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.