helping commies get to know knives
Thursday, January 01, 2004
The result of the core achievements of Western civilization has been an increase in freedom, wealth, health, comfort, and life expectancy unprecedented in the history of the world. The achievements were greatest in the country where the principles of reason and rights were implemented most consistently -- the United States of America. In contrast, it was precisely in those Eastern and African countries which did not embrace reason, rights, and technology where people suffered (and still suffer) most from both natural and man-made disasters (famine, poverty, illness, dictatorship) and where life-expectancy was (and is) lowest. It is said that primitives live in harmony with nature, but in reality they are simply victims of the vicissitudes of nature -- if some dictator does not kill them first.
The second error commonly committed vis a vis communism is that it's somehow a "noble ideal" that was just executed really, really, poorly. Yep, every single time it was ever tried. Leaving aside the whole battered-wife syndrome evident in this attitude among the apologists ("Maybe next time he won't beat me, nor shoot countless political prisoners!"), there's the basic fact that communism is not a fundamentally noble ideal. It's a profoundly evil and bad ideal that is poorly grasped by more than a few. For starters, there's the whole idea that there's no ownership, or that the state owns everything in lieu of private ownership: there's a fundamental contradiction to human liberty right there. But if you're a truly committed leftist, you may not see that, so let's move on to a more basic evil at communism's root: communism, like Nazism, the Klan, and Islamism, denies the fundamental equality of all people. All these justly reviled ideologies have in common the characteristic of determining morality according to the interests of an arbitrarily-defined subset of humanity. Therefore, any horror is morally justifiable if perpetrated on behalf of the Aryans, whites, Ummah, or proletariat. Get it? This is basic Marx, folks -- the compulsion to turn the wheel of history via the material dialectic -- and it's the justification for concepts like "revolutionary justice," "revolutionary morality," et al. Like all such beliefs, it's a recipe for genocide -- and lo, genocide was done. It's no accident that the greatest mass murderers of human history were mostly communists: Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-Il. Communism a noble ideal? Hardly. Communism is murderous racism based on junk economic theory. So my second command is to cut the crap about communism -- it's evil, and awful, and if you think a welfare state and statism are swell, quit deluding yourself that this is the same wondrous foundation as communism. Unless you believe in dullwitted theories of eternal class emnities, it's not.
As Thomas Sowell and others have pointed out, what distinguishes the U.S. (and Britain) is not that they engaged in slavery which is as old as the human race, but that they were the first cultures to fight to abolish it, not only on their own soil but throughout the world. Now if only the shining lights of the left will ask who will answer for the 100 million dead in the great socialist 'experiments' of the 20th century.
Usually activists have neither practical experience nor economic literacy, so they go around blithely creating huge costs for those who have to work for a living and those who employ them. Not only businesses but Californians as a whole end up paying a staggering price so that a relative handful of people who are a drain on society can feel superior to those who contribute to it.
Of course the people who thought up and passed these laws and are now trying to more vigorously enforce them probably aren't mini-Hitlers or Stalins-in-training, they are merely miserable bureaucrats trying to come up with nice sounding ways to extract money from us to bribe us so that we don't fire them. Not only won't they be able to steal our money, but they'll get fired to boot as long as we refuse to be fleeced any longer.
You say we [reporters] are distracting from the business of government. Well, I hope so. Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby. -- P. J. O'Rourke
"The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights -- the "right" to education, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery -- hay and a barn for human cattle. There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"The free market is ugly and stupid, like going to the mall; the unfree market is just as ugly and just as stupid, except there is nothing in the mall and if you don't go there they shoot you." - P.J. O'Rourke
"There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as "caring" and "sensitive" because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to try to do good with other people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he'll do good with his own money -- if a gun is held to his head." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors--psychology, sociology, women's studies--to prove that nothing is anybody's fault. No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you'd have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers. A callous pragmatist might favor abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian would sanction neither. But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the liberal view." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"The people who believe that, as a result of industrial development, life is about to become a hell, or may be one already, are guilty, at least, of sloppy pronouncements. On page 8 of Earth in the Balance, Al Gore claims that his study of the arms race gave him "a deeper appreciation for the most horrifying fact in all our lives: civilization is now capable of destroying itself." In the first place, the most horrifying fact in many of our lives is that our ex-spouse has gotten ahold of our ATM card. And civilization has always been able to destroy itself. The Greeks of ancient Athens, who had a civilization remarkable for lack of technological progress during its period of greatest knowledge and power, managed to destroy them fine." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"When government does, occasionally, work, it works in an elitist fashion. That is, government is most easily manipulated by people who have money and power already. This is why government benefits usually go to people who don't need benefits from government. Government may make some environmental improvements, but these will be improvements for rich bird-watchers. And no one in government will remember that when poor people go bird-watching they do it at Kentucky Fried Chicken." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it." -- P.J. O'Rourke
"I was talking to a Brit about land mines. The Brit was trying to tell me that land mines should be banned. I told him that the US was making mobile landmines, that would chase you around and catch and then explode. Then I explained to the Brit that the robots would say "give us a hug" and have big arms to hug you with. The Brit was laughing until I described the robot as an electronic palestinian - then he said I was disgusting" -- Osama bin Texan
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