Had a typical conversation with a Libertarian about the question of health care as a right. He was a typical Catholic dissenter from the Church’s teaching on this point, offering the typical Libertarian falsehoods like:
The reason this is a lie is that health care is not charity. It is, as the Church teaches, a right.
The Libertarian lie in reply to this is twofold.
- There can be no right to something that requires the property and labor of another person, and
- Such a right would mean that said property and labor *must* be provided free of charge, meaning slavery.
The reply to these lies is twofold as well:
- This lie means that no child, born or unborn, can have a right to life since children do nothing but demand the labor and property of others in order to live. Both Rothbard and Rand asserted precisely this, which made them extremely consistent Libertarian and extremely horrible human beings. Every Catholic Libertarian who asserts this damnable lie is a friend of the abortionist, but an enemy of the Faith.
- The same people who say there is no right to health care say out of the other side of their mouths that we have a right to keep and bear arms. Yet somehow, miraculously, this right does not involve enslaving gun manufacturers. Nor does a right to food, shelter, education, or justice mean enslaving grocers, builders, teachers or police and judges. Some of them we pay in the private sector and others we pay via the state. We can do the same with health care professionals.
The reason health care is a right is that life is a right and health is simply a corollary of that. And because health care is a right, guaranteeing access to it, like guaranteeing the right to be born, is a matter of justice, not charity, too. And since it is precisely the business of the state to secure justice, it is the rightful business of the state to secure access to health care for all.
My Libertarian correspondent would have none of this, of course, and emitted the customary lie of Libertarians that state involvement in health care robbed him of the power to glow with the burning personal charity that would consume his heart for the poor and sick, did not the state remove a buck and half from his paycheck in brutal act of violent theft. The poor and sick would see the dawn of a new Millennium of care for all their needs at the hands of a Marching Army of Living Libertarians Saints more generous than St. Francis of Assisi if the state and its monstrous confiscatory powers were not aided by the liberal cabal Catholic bishops in calling for universal health care (as they have, in fact, done for a century).
But then the mask suddenly slipped and he wrote:
You’re an economic buffoon who also happens to be guilty of the sins of sloth and gluttony. You and your following should be ashamed of yourselves for demanding the robbery of the material wealth of the productive. How much of your health care is a right? You’re obese. Should we be forced to pay extra for your sins of gluttony and sloth?
And there it was. All the burning charity suddenly evaporated and made clear that the use of medicine as a weapon to punish the lebensunwertes leben is one of the many charming features of Libertarianism. You know, like this:
I remember when Catholics were all up in arms about “death panels”. Turns out the only real problem was that guys like my deeply, truly Catholic Libertarian reader wanted to make sure that *he* got to chair them.
And that’s the thing. With very few exceptions, Libertarianism is a philosophy which, in contests between the wealthy and powerful vs. the poor, virtually *always* sides with the powerful and declares any state action on behalf of justice for the defenseless to be “violence” while all violence against the weak is “the invisible hand of the market”.
Mixed with a smug “real Catholic” pride, it assumes all illness is God’s punishment for sin and wants to see the wrath of God run its course on those guilty of (in this case) gluttony and sloth (like he knows one damn thing about me and is competent to render such a verdict on the life of a total stranger). This Libertarian Judge of Souls wants diabetics (or anybody else they deem guilty of health-related sins, whether sinfully pregnant women, sinfully sick smokers, sinfully obese cubicle workers or sinfully sick AIDS patients) to die as punishment rather than he pay one damn penny to help their treatment. And he wants everybody to believe that this is all because he is more personally generous than St. Francis of Assisi, but the state gets in the way of his holy charity. These guys are so full of crap and such massive and vindictive narcissists, it takes your breath away.