From the Mailbag

I’ve recently received the following emails:

What is your definition of a "Neo-conservative."

A Democrat who has infiltrated the Republican Party.

I’ve read your self-serving tripe. The only explanation for it is that you must be an idiot, but at least one level above any super idiot who would actually pay to hear you speak or waste their time. God save America from you and your ilk.

I have bad news and good news for you. The bad news is that I'm going to continue writing the self-serving tripe. The good news is that you don't have to read it.

In "What Government Is Doing for (to) You" you wrote: "Helping those who can’t help themselves" is a paraphrase of Karl Marx’ famous dictum: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." That wasn’t Marx. It was Peter Kropotkin, from Mutual Aid.

Bartlett's 15th edition says that the phrase probably came from either Louis Blanc, who was a French socialist leader and historian, or someone named Morrelly. Karl Marx popularized the expression in Critique of the Gotha Program in 1875.

While Marx' paraphrase may be more famous, his dictum originated with the early Christian church and shouldn't be disparaged without qualification. "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." Acts 2: 44, 45. This dictum is a perfectly acceptable, though inefficient, principle for organizing a church or other organization so long as participation is voluntary. It is only when married with coercion through government or other aggression that it becomes an instrument for harm.

While our attention must be focused on coercive communism, I believe the principle is harmful even in a voluntary organization. The best example is that of the Massachusetts Pilgrims. As William Bradford relates in Of Plymouth Plantation, they nearly starved to death from three years of putting all their production in a common house, to be distributed according to need. Only when they divided up the real estate and let each family produce for itself did production increase to the point that called for a Thanksgiving celebration.

A Canadian pro-family activist says the majority of immigrants to his country come from areas of the world that don’t believe in Christian values – and that there is now a push by Muslim immigrants to replace Canadian law with Islamic law. He goes on to say that Canada has gotten to the point where every segment of the population could have its own laws, which would create a chaotic nation that would be in deep trouble.

The problem isn't immigration. The problem is big government. If whoever controls government can impose his way upon you, you have to fight constantly to prevent the control from being harmful. With small, limited government, it doesn't much matter who controls it, because it can't do you much harm.

Regarding "What Government Is Doing for (to) You," I believe that we agree that protecting America and Americans from invasion is a legal function of our federal government. Brown tree snakes, from what I’ve read, are a very invasive species that has already destroyed most birds and ground-dwelling small mammals on Guam. Hawaii would be devastated if invaded by brown tree snakes. Invasive species have already created havoc in many areas of America.

I too am concerned about ever-expanding pork projects. But I think that we should be careful about condemning all government projects – when some, even if by accident, serve a legal and needed purpose.

If Hawaii has a problem with brown tree snakes, Hawaii should deal with it. It makes no sense to force Floridians to pay for Hawaii's problem – and then force Hawaiians to pay for hurricane damage in Florida. Just because some cause serves a "needed purpose" is no reason to make it a government project. In fact, the more needed the cause, the more reason to keep it out of the hands of government. Considering the unintended consequences that have arisen from government's War on Drugs and its War on Poverty, we can assume that a government War on Brown Tree Snakes will lead to having a boa constrictor in everyone's bedroom.

You said, "And once people see that there’s nothing substantial or valuable behind the curtain, the game will be up – and we’ll have one generation in which to find a way to u2018bind them now from mischief' permanently, in a more secure way than the founders discovered in 1789."

As much as we might want you to be correct, how can a country who would vote in some incompetent scam master (who’s only claim to fame is his willingness to keep the same sex from marrying) ever develop the gray matter to understand that control equals failure and corruption?

The "country" voted in the incompetent scam master because the only visible alternative was (in their eyes) an even more incompetent scam master. No third alternative had a chance to present its case to America. 

We are completely surrounded by control freaks who want to run and control every aspect of our lives. What do we do about these religious self-righteous u2018Hamilton' big government sheeple who out-vote us at the poles?

We have to help people understand how much they're losing to government and how much they're being hurt by government. We must build a movement big enough to sweep the "control freaks" out of government. This will be a very difficult task, but it's not an impossible one.

I am beginning to think countries, like people, have to hit rock bottom first, and George W. might just be the megalomaniac to take us there.

I'm afraid that when countries hit rock bottom (as in the 1930s in America or Germany), they turn to the worst kinds of demagogues (Roosevelt and Hitler) to save themselves. I want to turn America around before we hit rock bottom.

December 24, 2004

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