The View From 1776
Friday, April 11, 2008
Leviathan vs Liberty
In the coming presidential election, the public should (but probably won’t) understand that the liberal-progressive political state is one requiring loss of individual liberty and reduction to collectivized servility.
Thomas Hobbes’s all-powerful collectivist state is the model for liberal-progressivism. It stands opposed to everything intended by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Hobbes, in the 17th century, defended absolutism of the Stuart King Charles I on the theory that humanity’s greatest benefactor was the all-powerful ruler - the Leviathan - who imposed law and order upon a fractious body of citizens. The degree of force - from laws and regulations to torture and death - was unimportant, since the people outside a forcibly controlled, autocratic society would do the same or worse to each other.
The only difference between Hobbes’s theory and that of liberal-progressives is the modification they borrow from Jean Jacques Rousseau, in whose theory humans were naturally good and benevolent in the state of nature. Original sin that cast the earliest humans out of that paradisiacal state of nature was the invention of private property, which introduced greed, aggression, crime, and war.
Liberal-progressive theory thus rests upon the proposition that the proper structure of government, i.e., socialist collectivism, can eliminate private property rights and recreate the benevolence of the original state of nature. To that is added Hobbes’s Leviathan.
Liberal-progressive political states, as experience has shown, must be powerful and ruthless enough to wrest private property from the clutches of “the rich”, whom President Franklin Roosevelt called economic royalists. People who have worked and saved to provide for the future of their families don’t willingly hand their life’s work over to a liberal abstraction called “the people.” They must be “re-educated” as Chairman Mao did with the Chinese people and the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia. Tens of millions lost their lives, but society was “purified” for socialism.
What liberal-progressives have continually done since 1933, and propose to continue at an accelerated pace, differs from practices of liberal-progressive dictators - from Lenin and Stalin, to Hitler, Mao and the Khmer Rouge - only in degree. It is exactly the same attitude and process: liberal-progressives presume to know what is best for you and to force you to live in accordance with their designs.
Hence today we hear Senator Clinton proposing to compel every citizen to purchase her prescribed brand of national health insurance. We hear Senator Obama promising to raise, even more than double, taxes upon inherited wealth, capital gains, and other forms of income. Pharmaceutical and petroleum companies are effectively to be nationalized by the use of price controls. At the behest of socialistic labor unions, free trade, along with cheaper imports that benefit the middle-income and poor citizenry, are to be curtailed or repealed. Both Senators promise to add manifold layers of regulations covering individuals and businesses to the tens of millions of such regulations enacted since President Roosevelt’s New Deal.