Saturday, 22 May 2010

Common Sense Of The Week

Once you buy the argument that some segment of the citizenry should lose their rights, just because they are envied or resented, you are putting your own rights in jeopardy-- quite aside from undermining any moral basis for respecting anybody's rights. You are opening the floodgates to arbitrary power. And once you open the floodgates, you can't tell the water where to go.
The author is commenting on Barack Obama's recent generalisation that "at some point, you have made enough money.". Do go read the whole piece as he argues that such a policy doesn't breed social justice at all, as socialists seek, but instead manifestly damages society. And the poor will always suffer the most.

The above paragraph leapt off the page though, as it can be applied to just about any facet of human behaviour.

From the moment the government made it compulsory for bikers to wear helmets, a chain reaction has taken place whereby, even if living the life of a nun, the state has a hand in dictating how you live. And behind every law - every cry that 'something must be done' - is a group of people who will, at some point, become targets of those who disagree with their own way of life. Not only that, but by perpetuating the assumption that it is acceptable to meddle with the mores of others, they actively contribute to their own future troubles.

Such does the sum of human enjoyment and prosperity deteriorate with every action designed to lecture, or coerce, others.

Or, as John Stuart Mill once put it:

"All errors which [a citizen] is likely to commit against advice and warning, are far outweighed by the evil of allowing others to constrain him to what they deem his good"
Which kinda proves that not only are the righteous often a financial drain on our country, or any country for that matter, they are also a social one.

In short, although they truly believe they are improving matters, in reality the best thing they could do to improve the overall state of the nation is hang themselves from the nearest tree.


Pavlov's Cat said...

From the moment the government made it compulsory for bikers to wear helmets

I think it goes back further than that to the gradual disarmament of the public by creeping steps down the years 'for our own good'.

Ian B said...

Nationalisation of the Telegraph (1868). The Contagious Diseases Acts (1860s). And so on. It goes back a long way, past the BBC (1926) and the pub licensing laws (1914).

I always recommend GK Cheserton's awesome essay Eugenics and Other Evils which he began in 1913 and published after the war after he realised with horror that the fashion for "Prussianism" had not subsided. It describes, from the time it occurred, the rise of the health fascists and reminds us that coercion preceded welfare. And, it makes one wryly smile, he mentions at one point that things are so bad in America that some people are even objecting to tobacco! Heh.

You know my historical narrative. This is simply the second wind of the Victorian Era- the era that invented the nanny state and political correctness. It went quiet during the mid 20th century due to a liberalising reaction by teh masses and the distraction of Marxism. Now it's back in full force. Though it never went away, it just went quiet for a bit. That's my take on it.

Chuckles said...

Coming down from the trees was a bad idea.

The only net gain in such circumstances is in how good they feel about themselves. That warm glow of righteousness while they stifle the rights and aspirations of everyone else around them. As a dense fog of 'smug' slowly smothers any semblance of resistance around them.

The only cure is a swift and hard metal toed kick in the gonads. With any necessary follow up.

Mrs Rigby said...

Seatbelts. - We wear them, but do they stop accidents or do they create an illusion of safety?

"Enough money"? - Tell that to a multi-million pound lottery winner, when they get x-amount of their winnings taken away by the state because they've 'won too much' so must, by law, share it with everybody who didn't win, or who didn't buy a ticket.

Crumpled Fiveskin said...

The only way Compo and Clegg could match their rhetoric in this area would be to reassert the 1688 Bill o' Rights as law (including the bit about only protestants being able to have weapons).

I mean, would you trust a monk swinging a pair of nuns? (a reference to nunchakus like wot Bruce Lee does... for the uninitiated... ah well)

It's interesting though, that the whole myth of Englishness as being somehow "Prussian"-like is mostly a Victorian thing, perhaps something to do with having Hermans infiltrating the monarchy since 1714 and having a stifling influence on our more boisterous Anglo-Celtic indigenous culture.

The sooner we shake off such corrupting foreign influences the better for freedom and social cohesion it will be...


@84 mil is too much to be handing out as a prize, it would be a healthier situation to have 84 winners of a mil than 1 winner of 84.

JohnRS said...

"the best thing they could hang themselves from the nearest tree."

Great idea, ask them to form an orderly queue. I'm happy to donate the rope if someone has a decent tree?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Mrs R: "Seatbelts. - We wear them, but do they stop accidents or do they create an illusion of safety?"

They reduce deaths of people IN cars, but don't actually save any lives overall.

The deaths are just transferred to those OUTSIDE the car.

J Bonington Jagworth said...

I've heard it suggested that the greatest contribution to road safety would be a spike (sharp end out) in the middle of each steering wheel...

(I'd make it a trident for young chavs, but that's a refinement for later, perhaps.)