Sunday, May 31, 2009

Determinism, Government, and Social Justice

"Dictatorship and determinism," wrote Ayn Rand, "are reciprocally reinforcing corollaries: if one seeks to enslave men, one has to destroy their reliance on the validity of their own judgments and choices—if one believes that reason and volition are impotent, one has to accept the rule of force.
“Representation Without Authorization,” The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 21, 1

Today, we see the spectacle of a federal government nearing totalitarian power over society. It seeks to re-create the nation in its own image--green, "socially just", ignoring the power of the individual and his right, both Constitutional and natural, to empower his own will; and it is doing so by giving us cause to relinquish our reliance on the validity of our own judgments and choices.

It is telling us that General Motors and Chrysler no longer know how to manage their own companies, because in a world where they naturally lost their share of the market to competition, they also lost money when a disaster struck the economy after government interference in that economy.

Of course, the government has interfered in the capitalist economy almost from the beginning of our nation's founding. But once it became large enough to be a real force, then the concept of capitalism was replaced by the concept of the "mixed" economy. But no one calls it that.

They still call it capitalism, and so when this mixed economy fails because the capitalists have lost control over their own capital, lost it to bureaucrats who were not seeking to protect capital but rather to protect special interests from the capitalists, then the bureaucrats could claim the capitalists were incompetent of maintaining a healthy economy. It isn't "socially just" to allow a few incompetent money mongers to destroy everything for everyone.

The real capitalists knew better, but the majority of people alive today believe that the government has proved "capitalism" is the special interest who must be shackled and told how to manage its own affairs; when the fact is, it has been shackled for so long it no longer knows how to do what it is supposed to do.

It is supposed to say no to government interference, relying on the validity of its own choices based on objective market values. No such values can exist when a mixed economy by definition is subjective.

And since the government can now make the claim that "health care" is inefficient and have that backed up by the health care industry climbing naked into bed with it, "the people" are beginning to believe that reason is impotent---when it is not governed.

When a new piece of electronics hits the market, it is always expensive at first. Look at the price of the IPhone, which now has dropped by more than 60%. The first real laptop computer for under $200 is being advertised heavily on TV by a major wireless internet carrier who sells that laptop.

So when a new piece of medical equipment, or new medicines, hit the market, they are always expensive. The difference is, there are not hundreds of thousands of hospitals rushing out to buy the new equipment, and the meds are not immediately prescribed to millions of people, so there is no reason for the price to come down.

Yet, everyone who gets sick and can be helped by the new equipment want it used on them, and they then complain about the cost of health care, and they equate it with health care itself. There is nothing wrong with health care. There is something wrong with everyone wanting the best and the most expensive procedures used on them, while complaining about the costs.

"Social justice" is a form of alleviating the effects of determinism, but it's all smoke and mirrors. Determinism doesn't exist, but if the philosophers can get you to believe it does, then they have power over everything and everyone, including government policy, because it is they who taught the policy wonks everything they know.

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