Statists on the Left, Statists on the Right
Maybe Napoleon Was Right…
by Eric Peters
Napoleon believed in liberty – just not for most people.
Most people, he reportedly said, are herd-cattle not capable of living as individuals in society without the external restraint of authority to keep them from abusing one another. Most men, in other words, are only kept at bay – kept from committing acts of violence and fraud – by the threat of violence in return.
Not by self-restraint; not because they are morally enlightened.
The prod – and only the prod.
In his own way, the dapper dictator was a Libertarian. A cynical one, perhaps – but also probably accurate in his estimation of the masses of humanity.
I’d go further. I doubt most people even desire liberty.
Most people, no matter where they fall on the political continuum, are quite happily habituated to the omnipresence of government – to omnipresent control in exchange (supposedly) for “safety.”
How many people out there would be willing to forgo any claim to a government check for anything – “retirement,” “health care,” “unemployment compensation” – in return for the liberty to provide for themselves, successfully or not? No, wait, let’s go deeper. To agree with the statement that no one is entitled to take money from anyone else for any purpose, without their consent?
I doubt the answer is one out of 100. Maybe not even that.
Clear majorities support the emerging police state – the universal monitoring, the mass frisks.
Democrats – that is, left-leaning statists – are of course a lost cause. There’s no point even trying to speak with the “we needs” and “society oughts.” Even in the abstract, they’re not for liberty; they’ve embraced communal responsibility. “We” are all in this together – even though some of us might prefer to go our own way, make our decisions – and just be left alone.
Which of course, we won’t be.
It is interesting to note in this connection the odd fact that left-liberal statists are deemed – and deem themselves – “caring” (that is, humanistic) people while anyone who objects to their schemes of violent control – to their talk of “helping” some people with other people’s money, taken at the point of a gun – is regarded as “selfish” and “mean-spirited.”