Saturday, February 13, 2016

Socialism, You Probably Didn't Know You Like It.

Socialist: All five branches of the military. NASA. FBI. Homeland Security. Center for Disease Control. Border Patrol. Fire Department. NOAA. FAA. FDA. The idea of turning any of these socialist services over to 'for profit' private firms/contractors is appalling. Their biggest failings tend to be when for-profit business try to influence them, aka corruption.

The idea of improvement through competition is a lofty ideal. But even if you had two competitive privately run MODOT offices to choose from when getting a license or registering your vehicle they would still require some oversight that puts public interest first. The desire to privatize government misses the point of government.

Unless you're a hermit you are either an anarchist/criminal or you recognize and accept some social responsibility. Even if you personally were immune from legal and brute repercussions hopefully you would still recognize the benefits driving on the right side of the road, conducting target practice away from school yards and holding accountable businesses that handle large quantities of anhydrous ammonia.

Denying that we're all in this together just creates contention where we would both (where we would all) be better served by cooperation. And that's what a Democratic Republic is supposed to be, elected officials using common resources for the common good. And the idea of small government for a huge nation also misses the point of modern government. You are asking for less common good so that we might have what you perceive to be more personal good or more personal choice. But that is self-destructive for you personally and the society you live in.

Unless you are a hermit, freedom is a lie. Well, more of an exaggeration. Only when there are no rules, no consequences, can there be absolute freedom. The physical nature of the universe makes physical consequences inescapable. And our fellow lifeforms all trying to satisfy wants and needs from the same resource pool makes competitive consequences inescapable. And we social animals, at first through instinct and much later through cultural development, have recognized the benefits of cooperation. It's hardly perfect but it's a large part of what keeps us from annihilating each other.

100,000 years ago freedom was the strong taking what they wanted through brute force. That's what power was then. Today there are basically two forms of power: Social cohesion (most notably government) and money. Given the distribution of money (…/viral-video-of-the-moment-wea…/ ) can you possibly argue that reducing the power of the government would be, even might be, beneficial to the common good? As individual survival animals we want to be able to do what believe is best for ourselves. But as social animals we also crave fairness for ourselves, for our families, for our friends & neighbors and for anyone we recognize as part of our extended group. Fairness is a wholly social concept. It can only exist if we recognize and accept its value and do what we can to enforce it. Life may be unfair but it's only as unfair as we choose to allow. Can we expect fairness without a government that is for the people? Can we do this with a government that is less powerful than the individuals and organizations that hold enormous power in the form of money?

Pundits may call it socialism but promotion of the common good and fairness are the very point of modern government. The only other reason to have a government is subjugate the masses to the benefit of the ruling class.

But if there is a ruling class, you won't find it in the government.

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