Monday, September 13, 2010

Approaching it from the right side

A friend has passed on to me his copy of Mark Levin's Liberty and Tyranny, the American publishing sensation last year. Subtitled, A Conservative Manifesto, it is a summary of conservative ideas as opposed to what Mark Levin calls "Statist" ones. How right he is not to subscribe to that ridiculous misuse of the word "liberal". There is nothing liberal about people who want to strengthen the state, take away people's liberties and impose their own idea of utopia on them.

Mark Levin is a writer, a journalist, a radio show host and another perpetual thorn in the left's collective side. He is also a constitutional lawyer. A real one.

The book swings along at a merry pace and, so far, there are only two quotes that I want to share with those who have not yet read the book. [Spelling as given, i.e. American.]
And yet, the Statist has an insatiable appetite for control. His sights are set on his next meal even before he has fully digested his last. He is constantly agitating for government action. And in furtherance of that purpose, the Statist speaks in the tongue of the demagogue, concocting one pretext and grievance after another to manipulate public perceptions and build popular momentum for the divestiture of liberty and property from its rightful possessors. The industrious, earnest, and successful are demonized as perpetrators of various offenses against the public good, which justifies government intervention on behalf of an endless parade of "victims". In this way, the perpetrator and the victim are subordinated to the government's authority - the former by outright theft, the latter by a dependent existence. In truth, both are made victims by the real perpetrator, the Statist.
It is, of course, important to recognize how much of this has already been put into place and to what extent we have all become both "perpetrators" and "victims" as defined by Statists. It is also of some importance to try to define what the response ought to be.
However, the Conservative seeks to preserve and improve civil society, not engage in a mindless defense of the status quo inasmuch as the status quo may well be a condition created by the Statist and destructive of civil society - such as the 1960s cultural degradations, which are all too prevalent today. It is the Statist, then, who rejects even minor change if such change promotes the civil society, thereby challenging his authority.
We see this reluctance to accept change in many from the europhiliacs to the trade unions who are threatening the country with all manner of ills if the slightest necessary change is made to the current suicidal state of affairs.

But what of the times our own entitlements are taken away. Here is a story in yesterday's Scotsman. It seems that
FAMILIES will have to take more responsibility for looking after their frail relatives because the state can no longer afford to care for a soaring elderly population, Scotland's councils have warned.
Setting aside the thought that these days not all people over fifty or even sixty, seventy and eighty are so frail as to need constant care, one needs to ask why it should be considered to be such a terrible idea that families be asked to look after their relatives. Just another example, one might say, of our reluctance to take responsibility for what should be our duty.

Yes, but hang on a minute. In its fraudulent claim that it can look after us all and, particularly the frail and the elderly, the state has taxed us to a considerable extent, smugly taking away our money in order to use it for "our benefit". Now it tells us (and Scotland is not the only part of the country where this is true or going to be true) that it cannot do so and we have to take our share. With what, may one ask. Is the state going to stop taxing us to the point where we have no money to care for anyone who needs extra care in our families?

Furthermore, in its fraudulent claim that it can look after us, the state has produced regulation after regulation that has made it impossible for private individuals and companies to run care homes for those frail sick and elderly. Now it tells us that we need to find some way to look after the frail. Where exactly are we going to do it? Are those regulations going to be changed to make it easier for us to do so?

In other words, we must start with the notion that it is not the state's business to look after us and it should stop pretending it can do so; stop taxing us in that pretence or making it impossible through ridiculous and vindictive regulations for us to do so for ourselves. Sadly, that is not how the story is reported or accepted by many: the state should be looking after us; how dare it give the task over to the families of those frail elderly people?

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