Sunday, November 30, 2008
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 9 Comments
Social justice has been used to lay the bricks and bars of a vast prison of nations across the civilized world. In the name of providing aid to the disposed, an ever expanding category, people at large have been deprived of their independence and their incomes. But rather than aiding anyone, what has been truly built up is a vast bureaucracy to man the walls and herd the people through every step of their lives.
Socialism has reversed the human march toward freedom and out of the shadow of monarchies and empires which assumed the ownership of the rights of its subjects. Like the monarchs of old, socialism promises protection in exchange for subservience. The contract isn't stated as clearly as that, but that is its final end point.
Give us your freedoms and we'll measure out your health care and your life expectancy, we'll give you unemployment and take back the bulk of your income, give us your free speech and we'll tell you what to think.
Of course like Satan laying out his proposal to Faust or your average television commercial, only the advantages of the arrangement are laid out, but not the dark price that has to be paid to get those advantages.
For Conservative movements the world over to matter again, the question must be put to nation after nation. Would you rather be taken care of on a second rate basis in exchange for all your freedoms or would you rather be free?
Satan's appeal to Faust relied on his pride. The chief arsenal of big government is fear. "Either you give us unlimited power or who knows what will happen to you? Sure you may not like paying high income taxes, find your life narrowly restricted and your choices limited... but just imagine what could happen without our safety net?"
And that safety net remains the most compelling thing socialism has to offer. But what the safety net really means is the abrogation of responsibility, the promise that entire populations need never grow up, need never function as adults because they live and die secure in the cradle of the nanny state.
Little wonder then too that socialist countries are filled with pop culture offerings that shout, rant and rave about rebellion. Of course when you refuse to be an adult, posturing about being a rebel is the next best substitute. But not a rebellion that leads to adulthood, but to greater infantilism, more Socialism, Marxism, Communism and even a smiling Great Teacher in the form of Che or Obama to lead you there and solve all your problems.
As Conservative movements adopt to socialism, they begin playing on a socialist ball field in a contest that they may win in the short term, even as they are losing disastrously in the long term. Because on a socialist ball field, all that conservatives can do is try to hold back the worst policies of the left, this only makes a socialist system more functional, or try to divy up the benefits another way. Often both.
In doing so Conservatives give up their most compelling argument against the Left, individual freedom.
The general public is surprisingly well aware of the price being paid for the benefits socialism promises, of the bureaucrats they are subservient to, the high taxes on their income and the centralized control that is as aimless and dysfunctional as anything operating out of Moscow. They know the problem, what they all too often lack is an opposition that puts their grievances into words and then actually does something about it when in power.
If we can give them that, then we can win. And freedom can win.