More Locke vs. Rousseau

This time from Brigid:

My work has value. My mind has value. I won’t do it for free. those that do that, are amateurs (coming from the Latin amator – meaning lover), not professionals. As a professional I expect to be paid. Nor will I do it to pay the rent and gas and food of those who aren’t willing to put forth their own effort to the best of their own ability. A hard working person, down on their luck, I will help in many ways. I’ve added to the tip jar of many a hard working blogger, caught up in exploding cars, dysfunctional pets, and bad experiences with Comcast. I’ve helped people in my community, neighbors, suddenly and through no fault of their own, out of a job, with food and/or child care while they went to an interview; with assistance with crafting a new resume and getting them some job contacts. Helping those that actively worked to help themselves.

But do not ask me to support, through work or taxes or even my time, which has value of it’s own, a class of people who only wish to take, because they feel they are owed it for breathing, for crossing the border illegally, or for being a specific race, creed or religion.

Tam said something similar a while back:

It makes one look like a savage to say so, but if your house burns down, blows over, or floats away, it’s not the job of the federal government to fix it for you. Charity is one thing, but federal tax dollars coerced at 1040-point from a single working mother of two in Dubuque (and then filtered through a morbidly obese federal agency) to rebuild your bungalow in Destin is not charity, okay? It’s extortion.

I was having a conversation with a co-worker this afternoon, the one outspoken Obama supporter in the office. He kept talking about the right to health care. I kept correcting him – and he agreed, repeatedly – that “health care” is not a right because it obligates another to provide something, but each time he began expounding on health care he kept using the “right” language.

And I kept interrupting him and repeating the lesson.

A large part of the population is much like him, or Brigid’s hairdresser. They’re A-OK with extortion, because they’ll benefit from it, and they think others like them will benefit from it. (Yes, yes, I can hear the anarcho-capitalists now shouting “Hypocrite! Hypocrite!” Sorry, but I do see a difference between, say, taxation to support the Constitutional requirement to defend the nation vs. taxation to support the welfare state. I’d be more than happy to abolish the income tax and operate the government strictly off of tariffs if we could pare the .gov back to its Constitutional limits. In the mean time I’m more interested in trying to stop .gov growth.)

But what it all boils down to is what Jonah Goldberg expressed in Liberal Fascism, and in his podcast interview with Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith:

All public policy issues ultimately boil down to one thing: Locke versus Rousseau. The individual comes first, the government is merely an association protecting your interests, and it’s transactional, versus the general will, the collective, the group is more important than the individual. Everything boils down to that eventually. And the problem with “compassionate conservatism” is the same problem with social gospelism, with Progressivism and all the rest: it works on the assumption that the government can love you. The government can’t love you. The government is not your mommy and it’s not your daddy, and any system that is based on those assumptions will eventually lead to folly.

Barack Erkel Obama, and to a lesser extent, McCain, are promising a government that will love you.

And to hell with the individual. It all goes back to philosophy, and the fact that we’re not teaching Locke’s to our kids. Instead we’re allowing our educators and our media to haphazardly feed them Rousseau’s.

And it’s led us here, to folly upon folly. It will eventually lead us to ruin.

And I fear that eventuality is not far off.

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