NEEDS, RIGHTS, DESIRES, AND ENTITLEMENTS
JUNE 9, 2010. There are many messiahs among us.
They have various visions of the future, but these visions have a common denominator: the future will be One Thing for Everyone. It will be a single choir singing the same tune.
Why? Because the messiahs can’t stand plural reality, open reality, fertile reality. The messiahs want a locked gate on their uniform paradise.
And to make sure the future has that gate, they need Authority, a guiding hand to bring us all into the same campground and keep us there.
Contrast this to the description of limited government embedded in the Constitution.
Then flash forward to the present, when government is the official messiah. If a person has a need, the government will determine whether it is a right. If a person has a desire, the government will say whether it is an entitlement.
Although the Bill of Rights enumerated what the government couldn’t do to hinder freedom, the new meaning of “right” is “what I deserve without working for it.”
Imagine what would happen if the president stepped out of the shadows and frankly said: “Here is a list of things you can get without working for them—and in order to give them to you, we’re going to strip assets from other people.”
It’s far worse than that, however, because government is the only entity who can deliver new rights—and that means government will define and enforce the coming paradise.
Consider the psychology of this operation, from the user’s point of view. It’s as if you spent a few hours with a child and explained to him that he deserved certain things, and it would up to him to decide what these RIGHTS were—and then he could whimper, whine, beg, demand—and maybe he would succeed in getting them.
If aliens from another dimension ever land on Earth and make themselves known, you can be sure they’ll be asking for third, fourth, and fifth eye surgery to alter lens-refraction, so they can perceive 20/20 in this universe, and a cluster of senators will sponsor a bill to fund it with tax money.
Perhaps the mostly deeply ignored fact about the Constitution is this: people wrote it to establish a federal government before there was any such government.
People built the government. Therefore, the rights listed in the Bill of Rights were people’s way of saying to the very government they were creating, “Don’t try to encroach on us.”
Now, however, most people flaccidly believe the GOVERNMENT is granting US those rights.
It was never that way.
But once the fallacy is in place, government becomes the dispenser. As such, it can invent new definitions of, and new kinds of, rights and destroy the fabric of society.
For example, the federal government can say: “We have passed a law that defines what illegal immigration is. This is how we’re going to enforce that law. We’re not going to enforce it. Furthermore, we’re going to extend certain benefits and free services to the aliens we designate as illegal. And those benefits will be funded by the taxpayer. In other words, we’re going to take people’s earned money and use it for those we have designated as criminals. You see, the United States isn’t a real country. It’s part of a global society, and in that society, everybody deserves things. These things are now called rights.”
And as that signal is given, many messiahs and dreamers step forward and say, “Yes, all this is good. This will give us, eventually, the universal paradise of love we’ve been seeking. Everyone will feel that love. Give it enough time. Everyone will feel the love that comes from charity and giving.”
If you don’t like that example, try this one. The government passes a national health-insurance plan. The government says, “This great gift to all people can’t be paid for unless we take money that isn’t ours from people who earn it. We take that money by forcing everyone to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. And we may raise taxes. We’re doing this because everyone has a right to medical treatment—more specifically, to the kinds of medical treatment we deem appropriate and effective and safe—and to none other.”
And again the many messiahs and dreamers step out into the light and say, “This is good. This is the expression of caring and love. We are moving closer to heaven on Earth.”
What does any of this have to do with the notion of limited government spelled out in the Constitution?
“Well,” some say, “it has very little to do with it. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is doing the right thing for the greatest number of people, and how you get there is irrelevant. Obviously, government, generally speaking, is the most powerful force in the world, so government should be prodded until it carries the banner of altruism into every corner of the planet.”
Really? In that case, let’s hurry up and pass an Amendment canceling the whole Constitution and replace it with The Church of Doing Good, to which taxable membership will be mandatory.
Coming at this from a slightly different angle: freedom, the messiahs say, was invented so we could give freedom away by giving everybody everything.
However, as it plays out, when you embolden government to be the main messiah, it becomes coercive master of us all. It can tell us what to do whenever it wants to. And it wants to.
This fact doesn’t trouble the little messiahs. They fervently believe forcing people into paradise is necessary, is justified, and pragmatically speaking, may be the only way to get there.
There are a whole host of religious groups and non-profits and advocacy groups and the like, who live to extend Goodness and Charity—and for them such matters as the Constitution and private property mean absolutely nothing. They are “more evolved,” and they know it. They are univeralists who are doing the Work. Factor in the communitarians and the communists and the socialists—in a nice way, of course—and those who see the banner of sympathy and altruism as the selling point for accumulating more power, and the kids who live for hope and change and a better world…and you have a considerable force pushing America into a vision of Daddy and Mommy taking care of everyone.
This force tries to work through government to make their dream come true.
Rather than concentrate solely on the latest incursion, I believe it’s long past the time when people should begin considering the overall picture. What vision do you favor? What is your philosophic view?
And if that view is contrary in letter and spirit to the Constitution, what is your advice on how we should handle the Constitution?