5 Jun 2013
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In response to Obamacare: We Will All Be Sarah Murnaghan Soon Enough:
Oh I don't mean to say I don't feel sympathy for this little girl.
But I mean this: Her family will succeed in politicking on her behalf. With ObamaCare coming, and bureaucrats patrolling for whether it's cost-justified to save your life or give you that new hip, our health care will increasingly consist of politicking -- going to our government to plead for special favor, enlisting the media and, for the well-heeled, even PR companies.
Our nation is no longer one of rights or ownership. It is now one in which we merely plead to the courtiers of government for favors, or to keep something we have in our possession.
This is not accidental. It is the bedrock of the leftist philosophy that the full public gets a vote -- by which I mean, the government gets to decide, ostensibly on behalf of "The People" -- in everything that occurs in life.
Want to contribute to a cause? The IRS gets a say if you're donating to the right causes.
Want to build on your property? The state gets to decide if you can, and will require you to buy their goodwill by taking part of your property and dedicating it to "public uses."
Want to keep your money? What do you mean, your money? You didn't build that. We all did. We all should have a vote on how to best spend the money which is, by merest happenstance, resting in your pocket at the moment.
You want to live? You want a much needed transplant?
How photogenic are you, and what causes do you believe in? Before we decide whether or not to perform this pricey operation on you, we'll all have to vote (I mean, the government will vote, on our behalf) about whether your life adds sufficient value to the lives of others, in terms of social welfare and social justice.
This is intolerable. And it will only get worse.
No one really owns what he has worked for; no one's health care is any longer a contract between him and another, affording him certain legal rights and certain responsibilities.
It's all now up to one's ability to file paperwork and lobby government. And then People Wiser Than You will decide what you should have (provisionally) and what should be given to others.
For the Public Good, you understand.
I read a piece by Richard Epstein, I believe, or perhaps it was an interview; I sadly cannot find it now. But his precis was that society needs to function, in dealings between strangers, on impersonal grounds; things must be arms-length, transactional.
For a trivial example: We do not want to show up at the DMV and have the order in the queue determined by who can tell the manager the best sob story. The basic rule -- first come, first served -- does not take into consideration all the many different circumstances which might argue for why a later-arriving mom with six kids should actually cut in line, so she can make a soccer game; but the basic rule, in its bright-line simplicity, is acceptable as fair. Not always optimal -- but fair.
Emotion-based appeals and emotion-based relationships are perfectly normal -- and perfectly desirable -- in affectionate relationships, familial relationships, friendships. But they are simply corruption and cronyism in the context of dealings with the state. Dealings with the state cannot, or at least must not, devolve into simply currying favor with bureaucratic decision-makers.
But in the left's conception of the State, we really are "one big family," and not just in rhetorical terms: This concept of the relationship between citizen and government includes, necessarily, treating perfect strangers as if they were family members, with bureaucrats deciding among many special pleaders who "most deserves" special treatment, as a father might have to choose between his sons.
I would suggest further that confusing the two forms of transaction, impersonal and personal, not only has deleterious effects on relationships that are (or should be) impersonal, but on those which are actually personal as well, as people no longer distinguish between dealings within the family and dealings without it; but that's my own take, suggested by 1984, and not part of Epstein's thoughts.
Make no mistake: We are headed for this dark and dire place where everything you wish to do is subject to a vote of the Committee of the Whole, and everything you do will therefore require appealing to the Committee of the Whole, and outright bribing them for their indulgence by offering property or services to secure their goodwill.
And it's all by design. This is how they think the world should work. "We're all connected," they say, and they mean it. "We're all part of the family," they say, and they mean it.
"You didn't build that on your own," they say, and they mean it. And that idea has consequences.
And There You Go: A judge orders her put on the adult list, because, you know, her family was quite convincing, and we all sort of Voted and decided that she should be put on the list. We all had a say, and we all voted this way.
This may sound good.
Except for the guy now condemned to death.
But we'll ignore that part of this. People enjoy voting on incomplete information because incomplete information permits them to feel better about their decisions -- we can ignore all the downsides and only look at the Good Parts, and thus feel that this was an easy decision and we all did right.
The guy who's going to die is a problem, but he won't be around too long, and besides, his Q Rating (the rating used in Hollywood to measure an actor's likability) wasn't all that great anyway.
I see people on Twitter exulting, "POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA!!!"
Yes. Power of social media. And in the future, who is permitted to live and who is to be let to die will be determined by... Twitter and Reddit UpDings and DownDings.
And what could possibly go wrong in that plan?