"I'm not going to lecture you about Jeff Bezos either, although I do want to note that he came out of a hedge fund and he's ostensibly a libertarian; these aspects of his background make me uneasy, because in my experience they tend to be found in conjunction with a social-darwinist ideology that has no time for social justice,
compassion, or charity. (When you hear a libertarian talking about "disruption" and "innovation" what they usually mean is "opportunities to make a quick buck, however damaging the long-term side effects may be". Watch for the self-serving cant and the shout-outs to abstractions framed in terms of market ideology.)"
Would you imagine that this...person could, if pressed, define "social justice?" Could he provide a definition that would allow a dispassionate observer to determine what it is and what it is not -- where it starts and where it ends? Would you imagine that he could refute the libertarian critique of government-imposed "compassion" and "charity?" Indeed, do you think he's intellectually capable of grasping the distinction between a right and a desire, much less formulating that distinction intensively?
This is the sort of sanctimonious bilge left-liberals spout continuously: rather than cope with the substance of their opponents' arguments, they attack their opponents' characters and motives.
Moreover, they do so at every opportunity, whether appropriate or not, so that their listeners can never forget the contempt they feel for those who dissent from their dogmas. It demonstrates their inability to cope with the existence of intelligent persons who differ with them. It also demonstrates the willfulness that characterizes minor children who haven't yet accepted the fundamental aspect of natural law.
What's the fundamental aspect of natural law, you ask? Exactly and only this: It exists.
Every other feature of the universe, from the properties of matter and energy all the way up to the mysteries of human motivation, flows from that statement. A truly great writer, Robert A. Heinlein, put it this way in his novel Glory Road:
"May it please milord hero, the world is not what we wish it to be. It is what it is. No, I have over-assumed. Perhaps it is indeed what we wish it to be. Either way, it is what it is. Le voila! Behold it, self-demonstrating. Das Ding an Sich. Bite it. It is. Ai-je raison? Do I speak truly?"
Libertarian thought proceeds from our recognition that:
- The universe has laws;
- That some of those laws pertain to the satisfaction and limitation of human desires;
- And that no matter how desperate their desire nor how great their exertions, legislatures, courts, autocrats, and squads of thugs with guns cannot violate, repeal, or modify them.
Libertarian thought is essentially an exercise in humility before the natural order. It takes the laws of nature as fixed, which the left-liberal is unwilling to do. It attempts to orient men's desires that things be other than they are: honoring the decent man's impulse toward meliorism while nonetheless recognizing that under the laws of nature, not all the things we wish for are possible.
The left-liberal -- the sincere left-liberal, as opposed to the one whose principal goal is power over others -- rejects the premise. He insists that what he wants must be possible, and on the terms he has decreed. Why? Because he wants it that way. Badly. So badly that he's willing to trample on others' rights to whatever extent is required to get it.
As we have seen, both here in America and elsewhere, when the left-liberal acquires political power, the rest of us had better look to our defenses. Indeed, we'd better keep a tight grip on them, for sooner
or later -- usually sooner -- he will attempt to strip us of them. We can't allow the hoi polloi the means of resisting what we know is best for them, now can we?
The day the left-liberal discovers that no amount of coercive force can overcome the laws of nature is a sad day for all of us. But in a final irony, he's massively unwilling to admit that he could possibly have been wrong. You'll hear every imaginable excuse and self-exculpation. "The wrong people were in power." "We weren't consistent enough." "There were too many counter-revolutionary elements." Or most chilling of all: "More terror is required," the trumpet call of the French revolutionaries whose excesses brought Napoleon upon Europe.
I've tried mightily to treat with left-liberals, and indeed, with all those who differ with me politically, as if they were potential libertarians: sincere in their convictions but erroneous in their premises or misled in their reasoning. Cretins such as the one whose suppurating, self-canonizing contempt evoked this tirade make it ever more difficult.
Their childish willfulness, so dismissive of the destruction their ideology has wrought and continues to wreak, deserves as much contempt in return as it expresses toward us.