L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 914, March 19, 2017
The Self-Centered Collectivist
by Cathy L.Z. Smith
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
What distresses me most about the post-modern liberal mindset is its unshakable conviction that the concerns that consume its self- identified members—and I cast no aspersions here for many (though not all) are legitimate, important, and moving—are the only concerns that matter. Their approach to problem-solving insists that only collectivists can concoct a legitimate solution, and that that solution will and must involve the involuntary participation (at the point of a gun is perfectly acceptable) of others. In case I’m being too opaque here, I’m talking about the absurdity of, among other things, “charity” in, and at, the hands of government.
People with good ideas solve problems every day. Most of the problems that are solved involve people of conviction who are willing to expend their own resources (or others’ voluntarily contributed resources—churches are a great example, but certainly not the only example) to make the world a better place; to right a wrong, to feed the homeless, to educate a child.
Once you accept the premise that what you regard as good can only be accomplished by taking (demanding the surrender of) resources that belong to others—whether they wish to participate or not—you end up with the moral inversion that results in the arrest of “unsanctioned” people committing acts of kindness with their own resources toward a common goal. (See, for instance, people arrested for voluntarily providing meals to homeless people in various locales—most notably Florida, and, of course, California.)
Until you get over the mistaken belief that you have a right to prioritize the use of resources you did not create, for causes their owners do not share, you are doomed to fail. And all of the truly good causes you espouse will perish along with the very people who have allowed you to plunder their resources.
They are waking up to the notion that you are not morally superior. And you, with your thuggish behavior, are making that truth abundantly clear.
So, decide. Decide if you have it within you do to good without forcing someone else to pay for it. Otherwise, you’re just a part of the problem, not part of the solution.
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