Monday, July 13, 2009

Manic Monday Apocalypso: The Fate Worse Than Death

Another "serious" MMA, no fun movie or comic book or game to talk about. This topic comes courtesy of Darcysport, with whom I had a heated exchange about the fate of GM. She, as a Michigan resident who knows lots of good people who will personally suffer from GM's failure, wants it to succeed.

I, an asshole, want it to fail. (My words, not hers. We were civil. Mostly.)

My logic is simple, ruthless and uncompromising: The actions involved in the "saving" of GM were illegal, unConstituional, and represent a serious step on the road to fascism. I'm not saying we're fascists now, or Obama is a fascist; I'm saying that (yet another) barrier to fascism has been removed.

Therefore, whatever ill happens to GM workers pales in comparison to the ills that will follow any "success" GM has. (Any real success is unlikely. A redefinition of the word "success" is most likely.) This was my feeling about the initial, massive financial system bailout--a feeling I think has been vindicated (in a very short time) by the subsequent actions and failures.

But it's easy to say this about people you don't know. "Let them suffer, so that the Republic may live." It's all so abstract. (Principles are like that.)

But I've said it before: It is better that my children die than the government should get more involved in health care. The government is involved, and is largely responsible for the mess they're now proposing to save us from. ("Savings" is another word commonly redefined in this discussion.) The solution never, ever involves more freedom.

There's a concrete angle to this: My employers sent out a missive encouraging us all to vote for the massive tax propositions on the latest ballot. But I still voted against it, even though it might cost me my job. (Or I would've voted against it had I bothered to vote this time; my perfect voting record is somewhat sullied, I'm afraid.)

And this is where we get to the whole apocalypse tie-in: Though it's more fun to pretend the world ends with a bang, it of course ends with a whimper. In practical terms, the whimper is the slow enslavement of a once free population. With each step, we're supposed to quietly accede, precisely because good people will be hurt, our families will suffer and the good times we have enjoyed will come to an end. Or, maybe only the sorta-okay times will get less okay. (You can see that prominently in communist countries: Life sucks, but it sucks a little less for a few, and they'll do any horrible thing imaginable to hold on to that slightly less sucky existence.)

There is a fate worse than death, and that's slavery. We were founded (somewhat ironically) by men who refused to be slaves. Death was preferable to them. And yet we are nowhere near as free as they were under Britain's rule. Maybe that's why it always sort of feels like the End is Nigh.

And rather intriguingly, every post-apocalyptic scenario I can think of pits a few freedom-loving rebels against a dysfunctional society.

The left has come at us anew with Orwellian tactics of redefining words like "taxes" as "revenue" and "big, ugly programs that benefit only entrenched political power" as "investment". What I suggest now is for freedom-loving folk to call political programs what they are: An attack on freedom.

If being against nationalized health care means you want people to die, it's fair--and more accurate--to say that being for it means you're against freedom. Financial bailouts? Anti-freedom. Auto bailouts? Anti-freedom.

Freedom by definition includes the freedom to fail. Just as freedom of speech includes the freedom to say stupid and offensive things, freedom of action includes the freedom to do stupid and offensive things.

I also took it up with Amba over healthcare: Yes, We The People have the freedom to die because we've made poor choices. We The People also have the freedom to set up charities to help people who've made bad choices (or who were just unlucky).

If the car companies have to fail, so be it: Clear the barriers to making new car companies, or maybe companies dedicated to a brand new paradigm of travel.

Freedom, in the form of liberalism, grew Western Civilization. Ossification, in the form of "liberalism", will cause it to crumble.


  1. No links to these discussions? Or is there such a thing as heated twittering?

  2. LOL. I didn't call you an asshole! I called the guy I was having a back an forth on Twitter with an asshole. You just, know, agreed with him. :)

    And I did see your point. I just...well, I'm living this. I admire anyone who can adhere to the principles that you do in the face of financial ruin. I'm not quite there yet, but I hope to get there.

  3. I was having a back an forth on Twitter with an asshole

    There you go. Heated twittering.

  4. Nice avatar, Knox! I have no idea what it is, but I think that's a Norway flag in there?

    I was, of course, joking about Darcy calling me names.

    I should have done something link-wise. Hmmm. Well, if Darcy wants to put her side up on her blog, I'd totally be willing to do a blogwar.

    We could get all bitter and have a rivalry going, and half the commenters could take her side and half mine and then we could start attacking each others' families! That'd be fun!

    Nah. Too much work.

  5. Noooo! I wouldn't have anybody on my side. *sniffle* :)

    I agree with y'all, really. Just don't like people being asshole-ish about it. And the Twitter guy was, I think. ;-)

  6. I sooooo unfollowed that guy, btw. Right quick.

  7. Actually, I dropped everybody who made a snarky Palin comment.

    It's not the politician or even the person, it's the lynch-mob mentality of those doing the attacks. It disgusts me.

    Junior High School never ends for some.

  8. Nice avatar, Knox! I have no idea what it is, but I think that's a Norway flag in there?

    I'm just a little obsessed with the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.

    It's not the politician or even the person, it's the lynch-mob mentality of those doing the attacks. It disgusts me.

    If someone makes just a baseless Palin bash, that's pretty good criteria for writing them off.

  9. You know, I haven't been pleased with Palin in the last couple months. But I just read her WPo op-ed, and good for her. God knows, we need somebody sounding the alarm regarding Cap and Trade.

  10. I'm late to this I know, but here is my take on buying GM.

    My wife and I are longtime GM buyers: We have a Yukon and a Saab, before the Saab a Buick.

    I don't want to reward the lawless behavior of the govt. but in general I think it is best to look for value for your car-buying dollar.

    One thing we could do to stick our collective finger in their eye: Only buy the biggest, most Gaia-wrecking machines offered. Yukons, Silverados and Camaros. Nothing little, hybrid or electric.

  11. It is better that my children die than the government should get more involved in health care.

    The solution never, ever involves more freedom.

    Oh, I don't know. What if a kid of yours--say, at 12 or 13 or 14, when back in olden days kids were considered adults or at least to take on those responsibilities, if not before--decided they'd like a bit more freedom to decide their fates for themselves than that hard line you've just laid down on behalf of such a marvelously noble statement of principle?

  12. First, I use my children because it's easy to lay down one's own life. It really only gets harder when you have children, and then it gets really easy when you're doing it for your children.

    Second, I don't expect my children to toe any lines philosophically. They're free to choose slavery for themselves and their children, just as our parents and grandparents did for us.

    Third, they're actually going to be a lot less free to make that choice if we, like our ancestors, choose slavery in advance.

    Thomas Jefferson's biggest failure was in not figuring out how to keep future generations enslaved by past ones.

    Finally, this isn't a "noble principle", it's raw survival. Though there's a remarkable correlation between the two, and the assault of one in the pretense of trying to uphold the other.

    Or do I misunderstand you?

  13. I think you and I perhaps view the rhetoric differently. I think it's fairly easy, because it's cliche, to use "better my children ... than ... ", and that cliche inherently puffs the winds of loftiness and nobility. Just IMO, of course. It's sort of the flipside of the other side's "for the children..." cliche. Again, just my opinion.

    We don't have a lot of disagreement on this issue otherwise.

    (And your comment w/r/t Jefferson is excellent.)


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