June 12, 2009


Mark Steyn:

When President Bush used to promote the notion of democracy in the Muslim world, there was a line he liked to fall back on: “Freedom is the desire of every human heart.” Are you quite sure? It’s doubtful whether that’s actually the case in Gaza and Waziristan, but we know for absolute certain that it’s not in Paris and Stockholm, London and Toronto, Buffalo and New Orleans. The story of the Western world since 1945 is that, invited to choose between freedom and government “security,” large numbers of people vote to dump freedom every time—the freedom to make their own decisions about health care, education, property rights, and eventually (as we already see in Europe, Canada, American campuses, and the disgusting U.N. Human Rights Council) what you’re permitted to say and think.

I too used to naively think that all men desired freedom.  But that's must-y speak

Posted by: Sarah at 06:50 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Interesting post!  I think that - even more than people are afraid of freedom for themselves, (which is utterly get-what-they-deserve-ing), many desire to take it away from others b/c they disapprove of what those others are doing with it.  "You can't smoke!"  "You can't teach your children!"  "You can't have that [firearm/literature/etc.]!"  "You can't drive that!"  "You can't keep your money if someone else doesn't have as much!"

I am absolutely certain that in this world, *some* government is necessary and desirable to protect our rights.

But when people stop focusing on defending their natural rights and instead work on asserting non-existent ones - always at others' expense - the lazy, the power-hungry, and the thoughtless fall right in line and back the ultimate deception: the idea that the force of government power can, should, and will create their own little version of Utopia.  In reality, creating our own happiness is why we have freedom.

Posted by: kannie at June 13, 2009 09:44 AM (5XpA4)

2 Sarah, you've seen me slowly realize that all men (and women) do not desire freedom. Compare my 2003 entries with my 2005 ones. I used to be so naive.

kannie, I was once naive enough to believe anarchism was the answer. I was a teenager then. I took everything for granted. My parents paid for everything. And the government provided so much - arguably too much. No, I wasn't on welfare. But I was benefiting from government roads, government sidewalks, etc. ... and, in a less visible way, from the laws of the government and its enforcers, the police.

Many advocates of bigger government want more concrete benefits (i.e., material handouts) than abstract benefits (i.e., the defense of rights). People can see 'free' goodies but they can't see rights. So what's the big deal about losing what they can't see? Or about living at the expense of others one can't see? To claim that government benefits are 'free' is to be blind to the reality of cost, to be ignorant of freedom, a state in which people are not forced to provide for others. Unfortunately, such blindness is widespread, and some may have no eyes to open.

You wrote,

the lazy, the power-hungry, and the thoughtless fall right in line

What an alliance!

As I see it, the power-hungry lead the line and the others follow. "Be my dependent! Make me dominant!" is the slogan of Great Leaders. But what if we don't want to be dependents? What if we don't want to be dominated? Where can we go? Where's our gulch?

Posted by: Amritas at June 15, 2009 01:27 AM (b3Ptv)

3 Amritas,

But what if we don't want to be dependents? What if we don't want to be dominated? Where can we go? Where's our gulch?

Heh... there are a couple similar theories in circulation. Here's a link to a Russian analyst's idea from a few months ago... wish I had links to similar Cold War-era type stuff!

Should the government continue to deliberately disintegrate (disinte-great?) the founding fabric of our country via socialization and currency destruction, we might get to have a Gulch after all: one little pocket where honest people have banded together and are working (& defending their work) and living in a decent, productive society instead of eating each other.

'Cause I don't WANT to cannibalize my neighbor - or his liberty or property.  I'm just sayin'. ;-)

Posted by: kannie at June 16, 2009 12:59 PM (5XpA4)

4 kannie,

I can imagine an anarchist regarding the reduction of government as "disinte-great-ion" - the less integrated, the better from his POV.

I don't think the government sees what they're doing as disintegration - they think they're merely reinterpreting a living document. Everyone 'knows' that if the Founding Parents were alive today, they'd be progressive. It's 'common sense'!

Thanks for the link to the WSJ article on Panarin.  I was predicting a similar breakup of the US almost 20 years ago. But now I think that the real divisions of the US are less regional than urban vs. nonurban. Imagine, say, Chicago as a West Berlin in reverse - a socialist pocket in a capitalist Midwest.

Posted by: Amritas at June 16, 2009 09:54 PM (VtO7U)

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