I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the inevitability that every language-aware computer tool I use for the near future is going to put a red underline under the words statism and statist. That is something of a pity because they are among the very most important words in these interesting times. To understand what’s going on, you have to understand the pathology of the statists.
concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry…
Right now they’re extremely excited, because one among their own said something. Someone else in their camp made a nice image out of it, which is now zipping around the social networking sites like typhoid:
Like all bad ideas, it raises lots of questions when you start to take it seriously. Let’s give it a try, shall we? Elizabeth Warren is right, nobody in this country got rich on his own, nobody. Well — she is right. It’s hard to produce something without relying on somebody else. In years past it was merely difficult, now it is impossible. You grow your own crops, before you can get them to the market you need to transport them on a public road. Then, they’ll have to be inspected. Meanwhile, you’ll be required to carry insurance thanks to ObamaCare…so is Warren criticizing the government because it is legitimizing its own bureaucratic existence, by proliferating all kinds of new rules that don’t really help anyone, but make it an impossibility to get anything constructive done without its participation? Is that what she’s saying? I don’t think so.
But if that’s what she was trying to say, I’d go along with that. Government has eliminated all conscientious objection against it, by making it an impossibility to continue a prosperous life — any life — without its participation.
But the high level of exuberance that swirls around this little observation she has made, creates another question. Like, why? Why the excitement? What makes people so enthused about noticing how hard it is to acquire a little prosperity anymore, without government interference? This doesn’t explain the incredible intensity of anger directed toward those who question why it has to be this way. However, the anger toward the Tea Party movement, along with the thumbs-ups and atta-girls flung toward the sentiment Elizabeth Warren has expressed, does make one thing crystal clear: This is about equity. It’s about, after the product has been delivered and the money has changed hands and the “factory” thrives, a debt has been incurred to this wonderful thing known as government, and it can never be repaid. Rush Limbaugh has been saying for years these people live in a weird little world, one in which government is the source of all that is wonderful — all good things come from the government.
I’ve been maintaining for awhile that Limbaugh is wrong here. He’s thinking too much like a logical person, as he perceives illogical people. Read the quote again: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.” There is no presence there, there is only absence; indeed, government itself is not mentioned anywhere. Her point is that you didn’t do it.
This is an important point. The central and primary energy within what Warren is saying, is directed as an assault upon the individual. She isn’t propping government up, she is tearing the individual down, and that is the part that has Facebook statists salivating.
Since she is essentially correct, let’s take a look at what we can conclude from her observation as it is pondered with logic and common sense rather than with statist euphoria. Regardless of whether it ought to be possible to succeed without action from the community as a whole, it isn’t; therefore, presumably, if anyone is thankful for a product, or a job, or a hope, or anything else that emanates from a business tycoon who has done well, that gratitude must be extended toward the community — “you were safe because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.” She isn’t mentioning government, she isn’t giving government credit for anything except its service as the pipeline, the conduit through which the wealth is rounded up and directed toward the police and fire forces, et al. So the point she’s making, and the point that finds resonance, is that no one single person can accomplish anything without the participation of everybody else.
Let’s remove the emotionalism from it by removing government from it. We’re all in a community…let’s say it’s a village of some hundred people. And there is this thing in the middle of the village that is the catalyst of all success. It draws energy from the village inhabitants, and then it creates prosperity and happiness. No individuality in this community, it thrives because of the existence of the — I dunno. Kiosk. Talisman. Skull of a pig someone found somewhere. You pray to the wotsit before you go out hunting, and if you have a good day of hunting it must be because of the wotsit. Next day, it’s time for everyone to do their part and prop up the wotsit, so the wotsit is the conduit through which the energies of the community are absorbed and then directed toward the continuing survival of the community. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
You’ve probably picked up that the wotsit has become a sort of a deity, something of a replacement religion. It has, but that is not the point I seek to make here. That’s a good one to discuss another time, though.
No, the point I seek to make is: As the community descends on the wotsit to do whatever it is they do to re-energize it, some community members will give much and other community members will give nothing at all. This is a meaningful sacrifice involving time, blood, effort…something…so it is meaningful that some community members give up more than others.
Therefore, logically, if this survival configuration means we cannot build anything ourselves and say “hey look what I’ve got going on, I must be on the ball because I’ve built this thing” and instead we are to give credit to the pig-skull wotsit…said credit must be directed through the pig-skull-kiosk wotsit, and toward the community members who sacrificed the greatest share to rejuvenate it. As one of my Facebook friends pointed out, Warren has it backwards. The system through which “the rest of us paid for” these things, owes its existence to the “nobodies” who got rich and then paid the lion’s share of the taxes.
Our gratitude, then, would extend toward the, uh…what does Barack Obama call them? The “millionaires and billionaires.”
That, obviously, is not what the statists are all about. Seriously, talk with any one from among them for a few minutes. The M&B have nothing coming their way except derision, name-calling, righteous anger, a bigger tax bill, more regulations and maybe some prison time.
The statists, therefore, stand uncovered, naked, revealed. They are narcissists. And the point of the exercise is not to sustain the community or to make hunting expeditions more bountiful. It is not to pay for fire forces and police forces and sidewalks. The point is obscurity. Government acts, not as a conduit through which these energies are to be drawn from individuals and then directed toward fulfillment of the community’s desires so the individuals can realize success — it acts as a fractal lens, a diffuser of light, a tool of obfuscation. It is there to conceal the fact that some people did something right and other people did something wrong. It is there to make it easier for people to ignore plain truths, if they find it gives them comfort to ignore those truths.
That is what is generating such excitement about Elizabeth Warren’s quote, I think. We’ve got a lot of sad people walking around who like to engage in a belief that individual effort is futile, that individual success is an impossibility and a nullity. They don’t want to face up to the fact that somebody else did something better than they did. They’d rather engage in a systemic belief that there is no prosperity, there is only a state of being “rich” which means you must’ve ripped someone off.
That’s what makes them so incredibly dangerous. They are not trying to foment revolution of any kind. Revolutions can fail. They aren’t in the midst of a revolution, they’re in the midst of a sickness. They’re using narcissism to self-medicate their sickness, reaching for it, just like an alcoholic reaches for the next shot of bourbon.