Sunday, August 05, 2007

Individualist instinct

Humans instinctively know that individualism is the only way to exist. Those who wish to promote socialism or any other loss of individual determinism are either lying or, worse, trying to prove that humans are beyond instincts.

Look at the world of literature. Anyone who reads is bound to notice that all protagonists have to make decisions, often running directly counter to what the popular choice is in their world. A novel in which the State is right makes for lousy reading. Writers and readers have an instinct connecting them to decisive actors who do what is right, even if they are going against law, popular opinion, or unbeatable odds.

The folks who argue that we must all follow orders for the common good know this, of course, and try to convince everyone that their government will never be the ugly creation found in novels. Of course, any redistributive government is an ugly thing. It takes the products of one man's toil and gives them to others who have not toiled. It removes value from the one thing they claim it gives value to: labor. Labor, whether purely physical or largely intellectual, has inherent value. After all, nothing is produced without work of some sort. When you claim, though, that government should determine how the fruits of labor shall be divided, you have devalued it. No longer is man compensated for his efforts. He is told to let the government take care of him, and he shall, in turn, take care of the government through his labor. It is robbery of the vilest sort: robbery through consent. This consent need not be voluntary, but must be maintained as a careful illusion.

Some will say that certain people don't need the wealth they have produced. That may very well be true. It doesn't make that wealth unearned. It does not remove the work that produced it. These people denounce greed, claiming it is a human construct of evil. All creatures have a sense of greed. They mark territory, lay claim to anything they can take, and take control by force. It is only the human who has harnessed greed for the common good. If I make a computer chip and you need it, you pay me an amount we agree upon, and we both walk away happy. I do not sell it without making a profit, and you offer no more than it is worth to you. Likewise, if you need something done, and I am willing to do it at a given salary, we both benefit. The government simply takes, with no thought of value.

We have allowed these people to take our wealth for so long that we hardly notice. We write it off as a necessity, and we try to pretend the recipients need it. But we all feel a little bit of anger at tax time. We know it's wrong, but we keep sending part of our earnings to those who merely receive.

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