Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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

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