On the two-year anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and in the wake of the murders and maimings by Islamists at the Boston Marathon, this post from two years ago is even more timely now:
Osama Bin Laden is Dead, and We Are Still Losing the War.
On the two-year anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and in the wake of the murders and maimings by Islamists at the Boston Marathon, this post from two years ago is even more timely now:
We have never invested as much in public education as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children: “Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibility.” We haven’t had a very collective notion of, “These are our children.” So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.
The tag line of the commercial is “Lean Forward,” similar to another one of Obama’s mindless slogans, “Forward.”
Here are some related quotations.
The folkish State … has to make the child the most precious possession of a people. [p. 608.]
Here, too, the folkish State will some day have to intervene by education. Its task is not to preserve the decisive influence of an existing social class, but its task is to pick out of the sum of all fellow citizens the most able heads and to bring them to office and dignity. It has not only the duty of giving the average child a definite education in public schools, but also the duty of placing the talent on the tracks on which it belongs. Above all it has to consider it its highest task to open the doors of the State’s institutes of higher learning to every talent, no matter from what circles they may come. It has to fulfill this task, as only thus out of the stratum of representatives of dead knowledge can grow the talented leadership of the nation. [p. 640–641.]
—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. (, 1941. Translation prepared under the auspices of Alvin Johnson. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock.)
On May I, 1937, Hitler replied to these and similar charges by saying, ‘There are some old fools with whom it is too late to do anything. But we take the children away from them! We educate them to be new German people. When the little rascals are ten years old, we take them and form them into a community. When they are eighteen, we still do not leave them alone.’ [From editors' notes to Mein Kampf, p. 643.]
He picked up the proof and read aloud: “‘The world we have known is gone and done for and it’s no use kidding ourselves about it. We cannot go back, we must go forward. The mothers of today must set the example by broadening their own emotional view and raising their selfish love for their own children to a higher plane, to include everybody’s little children. Mothers must love every kid in their block, in their street, in their city, county, state, nation and the whole wide, wide world—just exactly as much as their own little Mary or Johnny.’” Wynand wrinkled his nose fastidiously. “Alvah?… It’s all right to dish out crap. But—this kind of crap?”
Alvah Scarret would not look at him.
“You’re out of step with the times, Gail,” he said. His voice was low; it had a tone of warning—as of something baring its teeth, tentatively, just for future reference.
—Ayn Rand, (, 1952), The Fountainhead. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Reprint, New York: Signet, p.587–588.
(Hat tip: Glenn Marcus.)
I have resisted blogging on the notion of ‘same-sex marriage’, because the issue seemed beneath the dignity of my blog. But the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the issue, and I am sick of those ‘equal’ signs on Facebook. Also, I think that good people are being hoodwinked by the political Left aided by religious conservative straw men. So here goes.
I oppose the notion of homosexual marriage. Individuals have the right to associate by mutual consent; two, three, ten, twenty-thousand homosexuals have the right to do anything with or to each other if they all agree to it. But don’t force me to call such a relationship ‘marriage’.
[T]he concept “marriage” denotes a certain moral-legal relationship between a man and a woman, which entails a certain pattern of behavior, based on a mutual agreement and sanctioned by law.
— Ayn Rand (an atheist) (1966,1967), Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, New York: The Objectivist, p. 37 (Chapter 4).
The issue is not about religion but rather good epistemology—common sense, really—and the proper role of government regarding the meaning of concepts.
There is good cognitive reason for the traditional concept of marriage. ‘Marriage’ is a very abstract and complex concept, but it has basic, perceptual elements that are related to gender.
Children learn the concepts ‘mother’ and ‘father’ well before the concept ‘parent’; they learn ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ well before ‘sibling’; ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ well before ‘spouse’. Imagine trying to teach a child the concept ‘parent’ without the concepts ‘mother’ and ‘father’.
The fact is that males and females have profound differences—perceivably, physically, and psychologically. Our awareness of and relationships with males and females are very different, and we need concepts that recognize these differences. Marriage is such a concept.
If homosexual unions are to be called ‘marriage’, then there will no longer be a word for the current concept of ‘marriage’; that is, the concept of marriage will cease to exist. But marriage is too exalted an idea not to be a concept. A married man should not have to think or say, “I am married … to a woman.” It should be enough for him to think, “I am married” to summon his understanding of a man’s relation to the woman he shares his life with.
Calling homosexual unions ‘marriage’ is as bad as calling all spouses ‘wives’.
For those who want to change the meaning of a concept in the free marketplace of ideas, they are free to try to change one mind at a time through persuasion; and the burden of proof is on them. In my judgment as explained above, this burden regarding ‘marriage’ cannot be met. Instead, advocates of same-sex unions should coin a word or phrase distinct from ‘marriage’.
What is doubly wrong is for government—the agency of force—to change the meaning of a fundamental, rational concept.
Now I come to perhaps the most controversial issue: the normative issue. Marriage is, in principle and despite all the awful marriages that we all know exist, a profoundly healthy relationship: for the husband and wife, and for children that the husband and wife raise or otherwise interact with. The notion of ‘homosexual marriage’ implies the premise that a homosexual union is as healthy as marriage for all involved. To say the least, I doubt this premise; but again, more politically significant than my doubt is this point: It is not the business of government to end the debate over this premise by fiat, by declaring new meanings for a fundamental, rational concept in a free society.
When in doubt, remember this: The political Left is wrong about everything. Even when they seem right, their reasons are wrong, and their end goals are evil. The Left opposes objectivity, reason, rational self-interest, and individual rights; the Left favors subjectivism, emotionalism, and sacrifice of the individual to the collective, the state, some other individual’s whim, or nothing.
The Left opposes consent and favors force.
Leftists are parasites in spirit as in matter. They seek legitimacy and honor from civilized concepts—such as reason, rights, freedom, justice, art, love, and marriage—by trying to pervert the meaning of these concepts. Don’t get in bed with them.
In a recent post, I wrote,
We don’t have an immigration problem; we have a welfare-state problem. It used to be that immigrants came to America for freedom, and so America got most of the world’s best people. Since the rise of the welfare state, some still come here for freedom, but others come for handouts.
Quang Nguyen is an American patriot, emigrated from Vietnam in 1975 at age 13, who is here for freedom. It goes without saying that virtually all immigrants from Vietnam escaped unspeakable persecution from communists and arrived in America with virtually no material possessions and no knowledge of the English language. Today, Quang is the founder and President of his own advertising agency, Caddis Advertising.
Quang has deep affection and respect for Vietnamese and American Veterans who fought for freedom and against communism in his old country of Vietnam. He realizes that his personal freedom and liberty are given to him by those who fought and bled in a rather unpopular war.
With an invitation and permission of time, Quang travels to visit with Vietnam Veterans to speak and give thanks and appreciation for the life given to him by their blood and sweat.
It is a tragic irony that the evil of collectivism, which Quang escaped as a child, is now destroying America from within. Quang discussed this predicament on a recent episode of The Victoria Jackson Show entitled “Vietnamese Survivor Escapes Communism Only To Find It In America.” Speaking of the Obama Administration and his personal experience under communism, Quang says, “Socialism is just a stepping stone to communism, and the only difference between the two is that one has an AK-47 and one hasn’t gotten one yet.”
Quang is a vivid illustration of the principles of free will and individual rights. Contrast the Occupy Wall Streeters —privileged parasites who are never satisfied with the loot that the government plunders for them—with Quang, who eschews handouts from government, learns a new language in a new land, works fourteen-hour days, and earns his own living.
Quang chooses to be productive, not by chanting that he wants to force someone to give him a job, but by choosing every second of every fourteen-hour workday to focus his mind. To the extent that individual rights are still protected in America, Quang owns what he earns—no more and no less. That is enough for Quang and for any other true American.
Thank you to those who sent in quotations of George Washington to commemorate his birthday today. Given current events, all the quotations were extremely apt.
Submitted by Conrad:
“… experience teaches us, that it is much easier to prevent an Enemy from posting themselves, than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.”
–To THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS Cambridge, January 11, 1776.
“… guard against the Impostures of pretended patriotism …”
– Farewell Address, 1796
The following quotation, submitted by Scott Soodek and also by Leslie Kaminoff, is disputed:
“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
The need for sex does not justify rape. Similarly, the need for food, shelter, clothing, and health care does not justify the welfare state.
It’s as simple as that.
In civilized society, intercourse is by mutual consent, not compulsion.
Tragically for America, Barack Obama—along with the half of the nation that supports him—systematically evades this simple distinction.
Repeatedly, Obama makes the same argument—not merely extemporaneously, but in prepared, written speeches—as in this passage from his second Inaugural Address:
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people. (Applause.)
No single person can beget all the children for the future. By Obama’s argument, the government should be in charge of human breeding.
This same argument by Obama appeared in his campaign slogan, “‘We are all in this together’ is a far better philosophy than ‘We are on our own’.”
Is it possible for an educated adult to make Obama’s argument honestly? Does Obama really think that the only alternative to dictatorship is universal isolation, with each individual acting without communication, without cooperation, without trade? Does Obama truly think that free individuals, acting according to their independent judgment, will cooperate with other free individuals only when forced to do so? Does Obama truly believe that the alternative to gang rape is universal celibacy?
I have refuted this particular argument of Obama’s before, because Obama keeps making it. Here is one refutation I offered in 2011 and 2012:
You speak as if socialism held a monopoly on the idea of social interaction, as if capitalism meant isolation of each individual from every other. If capitalism meant isolation, then there would be no advertising, no Web sites, no bookstores, no movie theatres, no cell phones, no factories, no skyscrapers, no clothing stores, no supermarkets, no stock markets, no farmers’ markets, no markets, no agreements, no contracts, no trade.
Both capitalism and socialism are social systems; both entail society and social interaction. Under capitalism, social interaction among individuals is chosen solely by the interacting individuals by mutual agreement for mutual benefit. Under socialism, there is only forced obedience to the directives of the largest gang: the ‘majority’, a.k.a. ‘society’.
Of course, Obama holds other evil premises: that individuals are not rational enough to guide their own lives, that “collective salvation” is the proper goal for each individual, etc. But this particular evil premise of Obama’s, this ridiculous premise that there is no such thing as trade, demonstrates transparently the absurdity and dishonesty of Obama.
Of course, Obama would deny that he denies the concept of trade. But though Obama would acknowledge that trade exists if you put examples of trade in front of his face, he nevertheless implicitly denies the concept of trade in his arguing for his policies. This denial explains why Obama always claims that it is government—not politically free individuals—that must “invest” in education, energy, health care, and virtually all other aspects of human life. Obama reiterated these claims in his State of the Union address last week, using the word “invest” nine times to describe spending by government.
Investing is a form of cooperating. Each investor thinks alone but then decides, free from compulsion, to invest his property in a joint project. In Obama’s nightmare-world, such a phenomenon does not exist.
(Added, February 19th:) The truth is the opposite of Obama’s claim. No single dictator or committee of dictators can do the thinking for all the individuals in society. Individuals can freely choose to coordinate their actions; but all human action—and, more fundamentally, all thinking—is individual. The action of a dictator nullifies the thinking by individuals. That is why capitalist societies thrive while socialist/fascist societies collapse.
On this Presidents’ Day, I am struck by the thought that we do not currently have a real President. Obama does not want to run the executive branch of government; he wants to run our lives.
I am not a big fan of Presidents’ Day, because I think that George Washington deserves his own holiday. America needs a President like George Washington now. I wonder what Washington would say if he were alive today.
I celebrate Washington’s Birthday, February 22, by reading some quotation of Washington. If anyone would like to help me celebrate this year, please send me a quotation, and I will post my favorites one(s)—acknowledging the sender, of course—on the day of Washington’s birth.
I celebrate February 2, the birthday of Ayn Rand, by opening one of her novels to a random page and reading. Today I read these two passages from The Fountainhead.
“Miss Cook, I’ve read Clouds and Shrouds and it was a spiritual revelation to me. Allow me to include myself among the few who understand the courage and significance of what you’re achieving single-handed while…”
“Oh, can the crap,” said Lois Cook and winked at him.
“But I mean it!” he snapped angrily. “I loved your book. I…”
She looked bored.
“It is so commonplace,” she drawled, “to be understood by everybody.”
[Part Two, Chapter 4, p. 240.]
“Mr. Janss, when you buy an automobile, you don’t want it to have rose garlands about the windows, a lion on each fender and an angel sitting on the roof. Why don’t you?”
“That would be silly,” stated Mr. Janss.
“Why would it be silly? Now I think it would be beautiful. Besides, Louis the Fourteenth had a carriage like that and what was good enough for Louis is good enough for us. We shouldn’t go in for rash innovations and we shouldn’t break with tradition.”
“Now you know damn well you don’t believe anything of the sort!”
“I know I don’t. But that’s what you believe, isn’t it? Now take a human body. Why wouldn’t you like to see a human body with a curling tail with a crest of ostrich feathers at the end? And with ears shaped like acanthus leaves? It would be ornamental, you know, instead of the stark, bare ugliness we have now. Well, why don’t you like the idea? Because it would be useless and pointless. Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn’t a single muscle which doesn’t serve its purpose; that there’s not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man. Will you tell me why, when it comes to a building, you don’t want it to look as if it had any sense or purpose, you want to choke it with trimmings, you want to sacrifice its purpose to its envelope—not knowing even why you want that kind of an envelope? You want it to look like a hybrid beast produced by crossing the bastards of ten different species until you get a creature without guts, without heart or brain, a creature all pelt, tail, claws and feathers? Why? You must tell me, because I’ve never been able to understand it.
[Part One, Chapter 13, pp. 164–165.]
Rand, Ayn (, 1952), The Fountainhead. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Reprint, New York: Signet.
In my previous post, I argued that Americans Absolutely Need to Own Advanced Firearms. The people who want to take away our guns are the people who have caused high crime in the first place, through their New Leftist ideas: anti-reality, anti-free will, anti-reason, anti-moral absolutes, anti-individual, anti-capitalism, anti-West, anti-America, anti-human. Moreover, the New Left has caused and/or made us vulnerable to serious threats to the very existence of civilized society. I concluded, “Because the New Leftist world we now live in is so dangerous, we need our guns not only in our homes, but also in public places.” I also stated, “Keeping our firearms is a necessary part of our best chance for survival. Indeed, we need more firepower, not less.”
In this post, I answer the question, “What should a rational government do about crime and about ownership of firearms by private citizens?”
The Obama Administration certainly will not take any of the actions I propose. But it is possible that states or local governments could take at least some of these actions. More importantly, it is necessary for us gun owners to understand what government should do. We need to know what is right in order to defend our rights.
It is also instructive to consider how much of our current crime is caused by current government policies, and how much less crime there could be under more rational government, even in the face of anti-reason cultural forces—among our so-called intellectuals, educators, and artists, for instance—that transcend politics.
The most fundamental thing that government should do is to take a clear stand that Americans’ right to bear arms, in accordance with the Second Amendment, is absolute. A private citizen has the right to own the same weapons that a soldier or a police officer uses. There are more than a million American soldiers and roughly a million police officers on active duty in the United States. If millions of Americans can be trusted with advanced firearms, then so can tens of millions. The fact that millions of private citizens already own advanced firearms supports my point. As I wrote in my last post, “It is far more likely to be murdered by an Obama-supporter than by a capitalist, anti-Obama owner of advanced firearms.”
While the Obama Administration has been undercutting the Second Amendment, the Utah Sheriffs’ Association last week took a principled and heroic stand:
We respect the Office of the President of the United States of America. But, make no mistake, as the duly elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights—in particular Amendment II—has given them. We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.
The next thing government should do is to remove all forms of sanction and financial support for the ideas that encourage crime. This means an end to the welfare state, that is, an end to all government programs that rob from some to give to others. Above all, government should end all public education, which not only takes from some to give to others, but explicitly teaches that it is good to do so.
New Leftist ideas are entrenched in many private schools too, such as Harvard and other Ivy League colleges. But ending all government financing of education, including student loans and research grants, would create a freer market in which capitalist educators could compete against the citadels of socialism/fascism.
Similarly, the government should get out of the fields of journalism, broadcasting, and the arts; the government has no right to be in those fields any more than it has a right to be in religion or education. The government should end public broadcasting and stop licensing broadcasters, instead recognizing broadcast frequencies as private property. (See Ayn Rand’s essay, ‘The Property Status Of Airwaves, in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, originally in The Objectivist Newsletter, April 1964.) The government should end the ironically-named National Endowment for the Arts—National Disgrace Against Art and Country would be a more apt name—which forces individuals to pay for live theatre, art, and music that these individuals would not pay for voluntarily. The government must not ban depraved, crime-promoting movies, art, and music, but it can stop subsidizing depraved live theatre, art exhibits, and concerts. One generation’s depravity on the pseudo-intellectual art scene often becomes the next generation’s depravity in popular culture.
The government should also end all regulations that limit the freedom of private citizens to work and to enter into contracts by mutual consent. That means an end to all laws entrenching labor unions, an end to all restrictions on the freedom of business owners, and—above all—and end to minimum-wage laws; unskilled workers must be set free to work, if even for low pay, and thereby acquire more skills to climb the ladder of success. People who are politically free and economically busy have less excuse and less time for crime.
Next, government should end prohibition of all drugs, as it ended prohibition of alcohol in 1933. The prices of currently-illegal drugs would plummet, because there would no longer be government-enforced barriers to entry into the market, and the incomes of drug traffickers would plummet. That means that the drug traffickers would have much less money with which to buy guns and commit crime. At the same time, people currently receiving government welfare payments would not have money with which to buy drugs and guns. At the same time, the drug addicts would not get drug treatments paid for by government or by insurance companies coerced by government. People on drugs would have to face the alternative presented by reality: forego drugs and become productive; or use drugs, be unproductive, and die. Either way, they would be less available to commit crime.
Ending prohibition would also free up a tremendous amount of police resources to respond to real crime instead of ‘victimless crime’, which is not real crime.
Government should also abolish laws against other victimless crimes such as gambling, prostitution, and—above all—immigration. Any non-criminal, non-disease-carrying individual should be free to enter the United States and work just like any American citizen.
On one condition, illegal immigrants who are already here should be granted immediate amnesty. Yes, they violated immigration laws in coming here, but—with the exception noted below—they did so under duress: they were escaping governments that were even more socialist/fascist than the Obama Administration. (After all, Obama is still somewhat constrained by the Constitution.) They deserve a medal, not deportation.
The one condition is that immigrants must not be eligible for any government handouts: no public health care, no public education, etc. We don’t have an immigration problem; we have a welfare-state problem. It used to be that immigrants came to America for freedom, and so America got most of the world’s best people. Since the rise of the welfare state, some still come here for freedom, but others come for handouts. If we end the government handouts and also abolish the minimum wage, then the ones who are here for freedom will stay and work, and the ones who are here for welfare will either starve or first leave and then starve.
Immigrants who are here to work do not commit crimes. The criminal immigrants are ones who are here for drug trafficking (which would go away if we legalized drugs), human trafficking (which would go away if we legalized immigration and other victimless crimes), and the fruits of the labor of others (which would go away if we ended the welfare state). When the reasons for these criminals to be here go away, the criminals too will go away or die away.
Citizenship is another story; citizenship should be very difficult to attain, because voting is a grave responsibility. For one thing, immigrant candidates for citizenship should be required to pass a rigorous test of knowledge of American principles of government—a test that our current President would fail.
Now I come to policies explicitly about firearms. We should take a lesson from a metaphysical fact and a historical fact.
The metaphysical fact is that good people are far more productive than bad people are. The reason is that good people are rational, and bad people are not. In primitive times, when weapons were crude, evil people could sometimes conquer good people through muscle power. Those days are long gone (unless the New Left brings them back). The good guys—the free guys—produce more food and other necessities, giving them more time to work on advanced weapons; and the good guys are the ones who invent and produce each new generation of advanced weapons. All that the bad guys can do is steal the ideas or the weapons of the good guys. The only ways that the good guys can lose to the bad guys are by helping the bad guys or by giving in to them. Otherwise, the bad guys have no chance.
That is why the United States—the freest nation—became the strongest nation.
If we good guys work to be strong, and if we refuse to give any assistance or sanction to the bad guys, then the bad guys will never be able to keep up with us. If they try to fight us, they will get shot. If they try to match our strength in weapons, they will starve.
That is how we beat the Soviet Union.
The governmental policies I proposed above would starve the bad guys. Most of them would not have the money to buy even an old revolver.
Here is what government could do to allow the good guys—the productive guys, the guys who work for a living—to get even stronger.
I propose a large property and income tax credit—perhaps 25% or 50%—for citizens who own advanced weapons and have completed training, at each citizen’s own expense, in the responsible use of these weapons. I also propose a property and income tax credit for citizens who become trained (at their own expense), concealed carry, auxiliary security officers.
The tax-credit approach is a just approach, because the recipients would be lessening the government’s cost of protecting their rights. And this approach would provide incentive to the most productive among us, not to the criminals who live off others, to possess firearms.
I also think there should be severe penalties for negligently letting one’s weapons fall into criminal hands. And Attorneys General should not be exempt from such penalties.
Offering such tax credits would require screening, licensing, and some kind of registering of firearms, all with involvement by government. I know that many advocates for gun rights object to such involvement by government. But it is proper for government to protect against the use of force or the threat of force. Indeed, that function is the only proper function of government. I think there are ways to protect against improper use of information by government. For instance, screening, licensing, and registering could be done by private organizations authorized at local levels of government, so that sensitive information never gets into federal databases. Moreover, it could be stipulated that all standards for licensing be no stricter than the standards set for soldiers and police officers, and that the standards include no considerations regarding a citizen’s political, religious, or philosophical ideas.
The best protection, however, is safety in numbers. If tens of millions of citizens are on a list of owners of advanced firearms, what harm could come to someone on such a large list? The only people who would need worry would be the people not on the list. It is true that government could try to tax owners of firearm; but if the government were already offering tax credits, it would take a great deal of political change to shift from tax credits to taxes.
In summary, what government can do regarding firearms is set good people freer to grow wealthier and stronger, and cut off the welfare state’s approval and funding of criminals. The good people will acquire much more firepower, and the criminals will end up with much less. Criminals will either fight and get shot by the good guys, or they will starve. Or some of them might even surprise us and turn good.
Most importantly, good individuals will be free and safe.
The U.S. government does not trust every American soldier to possess nuclear weapons. Likewise, the U.S. government should not trust private citizens to possess nuclear weapons. But the U.S. government does trust more than a million American soldiers to possess advanced firearms. Likewise, the U.S. government should trust private citizens to possess such firearms.
If we can trust more than a million individuals in the military to possess a certain weapon, we should trust private citizens to possess that same weapon. The matter of safety is a matter of screening, training, accountability, and vigilance.
We did not disarm American soldiers after the Fort Hood massacre. We must not disarm American citizens after the Sandy Hook massacre. Indeed, there is a strong case to be made that so many individuals were massacred in these cases because both Fort Hood and Sandy Hook were gun-free zones. That is, the innocent soldiers and private citizens in Fort Hood and Sandy Hook had already been disarmed.
Rights-respecting, law-abiding American citizens absolutely, positively need to own and be prepared to use powerful firearms at home. In my judgment, given the almost-inevitable and imminent threats to our freedom, such preparation is an absolute necessity for survival.
Here are some of the threats.
A total collapse of the U.S. economy, along with a breakdown of civil institutions is very likely if not certain. Too many people are counting on capital—promised in the form of government bonds and governments guarantees of retirement checks and health care—that simply does not exist. Too many skilled producers are aging and dying, being replaced by young ignoramuses. Most people don’t yet know how poor they are. They continue to buy—as companies continue to make—luxury gadgets instead of saving for and investing in necessities such as food and health care. By the time they realize that HDTVs won’t replaced broken-down tractors, and sociologists and social-media specialists won’t replace farmers and engineers and doctors, and government bureaucrats won’t replace private property owners, it will be too late. There won’t be enough food and home heating and medicine to go around.
A full argument for my claim, that we are heading for a collapse of society, is outside the scope of this post (though not this blog), but here is the nutshell: The United States is heading toward socialism/fascism, and socialist/fascist societies collapse. For a fuller argument, read Atlas Shrugged.
When the collapse occurs, there will be anarchy. We capitalists—who are storing food, water, and other necessities—will need our guns to defend against the roving gangs of starving socialists. Some of the gangs may be armed and very large, coming from the ranks of SEIU , ACORN, Occupy Wall Street, and other cesspools bathed in by community organizers. It will take high-powered weapons to mow them down before they can get to us and eat us.
Many organized and powerful gangs involved in the illegal drug trade are entrenched in the U.S. They cannot live on drugs and paper money alone. They will need our food. The gangs of starving drug traffickers will have very many powerful weapons. We will need ours.
Islamists are at war with the United States, though our government and most of our intellectuals evade that fact. There are undoubtedly thousands of Islamist ‘sleepers’ now residing in the U.S., waiting for the right moment to attack. Such an attack might be coordinated with the use of a weapon of mass destruction, making it impossible for our government to protect us in our homes. Those who attack our homes will have weapons. We will need ours.
In desperate attempts to retain power while the economy collapses, socialist governments plunder and persecute their citizens more and more, and our government will be no exception. Though the best among the American military and police will at some point refuse to follow orders of overt persecution, the government will have its goons, and they will have weapons. We will need ours.
Then there are the old-fashioned threats from our old Cold War enemies, the communists. With the collapse of the Soviet Union—a socialist society—the U.S. won the Cold War. But Presidents Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama have un-won it. Russia, China, and/or North Korea might attack and even invade us just at the moment when we are reeling from the other threats I have mentioned. The last line of defense—and an effective deterrent—against a foreign invader is an armed citizenry.
In my judgment, most Americans alive today will die from one of the threats I have mentioned above. I hope I am wrong, but I think most Americans won’t even live long enough to die of Obamacare.
An individual’s best chance for survival is to live in a community that is prepared and defended. America’s best chance for survival is for enough capitalists to survive while socialists eat each other once they run out of our food.
Keeping our firearms is a necessary part of our best chance for survival. Indeed, we need more firepower, not less.
The United States is no longer the safe and civilized place that it was before the 1960s, when the New Left took over our federal government, our cities, and our popular culture. I witnessed the change, which was as abrupt as a nightmare.
People born after 1960 have no idea of the civilization that has been lost since then. I grew up in the Bronx in New York City, in a lower middle class melting pot. In 1961, when I was six, I would play in the park with my friends without adult supervision—at night. Mothers would wheel their baby carriages into the park and sit and talk—at night. On the day President Kennedy was assassinated, when I was eight, I was with my six-year-old sister in the park while she played with her friends. There was no adult supervision. I was the male supervision. In 1964, when I was nine, I went to about twenty baseball games, including a World Series game, at Yankee Stadium with my eleven-year-old friend—with no adult. I walked to school alone—everyone did—when I was seven, and the only reason I did not walk alone earlier was that I was too short for drivers to see me.
On the day the local orphanage had a field trip, half of my first-grade class was empty, because half of the children in the class were orphans. I don’t recall any rich people in my neighborhood. But there was no crime, no fear, and no ugliness of any kind.
By 1966, no one went into the park even in the daytime.
My family’s apartment was burglarized. So were apartments above and below us. We witnessed other burglaries. Race and ethnicity suddenly became an issue. Suddenly there was ugliness everywhere: profanity, harsh and dissonant music, unkempt dress and grooming, rampant drug use, and crime.
Politically, the New Left’s welfare state gave an excuse for every thug to rob from the richer to give to the poorer. Culturally, deliberate ugliness migrated from isolated museums and galleries and playhouses into American living rooms via the popular media, making it ‘cool’ to insult and ultimately destroy every civilized, Western, American value.
Reported per capita violent crime more than doubled in the decade of the 1960s, just when the welfare state expanded similarly. By 1991, the reported violent crime rate per capita had increased nearly five-fold. Since then, the rate has dropped, due in my opinion to Republican governors and mayors (such a Mayor Giuliani in New York) replacing more-Leftist predecessors (such as Mayor Dinkins in New York). But the reported per capita violent crime rate today is still more than double the rate in 1961, and I think the actual crime rate today is much higher. Reporting a crime is undoubtedly a very dangerous thing to do for an illegal immigrant or an individual living in a gang-infested ‘neighborhood’.
Both crime and New Leftist welfare-state politics are results of the same philosophical ideas: subjectivism, denial of an absolute reality, denial of the difference between external reality and the content of one’s mind; denial of free will; denial of the ability of the individual to know reality through reason; emotionalism instead of reason as a guide to action; denial of any causal connection from one’s thoughts and choices to one’s achievements; therefore relying on plundering and destroying others instead of producing; denial of absolute moral principles; denial of individual rights in favor of sacrificing the individual to others or oneself; denial of the importance of any individual; extreme egalitarianism, casting anyone who has less of anything—whether wealth or esteem—as a victim. (See also Leonard Peikoff, “What to Do About Crime,” The Intellectual Activist, September 1995.)
Individuals on the political Right think of their guns as a means of defending their life, liberty, and property. It is individuals on the political Left—and those who latch on to the ideas of the Left as a pretext for their evil—who think of guns as a means of carrying out their emotional urges to destroy.
It is far more likely to be murdered by an Obama-supporter than by a capitalist, anti-Obama owner of advanced firearms. It is even more likely to be killed by the domestic and foreign policies of Obama.
Because the New Leftist world we now live in is so dangerous, we need our guns not only in our homes, but also in public places.
What should a rational government do? I will answer that question in my next post.
I am thankful for all those individuals who taught me what I know, who know so much that I don’t, and with whom I can trade to live a plentiful life for just a few daily hours of my work.