Monday, March 07, 2005

Raging Against The Looter Mentality

I want to describe a condition that exists in America and the World at large, yet does not have to exist. In any society there are classifications of citizens based on many conditions regardless of how hard a society tries. Increasingly we are becoming a society not defined by wealth or social status, but rather one based on those who can and do produce and those who live off the fruits of those who labor. Sound familiar? It should if you have had the benefit of an education that explored all possible philosophies for living one’s life. The world is becoming a place where the “looters” are overwhelming the “producers”. The mentality of the left is helping to breed this state of mind as they continue to put forth an agenda of taking from those who have and giving to those who do not or choose not to contribute to society. Before we go any farther in this discussion, I want to define Objectivism for those not familiar with it. Please read below carefully.

Objectivism holds that:

  1. Reality exists as objective absolute facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.
  2. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses) is man's only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.
  3. Every man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.
  4. The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. (Source: Ayn Rand Institute)

The modern parent of Objectivism was Ayn Rand. She once described it as a philosophy for living on earth. Objectivism is an integrated system of thought that defines the abstract principles by which a man must think and act if he is to live the life proper to man. The most interesting part of Ayn’s life and her path to defining this philosophy is that she grew up in Russia and suffered through the 1917 Communist revolution so she certainly knew a few things about people denying reality and looting from those who produced.

Let’s break this down point by point and think to yourself if you know of examples in your day to day life. Point one; reality is a collection of facts. I sorely wish that more people really knew what reality was. Think about that for a second, absolute facts that are independent of one’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears. If you accept that then you must accept that not one liberal shares the same reality as the rest of the world. Since their views are subject to their emotional swings it becomes hard to say that they live in reality. In fact if you get a liberal to be really honest, they will confess that their views are purely emotional and not based on any facts at all. Consider the view of the left on the war in Iraq. They “feel” the war was wrong and we were misled yet while they hold to those “beliefs” they seek to discount the 25 million Iraqis who enjoy freedom for the first time in over 50 years, they seek to discount the fact that thousands were killed by a brutal dictator and they seek to discount the fact that most Iraqis are experiencing a higher standard of life then under Saddam. Those are facts which can not be disputed by any feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears. That is the reality of Iraq. A is A, not B or C as my “friends” on the left would espouse.

The second point is reason. Man’s ability to reason is his only method for perceiving reality. If one can not reason then one can not perceive reality. Reason rejects mysticism (any acceptance of faith or feeling as a means of knowledge), and it rejects skepticism (the claim that certainty or knowledge is impossible). I believe that reason can also be defined as comprehension of reality. It seems for many on the left, well all the ones I know, that reason is a foreign attribute. The current debate over Social Security is a prime example. Less then 10 years ago the cry of the Democrats was “Save Social Security First”, anyone remember that? Senator Harry Reid was at the forefront during the Clinton years in calling for the Social Security Crisis to be resolved, yet today he cannot express any reason and continues to deny reality. And yet his fellow Democrats follow him blindly like lemmings in their absurd denial of reality. They are cementing the Democrats as the party of No. Reason is one’s only prove that they reside in reality, without man is utterly useless.

The third point is that every man is an end to himself. You might ask what that really means, well I take to mean that no one is responsible for myself while I am not responsible for any one else. Let’s take a taste of reality for a second; we are selfish creatures by our nature. That is not always a bad thing, consider this. As a selfish person you would work hard to have everything you might want, the things that you want could include a family or a business of your own. If you did choose to have your own business then your employees would benefit from the selfish nature of your hard work in the form of employment, but their employment would not be the result of some misguided and completely false moral or civic duty. If you were to have a family they would benefit equally from your selfishness as well in the form of housing, food, and clothing to name a few. Some would say that the hard work and sacrifice of a man for his family is really the act of an unselfish man. I disagree; an unselfish man would lack the motivation to provide for himself and would ultimately collapse under the needs of his family. Thus the social programs of the Left are exposed as creating the looter class in society. If government is the answer to all woes and will provide all needs then what is the point of even making an effort to be responsible for ones self. Those that wish to create grand social programs to care for all of society are no better then a bunch of misguided Robin Hood’s robbing a healthy Peter to pay a sick Paul’s health insurance.

The fourth point being that of an economic system, specifically Capitalism as the preferred engine of trade and industry. If we engage in a true free market system with capitalist ideals then every man is on an equal footing. Imagine that for a moment, everyone on the same plane in the pursuit of commerce. It’s quite a lofty goal and I don’t think we are quite there yet. I doubt many in the world and especially those on the left would know what mutual benefit really is. Many of the social programs that the government runs are so one-sided it quite sad. Take welfare as a prime example of a good intention gone completely wrong. The government takes tax revenues from individuals, companies, and foreign countries then pays them to people who in return do nothing for the benefit of the government. Were this a truly capitalist society the welfare recipient would provide some benefit or value to the government. The government if truly concerned for the well-being of its citizens then it would require some benefit for the money it pays out in the form of social programs and immediately cut those which provided no benefit to itself or the general public if you wish to stretch the definition. There are many ways that those on welfare could contribute to the government or general public. Perhaps they could be required to attend skills training as some states now require so as to reduce the amount of time they spend on the welfare rolls. The answer is there for those who wish to accomplish the achievement of mutual benefit. One last point about capitalism, it is a system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which the only function of the government is to protect individual rights, i.e., to protect men from those who initiate the use of physical force." Thus Objectivism rejects any form of collectivism, such as fascism or socialism. It also rejects the current "mixed economy" notion that the government should regulate the economy and redistribute wealth. That sounds very much like our current system of government; obviously we have a long way to go.

Looking around at the current crop of politicians we have on both sides of the aisle, I see that the left is firmly in the camp of looters who are determined to live off the few who can and want to produce. The Republicans have their moments of trying to subscribe to these ideals I have set forth. President Bush is a firm believer in the ability of man to produce and that is why there is still hope for us yet. His plans for turning America in to a true ownership society will bring us closer to a capitalist market and will benefit all in the long run. It will in the end come down to the people in the street, those who must choose sides in this social battle.

Will you stand by and live off the efforts of another while contributing nothing in return or will you stand up and work for your means and no others unless you choose?

Once again these words serve as a wake up call to those who reside in reality,

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

Cross-posted at The Wide Awakes

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