Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Other People’s Money And Other People’s Lives

     The Left has unrolled its customary screen of defensive dithyrambs in the wake of the death of Fidel Castro.

  • “He educated the whole country!”
  • “He gave them free health care!”
  • And of course, “The U.S. kept trying to assassinate him!”

     We’re deluged with them whenever anyone dares to mention that Castro was a murderous thug who reduced the entire country (except for his cronies) to poverty, imprisoned, tortured, and killed anyone who dared oppose his regime, used Cuba’s skilled professionals as trade goods, and welcomed Soviet nuclear-armed IRBMs into his nation. Apparently the Left believes that “free health care” trumps that list of peccadilloes.

     (Try asking a Leftist whether a Castro-level program of tyranny would be justified if it could bring “free health care” to the United States. Ask from a significant distance. Report back on your results.)

     Of course, it’s all just rhetoric to them. The Left isn’t blind to the inherent contradictions of government-provided “free health care,” or free anything else. Otherwise they wouldn’t tie themselves into knots straining to justify ever higher levels of taxation. The only things that really matter are getting, keeping, and enlarging their power over us. The immediate launch of the “free health care” shibboleth is probably triggered by some subconscious mechanism they can’t override.

     One who believes in power over others must possess rationalizations with which to justify breaking the eggs to make his government-provided omelet. Otherwise he can’t maintain his belief in his superior wisdom and virtue.

     About three years ago, I wrote the following:

     A man has committed acts of sabotage to which he freely admits. Those acts have taken the lives of several persons presumed to have been innocent of all crimes. In the U.S., we would call those "felony murders," which are punished at least as harshly as any second-degree murder. His defense is to claim that the political system against which he fights justifies any and all such acts in the effort to overthrow it.

     If the story is stripped of any further details, most persons would say that the saboteur is guilty and deserves the full weight of the law. But there are further details: the saboteur was Nelson Mandela, and the context was apartheid South Africa.

     Let's stipulate that Mandela did mend his ways, to the extent of forgiving his enemies and striving for unity in post-apartheid South Africa. It remains an incontestable fact that as a young man he was personally involved in acts of sabotage that cost the lives of presumptive innocents. He was outspoken about it at his trial. That demands that we ask the core question of all civil uprisings: Does the situation Mandela fought against justify the violence he perpetrated?

     When he was tried in 1962, Nelson Mandela boasted of his acts of sabotage. Persons familiar with those events are virtually unanimous in condemning them and him. I’m one of them. South Africa’s apartheid regime was wrong, but it wasn’t murderous. Moreover, it was failing even then, as employers, landlords, and other South Africans devised ways to circumvent the apartheid laws.

     How, then, can we allow these attempts to justify Fidel Castro’s bloody and brutal reign of terror over Cuba?

     Few nations today are as brutally oppressed as Castro’s Cuba. North Korea and Iran come to mind. Venezuela comes pretty close. The rationalizations mounted by American Leftists for the actions of despots such as Venezuela’s Chavez and Maduro make a perfect parallel to those Leftists’ rationalizations of the actions of Fidel Castro.

     Apparently, to the Left a tyrant can make free with other people’s money and lives as long as he does it for the right reasons: e.g., “free health care.”

     I must post once more a brilliant snippet from a uniformly brilliant novel:

    "Your certainty is impressive," Ryan said. "It allows you to justify your faith in mass murder."
    "It's not murder," she said, "when the violence is justified by the revolution. The bourgeois regime being attacked is criminal and inhuman and all who are obedient to it are complicit in its interminable violence. In acts of revolutionary violence against the enemy anyone complicit with the enemy who is killed is guilty of the crime of the enemy. It is not murder."
    "So riding a subway train to work," Ryan said, "is a criminal act punishable by death?"
    "When seen in its true historical context, it certainly is," she said confidently.
    "Everyone on the subway is equally guilty," Ryan suggested.
    "No, not if you go person by person, a maid or janitor is not carrying the same level of guilt as a stockbroker or corporate executive, but revolutionary violence sweeps with an inclusive broom. The statement it makes is bold and absolute and is a warning to all...."
    "And what do you believe in, soldier boy? Gawd?"
    "In the individual and his liberty," Ryan said, rising to the bait.
    "Oh dear, an American. You people are so charming, so quaint," she said, "always the perpetual football players running onto the field to the roar of the crowd and the bouncing breasts of the cheerleaders."
    "You're an American, aren't you, Ms. Garvin?" he asked.
    "Ah, no," she said. "I stopped thinking of myself as that, as an American when I was a teenager. That's what we call 'the normal maturation process' these days, soldier boy. Sorry you missed it."
    "So you're not an American," Ryan said. "What are you?"
    "I'm a citizen of the world," she said.
    "That's a big concept," Ryan said.
    "It's basic," she said. "You must have missed it while you were attending your ROTC meetings."
    "I guess I did," Ryan said. "That would explain why I'm still just an American with a silly belief in freedom."
    Garvin laughed.
    "Freedom? You think this America is free? You've got ninety percent of the people glued to their couches gazing like zombies into their televisions and eating non-stop. And then they jump off their couches for five minutes of history when a couple of tall buildings are knocked down in New York. That's the America I see. That's the America the revolution sees. This freedom thing you believe in, soldier boy, is a fairy tale, just like Gawd. History is unfolding right before your eyes and you're running in the opposite direction after the fairies of freedom and the goblins of terrorism. You should run in the direction of revolutionary violence, all of you should, get out in front of it, get off this America thing, because it is dead, a thing of the past. America no longer exists. You just haven't realized it. None of you have....
    "What you people refuse to understand," Garvin said, jumping into the silence that had fallen over the room, "is that this freedom of yours is no more than pitiful self-indulgence at the expense of others. What the revolution does is take the anger and frustration of those who hunger for justice in the world and shape that into purposeful violence. You try to deny that by calling it 'senseless violence' and "mass murder,' but I'm looking at your faces now and I can see those old defenses and the lies that support them draining out of you. You all look like children who have just been told that there is no Santa Claus, and you had really known that all along. You just needed an adult to make it official for you. Well, here I am, kids, giving it to you straight, what you already knew."

     [Martin McPhillips, Corpse in Armor]

     Sorry, Leftists. “Free health care” cannot justify that program.


Bob T. said...

I'm not quite old enough to know of Mandela's misdeeds from an "I was capable of critical thought as the history was being made" perspective, but I've always been uncomfortable with the easily-recognized white-washing of his life and accomplishments. Frankly, anyone that beloved of the left in this country was/is suspect with no additional justification required for having that opinion. As you say, "Let's stipulate that Mandela did mend his ways, to the extent of forgiving his enemies and striving for unity in post-apartheid South Africa." Even so, I still cringe a bit when asked to participate in singing church choir compositions honoring his life and accomplishments.

Thanks for the steer toward "Corpse in Armor". I ordered my "dead tree" copy moments ago.

Anonymous said...

Those on the left are all for these types of systems because they all think they will be one of the cronies. As history has shown time and again useful idiots don't realize (or refuse to recognize) their role until the round ups begin.