A Freedomist Perspective On The 2012 Election- By Bill Collier- The 2012 election is about unlimited government, as envisioned by the ideology of socialism. Socialism is a broad term: in its strictest application socialism is the total abolition of private property and the imposition of a planned economy with the state being the sole economic authority.
Not all socialists, however, are for this brand of socialism, at least initially. There are protosocialists who want to move towards socialism in small increments. There are neo-socialists who seek socialist goals but who are willing to rely on indirect government control, via taxes and wealth redistribution, over private property which they concede or allow to maintain an existence on paper only.
Socialism is achieved when all or most economic decisions are at least regulated by a central government. Such socialism might be neosocialism, protosocialism, or full-blown socialism: but one thing it isn’t is a truly free market.
The fundamental weakness of a free market program isn’t its program but its presentation. Socialism’s appeal is the promise that people can be guaranteed a level of wellness regardless of their ability, work ethic, or circumstances: this promise cannot ever be fulfilled but time and time again voters are fooled by it. The counter-claim by a free market advocate, that socialism will impoverish the nation while everyone under a free market CAN prosper just doesn’t sound appealing to someone who, frankly, might not want to do the work or take the risks required!
Long before we debate on the merits of charity towards the poor and needy, we need to establish a framework of understanding about the role, and authority, of government, or the state. It would be reasonable to say that there must be some kind of limits to the role and authority of the state, to say otherwise is only to invite trouble, because a state without limits is tyranny waiting to happen.
There is an argument I have heard that goes like this- if you like the fire department, social security, Medicaid/Medicare, and public schools then you have no right to argue that something like Obamacare is socialism. The logic they use in making this argument is that if Obamacare is socialism, then so are these other things, and if you don’t have a problem with these things, then you shouldn’t have a problem with Obamacare.
It is ironic, is it not, that the opponents of many of these programs actually said at the time words to the effect that these programs were “creeping socialism” and that they would be used to excuse full-fledged socialism at some later date. If you insist that these programs are a form of socialism, it is obvious that Americans have decided that they can tolerate a “little” socialism. The promise that was made when these programs were passed was that they would NOT lead to unlimited government, but now the argument is that if we accept PART of the socialist program then we MUST accept total socialism.
I would argue that NONE of these programs is worth keeping in a healthy and free society, although I am decidedly in the minority. The point is that Americans have accepted a partial socialism, this does not mean that they have to accept total socialism, which, by its nature, results in an unlimited, versus a limited, government.
There is no question that we, as a society, can and should care for those who lack, those who suffer, and those who cannot care for themselves. To say that everyone who is poor is poor merely because they don’t work hard is to ignore real prejudice, exploitation, and injustice that are at least as much of a factor as upbringing, environment, or sheer laziness. The real question is what price must we all pay to achieve this end- must we accept unlimited government and full-fledged socialism as a price for caring for the poor and needy? Must we all become like serfs on the government plantation all to help people who are impoverished and exploited?
It is better to be free and suffer, and be poor, than to have all your base animal needs, and lusts, satisfied at the expense of losing your freedom and, thereby, your dignity as a human being.
In 2012 America will be asked to decide (as we are every election) whether we will hear the siren call of utopian promises at the expense of our freedom or whether we will bear our own burdens (while helping others who need our help) without giving up one shred of our freedom.