Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You Didn't Do That

Imagine a young man who has worked hard to be a great baseball player.  He is 12 years old and wants to be a professional player when he grows up.  He has spent hours doing lots of extra practice, listened well to his coaches, read books about the lives of great baseball players such as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.  All of his energy is spent in learning the sport; how to run, steal bases, hit the ball and throw it accurately.  He works hard to make the All-Star Team in his local Little League and today he has hit his first home run.  He is very proud of himself and can’t help but express his excitement and enthusiasm to his father.  On the way home from the game, he tells his father that he has a good chance of making the All-Star Team.  The father explodes and tells his son:

“There are a lot of good ball players who don’t think they are that good. They know they didn't — look, if you've hit a home run, you didn't do it on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people like you who think, 'Well, it must be because I was just so smart.' There are a lot of smart people out there. 'It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.' Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

"If you hit a home run, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great coach somewhere in your life. Somebody helped create this sport for you to play. Somebody invested in ball parks and spectator stands. If you've hit a home run, you didn't do that on your own. Somebody else made that happen. "

What kind of father would say that to his son?  What kind of father would destroy that young man’s joy and excitement by putting him down like that?  Is there any justice in that statement, any appreciation for the effort and dedication that it took that young man to be able to hit the ball that far?  In the face of such an attack, would that young man try harder in the future, knowing that at the end of the day, he will be ridiculed for his effort? 

That father has killed this young man’s joy and love of accomplishment.

Moral Equivalence

I respectfully disagree with some of my friends regarding moral equivalency between the left and the right today.  Both groups have evolved over the last few decades and they have moved, in many respects, toward opposite directions.  The left has moved to advocating government force, justified by a so-called “social contract”, as a solution for virtually every so-called problem; while the right, has gone in the direction of free markets and individual rights defending ideas found in the U.S. Constitution. 

Both moves separate each group from the core ideas of their pasts.  Liberalism used to respect individual rights in many areas while today political correctness and collectivism have moved to the forefront.  Conservatism has moved more toward individual rights and Constitutional protections and away from the advocacy of religious theocracy that dominated its past.

The idea that leftists and rightists are both morally equivalent is just not true anymore. We are no longer in a situation where the left merely wants to extend the American dream to more people.  Today, the left has become oppressive and harmful to the lives of real people.  In fact, the left has become a bastion of hatred of capitalism and even of a desire to vilify and punish successful individuals.  We are fast approaching a situation where the rich are considered so evil that persecution and even death may be in store for them.

It is really pretty simple if you want to identify the real shift in political ideas.  The left uses the concept of the “social contract” to create an elite group of “takers” who want to re-distribute the wealth of the rich.  The takers are made up of people who have no problem making cavalier decisions about the rights and properties of individuals.  Nothing stops them from drawing up  regulations or edicts that force people to do their bidding.  When they speak, it is as if no one has any rights and anyone who would oppose their idea of "social justice" is an ignorant, uneducated idiot who should just shut up.  Their idea of enlightened government is best exemplified by the issuance of arbitrary commands that must be followed - or else.  Although they pander to ignorance if it benefits them, they have no regard whatsoever for private individuals whose taxes must pay for their grand ideas and cronyism.

The coercive activities of the left have created a backlash among people whose money is being taken.  These are the “makers” who understand that there is no “social contract”.  The makers have educated themselves about the original intent of the Constitution and they seek to re-establish the right to live freely.  Equally as important, they have learned that their only proper obligation to others is to respect their individual rights.  The makers present no demand for the confiscation of money from the rich. 

These shifts of focus have brought us to a critical point as a nation.  When so much is on the line, someone must take a stand for freedom.  This requires opposing “legal” theft by government.   This requires understanding that there is no moral equivalency between a thief and an honest person or between collectivism and freedom.  Anyone who thinks so is working toward his own destruction.  You cannot have a little bit of total sacrifice; just as you cannot chose to be a little bit moral.  As Dr. Tara Smith observes, “If individuals owe one another their services, they can be licensed no freedom to shirk that obligation.”(1) 

Because collectivism is an immoral idea, it is imperative that we be uncompromising when it comes to defending freedom.  As individuals, we must do everything possible to block collectivists from using government power to advance their goals.  There is no compromise possible with people who insist that government can do whatever it wishes to people.  Granting such a premise will destroy us as it has destroyed many societies in the past.

Collectivism means the sacrifice of some for the sake of the few.  It means enslavement, imprisonment and the destruction of man’s mind.  It demands conformity and submission from the individual and it will not rest until it has destroyed the best among us. 

We don't need to get along with collectivists; we need an open fight with them (a political debate about principles) and we must win that fight with better, more rational and more practical ideas.  We must block them at every turn and we must convince people that the best way to have a good life is to live free of government coercion.

(1) Moral Rights and Political Freedom, Dr. Tara Smith, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Page 78

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dark Day for the Dark Knight

I believe that some people kill today because they've been taught that individual rights do not matter.  Society no longer discusses them, politicians violate them legally, and denigrate the best among us; they tell us we didn't build our businesses and that society owns them; Hollywood shows us murderers as heroes, teachers have stopped teaching about the sanctity of life and most importantly, they don't remind us that individual rights not only represent the freedom to do as we wish, but they also represent an obligation to respect the rights of others. 

Today, people push buttons for everything they need; many feel worthless because they can't get a job; others can't stand to see their children suffering and hungry; others are demeaned because they must rely on government to survive; some think their petty thoughts are profound and that their anger over losing a video game gives them a right to hurt others.  Philosophy has taught them, by omission that there is no reality, there is no mind and there are no consequences.  Why not push triggers too? 

Don't be surprized that the mass murderers of today think they are doing something cool.  The lives of others mean nothing when the media and our leaders tell us daily that we didn't do anything on our own, that sacrifice is the cure for society, and that those with more deserve to be punished.  Why not kill a few well-dressed people in a theater?

It is a Dark Day for the Dark Knight but the writing has been on the wall, so to speak, for several decades.