Rebirth of Reason


Mitt Romney Was Right
by Tibor R. Machan

        When during the last presidential election campaign Mitt Romney suggested that some 47 percent of Americans choose to be dependent on the government, he seems to have been right.  (The exact number is probably impossible to ascertain.) And at this time, the Democrats are pretty much hoping that at least that many Americans believe they are the beneficiaries of government wealth redistribution, consisting of welfare payments, subsidies, Medicare, unemployment benefits, public works, public education, etc., etc., which they will secure of them.

         To generalize this, let us simply take it that a very large proportion of the citizenry sees itself as dependent on government support.  This is how most people in Europe and elsewhere around the globe see themselves.  They require cradle to grave handouts.  The rest are the producers, people who take the initiative to be productive, creative, and so forth.  It is this latter group that supplies the resources from which the former take the wealth they require for their survival and flourishing.  So Mitt Romney had it roughly right.

         What is one to make of this?  Well, before we can answer we need to figure out if those who depend on government support in their lives have it right—do they have it coming to them?  Do the others, the productive ones owe them the support they require and gain?

         The Democrats evidently think so.  But they have a problem: how is the support to be supplied?  After all, both groups are in need of sustenance and if only one group supplies the resources, will the support be sufficient?  And will those who produce it be willing to continue to do so?

         Socialists believe that the society is just one “organic body” and as with all such entities resources are used indiscriminately by the organism so as to support its various functions, organs, faculties, etc., never mind who produces and who consumes the resources; those are for the whole system to use as is needed: “From each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her need!”

         Trouble is some of the people will have to decide about all this.  It is not automatic, contrary to what Marxists think. And here is where the politicians and their appointed bureaucrats enter the picture. So called democratic socialists give the impression that there can be some grand democratic process that handles the administration of the distribution of responsibilities and uses, who must produce and who may consume.  And that tends to foster internal conflict within the society subject to the democratic socialist process.  After a while those who take from the system will insist that those who produce in it need to work harder.  Or enormous debt will be accumulated that member of future generations must shoulder.  And the willingness to do this may not be forthcoming after a while.  Intergenerational conflict will arise.

         Marx and other communists thought that the distribution of responsibilities would occur automatically and peacefully, but he was counting on a new human being, “the new man,” he called it, to emerge but that is a myth.  No such new man is in sight.  So ordinary human beings, for ordinary human beings, must handle the administration of the socialist system etc., etc.  No magic will be forthcoming.

         Ordinary human beings, however, don’t stand for being coercively used by their fellows, so in time there will be clashes.  At first they will do this politically but in time coercive force will arise.  The gulags will be utilized, to rid the system of people who don’t want to be used.  So democratic socialism degenerates into Soviet style socialism.

         Bernie Sanders, don’t kid yourself!

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