Get with our statist utopia…or get out!

| July 2 2012
Christopher Cook

I have largely steered clear of venues in which I would have to watch the left gloating over their SCOTUS victory on Thursday. Though I do believe their celebration will be short-lived, and will “savor but of shallow wit, when thousands more weep than did laugh at it,” I still did not want to hear it. However, one comment of which I was made aware could not go past unremarked.

Back when Bush was running for office, there was more than one member of the irritating left-wing actor fraternity who promised to leave the country should he win. More than one conservative wished them a fond farewell, and some even offered to pay their tickets. That was a fairly normal reaction and a reasonable political exchange, given that the actors were the ones to say that they would leave. What is not reasonable is for anyone—on either side of the aisle—to initiate such a suggestion; to say, in essence, This is our country now, and if you don’t like it, feel free to get out.

This was the substance of the comment to which my attention was drawn: universal healthcare is done now, and if you don’t like it, you can leave. Not even just a “nanny nanny boo boo, we won, you lost,” but much more specifically a suggestion that they have now put the final piece in the statist edifice in place, and not only are our protestations unwelcome, but our very presence itself is. I normally avoid such discussions, as they use valuable time for minimal gain, but that particular comment prompted a response from me:

This is the attitude implicit in all utopianism, whether it be totalitarianism, fascism, or modern statism. The philosophical grounding for it comes from Rousseau and was brought into savage being by Robespierre. Rousseau believed himself to be inherently virtuous (even in the absence of any specific virtuous actions on his part). He also believed in the notion that man in the state of nature is numinous and enlightened, and is corrupted by the civil society, religion, and property rights. He believed in the idea of the “general will”: the enlightened and wise spirit of the collective. He believed that an enlightened leader (“le legislateur”) was needed to interpret and actuate that will. Inconvenient and disagreeing individual voices sullied the harmony of the general will, and needed to be expunged from the “body” of “le peuple” (the people).

This, of course, immediately led to the brutal savagery of the French Revolution, where one by one, “inconvenient” individuals were led to the guillotine … including, eventually, every one of the revolutionaries themselves. Since that time, every brutal, soul-crushing totalitarian communist and fascist society has hearkened straight back to Rousseau, Robespierre, and the general will as justification for their utopian aims. Every cult-of-personality leader, whether he took power by the ballot or the bullet, has approached his role as the authentic and organic voice of the general will.

The modern left is entirely of this provenance. THEY are inherently virtuous. THEY know what is best. They will rob you of your liberty, your property, your dignity, all in the name of providing THEIR vision of utopia. That their utopia is never achievable does not stop them. They will continue to drive for more and more, and when you speak up against their utopian aims, either for practical reasons (it won’t work) or for moral reasons (it savages human rights and equal treatment of human beings), they call you intolerant and uncaring. After all, what else could you be, since THEY and only they are virtuous and compassionate.

Every leftist is, in his or her heart, a Rousseauean. Give them enough power and latitude, and all but the most self-possessed among them would become Robespierres without a moment’s pause.

Telling us that universal health care is a fait accompli, and if we don’t like it, we are free to leave, is just another link in this very long, very ugly chain.

Oppression is all they know. Oppression for your own good, of course.

I have grown weary of people telling me that I am not compassionate because I do not believe in their unsustainable vision of utopia—that their compassion is superior to mine when in fact, their compassion is unsustainable and requires force and coercion at every turn.

There is a vision for a compassionate society that is sustainable, liberating, and will actually work. But it will never happen so long as the statists among us insist that the only way for society is be compassionate is at the point of a gun. Their gun, of course.

 

Coda

Note that the comment at issue herein was part of the same Facebook thread that produced this gem:

“In this country most health care costs are incurred in the last 6 months of life. I think this is an incredible waste of resources. Americans need to accept that they will die at some point and that throwing other peoples money at their problem won’t make them live forever.”

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