to “selfishness” to take the fruit of another person’s labor, since one is free to work hard himself and is expected to trade value in kind.
In a socialist economy, withholding labor is considered “selfishness.” Enslavement to the central managers and to one another follows of its own accord.
It has been a ploy of the left to alter the language in America to that of a socialist society’s in order to lead citizens by the nose into a centrally planned state (or in some cases, world). The notion that the economy is like a “pie” is one example of a static concept common in the culture that leads people into socialistic thinking.
What’s my fair share? What’s my slice of the pie? Well, the pie had to be baked, dummy. Did you roll the dough?
The quickest way to see how selfish the left really is would be to threaten a social welfare program. Any social welfare program. Believing that unearned money is part of their “just deserts” for the feat of being born onto the planet, they are radicalized whenever their steady stream of reality-avoiding income is threatened.
Relatedly, it is an implication of “prospect theory” that people tend to fear losses more than they esteem gains. Essentially, if a rich person is on a bridge and he sees a $100 bill floating in the river, he would be extremely unlikely to jump into the water after it (all Ebenezer Scrooge parodies of conservatives aside). But if a poor person had his last $100 with him on a bridge and he let slip of it into the river, he very well might dive into the water to quixotically try to track it down.
Now one gets why the Cloward-Piven theory would be very effective at radicalizing people when put into practice. Quick-and-dirty: sign as many poor people as possible up for near subsistence level welfare, and as the productivity drops and the debt grows, get your political opposition to threaten taking it away. Watch the sparks fly.
But the left has made it a shtick to feign generosity while directing the government to confiscate unearned money and to redistribute it to hook capable human beings on just-above-subsistence-level incomes. Those who fall prey to this scheme become the truly selfish citizens who demand that others cater to their every need. Meanwhile, those who just want to live their own lives, keep the fruit of their own labor, and to be left alone become falsely demonized as “selfish.”
And this is the great trick and the tremendous threat of ObamaCare, and why it must be struck down: if every one of a person’s choices is so constructed in a regime to have direct bearing on the life and livelihood of everyone else’s, then the populace is permanently divided amongst itself, and the government has effective control over the life of every citizen-subject. Simply desiring to live one’s life as one sees fit becomes a threat to the life and health of everyone else around him. Totalitarianism necessarily follows.
In conclusion, those people seeking to control the lives of other human beings and direct them towards serving their needs (needs that the overwhelming majority of human kind are capable of providing for themselves in a free economy) are trying to gain that which does not rightfully belong to them. Those who are leaving others alone, and are asking only to be left alone, are not selfish. They are not unselfish. They are simply self-sufficient, and they should be applauded for not burdening society and for fulfilling their own wants and needs.
HT: American Thinker