that I should not have retracted my gripe about the God King’s “No man is an island” speech:
I don’t think you should have changed your position on Obama in the post. Although I think the “God King” monker should be reserved for pro-life issues. I wrote something in response to John Wright, but didn’t post it. It explains why I think you’re wrong. Sure there’s an “obligation” to support the common good, even perhaps through taxes.
But in fascist terms, property and commerce cannot exist without a state authority to invent and preserve them. The “obligation” to maintain the state, and to accept its control of every activity, arises merely by living. There is no distinction between the institution that regulates weights and measures and the farmer who grows wheat; both are participating in a state program called “agricultural commerce,” and the farmer is wrong to think his land or work is anything but a function in that program. If the farmer succeeds, “he didn’t do it alone” because his success is an example of a successful state program. Whether that program involves subsidies, or the working of other state programs like the family, education, or road building, is beside the point. The point is that the farmer’s obligation to the state exists because the farmer owes his life to the state. “Everything for the state. Nothing outside the state.” This is what Republicans and Democrats believe. It’s no less pernicious because it’s political boilerplate. Quite the contrary.
In reality, the state doesn’t “make the market possible.” You don’t need full-throated “state of nature” philosophy to know that property and contract are natural rights that weren’t invented by the state. There are conditions that make collective, even governmental, action beneficial to property and contract. People can agree on these conditions and allow their property to be confiscated to support common projects intended to ameliorate these conditions. But the common project is properly understood to be a delegated, secondary function that can be changed or terminated when it ceases to serve its purposes. A successful farmer “didn’t do it alone” because she contracted with other free people to work a farm; to the extent her success can be traced to state programs, well, she’s already paid for them and it’s just and right that she have their benefits. The “obligation” a successful person has to the state is the obligation to be prudent, not an obligation to an entity in which he or she lives, moves, and has their being.
This distinction gets blurred when the state uses public debt to finance projects no one paid for, and enlists legions of hacks in academia, the media, and chambers of commerce to hype the benefits of government programs “to us all,” but whether we end up as slaves or the free people God intended us to be depends on realizing that distinction. Obama and the Democrats realize it, and openly opt for fascism. Romney and the Republicans realize it, but they merely use popular resentment of the paradigm to further their own fascist ambitions.
Well, that’s my 5-minutes of daily pomposity done. Ta.
Discuss. I, for one, have no trouble with the thesis that we are rapidly morphing into a fascist state and that our Ruling Classes on both sides of the aisle are complicit. So I think this argument has much to commend it. What do you think?