Column on the Left’s Dismissal of Individual Rights

The
Left’s Dismissal of Individual Rights

Tibor R.
Machan

For those
of us who have escaped Draconian tyrannies and reached America, for a long time
it may be difficult to adjust to the fact that American Leftists are every bit
the fascists that some claim they are.  As Susan Sontag said,
"Communism is successful fascism." A little inspection of modern
American liberalism will also bring this to light–just consider that it was
Woodrow Wilson and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. who had no patience with opponents
of various public policies governments forged during their time and sent those
opposed to them to prison.  (It was Warren Harding, that negligible
right-winger, who eventually set these dissidents free!)

Today the
Left’s fascistic tendencies are still quite evident, although there is often a
kind of sophistication about them (e. g., via the doctrine of
Communitarianism).  Anyone who reads The New York Review of Books can
testify to this.  No matter what public policy issues is being discussed
in its pages, The Review always treats the wealth of the
nation as collectively owned, rejecting that quintessentially American idea of
the right to private property.  No, everything belongs to us all and
government is to allocate the resources in line with how the elite deems
proper.

In a
recent discussion of the Obama administration’s so called reform of the health
care system–a reform that’s really a revolution in American terms since it
involves the nationalization of the system–once again it is clear that the
folks over there just think the government has the authority and power to
conscript our labor and confiscate our resources in support of whatever scheme
they believe we ought to swallow.  This is pretty much what we get in
Arnold Relman’s essay, "The Health Reform We Need & Are Not
Getting" (July 2, 2009).  

Relman
has retired from Harvard’s Medical School and is very closely linked with
Canada’s system and I am not interested in the specifics of his
recommendations.  What is far more noteworthy is just how readily he
treats all the problems with the system he alleges in a state-corporatist
fashion.  It is as if America were this huge organization and he were
giving its managers advice on how to deal with health care issues.  What
is of no concern to him, as it is not to most of those in the Obama
administration, is that the resources to be used in securing various
"reforms" belong to people whose permission to use those resources
are by all rights required.  But never mind such trivia.  

The way
Relman disposes of such considerations is to say, at one point that "Many
others with ideological objections to ‘big government’ pay lip service to
reform, but will bulk at proposals that threaten private insurance…."
 When I read these lines, about those many others "with ideological
objections to ‘big government’," I thought of all those millions behind
the Iron Curtain who had objections to big government, all those enslaved by
The Third Reich, all those caught up in the fascists policies of war-time Italy,
as well as all those throughout human history who have been used and abused by
big governments and their apologists (who always have some glorious excuse for
doing this).  To most authors writing for The New York Review of
Books
, however, such objections come only from ideologues, mindless zombies
who simply follow some set of banalities and whose views deserve no attention
or consideration by refined folks like Mr. Relman.  

No one
who knows a bit about the Left’s social philosophy can be surprised about the
Relman position since for the Left there simply exist no human individuals with
rights to their lives, liberty and property.  For the Left we are all
cells in the greater whole of society or humanity and we need to submit to the
rule of those who have somehow managed to become the chiefs of this collective.
 What you might like to do with your life, with your resources, is all
irrelevant since you are nothing but a limb of the society, with no genuine
rights of your own any more than you fingers or ears have rights.  

Matters
of the citizenry’s health care–or of anything else, actually–are all
corporate matters, and you and the rest of the population are involuntary
servants of this corporation guided by the snooty wisdom of the likes of Mr.
Relman.  He can just dismiss all of those who might fret about issues like
big government–such as the small matter of the voiding of the consent of the
governed or rights violations (perpetrated when our labor and wealth is taken
from us for various glorious objectives without our permission).  Because
we don’t matter to such folks–only society, humanity, the community and such
collectives have a true reality for them.  

Talk
about ideology!  That is the most insidious ideology that has ever been
concocted by the human imagination to rationalize the rule of some people over
others who have been cleverly silenced.  Yes, the opposite viewpoint, one
that credits individual human beings with unalienable rights to their lives,
liberty and pursuit of happiness does not fit within this scheme, not at all.
 But it is a far more sensible one.

 

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